Vineyard Villas

near Oia, Santorini, Greece Book from Book from £164 per night

A trio of gorgeous B&B villas with private plunge pools and sea views, in a peaceful vineyard setting near Oia (each sleeps 2-4)
If, when you envisage the Greek islands, you see cliffs of whitewashed cube houses and blue-domed churches gazing out across a sparkling sea, you could well be imagining Oia. Hewn into the volcanic rock of an ancient caldera, Santorini’s most picturesque village draws visitors from far and wide to the island’s northern tip. Yet with beauty comes popularity. Cruise ships dock and by late afternoon the narrow taverna-lined streets are swamped with budding photographers looking to capture the world-renowned sunset from the ruined castle.

Just a couple of kilometres east, the small sister village of Finikia enjoys a rather different feel: calm, tranquil and traditional. This is where Santorini's vineyard workers once lived, while the island's rich merchants had big houses in Oia; historically, the 2 villages have always been linked. Surrounded by vineyards and vegetable gardens in Finikia, 3 luxury self-catering villas – Vinsanto, Athiri and Nykteri – offer a rural retreat for romantics, families or small groups of friends (each sleeps 2-4 in 2 double bedrooms). Blissfully cool under a baking Aegean sun, the houses are minimalist and elegant: a blue and white archetype of Cycladic chic. Their charming manager, Yiota, prepares a delicious breakfast – best eaten alfresco by your private plunge pool – and can arrange everything from quad bike hire and cooking classes to catamaran trips around intriguing lava islets. We're yet to stay but can't wait to do so.

Highs

  • Peaceful vineyard setting away from Oia’s crowds, but within easy reach by foot (30 mins) or car (5 mins)
  • The villas are cool, airy and beautifully designed, with careful attention to detail; each terrace has a shaded area for sun respite
  • Private plunge pools are perfect for cooling off by day and romantic by candlelight
  • Great value for Santorini, especially in shoulder season, and for families or groups of 2-4
  • Flexible dining. A fresh and organic breakfast is included in the rate and you can request homemade dinners too, or self cater

Lows

  • It lacks those famous clifftop views which everyone wants (or thinks they want); but we’d much rather stay here: no crowds and much better value
  • No twin bedrooms and only 1 bathroom per house
  • The quiet location won’t suit those looking for nightlife, but on the flip side you can walk to a beach in 15 mins
  • No restaurant on-site but a couple within strolling distance and plenty of choice in Oia (1.5km)
  • Their payment and cancellation policy is fairly strict

Best time to go

Our favourite times to visit Santorini are spring (April-May) and autumn (mid Sept-mid Nov), when days are reliably sunny and comfortably warm. Summer (June-Sept) can see heatwaves of up to 40°C and the island gets crowded with peak-season visitors. On 20 Oct, Finikia celebrates the feast day of Agia Matrona with dancing and a wine-tasting contest. The houses close for a few months in winter.

Our top tips

  • Oia is best visited early in the morning when it’s cooler and less crowded. From early afternoon, busloads of visitors debark from cruise ships moored in the bay and by dusk it feels like every traveller on the island has arrived to snap that perfect sunset shot. Watch it from Finikia instead - ask Yiota for the best spots.
  • For a light dinner, wander down to family-run Sigalas Winery. Enjoy a delicious platter of Santorini cheeses with crusty bread, olive oil and a bottle of the island's famous Vinsanto wine.
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Family
    Romantic
    • Boutique Villas
    • 3 villas for 2-4
    • Breakfast included, self catering, restaurants nearby
    • All ages welcome
    • Closed: November to April
    • Plunge Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    Room:

    Rooms

    There are 3 villa-apartments, each showcasing the clean lines and curves of classic Cycladic architecture. Thick white walls contrast dramatically with deep shades of blue from the shuttered windows and doors. Each sleeps 2-4 people, and has a spacious living area with kitchen, leading out to a private terrace and plunge pool. Huge earthen pots and chunky rope baskets suggest carefully styled tradition, while air-conditioning, power showers and super-comfortable beds ensure a touch of high-end luxe.

    At the top of the hill, Vinsanto has 2 private verandas, looking out to sea and towards Finikia. Of its 2 bedrooms, one has a mezzanine sleeping area accessed by a ladder – an additional cosy space for an older child. The ground-floor villas, Athiri and Nykteri, also have 2 bedrooms, each with a kingsize bed. We particularly love the look of Athiri’s terrace, where the plunge pool is half-shaded by a white domed archway - the perfect frame for the beautiful blue sea beyond.

    Features include:

    • Bathrobes
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob or stove
    • Oven
    • Pillow menu
    • Pool / beach towels
    • Safe box
    • Satellite TV
    • Smart TV
    • Swimming pool
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The villas are thoughtfully equipped with everything you need for a relaxed self-catering stay. Kitchens with hobs, ovens and fridges are ideal for preparing simple meals and keeping your drinks ice-cold and there are supermarkets in Oia for stocking up on supplies. Note no basic ingredients are provided so you'll need to buy everything. Depending on the heat, eat indoors at chunky wooden tables, or outside on the patio. For breakfast, included in the rate and served at your villa, choose from fresh organic products including yoghurt, honey, fruit, bread, bacon, eggs and cheese, with tomatoes and cucumbers fresh from their own farm.

    On request, Yiota can provide traditional home-cooked dinners - moussaka, fried squid, that sort of thing. Finikia itself has a couple of unpretentious eateries, while Oia offers some excellent restaurants and there are waterfront tavernas down at its harbour, Ammoudi. Ask Yiota for insider tips on the best places to eat and she’ll recommend some stunning restaurants with the best views.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Children's meals
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Lunch by arrangement
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Shopping service
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Explore Santorini’s black-sand beaches: Baxedes (15 mins’ walk / 3 mins’ drive) and Cape Columbo (15 mins’ drive, a gem with striking cliffs and very few people) are close
    • Walk (30 mins) or drive (5 mins) to picture-postcard Oia, with its Cycladic architecture, art galleries, handicraft boutiques and a quaint Maritime Museum. Sunset at Oia is incredibly special but you'll be sharing the occasion with throngs of tourist
    • Take a catamaran tour of Santorini’s volcano hot springs and the famous red beach, followed by a BBQ on the boat
    • Drive to Santorini’s capital, Fira (15km) and walk - or catch the cable car - down to the Old Port
    • Yiota can arrange a whole host of activities from cooking classes, quad bike hire or sailing cruises, as well as massages in your villa

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cooking classes
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Quad biking
    • Sailing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Well being

    Kids

    Children are welcome and will love splashing about in the plunge pools and playing on nearby beaches. The villa-apartments offer a cool respite from the heat, and each house has a tent for shade, though there’s not a huge amount to entertain kids onsite. Kitchens are well equipped for preparing simple meals and Yiota can provide children’s meals on request. Greece is notoriously family-friendly and children are welcome in most restaurants.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All of the villas are suitable for families though kids may need to share a bed; each villa has 2 double bedrooms. One of the bedrooms in Vinsanto has a mezzanine level with extra sleeping area accessed by a ladder, which makes a cosy hideout for 1 older child. Babysitting services are available, as well as equipment such as cots and high chairs.

    Babysitting:

    On request

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots and high chairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

    Cooking lessons

    Kids Activities nearby:

    The beach is 500m away

    Families Should Know:

    The plunge pools are unfenced

    Distances:

    • Airport: 30 mins' drive (Santorini)
    • Shops: 0.5km
    • Hospital: 15km (Fira)
    Kid Friendly: Nykteri

    Location

    The houses are set in the village of Finikia, 2km from Oia in northern Santorini, one of Greece's Cyclades islands.

    By Air/Sea:
    Fly into Santorini (14km, restricted flights); or fly to Athens / Crete and take a short internal flight. Alternatively you can take a boat or hydrofoil to Santorini from Athens (4-8 hours) or Crete (2-4 hours). There are daily departures in summer, and it's a lovely way to arrive.

    From the Airport/Port
    Yota can arrange transfers from the airport or port - request in advance. Alternatively you could hire a car; it's 30 minutes' drive from the airport or port.

    Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Santorini (Thira/Fira) 14.0 km JTR
    • Athens International Airport 317.0 km ATH

    Other:

    • Beach 0.5 km
    • Shops 0.5 km
    • Restaurant 0.5 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    Vineyard Villas provided the perfect base for us during our trip to Santorini. A short drive away from the madding crowds in Oia, our house Nykteri provided the perfect sanctuary. My husband and I travelled with our baby daughter and we were set up with a travel cot, high chair, and even some toys! We really enjoyed having our own plunge pool, and made use of our private terrace each day, taking breakfast out there, or enjoying sundowners. The house is set up with a fridge, oven and hob so if you chose to you could self-cater. There is so much delicious food in Santorini you probably don’t/won’t want to!
    On top of all this, one of the absolute highlights of our stay was the gorgeous Yiota, who manages the properties. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this human being. So friendly, warm and kind. Yiota also has excellent taste and pointed us in the direction of some amazing restaurants, wineries and beach clubs. She also acted as our own personal concierge, making bookings and securing the best spots for us. Yiota even babysat one evening so we could enjoy some couple time. A Santorini legend! Thanks so much Yiota – we miss you.

    10/10,

    Yiota is a great host. She's focused on making Vineyard Villas a place to hang out and unwind, and has great recommendation on eating out around the island. We spent 6 wonderful days and nights here.

    10/10,

    Had a lovely time at Vineyard Villas, the place is so relaxing and quiet. It felt like a home from home and nothing was too much trouble for Yota, the owner. We didn't have to worry about booking anything as she offered to do it all for us, plus she gave us some great recommendations. It is a bit of a walk into Finikia and Oia but well worth staying here rather in the centre of a very busy Oia.

    10/10,

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