Whether it be the dramatic volcanic setting, crystal clear waters, color bursting sunsets or cobblestone streets, Santorini is one of those destinations that's hard not to fall in love with. Now one of, if not the most lusted after Greek island, there are few places more deserving of a spot on your bucket list.
It doesn't matter if you're a traveler that likes to explore, relax or live the life of luxury; this place has it all and on the dawn of the European summer, there's never a better time to start planning your trip to Santorini. In April, I headed there to embrace the copious amounts of feta cheese, volcanic hot springs and views guaranteed to leave your Instagram followers drooling.
Desperate for some much-needed relaxation in the sun after a very rainy Vancouver winter, I stayed in Aliter Suites. Located just a five-minute drive from the main town of Fira, it was serenely peaceful and sensationally beautiful, offering a relaxing haven from the hustle and bustle of the island's capital. So why should you visit?
1. Location, Location, Location
For those who want to rent a car, Aliter Suites is conveniently situated just a five-minute drive from all the action of Santorini's beautiful capital. For those on foot, it's about a 30-minute walk or 10-euro taxi. They also offer a free shuttle service which runs three times a day. The accommodation is within walking distance from the Ex Gialos black pebble beach and the location is a world away from the tourist center of town which makes it the perfect place to really relax. Guests will find themselves surrounded by vineyards, rolling hills, donkeys grazing and ocean views. Pure paradise.
2. That Famous Greek Hospitality
The Greeks are known for being some of the friendliest people in the world, providing service and hospitality that often makes you feel like you're part of the family. At Aliter Suites, the Greeks certainly lived up to their reputation. We were greeted and shown around the property by Electra. It was no trouble for her to make us feel welcome, tell us about tours on the island or lend advice on how to get to Oia for that famous Santorini sunset.
3. The Pool
Aliter's perfectly maintained freshwater pool was undoubtedly a trip highlight. Not only is the pool absolutely immaculate, there is also an abundance of poolside seating options. Whether you fancy a sun lounger, bean bag, or hammock, it's all there on offer. Grab yourself a novel, some sunscreen and spend a day relaxing. You'll thank yourself for it when you're back to the daily grind — trust me.
4. Cocktails, Anyone?
As the ancient proverb goes: with any great pool, there must be a great pool bar. Although I'm not sure this was an actual proverb, I'm absolutely sure a good bar is essential when relaxing in the sun. Aliter Suites offer a wide array of delicious drinks and (more importantly) cocktails for you to indulge in. Can't decide between a pina colada and a mojito? Choose both. There are also some great food options to accompany your drinks too.
5. Breakfast to Write Home About
A drawcard for the Greek islands is their fresh, delicious cuisine and Aliter's complimentary breakfast showcases its finest. Try some fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, indulge in a Greek omelet with feta, or try one of their famous Greek salads. You can also sample pastries, fresh bread, juice and more. Totally worth those extra calories.
6. The Suite Life
Why have a room when you can have a whole suite? There's no need to confine yourself to the bedroom in this place. Embrace the lounge or opt for your own private balcony complete with sun loungers — the perfect spot to crack open a bottle of that famous Santorini wine. Depending on your budget, Aliter Suites also offer rooms with their own sea view and private jacuzzi. If that isn't heaven, I don't know what is.
7. Creature Comforts
Made up of 12 luxury suites, the architecture and color scheme at Aliter Suites is modern and tasteful, fitting perfectly into the tranquil aesthetic of the complex. The suites also offer tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning, a flatscreen television, minibar, robes, slippers, bath amenities and more. These all made our stay just that little bit more comfortable and luxurious.
8. Easy Access
From swimming to wine tasting, the island offers a wide array of sights to see and things to get involved in. Why not head off on the Volcanic Islands Cruise, where you'll stop at Nea Kameni and walk the path to the crater of this active volcano? Alternatively, head to Palea Kameni to swim in the beautiful hot springs. Travelers can also visit the port of Thirassia before ending the day in Oia for that world-famous sunset. Other options include wine tours, sunset dinner cruises, and catching a local bus to the Red Beach.
9. For the Romance
The suites are undoubtedly a great place for a romantic getaway. The tranquil setting and stylish decor are magic in their own right but at an extra cost, the staff can provide romantic decorations such as candles, rose petals and the smell of his or her favorite scent. Guests can also choose to pay for a chilled bottle of Moet champagne or Asti Martini sparkling wine, best enjoyed while sat outside gazing up at those dazzling stars.
10. Because when isn't Santorini a good idea?
One of the most loved tourist destinations the world over, Santorini is literally heaven in the Aegean Sea. The island's architecture and mesmerizing views are straight out of a postcard, the food is great and the opportunities are endless. If you're stuck on where to go for your next summer vacation, I hope I've made your decision a little easier.