“An excellent low-budget option on the edge of Santorini’s main town, Ferá: stylish bedrooms and the luxury of a pool”
The rooms are split between 2 buildings: the Standards are in one, the Superiors and Junior Suites in another. Most of the larger rooms received a slick refurb a few years ago and, though we're yet to personally view them, the style seems to be modern and minimalist. All-white decor is offset by sea-inspired paintings, quirky tree sculptures or perhaps a sunset or beach scene.
Some have French windows onto the pool area - handy for a wake-up dip but susceptible to noise from late-night swimmers. We’d avoid Junior Suite #107 (with kitchenette), which is simpler in décor and sits beside pool-bar area. As such, we’ve heard reports of guests being able to hear staff setting up breakfast from early morning. Others have a small terrace, a couple offer views away from town towards the other coast.
The small Standard rooms were not refurbed and are typical of low- to mid-range Greek hotels: marble-tiled floors, blank white-washed walls and 2 single beds with sheets folded neatly on top so you can make them yourself - apparently this is to show the sheets are fresh! You’ll find a TV in the corner, some bedside spot lamps and, much needed on sweltering Santorinian days, a fridge and wall-mounted air-con unit. The simple shower rooms have a moderate flow of hot water and, thankfully, a curtain to stop you spraying the whole room.
Considering the marginal price difference from a Standard, we'd definitely recommend upgrading to a Superior, or to a Junior Suite if you want more space. Bathrooms are also lovely, with walk-in showers and funky pebbled detailing.
A breakfast of toast, jam, orange juice, cake, Greek yoghurt with Greek honey, plus cheese and turkey slices is included in the room rate, and you can order eggs, too (extra cost). Panos’ mother will bring it to a table by the pool or to your terrace (if you have one). Bring your sunglasses – the light is dazzling.
For lunch and dinner there are dozens of tavernas in Ferá, most of them catering exclusively to tourists and offering a standard array of classic Greek dishes: moussaka, stuffed tomatoes, kebabs of pork or (frozen) swordfish, tomato- or courgette keftedes (croquettes), tomato-cucumber-olive salad, feta or soft goat’s cheese (chloró), taramosalata, stuffed aubergines, roast chicken, beef stifado and – the local speciality – split-peas puréed with oil and garlic (fava). It’s usually pretty tasty, and easily washed down with retsina or beers like the local Mythos. The hardest part is ignoring the sales pitch of the touts posted at the taverna door, who, in true fishing style, are called kamakia (harpoons).
If you want to splash out, the undisputed top nosh in town is at Koukoumavlos, serving what you might call nouvelle Greek cuisine in a genteel candlelit courtyard overlooking the caldera. If you fancy a walk up the hill, there are quieter tavernas in Firostefani and Imerovigli, including the modest-looking but excellent Imerovigli Taverna, where we enjoyed the tenderest lamb baked with artichokes in an egg-and-lemon sauce.