The Height of Romance
Santorini – part 2
Where to eat: budget-ish
Another large explosion occurred many, many years ago on the island; tourism with a capital T. Many restaurants, particularly around Fira are hectic tourist traps with prices similar to the views – spectacular. Get out of the tourist loop by heading towards the Catholic cathedral and settle into one of the oversized couches at Casablanca Lounge Restaurant.
Featuring traditional Greek fare, this restaurant is the perfect lunch spot. Its breezy, relaxed attitude is a welcomed recluse and the view’s not bad either.
Highly recommended: Eggplant salad, Kefalotiri cheese, Shrimps in Ouzo sauce.
Casablanca Suites and Lounge Restaurant, Fira. Telephone: +30 22860 23157
Where to eat: Moderate
Caldera-hugging Sphinx Restaurant is located just off the main drag in Fira. A stunningly restored mansion with elegant outdoor dining, the Sphinx Restaurant is dedicated to fresh Mediterranean cuisine with a large dash of local produce. After a long day of sightseeing, give your kneecaps a rest and enjoy a pre-dinner Kir Royal listening to the sounds of Miles Davis. As the sun continues to set turning the pinkish coral exterior into vibrant tangerine, tuck into a succulent dish of fresh seafood.
Highly recommended: Santorinean fava with sautee onion, capers and sun-dried tomatoes, Fresh salmon with champagne saffron sauce, finish with a local dessert wine, Vinsanto Hatzidakis.
Sphinx Restaurant, Fira. Web: www.sphinx.gr Telephone: +30 22860 23823
Where to eat: Expensive
Celebrated Oia is the place to watch the sunset and restaurant Feredini is the place to eat in Oia. Sitting along a precipitous cliff edge, this open-air restaurant delivers excellent service and an excellent wine list. Owners Christos Markozanes and Stavros Sigalas describe the menu as ‘Creative Greek Cuisine’, the creative part being that it is actually more Italian than Greek. With billowing white drapes and fine white linens, this restaurant is the perfect mix of romance and wine. And if you haven’t popped the question by now, this might just be the perfect place.
Highly recommended: Prosciutto di Parma with melon. Sweet & sour duck fillet, grilled polenta, sautéed fresh spinach, pine nuts & raisins, in a white balsamic sauce. Asyrtico Vareli, Sigalas Winery.
Restaurant Feredini. Web: www.feredini.gr Telephone: +(30)22860 – 71825
What to do: budget
With such natural beauty at your door, it’s not hard to find things to do that cost nada: Take a walk along the clifftop from Fira, passing Firostefani and onto Imerovigli. Believe me, you’ll never get sick of the view. • Check out the stunning Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Fira. The life-long work of artist Christoforos Assimis, the entire cathedral is alive with colour and 24-carat gold-leaf detailing. • Stop by the Atlantis Book Shop in Oia. Run by a collective of artists and writers, this English language bookshop is Greece’s answer to Shakespeare & Co. Only cuter and with better music.
Highly recommended: An afternoon loitering inside Atlantis Books which offers extensive array of quality literature.
What to do: Medium
Turns out, all those volcanic eruptions were good for something; wine. Couple volcanic soil with a microclimate and apparently you get some of Greece’s finest white wines. Wine tastings are held every Tuesday night in Hotel Heliotopos and are a very pleasant way to spend the evening. The knowledgable sommelier takes you through the ancient history of wine making on Santorini and explains how an island without rain can make wine. (The soil absorbs the humidity during the night so the vines get the moisture they need.)
Highly recommended: Vinsanto Hatzidakis, an amber dessert wine made from grapes that have been dried in the sun for twelve days. Stay away from the reds.
Hotel Heliotopos, Imerovigli. Telephone: + 30 2286023670.
What to do: Expensive
What’s a Greek island holiday without a luxury catamaran to sail around on? Take a private tour around the magnificent archipelago of Santorini onboard the Catamaran Caldera. Your captain and crew will attend to your every whim whilst you luxuriously soak up the sun and watch the world float by.
Highly recommended: A trip out to the volcano. Feel super brave sticking your hand down an active crater with lava flowing 20,000 km’s below. Then sail around to Palia Kameni for a quick dip in the hot springs.
Spiridakos luxury yachts www.santorini-yachts.com Telephone: +30 22860-23755