Where to stay in Santorini

Gaze out over the Aegean from these two top cave hotels on the Greek island of Santorini.


What's so special

This hotel offers guests luxury accommodation in caves. The 300-year-old dwellings were once the homes of fishermen and farmers, but now they have been transformed into 17 houses each with majestic views from the cliff top over the beautiful Aegean sea.

How they rate it

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

"Beautiful Perivolas in Oia offers expansive sea views, an infinity pool and secluded cave-like suites with vaulted ceilings and individual terraces," says Sophie McGrath in the Lonely Planet magazine. "Perivolas is perfect," says Scott Manson on MrandMrsSmith.com. "The rooms are all whitewashed walls, with no hard edges instantly welcoming, even womb-like, our room felt like home from the moment we walked in." The hotel was the top-rated Greek hotel in Cond Nast Traveller's 2012 Gold List.

The menu

Dinner is served in a converted wine cellar. The chef uses local produce to cook up contemporary Greek dishes.

The cost

A suite costs from £340. The hotel is open from April to October. For more information, visit the website ast www.perivolas.gr, or call 00 30 22860 71308.



What's so special

Many hotels in Santorini are built on the cliff tops but the owners of Mystique went one better and carved a hotel out of the cliff itself, cleverly combining a spectacular setting with unrivalled views.

How they rate it

"The location alone is enough to make it a showstopper," says Cond Nast Traveller. "Happily, the 18-room Mystique lives up to its stunning site. The free-form rooms, decorated in what might be called cave-art style (driftwood for headboards, a dining table and chairs that appear to be made of egg-shaped boulders), are carved directly into the cliff, and the views are magnificent." The hotel enjoys "one of the most private locations in Oia".

It is "one of the finest luxury hotels in Santorini", says Travelintelligence.com. "It is as elegant and scenic a hotel as can be found across the Greek Islands. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, but are also more than content just to leave their guests to relax in a stunning natural environment."

The menu

Enjoy grilled lobster under the stars in the hotel's open-air restaurant.

The cost

A suite costs from £400, including breakfast and airport transfers. Visit www.mystique.gr, or call 00 30 228607 1114.

Where to go to see animals in the wild


"The only places to see the world's last 800 mountain gorillas Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda are off the beaten track," says Jill Starley-Grainger in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "But tourism is well established and because mountain gorillas are used to humans, when you find them, you can spend up to an hour watching them." Aardvark Safaris (Aardvarksafaris.co.uk) offers three nights in Uganda and two in Kenya from £3,455 per person.

"Usually solitary creatures, polar bears live up north in the Arctic Circle. But for six weeks in late autumn a thousand of them convene near Churchill in Canada, waiting forHudson Bay to freeze and providing sure-fire sightings." Frontier Canada (Frontier-canada.co.uk) offers three nights from £2,276 per person. "Pack extra camera batteries. Arctic temperatures drain them fast."

"Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve has more wild African elephants than anywhere on Earth and is one of the only places you're almost guaranteed to see them." Africa Odyssey (Africaodyssey.com) offers a safari and beach holiday from £2,456 per person.

"With 20 species of whales and dolphins in its waters, Madeira is the place to strike gold." Naturetrek (Naturetrek.co.uk) has four nights from £995 per person. Wherever you go to see them, "don't be tempted by a dolphin lagoon, where they're miserable and die young. If you want to swim with them do it in the wild with a boat that doesn't feed them."