Exploring Santorini is a dream of every traveller. It’s hardly surprising the island of Santorini features on so many travellers’ bucket list and stands out among other places in Greece, giving the opportunity for a multitude of photographs with irresistible white backdrops. Mental images of whitewashed buildings with bright blue roofs built precariously above the sparkling blue waters and black-sand beaches are what comes to mind as you think of Santorini. Millions of tourists flock into this crescent-shaped volcanic island in the Cyclades to experience the local charms and sensational sunset. The notes further down will help you make the most for a truly unique trip to Santorini. (Photos in random)
Days of Stay in Santorini
Three to four days is the ideal time to be in Santorini so that you get the chance to try some of the best activities, get time to relax and unwind letting yourself to the vibes of the island.
Where to stay
Oia, as the jewel in Santorini’s crown, is the most expensive part of the island, closely followed by Imerovigli. Fira, on the other hand, is larger, with more affordable options for accommodation and restaurants, better for families and a good base to explore the rest of the island.
Fira versus Oia?
Fira stands out for its majestic views of the caldera, nightlife, shopping with slightly cheaper restaurants. Fira is centrally located and much easier and faster to reach the southern parts of the island especially if using buses which is a bit of a hassle.
Oia has also got great views, -different perspectives. Perhaps the one in Oia which is more romantic, along with several quality restaurants.
Fira could easily be an exceptional base to explore Santorini at ease with all public transport easily accessible. It is the place where many locals live, so you find cheaper restaurants and lots of shops. Fyra stands out for its majestic views of the caldera. Watch the sunset over the caldera as the town lights up in shades of gold and rose.
Because of its unique location, it is easier and faster to reach the southern parts of the island especially if using buses, which is a bit of a hassle. Hotels by the caldera in Fira have a direct view of the sunset, while in Oia most hotels don’t, and need to take a short walk to see the sun setting into the water.
Prepare to Climb Steps
Several of the most popular hotels are located right at the bottom of the caldera, some with a couple of hundred steps to get to your room. If travelling with somebody with mobility problems then you might want to avoid the narrow, sometimes steep steps of the caldera. Contact the hotel and get more information on this.
If you’re not afraid of heights, catch the cable car from Fira’s Old Port up to the town. The 3-minute climb offers breathtaking sea views.
White wine lovers should try Nychteri or the Assyrtiko and if you are drinking Red try Mavrotragano. The Visanto is the best choice after dinner, the island’s signature dessert wine.
The beaches of Santorini are very different from other Greek beaches due to their special geographical features. Red and black volcanic pebbles, cover the shores of the island and grey and black sand, clear deep blue waters, red and black volcanic lava rocks. The nature of the sand and the cliffs that loom around a number of them make a surreal setting for swimming and sunbathing.
Renting a car
Easier in Fira and on the whole if you rent a car it makes no difference where you choose to stay. Recommended picking the car from the Airport.
Fira is about 20 minutes closer than Oia to the beach towns, 10 minutes from the airport and15′ from the port. Oia is about 30 minutes from both.