7 USEFUL TIPS FOR VISITING SANTORINI

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Santorini is one of the icons of romance par excellence with its white houses with blue roofs that turn purple at sunset.

If you are planning a holiday on this magical island, you will find some information and tips for visiting Santorini in this article that will help you! Let’s check our list “7 Santorini travel tips!”

Some tips for Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular Greek islands thanks to its famous sunsets over the villages stretching out over the sea. This is why it’s very popular during the summer, so if you’re planning a holiday, it’s important not to overlook certain aspects. In this article, we provide some information and useful tips for Santorini to help you plan your holiday on one of the most romantic islands in the world!

Santorini travel tips: where is it and how to get there

Santorini is part of the Cyclades archipelago and is located in the south of Greece, above the island of Crete. The island’s unique shape is what makes it special. Its coastline is made up of black cliffs that drop straight into the sea, a result of centuries of eruptions.

The easiest way to get to Santorini from Europe is by plane. The island’s main airport is Santorini Thira, located on the east coast and a few kilometres from the town of Fira. There are direct flights from many European cities, including Rome, Milan, Athens and London, operated by national or low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Volotea. The cost of a direct flight starts at around €100, but can increase depending on the period, duration of the trip, luggage and above all on how far in advance the booking is made. In the summer, prices can go up quite a bit, starting at around €300.
If you come from another mainland, you have to reach an european city such as Londan or Milan or Athens and then take a direct flight to Santorini.

If you’re coming from the mainland of Greece, Santorini is connected daily by direct flights from Athens and Thessaloniki.

If you are coming from another Greek island or even from the mainland, you can reach Santorini by ferry from Athens or other Greek islands. The island’s main port is Athinios, located in Fira. Ferries depart daily from Athens, Crete, other islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.

The cost of a ferry is proportional to the duration of the journey. For example, a Santorini-Naxos ferry costs a minimum of about €60 for a return trip, with a duration of about 2 hours. A Santorini-Athens ferry starts at a price of €100 for a return trip and the journey time is almost 8 hours.

Consigli su Santorini - Il mare blu, le rocce nere e le case bianche dai tetti azzurri della caldera di Santorini - tips for visiting Santorini

Tips for visiting Santorini: view of the caldera

Santorini Greece travel tips: when to go

The climate in Santorini is typically Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild winters.
Here are our tips for traveling to Santorini about the weather. The best time to go to Santorini is from April until September, as rainfall is low (non-existent in July and August, averaging 3 days/month in September and April) and temperatures are pleasant. In the summer, temperatures can reach around 30°C, but the wind (which is almost always present) makes it feel cooler. There’s no danger of particularly sultry days.

In winter, the average minimum temperatures don’t fall below 10°C, and the maximums are around 15°C.

If you want to include some beach life and swimming in your holiday, we recommend you opt for the summer months. If you just want to visit the villages of Santorini and see the sunsets without being in the middle of the crowds, our advice is to avoid the summer months and go instead in spring (March and April) or autumn (October and November).

Just a heads-up: the famous town of Oia, the most photographed town on Santorini, has about a hundred actual inhabitants, while in the summer months there are more than two million people on the island! If you’re interested and want to see Santorini’s sunsets in peace, we suggest reading our article on the topic.

Tips for visiting Santorini: where to stay

The streets in Santorini are poorly lit and in some places dangerous. For this reason, with regard to where to stay, our tips for Santorini are to prefer villages that offer you the opportunity to go for a walk in the evening and to check whether there are nearby places and restaurants where you can dine and walk to.

The two main towns are Fira and Oia, both on the west coast of the island. Fira is the capital of Santorini and offers a panoramic view of the caldera. Oia is a smaller and more romantic town, but also more expensive.

Our advice is to choose accommodation with a private terrace or a sunset view. This way, you can admire the spectacle without having to contend with the crowds. We stayed in both Fira and Oia and enjoyed our stay in both of the establishments we chose. In Fira we stayed in a hotel close to the centre, from which you couldn’t see the sunset, but in Fira there aren’t the same problems with crowds as in Oia, while in Oia we stayed in a b&b with a private terrace, which saved us from the onslaught of the streets at sunset.

There are also alternatives, such as the village of Imerovigli or Akrotiri, which both overlook the caldera and are less crowded.

Consigli su Santorini - Hotel bianco con terrazza per vedere il tramonto a Oia, in Santorini - tips for visiting Santorini

Santorini Greece travel tips: our accommodation in Oia​

Tips for traveling to Santorini: getting around the island

The best way to get around Santorini is by scooter. It is easier to park and allows you to avoid traffic, which can be very heavy during the high season, especially around Fira and Oia.

The quad bike is a riskier vehicle, as Santorini’s roads are narrow and steep. Talking to some of the island’s inhabitants, we learnt that many accidents occur with quad bikes, which overturn or are rear-ended because they are slow and cumbersome. It is often thought that driving a quad bike may be easier because it has four wheels, but in reality, as it is a vehicle with handlebars, the driving sensation is very different from a car. We therefore advise you to be careful and, as always, to be aware of your limits!

The cost of renting a scooter is around €30 per day, if booked well in advance. We booked ours here.

If you rent the scooter locally, however, it is important to consider that demand is very high in the summer and it may be difficult to find a vehicle available or, in any case, the price may be much higher, even more than double.

Tips for Santorini: Safety and the health system

In general, Santorini is a safe island. Crime is low and there are no problems walking around the villages, even at night.

As far as health care is concerned, there are two hospitals, one public and one private, both in Fira. There are also a few pharmacies on the island, two in Fira and one in Oia.

The standard of health is good, but we recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover medical expenses and emergencies.

Santorini travel tips: Where to shop in Santorini

Shopping in Santorini is mainly concentrated in Fira and Oia.

All kinds of shops can be found in Fira, as it is the capital of the island and the only town that remains open all year round. Oia, on the other hand, is a tourist resort and its shops are only open one day a week during the winter.

In the centre of Oia one can find many souvenir shops, but also high-quality local handicrafts. For instance, there are jewellers selling jewellery made of lava stone or lapis lazuli, the symbolic stone of Santorini and whose colour echoes that of the roofs of houses and the sea. Other local handicraft shops are those selling ceramics (also often enamelled in lapis lazuli), homewares and art galleries.

Santorini Greece travel tips: Where and what to eat in Santorini

The cuisine of Santorini is based on fish and vegetables. From the simple dishes of the taverns to the elegant menus of the restaurants overlooking the caldera, one can find typical Mediterranean and island dishes, such as grilled or raw fish, cheeses, such as feta, and lots of vegetables, including mainly aubergines and tomatoes.

Breakfast is mainly sweet, with Greek yoghurt, cereals and fruit.

Another typical product of Santorini is Assyrtico, a white wine with a fresh, savoury and mineral flavour, which is due to the land where it is grown. The vines, in fact, absorb the saltiness of the sea and grow on volcanic soil, where they are cultivated in a special basket shape to protect the bunches of grapes from the wind.

In general, but especially in Fira and Oia, the restaurants have two shifts during the high season: the first is at sunset time, around 19:00, while the second starts after 21:00.

We always preferred the second shift, either to enjoy the sunset on the terrace or to stroll through the streets of Fira. But a dinner with a view of the caldera at dusk is definitely a romantic experience!

Throughout the summer, reservations are compulsory at sunset time in any establishment, from a restaurant to a trattoria or a simple bar for an aperitif. If you do not make a reservation, it will be very difficult to find a place.

Consigli su Santorini - La luna illumina il mare e le case bianche di Oia a Santorini - tips for visiting Santorini

Tips for visiting Santorini: night in Oia

Dove vedere il tramonto a Santorini - Consigli su Santorini - Romantico tramonto sul mare Fira, Santorini

Santorini travel tips: waiting sunset

Consigli su Santorini - Colorati negozi di artigianato locale lungo le strade di Oia a Santorini - tips for visiting Santorini

Tips for visiting Santorini: shopping in Oia

With this article we hope we have provided useful information and interesting tips for visiting Santorini and we hope it has inspired you to plan your next holiday in this fascinating destination.
We will soon publish an article on the beaches of Santorini. If you are interested in learning more about the natural beauty of the island, remember to subscribe to our newsletter!

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