Santorini, Greece: Ultimate Guide & Things to Do in 2023

Last Updated on 18th April 2023 by admin

Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in the world located in the south of the Aegean Sea, it actually consists of a group of islands. Santorini is famous for its paradise view of white buildings with brilliant blue roofs, just looking at beautiful photos of Santorini Island makes you feel like you’re in a dreamland.

It is one of the most popular attractions in the world. Famous for its picturesque, whitewashed buildings, stunning caldera views, and charming villages, Santorini is a place that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Santorini, including the best hotels to stay at, the top things to do, and more.

Santorini island, Greece

Getting to Santorini Greece

Getting to Santorini can be done by either air or sea. The island has its own airport, Santorini (Thira) National Airport (JTR), which receives direct flights from major European cities like London, Paris, and Berlin, as well as from Athens and other Greek islands. The airport is located just 6 km from the capital of Santorini, Fira.

Alternatively, you can also take a ferry or catamaran to Santorini from the Greek mainland or nearby islands like Mykonos and Crete. Ferries depart from the port of Piraeus in Athens and take about 8-9 hours to reach Santorini, while catamarans are faster and take around 4-5 hours. During peak season, it’s recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance to avoid sold-out boats.

Once you arrive in Santorini in Greece, you can hire a taxi or rent a car or ATV to get to your accommodation. Taxis are available at the airport and port but be prepared to pay higher rates during peak season. Renting a car or ATV is a popular option, as it allows you to explore the island at your own pace and visit all the top attractions, like the village of Oia and the Red Beach.

 

Best Time to Visit Santorini Greece

The best time to visit Santorini is during the shoulder seasons of late April to early June and September to early November. During these months, the weather is warm and sunny, but not as hot and crowded as during peak season (July and August). Plus, prices for accommodation and activities are generally lower during the shoulder seasons.

If you do decide to visit during peak season, be prepared for high temperatures and large crowds. It’s also important to book your accommodation and activities well in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly during this time. That being said, peak season is a great time to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the island and experience its famous nightlife.

If you’re looking for a quieter and more peaceful trip, consider visiting during the winter months (December to March). While the weather can be cooler and rainier, you’ll have the island to yourself and can enjoy a more authentic local experience. Plus, prices for accommodation and activities are even lower during this time. Keep in mind, however, that some restaurants, shops, and activities may be closed during the off-season, so be sure to plan accordingly.

 

Where to Stay in Santorini, Greece

When it comes to choosing where to stay in Santorini Greece, there are plenty of options to suit every budget and travel style. Some of the most popular areas to stay on the island include:

Fira:

This is the capital and largest town in Santorini, located on the western side of the island. It’s a great base for exploring the rest of Santorini and offers plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightlife options. Fira also has some of the best views of the famous Santorini sunset.

Oia:

Located on the northern tip of the island, Oia is known for its charming, white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches. It’s a quieter and more upscale option compared to Fira and is popular for honeymooners and couples.

Kamari:

This is a popular beach resort town located on the eastern side of the island. It has a long black sand beach and plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Kamari is a good option for families and budget travelers.

Perissa:

Another popular beach town, Perissa is located on the southern side of the island and has a long black sand beach lined with tavernas and cafes. It’s a quieter and more laid-back option compared to Kamari.

Imerovigli:

This is a small and quiet village located on the highest point of the caldera cliffs, offering stunning views of the Aegean Sea. It’s a good option for those looking for a more upscale and peaceful stay.

No matter where you choose to stay in Santorini in Greece, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during peak season.

 

Beauty and Charm of this Enchanting Island

Beauty and charm of Santorini Island

Santorini is a place of incredible beauty and charm that captures the hearts of visitors from around the world. From its stunning sunsets to its iconic, blue-domed churches, the island is a visual feast that will leave you awestruck and enchanted. Here are some of them:

  • Stunning Scenery: The island’s most famous feature is its caldera, which was formed by a massive volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. The steep cliffs that rise from the caldera are covered in white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, creating a striking contrast against the deep blue sea. The island is also home to beautiful and famous beaches, vineyards, and hiking trails that offer breathtaking views.
  • Unique Architecture: The traditional architecture of Santorini is a sight to behold. The buildings are built in the Cycladic style, characterized by their rounded shapes, whitewashed walls, and blue-domed roofs. The island’s charming villages, such as Oia and Fira, are perfect examples of this architecture and offer endless photo opportunities.
  • Delicious Cuisine: Santorini is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which features fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and traditional Greek dishes. The island’s famous cherry tomatoes and fava beans are must-tries, as are the local wines, which are produced in the island’s vineyards.
  • Rich History: Santorini has a rich history that spans thousands of years. The island was home to the Minoans, one of the earliest civilizations in Europe, and has been inhabited ever since. Visitors can explore ancient ruins and archaeological sites, such as the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, which offer a glimpse into the island’s past.
  • Romantic Atmosphere: Santorini’s enchanting atmosphere makes it the perfect destination for couples. The island’s beautiful sunsets, candlelit dinners, and secluded beaches create a romantic and intimate setting that is hard to find elsewhere.
  • Warm Hospitality: The locals in Santorini are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. Visitors are greeted with open arms and made to feel at home on the island. The locals are always happy to share their knowledge of the island and recommend the best places to visit.

 

Best Hotels in Santorini Greece

restaurant in santorini with best view

Santorini, Greece is known for its stunning views, charming villages, and luxurious hotels. There are many options for accommodation in Santorini, ranging from luxury hotels to budget hostels.

Luxury Hotels

If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgence on your trip to Santorini in Greece, look no further than these luxurious hotels. From breathtaking views to world-class amenities, these hotels will transport you to a world of pure bliss and relaxation.

Canaves Oia Suites: This luxury hotel is located in the picturesque village of Oia and offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and a restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Katikies Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in the village of Oia and offers stunning views of the Caldera. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and a restaurant serving Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

Grace Santorini: This boutique hotel is located in the village of Imerovigli and offers breathtaking views of the island. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and a restaurant serving local cuisine.

Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel: This luxury hotel is located in the village of Oia and offers stunning views of the Caldera. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Mid-Range Hotels

Are you ready to experience the best of Santorini’s mid-range hotels? Look no further, because we have four amazing options that will make your heart skip a beat and your soul soar with joy.

Hotel Sunny Villas: This is a charming and cozy hotel located in the heart of Oia. The rooms are beautifully decorated and offer stunning views of the Caldera. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool, soak up the sun on the terrace, or indulge in a delicious meal at the hotel’s restaurant.

Homeric Poems: A romantic and luxurious hotel that will transport you to another world. The rooms are spacious and elegant, with stunning views of the sea. You can relax in the jacuzzi, enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel’s restaurant, or take a stroll through the beautiful gardens.

Aria Suites: This modern and chic hotel is located in the heart of Fira, with easy access to all the attractions and restaurants in the city. The rooms are spacious and stylish, with all the amenities you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Agali Houses: A beautiful and serene hotel located in the charming village of Firostefani. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, with traditional decor and modern amenities. You can relax in the pool, soak up the sun on the terrace, or take a stroll through the beautiful gardens.

 

Budget Hotels

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or style. In Santorini islands, there are plenty of amazing budget hotels that offer cozy accommodations and all the amenities you need to make your stay unforgettable.

Anny Studios: A charming and cozy hotel that is perfect for budget-conscious travelers. The rooms are bright and airy, with comfortable beds and all the amenities you need to feel at home.

Sea of Aegeon: A beautiful hotel that offers modern amenities and a relaxed atmosphere. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with stunning views of the sea or the mountains. The location is perfect, with easy access to all the attractions and restaurants in Kamari.

Hotel Perissa: This cozy hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from the beautiful Perissa beach, and offers comfortable accommodations at an affordable price. The rooms are simple but cozy, with all the amenities you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Pension George: A cozy and welcoming hotel that offers comfortable accommodations at an affordable price. The rooms are simple but cozy, with all the amenities you need to feel at home. You can relax in the garden, enjoy a drink at the bar, or take a short walk to the beautiful Caldera.

 

Top Things to Do in Santorini Greece

aerial view of santorini greece

Santorini is famous for its stunning views, beautiful beaches, and unique culture.¬†There’s no shortage of things to do in Santorini Greece, and each experience is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to soak up the island’s unparalleled beauty, Santorini is the perfect destination. Here are some of the top things to do on the island:

Watch the Sunset in Oia:

This is perhaps the most famous activity in Santorini. Head to Oia in the late afternoon and find a spot to watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea. It’s a truly breathtaking experience.

Watching the sunset in Oia is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky transforms into a stunning canvas of pinks, oranges, and reds, casting a warm glow over the whitewashed buildings and the deep blue sea.

 

Visit the Ancient City of Akrotiri:

This archaeological site is located on the southern end of the island and is considered one of the most important in the Aegean. Akrotiri was buried under volcanic ash during the Minoan eruption in the 17th century BC and provides a glimpse into ancient Greek civilization.

As you explore the city, you can see the remains of the buildings and homes that once stood here, and imagine what life was like for the people who called this place home. You can see the intricate frescoes that adorn the walls, depicting scenes from everyday life, and the intricate plumbing and drainage systems that were ahead of their time.

 

Go Wine Tasting:

Going wine tasting in Santorini is an experience that will tantalize your senses and transport you to a world of rich flavors and aromas. The island is known for its unique volcanic soil, which creates the perfect growing conditions for some of the most delicious wines in the world.

Santorini is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world, producing unique and delicious wines. Take a tour of a local winery and sample some of the island’s best wines, such as Assyrtiko and Vinsanto.

 

Explore the Beaches:

Santorini has several beautiful beaches, each with its own unique character. Some of the most popular include Perissa, Kamari, and Red Beach. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water, as the sun can be intense.

As you step onto the soft sand, you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and hear the gentle sound of the waves lapping at the shore. You can take a dip in the refreshing waters and feel the coolness envelop your body, washing away any stress and worries you may have.

 

Hike from Fira to Oia:

This is a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea. The hike is about 10 kilometers long and takes around 3-4 hours to complete. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

As you set out on your journey, you can feel the cool breeze on your face and the sun warming your skin. The trail is steep and challenging at times, but the stunning views and sense of accomplishment make it all worth it.

 

Visit the Monastery of Profitis Ilias:

Visiting the Monastery of Profitis Ilias is a spiritual journey that will leave you feeling inspired and connected to the history and culture of Santorini. This stunning monastery is located at the highest point of the island, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the Aegean Sea.

As you make your way up the winding road to the monastery, you can feel the sense of peace and serenity that surrounds this sacred place. The crisp mountain air and the fragrance of the pine trees create an atmosphere of calm and contemplation.

 

Go Scuba Diving:

Explore the underwater world of Santorini with a scuba diving excursion. There are several dive sites around the island, including the volcanic Caldera Wall and the wreck of the cargo ship “St. Nikolas.”

The sensation of weightlessness and the sound of your own breath will transport you to a peaceful and meditative state, where you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the underwater world. You’ll see schools of fish swimming gracefully around you, and marvel at the intricate patterns and textures of the coral reefs.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Santorini. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or culture, this beautiful island has something for everyone.

There are plenty of things to do in Santorini, from exploring the charming village of Oia to visiting ancient ruins.

 

Best Restaurants in Santorini

Restaurants in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary delights that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Some of the best restaurants on the island include:

  1. Selene: This award-winning restaurant is a must-visit for foodies, offering a unique blend of traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist. The menu features fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and an extensive wine list.
  2. Metaxy Mas: Tucked away in the charming village of Exo Gonia, Metaxy Mas offers delicious homemade dishes in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The menu is a mix of traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
  3. To Psaraki: Located in the picturesque village of Vlychada, To Psaraki is a seafood lover’s paradise. The menu features a wide range of fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as traditional Greek mezze and salads.
  4. Nikolas: This family-run taverna in the village of Firostefani is known for its delicious grilled meats and traditional Greek dishes. The portions are generous, and the prices are very reasonable.
  5. Argo: With its stunning views of the caldera, Argo is a popular spot for romantic dinners and special occasions. The menu features a mix of traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and local ingredients.

Santorini’s restaurants offer a wide range of dining experiences to suit every taste and budget. From upscale fine dining to charming local tavernas, you’re sure to find a restaurant that will leave you with lasting memories of your trip to this beautiful island.

 

Nightlife in Santorini

Nightlife in Santorini, Greece

Santorini may be known for its breathtaking sunsets and stunning natural beauty, but the island also offers a vibrant and lively nightlife scene. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening with your significant other or a night out with friends, Santorini has something for everyone.

One of the best places to experience the island’s nightlife is in Fira, the main town of Santorini. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of bars and nightclubs, ranging from trendy cocktail bars to live music venues. As the night goes on, the streets of Fira come alive with music, laughter, and the sounds of people enjoying themselves.

For a more laid-back evening, head to one of the island’s beach bars or tavernas, where you can enjoy a drink or a meal while taking in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Some of the best beach bars can be found in Perivolos and Kamari, where you can dance the night away under the stars.

And for a truly unique nightlife experience, head to one of the island’s rooftop bars, where you can sip a cocktail while taking in the breathtaking views of the caldera and the surrounding islands. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a lively night out, Santorini’s nightlife scene has something for everyone, making it the perfect destination for a memorable and unforgettable vacation.

Santorini has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and beach parties to choose from. Some of the top spots include:

  • Koo Club in Fira
  • Tango Bar in Oia
  • Two Brothers Bar in Perissa
  • Beach Bar in Perivolos

 

Shopping in Santorini

Shopping Market in Santorini

Shopping in Santorini is a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss. From traditional Greek crafts and souvenirs to high-end designer brands, the island has something for everyone.

For a more traditional shopping experience, head to one of the island’s local markets, where you can browse stalls selling fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade sweets. The market in Pyrgos is particularly popular, offering a mix of local products and handmade crafts.

Santorini is known for its unique and beautiful handcrafted items, including jewelry, ceramics, and textiles. Some of the best places to shop on the island include:

  • Atlantis Books in Oia
  • Melenio Handmade Ceramics in Fira
  • Lalaounis Jewelry in Oia
  • Aegean Designs in Firostefani

 

How to Get Around Santorini

donkey ride santorini, Greece

Getting around Santorini is an adventure in itself, and there are many ways to explore the island and take in its stunning beauty. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping ride, there’s a mode of transportation that’s perfect for you.

One of the most popular ways to get around the island is by renting a car or a scooter, giving you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. With winding roads that offer breathtaking views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea, driving around Santorini is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, walking is a great way to explore the island’s many charming villages and hidden corners. Whether you’re wandering through the cobblestone streets of Oia or strolling along the black sand beaches of Perissa, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

And for a truly unique experience, why not try a donkey ride? These sturdy animals have been used to transport people and goods around the island for centuries, and a ride on a donkey’s back is a fun and memorable way to explore the island’s many winding paths and alleys.

No matter how you choose to get around Santorini, one thing is for sure: the island’s breathtaking beauty will leave you awestruck and enchanted, making your journey one that you’ll never forget.

 

Tips for Traveling to Santorini

  1. Plan ahead: Santorini is a popular tourist destination, especially during the peak season, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance. Book your accommodations, flights, and activities ahead of time to avoid disappointment and ensure availability.
  2. Pack appropriately: Santorini has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Make sure to pack lightweight and breathable clothing for the summer months, and a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings. Comfortable shoes are also essential for exploring the island’s many attractions.
  3. Consider visiting during the shoulder season: While the peak season (June-August) is the most popular time to visit Santorini, the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) can also offer great weather and fewer crowds.
  4. Rent a car or ATV: To truly experience the island’s beauty and charm, consider renting a car or ATV. This will allow you to explore the many hidden corners of the island at your own pace and discover some of the more secluded beaches and villages.
  5. Be respectful of the culture: Santorini has a rich and ancient culture, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting churches and monasteries and be mindful of noise levels in residential areas.
  6. Try the local cuisine: Santorini is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which features fresh seafood, local cheeses, and seasonal vegetables. Make sure to try some of the island’s traditional dishes, such as fava, tomato keftedes, and melitinia.
  7. Watch the sunset: Watching the sunset in Santorini is a must-do experience, and there are many great spots on the island to do so. Head to Oia or Fira for some of the best views and be sure to arrive early to secure a good spot.

Traveling to Santorini is an incredible experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for this beautiful island. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip that truly captures the essence of Santorini.

 

Conclusion

Santorini is a truly magical destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. From its stunning views and beautiful sunsets to its delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone on this island paradise. Whether you’re looking for a luxury getaway or a budget-friendly vacation, Santorini has it all.

Its stunning scenery, charming villages, and delicious cuisine make it a famous attraction for any traveler. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, there is definitely something for everyone in Santorini.

FAQs

  1. What is the best time of year to visit Santorini, Greece?
  • The best time to visit Santorini is during the spring or fall shoulder seasons.
  1. What are some of the best hotels in Santorini?
  • Some of the top hotels in Santorini include Canaves Oia Suites, Katikies Hotel, and Grace Hotel Santorini.
  1. What are some of the top things to do in Santorini?
  • Some of the best things to do in Santorini include exploring the village of Oia, hiking from Fira to Oia, and visiting the Red Beach.
  1. What is the best way to get around Santorini?
  • The best way to get around Santorini is by renting a car or ATV.
  1. What should I pack for a trip to Santorini?
  • Be sure to pack comfortable shoes for walking and hiking, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *