23 February 2016 by Chris Kyprianou
Where are you just back from:
A short holiday at the Grace Hotel, Santorini.
What did you see/do while you were there:
I spent most days soaking up the sun by the pool and relaxing at the hotel, which Grace Santorini is just made for! Santorini is quite mountainous so it is great for walking and hiking and I did quite a lot of walking to burn off all the feta cheese!
Straight in front of the hotel is Skaros, one of the symbols of Santorini. It is a rocky promontory sticking out to the sea and used to be the capital of Santorini. A walk here is recommended just for the views; many say Skaros offers the best views of Santorini and it is literally five minutes from Grace Hotel.
Grace Santorini has absolutely charming views – how could you not want to stay here?
There is a charming little chapel on its north side, which offers a good viewpoint and resting place. I also walked to Fira, the capital of Santorini. The path from the village of Imerovigli runs on top of the mountains, so the views are breathtaking.
Fira itself is worth seeing with its narrow cobbled streets and little shops. Another day trip was to the village of Oia, which is located in the northernmost tip of the island.
A walk from Imerovigli will take about two to three hours, but I took the easy way and hopped on a local bus, which runs frequently and costs just a few euros. From Oia, you will have beautiful views of the whole island and sunsets are said to be some of the best here.
Oia is the perfect place to watch the sun go down every evening
In Oia, I would recommend eating at Kandouni – it is tucked away from the main streets, so it may take a while to find your way here, but the food was amazing and the restaurant is quiet and peaceful and decorated in a style of traditional Greek house.
I made sure to try a lot of local specialties. The food in Santorini is absolutely amazing and there wasn't one meal that I disliked. One of the local dishes is fava beans (yellow split beans), which looks like hummus and is delicious on bread. Local wine is also worth trying. In Imerovigli, where Grace Hotel is situated, I would recommend Mezzo, which has a beautiful veranda and friendly staff.
What was your highlight:
The sunsets – definitely. Santorini is all about them and Grace Hotel couldn't be better located on the slopes of Imerovigli, overlooking the caldera. Sipping a glass of champagne on your private terrace watching the sunset is about as relaxing as life gets!
Another highlight for me was the food, starting from a fabulous champagne breakfast at Grace Hotel. Each evening a breakfast menu along with pieces of fruit and water was delivered to my room. The breakfast menu is set, but staff are more than happy to cater for different diets and tastes.
You would start off with smoothie of the day, basket of freshly baked bread, followed by pie of the day, Greek yoghurt with fruit and a choice of savoury or sweet main course, such as eggs benedict or sweet rice pudding, not forgetting champagne of course!
What would be your tip for this holiday:
Be prepared to climb lots of steps and leave the high heels at home. Most hotels in Imerovigli are on the slopes, which means you have a good few steps to climb even to the breakfast room!
Why should you travel there:
If you want to holiday in beautiful surroundings, enjoy good food and stay in a luxurious hotel, this is the place for you. Santorini is a very popular destination for couples, so this is ideal place for honeymooners or anyone celebrating an anniversary or special occasion.
What is unique about this place:
The sunsets are astoundingly beautiful!
Did you have any disappointments:
Santorini is also a popular cruise destination. Fira and Oia get busy with cruise passengers on day excursions, so the narrow streets of villages can get crowded.