What Does Santorini Look Like In The Winter?


Did you know that Santorini can be visited during the winter months as well?

Contrary to what some people think, Greece is not a tropical destination with eternal sunshine and beautiful beaches you can visit year round. There is snow, there are mountains and there are low winter temperatures that demand warm layers and plenty of hot drinks.

Some of the most popular Greek islands, like Mykonos and Paros, almost shut down during the winter months.

From April to November, most of Greece has mellow and beautiful weather, with the summer months offering long, hot days that are perfect for sunbathing and refreshing swims.

In the winter, most people head to the mountains, the northern Greek villages or the ski centers that can be found around mainland Greece. But a few years ago, Santorini locals decided to open up their island during the winter as well. The permanent local population, started to grow from 5 to 10 thousand to over 20,000 people.

Now, travellers have more and more accommodation options, plenty of cafes and restaurants and the same beautiful scenery that you get during the summer months. In winter, you just need to add a few warmer layers of clothing and visit for longer, just in case you get a few off days of rain and wind.

But how does Santorini look like in the winter? 

These photos were all taken in February, during an 8 day trip to the island. They are from different times of the day, with most days evidently sunny but also some cloudy and rainy moments throughout.



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Shadow Art Exhibition Opens at Santo Maris Oia Resort on Santorini


The Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa is inviting Santorini’s residents and visitors to embark on a journey to shadow art through an exhibition that opened its doors recently in its newly established art space.

Shadow art is a type of sculptural art using shadows to create an artistic effect.

Santo Maris’ guests now have the opportunity to enjoy shadow art through the exhibition of Greek artist Triantafyllos Vaitsis titled “Beyond the Visible”, that is running in the resort’s art space until October 22.

The exhibition features 16 sculptures made mainly from recyclable materials, combining trash art with shadows. Vaitsis has illuminated his sculptures from specific angles in order to produce perfectly perceptible shadows.

Shadow art by Triantafyllos Vaitsis

“His sculptures reveal or hide messages and thoughts, show us ways and reveal new dimensions,” the resort’s management said.

“Inspired by the coexistence of light and darkness, the acclaimed artist deals with philosophical concepts, historic events, but also personal moments, urging visitors to enjoy life.”

The exhibition is open daily from 7-11pm with free admission.

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa

Triantafyllos Vaitsis was born in Larissa in 1976. He studied environmental engineering at the Polytechnic School of the University of Thrace and worked as an environmental engineer until 2013. In 2008 he discovered trash art and while exploring various techniques, he came across shadow art.

In 2014, Vaitsis created “The House of Shadow”, an exhibition space in the old town of Xanthi, northern Greece.

During the last few years, he has created more than 110 shadow sculptures and held over 25 exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His latest group exhibition in Taiwan attracted more than 250,000 visitors.

Vaitsis’ sculptures have been used in movies and shows of worldwide recognition.


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7 Hotels in Santorini Open in Winter With Hot Tubs Or Heated Pools


Aqua Luxury Suites is an elegant property located in Imerovigli, also known as “the balcony of the Aegean”. Tucked between Fira, which is the busiest part of the island during the winter months, and Oia, Imerovigli is an ideal location for travellers to base themselves on to explore the island.

In Aqua Luxury Suites, visitors will find a sanctuary of absolute tranquility and bliss, with suites, villas and apartments to suit every traveller and their needs. Make sure to book a room with a hot tub or plunge pool, like the stunning Superior Sunset Suite that will certainly become the highlight of your stay.



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The Akrotiri Ruins In Santorini: Know Before You Go


Life in the urban centre of Akrotiri was marked by their connection to the sea and trade. 

Akrotiri was primarily a fishing and farming village. The people cultivated grains such as wheat, barley, legumes as well as olives, and wines. They primarily traded in wine, metals and volcanic rock.

The houses, which were usually two or three stories high, were made from stone and mud, with balconies, underfloor heating, hot and cold running water and an elaborate plumbing and drainage system. There were no palaces, like in Minoan Crete, and it is believed they run a democratic and egalitarian society with no social hierarchies.

They did, however, project social status and a higher standard of living with art and decorations. It is incredible that there has been not one house or building discovered that does not include elaborate wall paintings.

The wealth and quality of the murals, in addition to the all the other findings, signify this was an affluent society that was able to endorse and finance artistic talent. 

“Any archaeologist who delves into the ruins

of the town has the feeling that he is witnessing the history

of a consumer society.”

 

Christos Doumas, Professor Emeritus University of Athens, Director of the Akrotiri Archaeological Excavations



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Vedema 2022: ‘Selene’ to Dedicate Two Days to Santorini’s Wines in September


Vedema, the renowned wine exhibition of Santorini, will take place at the island’s Selene Restaurant during September 23-24.⁠

Inspired by Selene’s creator Giorgos Hatzigiannakis and his wife Evelyn, the exhibition is known for uniting all the wine producers of Santorini under one roof. This year, Vedema will be a two-day event dedicated to the island’s unique wines and gastronomy. Vedema 2022 will also include a photo exhibition.

Scheduled to take place in the venues of the Selene in Fira, the event will include two days full of world-class wines, experiential masterclasses, local producers, amazing photographs and a unique 6-hands menu inspired by the restaurant’s long history.

Friday, September 23

– Wine Masterclasses at St. Joseph Wine Cave

Two wine masterclasses will be held inside the St. Joseph Wine Cave of Selene, during which guests will have the rare opportunity to be guided through a truly unique wine tasting experience.

The first masterclass (13:00 – 14:30) will be presented by Yiannis Karakasis MW and Caro Maurer MW, two renowned Masters of Wine. They will compare the Santorini Assyrtiko to the German Riesling, through the guidance of the masters themselves.

Karakasis, a true specialist on the Santorini wine scene, will host the second masterclass (17:00 – 18:30) and explore the ageing process of the world-famous Santorini Assyrtiko.

– Photo Exhibition “Cyclades: Expressions of Light”

Following the two wine masterclasses, an intriguing photo exhibition curated by Zoe Hatzigiannakis will open on the same evening in the Selene’s imposing lobby (19:00 – 22:00).

Dedicated to Selene’s founder Giorgos Hatzigiannakis and his wife Evelyn, the “Cyclades: Expressions of Light” exhibition will showcase the other face of Santorini through the works of talented Greek photographers, such as Panos Kokkinias, Stratos Kalafatis and Efi Haliori.

Saturday, September 24

Two different projects will unfold to introduce guests to the unique wines of Santorini, as well as the history of the emblematic Selene.

– Vedema 2022 wine exhibition

An all-day wine exhibition will be held in St. Joseph Wine Cave, titled Vedema 2022, where local wine makers will present their one-of-a kind wines to the public. “Vedema” is an Italian word, mostly used on the island of Santorini to describe the grape harvest.

– “Selene, A Journey Through Time” – 6 hands dinner

The two-day event will conclude with a unique 6 hands & 13 courses dinner menu under the title “Selene, A Journey Through Time”, at the Selene Restaurant.

The evening will see two of Greece’s most esteemed culinary creators, Thodoris Papanikolaou and Panos Tsikas, who have worked in Selene in the past, join forces with Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini to bring to life a menu inspired by Selene’s history and the late Giorgos Hatzigiannakis, creator of the emblematic restaurant.

More information is available here.


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The Top 10 Things To Do While Visiting Santorini


The Volcano And Hot Springs

Nea Kameni is the volcano that you can spot from almost every vantage point on the western side of the caldera. While still active today you can visit this dormant volcano and even hike to the top. Its peak offers fabulous views looking back onto the island of Santorini, where its towering cliffs make the villages seem a mere sprinkling of whitewashed homes.

An incredibly special feature of this volcanic island is that there is a natural hot spring located in one of the bays of the islet. You can reach the hot spring by boat, from which you can dive into the warm waters of this cove. Due to the high sulfur content of the water, it may tarnish what you swim in, so decide carefully what you’d like to wear. Some, however, may like to stick to their hotel pool, and if you’re traveling in winter many hotel pools are heated!

Santorini sailing offer private tours where you can travel in luxury around the island and beyond, including a stop at the volcanic hot springs. So, make sure you add this to the top of your list of things to do in Santorini.



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Santorini in Winter Guide – Everything You Need To Know


Santorini is connected by air and sea to the rest of Greece as well as some European cities in the summer.

Because of the number of permanent residents and the fact that more and more tourists are choosing to visit Santorini during the off season, you will find both flights and ferry connections all year-round with no problem.

Ferries

Winter ferries to Santorini depart Piraeus port daily, however, weather conditions can impact the schedule. Northerly winds can make docking on the harbor impossible during certain days so last minute delays or cancellations are not unheard of.

While in the summer months the fast ferries can make the journey in under 5 hours in the winter expect no less than 8 hours. The Blue Star Ferries line that departs early in the morning is the best option for travellers as it takes around 8 hours and you can arrive on the island just in time for check in. This route runs 7 days a week all year round, bringing in supplies and stopping at Paros, Naxos and Ios along the way.

Zante Ferries operates on a similar schedule, however, this route is longer. (12 hours) The passage is a great opportunity to soak in the Aegean but it might not be suitable for those that are pressed for time and have only a few days to spend in Santorini.

Alternatively, ferries depart later in the day from Piraeus as well, taking an average of 8-10 hours, that arrive very early in the morning. For adventurous souls or those travelling light, this is a great option for starting your trip with a beautiful sunrise. Prepare to seek refuge in a cafe for a few hours or walk around until something is open. Shop hours are limited during the winter in general so do not be surprised if there are limited to no options outside of the main centre of Fira.

Flights

There are flights all year round, primarily from Athens. Low cost airlines like Volotea and Ryanair offer very competitively priced tickets from Athens, but do remember that they don’t include checked-in baggage which you might need for your warmer and bulkier clothes.

There is generally less flights cancelled during the winter due to bad weather, and the pilots are very experienced in navigating the windy and narrow air strips to the island. Do prepare for a bumpy ride though and a dramatic landing.



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Santorini Honeymoon Things To do – Travel Guide


If you are visiting Santorini, you probably already know the story of its creation. Born out of a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, Santorini is often associated with the myth of the Lost Atlantis. The island used to be round, and was named “Stroggili” or “The round island” but with the eruption, the middle part sunk to the bottom and created this crescent shape that is now recognizable worldwide.

For the best views and a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, you might want to book a room with a view of the caldera. Santorini has some incredible honeymoon destination hotels that are known for luxury, privacy, adult-only spaces, and the best views the island can offer. If this will be a kid-friendly honeymoon, there are plenty of hotels for you as well though!

The most famous villages around Santorini are located on the side of the caldera. Places like Oia, Firostefani, Fira, and Imerovigli will be where you find world-class hotels and villas for your romantic moments.

It will come as no surprise that the view costs more than your “average” room on the island but considering how limited space is and the fact that Santorini is the only inhabited volcano caldera in the world, then it is more than worth it in our opinion.



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Santorini’s Grace Hotel Named Best Resort in Greece by Travel+Leisure

The Grace Hotel on Santorini, a member of the Auberge Resorts Collection, was given the title of “Best Resort Hotel in Greece” at the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2022.

The Greek resort also ranked second in the “Best Hotel in Europe” and “Best Hotel in the World” categories for a second year in a row.

Based on the votes of its readers, Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards serve as a respected resource for inspiration and a guide for readers’ next adventures.

“We are honored to be recognized, once again, as the best hotel in Greece and second in the world and in Europe on the coveted Travel + Leisure list,” Grace Hotel General Manager George Avgoustis said.

“These awards reflect the efforts of our entire team. Our people are an integral part of the Grace experience creating a unique relationship of trust with every visitor,” he added.

The 20-room Grace Hotel is home to modern accommodations all with views of the Aegean and designed in the spirit of the Mediterranean’s laidback seaside lifestyle. Its iconic two-bedroom Villa was recently renovated and is equipped with unique amenities like its own spa with a traditional hammam, a fully equipped kitchen, a swimming pool, a wine and cigar cellar and a butler.

Culinary experiences at Grace Hotel include honey tastings, private sunset picnics and Greek cooking classes.

With regard to activities, the hotel also offers art classes that include Greek sandal making and the art of pottery.

Adventure lovers will also be happy to know that Grace Hotel offers jet ski safaris, hikings with a local guide and scuba diving.

Earlier this summer, the property announced its collaboration with Michelin-starred Chef Lefteris Lazarou who will take Greek cuisine to the island’s Varoulko Santorini restaurant. In addition, the Baba Au Rum, one of the World’s 50 Best Bars in Athens, will serve the finest cocktails at the hotel’s 363 Bar.


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