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Santorini / Istoria Hotel

Istoria, Greek for ‘story’, was the obvious name choice when it comes to this cool-couple retreat; where a tale of unrequited affections becomes one of falling in love with the alternative Santorini.

Our only beachfront hotel on the island, it’s story started when a girl, Christina, caught the eye of a king. Her feelings far from reciprocating, Christina travelled all over the Mediterranean to avoid her admirer, finally coming to settle on the site of Istoria; then a beautiful mansion with stables for her true fondness – horses. But while she left long ago, and a pair of hoteliers converted those stables into blush plaster rooms accented by bridles, the beauty of this spot on the black lava sand of Perivolos is still very much alive. Once a place to retreat from love, it is now where the stylish young things are seen; dipping their toes into one of the largest pools in Santorini and sharing innovatively presented Grecian dishes at the toes-in-the-sand Mr E restaurant. An island institution helmed by Chef Alexandros Tsiotinis that aims to tell not only the tale of the ingredients but of the hands that prepared them.

Istoria is on a different page to the more crowded resorts. This little boutique gem takes those in-the-know away from the caldera clamour and lands them on sands that not only mirror the colour of the night, but the peace and quiet of it too. However, with fables being what it’s all about, the hotel encourages guests to venture out to tell their own in the surrounding area. Photography tours reveal Santorini in a different light, seeking out the less obvious and unexpected. While horseback riding trails (of course) lead to a meet cute with the likes of the lighthouse at Akrotiri and the Byzantium monument, Panagia Episkopi.

Travel notes:

  • 12 suites, 6 with outdoor jacuzzi and 6 with plunge pool
  • This is definitely a grown-up getaway, only allowing children 14 years or older
  • Relatively private with minimal passing footfall and not overlooked
  • Great contrasting twin-centre with its sister hotels – the village dwelling Vedema or Mystique in bustling Oia, which can also be used as a one night dining option with the hotel’s shuttle service
  • Own beach club directly opposite and restaurants within walking distance
  • Guests education initiative to explore responsibly and help support local businesses

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When to visit Greece

Greece is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. From mid May to mid June and mid September to October the climate is pleasant and sunshine is plentiful. July and August are hot with temperatures reaching 37°C. Winters tend to be mild in the south but much cooler in the north with an increased chance of rain.

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