The burning dark sand and the great restaurant of Sea Side by Notos, Santorini
The wide beach of Agios Georgios at Perivolos is one of the most beautiful seaside in Santorini and it houses the Sea Side By Notos, a beach bar & restaurant that gathers great reviews among people from all over the world and that I appreciate for several reasons.
Of course, the location is lovely, with the dark volcanic sand and the crystal clear sea that distinguishes Santorini (the day I was there, the water was unbelievably clean). The Sea Side has been able to enhance the natural heaven in which it is located thanks to its sophisticated but laid-back atmosphere made of wooden furnitures, soft colors and straw umbrellas.There is also an old fishing boat that has been transformed into a couch, with soft cushions and a nice view on the sea.
But the thing I loved most when I went there, was my sun-bed. Sun-beds at Sea Side are really really comfortable! Especially the larger ones, the ‘king size’ sun-beds. They are perfect for stretching out the body in all directions and enjoy the sun and the background music. Such a relaxing experience!
There was another detail that made my day at Sea Side by Notos really enjoyable, that is the great service. I think that it’s always a pleasure to spend time surrounded by a kind staff, always ready and discreet.
The service was great both at the beach and at the restaurant. In fact, the Sea Side gives the chance to enjoy a fresh fruit juice, a cocktail or an appetizer directly by the umbrella. But if you want a full meal, the restaurant offers a fusion cuisine characterized by research and passion. It’s possible to taste seafood dishes that have Greek and international influences. Loved this cuisine.
The restaurant is perfect not only for a light lunch after a long sun-bathing morning session but also for dinner, when the backdrop becomes more romantic.
I think it’s clear that my opinion about the Sea Side by Notos in Santorini is very positive! But if you ask me to find a flaw, well, that black sand gets very hot under the sun and walking barefoot is almost impossible!
I obviously recommend you to go to the Sea Side, spend a relaxing sunny day and enjoy good food at its restaurant but, believe me, do not forget the flip flops if you do not want your feet to get burned!
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The Authentic Santorini, part 2: The villages on the Caldera
I’ve already talked about the beauty of the two inland villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori. But Santorini is famous most of all for its spectacular caldera, and the villages that overlook it are a must-see destination for your day trips.
Fira, the capital, Immerovigli, Firostefani and Oia are the most known, but the fact that they are visited by a lot of tourists hasn’t wrecked their folkloristic charm.
Among all those villages, the one that amazed me most was Oia.
Besides the design of the typical architecture of the Greek island towns, I liked Oia because it mixes its picturesque side to a more worldly one. I found great to see luxury boutiques next to traditional shops or art galleries.There are also plenty of restaurants, cafe and tavernas. In particular, I had a great lunch and a great time at Ambrosia, which is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants of Santorini. Food was excellent and the staff was very nice and welcoming.
Outside the pedestrian area in the center the atmosphere of Oia changes completely and becomes quieter. It’s easier to enjoy what’s around. The Maritime Museum, the rests of the ancient Venetian fortress, the little port of Ammoudi and the beach of Armeni are unmissable spots.
As many other villages, Oia is situated on top of a cliff and the view on the caldera is one of the most spectacular of the entire island of Santorini. The best moment to enjoy the view is at sunset, especially from a terrace of a restaurant (like the one of Ambrosia) or from a boat. Actually, watching the sunset from the highest point of the village is considered something like a ceremony in Oia and even if the humidity in the air or some clouds may ruin the show it is something that is worth doing.
I found Oia and the other villages on the caldera undoubtedly more crowded than those in the mainland, but they are lovely place to visit and they give you the chance to discover a more authentic side of Santorini.
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The authentic Santorini, part 1: The villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori
I love Santorini! The breathtaking caldera, the wonderful beaches and sunsets and the nightlife made this island one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean Sea.
But Santorini is not only honeymoons, jet set and mass tourism.
Away from the renowned spots there are villages that are worth visiting. I have been to Pyrgos and Megalochori and found them absolutely lovely. It was like getting out of time and suddenly Santorini appeared different to me.
Pyrgos is a small village situated some kilometers away from Fira. It is located on the top of a hill and the panoramic view of the entire Santorini and its caldera is stunning.
In the past it was the capitol of the island and now it is popular because of its typical greek appearance.
In facts, its charm comes from the traditional houses, the blue domed churches, the labyrinth of narrow streets, the tavernas and the ancient Venetian castle, all well conserved.
Although Pyrgos is undoubtedly a tourist destination, it isn’t crowded at all and you won’t find that mass tourism that characterizes other spots in Santorini. Actually, the atmosphere is really quiet and it is a very nice experience to get lost in this village and discover all the hidden workshops of local artists.
Megalochori resembles Pygros in many ways: no mass tourism, narrow streets and steep staircases, traditional white houses, churches and a breathtaking view of the island from the top of the hill on which it is located.
The most peculiar things to see in Megalochori are basically two: the eccentric arch bell tower under which you can walk and the traditional cave house available for visits.
But what makes Megalochori truly unique to me is that it is considered the capitol of wine production in Santorini. It is surrounded by vineyards and some of the biggest wineries of the island are located there. As a result, Megalochori is perfect to transform a cultural excursion into an opportunity to taste great wines.
Far from the crowded places, Pyrgos and Megalochori gave me the chance to discover the true greek essence of Santorini. From the scenographic glimpses to the tempting smells of food and nature, everything was so intense but I felt really relaxed and It was great.
I strongly suggest you to visit those villages and feel the same way too.
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Buddha-Bar opened in the breathtaking scenario of the Santorini Caldera
Santorini has now its own Buddha-Bar Beach experience.
Even though I didn’t attend to the great opening party that took place a few weeks ago, I have already had the chance to go there for a dinner.
Unfortunately it was a windy night and it was a little hard to enjoy the outside, but this detail didn’t ruin my experience.
So, what can I say about Buddha-Bar? Well, first of all the location is spectacular. It’s placed inside the 5 stars hotel “La Maltese”. This luxury hotel is perched 250 meters above the greek see and the picturesque village of Imerovingi. The view on the Santorini Caldera is breathtaking and it is the first good reason to go to Buddha-Bar. I loved it!
Another good reason is food. The dinner I had was up to the standards of the Buddha-Bar brand, that is a mix of different cuisines, with Asian ingredients and Mediterranean influences. I liked it, and I also appreciated the kindness of the staff.
You know, Buddha-Bar is a world reference not only for gastronomy, but also for hospitality, wellness and music. World famous DJs are going to play fantastic music throughout this summer. For example, Dj Ravin, who is linked to Buddha-Bar for a long time, played at the opening party.
I took a look at the events calendar and they have already planned a few events focused on music and gastronomy.
So, Buddha-Bar Beach is a great place to spend a night out in Santorini. But I want to suggest you to go there even just for a cocktail at the sunset. After all, its plus is the view on the Caldera and the sunset is undoubtedly the best moment to enjoy it. The Sunset Lounge Bar offers the typical cocktails of Buddha-Bar, some new great drinks inspired by the lovely Santorini and tasty tapas and finger-foods.
The atmosphere of the Buddha-Bar Beach in Santorini is both relaxing and glamour and the view on the ancient volcano is unrivaled. I had a good time and I think it is worthwhile to go at least once during the holidays.
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