• Location: On the beachfront road of Perivolos, which is lined with restaurants & beach clubs
• Map • Video review
• Hotel website: istoriahotel.gr
• Hotel phone: +30 22860 85051
• Check prices on Booking.com
Istoria – The most luxurious hotel on the east side of the island, Istoria boasts a sparkling infinity pool, a full-service spa, fine-dining restaurant, and an upscale beach experience.
Brand new Istoria offers twelve luxurious suites, many featuring private outdoor jacuzzis and one with a private pool. The hotel’s design is Cycladic while its décor is inspired by its past as the private villa of a wealthy equestrian; Istoria’s spaces incorporate lava rock, stonework, black sand, leather, and riding gear. The gorgeous infinity pool with its attached jacuzzi is among the largest on the island, and it is well-served by a fantastic pool bar with inspired mixology, plus local wine and beer. Dining is phenomenal at the signature Mr. E restaurant which features a creative, contemporary Greek menu highlighting locally-sourced ingredients and over-the-top flavors. Istoria’s spa offers a full-service menu of holistic face and body treatments. Service is incredibly warm and attentive.
Istoria – Location
• Area: Istoria is located on Perivolos Beach in the center of Santorini’s longest stretch of black sand beach, which is lined with restaurants and beach clubs. Perivolos is part of Perissa village, in between Perissa Beach and Agios Georgios Beach. Istoria sits right on the main road that runs along the beach promenade, making it easy to get around the immediate area and a great jumping-off point for exploring the island, especially the wine region, Fira’s nightlife, and 2 sets of ruins: the famous Prehistoric Village of Akrotiri as well as the lesser-visited Ancient Thera on top of Mesa Vouno.
• How to Get There:
Istoria is located in Perivolos on the main road fronting the beach, making it easy to travel to and from, whether by taxi or driving yourself, or riding the bus. It is approximately 10km from the Athinios ferry port and 13km from the Santorini Airport to the hotel.
There are always buses waiting at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini Airport. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Perivolos village, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board a different bus to Perivolos; the total trip will cost about €5 in total and take between an hour or 2, depending on how long you have to wait in Fira to catch the Perivolos bus. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. The bus stop for Perivolos is a 5-minute walk from Istoria, just across from Mera Beach Bar.
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis in total serving the whole island, so there can be a long wait; schedule a ride through a private car service in advance to avoid this (I use and recommend Welcome Pickups). Taxis on Santorini are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before setting out. A taxi from the airport to Istoria should be about €30 to €40, and a taxi from the ferry port around €25 to €35. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $45 (or €37), but is worth it to avoid the wait and for the convenience of paying ahead.
For those who prefer to drive themselves, we recommend renting a car either at the airport on arrival, or in Fira. The road from the ferry port is steep and narrow, with many tricky switchbacks, large trucks, and buses. Leave that for the locals to navigate. We strongly recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, especially if you require automatic transmission. Upon arriving at Istoria, the hotel offers complimentary parking onsite (a major perk).
Map of Istoria
Istoria – The Basics
- Ages: This is an adults-only hotel, allowing guests 14 years or older only. There are no facilities or amenities for children, and no rooms accommodate more than 3 guests. Guests tend to be couples celebrating a romantic occasion.
- Beach: Located right on Perivolos Beach, in the center of the longest stretch of black sand beach on the island. Istoria boasts its own dedicated, serviced beach area, and guests have complimentary access to the loungers and umbrellas. The hotel is about a 1-minute walk south of Perissa Beach and about a 10-minute walk north of Agios Georgios Beach. The entire length of beach from the north end of Perissa to the south end of Agios Georgios is about 4 km. The northernmost end is mostly coarse sand with a few pebbles, but the sand gets finer as you move south. This is an organized beach area, well-serviced by restaurants, beach clubs, hotels, and water sports centers. Generally, the more affordable restaurants are in the north end and in Perissa village, while the more luxurious dining restaurants and beach clubs are at the Perivolos and Agios Georgios beaches.
- View: Rooms offer a mix of direct sea views (Storia and Conte Suites), side sea views (Rakonto and Saga Suites), or courtyard/pool views (Tarina and Recit Suites). All sea view rooms face the east with views over the Aegean Sea, and not the caldera.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Recit, Conte, and Storia Suites all include private, outdoor jacuzzis. The Tarina Suite includes a private pool.
- Parking: Istoria offers free parking onsite.
- Extras: Welcome drink, welcome in-room amenities, private beach area, daily maid service, nightly turndown service with surprise treats, 24-hour reception.
- When to Book: The hotel operates from early May to late October. Reserve at least 3 months in advance (4 months is better) for travel during the high season from June through September. Reserve at least 2 months in advance for stays during low or shoulder season.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +30 22860 85051
- Email: [email protected], [email protected]
- Website: istoriahotel.gr
Istoria – Amenities
- Pool: Istoria boasts a huge infinity pool with an attached jacuzzi in its inner courtyard with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, and exceptional service from the pool bar.
- Spa: The hotel offers a full-service spa with a jacuzzi and an extensive menu of holistic spa treatments using Greek and international techniques.
- Fitness Center: There is no gym onsite, but the infinity pool is definitely long enough to do laps.
- For Disabled Guests: All of the hotel’s facilities and many of their rooms are located on the ground floor. There are very few steps here compared to other hotels in Santorini. They do not offer roll-in showers or wheelchair-specific rooms. This is a good option for travelers with mild to moderate mobility issues.
- For Families: This is an adults-only hotel for ages 14 and older only. There are no amenities or facilities for children, and no rooms accommodate more than 3 guests.
- Activities: The concierge team is happy to arrange a variety of activities, including wine tasting, private dining, horseback riding, caldera cruises, diving, car tours, and more.
Istoria – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Mr. E is Istoria’s signature fine-dining restaurant, offering an elevated and creative take of Greek and Mediterranean dishes. Fresh seafood and local ingredients are spotlighted on the menu, along with Santorini’s best wines and thoughtfully-blended cocktails. Mr. E is open for guests-only during breakfast, and for the public for lunch (12 pm to 4 pm) and dinner (7 pm to 12 am).
- Lounge/Bar: Istoria’s Pool Bar is open all day from 8 am until midnight, serving refreshing cocktails, local wine, and cold beer along with a menu of light bites and snacks. Beach service is available for lunch, snacks, and drinks, served by the kitchen of Mr. E.
- Breakfast: A complimentary, a la carte breakfast is served daily at Mr. E from 8 am until 11 am. Portions are large and feature fresh local ingredients, Greek recipes, and international favorites. Coffee is excellent.
- Room Service: Available 24 hours.
Istoria – Rooms
- Room Types: Saga Suite • Recit Suite • Tarina Suite • Rakonto Suite • Conte Suite • Storia Suite
- Smoking Rooms: Istoria does not allow smoking in any of their rooms. Smoking is allowed on the private terraces and in the outdoor common areas.
- Best Room: The Storia Suite is their top category suite and features a direct sea view, 2 balconies, and a full 50 sqm of space. Its rooftop terrace boasts a private jacuzzi, sun loungers, and a sitting area. The bedroom sleeps 2 on its king-sized bed, while a separate living area can accommodate a third guest on the sofa bed.
- For Families: An adults-only hotel, Istoria allows guests aged 14 years and above only. They do not have any facilities or amenities for children, and even its largest suites accommodate a maximum of 3 guests. Families of 3 with a kid over 14 should opt for the larger suites, such as the aforementioned Storia Suite or the Rakonto Suite, which is just slightly smaller at 45 sqm and which also has 2 balconies and a separate living room with a sofa bed.
Istoria – Local Transport
- Walking: Istoria is located on the main road fronting Perivolos Beach. An organized beach, it is served by plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops along its promenade. Several great restaurants and beach clubs sit within a 1 to 15-minute walk of Istoria, along with a few small markets and water sports centers. Two other beaches, Perissa, and Agios Georgios, are within walking distance of the hotel, and Kamari Beach (and with its Open Air Cinema) is easy to reach by boat or car; the Kamari-Perissa boat picks up at the base of Mesa Vouno mountain, about 13-minutes away on foot.
- Bus: The bus stop for Perivolos is about 13 minutes away in Perissa village on the way to Village Market. Buses here all head to Fira, where you’ll need to get out and change buses to reach Oia or the other villages. An exception is the stop along the way in Megalochori where you can get out to explore the traditional village and vineyards, or you can connect to a second bus to reach Akrotiri. All other destinations require a change in Fira. The entire trip to the port or the airport will take at least an hour (maybe 2) by bus. Tickets are bought on board and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 am to 5 am) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. There are only 23 buses serving the island, so the buses can get crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. If your time is limited, it is best to call a taxi or rent a car to explore outside the Perivolos area.
- Taxis: There is no official taxi stand in Perivolos, so it’s best to have the hotel call a taxi for you as needed. There are only 25 taxis serving the island, so book ahead when possible to avoid a wait, and have them meet you directly at the hotel. There will be a small surcharge for advance reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros. The average rate from Istoria to Fira or the ferry port is roughly €25 to €35, and from the hotel to the airport is around €30 to €40.
- Scooters/Motorcycles: Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop-offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
- ATVs/Quads: ATVs are a fun and popular mode of transportation with tourists, but for the locals stuck driving behind them, they move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. For those who don’t ride quads regularly (i.e. most people), they can be dangerous at high speeds and on turns. Crashing your ATV is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.
Istoria – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Mezedaki: Wonderful, contemporary taverna serving elevated, fresh Greek and Mediterranean fare with the traditional welcome raki and complimentary semolina cake to finish. 7-minute walk.
- Afros: Authentic Greek taverna serving seafood and meat recipes and offering covered and beachfront seating. 15-minute walk.
- Fougaro Beach Bar Restaurant: Upscale restaurant and beach club with both Mediterranean and Japanese kitchens working side-by-side. 15-minute walk.
- 41 Forty One: Trendy restaurant and beach bar serving an exceptional menu of creative and modern Greek cuisine in stylish Agios Georgios Beach. Do not miss their feta doughnuts. 15-minute walk.
- Savvas Popeye: Fantastic seafood restaurant serving fresh, hearty comfort food along with a variety of vegetarian options, all at a fair price point. 16-minute walk.
- Sea Side by Notos: Fine dining seafood and sushi restaurant with a champagne beach bar. The most romantic beach restaurant, perfect for a date night or pampered beach day. 18-minute walk.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Wet Stories: Chic beach bar and restaurant with fantastic cocktails, attentive beach service, and local and international DJs most nights. The vibe is chilled out during the day and becomes a lively beach party at night. 2-minute walk.
- Tranquilo: Phenomenal beach bar with excellent tropical cocktails and lots of vegetarian options. This is one of the most popular beach bars all day and the best night spot in Perissa with live music several nights a week during high season. 8-minute walk.
- Chilli Beach Bar: Great beach bar with fantastic signature cocktails and an excellent menu with a mix of elevated dishes along with standard burgers and gyros. 9-minute walk.
- Meltemi Cocktail Bar: Popular, casual bar in Perissa village with great cocktails, burgers, gyros, and karaoke a few nights a week. 14-minute walk.
- Boutari Winery: Beautiful winery and vineyards offering vineyard and wine-making tours (reserve ahead) or simple drop-in wine tastings paired with local delicacies. 10-minute drive.
- Gavalas Wines: Family-run winery with fantastic varieties at affordable prices. Try a 3-wine flight for €7.50 or 5 for €12; tastings include a quick tour of the winery, though the vineyard is in a different location. 10-minute drive.
- Hatzidakis Winery: One of the most influential winemakers in Santorini, Hatzidakis is located near Pyrgos village and offers tours and tastings by appointment. 10-minute drive.
- Franco’s Bar: In nearby Pyrgos village, Franco’s is an absolute must for champagne cocktails and panoramic sunset views over the caldera and villages from one the highest villages on the island. 16-minute drive.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Charlina Restaurant Café: Friendly all-day café serving classic Greek dishes and international favorites. Visit on Thursday evenings for their plate-smashing Greek nights. 1-minute walk.
- Chocolat Creperie Pasteria Café: Wonderful spot for ultra-decadent crepes, waffles, ice cream, and coffee. Best-known for their sweets, but they also have great burgers and salads. 9-minute walk.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Riga Clothes and Accessories: Colorful selection of women’s clothing, beach wear, and gifts. 9-minute walk.
- Meltemi Gold and Silver: Popular jewelry shop with modern and traditional pieces made with silver, gold, and precious stones. 14-minute walk.
- Studio Leather Zafiropoulos: Local, handmade leather goods including sandals, handbags, backpacks, and more. Right at the base of Timiou Stavro church; look for the blue domes. 19-minute walk.
- Santorini Wavesports: The best spot for water activities in Perivolos, offering 10 different activities, including a Jet Ski Safari and 4 types of adventure tubing. 9-minute walk.
- Wine Country: Perissa is located due east of the island’s renowned wine region, known mostly for its white Assyrtiko variety but with a couple varieties of fantastic reds too. Most tasting rooms are in Megalochori and Pyrgos villages. 8 to 12-minute drive.
- Open Air Cinema Kamari: Fantastic outdoor movie theater with a full bar, snacks, and great ambiance. Movies are in English with Greek subtitles. €8 per person; doors open at 8:30 pm; movies start at 9:30 pm. 20-minute drive.
- Sunsets: The hotel is located on the eastern side of the island, so there are no sunset views here, but there are several great spots nearby to catch the sunset. Try Franco’s Café in Pyrgos (panoramic island views, 16-minute drive), the Akrotiri Lighthouse (secluded and romantic, 21-minute drive), or the capital Fira (sunset over the volcanoes, lively nightlife, 20-minute drive)
- Prehistoric Village of Akrotiri: The excavation of a Bronze Age Minoan settlement. Similar to Pompeii, the entire town was covered in volcanic ash thousands of years ago which preserved the ruins. 14-minute drive.
- Mesa Vouno and Ancient Thera: Mesa Vouno, Santorini’s second highest peak, divides Perissa and Kamari Beaches and affords spectacular views of the Aegean and landscape from an altitude of 400m. At the top are the ruins of Ancient Thera, a Dorian settlement founded in the 9th-century B.C. and active until the 8th-century A.D. 56-minute hike or 33-minute drive.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Euromarket: Small shop with a good selection of groceries, drinks, sunscreen, and more. Prices are high for the area. 8-minute walk.
- Village Market: Small supermarket with a great selection of produce, beverages, groceries, wine, and local products. Usually open until around midnight. 13-minute walk.
Istoria – The Hotel