Although you'll be spoilt for choice, the island of Santorini is not really the place to pick up a bargain, partly due to its popularity on cruise ship itineraries! But strolling through the delightful cobbled streets with its wonderful shops selling jewellery and antiques is still an enjoyable pastime. The main shopping destination on the island is the capital, Fira town, with department stores and leather goods. Oia has some stunning Art Deco galleries and is known for its hand-made wooden gifts, while Kamari beach is the place to go for boutiques and craft shops. Amber is a specialty in Santorini, either made into jewellery, or sold in polished stones containing insects.
Like the rest of Greece, dining is not only a form of nutrition, but is also a vital part of life on Santorini. Taking time to linger over meals is a great way to relax into the Greek lifestyle, and there are plenty of tempting regional specialties. The best-known ingredient of the island is fava - yellow split peas simmered over a long period until it is creamy and tender, and is used as a base in many dishes - dip, in balls, or in soups. Tomatokeftedes, which are meatless rissoles, with fresh tomates and herbs cooked in butter is another specialty, and some wonderful ingredients from here include the caper, white eggplant, the Santorini watermelon, and chloro cheese - which, if you're lucky enough to find it, is a treat indeed. The island produces its own wine, which is drunk with meals, as is raki - a Greek spirit. The locals also produce wonderful sweets for special occasions, such as koufeto - almonds boiled in honey, made for weddings, or melitinia - cheese pies with a ricotta-type cheese, prepared for Easter.
There's something to please everyone on the island. One of the main events each evening is to head to Oia and watch the awe-inspiring sunsets over the caldera - it's worth getting there in plenty of time to get a good spot! In the height of tourist season, there's often the chance to hear some live music, culminating in the international music festival, held for 2 weeks in September, or the jazz festival in July. For clubs and bars, Fira is the place to go for all-night parties - with popular clubs such as Koo Club, Enigma and Tithora - there's no cover charge, but the drinks aren't too cheap! There's also a selection of discos and bars on Kamari beach.