When I was in Santorini with my best friend I stayed in Oia. I know it is the village that gets overcrowded with sun set, that has tourist busses line up in the morning to come and visit, but it is mesmerizing to stay there and feel part of the locals who service all these tourists.
In the morning instead of preparing breakfast ourselves in our little cave house, we would go to 39 steps cafe, order some yoghurt and coffee and slowly wake up when the village did the same. Breathtaking views could keep us here for a while until it got too crowded and we left town for a beach break.
I think we explored every corner of Santorini for the perfect beach, until we got crazy from the steep and curvy roads. But it got us some nice and each time different beach to appreciate. Anemos Beach club at Perivolos village had great service, wonderful beds and good food, but the busy road between the beach and the club kind of interrupted the chill vibe I’m always looking for. Another one at the same beach/village is Jojo Beach, but also has this awkward road. With the parties happening here, that road is probably not much of a bother… Wave bar though at Eros beach is definitely one that should be on your list. During high season try to give them a call to reserve beds. As it is the only beach club on that stretch you would probably like to secure some shade and comfortable beds. And number 2 on the list is for sure Aegialos at Exo Gialos marina in Vourvolos. You might need to stop to ask directions, but don’t give up as it is so worth it. It is definitely not a polished beach club, but the food is amazing, people are so friendly and the beach is good. And then for a polished beach club go to Elia lounge at Kamari Beach. You will find it taking directions to Bellionas Hotel as it is part of the group and right in front of this hotel at Kamari beach.
For restaurants we either hang around at the beach club and ate there or went back to Oia and explored some of the culinary expertise in our neighbourhood. This brought us to Red bicycle restaurant (Oia) where you feel like a queen, with some wonderful locally sourced food and of course an amazing view over town. Or if you want to avoid the crowds, you go a bit out-of-town to Oia Katharos and have a more relaxed dinner at Katharos lounge as the only restaurant on the cliff, great Greek food, lovely tunes and wonderful view. Other ones recommended in Oia are Roka with great Greek atmosphere or Oozora, a Japanese restaurant. I didn’t have a chance to test the Japanese one myself, so please let me know whether you appreciated it.
While we stayed at a cave apartment which my friend booked, we also came in contact with the owners of Zoe Aegeas traditional houses. They rent out a few locations in Oia and are able to support you in your search for that special Santorini experience. If you are looking for villas though another one to recommend would be Santorini Villas.