Tue, 01 October 2019
Though there’s never a bad time, October is said to be the best time to visit the Greek island of Santorini. The summer hoards have gone but the weather remains pleasant – a break from our still blistering temperatures, without going all-out winter cold. The island’s blue-domed, whitewashed buildings are as famous as they are picturesque, but there’s much more to this Aegean paradise.
Make sure to take in a movie at the open-air cinema at Kamari, found at the entrance to the town on the road to Fira. As well as artsy offerings, there are plenty of up-to-date films (in October you can even catch the new Mama Mia) and the cinema is also a venue for live concerts and theatre performances.
Follow the path of the ancients to Akritiri. The Bronze Age settlement was one of the most important Minoan ports and centres in the Aegean Sea when it was covered by volcanic ash in the 17th century BC. This made its preservation exceptional and it is now one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Today it is covered by a bioclimatic roof and walkways are suspended above the remains.
The restaurants and food stalls of Amoudi Bay are famous for their fresh seafood – eaten with a fantastic seaside view. Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna (pictured) comes highly recommended, as does Fanari, particularly for the sunset views. Look out for the super-fresh squid hanging outside.
The southernmost of the Cyclades has been attracting visitors for years. Formerly a favourite among the travelling hippy crowd, these days it is a popular family destination with plenty of upmarket options to keep the cosmopolitan voyager happy.
Santorini has a wealth of fabulous beaches where you can chill out and laze the day away. But, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, head to Monolithos Beach and try your hand at kitesurfing. Be warned, the winds can be strong, so you might want to start working those pecs, abs and biceps if you decide to give this a go.
Aside from the usual tourist souvenirs, Santorini is blessed with lots of one-of-a-kind galleries and unique shops selling locally made arts, crafts, designer pieces and traditional pottery. There are upwards of 40 jewellery stores in the main street of Fira – but, beware, handcrafted does not always mean hand-made! There are also plenty of places selling food and grape made in Santorini, which make ideal gifts. Or, for something a bit different, visit the Tomato Museum and head home with some seeds.