I’ve always had a love for Greece, memories of family holidays in Rhodes and Corfu, the balmy heat, cute kittens and delicious food. Zakynthos has a special place in my heart as I holidayed there with friends when we were young and (not quite so) innocent. Zakynthos is also home to my cousin who married there in a beautiful traditional wedding, a ceremony that was so special and unique that I will probably never see anything quite like it again.
I’ve always dreamed of visiting Kefalonia and Santorini; looking at the beautiful pictures of Santorini with the white buildings rolling down the hills with blue rooftops, blue seas, blue sky…it seems like a fairytale. The beauty of Santorini is that the fairytale is indeed magical and real!
We stayed at the Chromata hotel, which is 10 minutes from the airport by taxi, nestled between the two towns Oia and Fira in a place called Imerovigli. Oia is the ‘posher’ of the two but both housing restaurants, bars and boutiques. Chromata is 9 minutes drive from Fira and 20 minutes from Oia. I tell you this but you really don’t need to leave Imerovigili if you are feeling lazy, the views are stunning and there is a good choice of restaurants near by.
Chromata is part of the Leading Hotels of the World and you can see why. People hike to where the hotel is placed just to see the scenic views, which you can enjoy all day everyday from your sunbed, room or restaurant. This boutique hotel is a touch of class with the staff being attentive but not overbearing. You can find quiet nooks to sunbathe alone or sit by the refreshing pool, which is the perfect size with only 10 beds, so it never feels crazy busy.
On arrival we were upgraded by chance and managed to snag our own Jacuzzi but we really didn’t use it that much. The room was massive with a large comfy bed, substantial bathroom with shower, bath, separate toilet and you receive complimentary large water daily. Breakfast is included which you can have in the restaurant but you can also ask for it to come to your room if you feel like you need even more privacy.
Breakfast includes fresh fruit, pastries and lots of other little delights and you can also choose from the complimentary a la carte menu, which includes omelet’s, pancakes and your choice off eggs.
The bar ‘Aperitivo’ also has wonderful views and offers a good point to stop at and have a drink before you venture out to your restaurant of choice. It’s also nicely positioned on the steps to give your legs a break… Cocktails are about 16 euro, wine 8 and beers 8, included is a selection of nuts and olives and they also give you a complimentary little drink which changes daily.
The following restaurants are all within a few minutes walk from the hotel:
I recommend this for a cheap lunch. They have salads, dips, gyros and souvlaki. Gyros are from 3euro.
This is great for lunch and/or dinner. The food is delicious and if you are in need of watching the world cup then it has a TV!!! Its not a glam restaurant but certainly does the job. I recommend the eggplant dip – best I’ve ever had. The oven - baked lamb is also amazing, just avoid the chops. They had great flavor but were well over done!!
This restaurant came highly recommended by the hotel and is incredibly busy. People queue to eat so it is recommended that you book. The staff remembered us even after we had only been once…. They serve traditional Greek food and it is delicious. Don’t get a desert per person as they are huge! One desert can feed four… Also ask for pita bread with the dips, as they will bring out large baguette/focaccia bread, which is too filling before mains. Mains are around 15-20 euro. Lamb shank, pork, pasta and souvlaki were all delicious.
This is the fine dining restaurant very close by with spectacular views. We were a little skeptical about the tag ‘fine dining’ but I have to tell you that the food was amazing and the venue and staff matched 100%. Well worth visiting but make sure you book a table. They do a tasting menu for 75 euro each, which is well worth a try and reasonably priced.
With fantastic views and right next to the Chromata this a fantastic find. We only visited here towards the end but ate there three times’s as it was so delicious and convenient! We recommend the Mousakka, chicken in honey and mustard sauce, stuffed peppers.
After a google search I stumbled upon Yoga with Veronika. This takes place at Caveland on a Tuesday and Thursday from 9-10 am. Caveland is about 10 mins drive from the hotel and is a hostel. It is a beautiful place with gorgeous flowers and little nooks and crannies to sit and relax…. It's the nicest hostel I’ve seen!! It cost 12e per class and is well worth it. It takes place on the rooftop and you don’t need to worry about the sun, as there is some slight cover. You are even joined by a horse in the field next door, he gets a little excited and wants to join in.
I visited ASPA, which is based at the hotel Kirini in Oia. My therapist Yota was so calm and performed their beautiful signature massage with essential oils. My treatment room has its own steam
and Jacuzzi so I really could have spent even more time relaxing but I was itching to check out the beautiful boutiques in Oia. Treatment was $150 for 60 minutes, which included a free shuttle that the Chromata hotel arranged.
A perfect afternoon of me time!!!Chromata