Santorini is quite possibly one of the most photographed places in the world, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. It is arguably the most well-known of the 220 islands that make up the Cyclades in the Aegean sea.
Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history; today, the large caldera left by multiple eruptions is lined from head-to-toe with precariously perched houses and churches and is famous for breathtaking sunsets that attract massive crowds. While it isn’t one of the most budget-friendly places in the world, to say that Santorini is a destination that you must visit an understatement.
1- How long should you stay in Santorini?
Santorini is not a massive island, but there are a number of different towns that are worth visiting. I would recommend staying in Santorini for 3-6 nights.
When should you visit Santorini?
Santorini is not a tropical island so the warmest months are between May and October, though tourism is starting to pick up during the winter months as well. You can look into visiting in the peak season from July to September, but be mentally prepared for big crowds.
Where should we stay in Santorini?
Most travelers to Santorini opt to stay in Kamari, Perissa, Fira, Imerovigli or Oia. The accommodation rates vary across the different towns but Imerovigli and Oia tend to be the most expensive. The airport is on the east coast of the island and most hotels are within a 15-30 minute drive away. One of the most important things to think about when booking your accommodation (apart from budget) is how many stairs you will need to walk down (and back up) to get to your hotel. Some hotels will offer a porter service, but it seriously sucks if you have to lug your suitcase down dozens and dozens of uneven steps.
How to get to Santorini and getting around?
The best way to get to Santorini quickly is by plane! If you have some time and don’t mind sitting on a boat for hours on end, then look into the ferry schedule from Athens or the other islands. If you are traveling from Athens, the plane takes off and pretty much prepares for landing right after. Flights aren’t too expensive and there are a number of flights each day.
The cost of flight could be expansive in the peak season.
There are buses that operate between the towns and tickets are between 2-3 Euros. The buses can get crowded and hot during peak season so you may want to look into renting your own vehicle.
Another option is to hire a scooter: reserve your scooter ahead of time from Santorini Rent Me Love Me, and organize for them to drop off and pick up the scooter from your hotel for maximum convenience! We paid about 25 Euros a day and this option allows you to park pretty much anywhere you want and appreciate the extremely picturesque views along the coast.
The best things to do and places to visit in Santorini
Surprisingly, there are a ton of different things to do in Santorini! You could spend almost all day exploring what the island had to offer. Here are some of the top things to do when you are in Santorini!
A no-brainer! The sunsets in Santorini are unlike any other. Have you ever seen a truly pink and gold sunset? Brace yourself. Head to either Oia or Fira to watch the sunset, and while you can expect an insane number of people doing the exact same thing, wander a few streets away from the main viewpoints and you’ll find yourself a quiet little spot to watch the colors change across the sky.
If you’re looking to grab a cocktail, head to PK Cocktail Bar in Fira or Kastro in Oia. Make sure you book a table ahead of time! PK Cocktail bar in particular served up some of the most delicious concoctions I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, and the service was incredible to boot.
Swim in the Aegean
There are a ton of spots to swim at around the island, and the water is crystal clear! Unless you’re staying at Kamari or Perissa, there aren’t many public transportation routes that take you straight to the beach so your best bet is to rent a scooter or ATV. Go to the swimming spot at Ammoudi Bay, walk past the restaurants and walk along the cliffside, and others worth visiting are the red beach at Akrotiri, Kambia beach, Kamari beach and Katharos beach. Many hotels also have their own cliffside pool but be prepared to pay top dollar!
Explore the Archaeological sites and museums
Santorini has a number of archaeological sites and museums that are worth visiting. Buy the combined ticket so that you can go museum-hopping for a grand total of 14 Euros and learn about life on the island through incredible exhibits and findings from the settlement before the volcanic eruptions.
Go wine tasting
Santorini has a long wine-making tradition and wine tours are incredibly popular, although you can also visit individual wineries. If you’re planning on drinking make sure you book yourself into a wine tour or organize a private driver.
Where to eat in Santorini
Mylos: Located in Fira, Mylos serves up delicious gourmet fare with an amazing view of the Aegean (with prices to match). Try the beef and save space for dessert.
Taverna Katina: If you love seafood then this is the place to be! Located by the seaside at Ammoudi Bay, Taverna Katina offers beautiful fresh seafood and amazing Greek hospitality.
Avocado is a small modern bistro in Imerovigli. There’s no view to speak of but the portions are generous, service is fantastic and prices are reasonable.
Catch: If you’re celebrating a special occasion, this is the place to be. The decor is modern. Prices are on the higher side but this is the place to treat yo’self.
Where ever you decide to go, make sure you call or e-mail ahead to book a table, as places do fill up fast.
Where to stay in Santorini
Where is the best place to stay in Santorini? It really depends on what type of traveler you are and what your budget is. Oia, for example, is notoriously expensive but popular for couples. We split our stay in Santorini over 2 different areas – Fira and Oia, and would recommend the following hotels for the beautiful rooms and excellent locations :
Corrado Caldera Apartments, Fira: This property could not be in a better location! The hotel owner, Corrado, is extremely friendly and even offers airport pick up and drop off. The apartment is located on a quiet side street right at the mouth of the caldera, and the apartment is clean and spacious. The view from the shared terrace is stunning, and best of all: the price is incredibly reasonable compared to other properties in the area.
Thirea Studios, Oia : Staying in Oia is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. We spent 2 wonderful nights at Thirea Studios and were a stones throw away from the heart of Oia. The surrounding area glistens under the sunlight and the rooms are tastefully decorated. The hotel restocks the mini fridge every morning so that you can brew a hot coffee and eat a simple continental breakfast while overlooking the Aegean!
As seen in Travelweekly website, now with the mobile App Travellers by Amadeus, you can manage all your travel in Santorini! On travel apps, travelers can be notified whenever there’s itinerary changes or flight disruptions and can have all of their travel info accessible in one easy to use place.
This is an app which will meet all your traveler’s needs from the start of their booking to the end of their trip and places your agency’s contact details on their app.