The east coast of the island isn’t as known to visitors as some of the other neighbourhoods on Santorini. But, if you’re after a secluded break, the villages here might provide just the kind of charm you are looking for – especially if you want to be near a beach. Unlike the celebrated, elevated clifftop heights of towns like Oia, these resorts cater to sand and sea lovers – and the sights are unique. Think volcanic sands in hues of deep grey and pitch black (like you’re having a holiday on the moon). Perivolos, in particular, is perfect for an affordable island holiday experience. Here you’ll find water sports and beach clubs, with tavernas lining promenades.
One of Santorini’s historic tomato canneries has taken on a new life in the form of chic restaurant Forty One. Mediterranean dishes served here include salads, pasta and grilled seafood plates – and it all comes with a view of Perivolos beach. Check into the charming private dining room for a romantic night of wine tastings and food pairings.
If you’re looking for ambient lighting, white wooden sun loungers with soft large pillows and a consistently breezy beach vibe turn restaurant Sea Side Lounge by Notos. The beachside joint is peaceful in the day and turns into a top cocktail destination come nightfall. Set on Perivolos beach, the bar offers a bespoke seasonal cocktail list that’s colourful and creative.
There’s a world underneath Santorini that’s just as impressive as the island’s 300-meter high cliffs. Divers set off from Santorini’s beaches to explore caves, reefs, and coastlines that have been shaped by volcanic activity. Legend has it, the ancient city of Atlantis is here just waiting to be found. Sign up for diving excursions at Volcano Dive Centre, Santorini Dive, Mediterranean Dive or Caldera Diving.
Orabel Suites is a couples retreat on a quiet stretch of farmland near Perivolos Beach – and it has real secluded charm. Some of the spacious rooms here have their own private jacuzzis and there is a central sparkling pool.
If you do just one thing head to Kamari where you can explore the ruins of what was a thriving ancient city. The walk up to this ninth-century BC town is an unpaved hour-long walk and can be windy, but it so worth it once you’re there. This settlement of mosaics, a market, theatre and temple will please any history buff.