This is an interesting fact: Did you know that Santorini is essentially the remains of a big volcanic explosion which occured over thousands of years ago? Well thanks to this fiery eruption, the picture postcard Greek island sees cruise ship loads of tourists lining the pretty cobbled streets, but don’t let that put you off.

IMG_0614This was our final holiday before Monkey entered the world, and we loved it here, exploring the different towns and catching the rays; eating great seafood, gelatto, food, more food; and watching some amazing sunsets.

IMG_0537Where did we stay?

To be honest, we were on a tight budget, and while the amazing luxury/boutique accommodation in Oia and Thira blew my mind (nestled into the cliff tops with spectacular views) – I wasn’t going to let it blow the bank account.

We opted for the simple elegance of the Hotel Zorzis. Situated metres from the black sandy beaches of Perissa, owners Captain Spiros and his wife Hiroko welcomed us into their beautiful, clean, tastefully decorated hotel. We had Room 9, which had a lovely balcony overlooking the pool area and the mountains. The pool area was amazing, and all the bars and tavernas were within walking distance.

We hired a car and travelled around the rest of the island, but you can also take the bus which stops near the hotel. And, if you’re lucky, Spiros will crack open some wine and tell you all about his times as a Captain of a cruise liner.

IMG_0691Top places we visited

Even though I was around 5 months pregnant, this didn’t stop us from visiting  Santo Wines. For a few Euros you can sample some lovely vinos, plus nibble on cheese and nuts. But the highlight here is the amazing view. If you go in early evening, you get to watch the sunset.

IMG_0572My top tips

Get about in a hire car, drive around the island, follow signs and get lost, on purpose! You’ll probably find the most amazing hidden gems. We did – so hidden in fact I actually can’t remember the name. But we found this taverna which had the most delicious, fresh seafood.

IMG_0684Another tip, if like us, you’re not staying in Oia, but want to travel in to watch the sunset, then go in a little early, find yourself a nice cafe/bar/restaurant and bed down. The crowds will find a nook and cranny in any possible viewing point, but amazingly no one will stand in your way. How polite!IMG_0747