There’s more to Santorini than Oia and it was great to get a chance to see the rest of the beautiful island during my trip. I had a fantastic private tour with SantoTour, a company that gets rave reviews on Tripadvisor.
Founder Kostas and his friend Nikos working as the main guides. The company offers private tours and can take up to 6 people in the same group. That SantoTour is a small operation allows the company to have a more personal relationship with their customers as they are in direct contact with Nikos and Kostas from the outset.
Nikos was my guide for the day. He was super friendly and had an easy manner about him that put me immediately at ease. I felt like I was exploring Santorini with a friend rather than with a typical tour guide. Nikos was quick to ask if there was anything in particular that I wanted to see in Santorini. I had seen a particularly stunning image of the caldera and showed it to him. He knew exactly where it was taken and off we went!
That was our first stop on the tour and the bonus was that nobody was there. This was unusual for Oia, a tourist magnet that was crowded even when I was there in low season. It was such a treat to see this very view with my own eyes. When Nikos said he knew where it was, he really meant it. It was the exact spot, the very same rooftop. You have to ask him to take you there. It’s a magical view.
We also stopped at The Blue Dome of Fira, the monastery perched on the highest peak in Santorini, the black beaches of the east coast, the rustic lighthouse of the southern tip of the island and another secret lookout where this photo was taken.
I’ve heard that Santorini wine has a distinctive character created by the dry, volcanic soil and I was keen to try some. Nikos took me to a small family-run winery that made their wine using traditional methods. All barefoot stomping and manual press. Owners Maria and Markela, two sisters, were lovely and the passion for the family business was evident in the enthusiasm and pride they had in the wine. It was a lovely stop.
The Travel Nova’s verdict
This was one of my favourite things to do in Santorini. Nikos took me to stunning, picture-perfect spots with views to die for. I felt like I really got to know the island, and it was wonderful to get the opportunity to see meet some of the people who live and work there.
*This review was sponsored by SantoTour (website). The views expressed are my own.