Caveland is an old, converted winery, with the first tennis courts that were ever built on the island of Santorini. It has accommodation for all budgets, a gorgeous location, and an easygoing vibe. They can book you tours of the nearby volcano Nea Kameni and hot springs at Palea Kameni, or you can book other tours and ferry tickets up the street at the local travel agency. Also offered are day hikes to Oia and other group activities, so check the chalkboard at reception.
Caveland is located in the small, sleepy village of Karterados. If you take a ferry to Santorini, you will need to arrange transfer from the Main Port in advance by emailing Caveland. If you wish to take the bus, use the KTEL buses to get to the Fira Town Bus Station. From there, you can take a taxi to Caveland or walk for about thirty minutes using the directions found on Caveland's website.
Karterados is only a fifteen-minute walk from amazing views of the Caldera, and at most thirty minutes from the Fira bus station, from which you can get to the Red Beach, White Beach, Oia, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, and more. If you want to go to Fira to experience the nightlife, you can take a taxi both ways or walk to town and taxi back. The hostel has amazing ocean views, but the nearby beach they recommend walking to is a little disappointing (Monolithos) compared to, say, Perissa or Red Beach. Karterados is a great village to see real Greeks who won't badger you to buy their travel packages, and if you get bored just trek to Fira (Santorini's capital city).
Rooms and Bathrooms
Both the private rooms and dorms at Caveland are of exceptional quality and quite affordable too. The spacious private rooms are wonderful -- more like nice hotel rooms than hostel living -- with air conditioning systems, nice furnishings, a stove, fridge, bathroom, closet with hangers, and sky light. The kitchen has plenty of pots, pans, and silverware -- most anything you'd need for cooking for and eating with two to four people. There is plenty of lighting for evenings and you could fit three more people easily in a double deluxe cave. On top of the cave is a pretty view of lesser-seen Santorini.
Less luxurious, but still high quality, are the much cheaper six-person dorms. In certain rooms, there are four people in one section of the cave and two people in a connected room with its own lock and door. We shared a bathroom with everyone, and it was clean. Two downsides -- sometimes you won't get hot water in the dorm bathroom and leaves occasionally blow into the room from the skylight or the front door. There isn't much room in the dorms to store your stuff, but nobody minds and people generally place their backpacks near the door. Lockers are available.
Regarding privacy, you will feel safe here at all times. The property is slightly isolated from others -- the closest property is a convenience store about seven minutes away. There are locks on the doors, and all the Greeks in town are friendly, if not helpful.
There is a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and bar (you can buy Heineken, Mythos, or vodka breezers for reasonable prices), as well as tennis courts for which you can rent equipment by the hour. The common room is combined with reception, and has vending machines, couches, one computer for public use, reading material on Santorini, and a small library of books left behind by other travelers. They have luggage storage available and someone is usually available in reception to help you, though you can't hang around all night.
The kitchen has lots of leftover pasta to cook and plenty of oils and spices for you to use. Pick some of the local grapes to spice up your dinner, make some pasta, and buy a jug of Santo Wine and you're set to watch the sunset by the pool. The travelers at Caveland are all very friendly, but it is not a "party hostel" as quiet hours begin at midnight. Go to Fira for fun clubbing and bars with your new backpacker friends! There are plenty of smokers here, as guests are primarily Europeans, but they smoke outside and it is easy to get away from them at spacious Caveland, so don't worry about that.
Overall, Caveland is among the most relaxing, quiet places for a vacation. It has the feel of wandering around in a resort that nobody has found out about yet. Everyone is friendly, but not overly so. And with reasonable proximity to Fira Town's bus station hub, it is the perfect place to experience Santorini without getting a tourism-overload headache.