The Ultimate Travel Guide to Santorini

By – Updated November, 2014

Getting Started

The Santorini Travel Guide

Q. What are the best beaches on Santorini?

Santorini is not known for its beaches. They are good but not great – so don’t be expecting those idyllic stretches of sand you’ve seen in pictures of Greece. (That said, many people love the beaches of Santorini and find their unique sand and natural setting to be more memorable than “just another sandy beach”.)

Most of Santorini’s beaches are composed of dark volcanic sand that gets searingly hot in the mid-day sun. Beach sandals or water shoes are highly recommended for getting around on the sand.

But what the beaches lack in typical sandy splendor they make up for with breathtaking views and scenery. The cliffs that loom around some of the beaches and the nature of the sand itself make a surreal setting for swimming and sunning. And the sea water is always cool and refreshing.

These are the most popular beaches on Santorini:

Kamari – The most upscale and touristy of the beach towns. The path along the beach is a fun and relaxing place to stroll in the evening. Lots of places to eat and drink. Kamari has a very fun vibe and one of the most family-friendly towns on Santorini. Very close to the airport.

Perissa and Perivolos Beaches – These 3 beaches are essentially one very long beach that caters to the backpacker crowd and party scene but still has a wide range of accommodations and restaurants. The beach becomes progressively quiet as you move south towards Agios Georgios.

Monolithos – The nicest sand and most family-friendly beach on Santorini. Very quiet with a small collection of hotels and restaurants. The shallow slope of the seafloor make it better for kids than the steep drop-offs at Perissa and Kamari. There’s a small play area for the kids on the sand.

Red Beach – The pebbly sand here is red and the backdrop is stunning. There’s not a lot here besides the unique scenery. To get to Red Beach you need to take a taxi, a bus to Akrotiri from Fira, or a boat from Perissa. The walk down to the beach can be steep for some.

Amoudi Bay – The best swimming spot on Santorini – but not a beach. Take the path down from Oia and jump from the rocks into beautiful blue water. There’s a small island that you can swim out to that has glorious views of the caldera. The best swimming is at the end of a seawall that begins at the wharf. The walk from Oia takes about 15 to 20 minutes and can be tricky in spots.

See Also:

Q. What is the best website for booking hotels?

Booking.com/Santorini – My current favorite. Free cancelations for most hotels makes it easy to plan a trip. Great rates too.

CheapZebra.com/Santorini – Good for finding last minute deals.

Both websites have been around for years and are very reliable.

I typically use these sites to find the hotels with the best rates and then phone or email them directly to see if they’ll match the price I found online. About half the time they’ll offer the same rate. And even when they don’t you can ask detailed questions about any concerns you might have which can be helpful if you’re traveling with kids or a large group. Also, if you’re a member of a hotel rewards program then you’re more likely to get points if you book directly rather than through CheapZebra (though whether that’s worth paying a little more is obviously dependent on the details).

Booking your hotel in advance is absolutely mandatory if you’re visiting Santorini (or any Greek island) in July and August. It’s recommended for June and September. You can get away with not booking for visits in May and October. On other islands showing up without a booking can be half the fun but that doesn’t apply to Santorini which is packed with tourists from June to September.

If you do arrive on Santorini without a hotel reservation during high season take anything you can find for the first night and then look around for a better place once you’ve put down your bags. If there are hotel owners meeting your ferry at the port they’re an easy way to get a place to stay and a free ride into town. Be aware if they say you’re staying “right in Fira” you’re still probably going to be outside the town a little way (often in Karterados). If you’re really concerned about location get them to point to the hotel on a map. Almost all of these hotel owners are legitimate and trustworthy, though, as I say, they will fudge a little on the true location of their hotel.

Q. What are the best hotels in Fira?

Fira is the largest town on Santorini and where you’ll find the most restaurants (many with amazing views of the caldera), clubs, and shops. In high season it gets busy (especially through the day when cruise ships are in port) – but it never seems to lose its charm.

  • Cosmopolitan Suites Hotel – An infinity pool perched right on the cliffs overlooking the caldera. This is one of the most praised hotels in Fira. Only 10 rooms here (individually furnished) so it’s perfect for honeymooners – yet located in the heart of Fira. (Hotel phone: +30 22860 25632)Reviews
  • Aria Suites – An amazing mix of luxury and friendliness, incredible views and exemplary service. Suites are beautifully decorated. The pool is one of the best in Fira and comes with views of the caldera. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 028650)Reviews
  • Anteliz Suites – Small family run hotel located on the foot path that runs along the caldera. Spectacular views. Nice pool that looks out onto the caldera. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 028842)Reviews
  • Aigialos Luxury Traditional Houses – Large rooms with private balconies. Incredible views of the water and volcano. Located very close to the center of Fira. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 025191)Reviews
  • Kavalari Hotel – The best value hotel in Fira. Not as luxurious as the other 4 hotels but so affordable it’s one of my favorites. Central location, incredible views, simple clean rooms. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 022455)Reviews

Q. What are the best hotels in Oia?

Oia is the 2nd busiest town on Santorini’s caldera. It’s filled with visitors through the day until sunset then quiets quickly. There are many great restaurants here but for any nightlife you’ll need to head to Fira – 15 minutes away by taxi or bus.

  • Canaves Oia Hotel – A small intimate luxury hotel with few peers on the island. The view is absolutely stunning – perhaps the best hotel view on Santorini. Small pool with views of the caldera. Rooms are simple in a traditional Greek ambience. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 071453)Reviews
  • Katikies Hotel – A larger resort than Canaves with 5 star everything. Incredible swimming pool, fantastic service, surreal architecture. All suites have their own plunge pool (honeymoon suite has a jacuzzi too). This is one of the best hotels in Greece. (Hotel phone: +30 22860 71401)Reviews
  • Mystique – An incredibly special and unique hotel. Wonderful “cave” suites each with a private patio. Infinity pool with gorgeous views of the caldera. Great breakfasts served overlooking the cliff edge. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 071114)Reviews
  • Oia Castle Hotel – Luxurious boutique hotel. Wonderful views and private jacuzzis. Aqua suite has a small private indoor pool as well. One of the few hotels in Oia with sunset views. (Hotel phone: +30 22860 71831)Reviews
  • Ikies – Traditional Houses – Great choice if you want a quiet hotel away from the crowds. Small plunge pool and private jacuzzis. Beautiful 10 minute walk into Oia along a foot path. Staff are wonderful. (Hotel phone: +30 22 860 71 311)Reviews

Q. What are the best hotels in Imerovigli?

Imerovigli has wonderful views of the caldera and the best sunset views of any town in Santorini. Some of the best hotels on Santorini make their home on Imerovigli’s cliffside perch. (It’s a beautiful 30 minute walk from Fira to Imerovigli – or a very short taxi ride.)

  • Astra Suites – A cliffside perch offers incredible views. Great pool, friendly staff, kitchenettes in all rooms. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 023641)Reviews
  • Chromata Hotel – Fantastic in every way. Stunning pool and wonderful service. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 024850)Reviews
  • Absolute Bliss – Wonderful honeymoon hotel. Romantic, quiet, picturesque. Incredible views of both the caldera and sunset. All rooms have private balconies, some with jacuzzis. Breakfast delivered to your room every morning. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 021310)Reviews
  • Aenaon Villas – A small intimate hotel that exudes luxury and romance. A great choice but book far in advance. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 027014)Reviews
  • Aqua Luxury Suites – Large suites, some with plunge pool or hot tub, and all with above average privacy for Santorini. Located right on the caldera with great views. A little piece of paradise but not for someone with mobility problems as there are many steps. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 023107)Reviews

Q. What are the best hotels in Firostefani?

Firostefani is a 10 minute walk from central Fira. So you get easy access to the restaurants and clubs of Fira – but without the crowds. Great views too. These five hotels are all fantastic.

Q. What are the best hotels in Kamari?

Kamari is a wonderful beach town on the east coast of the island – the opposite side of the island from the caldera. The town is filled with restaurants, bars, and shops and always has a very relaxed feel. It’s an easy bus or taxi ride from Kamari to Fira (to get to Oia you’ll have to change buses in Fira). In summer there are late buses running from Fira to Kamari – the last one will leave Fira after midnight sometimes as late as 3:30am. A taxi from Fira to Kamari will be about 15€. Taxi from Oia to Kamari is 20€ to 25€.

Q. What are the best family hotels on Santorini?

On Santorini – for a family – a large hotel room probably means something around $150 to $200 (and up). Hotel rooms along the caldera (which means the towns of Fira, Imerovigli, Oia, and Firostefani) are priced at a premium. Families needing larger rooms or a bigger pool are better off at the beach resorts on the opposite side of the island. It’s about 30 minutes by bus from Perissa or Kamari beaches to Fira.

Large rooms are rare and fill quickly. Book early!

  • Villa Agnadi • near Oia – Great pool, free breakfast, large suites, and directly across from the bus stop (buses go in both directions, Fira and Oia). This is not in Oia but an easy 5 minute walk gets you to the Oia pathway (where there are many hotels but few restaurants) and then another 15 minutes to central Oia. If you’re fine with the location the hotel is one of the best deals in Santorini. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 071647)Reviews
  • Aria Suites • Fira – Great location a short walk from central Fira but down a quiet lane away from the crowds. Nice pool. Views of the caldera but just back from the cliff so it’s one of the few luxury hotels that allows kids. Large 2 bedrooms suites.
    (Hotel phone: +30 22860 28650)Reviews
  • Astra Suites • Imerovigli – incredible 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with full kitchenette and private balcony with caldera and sunset views. Note: The Family Suite is the only one that allows children. The other suites are adult only. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 024763)Reviews
  • Caldera Butterfly Villas • Fira – Great pool with caldera views, large family suites have kitchenettes. (Hotel phone: +30 22860 24856)Reviews
  • Pension George • Karterados – Large rooms and a nice pool, 15 minute walk to Fira. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 022351)Reviews
  • Smaragdi Hotel • Perivolos – Great pool near Perissa beach. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 082701)Reviews
  • Aegean Plaza Hotel • Kamari – Friendly staff, nice pool, minutes from the beach. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 028740)Reviews
  • Vallas Apartments • Firostefani – For the location and amenities these are good value. (Hotel phone: +30 2286 022050)Reviews

More family hotels in Santorini: mylittlenomads.com/Santorini-Family-Hotels.

Q. What are the best hotels for a honeymoon on Santorini?

Some slightly cheaper hotels for romantic honeymoon lodging are the following.

Q. How do I book a honeymoon vacation package to Santorini?

Answer: You don’t.

You can get better deals and have a more interesting vacation by booking your air and hotel separately.

You get the dates you truly want, the flights that work best for you, the hotel with the best reviews. With packages it’s all about compromise. Agents have blocks of reservations for certain flights and certain hotels. Their goal is to squeeze you into one of those blocks. I’m not suggesting this can never workout. It can.

But Santorini is such a unique treasure this is one trip you don’t want to be a cookie-cutter experience.

  • For flights to Santorini use Kayak.com – Great site and very easy to use. (If you want a direct flight to Santorini from Europe – without going through Athens – then search these airlines.)
  • For hotels in Santorini use Booking.com – A very easy to use site and awesome customer service on changes and cancelations.
  • For ferries to Santorini use gtp.gr – Booking ferries more than a few days in advance is rarely necessary (so you can wait to buy most ferry tickets until after you arrive – when it’s super simple). But if you need to book ferries in advance this is the site to use.

And that’s it. It’s pretty easy.

But if you still want the names of respected travel agents that offer honeymoon vacation packages to Santorini here are two of the best: Dolphin Hellas and Fantasy Travel

Santorini Weddings

Getting married in Santorini is not easy. It takes a lot of preparation, planning, and paperwork. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from doing a Santorini wedding. But you need to know from the start what’s involved. Much of the wedding can be prepared by wedding planners in Santorini (including getting your personal documents translated into Greek) but there is still much to be done so be prepared.

An alternative to an official wedding in Santorini is to have a symbolic ceremony that doesn’t require the legal documentation. The vows, ceremony, location, and wedding reception are all the same but without all the extra hassle. (You would, of course, have to take vows in your home country before or after your trip to make it official.)

What documents are needed for a wedding in Santorini?

Passports, full birth certificates, certificate of non-impediment to marry from both bride and groom, affidavits stating the bride and groom are free to marry, as well as a few more depending on circumstances. (More info on required documents for a greek marriage for: American citizens, Canadian citizens, British citizens, Australian citizens, Chinese citizens.)

All documents related to the marriage must be translated into Greek, certified in the Greek embassy or consulate in your home country or certain documents must also have an apostille stamp.

Can you recommend any wedding planners in Santorini?

Nicholas at Santorini Weddings and Michael from Wedding’s Santorini come highly recommended from several people.

What venues are available for a wedding in Santorini?

Popular choices for a Santorini wedding are the Santorini Princess Hotel in Imerovigli, Katikies Hotel in Oia, Dana Villas in Firostefani, Suites of the Gods in Megalochori, Pyrgos restaurant in Pyrgos village, Sphinx restaurant in Fira, Santo winery in Pyrgos, and Santa Irini Chapel with caldera views.

Q. What are the best cave hotels on Santorini?

Watch this video for a great introduction to Santorini and its cave hotels.

Cave hotels are very popular in Oia and are pretty much what they sound like – rooms and suites that are built into the cliffside to form a cave. They’re usually decorated simply and sparsely, but when done right they’re close to magical.

Two of the best cave hotels are Perivolas (+30 22860 71308) and Aris Caves (+30 2286 071511) – both of these are drop dead gorgeous. (The Perivolos is the hotel seen in the video above.)

If you’re looking for a cave hotel that’s a little “cheaper” then Lena’s House (+30 22860 71910) and Delfini Villas (+ 30 22860 71600) are both great picks.

If you need a cave house then Dream Blue (+30 21080 02307) is a privately owned home that sleeps 6, has a fully equipped kitchen, a hot tub, 2 bathrooms, and free wi-fi. It’s 350€ to 450€ a night (depending on season and number of guests) but it’s an amazing house and worth it if you can afford it. The owner also rents a smaller house, My Blue, with traditional Santorini architecture. It sleeps up to 4 and costs between 290€ and 390€.

Q. What are the best hotels for quiet and solitude?

Three hotels stand out as providing a quiet and peaceful setting far from the crowds of Fira and Oia.

Q. What affordable hotels have caldera views?

I wouldn’t call these hotels cheap but for budget-minded travelers that still want a caldera view they’re good options.

Q. What hotels are near the ferry port?

Fira is only 8 km from the port so you’re fine staying there if you have an early or late ferry. But there are closer hotels in Megalachori and Pyrgos – which are just a few km from the port.

Good hotels near the port:

And these hotels offer free transportation to and from the ferry port:

  • Villa Manos, Karterados – Free pickup to and from ferry port and airport with stay.
  • Anemomilos Suites, Fira – Free pickup to and from ferry port and airport with stay. Hotel is a 10 minute walk to central Fira.
  • Stelios Place Hotel Perissa, Perissa – Free pickup with stay. Must stay 2 nights for free ride to port. Close to the beach.

Q. What hotels are near the airport?

Santorini is not a large island so getting from even the most distant town (Oia) to the airport takes no longer than 40 minutes. Unless being close to the airport is super important to you I’d stay in your preferred town and not try to get a hotel near the airport.

If you do need a hotel near the airport the closest are in the beach towns of Monolithos and Kamari just minutes from the airport. These 2 hotels come highly recommended.

  • Scorpios Beach Hotel, Monolithos – 2 minutes from the airport. Near the beach, small pool, family rooms. Free airport transfers and 24 hour check in.
  • The Boathouse Hotel, Kamari – On the beach, in the center of Kamari with lots of shops and restaurants within steps. Very nice pool. 5 minutes from the airport. Free airport transfers.

Q. What hotels on Santorini have the best infinity pools?

The best infinity pools with views of the caldera are at these hotels.

Most pools on Santorini are heated by the sun so won’t be terribly warm outside of June to September – and perhaps closed from November to April.

Q. What are some (good) cheap hotels on Santorini?

Occasionally I get emails with questions like, “We’re looking for a cheap hotel that has a caldera view, infinity pool, and private balcony. What do you recommend?”

Santorini (like Mykonos) is not cheap and hotels are more expensive here than any other island. Hotels that have views and swimming pools are not found in the budget category – so adjust your wishes accordingly.

If you’re looking for a cheap room don’t try to book specific hotels – instead pick a town and search for hotel discounts on CheapZebra. Go with the hotel that has the best mix of amenities you’re looking for.

I know this sounds vague and perhaps not all that helpful but it really is the best way to find a cheap hotel. Rates will vary depending on how many bookings the hotel currently has. And there are so many hotels of similar quality in the budget and moderate price ranges it’s silly to single out specific hotels when they’re all quite good.

I have never stayed in a bad hotel on Santorini. Even the budget ones are clean and refreshingly simple. And every owner I’ve dealt with has been friendly and honest.

Here are the best links for finding cheap hotels on Santorini:

Generally, the hotels on the west side of the island that overlook the caldera (Fira, Imerovigli, Oia, and Firostefani) are more expensive than the hotels on the east side of island where the beaches are located (Kamari and Perissa).

Of the towns near the caldera, the one that will have the least expensive hotels is Karterados. It’s 1 mile from Fira and does not have views of the caldera but it’s an easy walk into town and has much cheaper accommodations – nothing fancy though.

There is also a very good youth hostel in Oia with rates between €16 and €18 (Phone: +30 2286 071465) and the Santorini Youth Hostel in Fira (with private rooms, dorms, and a huge swimming pool) – it’s essentially the same place as Santorini Camping.

If you arrive in Santorini without a room booked but do have a sleeping bag you can always sleep at Santorini Camping which doesn’t require reservations for the sleeping bag area. (You laugh, but it’s way better sleeping here with clean bathrooms and showers then at a table inside a cafe.)

Q. Are there sailing tours of Santorini and the Greek Islands?

If you want to do a sailing trip around the Greek Islands then GAP Adventures is what I recommend.

I am not a big fan of package tours – they’re usually lame and boring – and have little to do with exploration and travel.

But the packages put together by Gap are truly unique, lots of fun, and run by a great group of people.

In 2015 they’re offering a handful of small-group yacht trips around the Greek islands. There are a maximum of 8 guests on each yacht. You do have to get yourself to Greece but travel and accommodations are handled from there.

I also love these tours because they begin and end at interesting places. One of the huge disadvantages of a typical cruise or tour group is that you never get time to stay on the Greek islands – apart from a few hours with a hoard of fellow travelers. But with Gap you can begin or end your trip on Santorini (or Mykonos or Athens) and then spend a few days on your own exploring the island. A perfect mix.

Sailing Trips Around the Greek Islands in 2015

All trips are aboard a 15m (50 ft) sailing yacht. Fully licensed skipper. Snorkelling equipment. Some food and meals onboard. Trips run from May to October.

Q. What is the best company for booking a package holiday to Santorini?

Package holidays are not my favorite way to see Greece – traveling independently and booking your own hotel and flights is a much more rewarding way to see the islands (and it’s far from difficult). But if you’re short on time or only going to Santorini then package trips can provide good value.

Sunshine Holidays offers some cheap flight and hotel packages to Santorini from the UK.

Vacation packages from North America or Australia are not as common and thus have limited variety and choice. It’s much better to book travel on your own.

Q. What’s the best way to get to Santorini?

Flying to Santorini is the quickest and easiest way. You can fly to Santorini from Athens or directly from cities in western Europe such as London, Manchester, Paris, and Amsterdam.

For summer 2014, there are no flights to Santorini from other Greek islands – though this changes from year to year and some summers there will be flights from Heraklion (Crete) and Rhodes to Santorini. Also for summer 2014, there are no flights from Istanbul to Santorini.

If you’re already in the center of Athens it can be easier to take a high speed ferry or catamaran from Piraeus (the Athens port) than to deal with getting to the airport and through security. But flying would still be a few hours faster.

The big advantage of flying to Santorini is that it’s much easier to book flights in advance than to book ferries in advance (see below). But if you’re on a flexible schedule or you’re already in Greece (and can book the ferry at a travel agency) it’s very easy to book ferry tickets. It’s the booking in advance, figuring out routes and timetables from outside the country, that makes ferry planning difficult.

Arriving by ferry in Santorini is a great experience. The cliffs loom over your boat and it’s a really awesome first impression of the island. (Less so if you arrive by a high speed ferry as you’re trapped inside, behind sea-sprayed windows.) On the Blue Star ferry you can wander the decks and you’ll have a great view of the volcano and caldera.

There are cabins available on the Blue Star ferry to Santorini. But since the most popular ferry leaves form Athens early in the morning it seems silly to spend the time in a cabin when you could be walking the decks and enjoying the view of passing islands. A 2nd class or “deck” ticket is the cheapest and the ticket I recommend you buy.

A good compromise between flying and ferry is to take the ferry to Santorini and then fly back. It does take some planning to find the right tickets but the perfect route is to fly to Athens, ferry to Santorini (perhaps stopping at a few islands along the way), then flying from Santorini back to Athens – or fly directly from Athens to Western Europe as you will have already been to Athens and don’t need to visit again.

If you’re island hopping Santorini has good connections with most of the other popular islands like Crete, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros. Rhodes is more difficult to get to from Santorini (and a longer ferry ride) but still doable.

There are no direct ferries or flights from Santorini to Istanbul. If you want to travel from Santorini to Istanbul the quickest and easiest way is to fly to Athens and then fly to Istanbul. If you want to take the ferry from Santorini to Turkey the easiest route is to ferry to Rhodes (usually an overnight ferry where a cabin would be recommended) and then a short 90 minute ferry to Marmaris on the Turkish coast. Ferries between Santorini and Rhodes run 2 or 3 times per week and take 7 to 15 hours.

Q. What airlines fly to Santorini?

Direct Flights from Europe to Santorini

A great way to see more than one island is to fly into one island (e.g. Santorini), take a ferry to another island (e.g. Mykonos), and then fly home from there. You save the time, hassle, and cost of returning to your initial destination.

Many airlines fly to Santorini from large cities in Western and Northern Europe. Here are some of them though the list is constantly changing:

  • British Airways – BA now has direct flights from London to Santorini on Wednesday and Sunday. This is a great option especially if you’re coming from North America. (The cheapest fares allow just carry-on bags – though this doesn’t apply if you’re connecting from a different city.)
  • EasyJet – Flights from Rome, Milan, London Gatwick, and Manchester to Santorini. Also has flights from Western Europe to Athens, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and several other islands.
  • Air Berlin – Flights from Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, many more German cities, Paris, and Copenhagen to Santorini and many other Greek Islands.
  • FlyThomasCook – Flights from Manchester, London Gatwick, and Birmingham to Santorini. Also flights between the UK and Rhodes and Heraklion, Crete.
  • Thomson Flights – Flights from Manchester, Birmingham, and London Gatwick to Santorini. Flights from many UK cities to Rhodes, Crete, and Mykonos. Also, if you’re traveling to Turkey there are flights from Bodrum, Dalaman, and Antalya to the UK.
  • Lauda Air – Flights from Vienna to Santorini.
  • NIKI – Flights from London, Paris, Copenhagen, Munich, Berlin, Milan, Rome, and Vienna to Santorini. Flights between Europe and Rhodes, Crete, Athens, Samos, Kos, Lesvos, and Corfu. One of the few airlines to offer flights from Barcelona to Mykonos.
  • Germanwings – Flights from Bonn/Cologne to Santorini. Flights from Crete and Rhodes to many European cities as well as Crete to Izmir which could be handy if you’re traveling to Turkey.
  • TUI Fly – Flights from many German cities and Vienna to Santorini, Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes, and Kos, as well as several cities in Turkey.
  • Transavia – Flights from Paris and Amsterdam to Santorini. Also flights from many European cities to many Greek islands including flights to and from Chania which could be of interest to travelers who want to see Crete.
  • Norwegian – Flights from Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen to Santorini. Connecting flights to New York City.
  • Meridiana – Flights from Rome, Milan, Verona, and Bologna to Santorini and Mykonos.
  • Condor Air – Flights from Dussledorf, Hamburg, Bonn/Cologne, Frankfurt, and Munich.
  • Jetairfly – Flights from Brussels to Santorini. Also flights from Brussels to Chania, Heraklion, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, and Mykonos.
  • Edelweiss Air – Flights from Zurich to Santorini. Flights from Zurich to Mykonos. And flights from Zurich and Geneva to Heraklion, Crete.
  • Air Baltic – Flights to Athens and Santorini from Riga and other European capitals (though as of spring 2013 not showing many flights).
  • AtlasJet – No direct flights to Santorini but does have flights from Istanbul to Mykonos making it the most direct way from Turkey to Santorini.

Flights from Athens to Santorini

  • Olympic Air – 4 to 6 flights a day from Athens to Santorini.
  • Aegean Airlines – 3 flights per day from Athens to Santorini. 1 flight per day from Thessaloniki to Santorini for late June to early September.
  • SkyExpress has a route map that is always changing but will sometimes have flights from Crete to Santorini and Rhodes to Santorini. (Update February, 2014: It does not appear that SkyExpress is flying to Santorini for the summer of 2014. There are flights from Crete to Rhodes that might be of interest to visitors to Santorini.)
  • Astra Airlines – In summers past has run flights from Thessaloniki to Santorini but as of Spring 2014 nothing planned.
  • AirSeaLines has ceased operations so if you read they have flights from Santorini to Athens, Crete, and Rhodes this is no longer the case.
  • Athens Airways ceased operations in the fall of 2012.

Q. How do I get to Santorini by ferry?

Up to 8 ferries a day sail the route from the Athens’ port (Piraeus) to Santorini. The ferry from Piraeus to Santorini takes 5 hours by high speed ferry or catamaran (cost: 60 euros) and 8 hours by the slower car ferries (cost: 34 euros).

During rough seas and windy weather the large car ferries (e.g. the Blue Star ferry) provide a much smoother ride than the high speed ferries. If you’re sensitive to seasickness then avoid the high speed ferries (and definitely avoid the flying cat and flying dolpin).

Ferry Schedule: Athens to Santorini for 2014

These are the 2 most popular routes from Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini:

  • Blue Star Ferry
    Leaves Athens at 7:25 every morning with stops in Paros, Naxos, and Ios (doesn’t stop in Ios on Wednesday and Saturday). Return trip from Santorini to Athens leaves at 19:00.
  • Highspeed 6
    Dates 30th June to 7th September 2014: Daily from Athens (departs 7:15) to Ios and Santorini. Return Santorini (departs 12:00) to Ios and Athens.
    Dates 16th June to 29th June 2014: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: Athens (07:15) to Ios and Santorini. Santorini (12:00) to Ios and Athens (*except Sundays when departure is at 17:00).

Highspeed ferries are more likely to sell out than the large conventional ferries. Buying tickets a few days in advance should be enough to secure a 2nd class seat on most high speed ferries (airplane style seating) – but there are no guarantees in July and August so if you’re on a tight schedule then buy in advance. Tickets for the Blue Star ferry rarely sell out so you should be fine buying a ticket the day before or even the morning of your trip. (The days before and after the national holiday of August 15th are one time all ferries can be full.) Book several weeks in advance if you want a cabin or need to take a vehicle.

The highspeed ferries between Crete and Santorini do regularly sell out in July and August so this is one route that should be purchased in advance.

Buying tickets online in advance is a pain (routes aren’t officially published until 2 or 3 weeks before the date, the websites are confusing, and you need to visit 3 or more websites to see all the available ferries) – but you’ll sometimes need to book in advance (or want to for peace of mind). You’ll rarely, if ever, need advance tickets for ferries to Santorini from other Cycladic islands so just purchase these a day or 2 before sailing at a travel agent on whatever island you happen to be on. When you do need to buy tickets in advance these are the most useful websites:

  • Pelican Travel – If you need help from a travel agency to book your ferry tickets then Pelican can do it for you (with added fees). Then pick up your tickets after you arrive in Santorini. Their office is in central Fira.
  • Greek Travel Pages – This is the single best page for finding routes and timetables for all Greek ferries – but it is still challenging to use.
  • Hellenic Seaways – The fastest ferries to Santorini from Piraeus but only one departure a day, usually in the early morning. Also have ferries from Santorini to Heraklion, Paros, and Ios and the only service between Mykonos and Santorini.
  • Blue Star Ferries – Departures everyday from Piraeus. Also ferries from Santorini to Naxos and Santorini to Rhodes.
  • Anek Ferries – Departures most days from Piraeus. Also ferries from Heraklion, Crete and Rhodes to Santorini.
  • SeaJets – Runs from Santorini to Crete and several Cycladic islands. These are the smaller catamarans and the route to Crete can be especially rough.

Q. What is the Santorini ferry schedule?

The most important ferries to and from Santorini are:

  • Blue Star – Daily ferries to Santorini from Piraeus, Naxos, Paros, and Ios. And from Santorini to Ios, Paros, Naxos, Piraeus and Rhodes (summer only). If you’re prone to seasickness this is the best ferry to take..
  • Flying Cat 4 – From Heraklion (Crete) to Santorini continuing on to Paros and Mykonos.
  • Sea Jets – High speed catamarans between Santorini and Heraklion, Ios, Paros, Naxos, and Mykonos.
  • Anek Ferries – The only year-round ferry from Santorini to Rhodes. Also service to Heraklion, Karpathos, and Piraeus.

Santorini Ferry Schedule, Summer 2014

  • Heraklion (Iraklio), Crete
    1 to 2 highspeed ferries per day: 2 hours, 56€ (schedule for Hellenic Highspeed5). Also 1 large ferry per week.
  • Milos
    2 large ferries weekly: 3.5 hours, 17€. 1 highspeed daily: 2 hours, 40€.
  • Mykonos
    2 highspeed daily: 2.5 hours, 50€ (schedule for Highspeed5).
  • Ios
    2 highspeed ferries daily: 40 minutes, 18€. 4 weekly large ferries: 1.5 hours, 8€.
  • Naxos
    2 highspeed ferries dayily: 1.5 hours 37€. 5 large ferries daily: 2 hours, 17€.
  • Paros
    2 highspeed ferries daily: 2.5 hours, 45€. 5 large ferries daily: 3 to 4 hours, 19€.
  • Piraeus (Athens)
    3 highspeed ferries daily: 5 hours, 60€. 4 large ferries: 9 hours, 34€.
  • Rhodes
    2 to 4 large ferries weekly: 9 to 18 hours (Blue Star is faster than ANEK), 36€ (cabins are more expensive but recommended).
  • Kos
    2 ferries weekly: 5 hours, 30€.
  • Sikinos
    1 to 4 large ferries daily: 3 hour, 14€.

High speed ferries are about twice as fast as conventional car ferries and cost about twice as much. During rough seas high speed ferries are canceled much more frequently than the slower conventional ferries. When they do run during rough or windy conditions life on board can be brutal for those prone to seasickness.

If you want to avoid taking a highspeed ferry from Santorini to Mykonos (or vice versa) take the Blue Star ferry to Paros and then switch to a high speed ferry for the short trip to Mykonos.

Q. Should I book my ferry ticket in advance?

If you have a car and need a spot on the ferry for your vehicle then yes, you need to book your ferry in advance.

If you are traveling overnight to Rhodes, Crete, or Athens and want a cabin then yes, booking in advance is a good idea as well.

Otherwise, the large ferries almost never sell out. Occasionally the high speed ferries will sell out but usually buying a day or 2 in advance is fine. Purchasing ferry tickets from outside the country is a pain and if you can avoid doing so you should.

Once again (repeating myself here), booking ferry tickets in advance from outside the country is head-bangingly difficult. But in-person, and in-country, it’s pretty easy. Ferries rarely sell out so if you can buy a day or two in advance you’ll be fine most of the time. On the popular routes there will be more than one ferry a day (e.g. Athens to Santorini) so even if a ferry did sell out, as long as you have a flexible schedule, you can jump on a later ferry, or at worse, one the next day.

Oh, and ferries can be cancelled due to rough seas, high winds, and strikes. (It’s always a good idea to arrive in Athens a full day before your flight home to allow for any ferry cancellations.)

But, all in all, traveling by ferry is fun and an authentic way of seeing the country. Just be flexible and patient.

Q. How do I get from the airport to Fira and the rest of the island?

  • Taxi – The easiest and quickest way to get into Fira and to the rest of the island is by taxi. There will always be taxis available at the airport though it can involve a long wait (especially if 2 flights arrive at the same time). It costs about 15 euros to Fira and 20 to 25 euros to go to the rest of the island. Taxi rates and reservation info. Taxi phone number: 22860-22555.
  • Bus – In high season (roughly June to September) buses run every hour between Fira and the airport. Most of these buses are running the Fira to Monolithos route and make a stop at the airport – although there might be a few additional buses each day that do only the Fira to airport run. There are fewer buses on the weekend and also fewer buses during the low season. It takes about 15 minutes to get from the airport to Fira by bus and costs about 2 euros. Plan to have small change available so that you don’t need to ask for change from a 50 euro note. If you want to go anywhere else other than Fira (or Monolithos) you’ll need to change buses in Fira (which is easy enough, but time consuming). Santorini bus schedule.
  • Minivan/Airport Transfer – This is a good choice for singles going anywhere or couples going to a town other than Fira (if there are no buses or you don’t want to take a bus). But for 3 or more it’s cheaper to take a taxi as the fare is about 9 euros/per person. Contact Santorini Transfers to arrange pick up at the airport or your hotel.
  • Hotel Pickup – If your hotel offers free pickup and dropoff be sure to take advantage. Most do charge but as long as it’s close to the taxi rate it’s a good choice.

Q. How do I get to and from the ferry port in Santorini?

    All ferries arrive at Athinios port. Getting from the port to any town is easy and shouldn’t cause any anxiety. You can do absolutely no pre-arranging of pickup details and you’ll get to your hotel just fine. (It’s more important to pre-arrange transportation to the port then from the port.)

  • Bus – There will always be a bus waiting as your ferry arrives at the port no matter what time of day or night. If you’re staying in a town other than Fira you’ll need to get to Fira first and then switch buses there. The cost form the port to Fira is about 2 euros. The bus from the port to Fira takes about 20 minutes and drops you at the bus station in the middle of Fira. The bus, like all buses on Santorini, is air conditioned and has plenty of room for luggage. A bus leaves from Fira to the ferry port about 1 hour before every ferry departure and arrival (a schedule of bus departures from Fira is posted 1 or 2 days before and is based on the arriving ferries).
  • Taxi – There will usually be taxis waiting as ferries arrive but if it’s late at night you might want to arrange pickup in advance. It costs about 15 euros from the ferry port to Fira, 25 euros from the ferry port to Oia, and somewhere in-between to go anywhere else on the island. A taxi ride from the port to Fira takes about 15 minutes. Taxis going to the port can be hard to find. When people miss the bus to the port (which leaves about 1 hour before each ferry arrival) then the rush to grab a taxi begins. Taxi phone number: 22860-22555.
  • Hotel Transfer – Many hotels provide transportation from the port to their hotel. For some it’s free, for others it’s charged at a rate similar to a taxi or a bit more. Don’t bother pre-arranging pickup months in advance (when you book your hotel). Send an email to your hotel a few days before so the pickup details are fresh in their minds.
  • Cruise Ships – If you’re arriving by cruise ship you’ll be tendered in a small boat from the ship to the Skalafira port directly below Fira. From there you can either climb the steps (a lot of them) or take a cable car (which will probably involve waiting some time in a line). There are also donkey rides up the path you walk but many find their use offensive so be prepared for some dirty looks by people who don’t think donkeys should be used (abused) in this manner.

Q. What are the best tours of Santorini?

There are 2 main types of tours in Santorini: boat and bus tours.

  • Bus tours visit the following attractions: Akrotiri, Ancient Thira, different wineries, Oia, Pyrgos and potentially a few other sites. If you’re able to rent a car you’re probably better doing it yourself but if you’re short on time, don’t feel like driving, or want a quick sprint around the highlights they’re a good choice.
  • Dakoutros Bros has the glass bottomed Calypso boat that visits the nearby islands in the Santorini caldera. There are full and half day tours that take in Thirassia, Nea Kameni (where you climb the volcano and swim in a hot spring), and Red Beach. (There are also sunset boat tours as well.) Tours will leave from both Amoudi Bay (near Oia) and Athinios (near Fira) with bus connections from both towns included. Tickets are available from any travel agent in Santorini so don’t bother booking in advance unless you’re on a very tight schedule. Tickets coast between 20 euros and 40 euros. This is a cheap way to do a boat tour but be warned you could be on a boat with up to 50 other guests and this can turn some people off.
  • For a much more intimate (and costly) tour of the same attractions you can do a semi-private boat tour with Captain George or Captain Ted. These are on smaller yachts or catamarans with 6 to 12 guests. You can charter the whole boat too if you’re willing to pay a bit more. Per person these tours run about 150 euros or 600 to 1000 euros for a private charter.
  • Santorini Wine Adventure does half and full day tours of 3 wineries around Santorini. They also offer a Wine and Food Lovers tour that combines visits to 2 wineries with a Greek food cooking class.

Q. Where and how do I rent a car or scooter?

Auto Europe is a large rental company that probably has the best rates for car rentals on Santorini.

There are also local rental offices all over the island that will rent a car or scooter to you. Two that are reliable are Vazeos in Oia and Spiridakos (which offers free pickup at the port, airport, or your hotel).

Booking in advance is not absolutely necessary but if you require an automatic transmission during July and August then it’s recommended (most cars are standard).

If you have a young child it’s best to bring a car seat from home – some rental agencies do have a few but they tend to be older and not up to British or American standards (though they’ll do in a pinch).

EU drivers licenses are perfectly acceptable for renting a car. But if you’re not from the EU be sure to get an International Drivers permit before leaving home. Some places will rent to you without an EU or international drivers license but if you get into an accident your insurance will be not be valid because you will have been driving illegally. If you don’t have the International Drivers Permit the Greek police will have a lot of questions too. Greek Law requires an IDP and if you don’t have it, you could be detained until you pay for repairs to the damaged vehicles.

It’s fine to rent a motorbike, scooter, or ATV by showing your passport and a current drivers license from your home country.

Q. What are the best wineries to tour on Santorini?

Santorini is famous for its wine. Many wineries offer tours and wine tasting. Most wineries are closed on Sunday so check their schedules online before visiting. If you want to visit multiple wineries (or combine a wine tour with a Greek cooking course) then contact Santorini Wine Adventure.

  • Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum, Kamari – A 300 meter long cellar (8 meters underground) that hosts a wine museum. The museum presents the history of Greek wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini since the 1600s.
  • Santo Wines, Pyrgos – The most comprehensive tours of any winery. It has a large shop filled with wines and local food specialties. Fantastic views of the cliffs and caldera.
  • Boutari, Megalohori – Taste 8 high quality wines for 8 euros from Santorini’s largest winery.
  • Sigalas, Oia – A small winery a short walk from a bus stop on the Fira-Oia bus route. It has wine tastings with appetizers from April to October.

The Santorini Brewing Company is a new brewery on Santorini (opened in 2011) that reportedly has some pretty good beer. They offer tours and tastings and are located near Exo Gonia (about half way between Fira and Kamari). Phone number: 30 22860-30268.

Q. What are the best things to do on Santorini?

Q. What are the best hotels for sunsets on Santorini?

Imerovigli has the best sunsets of any town on Santorini. The hotels in Oia generally have either a view of the caldera or views of the sunset (this is a simplification as it also depends on the time of year but for the most part it’s true). Fira’s sunset views are often blocked by the small island of Thirassia out in the caldera. Imerovigli has neither of the these problems and is perched high on a cliff with great views of both the sunset and the caldera. Another plus is that it doesn’t have the crowds that gather in Oia as the sun sets.

Q. Where can I go on a day trip from Santorini?

Besides the islands visible in the caldera, Santorini does not have any nearby islands which makes a day trip impractical for most visitors. Most ferries are based on other islands or back in Athens and thus it’s usually mid-day before they even arrive in Santorini.

If you really want to make a day trip to another Greek island your best bet is to wait until you’ve arrived in Santorini. Then visit a travel agency and enquire about the ferry schedule to and from Santorini’s neighboring islands. If it seems like the amount of time you’ll get on the island is worth the journey then book the ticket. If not, then don’t. Ferry schedules are always changing and rarely are released more than a few weeks in advance. A day trip requires fairly precise timing to pull off so it’s best to wait to arrange until you’re in Greece and can be certain of the schedule. Ferries on these short routes from Santorini will almost never sell out so don’t worry about finding a spot onboard.

The most likely candidate for a day trip from Santorini is Ios. It has fantastic beaches and a young and fun party vibe – though the clubbing doesn’t get going until late at night so day-trippers won’t encounter anything too hedonistic. With a little luck you could have 6 or 7 hours on the island making the 35 minute boat trip from Santorini worth the effort. Mylopotas Beach (one of the best in Greece) and the Chora (the main town up a steep cliff from the port) are well connected to the harbor by a short bus ride. The ferry from Santorini to Ios is €20 one way.

Naxos and Paros are both (just) possible but even with the best possible ferry connections you’d have little more than 2 or 3 hours to explore the island. Except in rare circumstances a day trip to Mykonos is not possible from Santorini. The journey from Santorini to Mykonos is more than 2 hours and 30 minutes and there are rarely returning boats that make the trip doable in a day.

A day trip from Crete to Santorini is sometimes possible with Hellenic Seaways from Heraklion. But a trip going from Santorini to Crete does not work with the ferry timetable.

Anafi is another island that would seem to allow for a day trip but since ferries run to Santorini in the morning and back to Anafi in the afternoon any visit would require staying a night on Anafi.

Q. What cruises go to Santorini?

Santorini is a very popular cruise destination but I don’t recommend visiting Santorini on a cruise ship as you get a limited amount of time on the island (just a few hours) and only see the island when it’s inundated by cruise ship passengers (your shipmates).

After the cruise passengers have departed the island returns to a calmer and more tranquil pace. So if you can stay a few nights on the Santorini you’ll see a completely different side of the towns, restaurants, and attractions.

If you insist on doing a cruise to Santorini then the best site to search for good deals is Travelocity.com/Cruises.

Q. How do you charter a yacht or boat on Santorini?

Renting a yacht or private boat is a great way to see Santorini and a few neighboring islands at your own pace. You can stop at interesting out-of-the-way sights you wouldn’t see on a scheduled tour. The larger yachts allow you to sleep and eat on board and stop.

  • Santorini Yachting – Captain George has a crew of 3 and a 55-foot boat that will hold up to 22 passengers. Chartered trips around the caldera or a full day trip to nearby Anafi.
  • Santorini Sailing – Captain Ted does hourly, sunset, full day, or overnight trips around the caldera.
  • Sailing Santorini – Hire a boat for your own personal use. Small speedboats are available which you allow you to tour the caldera and nearby islands on your own. (No license required – not sure if that’s good or bad.)

Private Boat Hire from Santorini
You can also hire a speed boat to take you pretty much anywhere you want in the Aegean. Panos from Alex Motorboat Rental sent me the following email about the services they offer. (I’ve never used their service but I get lots of questions about “Can I hire a boat from Santorini to Mykonos?, or Santorini to Mylos?” – so this would be one solution, although not a cheap one.)

  • The boat Alex is a private charter, so on the boat will only be you and your party up to 6 people. The boat has a base at the Old Port under Fira or Ammoudi under Oia.We charge services per hour (min.2 hours) and not per person.
    The cost is 140 euros per hour and includes:
    -Diesel
    -Skipper services
    -Port fees
    -Snorkeling equipment
    -Taxes
    -Soft drinks and local wine (we serve wine from Sigalas winery).
    -7 local plates that we prepare for you on board while you are swimming (for trips with duration 3 hours or more).If you charter the boat for half (5 hours, 650 Euros) or full day (9 hours, 1100 Euros) the price is fixed and will include all the services that I above.

    Weather allowed we have the license to travel in all the Aegean Sea. As a private charter, we don’t have a set timetable and our services can be tailor made.

    Example trips:
    A charter boat trip to Ios is 1 hour distance with total cost for half day trip: 850 euros, full day: 1300 euros.
    A charter boat to Mykonos or Milos is 3 hours with total full day costs: 1600 euros.

Q. What are the best things to do with kids?

Santorini is one of the 6 best Greek islands for kids. There’s lots to do to keep kids busy – but I will say it’s not the typical Greek island with beautiful sandy beaches – so be prepared for a vacation with more hiking and sightseeing. If you want the best beaches for kids look to the nearby islands of Naxos, Paros, and Crete.

Santorini has a water park in Perissa, the boat tours around the caldera are great for kids and feature plenty of activity (including swimming and hiking), and, of course, swimming at the beaches is always fun (Monolithos has a kids’ play area, nice sand, and a shallow slope to the water). Kamari has a very family-friendly vibe. And the beach towns of Perissa and Perivolos are great for families too.

Read 11 Tips for visiting Santorini with kids for a full rundown.

Q. What are the best restaurants on Santorini?

Selene in Pyrgos (10 minutes from Fira) is widely considered the best restaurant in Santorini and one of the top in Greece. Reservations are (almost) mandatory in summer and must be made at least 48 hours in advance – though I would reserve as soon as you have a date in mind. The restaurant also offers one and three day cooking courses for traditional Greek food.

Another great restaurant with authentic greek food is the low-key Metaxy Mas in the village of Exo Gonia. Simple inexpensive traditional food. If you ask at your hotel, “Where do I have to eat in Santorini?” – this will be the most common reply.

In Oia, for a romantic dinner with cliffside views of the caldera try Ambrosia. Also very good (and very expensive ) is 1800. Below Oia in Amoudi Bay are several excellent tavernas with great seafood fresh off the boat. Taverna Katina is among the best.

The best restaurant with a sunset view in Oia is Kastro. Book front row tables for the sunset 2 or 3 days in advance. (The food is good, not great.)

In Fira, the best restaurant is probably Koukoumavlos. Housed in a former sea captain’s house and with good views, wonderful service, and inventive local food. Reservations recommended. The best taverna in Fira (and great value) is Naoussa.

For the best gyros on Santorini go to Lucky’s Souvlakis in Fira (near the bus station). Great!

Q. What are some good traditional restaurants on Santorini?

All restaurants receive tourists but some that have a more Greek feel (and in some cases less expensive) are:

Q. Is gluten free food available at restaurants and grocery stores?

Finding gluten free food is relatively easy in Santorini. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood are readily available and form the basis of traditional Greek cooking. Grocery store sell some gluten free items but not as many as you’ll find in Athens or Western Europe. Most restaurants cook from scratch which makes it easier to derive the ingredients of different dishes. Most servers and cooks on Santorini will have heard of gluten free diets (this might not apply if you’re traveling to other smaller Greek Islands). If you’re ordering a meal without bread you might also want to say no pita as your server might not equate the two.

Print or bookmark this glossary of eating, cooking, and food terms in Greek and this card which explains gluten free dietary requirements in Greek (here’s the english version).

Q. What hotels on Santorini have kitchens?

These hotels have fully equipped kitchens with cutlery, dishes, and some cookware. (Almost every hotel on Santorini will have a fridge and coffee maker.)

Q. How do I see Santorini on a budget?

4 tips for saving money while visiting Santorini.

  • Search for hotel deals on CheapZebra.com/Santorini – This is the best way to find discounts, rather than looking at specific hotels.
  • Get a room without a view – If you’re staying at any of the towns along the caldera having a view will cost a premium. Many restaurants have views of the caldera and there are great walks along the caldera edge – so it’s not as if you’re foregoing the enjoyment of the Santorini cliffside.
  • Eat where the locals eat – Santorini is mainly geared around the tourist trade but there is still a vibrant local community that has its favorite restaurants. If a restaurant has a touristy feel (which will of course include the restaurants along the caldera) then you’ll be paying more for food. Look away from the touristy areas for less-trendy local eateries that will be less than half the price of the touristy restaurants.
  • Get a hotel with kitchenette – Eating in for one or two meals a day is a great way to save a lot of money. (Breakfast is an especially easy meal to prepare in a hotel.) Grocery stores and fresh produce markets are easy to find. See above for a list of hotels with kitchenettes.

Q. Is there a hospital on Santorini?

The Central Clinic of Santorini is a small medical clinic located in Fira, near the bus station. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (although serious medical issues will need to be evacuated to Athens). Map of clinic. Emergency phone number: +30 22860 21728. Email: info@santorinicentralclinic.gr

Q. Do I need travel insurance for Santorini?

Travel health insurance is as much about peace of mind as the actual benefit. Myself, I always get some before a trip – but that’s just me.

The big thing you want covered in a location like Santorini is emergency evacuation coverage so be sure any policy you get has this covered. (Some plans don’t so read the fine print.)

World Nomads is my favorite. You can sign up any time (even during a trip) and they’re easy to deal with. But there are many travel insurance companies and, for what it’s worth, every one I’ve ever dealt with is legitimate and didn’t try to scam us. (The claims I’ve made have been for my kids. Head injuries in Korea, dog bites and rabies vaccines in Indonesia.)

Tripadvisor Awards: Best of Santorini

I don’t always put a lot of faith in the opinions of Tripadvisor reviews but these are good picks and great hotels.

Best Luxury Hotels in Greece

Best Small Hotels in Greece

Best Bargain Hotels in Greece

Need more info? Ask a question below.

Q. I have a question about Santorini but don’t feel like reading through your entire website – can I ask it anyways?
A. Please no. I know it’s a pain but please read everything (including other comments) before asking a question.

478 questions and comments

  1. Pegasus Suites

    Hi Dave,

    Great site. We were working with a travel agent who recommended The Pegasus Suites. I’m a little worried that I don’t see that hotel on your site. Are you familiar with it?

    Thanks!
    John Wilson

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Pegasus Suites is a great hotel. It was formerly Angels and Stars hotel and is located on the caldera (with great views) on the south end of Imerovigli. This gives it a great location for walking to Firostefani or Fira as it’s 10 minutes closer to those villages than being in central Imerovigli – or 15, 20 minutes closer than the northern section of Imerovigli. You can see it’s location here: Imerovigli Hotels.

      Reply
  2. Sea View vs Caldera View

    Hello Dave!!
    I am in love with your website. I am planning a trip to Santorini with my partner from dec 17-22. Given the off season which is an ideal area to stay in? I am thinking between fira, Oio, and Imerovigli. Some of the hotels I looked at on booking.com say sea view and caldera view. What is the difference? Does it mean sea view is caldera? Any advise is appreciated. Thanks soo much!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Generally, sea view is looking east and the hotel is back from the caldera a ways (usually a 5 to 10 minute walk from the caldera cliff). Caldera view looks west and out into the caldera. This is the direction the sunsets but not all caldera view hotels will have sunset views. Sometimes the sunset will be blocked by Thirassia or a portion of Santorini itself. In December I would definitely stay in Fira as it has the most hotels, shops, and restaurants open.

      Reply
  3. How Long in Athens and Santorini?

    Hello!
    I’m from Quebec (Canada) and I love the website! So useful!
    So here is my question: I’ll be traveling through Europe next May (2015) and we are planning to arrive from Rome to Athens and than take a ferry to santorini. How many days should we planned for Athens + Santorini ? We want to visit but we also want to relax…

    Thank you so much!

    Debbie

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I would spend 2 to 3 days in Athens and 7 to 10 on Santorini. I love Athens but it is not Rome. So don’t be expecting the beauty of Rome. People are often disappointed with Athens (especially if they’re coming from Florence or Rome). It’s grittier and not so picturesque but it has incredible food, some great sights, and is much more authentically Greek than the islands so it’s worth at least a few days. You could easily spend longer than a week on Santorini but if it starts stretching towards 2 weeks then I’d recommend seeing another island.

      Reply
  4. Direct Flights USA to Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Great site!! Very helpful so far, as we start planning our June 2015 honeymoon from the US. It looks like there are now direct flights from NYC. Do you know of any other US cities that fly direct to Santorini?

    Also, we were considering spending a couple days in another European city. We would like to go to Venice and travel from there. Do you know the best way to do that? It didn’t look like you could fly from Venice to Athens or Santorini.

    Thanks so much!
    Bryan Scott

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Bryan.

      As far as I know there are no direct flights from New York to Santorini. There are direct flights from New York to Athens with Delta and KLM.

      No other US city has direct flights to Athens. (Toronto does have direct flights to Athens with Air Canada, Aegean Air, and Air Transat.)

      There are also one-stop flights from NYC to Santorini that do not go through Athens. British Airways flies to Santorini via London. Swiss flies to Santorini via Zurich.

      Aegean and Volotea have direct flights from Venice to Athens. Volotea also has a few direct flights from Venice to Santorini (although they’re rare).

      Reply
  5. Angela

    Hi Dave:

    Not sure how I stumbled across your site… but it is awesome! Answers all of our questions!!
    We are from Toronto, Canada planning a 9 night trip.
    Here is the itinerary we are thinking of:

    July 1 – 5:00 pm Flight to Athens
    July 2- Arrive Athens 9:00 am Stay Over night at Athens Gate Hotel
    July 3- ferry to Mykonos
    July 3, 4, 5, 6th stay in Mykonos ( not sure where)
    July 7th-Ferry to Santorini
    July 7, 8, 9 Hotel in Oia (not sure where)
    July 10th Ferry (8 hours????) or Flight back to Athens
    July 10th Overnight in Athens
    July 11 – Return Flight to Toronto

    We are 4 people (2 couples) travelling. Any advice on the itinerary above?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Angela

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      This looks great. In Mykonos my personal preference is to stay in Mykonos Town. Very active, yes, very busy, and lots of fun. From Mykonos to Santorini the only direct ferry is a smaller highspeed catamaran that does not allow for walking on the deck (plus it can be pretty rough in rough seas). I like to arrive in Santorini on the Blue Star (or similar large ferry) where you can go outside on the open-air decks. To do this you’d have to change ferries in Naxos or Paros (a bit of a pain but for some worth it). This isn’t a huge deal of course but it is nice to see the caldera as you approach.

      Flying from Santorini back to Athens will certainly save you some time. Book those flights early (like very soon).

      I will add that on July 2 there is a 3:45pm ferry from Rafina to Mykonos. You could take a bus or taxi to the Rafina port (about 30 minutes from the airport) have lunch there, then catch the ferry to Mykonos. You’d be in Mykonos at 5:55pm. Yes, you’d be tired when you got there but it would free up a whole day for you. Maybe add a night in Naxos (great island) and catch the Blue Star from there to Santorini. Or you can add that “extra” day to the end of the trip in Athens. Just a thought.

      Reply
  6. Wedding on Santorini

    Hi Dave! Your site is awesome!! :)

    I am considering Santorini as a possible location for my wedding next summer (August/September). It will be a pretty small wedding – 20 people max. I am looking for a hotel that has sunset and caldera views. I have read a lot of your notes on here and they have been quite helpful! I was leaning toward Andronis but then read the notes that there is no sunset view and the wedding site is quite close to the busy pedestrian path. I would like to be in a lively location where the guests may walk to restaurants shops etc. But for the wedding itself, it would be nicer to have a private location. I am wondering if you might have some input.

    Also, what do you think of mid September timing? It sounds like the crows die down a bit and the weather might be cooler.

    Thank you for being such a great resource on Santorini!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, Andronis is in a busy stretch of the Oia walk. Canaves and Katikies are farther up in a quieter section. They also have multiple properties so perhaps contacting them to ask what is available would be a good idea. Take a look at this video of Oia hotels to see where different hotels are located.

      September is the best month for a visit to Santorini and certainly great for a wedding.

      Reply
  7. Island besides Santorini in April?

    Hi Dave,

    It’s me again!

    Do you have any suggestions for which island to see for 2 nights before going to Crete?

    We will stay in Santorini for a week from 6 April to 13 April and we want to go to Certe after that but the ferry won’t start
    until 15 April 2015.

    Do you have any ideas? Thanks!

    Stella

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Naxos is beautiful in April. Very green, lots of flowers. It is in the opposite direction of Crete – like all the other Cycladic islands. It also has a large local population (not solely dependent on tourism) so the main town has plenty open in April. It also has a direct daily connection with Santorini making it a good choice all around.

      Reply
  8. judtih

    Hi Dave,

    Kudos to you really for this blog, very informative (almost all you can ask for) and NOT boring :) I’m sure it helped a lot of people planning their trips. I’m going solo in 2nd wk Nov and first stop in Santorini and will be staying in Oia. My plan is to take airport transfer shuttle service (thru the link you provided) to get to my hotel. Next morning, im going to take bus to Fira and explore it and from there take the hike to go back to Oia. I’m hoping the weather will be cooperative and nice and the trail safe. After that I’m going to Athens and take tour to Delphi from there. Thanks again !

    Reply
  9. Hotels in Fira

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for creating such an amazing website – it’s just what a rookie traveler to Greece needs. My (20yo) and I are thinking of visiting Santorini (4nts) and Mykonos (2nts) around the 2nd week of May, after her semester abroad ends. Just a few questions:
    Do you think we have split our time properly?
    Condor has a flight between the 2 islands – any opinion of the airline?
    It seems like it will still be a bit cool for beach tanning so I’m thinking the best place to stay would be close to or in Fira, close to shops, restaurants, etc – but with ambience of the island. I have been looking at the Amanant Suites or Asteras Suites – are these convenient to town? Any other comparable hotel suggestions, either for Santorini or Mykonos?

    Thanks so much for the guidance – Diana

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      4 nights on Santorini and 2 on Mykonos sounds perfect. Condor is fine. Both hotels have great locations near the center of Fira – though you will have lots of steps getting to and from your room.

      Reply
  10. Ferry from Santorini to Rhodes

    Hi Dave

    My husband and I are planning visiting Athens, Santorini and Rhodes in June 2015. We would like to travel from Santorini to Rhodes on the over night ferry on Saturday 13th June. Do you think there is likely to be a ferry that night and if not is there another ways of getting from Santorini to Rhodes? I would like to book our hotels soon but am a bit hesitant to book in case the ferry doesn’t fit in.

    Thanks for your help and for your very informative website.

    Catherine

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The schedule for Santorini to Rhodes won’t be out for several months. There is often a Blue Star that runs 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) overnight from Santorini to Rhodes. But they are notoriously late at publishing that schedule. (There is also the Prevelis by Anek but the way it’s currently scheduled it takes a very long time and leaves after midnight.) There are more consistent ferries from Syros to Rhodes so as a backup you could go via Syros. There will be something but I wouldn’t bet a lot on it being on a specific day. You can also fly via Athens – which if you book early won’t be that expensive and will be quicker than the ferry in any case.

      Reply
  11. Hotels with Private Jacuzzi

    Hi Dave

    Thank you so much for all the information. I’m loving the videos as well. Brilliant!

    I’m looking for somewhere to stay in Fira for our honeymoon in May, which has a private balcony/terrace with a hot tub overlooking the caldera.

    I have found the following hotels offer this and was wondering which one you think is the best:
    1. Cori Rigas,
    2. Villa Renos
    3. Lava Suites (I’ve read bad reviews about electric cables obstructing the view at this hotel. Are they really that bad?)
    4. Or is there another hotel you would recommend instead?

    Many thanks!
    Freya

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      All those hotels are very good with great views and near central Fira. Power cables are not a big deal (though can’t speak to every room or angle).

      Reply
  12. Markos Hotel on Mykonos

    Going to Mykonos from Santorini next june for 2 nights at the Markos Beach Hotel. Booked a double room with a seaview on booking.com is this hotel ok? I know it’s a budget hotel or is there better deal around mykonos town? Is there a place to book ferries in Perrissa? thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Markos is good budget hotel. It’s a 10 or 15 minute walk into Mykonos Town. Yes, easy to book ferry tickets in Perissa.

      Reply
  13. Hotel Restaurants

    Hola Dave.
    your site is amazing. I’m thinking of staying in a not so fancy hotel, is it posible to visit and eat in fancy hotels if I am not a guest from the hotel? thank you so much, Irene

    Reply
  14. Lou

    Thank you for an amazing website, I am working my way through it all and I think we are coming to some decisions! Essentially I am a 45 yr old paediatric ICU nurse who is burnt out and suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. From the UK, but emigrated to Australia 10 yrs ago. As a result of friends and family constantly visiting over the years – my partner and I have neglected to look after ourselves and have holidays. So in 2015 we have promised each other a return to the Greek Islands where we holidayed together in our younger days!
    We are planning a 2 week holiday and as we will be visiting the UK during that period we would fly directly to Santorini. We are thinking September time and although we mainly just want to re-couperate, relax, sleep, walk, swim and eat….. I was wondering if we would get bored staying in the one place? So I am considering 1 week in Oia and 1 week in Imerovigli. I think we are going to work our backsides off to try and save to stay in Katikies. If we stay in Imerovigli we are tempted by Absolute Bliss, but a friend has recommended Vallais Villas. The problem with Adrenal Fatigue is exhaustion, lack of motivation and brain fog – so it is challenging making decisions!! But I am determined to get booking soon as I’m sure these amazing places book out quickly. I note you recommend Booking.com/Santorini – is this cheaper than booking direct with the hotel themselves?
    Your opinion/advice on my ideas so far would be much appreciated, it would give me the push I need to get things confirmed…… and give me something to look forward to next year.
    Many, many thanks
    Lou

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      They are all good hotels so I wouldn’t “worry”. Book what feels right and enjoy. But you’re right, book early. Dates fill up quickly. If you’re flexible on where you want to stay then you have plenty of time but if you’re committed to these hotels then get them booked as soon as you make a decision. Booking.com has 2 advantages: better rates (usually) and better usability (most greek hotel websites are pretty lousy and a pain to use). Good luck.

      Reply
  15. Flights from Mykonos or Santorini to Athens

    Hi Dave!
    Us 4 girls have only 4 nights to split between Santorini and Mykonos.
    Our flight leaving Athens falls on Thursday 2 April 2015 at 1335.
    From which island would guarantee us to be at the Airport in Athens in time to check in our flight bound for Amsterdam?
    Then we would visit the other one first.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both have flights that would get you to Athens in plenty of time. Mykonos has one that leaves at 6:50am and lands in Athens at 7:30am. Whereas Santorini has three flights that land before 10am. So, I suppose Santorini is the safer choice but both would be fine. A more important question is how you will get between Mykonos and Santorini. This year direct ferries between the two did not begin until April 17. It will likely be a similar date this year (schedule not out yet). In that case you would need to go back to Athens to get a ferry to the other island (or there’s the possibility of going via Naxos or Paros but once again not sure when that ferry will be starting either).

      Reply
  16. Tour of Santorini

    Are there any organized day-trip type tours of the island? Leaving from Fira? Also, is there a good hotel where it’s easy to meet others for solo travelers? Any restaurants or bars to recommend for solos – traveling mid- Nov for a few days. Mike.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Kamari Tours offer bus tours to a few sites around the island. Not sure if they’ll still be running in November. It’s very easy to see the top sites on your own: Oia, Ancient Thira (bus to Kamari or Perissa), Akrotiri are all easily reached by public bus (and some walking). Murphy’s bar in Fira is very friendly and probably the best place to meet other solo travelers. I find it hard to meet people at Santorini hotels as people are usually out through the day. It’s not a place where people spend a lot of time hanging around their hotel (unless they have a spot on the caldera in which case they’re usually looking for privacy).

      Reply
  17. December on Santorini

    Hi,
    I wanna say what a fantastic website you have here. Amazing work with the video explanation and this really useful guide!

    Im visiting Athens this coming mid-December, and im thinking of fitting in a day or two to visit Santorini (instead of the tour-arranged visit to Chania). I am a little worried about the hotels closing for the winter period. Do you think i’ll still be able to get a hotel room with a nice sunset view during this period (which i have yet to book), and whether there’ll be restaurants open for simple meals (cuz i’m horrible at cooking)

    Looking forward to any help i can get, thanks!

    Warmest Regards,
    Shiraj

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Oia will, of course, be very very quiet but there should be 1 or 2 restaurants open and 1 market. You will be able to find hotels. Just search booking.com for your dates and the ones open will come up. That said, Fira will be busier and have more options to sleep and eat. Consider staying in Fira and making day trips to Oia. Good luck.

      Reply
  18. Santorini and Mykonos in Summer

    My husband and I are trying to plan a trip to the Greek Island late June 2015- early July 2015. We will be bringing our three teenage daughters with us. We are thinking about 5 nights in Santorini and 5 nights in Mykanos. Any suggestions on places to stay. We would consider two separate rooms or family suite type accomodations. Although we love the beach, I am thinking we would probably want to stay along the Caldera and maybe do a day trip to a beach, while in Santorini. Also, would you recommend using a tour company to plan the trip? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      If budget isn’t a concern I’d recommend Aria Suites in Fira and Poseidon Hotel in Mykonos Town – both have pools and nice suites (though you’ll need 2 rooms at the Poseidon). Neither are extravagantly expensive but they’re certainly not budget hotels.

      I would not recommend a tour group – much better, funner, and more rewarding to do it on your own than a cookie cutter tour. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Christine

        Thank you! We are planning to spend one day in Athens and then on to the two islands. Would you recommend Mykonos first and then Santorini or the other way around? Also, what do you think of the Grace Hotels on each island? How do they compare to the two recommendations you gave Aria Suites and Poseidon?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          The only way the order matters is if you want to take the Blue Star into the Santorini caldera. In that case you need to either get on the Blue Star direct from Athens or (if you’re coming from Mykonos) switch Ferries in Naxos or Paros as there are only high speed catamarans direct from Mykonos to Santorini. The Grace Hotels are wonderful (I just had lunch and a tour at the Grace Santorini last week) but they can be fully booked far in advance.

          Reply
  19. Horse Riding on Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    This site is a real goldmine, thank you so much!

    I’m coming to Santorini with my girlfriend soon and want to plan something special. I heard there was horse riding available on the island, do you know anything about that and do you have any contact details? Do you have any other thoughts on things to do?

    Any help would be appreciated Thanks!

    Alex

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The Florida Club in Perissa (on the main road out of town) has horse riding. Ask for Spiros.

      You sound active, so I’d recommend the walk from Fira to Oia along the caldera and the climb to Ancient Thera that’s located on the mountain between Kamari and Perissa. It’s a good hike and there are incredible views.

      Reply
  20. Marie

    Your information was so helpful! My husband and I just came back from three weeks in Greece, the beach info was great, hotels were booked by the time in Oia because I was organizing last minute, and we stayed at a Naxos recommendation you had. You made our vacation better. We added a few days to Santorini after getting there. Loved it! Thanks!!

    Reply
  21. Santorini in November

    Hi Dave,

    I would like to check with you, heard from my friend whom work as tour guide, November is not a good time to go Santorini, she said many shop might closed or they’re having Holiday closed down. is that true? My initial planned date is 17/11/2014 until 24/11/2014.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, by late November it will be very quiet on Santorini. Weather can be cold and cloudy though you can also get some beautiful days. Almost all the luxury hotels will be closed by November 15 but there are always “some” hotels open. The earlier in November you can visit the more will be open and the nicer the weather will likely be.

      Reply
  22. Nila

    Hi Dave,

    I am visiting Santorinifor the first time in April 2015 with my husband and 6 yr old son for a week. We are staying in Volcano view hotel in Fira. We would like to explore and visit as many places we could in a relaxed way. I have searched through many websites and learnt about lots of places, but not sure being first timers, if I can plan sensibly all our trips? Prefer to travel by bus and boat trips and not by rental car. Could you help me with an itinerary please? – with your knowledge on how ing the travel to different places could be and how log to spend on each, it will be incredibly valuable.

    Your website is great! Many thanks in anticipation,

    Nila

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Volcano View is a nice hotel but the location is a 20 minute walk outside of Fira. It’s fine for just hanging out and taking the odd shuttle bus into town. But if you’re planning a more active trip where you’re moving about the island then you should either rent a car or find a different hotel. As to itinerary, you’d need to say what you’re specifically looking to do. All activities are easy to plan once you’re there (especially in April when it’s not busy) so I wouldn’t feel like you need in all done in advance. BTW, some boat trips might not be running yet in April.

      Reply
  23. Internet on Santorini

    Hey Dave,

    Amazing article, with so much information and ideas and thoughts.

    One question : how is the internet there? and which hotels are best for that?

    I plan to come for a month, clear my head, but still work, and internet seems critical for that

    Jack

    Reply
  24. Tzekos Villas

    Hi Dave, thanks for this fantastic site and info!

    What do you think of the Tzekos Villas Hotel? Does it have the caldera view? Sunrise/sunset?

    thanks in advance!

    cheers,
    tracy =)

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Very nice hotel in a quiet section of Fira. Great views of caldera and sunset though the sun’s final dip into the sea will be blocked by nearby islands (as like all Fira hotels). No sunrise view.

      Took these photos of Tzekos today about 30 minutes before sunset.

      Tzekos Villas in Fira, Santorini

      Tzekos Villas in Fira, Santorini

      Tzekos Villas in Fira, Santorini

      Reply
      1. Petit Palace Location

        Hi Dave! your website has been so helpful! We just booked our hotel at the Petit Palace. Their website says they are located in Fira, is that the case or are they located more towards Firostefani?
        I wanted to know what you thought of the hotel!! And also my fiance loves scuba diving and snorkeling, do you recommend any sites?
        thank you so much!

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Petit Palace is a 30 minute walk south of Fira (the opposite direction of Firostefani). It’s a long way from the center of Fira but they do have a free shuttle bus. There is sidewalk most of the way but I wouldn’t describe it as a pleasant walk – sort of barren. Nice hotel though.

          Reply
  25. Jo-Ann D

    Thanks for all the information. We are two couples intending to travel to Greece in the second week of March 2015 for five days. We thought of staying at a cave house in Oia, hiking to Fira, doing a boat trip and visiting a winery. I’ve read you recommended another couple that Crete and other islands may be better bets during the winter months and that the island shuts down from mid-November to April. Do you think we could still come and do the things I listed above?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, I think you’d be fine on all counts except the boat trip. It can be a great time to visit as there are no crowds and you have the towns to yourself – as long as you’re prepared for a quiet visit.

      Reply
  26. One Day Activity in Santorini

    Hi
    I’m in charge of planning an activity for the females of my daughters wedding party, the day before the actual wedding, which will be a Friday in May 2015. I know this is a long way off but any ideas will be gratefully appreciated. Especially the unusual!
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’d do a wine tour, a boat tour of the caldera, or hike the path along the caldera from Fira to Oia (about 2 to 3 hours).

      Reply
  27. Transportation between Ferry/Airport and Fira

    Hi Dave, learned a ton from your site. My wife and I are visiting Santorini in early October (8-12) and staying at the Anteliz Suites in Fira. We are arriving via Blue Star Ferry from Naxos and departing via Aegean Air to Athens. What is the best means of getting to/from our hotel? Do we need to make these arrangements in advance? Also, where is the best place to rent an ATV during our stay? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There will be a bus that meets the Blue Star ferry. It goes directly to Fira. There are also some taxis waiting but they can go quickly. If a taxi sounds easier then plan to hire one of them, if they’re all gone hop on the bus. It will work out either way. There are also buses to the airport although they don’t run terribly often so it can be better to hire a taxi to take you from your hotel door to the airport.

      Reply
  28. Restaurant for Wedding Reception

    Hi Dave,
    Wow you really should write a travel guide and make your millions! What a great site thank you!

    We are looking at getting married in Santorini during the ‘off season’ March/April and wanting only a small party reception for about 10. What restaurants do you think (that are open this time of year) have the nicest views and romantic atmosphere? Do you think it would be possible/bearable to dine outside during this time? Do any restaurants have gas overhead heating for dinning outdoors?

    Many thanks,

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It could be very chilly at night during March or April. Heaters are rare but I know Dionysos in Atlantis has outdoor heaters and windows that close when it gets cold. But it doesn’t have a view. I highly recommend Metaxy Mas in Pyrgos – nice views (not caldera views though) and it has inside and outside seating. Great food.

      Reply
  29. Hotels in Santorini and Mykonos

    Hi Dave,

    I will stay in Mykonos from 8-10 Oct at Harmony Hotel, and Santorini 10-12 Oct at Majestic Hotel..
    Are these 2 hotel quite nice and have a good location?

    I also want to know if there any available delivery package service from Santorini to my country (Indonesia), since i will traveling in a group and we need to send some our luggage back to Indonesia just to avoiding airline’s excess baggage, because we still 4 more days to Paris after that…

    And what sim card number we can use while we are in Greece for internet?

    Thank you in advance for your concern and looking forward for your reply..

    Thanks & Regards,
    Dewi

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both good hotels but neither right in the heart of the main towns. Harmony is 5 to 10 minutes from the center of Mykonos Town. Majestic 10 minutes from the center of Fira.

      There’s a Germanos store in Fira that sells SIM cards (one at the Athens airport too).

      Reply
  30. Aria Lito Mansion in Fira

    Hi

    We’re going to be staying at the Aria Lito mansion 6/2015.
    We don’t arrive until late (near midnight) – can you recommend anywhere where we can get something quick to eat at that time of night that’s near to the hotel?
    Also, what’s your opinion of the Aria Lito?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Nice place and good value. Just FYI, it does not have a caldera view but not a huge deal as long as you know in advance. It’s located very close to many restaurants so just walk out your door and you’ll have plenty of options.

      Reply
  31. Paris to Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Planning a vacation to Greece in October and while surfing net came across your website…It really is wonderful that you managed to capture all information so well!!

    Couple of questions-

    1. What is the best way to come from Paris ? Flight to Athens and thn Athens to Santorini (500 Euros/Person)or any cheaper alternative available. We want to avoid taking a ferry.
    2. I will be six months pregnant in October. Is the hike too much for pregnant women or its ok to travel.
    3. I am confused between fira and oia. What is better for a better view and relaxing holiday?
    4. Is it advisable to stay for one night in one part of santorini and other 2 nights in some other part to experience different properties (Spending 3 nights in santorini in total)

    looking fwd to hear from you

    thanks,
    krati

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      1. There are some very cheap flights from Paris directly to Santorini. But if you don’t book several months in advance then flight to Athens and Blue Star ferry to Santorini will likely be the cheapest route.
      2. Ask your doctor. It’s taxing walk or an moderately easy hike depending on who you look at it.
      3. Oia is definitely more relaxing. The one way that Fira is easier is that it is the hub of the bus network so getting anywhere on the island requires only 1 bus. From Oia to Imerovigli or Fira is one bus but anywhere else will require changing buses in Fira.
      4. I would spend all 3 nights in one spot – but no right answers here.

      Reply
  32. Where to Stay for Interesting Architecture and Views

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for your site. So many questions and answers, I can’t tell if you answered my question already exactly.

    1) I see that beach towns are less expensive and quieter, my first requirements.

    2) I’m going there primarily to see the unusual architecture and views so common in the picturesque photos of Santorini.

    thanks,

    J

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The beach towns are less expensive but not all are quieter. Kamari, for example, is a beach town and is much more lively than Imerovigli on the caldera. The cool architecture and views are found only in the caldera towns (and a few inland towns like Pyrgos), but certainly not at the beach towns. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  33. Do we need a rental car for Imerovigli

    Superb website. Thanks for all of the useful information you’ve taken the time to collate here.

    Now for the inevitable question!

    I will be staying for 3 nights in Imerovigli at the end of September with my girlfriend. My question to you is, given its our first time there, do you think its worthwhile hiring a car? We’re not bothered so much about the beach aspect as we’ll be island hopping after for the beach part, we’re more interested in eating, sunset views and relaxing. But i was just wondering whether Imerovigli is a good enough place to have as a hub to explore, without a car, either on foot or perhaps even just get a moped if we want to explore further. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It is nice to have a car when you’re in Imerovigli as any place you want to go (besides Oia or Fira) requires changing buses in Fira. There are some enchanting restaurants that are away from the main towns (e.g. Pyrgos) so I’d probably get a car for at least one day but not necessarily the whole stay.

      Reply
  34. Greek Ferries in March

    Hi Dave,

    We are going to Greece next year. We had our flights booked.
    But I just found out there aren’t many ferries during that period.

    Our plan is going to Athens, Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, Crete and then back to Athens.
    We have 22 days. Flying out to Athens on 30 of March and leaving on 21 April 2015.

    Is it true that there are no ferries going to Santorini from Naxos or Mykonos to Naxos.
    Pls help me! Thanks a lot.

    Oh also, are there only two ferries a week going to Crete from Santorini?
    Thanks!
    Stella

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      You’ll have no problem getting from Athens to Naxos to Santorini. There’s a Blue Star Ferry that does this route every day, year round. But adding Mykonos is a problem as there are few ferries from there to Naxos or Crete. The schedule is not out yet but yes, expect to see 2 ferries a week from Santorini to Crete in March.

      Reply
  35. Professional Photographer in Santorini

    HI Dave!

    Thank you so much for all this information! Your site was very helpful gathering all the information we needed. You’re like a personal tour guide!

    I want to surprise my wife and hire a professional photographer to come out with us for a day and take pictures of us as we roam around Santorini and see the island.

    Do you have someone in mind that can help me with this request?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Peter

    Reply
  36. Tessa

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for such a great website. I’m visiting Santorini next August with my family. My 12 year old son has Coeliacs disease so your Gluten Free article was incredibly helpful to me. Because of this we want to rent a private villa/cave house/apartment so we can do some cooking at home.
    I am torn between booking a villa with a nice private pool in somewhere like Akrotiri or a small cave house in Oia/Imerovigli with no pool? I booked Santorini for the beautiful views and the cave houses with a blue roof etc as to me this is what I wanted to see in Greece. I know there are public pools but I would prefer a private one.
    So my question is – if we booked a cave house in Oia or nearby and gave up a private pool would we possibly be disappointed that the view and beautiful cliff houses were not quite as in all the photos? Akrotiri looks like it has a nice caldera view but no beautiful white washed houses etc?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It’s impossible to guess what you’ll think once you’re here. But I would add that being in Akrotiri it’s possible/likely that you’ll feel isolated from the hub of the island and that you’ll spend a good part of every day getting to and from Fira or Oia.

      Reply
  37. Breakfast in Oia

    Hi Dave,

    we are the first timer, going to stay in Lydia Cavehouse (Oia) in October,,, breakfast not included,,,i know it is sounded a bit silly but do you know any nice places in Oia that serve good breakfast ….e.g. i saw this from some website that Corner Crepes & Waffles (in Fira) serve good breakfast,,,,but i cannot find any info about breakfast in Oia,,,,

    Reply
  38. Restaurants Open in November

    Hi Dave, Brilliant site, loads of info, thankyou! My husband & I are flying to Santorini mid November, we realise that it will be quiet and the weather iffy as we live on another greek island which ‘closes’ when the tourists leave at the end of October. We are staying in Fira and are wondering if there are any restaurants open that you can suggest for Fira and Oia. Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are still cruise ships visiting into mid-November so most restaurants should still be open – you certainly won’t have trouble finding an open restaurant. As for specific ones, it can change year to year, and I wouldn’t want to say this specific restaurant is always open. Just wander around and you’ll have plenty of options.

      Reply
      1. Bus from Airport to Fira

        Thanks for your help Dave. Can you tell me what the winter bus service is like please? Airport to Fira? Fira to Oia. I’ve seen a timetable for summer but know that the buses will be less during November. Thanks again

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Buses will definitely be much less frequent in November. It will be winter schedule by then and some years there are only a handful of buses visiting the airport. And probably none past 8pm. But you’ll just have to keep hitting the website until it’s updated to know for sure. Taxi will likely be the easiest way into Fira for you. A taxi from the airport to Fira shouldn’t be more than €15.

          Reply
  39. What Island besides Santorini and Mykonos

    Hi Dave, thanks for the ton of information on your site! Just had a few questions. We’re going on our honeymoon to Greece, and after 2 days in Athens, we’re doing 4 nights Santorini, staying in Imerovigli. There was a mixup with flights, leaving us with 5 nights in Mykonos. I wanted to do a different island (Crete/Naxos/etc) for 2 nights, then do the last 3 in Mykonos and fly out from there. Which island would you recommend? I’ve been to Paros, so will skip that option. Also, any idea what’s the best area to stay in Mykonos? We’re not party people, something near the beach, accessible to town/restaurants. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Would definitely recommend Naxos. A beautiful island with great villages, hikes, beaches, and a wonderful capital town.

      Reply
  40. Snorkeling in Santorini

    hi! we went to santorini in june of 2013 and loved it–but man oh man do I wish i would have found your website first! I’m obsessed and have given myself the challenge of consuming it all before our next trip back to the island june of 2015.
    I wish your website had a search bar/button so i could see if someone else has asked this question but after reading comments for about 20 mins no one had–so…
    Is snorkeling a thing to do in santorini? I dont see it mentioned or highlighted in any of your recommendations for best things to do or what not–perhaps the hot springs glass bottomed boat tour would be my best bet? what do you think?
    thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      No, snorkeling is not a big thing in Santorini. There isn’t a lot of visible sea life around Santorini so little reason to go snorkeling. That said, if you do have your mask the best places for snorkeling are at the large offshore rocks at Kamari and around the rocks at Amoudi. Likewise, the glass bottom boat is ok but nothing incredible.

      For search you can use control+F (windows) or command+F (mac) to search what’s on any page.

      Reply
  41. Day Tour of Santorini from a Cruise

    Hello Dave,
    What wonderful information on Santorini! I will be on a cruise with my adult daughters (20′s) and unfortunately only have from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm in Santorini. I realize with that small amount of time we can only do so much, but I’d love your recommendations on how to spend our day. I was thinking we’d eat lunch in Oia with the beautiful views. We will be in line to get OFF the ship at 7, and can’t wait to explore as much as we can in Santorini.
    I look forward to hearing from you in that we leave on Sept 13th and will be in Santorini on the 17th.

    Thanks so much!
    Wendy

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’d breakfast in Fira at a restaurant along the caldera. Then walk the path to Oia (takes about 2 or 3 hours). Lunch in Oia then walk down to Amoudi and have a swim. Then take the bus back to Fira in the afternoon.

      Reply
  42. Family Hotel in Oia

    Hi Dave

    I am getting married in May 2015 at St Irene Chapel and then a beach wedding reception. We have got a 3 year old daughter so we are wanting family friendly place but luxurious too.

    I was thinking of staying at Kamari for our first week and then possibly going to the other side of the island for the Caldera views in the second weeks. Can you recommend any nice family friendly hotels Oia? I have been considering Astra suites in Imigiovili.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks

    Kelly

    Reply
  43. Sam

    Hi Dave
    I have planned for 3 days and 4 nights (October 18 – 22) Santorini with my wife and six year old son. We are staying at Anteliz in FIRA. I was thinking of doing the following on each of the days but would like your advise
    1, Boat trip around the caldera
    2. Walk from FIRA as recommended by you
    3. day trip by Ferry to any nearby island. Would like your advise on this one
    4. Possibly a visit to the beach. Would you recommend one of the beaches or the Amoudi bay near Oia

    Anything else that we can do
    Thanks
    Sam

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      1. Perfect. Lots of fun, highly recommended.
      2. Do it, but that’s a long walk with a 6 year old. Consider breaking it up with a bus trip part of the way. Say, Fira to Imerovigli by bus then walk to Oia.
      3. There are no nearby islands that make a good day trip from Santorini – especially in October when ferries are few.
      4. Amoudi is great for a swim (say 15 to 60 minutes) but not so great for “a day at the sea”. Check out Kamari or Perissa beaches.

      Reply
  44. Which Hotel has the Better View?

    Hello Dave,
    Your website is heaven sent. It is very informative as it covers all the basic things first time visitors should know about Santorini. Based on your descriptions of the different parts of the island, it sounds like Oia is the perfect place for me.

    I have shortlisted two hotels and I am wondering which of the following has the best view:
    1. Zoe Houses
    2 Golden Sunset Villas

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Golden Sunset has a view of the caldera AND sunset. Zoe Houses only have a view of the caldera – for that you have to take a very short walk to an area where tourists gather to watch the sunset. This is not as big a difference as it may sound as the caldera views last all day and the sunset views just for a few minutes. And watching the sunset with other travelers is a fun and convivial occasion. You might like being “forced” to watch with other people.

      Reply
      1. B

        Thank you for the response Dave! I travel quite a bit and usually rely on Lonely Planet to plan my trips. But this is the first time I am not relying on it as this site is very helpful!

        Reply
  45. Car/ATV Rental

    Hi Dave,
    I was going to rent an ATV for my husband and me but I was checking also cars, these FIAT convertibles….what do you think?
    Also….we were planning to explore Santorini with the ATV or car on our own…..do you have any good itinerary?
    Right now my days look as follows:
    Sept 12: Arrive @ 3pm….not sure what to do this day.
    Sept 13: Sunset wine tour (not sure what to do in the morning, probably walk from Fira to Oia?)
    Sept 14: Explore Santorini
    Sept 15: Planning a sailing tour….maybe I’ll do it this day.

    Thanks,
    Cecilia

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Looks like fun but not sure you’d need the car or ATV for the full trip. I’d only rent it for the 14th, the rest of the time it would just be sitting at your hotel.

      No idea on the Fiat convertible, sorry.

      Reply
  46. Spiliotica Suites

    Hi Dave, we want to stay in Immergovil area & a room with private outdoor jacquzi with the caldera views, so we are thinking for Spiliotica Suite, what are your suggestions? its our Honeymoon so we wish this is the right choice

    Reply
  47. Santorini to Ios to Naxos

    Helo Dave

    You may have had this question before but I just want to check (as it’s hard to find schedules), is there a ferry every day to IOS off season in November? We want to go there and are going to fly into Satorini and maybe out of Naxos or take the ferry back to Athens. (One ferry I saw apparently arrives at 4 in the morning in Athens so we would not want that. we will for sure fly into Santorini as it connects well with our arrival in Athens flight.
    So, just want to know what the schedules are for ferries going between Santorini and Ios + Ios and Naxos/Athens?

    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Ios is very quiet in November and there might not be a ferry from Santorini to Ios. The Blue Star stops in Ios on the way to Santorini from Piraeus but not back in October so that might be the same in November. Getting from Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Athens is easy so if you wanted to make your trip a lot easier I’d drop Ios.

      Reply
      1. Santorini to Ios

        Ios has to be included (for a personal reason) so it doesn’t matter if it’s quiet.

        So you don’t think there are return ferries from Santorini to Ios Nov 13-16?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          It doesn’t look like it at this point but schedules are not out yet. My guess is you’re better off going to Ios first, then Santorini, then onwards from there. Or, assuming you want to fly one way: Athens to Naxos to Ios to Santorini. The Naxos to Ios ferry will likely run 5 times per week (not Wednesday or Saturday). Good luck.

          Reply
  48. Heated Pool

    Hi Dave

    Do you think any hotels still have their pools operating around November 12 – 15?
    Very informative site – thank you.

    Rico

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Depends on the hotel. I do think they will be too cold to enjoy even if they are open. Very few hotels have heated pools on Santorini. Many do have jacuzzis though so if you need a dip instead of a swim then that’s what I’d look for.

      Reply
      1. Taxi from Airport to Kamari

        Hi Dave!

        Do you by chance have or are able to get the address to Adonis Hotel Santorini in Kamari? Is 24€ for 2ppl for a transfer from airport to hotel in kamari a good deal or is it better to just get a taxi at the airport? Thanks!! Amanda :)

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          You can get it cheaper at the airport (€15 to €18) but you are paying a bit more for the convenience. When a flight arrives the taxis can be grabbed quickly and you’re left waiting for some to return. So for an extra 6 to 9 euros I think the reserved taxi is worth it. No idea on the address, sorry.

          Reply
  49. Renting an ATV

    Hi Dave,

    My husband and I are planning to rent an ATV for sept 12-16. I just got a quote of 150cc for 35 euros, 300cc for 45 euros and a 800cc for 75 euros.
    Are those prices ok? And also, which would be the best one for 2 people in terms of speed/reliability?
    Thanks!
    Cecilia

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Those prices sound good. The 150cc is fine. The 300cc, of course, gives you a bit more power on the many hills. Just don’t get the 50cc. I’ve never heard of an 800cc on Santorini, but I guess so.

      Reply
      1. ATV Rentals on Mykonos

        So…not sure if you know this but at the same time I had already rented an ATV in Mykonos and they are telling me that all ATV rentals are 50cc (in Mykonos).
        Is this true?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Yes, all ATV rentals on Mykonos are limited to 50cc (by the authorities) unless you have a special license.

          Reply
  50. Santorini to Milos Ferry

    Hi Dave! Thanks for this very informative website! I was hoping to get your advise on my situation:

    I’m currently looking at ferry schedules online, and they seem very limited! They don’t have ferries at the date or time that I prefer. For example, I want to leave Santorini for Milos on the morning of 1 October; but according to various websites, there are no ferries running on that date! If I try to look at +/-1day, they only have ferries very late at night.

    My question is: are the ferry schedules available online REALLY the only ferries available? Or will there be more options when I’m actually already in Greece? I’m asking because I have to decide whether to book online or just wing it when I get there.

    Hope you can answer my question! Thanks,

    A.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The daily SeaJet ferry from Santorini to Milos ends on September 29. From then on it runs on Tuesday and Thursday until October 20. More info here. All ferries should be listed as long as they’ve been confirmed which can happen as late as 3 weeks before sailing.

      Reply
  51. Best hotels in santorini

    Hi,

    Which hotels would you choose amongs the below:

    Grace hotel
    Astra hotel
    San Antonio hotel

    Thank you:)

    Reply
  52. Flight Connection Times in Athens

    So glad I found you! Great site.
    My husband and I (from Canada) are visiting Greece for the first time in late May 2015, 2 days in Athens, then fly to Lindos Rhodes for 1 week (wedding) then fly over to Santorini for 4 to 5 nights, then fly home from Athens. There is a flight from Santorini to Athens that lands in Athens at Noon. Our potential flight to Canada leaves at 1:25pm. Is that enough time (1he 25mins) to make that connection? Your advice is appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It depends what you’re comfortable with. It’s possible to make this connection but it could easily be missed if your flight from Santorini is delayed even 30 minutes. If you do decide to try it be sure to explain this when you check in on Santorini. They can tag your bag as “priority” so it can be first off the carousel in Athens. When you’re in Athens at the start of your trip take a look where check-in is for your outgoing flight so you’ll know exactly where to go when traveling through 2 weeks later.

      Reply
  53. Dreams Luxury Suites

    GREAT SITE!!! I was wondering if you have any comments on Dreams Luxury Suites. My fiancé and I are staying there for our honeymoon in October. We were wondering if we are going to be close to restaurants and/or any nightlife? Are we going to need to rent a car? Thanks in advance!!!

    -Adam

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Dreams has a nice location mid-way between Imerovigli and Firostefani so you’re a short walk from lots of restaurants. You’ll be 20 minutes walk from Fira where you’ll find many more restaurants and lots of nightlife. You won’t have to have a rental car though it could make things easier if you’re moving around the island a lot. A bus runs right by the hotel going in both directions (Oia one way, Fira in the other direction).

      Reply
  54. Taxi at Airport to Imerovigli

    Hi Dave, thanks for your website! It’s really useful! A quick question, husband and I will be arriving at the airport at 21:30. We’ve got a quote of €25 by our hotel for transfer to imerovigli. Do you think this is fair price? Shall we just hop into the taxis outside the airport instead of booking this? I’ve looked at some taxi booking website and they seem to charge €35 for this. Please advise. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      That sounds like a good rate and I’d take them up on it. You might get it for €20 outside the airport but taxis can also be in short supply and quickly snatched by other travelers. Personally, at this rate, I’d take the hotel transfer.

      Reply
  55. Mosquitoes in Santorini

    Hi Dave, we might be traveling to Greece at the end of September, but I was recently told and then followed up with the info with my personal research online via articles and bloggers’ personal stories that there is a big mosquito problem in Greece, including Santorini and Athens, where we’re planning to stay. I’ve lived in places like New York where mosquitoes are around during sweltering summer days, but what I’ve read so far speaks about 20 to 30 mosquitoes at a time found in rooms and bathrooms of hotels and apartments. I’ve read about honeymoons being ruined by couples with allergic reactions to these bites because they are so numerous and intense. I’m not even going to get into the increase in supposed Malaria. My question is if there is any reason for me to be worried, and I am worried because I can have bad allergic reactions to regular mosquitoes and bug bites but also I have a skin condition that prevents me from using chemicals like DEET and other anti-mosquito sprays (I’ve found natural ones to not work either). I didn’t even think about mosquitoes being an issue, but considering there’s no fly screens / sliding door in most of these hotels and apartments, I didn’t want to have issues while sleeping or out and about at night or in the morning. Could you provide some voice of reason. Does it make a difference to stay in Oia or Imerovigli since they’re higher up (that’s what the hotel concierges have told us when we called them). Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I have never had a problem with mosquitoes on Santorini. If you talk to visitors to Santorini 9/10 will say they didn’t hear or see a single mosquito on their visit. There is little standing water on Santorini and usually always a modest (to substantial) breeze – not a good environment for mosquitoes. But … they do exist and your biggest concern will likely be in your hotel room. Keep the door and windows closed and be sure your A/C is working. I can’t see there being a difference between Oia and Imerovigli with concerns to mosquitoes. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  56. Biking in Greece, Ferries to Turkey

    Hello Dave,
    Firstly great site – thanks a lot for all of your information. I have read most of the articles and comments but I wanted to ask a couple of questions.

    I am arriving in Athens on Sep 14th with a buddy of mine. We are staying 3 nights (hotel booked already) and then planning to catch a ferry to Santorini as that is 1 place we feel we have to visit. We figure Fira would be the best place for us to stay as we are looking to go out at night, will have a look at hotels soon. Thing is I am unsure how long to stay for – at some point we want to make it over to Turkey, probably around 7-10 days after we arrive in Santorini. We would also like to visit at least 1 more island on our way there (would love it to be Mykonos but looks like its too much out of the way and very touristy/expensive).

    I can see you recommend Naxos or Paros as the 2nd island to visit after Santorini. Along with going out and having fun, we also want to explore, preferably on a bicycle, and maybe go on a trek, while also chilling on the beach. Would either of those islands be the best choice, or are there any others better suited? There are so many to choose from…

    Secondly it seems there is no ferry from either to Kos (-Bodrum) only Rhodes (-Marmaris) so would a trip via Rhodes to Turkey be the recommended route, or is there another path you think is better? Not sure how long to spend on the 2nd island either…

    Any advice is much appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Naxos and Paros are both great for cycling and you’ll have no problem renting bikes there. The best beaches of Naxos are an easy ride down the coast from Naxos Town. Kos is probably the best island in Greece for cycling (it’s very flat) so that’s another option. Rhodes to Marmaris has a more consistent ferry service to Turkey than Kos, so keep that in mind. By the end of September the Kos to Turkey ferry might not be running. The ferries from Rhodes to Turkey run at least twice a week even outside of high season. Kos and Rhodes are connected to the Cyclades by a twice-weekly ferry. It probably won’t stop in Santorini (check the schedule) so you’ll need to catch it on Syros.

      Reply
  57. Wine Tours on Santorini

    Hi Dave!
    Love your website…lots of advices!
    We were planning to do a wine tour…however, I was reading and not sure if we should visit them individually (the best ones) or actually do one of the best wine tours you mention above?
    I asked one of the wine tours and they told me we would be visiting 3 wineries but didnt include the ones I wanted to visit (Sigalas, Santo, Boutari)

    Thanks!
    Cecilia

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      If your heart is really set on those wineries then yes, do it yourself – Santorini is easy to get around and you can split up the visits so they’re not all on the same day. The big advantage of the tours is the transportation so you don’t have to worry about watching how much you drink (and then drive).

      Reply
  58. Denver Luchmiah

    Hi Dave, it’s me again. I am not getting any luck with finding a good place. Is there a website for last minute bookings where hotels offer good rates. My budget is €200-€400/ night. I also looked at Kafieris Blue Studios and Kafieris Blue apartments. Are the the same place or not. If no, which is better in terms of an awesome sunset view and a peaceful romantic place with decent size rooms?

    Reply
  59. Oia Mare Villas

    Dear Dave
    First of all what a great website, made my planning easier. I’m going to Greece in September 2014 with my 25 year old daughter, 3 days in Mykonos, 4 days in Santorini, and 2 in Athens, I tried to look into the hotels you recommend but they are all booked, so I booked the Oia Mare Villas, do you know anything about that place? I got the confirmation but they told me that I have to check in at the Best Western Museum spa hotel, I dont know why, I sent them an email, asking them why , and that i hope there hasnt been any misunderstanding, havent responded yet. really hope they dont send me to the Best Western hotel (its much cheaper). Have you heard any reviews? I also checked the website of Captain George you recommend, didnt hear from him either, I would like to do the AM semi private sailing? which do you think is better? sunset or morning? since I’m going to be staying in Oia I thought we would see the sunset everyday from there.
    Thanks, Great website!!!!
    Pam

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Oia Mare Villas has done check-in at the Best Western for quite some time. Most people find it easier to find than the villas and easier to get luggage to. Personally, I would do the morning boat tour but that’s just me, I’m a morning person. You get a better view of the sunset from land.

      Reply
  60. Athens, Santorini, and Crete

    Hello Dave,

    I just came across your site and it has such detail information. I’ve already decided where I’ll be staying in Santorini. I’m planning a solo trip to Greece from Sep 2-24. I’m landing in Athens but want to visit Santorini and Crete. what do you suggest my route should be considering flying to Athens and from there either flying or maybe ferrying between islands? how long do you think my stay on each island will give me enough time to see what Islands offer without rushing.

    thanks,
    Steven

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Blue Star ferry from Athens to Piraeus, then high speed ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, tour Crete and fly from Chania to Athens (3 flights per day, some as cheap as €32). I would spend 6 or 7 nights on Santorini, 10 to 12 on Crete, and the rest in Athens.

      Reply
  61. Honeymoon Hotels

    Hi Dave,
    A great website, so informative. I’ve read through most of the questions and have two different ones. Hope you can help!

    1. I saw that you said Katikies in Oia is one of the best in Greece and it looks fantastic. But it’s not on your best hotels for a honeymoon. Any reason you don’t have it on your list and you have a few others in Oia instead?

    2. Do you know anything about Anastasis Apartments in Imerovigli? It seems to be highly rated on TA.

    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi.

      1. It should be! Just an oversight on my part.
      2. Anastasis Apartments are absolutely wonderful. So many great places in Imerovigli.

      Reply
  62. Santorini to Thessaloniki

    Dave, I’m so happy to have found your site – thanks so much! Arriving Athens 10/5 and want to get to Santorini, Mykonos, and whereever else before heading up to Thessaloniki. Definitely looking forward to ferrying to Santorini, but wondering if you have any recommendation for sequence of islands and whether there’s a way to get directly to Thessaloniki without going back to Athens. Can’t wait!!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are no direct ferries from Santorini or Mykonos to Thessaloniki. You need to go back to Athens and take the bus or train from Athens to Thessaloniki. In summer there are direct flights from Santorini to Thessaloniki but the last one of the season flies on September 14. So you’d need to fly via Athens. Check Olympic Air for the schedule and fares. It’s still pretty reasonable and probably worth flying.

      Reply
  63. Recommended Hotels on Santorini

    Hi David, awesome website and some really great advice.
    My girlfriend and I are planning to visit to Santorini for 5days from the 10-15 Sept’14.
    The following hotels were recommended by our travel agent. What are your thoughts on these
    1. Artemis Luxury Villas
    2. Hotel Thireas
    3. Atlantis Hotel
    4. Kafieris Blue Studios
    5. Caldera Villas

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      They’re all nice hotels – Artemis the most luxurious. They’re all in a different towns (2 are in Fira, 1 each in Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia) so that’s the first thing you need to decide – which town do you want to stay in.

      Reply
      1. Hotels Fully Booked

        Thanks Dave. Unfortunately, Artemis is fully booked. Is there any other places you can recommend that is in the same area with the same type of good views as well as similar price range? Would appreciate your help.

        Reply
  64. Wedding Locations on Santorini

    Hi Dave

    This is a brilliant site thank you so much!

    I am hoping you can help us. We are getting married in May 2015 and have the Theros Wave Bar booked for the reception. What we are really struggling with, is finding somewhere suitable for the ceremony. I have spent hours and hours looking but need help!

    This is what we would like:
    - a private villa overlooking the caldera with a jacuzzi or small pool,
    - in a central location so that it easy for guests to get to and a good base for us for the rest of our holiday (I was thinking somewhere in Firostefani sounds ideal),
    - with a big enough terrace for 40 guests to be seated for the ceremony,
    - where we can source our own drinks (we would like to have the wedding at 3pm and after, have drinks with our guests enjoying the view for a few hours before heading to the reception venue. To keep costs down, we want to source our own drinks but have found that villas that are part of hotels won’t allow us to do this, and want to charge us their very expensive prices or an equally expensive corkage fee. For this reason, we think we need to find a private villa, or a cheaper hotel villa!

    The latest place I have found is a villa right at the tip of Oia called White Pearl Sunset Villa. Do you know it? However I am worried that maybe this is too far away from Theros Wave Bar, too difficult for our guests to get to, and too far out to be staying for the rest of our holiday/honeymoon??

    Please can you help?

    Many, many thanks!
    Freya

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Theros Wave Bar is a long way from Oia and White Pearl Sunset Villa. If you had hired cars for the evening I’m sure it would be fine. But if you’re asking your guests to drive there (and then get back to Fira or Oia on their own after a night of partying) – that seems like a lot. There are so many variables from budget to availability I hesitate to suggest specific places but I do think Firostefani is a good location. Good luck. I wish I could be more help.

      Reply
  65. Ferry Departures from Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    You’re an excellent resource!

    I will be arriving via the GAP cruise from Mykonos to Santorini on Sept 28th and leaving on the 30th. I hear what you’re saying about Greek ferry schedules. The information you’ve provided above says the Blue Star leaves at 7am but the Blue Star web site says 125am, can you confirm? The schedule determines where I will be staying. Speaking of staying, I tried to book a stay at the Santorini Youth that you mentioned for the above dates but it says there are no rooms available. I decided check dates in November just for the hell of it and same result, are they still in operation (for the low season) or are they really that busy?

    Also, do you know how much scooter rentals are? And, are the roads, and drivers, safe on Santorini?

    Oh, and I tried to

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The daily Blue Star Ferry leaves Santorini at 3:30pm and arrives in Piraeus at 23:25. (Not sure where you saw the information above.) I would email the youth hostel instead of using their online form. A scooter costs about €15/day. The roads can be tricky and drivers a little crazy. If you’re already comfortable on a scooter then you should be ok, but don’t learn how to ride a scooter on Santorini.

      Reply
  66. Samantha

    Hi Dave,

    Fantastic site! I am traveling to Santorini and renting a scooter next week. How long does it take to get from Fira to Oia by scooter?

    Thank you,

    Samantha

    Reply
  67. San Antonio (Imerovigli)

    HI dave! my husband booked at the San Antonio (imerovigli) (1st week of October 2014). I am looking at the reviews and just noticed the hotel is quite secluded. Before we cancel the hotel booking and book elsewhere, we would like the same standards but somewhere nicer with shops and restaurants. Any recommendations or should we keep our booking?

    Also, we are paying a lot for tickets and hotel but we do like the luxury life, that’s why early October seems reasonable in terms of price. However, can we still swim in the pools and sea?

    Best Regards,

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      You’re right, the San Antonio is very secluded. Some like the quiet, others want to be closer to the action. The San Antonio is on the footpath that leads from Fira to Oia and is about half-way between Imerovigli and Oia. It’s about a 1 hour walk to either Imerovigli or Oia from the San Antonio. I would recommend renting a car if you did stay there which would make getting around very easy. There is a bus stop nearby which goes in both directions (Oia and Fira).

      As far as hotel recommendations, take a look at my page on Santorini’s best hotels.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  68. Kirini Suites - Location?

    Hi Dave,

    First, thanks so much for putting together this extremely helpful website. My husband and I are planning a somewhat last minute trip to Greece next month (9/18-9/26) and based on the information on your blog, we are targeting Oia for a hotel location in Santorini. I just made reservations at Kirini Suites & Spa, but I’m having a hard time finding information about the location. We like to be within a short walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc., and can’t tell if Kirini is within the actual town of Oia, or if it is removed (making it a longer walk). Any information you can provide would be wonderful. Thank you again!

    Christine

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Kirini is about a 15 minute walk to the central square of Oia. It’s quieter than being in the center of town where the crowds congregate. If you look at this map of Oia you’ll see it marked #14 in square c15. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Christine Carr

        This was very helpful. Thank you! I think we are probably going to stay at Adronis Boutique Hotel to be closer to town.

        Reply
  69. Villa for a Group of 6 in Fira

    Hi Dave! My husband and I are planning a trip to Santorini Sept 2015. We will be going with 2 other couples, so 6 of us. We would like to stay in Fira and have no set budget. Is there any place that can accomodate 6 people together, such as a 3 bedroom villa or suite? Or would we have to combine a couple. Not sure how it would work, but really want to get a jump way in advance! Thank you!

    Reply
  70. Rhodes to Santorini by ferry

    Hi Dave! I am planning to go to Rhodes in September and then go with a ferry from Rhodes to Santorini. Do you by any chance know which ferry companies operate this route?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both Anek and Blue Star run ferries between Santorini and Rhodes. Between the two companies there are usually 4 to 5 ferries per week. They take from 9 to 12 hours and are often overnight ferries. Check gtp.gr for schedules.

      Reply
  71. Arriving late by ferry

    We’re visiting Athens, Delphi, etc mid Sept then taking a ferry to Santorini. I booked the ferry online, proceeded to look for hotels or apts, and realized checking in between 1-2am is going to be a problem. Do you think it would be better to switch the ferry to the next morning and arrive in the afternoon instead? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      That’s what I’d do. You’ll have to pay for that hotel night if you want a place to go at 1 in the morning. Plus arriving through the day allows you to enjoy the stunning views of caldera that the ferry provides.

      Reply
      1. Ferry to Crete

        Ok, thanks. I’m going to change our ferry to arrive the next day. One more question….I’ve looked at a bunch of sites for ferry information to get from Santorini to Crete. It seems there are none going to Crete on a Saturday morning, which seems odd. The only one I found leaves Thira at 17:55 on Friday night and Saturday night. Am I missing something? I’m looking at schedules for mid-Sept 2014. Thanks….

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          You’re right. The Highspeed5 goes from Crete to Santorini (and the other Cyclades) in the morning and returns in the evening.

          Reply
      2. Annie

        Hi Dave,

        We are arriving on a 2am flight, do you have any tips about how to spend 6 hours until we can get into our hotel in Oia?

        Maybe a beach bar open late? Or do you suggest we camp out at the airport instead?

        Thanks

        Reply
  72. Local outdoor markets?

    Hi Dave

    Great website and it has given us so many idea, as we are already here and loving Santorini. We always love to go to local outdoor markets when we travel a great way to soak up the local atmosphere and grab some great local food, does Santorini have a main market? And if so what day of the week?

    Thanks
    Jules

    Reply
  73. Rob

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for building this site. It’s a great resource!

    My girlfriend and I are heading to Santorini at the very end of September and wanted to take an overnight ferry. The only one I see is ANEK Lines (21:00 to 5:50). Three questions: Is there a social environment on the overnight ferries? Is ANEK a reliable company? And do its ferries have an open deck like Blue Star?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Anek lines are great. Some of the ships are a little older (or a lot older) but still nice if a little rough around the edges. Many people say, “the older the ship, the better the food.” I imagine you’re on the Prevelis which has huge open-air decks (I think larger than the Blue Star). There will be restaurants and places to get a drink. Each ferry ride is different depending on the ship and who your fellow passengers are. I like the vibe aboard the day ferries when you sit outside in the sun and down a couple bottles of wine. The nights can sometimes be very social or sometimes quiet and a little boring. It just depends.

      Here are photos of the Anek fleet. (Click photo tour half-way down the page for each ship.)

      Reply
  74. Neil

    I have an unusual dilemma. My daughter may need the fourth shot in the post-bite rabies series while we’re in Santorini (due to a possible exposure in the USA). Any idea how I go about arranging for this? I know there’s a clinic in Fira (sp?) but I need to make sure they have the same vaccine my daughter is getting and that they won’t screw with me on the day she needs the shot (they must be given on a precise schedule).

    Reply
  75. Ferry - ticket online

    Hi Dave,

    thanks so much for the website!
    About the ferry tickets, why did you say that it is not a good idea to buy in advance if not in Greece?
    I’m in Germany and I wanted to buy a ferry ticket from Heraklio to Santorini for next week. I’m afraid they may run out of place, since there is only one ferry from hellenics departing on the day I want. Should I wait to but when I arrive in Heraklion or can I buy it online?

    Thanks in advance!

    Best,
    Karen

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I didn’t say don’t buy online – just that it is often not worth the effort. In this case I would buy your tickets in advance. Considering that you are traveling in August and that the Crete to Santorini high speed ferry is one that does occasionally sell out. So go for it.

      Reply
  76. Early morning arrival

    Dave – your website is incredible! Question, on early mornings in Santorini. We will be traveling in late Sept. and our flight from Athens arrives in Santorini at 6am on Saturday morning. We are still working on where to stay (most likely Fira but haven’t nailed down anything just yet, part of me is wanting Oia just for the views).

    Anyways, I’m thinking we’ll just book a room for Friday night (even though we dont get in until Saturday early AM just so we have somewhere to go from the airport). My question is, how are the taxis/transportation from the airport at that time of day? Also, what time do cafes and restaurants usually start opening up for breakfast/serving coffee?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There will be a bus from the airport to Fira at 7:40 (summer schedule here which should still be in effect). There will also be taxis outside though you might have to wait for one. You can also pre-book a taxi here: http://www.santorini-taxi.gr You should be able to leave your bags at your hotel. Then go for breakfast (most breakfast places will be open by 8am). Mama’s House in Fira serves very good breakfast. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  77. Need help with lodging choice

    Hi,
    We are avid travelers and adore luxe, but appreciate value, too! Our dilemma, we feel that while lounging
    at a gorgeous hotel in Santorini would be great (early October) we likely will be sightseeing much of the time
    and not really taking full advantage at one of the amazing upscale resorts. Our thinking is by not breaking the bank
    we can take another trip! However,at this stage of our life, young 60′s, we are not happy being uncomfortable.
    We are also wondering which area in Santorini might be the most convenient and enjoyable? We are considering the Stefani Suites, highly rated on Tripadvisor, but are getting a bit leery that it may be more modest than we would enjoy. Please, shine some knowledge and good opinion on us! Thanks so much- your sight is fabulous!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Stefani Suites are very nice and Firostefani is a great location (short walk from Fira – the island’s hub) for exploring the island.

      Reply
  78. Emi

    HOLY F. your website is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for taking the time to share all of this info with us!!!!

    Reply
  79. Megalochori & Island Suggestions

    Hi Dave, thanks so much for your terrific site! How many times must you have visited to garner such a wealth of knowledge, or do you live in Greece?

    We are travelling to Istanbul, and then onto Greece for a further two weeks, in September. We are on a cabin charter for 7 nights, stopping in Poros, Hydra, Milos and Ios. We are then planning to visit Santorini for 3 nights, and the final 5 nights…. ?? Currently we are booked at the Grand View in Megalochori.

    My questions are: We have no real interest in nightlife nor beaches and want to immerse ourselves in as many varied flavours of Greek life and culture as possible. Do you have suggestions for islands to visit during the last leg of our trip? Or do you think, given that we have only three days in Santorini, that we should extend our stay there rather than flit about? Finally, the Grand View in Megalochori looked like a wonderful place, away from too much hustle-bustle (and other tourists!), but now I’m concerned we might be too far away from everything… your thoughts?
    BIG THANKS!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I would recommend 5 nights on Santorini and then 3 nights on Naxos for the final leg of your trip. I recommend staying in one of the main villages along the caldera (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia) unless you specifically want a quiet and somewhat remote location in which case Megalochori or Pyrgos are great. But you can feel like you’re taking a bus or taxi all the time to get to where you want.

      Reply
  80. Charles

    Hey David, amazing site. We are planning our honeymoon for June 2015 and we’ve been pooling a few travel agents who all seem to adamantly suggest different hotels. (I imagine its because they have certain deals in place at certain resorts but maybe I’m being cynical) Anyway the agency we want to go with is really pushing the Dana Villas, going as far to say for the money its a better option then something like the Astra Suites, which I’ve read nothing but amazing things about. Do you have any experience with Dana Villas? What are you’re thoughts? Thanks so much.

    Best,
    Charles

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Travel agents have arrangements with specific hotels that they try to push. They might even buy a block of rooms and then have to sell them to guests. Both these are nice hotels but Astra Suites is definitely superior.

      Reply
  81. FERRIES

    Hi Dave,
    Taking my dream trip to Greece in first week of October can’t wait :)
    Anyway iteneary is Athen 2days, Mykonos 3 days & Santorini 5 days going back to Athen for flight home. Got info overload i think for the ferries, was going to buy online in advance but its difficult but i see it wouldn’t be a problem to purchase tickets when i get there (just dont want to get stuck) Just want reassurance. Would appreciate your input.
    Thanks in advance.
    Sonia

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The ferries will not sell out in October. Buy a day or two before and you’ll be fine. You can also purchase tickets at the Athens airport as soon as you arrive.

      Reply
  82. Santorini Flight

    Hi Dave,

    I am planning my trip to Greece in November and would like to book a flight from Athens to Santorini the day my flight arrives from Kuala Lumpur, Although I know it is making a long travel situation longer, I prefer to get where I am going in order to save time and money. My problem is that I am worried that I will not have enough time between flights. Our flight arrives at 16.10 from KUL and the flight to Santorini on Aegean Airways leaves at 19.10. I am unfamiliar with the Athens airport and am not sure about international and domestic terminaIs, customs entry time, etc. Do you have any advice on this? I am aware of the next day departure at 11.15, but would prefer to arrive on the island earlier. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      International and domestic flights in Athens are all under the same roof and arrivals and departures are just an escalator ride apart. This should be lots of time to transfer as long as your flight from KL is on time. It would take at-most 2 hours to get through customs, get your bags, and check in for Aegean. So as long as it’s not more than an hour late (unlikely) you’l be fine.

      Reply
  83. Naxos or Oia

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for your time and info that you put in, in your website, is a great help!! I am planning to arrive first to Naxos before arriving Santorini. Any suggestions on Naxos for three nights, four days stay? I have already booked Voreina Gallery Suite in Pyrgos for four nights at the end of August. I only read rave reviews of the Hotel, even though we understand is away from the center, Fira, Oia, and away from the caldera view. I am thinking about switching my stay in Naxos into few days in Oia. What is your take? I understand Naxos is different and more sedate and fitting to explore more local cuisine and villages, and better beaches.

    We can certainly explore Oia by dining and sightseeing in the neighborhood. What would be your recommendation?
    Thank you,
    Dan

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both Oia and Naxos are great but very different. Oia for the caldera views, sunsets, and fine dining. Naxos for traditonal greek villages, hikes, and beaches. You just have to decide which you want. Good luck.

      Reply
  84. Santorini Hotels

    Which hotel would you choose out of these two on your first visit to Santorini in July: The Majestic Hotel in Fira or Epavlis Hotel in Kamari?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It’s not so much the hotels that I would pick from but the towns. Fira is on the caldera and the hub of the island’s action. Kamari is a beach town on the opposite side of the island. They are very different places. That said The Majestic in Fira is a much nicer hotel – it’s a 10 minute walk outside of Fira and does not have direct caldera views but is a good value for what you get.

      Reply
  85. Hotel Advice for Santorini

    Dave,

    Love the website, it has made planning much easier. Quick questions, my fiance and I are planning a trip to Santorini for our Honeymoon in September. We are staying 3 nights at the Canaves hotel in Oia and unfortunately, the last two nights we are there it is booked so we are looking for another option. Would it be worth while to stay in another city like Imerovigli or Firostefani after spending 3 nights in Oia? Have you heard anything about Oia Mare Villas, Allure Suites or Vedema? Vedema looks nice but it seems a bit isolated.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’ve heard great things about both Allure Suites (in Firostefani) and Oia Mare Villas (in Imerovigli). I think spending 3 nights in Oia and then 2 night somewhere else is a great idea. I’d probably lean towards a stay in Firostefani after being in Oia to be closer to the buzz of Fira. Imerovigli is great but even quieter than Oia – so switching from one to the other might feel like more of the same. Vedema is wonderful too but you’re right it is somewhat isolated.

      Reply
  86. Bars & nightlife in Santorini

    Great advice Thankyou!
    I’m going Saturday for a week and as I’m arriving late Saturday night and leaving the following Saturday, is there any particular bars you can recommend that will be lively through the week, and pre club cocktail lounges etc and what clubs are good?

    Many Thanks

    Kate

    Reply
  87. Booking Ferries in Advance

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for all of the advise. I wanted to book my ferries in advance (due to my credit card billing period) but am willing to wait until I travel next month. Can you please elaborate on why its such a pain to book in advance? I need to book 3 between the mainland, Mykonos and Santorini.

    Thanks, Gretel

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Perhaps I overstate it a little. It’s just so easy to do in person when in Greece and that is how I prefer to do it. Doing it online you have to figure out the schedule, then the website to book with, then where to pick them up – it can be different for each company. And then after all that the schedule is not finalized until the final few weeks so it can change. But there’s no particular reason I don’t pre-book ferries – so go for it.

      Reply
  88. 3-day itinerary

    Hello Dave, thank you so much for such comprehensive and informative website! You’re a true life-saver to those who are planning a trip to Santorini! Husband and I will be visiting there during end of August. Although we are there for 5d4n, we are only arriving in the evening 7:30pm and leaving at 2pm, so we’ll only have 3 full days in Santorini. Is there any suggestion on what we MUST do while we are there? Our trip will be relaxing and flexible just want to make sure we don’t miss out any MUST-DO while we are chilling there. :)

    Also, how do we pronounce Oia and Imerovigli?

    Thanks heaps for your help and advice!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The highlights for a 3 day itinerary would be a bout tour to the volcano and Thirassia; the walk from Fira to Oia along the caldera; a visit to Akrotiri and Red Beach; a meal and perhaps a swim in Amoudi Bay; a sunset with the happy crowds that gather in Oia every night.

      Reply
  89. honeymoon gift

    Hi Dave,

    My friends are traveling to Santorini for their honeymoon in a few weeks. I wanted to get them a gift certificate to either a restaurant or winery to use while they are there. Unfortunately, I am having trouble getting any of the restaurants or wineries to write me back. Can you suggest either that may be willing to let me purchase a gift cert online, and email it to me? Or would this be too unreasonable?
    Thanks!
    Mel

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Sorry, I don’t know of any places that do gift certificates. Just keep trying with the email and be as patient as possible. Good luck.

      Reply
  90. Santorini in Early October

    Hi Dave,
    Fantastic website. Thanks for all the info.

    Quick check – my husband and I are planning a holiday to Greece in October this year from Oct 1-15th. We are interested in natural beauty (ocean view, sunsets), cafes, shops, visiting the islands etc. It’s totally fine if we don’t get into the water :)

    Would you recommend this time? My main question is are there still plenty of shops and cafes/hotels open during this time? Also, would you recommend ferries between islands or taking a plane?

    Thanks for your help.
    Priyanka

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      This is a great time to visit Santorini. Weather will (likely) be warm and sunny and still nice enough to swim if you choose. It can get a little cool at night and rain is possible but for the most part it’s a perfect time to visit. The beach towns start closing down around October 10 but there’s still plenty of places to stay and eat. Fira and Oia are still going strong throughout October.

      I prefer the ferries. Ferry one way and fly back is a good compromise.

      Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Nice place in a good location. Imerovigli has 4 or 5 restaurants (that are quite good) and a few places to get basic necessities – but for anything else you’ll be taking the bus or walking to Fira or Oia.

      Reply
  91. Anastasia Princess Studios in Perissa

    My son and gf are wanting to stop here in mid/late October, I have read on some post on Tripadviser that alot of restaurants and tourist things close around this time and it’s very quiet. Is this the case as with being early 20s want them to have a lively holiday, any help would be appreciated. thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Things start to close down in Perissa between the 10th and 20th of October. There will still be some activity but I wouldn’t call it lively. Kamari tends to be busier a little later into the city. Fira still has lots going on in October and that’s a 15 to 30 minute bus ride away from either beach.

      Reply
  92. Main square in Fira

    Hey Dave!
    First of all, I must say this is an excellent guide and you have a great knowledge about Santorini. I would like to know exactly where is the “Main Square” that the buses will stop at as I am arriving at Santorini at 0018 on 4th July. I am staying at the Santorini Youth Hostel so it would be great to know where the “Main Square” is so I can plan my route to my Hostel as I am prepared to do some walking. Or do you have any advise on how to get there at the kind of timing I am arriving on Santorini?
    Cheers!
    LQ

    Reply
  93. Accommodations for Large Group

    Hi.
    My daughter has booked her wedding (santos winery and then taverna reception ) for May 2015. I am looking for accommodation , possibly Fira? for those lucky to be able to attend. I could be booking several rooms/ apartments/studios all with shared pool. I wondered where you would recommend bearing in mind ease exploring santorini and also bearing in mind the party will be mixed ages. Some of the accommodation I have looked at seems to include many steps. Nice views would be preferable.
    Many thanks for you’re fantastic website!
    Lorraine

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      You’re best to contact individual hotels of small to medium size to see if they still have all rooms available. I know Villa Ilias (in nearby Firostefani) does occasionally rent the entire hotel – you just have to reserve early enough. It’s hard to recommend more when I don’t know the size of your group. If you look through booking.com they note how many rooms each hotel has – that should help you select one of appropriate size. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  94. Elizabeth - Oia in September

    Hi Dave – Thanks so much for all your advice! We will be in Oia and staying at the Aris Caves from Sept 14-18. We want to do as much as possible all over the island. We’re not really looking to plan a strict itinerary and make things more of an adventure, so what do you think is our best bet for transportation:

    Would you recommend renting a car? a scooter? or using taxis each time?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I like the freedom you get from using a combination of bus and taxis. I might rent a car for one day and use it to explore the south of the island but I wouldn’t get one for your whole stay. Being in a car is faster but also insulates you from island life – it’s fun to travel around the island with the locals and other tourists. The walks along the caldera are a highlight of being in Santorini and once again it works well with buses and taxis. Walk one way to Fira, take a taxi back to Oia. Take a bus from Oia to Imerovigli, walk from there to Fira, then taxi back after dinner. With a car, you always have to worry about “Where’s the car?”. And of course, if you have some drinks with your dinner you don’t want to have to get back in your car. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  95. Mona

    Hi Dave

    Firstly absolutely great website! Makes planning so much easier :-)

    My boyfriend and I are travelling in July to santorini and all we’ve heard is how great the volcano tours are. But when you get any of the boats out, do you need to swim to the shore? My boyfriend is terrified of water so swimming isn’t an option for us.

    Also is there a direct bus from Perissa to Kamari as we were planning to go to the open air cinema.

    Thanks,
    Mona

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The volcano tour will go to 2 islands: Nea Kameni where you climb the volcano, and Palea Kameni where you swim to the sulphur hot springs from the boat. You will not have to swim ashore to climb the volcano. During the swimming portion of the tour (probably about 1/3 the total tour time) your boyfriend will just have to wait on the boat but he doesn’t have to swim on any portion of the trip. There are also tours that do the volcano and Therassia (another island out in the caldera that’s worth a visit) but I don’t believe there are tours that do Nea Kameni but don’t do Palea Kameni.

      There is a water taxi between Perissa and Kamari (it costs about €5 and takes 15 minutes) but it only runs from 10am to 5pm so wouldn’t get you back to Perissa. There are no direct buses from Kamari to Perissa so you would have to switch buses in Fira – or ask the bus driver to drop you at the common spot outside of Fira that serves both Kamari and Perissa thus saving you a few minutes to go all the way into Fira. Good luck.

      Reply
  96. Cosmopolitan Suites Hotel

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for creating and monitoring this site! My fiancee and I are going to Santorini for part of our honeymoon, and it will be my first time out of the USA..so I appreciate the help! I’m going back and forth between two hotels, one of which being the Cosmopolitan Suites. I looked at this hotel because it’s on your 15 best hotels page. However, reading through tripadvisor.com reviews, there are multiple people that say there is a scam associated with this hotel. The reviews say that the hotel contacts guests and tells them there is a “plumbing issue” with their room, and they have to leave…only to rent the room to another guest who is willing to pay more. Have you heard of this, and is there any truth to these reviews? Thank you so much again!

    -Joey

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I have not heard about this. I would be utterly shocked if it were true. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible but I doubt it. If it ever did happen to you and you thought it was a scam then report them to the port/tourist police.

      Reply
  97. Honeymonn July 2014

    Hi Dave,

    Planning our honeymoon in Santorini this July, we are looking to stay in Imerovigili but were confused ebtween the following Absolute Bliss, Chromata, Grace or San Antonio hotels, which do you think is the best place to stay? Is there another hotel I haven’t mentioned that you would recommend? Also, we are only going for 5 days, would it be worth splitting it with 3 days in Imerovigil and 2 in either Paros or Naxos? If so can you recommend any good hotels on these Islands?

    Thanks

    K

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      In Imerovigli, Absolute Bliss and Chromata would stand out (slightly). All 4 hotels are great though.

      I think splitting your days and visiting Paros and Naxos is a fine idea. Obviously there is a trade off. You might not enjoy your time in Naxos or Paros as much and wish you’d spent that extra time on Santorini. But getting a taste of another Greek island is usually worth the time and effort. If you’re considering it, I’d go for it.

      In Paros the Astir of Paros is the nicest hotel on the island. In Naxos, Chateau Zevgoli is small and enchanting and right in the center of the ancient town.

      Reply
  98. Santorini to Bodrum

    Hi Dave,

    My partner and I will be visiting GREECE in July 2014 for two weeks. We were wondering if it would be possible to visit Bodrum, Turkey from Santorini as a Day Trip?The ferry schedules are very confusing. Are there any reasonably priced charter / express flights from Santorini to Bodrum? If a ferry option is available … how long in total and how many stops would be required during travel from Santorini to Bodrum? If none of these options are possible … is it easier to plan a Day Trip to somewhere in Turkey via Mykonos? Thanks in advance for your assistance with this issue.

    Regards,
    Shane

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Turkey is a long way from both Santorini and Mykonos and a day trip is not possible. By ferry it’s 12 hours to Rhodes (when there is a direct ferry). From Rhodes it’s an hour to Bodrum (but you need to be in Rhodes the night before to hand in your passport) – so as you can see, not possible. Some years there have been flights from Istanbul to Mykonos but I don’t believe this summer.

      Reply
      1. Shane

        We didn’t think it would be a high probability but … had to ask. Thanks for your input. Your site is AMAZING and we are looking forward to our upcoming trip to GREECE! We lived in beautiful SEATTLE for 13 years! Say “Hello” to the EMERALD CITY for us!

        Reply
  99. Honeymoon

    Hi Dave… great site!

    Going to be in Santorini next month for our honeymoon.

    Do you know anything about Santorini Secret? Seems to be a new hotel with no reviews yet..

    Thank you!

    Reply
  100. Small sailboats for hire

    Dave – a great site and resource especially for a first time visitor.
    So far my web searching has not identified any sail boat hires offering SMALL boats (e.g. 12 – 14′) for day sailing around the harbor or just beyond the beaches. Do you know of any?
    Thanks in advance, CraigSC

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      These should be easy to rent in Amoudi Bay no reservation required (or the day before at most).

      Reply
  101. best gyros pita in santorini?

    Dave, This site is the must read guide for Santorini. Where can i find the best gyros pita in the island? is there any place you would recommend in Fira, Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli?

    Reply
  102. Long awaited romantic vacation

    Dave, this is such a great resource! We are staying in a honeymoon suite at La Perla in mid June for six nights. We love to walk and explore, and especially would like to mix up romantic dinners with local fare. I see you talk about local terns down by the water. Any specific suggestions? We don’t like touristy things.

    Reply
  103. Proposal ideas

    hi Dave! great info and thank you. I am looking for a romantic private setting / ideas to propose to my girlfriend. May be a exclusive restaurant ? or any other ideas?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Ambrosia and 1800 in Oia are two romantic restaurants. Great views and great food. An alternative idea would be the tavernas down at Amoudi Bay – it’s an old fishing port with a magical setting – but of course, this is not a refined exclusive atmosphere (just an idea though). Good luck.

      Reply
  104. Avianto Suites in Imerovigli

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for putting all the info on this site. It’s really helpful.

    My partner and I are visiting in June and we plan to stay at Avianto Suites. Do you think it’s a good hotel?

    And what are the restaurants that you would recommended so we can truly enjoy Greek food in 2 nights?Thanks :)

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Avianto is a good value hotel with amazing views and nice location. As long as you’re not expecting pure luxury it’s a good choice and won’t be disappointed. For 2 Greek restaurants go to Naoussa in Fira and Taverna Katina in Amoudi (below Oia).

      Reply
  105. Private Chef in Santorini

    Hi Dave!
    First, we adore your website! Second, my family is staying at the grand cavana villa in Oia for two weeks starting June 15. We are having a hard time arranging for a chef or caterer for dinner. We are 8 adults and 4 children (1 of the children is an infant). We are looking for someone to prepare simple Greek meals, family style for about 8 of the 14 nights. We are very flexible but eating out for that many nights with that many people will be super difficult! Can you provide any assistance?

    Also, if you’re on the island we would love to meet you and say hi. Do you do tours as well?

    Best-
    Sydney

    P.s. I truly appreciate your help!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      That’s an interesting question. I don’t know of any company or resource that could help. I’m assuming you’ve already asked the owner of the villa as that would be my first place to check. Also check with any restaurant that you can find an email address or website for. You might have better luck in person after you arrive – but of course you then wouldn’t have it arranged in advance which you’re probably hoping for.

      As for me, unfortunately I will not be there in June. Sorry.

      Reply
  106. Restaurant with Best View in Oia?

    Hello and thank you very much for your previous answer.
    one more question. Which is the restaurant with the BEST view in Oia (both sunset and view of the white houses) to spent the night of my partner’s birthday. my budget is around 100-120euros max for 2 main dishes a salad and a bottle of local with. I just want something romantic with fantastic view and good food.
    Thank you very much!

    Reply
  107. Public Pool in Santorini

    hello!
    My partner and I are going to santorini at the end of july but due to low budget we are staying at a hotel without view or swimming pool. Due to the fact that during our stay is my partner’s birthday I would like to know if there is any chance to pay and spent the day enjoying the facilities (pool etc) of a deluxe hotel probably with an infinity pool and nice views in Oia. Is this possible to happen given that we will not be hotel customers? Im willing to pay a reasonable amount as this will be my partner’s bday gift from me.
    Do you have in mind any hotel offering this facilities?
    Thank you very much in advance!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Lioyerma is a public pool bar/restaurant in Oia. It’s free to use as long as you order food and drink (I think €7 is the minimum). Nice pool, great views. But to answer your question, no, luxury hotels will not let you use their pool for a fee. Guests are paying big money for those suites and don’t want to be sharing them with outside visitors. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  108. Questions about Suites of the Gods

    Hi Dave,
    We are thinking of booking the Suites of the Gods for our honeymoon/8 night stay in mid Sept. We’re the type of couple that likes to get out and about in the afternoon for shopping, lunch, tourist attractions, few drinks etc and then come back to the hotel to freshen up and head out for the night to a restaurant and bars. I am wondering is the hotel a bit out of the way and how do we get to and from there to Fira and the other main villages on the caldera twice a day, is there a lot of taxis involved and if so is it going to add up over the course of 8 days to an unneccesary expense?
    Thanks in advance,
    Keivn

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      A great hotel but no bars or restaurants nearby. There’s a bus stop opposite the hotel to take you into Fira (€2, 10 minutes) or grab a taxi (€10) – where you’ll find a ton of restaurants and bars. So yes, you will be hopping a bus or taxi a lot if you want to eat and drink somewhere other than the hotel (and for Oia you’ll need to change buses in Fira so that will take 4 different buses to come and go). Choose this hotel if you want something away from the action.

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        Hi Dave,
        Thanks so much for the quick response. We are also considering some of the more traditional Santorini hotels with Abyssanto Suites & SPA, Sunny Villas and VIP suites Oia in mind. Have you any advice or recommendations on any of these? I find that the hotel websites look great but some traveler photos on the likes of Tripadvisor look totally different! We don’t want to book something and be dissapointed on our honeymoon, that’s why we were leaning towards the Suites of the Gods as it looks like a quality hotel throughout? I’m not suggesting that any of the other I’ve named are not quality but there just seems to be such a wide selection of similar type small hotels we’d be dissapointed if we made the wrong choice?
        Thanks again :)

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Suites of the Gods is definitely a better hotel. The others are in a better location. It comes down to which is more important to you.

          Reply
  109. Remezzo Villas or Petit Palace Suites?

    Hello, we are heading to Santorini in September and can’t decide between Remezzo Villas in Imerovigli and Petit Palace Suites in Fira. We would welcome your thoughts on the accommodations and areas that they are situated in. We’d like to be walking distance to restaurants and bars.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both are great hotels but neither are close to any nightlife. There are a half-dozen restaurants in Imerovigli but for clubs and bars you’ll have to go to Fira – a 30 minute walk. Petit Palace is even more isolated with little around it (but does have a free shuttle bus into Fira). So, nice places but not for someone looking to be near the action.

      Reply
  110. Tennis in Santorini

    This site is super! Question: where can i play Tennis in Santorini? (hotels and ideally public courts) ?

    Reply
  111. Grand View Hotel

    Hi. I am visiting Santorini in September and am looking at staying at the Grand View in Megalohori. Would you reccommend staying in this area or do you think it’s too far away?
    thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It depends what you’re looking for. The Grand View has a very nice pool that overlooks the caldera (one of the few hotels in Megalochori that has a view). There are 3 or 4 restaurants in Megalochori and no bars. There are some good wineries nearby. Megalochori is a great little traditional village but there’s not a lot to it. It’s about a 10 minute drive into Fira. There are buses that run about once per hour (maybe more) – Megalochori is on 3 different bus routes (Perissa, Vlichada, Akrotiri) that run south from Fira – so it’s easy to get between any of those 4 destinations. To get to Kamari, Oia, or Imerovigli you’ll need to change buses in Fira. So, if you’re looking for a quiet spot then it’s a good choice. If you’re looking for a lot of shopping, restaurants, nightlife then you’ll be disappointed (or taking a lot of buses and taxis). Hope that helps.

      Reply
  112. Recommended Bars in Santorini

    hi Dave. I am looking for beach bars that stays open until late (past midnight) for a special occasion with a group of 15 people, in early June. Most of the bars that i find seem to close at 8pm the latest. Some say that they remain open until late, but i am worried that they decide to close early for whatever reason, leaving us on the street. Could you please recommend a couple of beach bars we could rely on for a good party? We’ll be travelling by taxi, so it could be anywhere on Santorini.
    Thanks for your help, and thanks for this great website in general!
    xavier

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      In Kamari, which is a beach town, the liveliest will be Albatross and Love Boat bars. They’ll be open late. If you really want to party then head to Fira where there’s more of a club scene and the party continues into the early hours. Enigma is at the center of the action and you’ll find many other bars on the same lane as it.

      Reply
  113. Adamis Majesty Suites

    Hey,

    Amazing Website that is perfect for my needs. I just have a question about a hotel that is not mentioned here.

    I was wondering what you thought about the “Adamis Majesty Suites.” I am planning on booking two nights there after staying in the Caldera Studios with my GF. My plan is to stay in a decently priced hotel for two nights and stay in luxury hotel in Adamis for the other two nights.

    Please let me know what you think about the Adamis Majesty Suites.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  114. Recommended Tour Company

    Hello, great site! I am traveling to Santorini by myself, staying at Chromata. I have been researching guided tours and have found that most are private and require a large number of people. Can you recommend a company where I can join a tour as a single traveler?

    Thanks!

    L

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Most of the tours I mention here can be for solo travelers. In any case, I wouldn’t book a tour in advance but wait until you arrive when you can get a better feel for what’s available. If you’re doing a volcano tour you can also judge the weather to see whether the sea will be rough.

      Reply
  115. Jo Toolan

    Hi Dave, your website is fab! My husband and I are looking to come to santorini in June and was wondering whether there is anywhere you can wakeboard?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I have not heard of anything but you can always hire a private boat to do whatever you want.

      Reply
  116. Nightlife in Fira

    Hi Dave,

    You state the best nightlife is in Fira. Can you elaborate on ideas of what places to visit at night?

    Thanks & great website!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The Enigma Club is the most popular for dancing. Restrictions limit the volume that music can be played along the caldera. So most of the clubs are on the alleys back from the cliff near the main square. There are several bars and clubs right around Enigma.

      Reply
  117. Absolute Bliss vs Honeymoon Petra

    Dave – thank you. Your website is priceless and there is nothing on the web that provides a comparable insight of the island.
    I have a question for you. My partner and I will visit the island in August (we are in our late twenties and early thirties, respectively) and are considering staying in Immerovigli (as it looks a good trade off between quiet privacy and proximity to busy Fira). We do like nice things.

    We can’t decide between “Absolute Bliss” (mentioned many times and highly reccommended on your website) and Honeymoon Petra. I don’t think you ever mention this latter one anywhere, do you? Do you know anything about it? Their swimming pool looks really out of the ordinary for the island and the hotel itself offers so many services (hammam, jacuzzi, massage room, complimentary cruise on private yacht etc.).
    Of course, pricewise, an elegant suite in Absolute Bliss (with private outdoor jacuzzi) is the equivalent of a standard apartment in Petra with a simple balcony… But is it worth the downgrade in the room category?

    Many thanks in advance for any help!

    Reply
  118. Photo Location for Wedding Pictures

    Great Information! I was curious if you had any recommendations for a picturesque location for a cliff jump photo. I will be getting married in Fira on September 24th and we would like to end the ceremony with a “trash the dress” picture. Meaning, we will be jumping into the water in our wedding attire. I envision a cliff with a beautiful background but maybe I am crazy. Is this possible? Will the water still be warm enough come late September?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The best spot for that would be from Amoudi Bay below Oia. You first get down to the Amoudi port and then walk to the left for 10 minutes along a path that can be tricky in parts. Then you’ll see a place to swim and jump. There’s a little islet you can swim out to and from there jump in – you might be able to arrange a boat to get you there dry and then jump from the islet. Here are a few pics: 1, 2, 3. You can set up the picture to have Imerovigli in the background as you jump. Good luck.

      Reply
  119. Choosing A Hotel

    Hi Dave, your website is amazing! Very helpful. I will be traveling to Santorini for 3 nights with my boyfriend on end of july. A lot of your hotel’s suggestions are sold out already on that date so i am choosing in between Kapari Natural Resort or Angels & Stars suites. Any recommendations between those 2? Also you might notice that they are in Imerovigli and we are wondering if we can catch cabs at late night, after a bar or club back to the hotel?

    Also as we have 3 days we would like on one of those to explore a neighbour island like Milos (our favourite by the photos we have seen) and i read on your post that is not possible to go by ferry and come back on the same day but we are wondering if we can rent a speed boat to do so? could you recommend a reliable company for that?

    Thank you so much for the help.

    Reply
  120. Restaurant Reservations

    Hi Dave, thank you for the incredibly helpful tips!! Do you know if any of the top upscale/luxury hotels in Santorini allow non-guests to make lunch or dinner reservations at their restaurants?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’ve never heard of any that don’t take reservations. The hardest reservation of all is for the Katikies restaurant which only has 4 tables. Book far in advance. Good luck.

      Reply
  121. Honeymoon In Santorini

    Dave – love the website, my fiance and I are planning our Honeymoon to Santorini and Mykonos in September and your website has been by far the most helpful guide we have came across. Do you recommend any travel guides / websites for Mykonos? Also we will have 8 full days to split between the islands, any recommendations on how to split them up?

    Reply
  122. Santorini with Kids

    Hi Dave – I wanted to get your opinion. I have read your 11Tips for Santorini with Kids as well as the review of the person with the 4 mo old baby. We will be in Santorini for one day with our cruise ship in April and I wondered if your opinion was different regarding hiking Fira to Oia this time of year. I guess I am uncertain if the person’s only discouragement for doing the hike with a little one was the heat as opposed to the technical difficulty of the hike. If you don’t recommend hiking that (since it seems like that would be our only activity for the time we are there), what would you recommend instead? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  123. Flight from Santorini to Athens

    Hi Dave,

    Thank’s so much for the informative website! I am trying to coordinate a flight out of Santorini (to Athens) on October 27th, 2014 but am coming up with NOTHING after the 25th. Is this normal? Any suggestions on something I may have missed would be appreciated!

    If we can’t fly back, any other suggestions?

    Thanks again!!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The schedule for the fall will not be out yet. Keep checking back at the Olympic and Aegean websites until something appears (Olympic usually posts its schedules a few weeks before Aegean). Good luck.

      Reply
  124. Honeymoon in April

    Hi Dave,
    Holy cow – this website has been a load of help! I am traveling to Greece this April for my honeymoon and had a question (also any advice or recommendations for the month of April would be amazing!)

    1. If I am booking a flight from Athens to Santorini, what would be the best website to do so? I am located in the United States.

    Reply
  125. Hotel Pools open to the Public?

    Dear Dave,
    Love your website so much but i have a question, can one swim at other hotels pools (specially those with sea view) in Santorini even if I’m not staying at that hotel?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Generally no. Guests staying at those hotels and paying 400+ euros a night would understandably not be pleased if they were sharing the pool with non-guests just so the hotel could make a few more euros. In the beachside towns you will find some hotels that allow the use of their pool for a fee. These pools also tend to me bigger and better able to accommodate extra people. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  126. Santorini to Naples

    Dave! You’re a lifesaver with this site.
    One question: what is your recommendation for the most efficient way to get from Santorini to Naples? We are leaving Santorini in the beginning of July 2014. I’m wondering if we may need to take a ferry to Athens, spend a night and then fly to Naples or is flying direct from santorini an option? Do you have any experience with Volotea? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Kate. Meridiana is showing flights between Naples and Santorini – but at this point only for August. I’d keep looking as I suspect they’ll add dates for July. Easy Jet has flights between Mykonos and Naples and there’s a highspeed ferry from Santorini to Mykonos – so that’s an option. And FlyNiki has flights between Crete and Naples. But if they don’t work out then ferry to Athens and fly from there. The only ferries between Greece and Italy go between Corfu and Igoumenitsa in Greece and Bari, Brindisi, and Venice in Italy. And those places are a long way from Santorini and Naples. Volotea looks like it might work for you, but no I have not flown with them. Good luck.

      Reply
  127. Divine Villas in Megalochori

    Hi Dave, just great info here and really helping! I’m looking for a villa and come across Divine Villas in megalochori. It’s the iVI villa. Do you know if this is a reputable company and we won’t be scammed? I can’t really find much on the internet or many reviews…

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I believe you’re referring to this villa. I think it’s an individual owner – not a true company. (Which is fine.) If you book through flipkey they guarantee payments up to $10,000 – so I’d do it that way.

      Reply
  128. Boat from Fira Port to Oia

    There are rumors that the boat from the dock at Fira to Oia will not be running anymore because the Port Authority has denied it from continuing? Is this true and are there any other options to go from the port at Fira to Oia? Any information you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I know it was running in October of 2013. I haven’t heard anything about 2014. Just so people know, Wendy is referring to a boat that runs from Firaskala port to Amoudi Bay below Oia. At the Fira port, beside the cable car line, there are two stores offering boat transfers to Oia. Tickets are 20€ and you don’t need a reservation. There are 2 bus tickets included with the boat ticket that get you from the Oia port up to Oia town and from Oia to Fira where you can return to the Firaskala port by cable car. The boat ride takes 10 minutes and you get to bypass the cable car up and bus to Oia (if that’s where you’re going). If it’s running it’s a great trick for getting away (or ahead of) the crowds.

      Reply
  129. Kamari To Fira and Oia by Bus

    FANTASTIC site!!!
    Staying in Kamari in August 2014, want to have a couple of sunset nights in Fira and Oia returning around 10pm to Kamari, will there be buses at this time and/or what is the average taxi fare back to Kamari from both locations….also very confused about being able to rent a small scooter, do you need a motorbike licence and do the rental places also rent helmets? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      In summer there are late buses running from Fira to Kamari – at least to midnight and some summers they run until 3:30am. Several buses wait in Oia to take tourists to Fira (then you change buses and go to Kamari). Taxi fare from Fira to Kamari will be about 15€. Taxi from Oia to Kamari is about 20€ to 25€.

      If you’re from outside the EU you need a motorbike license to rent a true motorcycle. But for an ATV or scooter all anyone needs is a vehicle license. All rental shops will have helmets available.

      Reply
  130. Santorini During Easter

    Hi Dave! Great website! I really appreciate your attention to detail and dedication to finding the most useful and up to date information.

    I will be in Santorini April 17-20 during Easter week and Easter Sunday. Should we anticipate any closures of buses, restaurants, museums or shops? Our flight out of Santorini is on Easter Sunday morning. I already checked the bus schedule- there aren’t any buses to and from the airport on the weekends right now. Will I have problems reserving a taxi or shared van? I was planning on contacting them directly but thought I would ask anyways.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Easter is a huge celebration in Santorini. Be sure to get to the village of Pyrgos on Good Friday – the town is lit up with candles. Some things will be closed but in the touristy areas there will still be plenty open. Arrange a taxi in advance (a day or two before – I don’t think you have to do it before your arrival).

      Reply
  131. Santorini In August – Where To Stay

    Hello Dave,

    This is a wonderful guide, it has really helped me with my planning. We plan on visiting Santorini in the first week of August for our honeymoon. We decided that we’ll stay in Oia, as it seems that is the most romantic location. I was hoping you could help me with a couple questions I had:
    1) What location in Oia do you recommend staying i.e. hotels on the northwest tip (e.g. Kirini, Farani) or those facing south (e.g. Katikies)? Since we are on our honeymoon we’d love for a hotel that has beautiful views of the caldera, sea and sunset. I learned from your post that not all hotels in Oia have sunset views which led me to ask for your advice. Normally do people go to a specific place for just the sunset and the hotels usually don’t have those views?
    2) Although the sunset views are important we’d also like to be able to walk into the main town easily during the day for shopping, meals etc. Could you point me to where exactly on the map the main town is?

    Again, just need your guidance on the best area to stay in Oia for our honeymoon that will accommodate our preferences. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Kevin.

      For me, I would recommend a hotel with a caldera view over a hotel with a sunset view. The caldera is there all day not just a few minutes. A sunset you can see anywhere – the Santorini caldera you can only see here. People collect in the northwest area of Oia as the sun begins to set. People congregate on the walkways, steps, and ledges. It’s a scene in itself. The Kastro is the best restaurant in Oia for the sunset views.

      On this map the town square is located in square 5 in the 2nd and 3rd square from the bottom (by Karvounis Tours). If you need a hotel reference Chelidonia Villas are very close to the town square.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  132. Weather in May

    WOW…everything i need to know.Thank you so much! Was wondering if it is still gonna be windy in the middle of May?
    x

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Santorini is a windy island and certainly May can be windy – but it’s generally not the windiest month. July and August are usually the windiest months on Santorini. It’s different every year so hard to make any predictions.

      Reply
  133. Johnny

    Dave-

    Awesome website! It’s got all the information anyone could ever need. I’ll be taking a trip to Santorini in late July with my girlfriend and am planning to propose while we’re there. If you could pick one hotel for that sort of trip which one would it be? I’ve been looking st the Imerovigli hotels you’ve listed but was wondering if there was one you thought was THE best.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Johnny

        Dave-

        One more question, do you think Imerovigli is the best place to stay on a trip like this? We’re a young couple and enjoy hiking so I thought walking the trails to Oia and Fira would be a good time for us. If you had your choice as a visitor to stay anywhere on the island where would it be?

        Thanks again!

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          I would personally stay in Fira or Firostefani – because I like being close to the buzz of the main town. But Imerovigli is great as long as you want a more quiet and relaxed visit. Still plenty of places to eat and get a drink. People often walk into town from Imerovigli and then taxi home after dinner and perhaps a little nightlife.

          Reply
  134. Hotel In Santorini Without A Lot of Steps

    Dave, we are seniors. I want to see the Islands and decided a few hours on a cruise ship would not do it. Tendering; queuing for cable cars etc did not seem attractive.
    We decided to do 2 islands in September 2014 as we only have a week including Athens. So on advice from my daughter who was there last year I have chosen Santorini (3 nights) and Sifnos (2 nights). Mykonis seems to be for partying; the beach and the young. Knowing us she recommended Firostefani or Imerovigli. My one concern is steps. We are not disabled, but also can’t overdo it. So something ‘manageable’.
    Having done a lot of research and reading, I thought Stefani Suites would be good, but only the studio is in my budget and it has 100 steps down from the road.
    Sunset Hotel gets great reviews on TripAdvisor and is pretty inexpensive with not many stairs. It has no pool though. Blue Dolphin also looks good but is about the same price as Stefani and also no pool. Reverie Apartments also gets good reviews; amazingly inexpensive and with a pool. A pool is nice but not mandatory.
    Are you familiar with any of these and have any advice? My pick from research and reviews would be Sunset.
    Great site.
    Thanks
    Brian

    Reply
  135. Kamari Hotels and Atmosphere?

    Hi Dave, My partner and I are looking for our first visit to Santorini, we are edging towards Kamari. We would ideally love a beach near by, hotel with a pool, plenty of beds in the sun and more importantly quite a few bars and tavernas for eating out on an evening.. We visited Potos in Thassos last year and would love to find a place similar in Santorini… Would you think that Kamari is the right choice? and if so could advise us on hotels?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Kamari has a nice relaxing vibe. Great atmosphere in the evenings with everyone walking about. Fira and the caldera views are a short bus ride away.

      2 great hotels in Kamari I can recommend are: Aegean View Hotel and Aegean Plaza Hotel. Both have nice pools and are close to the beach and the many bars and restaurants of Kamari.

      Reply
  136. Getting Around Santorini by ATVs

    Dave:

    A group of 6 adults will be arriving on Santorini by privat chartered yacht in late June. We are spending two nights at Ampelonas Apartments, in Imerovigli. We were wondering what the best mode of transportation would be? Should we rent 2 cars, 3 ATVs, or take a taxi to the hotel and then rent mopeds? Can you fit luggage for two people onto the ATVs? Can we rent from where our yacht will dock and return at the airport since we will be flying out?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The Santorini ATVs will not be able to take much luggage. If you only had backpacks and a small carry on you might be able to manage. But the ATVs will not handle full suitcases. For car rentals it depends where your yacht docks. It could land at the Oia port, at the Fira Skala port, or the ferry port. The ferry port does have car rentals, taxis and buses are available to get to Fira and beyond. The Fira Skala port does not have car rentals. The only way up from the Skala port to Fira is by cable car or a steep foot path (donkey rentals available). There are no car rentals at the Oia port either. It’s situated just below Oia. You can pick up your car rental from the ferry port and return it to the airport, but with most car rental companies there will be a fee unless you have the car for 3 days or more (this varies of course). Having said all that I would take a taxi to your hotel and again to the airport. During your stay I would rent 3 ATVs to get around the island. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  137. Santorini, Mykonos, both

    Hi Dave,

    Considering visiting Santorini (actually debating how long should I stay in Santorini vs Mykonos too)…and wondering if the water is still warm at the end of September.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both Santorini and Mykonos are wonderful islands. Santorini is better for sightseeing, views, boat tours (around the volcano), wineries. Mykonos is better for partying, beach time, and day trips to the ancient site of Delos. Split your time depending on your interests. And yes, the weather is still warm at the end of September on Mykonos and Santorini.

      Reply
  138. Getting To Santorini by Flight or Ferry

    Hi Dave, I have been doing a lot of research on Santorini and stumbled upon your blog! Must say, you have provided really good info.
    So Me, my husband along with another couple are planning to go to Athens and Santorini. Whats the best and the cheaper way to go to Santorini from Athens..Ferry or Flight? Also, We are planning to stay at Astro Palace, Fira! What do you think about the hotel?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The Astro Palace is nice and if you want a pool in Fira it’s a great bargain. Two things you should know about the hotel: 1) It doesn’t have caldera views. The views of the ocean you see on the website are towards the east. You do get to see the sunrise but you can’t in any way see the volcano/caldera. 2) The hotel is a 5 to 8 minute walk from the center of Fira. This is up a moderately steep hill. As long as you’re fine with those 2 caveats it’s a great choice (especially if you want to be close to Fira but need a break from the busyness).

      The cheapest way to Santorini is by ferry. The fastest way to Santorini is by plane. The difference in speed is less pronounced if you’re already in central Athens and need to get back out to the airport to get your flight. In that case the difference in total travel time might be only a few hours. But if you’re already at the airport and don’t have any desire to go into Athens then the difference is likely 5 to 7 hours when you account for getting from the airport to the ferry port. Hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There is a pool open to the public at Lioyerma cafe pool bar in Oia (link here). It’s free but you need to buy drinks and food. It’s not an infinity pool but it does have views. It’s the only pool of its kind on Santorini.

      Reply
  139. Flights To Santorini?

    Hello David,
    Great site! My wife and I would like to visit Santorini, Milos and Chios in June. Are there flights connecting these islands or is it necessary to make connecting flights in Athens? How would you do it?

    thanks for your help, Paulo

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Paulo. There are no flights between any of those islands but all have flights to and from Athens. I would recommend flying from Athens to Santorini (with Olympic) then ferry to Milos, fly or ferry back to Athens, and then fly to Chios. Chios is a long way from Milos and Santorini so a ferry journey would be a long haul.

      There are usually 3 large car ferries per week from Santorini to Milos. Sometimes there is a Seajet catamaran that runs as well in the high season – but since June is one of the windier months it’s common for it to be canceled due to rough seas. If possible book your flights in advance but wait on booking your ferry tickets until after you arrive on Santorini – it’s much easier in person and ferries won’t sell out in June. Check gtp.gr for ferry schedules but these are unreliable and can change with little notice. Good luck.

      Reply
  140. Honeymoon Hotels On Santorini – Recommendations

    Hi Dave – there is so much choice I am struggling to find a hotel for my honeymoon and you seem to be the man in the know! So…. I am looking for a hotel for around £180 – £200 per night, with a nice pool, serving breakfast on the balcony and with a pool bar or social area. Thinking of Aigialos but seem to be too many to look through and I am going round in circle! Help :o)

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Ruth. I’ve just added a few picks to my list of favorite honeymoon hotels. Aigialos is a great choice. Breakfasts are consistently well done at the mid-range and above hotels on Santorini – though not all offer room service to your patio, sometimes you have to grab your plate and return to your room by yourself.

      Reply
  141. Santorini In Early June

    Hi Dave, firstly just wanted to say what a great site! Really helpful.

    We are hoping to travel to Santorini in the first week of June for 2 weeks staying at Orion Star,Kamari. Do you think there is enough to do in that time or are there any other islands near that we could do in the second week?

    Ideally we want to do sightseeing, white sandy beaches/warm seas for swimming, walking, watersports/theme parks and good photography locations. Is there much to do/see in Santorini?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I think Santorini is great for one week but for the 2nd week I would venture out to another island. Santorini has many sites and decent beaches – but it doesn’t have the beautiful sandy beaches you’re probably dreaming about. For the best beaches in Greece that are close to Santorini I would recommend Milos, Naxos, Paros, or Crete.

      Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Crete definitely has the most to do. But it’s also much bigger and needs more time to explore – so there’s a trade off. A week should be enough time to take in a good bit of it though.

          Reply
  142. Greece in Late July

    Hi Dave! My husband and I are planning to go to Europe and specifically Greece the last days of july. We are planning 2 days in Athens (from what I see it should be the last part of the trip) and have 4 more days and would like Santorini. We are in our mid 30′s and are looking for relaxing time, more sunbathing and poolside drinks than anything, although we would still would like to visit the must see spots. Our hotel budget is 150-180 Euros and we would like something romantic, we like drinking but more of a bar (not a night club) and we like eating great food. With that in mind, is our decision for Santorini ok? Do you recommend some other island? What hotels do you recommend? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Santorini has pretty much everything you’re looking for except “great” beaches. There are good beaches but not the idyllic sandy beaches you’ll find on Milos, Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, or Crete. Many hotels on Santorini have pools (usually on the smallish side) so if you’re happy with that then it’s great. Food, restaurants, a variety of clubs, good sightseeing and day trips – Santorini has all that covered. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  143. Honeymoon in Oia or Imerovigli?

    My fiancé and I are planning to go to santorini in our honeymoon on June 2014 I’m a little pit confused what to choose oia or imerovigli ? And if oia which is better canaves oia hotel or katikies hotel ? Thank you in advance

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Oia is a picturesque little village with many shops and restaurants. Imerovigli is much quieter with just a handful of restaurants. Imerovigli is walking distance to Fira. Oia is a bus ride from Fira. Imerovigli has the best sunsets views on Santorini. In Oia not all hotels will have sunsets views – often it’s a choice between views of the caldera or views of the sunset. In Oia you can walk down to Amoudi and have a dip in the water (though there’s no beach). Imerovigli has no access to the water. Both Canaves and Katikies are great hotels. Can’t go wrong. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  144. Honeymoon In August

    Torn between Oia and Imervoglia. We are going next august on our honeymoon and travel agent recommends Canaves and Chromata. Oia appears more quiet, which we are looking for and dont mind being away from the busy part of Fira. Chromata hotel is more expensive and as you said that part of the island offers better views. Any guidance you could give and what the distinction is between them?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both are great. You can’t go wrong. In Imerovigli it’s nice to be an easy walk from Fira. In Oia it’s nice to be able to pop down to Amoudi for a swim and the port-feel of the tavernas. What about splitting your time between the two?

      Reply
      1. Craig

        Thanks for the advice. We would split, but we are going to spend a couple of days in Athens when we arrive and a few days in naxos then on to santorini. Going to choose Canaves in Oia, but now the option is Canaves Oia and the Canaves Suites. They seem like the same thing. Any insight on the difference between the properties?

        Thanks again

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Canaves Oia Hotel vs Canaves Oia Suites. These are 3 minutes apart and guests can use the facilities at either site. There is a separate reception, pool, and restaurants at both. The Hotel (Canaves I) is more modern with recently renovated rooms. Other than that the Suites (Canaves II) are nicer in every way. They have a much larger deeper pool, nicer breakfast area, and larger more luxurious suites. They have easier foot access to the town of Oia (the Hotel is down a busy road that lacks sidewalks – it’s just a short distance but not a great setup). The suites are more expensive. Hope that helps.

          Reply
  145. Vegetarian Food On Santorini

    Hi Dave, your site is so helpful. We’re having our honeymoon in Santorini during mid October – staying in Imerovigli. We’re hiring a car to be able to explore the island fully – would you recommend that by the way?!

    My main question is that as a vegetarian will I find it easy to eat out? Are there usually plenty of options – eg. halloumi, hummus, feta etc?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There’s plenty of vegetarian food to be found in Greece. My favorite dishes (besides souvlaki and gyro) are veg. You won’t have any trouble.

      And yes, renting a car is great. The buses are good but they all go through Fira so coming from Imerovigli you’d have 2 buses to get anywhere (and 2 back). It gets tiring after a day or two.

      Reply
  146. Crete to Rhodes

    Hello Dave,
    Great information! My friend and I are flying from Heraklion to Rhodes 30th September 2013. Should we purchase flights in advance via website or can we wait until we arrive in Heraklion a few days prior to departure? Looked at SkyExpress Airlines so far. Will airfare increase if we wait to buy at Heraklion and is it best to purchase from travel agency there? How long does it take to get through Heraklion security and checkin queues? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I would purchase them in advance. And get to the Heraklion airport with plenty of time (2 hours at least). For international flights there are 4 queues to negotiate: check in, bags scanned, passport control, and the body scanner. It might be a little different for a domestic flight but still have plenty of time. Good luck.

      Reply
  147. Santorini at the end of October

    Greetings!
    My husband and i are planning our 1st trip to Santorini towards the end of October. Ideally would like to go earlier, but schedule will not allow. Will a decent portion of restaurants, shops, etc… will still be operating at this time.
    Thanks for any, and all suggestions.
    best~
    Patricia.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      By the end of October the beaches will be very quiet with just a few things open. But Fira and Oia will have most of their shops and restaurants open. The cruise ships visit Santorini until mid-November. When they stop that’s when the island really shuts down.

      Reply
  148. Santorini In Early October

    Hi Dave,

    First off, great site! I am heading to Santorini the first week in October and just found your site which i will be spending a lot of time on in the next few weeks. Are you familiar with Rena’s Rooms & Suites in Fira Tiown? We are booked there and its looks great and the reviews are good. Just curious if you know of it?

    Thanks,
    Jenn

    Reply
  149. Seafood In Santorini

    Hi Dave

    Brilliant site!! Thank you for all the info!

    I am off to Santorini for a week at the end of this month and would like to have a lobster meal whilst there with my partner. I don’t want to spend too much (not much more than €50 each) so any recommendations for a reasonable lobster supper with a bit of wow factor?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  150. Hotel For Families On Santorini?

    Hi Dave, I have to tell you, this site is fabulous, I keep going back to it for reference. We are planning a family trip with 2 families summer 2014, I and my cousin Toula are Greek but our husbands are Canadian, we both have 18 and 16 year old boys that will be travelling with us. We are all very excited my question is what are some of the better hotels for our kids I am sure they would want to be in the hub and can you tell me if you have a website like this for Mykonos?

    Thanks
    Marie

    Reply
  151. Mosquitoes On Santorini?

    Hi Dave, thanks for all the info on this site. So helpful.
    I have one question! What is the mosquito population like on the island. I seem to be very popular with these annoying critters so a heads up about whether I need potions/lotions etc would be greatly appreciated. I am going to be in Santorini late September and staying in the Smaragdi Hotel,but will be visiting all the island.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Mosquitoes are not bad on Santorini. They do exist (along with noseeuhms) but are rarely a problem even for those most prone to bites. I would still take repellent.

      Reply
  152. Honeymoon In Santorini In April?

    Hello,
    I am going on my honeymoon in April and was considering staying at Voreina Gallery Suites for the pool. Will it be too cold to swim in the pool or swim in the ocean? I was considering delaying the honeymoon a month so the weather would be a bit warmer.

    Also, what is the best way to get to Santorini from the States? We were considering booking our flight to Athens now and staying there for a night and then taking a quick flight or ferry to Santorini.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I believe the private pools at Voreina Suites are heated so you’ll be able to swim there. But you won’t be swimming at the beach in April. The water can still be quite cool in May making swimming a challenge. By June you should be fine going in the water.

      And yes, flying through Athens (if you’re interested in Athens) is the most common route to Santorini from the US. If you weren’t interested in Athens you could fly to a Western European city and then take a charter flight from there directly to Santorini.

      Reply
  153. Booking A Last Minute Trip To Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for taking the time to put the site together and bring information across for us all to enjoy about santorini.

    I am looking at planning a last minute trip within next few weeks and was wondering if you knew best way to try get hold of a last minute deal staying for 5 nights at one of the nicer locations?

    If we are able to get to Mykonos for a day trip that would be great or even if there are ways to set up santorini for 3 nights and Mykonos for 3 nights to stay at both?

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated. It is for a young couple looking to take in the islands and hopefully warm weather at this time.

    Reply
  154. Getting To Hotel From Airport

    Hi Dave,

    We have booked Caldera Butterfly Villas from 22Oct -26Oct. Would like to know which is the best way to reach this hotel from airport around 2030pm on 22 Oct and go to airport on 26 Oct for 0700am flight? We have 11 person in total.

    Is the local bus able to bring us there? How much will be the taxi fare? Any surcharge for midnight like 5am? Do we required to book any transfer in advance and what will be the acceptable rate ?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    WS

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Buses from the airport are infrequent. There can be a late night one (but not always). For a group of 11, unless your hotel offers airport transfers, I would prebook a taxi van.

      Reply
  155. Weather in September on Santorini?

    Hi Dave,

    If my husband and I are willing to visit Athens & Santorini in September, will the weather to be fine? will we be able to swim?
    I also wanted to check if both will be dead during that time or lively and crowded.

    Thank you
    Amira Omar

    Reply
  156. Oia or Fira?

    Hi Dave,

    Great website!

    I’m a photographer going to Santorini in mid-October for 5 days. I want to find the best vantage points to take photos of the architecture during sunset, rather than taking photos of the sunset itself. I’m assuming Oia has the best picture postcard type buildings?

    Should I be staying in Fira, Oia or splitting my time between the two (or somewhere else)?

    Note I will not be renting a car.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  157. Real Greek Restaurant in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    First off I absolutely LOVE your website. We are travelling to Santorini on a cruise and there are 7 of us. We would like to do lunch at a local “typically greek” restaurant but the most important thing to us is the view. A few people in our party arenot very adventurous when it comes to food so looking for something fairly basic/reasonably priced but great view. greek salad/souvlaki/hummus that type of thing. What would be your recommendation and do you suggest making a reservation before arriving on the cruise ship.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Personally I wouldn’t make a reservation. If it were dinner during August that might be different but lunch shouldn’t be a problem. Walk around until you find something you can agree on. In Fira and Oia you can easily walk between a large number of restaurants in just a few minutes.

      Reply
  158. Santorini At The End of November

    Hi Dave

    me and my partner wants to go to Santorini in November end.
    We need a very nice accommodation with private heated pool or something similar and our budget is like 170-200 euro.
    we need a good accommodation but something reliabke and secure.
    Also I am confused where to stay in santorini like fira imo oia etc..
    we need a place where we can use a nightclub once and good to move around in a month of November.
    please do get back on ksgupta1988@gmail.com

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      If you want easy access to nightclubs then you’ll have to choose Fira. Imerovigli and Oia don’t have much nightlife.

      Reply
  159. Volcano View Hotel – Views?

    Hi Dave. We are travelling to Santorini early October staying at Volcano View Hotel cliff side sea view room. I really want a great view of the Caldera and sunset etc from our balcony. Will this be ok. Thankyou

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I can’t speak to your specific room but the Volcano View does have great views of the caldera. Note: It’s a little outside of Fira so you’ll be taking a taxi or the hotel shuttle every time you go into town.

      Reply
  160. Taxi From Night Ferry?

    My ferry will arrive at 0:30, i will need a taxi to Thira. Would i find a taxi easily at this late time, or i should try to book one earlier. Around how much will it cost.

    Reply
  161. Getting To Santorini From Rhodes or Kos

    I’m planning to leave Bodrum on Sept 8 (sun) to either Kos or Rhodes. I’m meeting 2 friends in Santorini on that day. They are coming to Santorini from Athens. This is our first time in Greece. could you give me a suggestion on best way for me to get to Santorini?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There should be ferries with Anek (2 times per week) and Blue Star (3 times per week) from Rhodes to Santorini. It will take a good day of travel (probably overnight) to get from Rhodes to Santorini.

      Reply
  162. Kacy

    Hi Dave
    My husband and I are staying in Kamari Beach for 2 and half days. We are looking for advice on if our itinerary is good enough to see all the best things in Santorini. I regret not booking a hotel in Oia now but its too late so we will have to make do with the best of what we have. So we arrive in Athens on Day 1 at 3pm. We get out ferry tickets at the airport and go to the hotel.(Is this the best way to get them?) We have Day 2 to explore Athens. Day 3 we board the ferry and go to Santorini and reach at noon. We then go to Kamari. (Do you know best way to get there from the port in Fira?)

    So basically in Santorini we have rest of day 3, a full day 4 and a full day 5. Im thinking, on day 3 we relax at the Beach and explore Kamari, eat dinner there? (Do you know a recommended restaurant there?)

    The next day we will be taking a sunset cruise (snorkeling, and hot springs included) for 5 hours. We eat dinner at the cruise. I dont know if the cruise is the best way to see the sunset or if we should climb the cliffs of the Oia sunset spot to do this? Which do you recommend? Also we do not know what to do until the cruise which starts 3.5 hours before sunset? Do you have suggestions?

    The last day we thought we would do this bustour which ends at 5pm…http://www.mysantorini.com/Archaelogical-Bus-Tour.html

    So you see I dont know when we can squeeze in walking around OIA and watching the sunset from the Cliffs and having dinner there??…:( Or when we can see Fira city a little and maybe go out for drinks and some snacks in Fira??

    I would absolutely love it if you could recommend us what we should actually do day to day and if/how our itinerary should change according to your opinion!! Thank you!!!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Kacy.

      To get to Kamari from the port there will be a bus waiting as your ferry arrives. It will take you to Fira. From there you’ll get a bus to Kamari. There are sometimes taxis waiting for ferry passengers but not always and sometimes they can be grabbed up quickly. But there is alway a bus so don’t worry.

      It sounds like you’ll have time to walk around Oia and Fira on day 4 and day 5. You don’t necessarily need a lot of time – a few hours should suffice. My only hesitation on the bus tour is the time spent at Perivolos beach (why do you need a tour to go to the beach?) which seems like a waste of precious time. Other than that sounds great. As for sunsets hard to know where the boat will drop anchor so can’t comment on the view (though I’d assume they’ll pick a good spot). Note: Imerovigli has the best sunsets on Santorini.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  163. Hotel Recommendations for Group of Women

    Hi Dave. Thanks for your great information. What hotel suggestions do you have in Santorini for a small group of single professional women – early 30′s. So many hotels seem geared to honeymooners. Any place better for single men and women ?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I would stay in Fira but other than that its hard to say as a lot depends on the crowd you’ll find at any specific hotel when you visit.

      Reply
  164. Cecily

    Hi Dave, love your site so much AND it is very detailed.

    Do you know whether the ferry price is same from what i check from internet (around 37 euros) or buy it on the day (from athens to santorini), i would think on the day price will be expensiver than buy in advance….
    **Deck price means no seat with blowing wind on the boat?

    Two of us going to attend my Best friend wedding in santorini, wedding day on 23/9, we have holidays from 20-28/9 and traveling from uk. I am still checking how to get to santorini cheaply. I never been to any places in Euro, would you recommend any places where can explore a bit and can reach to santorini cheaply?

    Also, apart from beaches/swimming, what else can do on those islands?
    many thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Marlene. The price of ferry tickets does not increase (or decrease) depending on when you book them. The prices are set by the government and do not change. Booking agencies (for example, travel agents at the Athen’s airport) will charge a fee – however this can be worth it if you’re short on time.

      There are a bunch of great islands that are in between Athens and Santorini and thus are a good way to break the trip to Santorini in two. Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, and Milos are great choices but pretty much every Cycladic island has its merits. I highly recommend seeing at least one other island in the Cyclades.

      Hiking, boat tours, exploring smaller villages, visiting a winery are some of the best things to do besides hitting the beach.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. Cecily

        Hi Dave
        Thanks for reply!

        Would you say Corfu worth to go? And is the only way to go santorini from Corfu is taking flight to Athens first and then ferry to santorini?

        Would you say the local bus reliable on time?
        Many thanks

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          I love Corfu. A beautiful island with lots to see. There are some very touristy spots but get away from them – or go inland – and you’ll love it. Pelekas is a great little town perched on a cliff over a couple nice beaches. Highly recommended. As for getting there, yes, flying is the quickest and easiest. There are no direct flights from Corfu to Santorini so it takes two flights, Corfu to Athens, then Athens to Santorini. They’re both short flights. You can also take the bus from Corfu to Athens (then fly or ferry from there to Santorini). The interior of Greece through which the bus travels is stunningly beautiful. The area around the Meteora is one of the highlights of Greece. (Amazing photos of the Meteora.)

          Buses in Greece are reliable (and enjoyable) but not necessarily on time.

          Good luck.

          Reply
  165. Last Minute Honeymoon in Santorini – Where To Stay?

    Hi Dave
    Arriving 31 Aug, last minute honeymoon! We are after 5 nights on the Caldera with a sunset view and a decent sized balcony with sunloungers so we can be alone and enjoy the sunbathing and sunsets in comfort. Would also like a kichenette. Please can you help?

    Oh we have a budget of around £200 per night.

    Reply
  166. Alan Bakahos

    Dave,

    Thanks for putting together such a great website–TONS of helpful information. However, after reading your website I am having huge regrets. I was choosing between San Antonio and Chromata, and ultimately went with San Antonio. Have you heard anything about this hotel? Can you get a nice view of the sunset from there?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Warm regards,
    Alan

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The views are simply incredible from the San Antonio. My only concern is the location – it’s a good walk to either Fira or Oia from the San Antonio (and it’s not right in Imerovigli either) so you might need a rental car. But there is a bus that stops right outside the hotel going to Oia or Fira in 10 minutes. If you’re fine with that then it’s a great hotel. Cheers.

      Reply
  167. Dorte Gjerlov

    dear dave,..thanks alot for making this web,..its so great.

    my name is dorte, im from denmark and an artist.
    i would like to make a small gallery in santorini, and live there,- all this about a year from now.
    i cant seem to find anything about renting shops or a room for all year. its all for turistes or still turistpricy for long renting.
    do you know any sites, neewpapers or companies, where i can find anything about this. altso the best for me would be to have a small shop towards the street and then live in the back. but someone told me thats it ilegal?
    ill come down soon,- sept or okt.- to research, but it could be so nice to know who to speak with or what to do in advance,…i can only stay for about 10 dayes.

    cheers and goods speed to you from dorte

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Dorte. That sounds like something you’ll need to do in person and I doubt you’ll find much info in advance. You’ll need to walk and talk and knock on doors and pop your head into every little shop – and just keep asking people until you find something that works. I doubt there’s any easy way to get a rental over the internet in advance. One idea would be to post on the Santorini Tripadvisor forum asking if anyone has seen rental notices around the island – but I wouldn’t get your hopes too high. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Dorte Gjerlov

        thanks so much for your answer,..i was afraid you would say so,..well i found some pages with renting and houses also shops as well,.. but they don’t seem to be updated a lot. so i’m sure you’re are right about it all.
        anyway i’m aware its a longer process.
        and i’m in fact looking foreward to it.
        big hugs from denmark

        Reply
  168. Santorini with Kids – Baby Food, Ferry

    Hi. We are a family of 5 including a 6 month old baby. Planning to visit Athens and Santorini end of September. My first question is am I crazy thinking of bringing an infant to Santorini? Will there be baby food there? Will the ferry be suitable for infant?

    Next, where do you recommend we stay? My 2 older kids are seasoned travelers. They love the outdoors.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, there is baby food on Santorini. The high speed catamarans can be rough (when the sea is rough) so consider going on the car ferry with Blue Star. This is a large conventional ferry with a smooth ride. If you have two active kids probably best to stay at one of the beaches: Kamari, Perivolos, or Perissa.

      Reply
  169. Fira or Oia?

    Hi,
    My friend and I are in our young 20′s and are going to santorini for 2 days. I’m trying to decide between oia and fira to stay. Also what is your best option to get from Mykonos to santorini? We are on a budget but will splurge to see everything we can. So what are the top things to do in santorini?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’m guessing that you’ll like Fira better than Oia – more nightlife and young people. Here’s the schedule and pricing for the catamaran that goes from Santorini to Mykonos. For things to do I’d probably tour Akrotiri (closed Mondays), visit a winery, and take a boat to Thirassia (the smaller the tour the better). Good luck.

      Reply
  170. Honeymoon in Early November

    Hi Dave , thanks for such an informative and comprehensive information on santorini , its the best out there.

    Me and my girlfriend are planning to visit santorini in early november for honeymoon.

    Can you please let me know if things(ferries , hotels ) will be open during that time or should we reconsider santorini as an option.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There should be plenty of activity in early November. Yes, it will be much slower than in the summer – or even September or October – but there will still be restaurants and hotels open. There will be at least one ferry a day from Athens to Santorini in November (with stops in Paros and Naxos). It makes the same route when returning to Athens. There are usually 2 ferries a week between Crete and Santorini in winter though this can vary. The catamarans between the Cyclades do stop running from November to April so there will not be a direct route to Mykonos from Santorini. Santorini (and Crete) are the busiest islands during the off season so unless you’re thinking of a different country then one of these islands should be your destination. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  171. Santorini And Greece With Kids

    You kindly answered a couple of questions on another section of your kid greece website. To refresh, my family — wife, four kids 9ages 4, 5, 10, 12), and i — will be in Greece for two weeks August 2014. We’ll be in both Santorini and Mykonos for a few days each. Seems like SO many options for towns, area, etc. of both islands. If it was YOU and YOUR FAMILY, in what areas on each respective island would you stay? For price, we’re in the middle: not looking for five-star luxe, but not budget either. Our kids are good travelers and enjoy swimming and sightseeing. Thanks kindly, Rick

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      In Mykonos with kids I would stay in Mykonos Town. It has a fun vibe, good connections to the beaches, a playground, and some pelicans wandering about. (The best beach on Mykonos for kids is Ornos.) Mykonos Town is also where the boats leave for Delos (one of the best attractions in the Cyclades for Greek history and ruins) which makes it convenient.

      On Santorini it’s really a choice between the towns on the caldera and the beaches. Which do you want to experience? For the towns Fira has the most to do and is closest to the beaches. If you want to stay on the beaches (which have a more family vibe) then Kamari or Perissa are the best choices.

      Hope that helps, good luck.

      Reply
  172. JoHay

    Hello Dave,

    Just wondering if there are any rock and roll bars here. I hear Ios has an alternative rock scene. Would it be worth going over for the night? How much is a ferry and is it pretty much the same as Santorini?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      On most days there are 4 to 5 ferries going between from Santorini to Ios (in summer). They’ll cost between 8 and 15 euros and the trip takes an hour on a slow ferry and 35 minutes on a highspeed catamaran.

      Ios is very different than Santorini. A younger crowd with more partying and dance clubs. Good list of the dj and music scene in Ios here. (The beaches are much better in Ios than Santorini too – Mylopotas is one of my favorite beaches in Greece).

      Good luck.

      Reply
  173. Advice for Santorini and Crete

    Hi,
    My husband and I are planning our honeymoon to Turkey/Greece from Sept 13-28 2013. I have already booked hotesl for Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Athens. The last two places I need to plan for are Santorini and Crete. We will have 2 nights in Athen and are planning 2-3 nights in Santorini and 2-3 nights in Crete. I am overwhelmed with the number of hotels and different cities to visit. We would like this part of our trip to be relaxing. We don’t need 5star hotesl and don’t need clubbing/nightclubs…do you have recommendations how to spend the last part of our trip? blue lagoon and samaria gorge were things we might be interested in in crete. also someone told me there are no ferrys from santorini to crete on Sep 24, Tuesday…do you know if this is true? thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There should be a CAT5 on Hellenic Seaways leaving Santorini at 17:55 and getting into Heraklion at 19:30 (though you won’t know for sure until a few weeks before your travel date). I’d recommend Chania on Crete as a place to explore the rest of the island and do the Samaria Gorge. Crete’s best beaches are in the west and south and Chania is a good place to get to some of the better ones.

      Reply
  174. Accommodations for Group of 20 In Santorini

    Hi Dave – We, a group of 20 – including kids are planning to visit Santorini in March. Flying in from Istanbul. What would be your advise?

    Reply
  175. Group Bus Tour in Santorini?

    We are planning to visit Santorini from Athens on 2 day Ferry trip by Key Tours on September 13, 2013. Arriving around 3 PM. Are their any group bus tours available that can take us to key sites. We are staying overnight and leaving next morning. Private tour seem expensive for 2 persons.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There is a sunset and volcano tour that starts in the evening. Captain Ted has a sunset tour that is highly regarded: http://www.santorinisailing.com/itinerary.htm. There are many others too. If you want to tour the island in the evening I think your only practical choice is a private tour – but, of course, many attractions will be closed after 5pm.

      Reply
  176. Santorini in Early November

    Hi Dave,

    My wife and I wish to visit Santorini, however the only time we are available for travel is on the first half of November. I read that it’s not the best time to go as most tourist establishments and ferries would be closed, not to mention that the weather will be typically cold and rainy by then. But if my purpose is just to sightsee and not to swim, dive or sail, do you think it would still be worthwhile to come over? Or better not press my luck at all?

    Thanks!

    Bob

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I have been in November and loved it. The weather can still be sunny and warm (though the nights will be very cool). Hotel rates are much lower too. Yes, you could get some truly lousy weather but as long as your expectations are in check then chances are you’ll have a great visit. The beaches will definitely be off the itinerary and don’t bother getting a hotel with a pool as most are not heated and thus very cool outside of summer. Some restaurants will be closed but the island isn’t “dead” by any means. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  177. Is 3 Days Enough In Santorini?

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for all the information above. Very helpful.
    My friend and I are planning to go to Santorini in early September and am not sure if 3 day is enough or shall we add another full day! We are staying in Imerovigli.
    The activities that we are interested in doing is walk around/explore Oia and watch the sunset, walk around Fira and Imerovigli, go the Red Beach and Black beach and do a caldera/volcano boat trip. But mainly we want to relax sitting by the pool or the balcony and enjoy the views.
    Do you think we do all this in 3 days or 4 days is a must?

    (After Santorini we are in Mykonos for 2 days and Athens for half a day).

    Thanks ,
    Sam

    Thanks,

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      It sounds like you’re really into Santorini and excited for your trip so I’m tempted to say do the fourth day there. I doubt you’ll regret it. There’s much more to see in Santorini than in Mykonos. I wish you had more time in Athens as it’s a great place with lots of must-see attractions. (It’s very urban and rough around the edges and thus many people hate it – but I love it. If you like history, ruins, and museums it’s the top stop in Greece.) Good luck.

      Reply
  178. Tour Guide from Cruise Ship

    We are taking our family of 4 teenagers and my husband and I to Santorini on a cruise. We arrive at 2pm and depart at 10pm – we have a tour guide who is offering a 5 hr tour for 400Euro’s – does this sound reasonable? Your recommendations on what to do/see would be helpful. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, the price sounds reasonable assuming that it’s a private tour. I imagine he has an itinerary planned so ask where it’s going and what will be included.

      Reply
  179. Honeymoon in Crete and Santorini

    Hi Dave,
    very very helpful site…
    i am traveling to Greece on my honeymoon and planning to visit Crete and Santorini. Which island do I start with (Crete or santorini)? and where do I stay in santorini?, we are coming in August and planning for a 12 days stay total in the Greek islands.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are no good reasons to visit either Santorini or Crete first. So look at the direct flights to both islands and let the schedule and availability determine your itinerary. As for where to stay take a look at the FAQ above. Good luck.

      Reply
  180. Weather in October in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Love the site.

    Thinking of going for a week at the end of October to Fira. Will the weather still be warm and will there be enough restaurants and bars open?

    Thanks

    Steve

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There will be plenty of restaurants and bars open but the weather could be chilly. Some years it’s still beach weather at the end of October and some years fall has definitely taken hold.

      Reply
  181. Donkey Rides from Cruise Ship

    Hi Dave! Our cruise ship is stopping in Santorini in July. If we take a donkey ride, should we pre-arrange it?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      You should be fine without pre-arranging (though your ship might have specific info). Be aware many people (locals and fellow travelers) are very opposed to the donkey rides, equating it with animal abuse. So be prepared for some dirty looks. There’s a cable car up and down the hill right by where the tender drops you on the shore so the donkeys are not the only option. Be sure to return early for the returning cable car ride as the line grows very long when there are ships in port.

      Reply
  182. Budget for Santorini

    Hi Dave,
    Have found this site incredibly helpful. As such I have booked accommodation this coming summer in Santorini. Something that I am very much looking forward to. I have accommodation booked in a lovely hotel, Summertime, have organised a lovely apartment.
    I was wondering if 100 – 120 a day for a couple is enough of a budget during the first week of August. We would prefer to get a feel for the island and local scene more-so than the touristy side of things. Could you give any advice on some very good local restaurants with the real Greek feel and ambiance?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Not sure if you’re quoting $ or Euros but in either case it’s a doable budget (assuming that it doesn’t include your hotel).

      I added your question about non-touristy restaurants to the FAQ. Thanks for input.

      Reply
  183. Accommodations for Group of 8 with Pool and Kitchen

    Hi Dave. Thanks for all the helpful recommendations! A group of 8 friends are considering Santorini for 4-5 nights August of next year (2014). We are in our 30s and looking for accommodation options to accommodate a group – a large villa or home. Preferably somewhere with a swimming pool and kitchen, lounge etc. Can you recommend where I could find this type of accommo?? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  184. Drivers License Required in Santorini?

    Hi Dave

    Very helpful site – thank you. Just wanting to double check on your comment re driving and Greek Law requiring an IDP. The gov.UK site* indicates this isn’t necessary if you are in the EU, but do you think we should still get one? We are coming from the UK & may want to hire a car or scooter.
    * https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      You’re right Caroline. If you have an EU drivers license you’re able to rent a car legally and without any problem. I guess I was writing from a Canadian/American perspective. I’ll go back and update that section now. Thanks for pointing it out. Cheers.

      Reply
  185. Dress Code for Santorini Nightclubs

    Dave, I have seen you mention the nightclub scene numerous times, I am a bit concerned with my packing list now! I had intended to only bring shorts, light khaki pants and T-shirts (late June trip), can you tell me what the dress code/standard for the night life in Fira is like?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      That sounds fine. I don’t know of any restaurant or club on Santorini that has a dress code. Pretty much anything goes on the beaches and it’s very casual. At the nicer places in Oia and Fira there will be some people who are dressed up at night but you’ll still see everything from beach wear on up to trendy.

      Reply
  186. Shaz

    Hi Dave,

    Awesome site – thanks so much!

    Husband and I are hoping to visit in either June or September.

    We would ideally like to hire a small, high quality/high spec villa with a private pool in a quiet part of the island.

    Our main aim during the day is to relax in the sun, swim and chill in beautiful surroundings.

    We don’t want noisy nightlife but would like to be able to walk to nice restaurants/bars in the evening.

    Where would you suggest and can you recommend villas?

    Best regards,

    Shaz

    Reply
  187. Santorini in September

    Hi Dave…we are heading to santorini in September. I am trying to decide between staying at the beach in perissa or in imerovigli or Oia for the view. Budget is not a concern, we are only there 3 nites and I had already decided to find luxury accomodations and enjoy it. My dilemma in finding a place to stay in Imerovigli or Oia is that I don’t think I can stay in a cave room as I am claustrophobic and I can’t have too many stairs for my husband, which is why I was leaning towards the beach in perissa but there really is not a luxury hotel that I can find there which i really wanted for this part of our vacation. Can you recommend a few places where we would have the view but not a cave room and not too many stairs. Alternatively what would be your recommendation at the beach.

    If you could give me a few suggestions that would be wonderful, i can tell by your website that you definately are the go to man for santorini info, fabulous website by the way, I am loving all the info

    Lynda

    Reply
      1. Lynda

        I am actually looking at smaragdi in perissa, looks like its about the closest to the beach with sea view rooms, but the veggera looks good as well, thanks for the tips, appreciate it

        Reply
  188. Getting from Italy to Santorini?

    Dave, your blog is really useful and amazing!!

    I want to ask your suggestion if I have a plan to go Santorini from Italy. Do you have the cheapest way? I just have 3 day, from 14 at mite to17 june in the morning.

    Thank youu

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Meridiana Air has direct flights from Italy to Santorini. The schedule changes often but Milan, Bologna, Rome, Verona, and Naples are usually served. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  189. Where to Stay in Santorini?

    Hello Dave, great job , this website is great! A friend of mine and I are planning to be in Santorini in july, we’re 20 years old. Do you think that Perissa could be a good compromise , given that we would like to enjoy the beach and the nightlife? Or would you choose somewhere else ? Thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Perissa is a good choice for night life and beach. I’m somewhat partial to staying in Fira, commuting to the beach through the day, and then being back in Fira for dinner, sunset, partying – it sort of feels like you’ve left the beach behind, showered and dressed up, and now you’re in the town. But Fira’s hotels are more expensive too, so if you’re on a budget Perissa is the way to go.

      Reply
  190. wilfreda jo u villamayor

    hi,this is gonna be my third visit to the island through a cruise line but normally lm with my family of 5,this Oct lm going back again with friends and there are 24 of us:(. l dont like the ship excursion as its too customed and pricey,can you recommend a coach rental with a guide? thanks so much,appreciate your help:)…wilfreda

    Reply
  191. Trinny

    HI Dave-Thanks for this great site-My husband and I are taking our(2 year overdue) honeymoon to Greece. Would love some advice.

    We have our tickets booked in Mid June. We will get into Athens on June 12-We have gone back and forth about whether to spend 7 nights in Santorini and 3 nights in Athens at the end of the trip ~ or 2 nights in Athens then go to Santorini for 5 nights and then come back to Athens for 3 nights. We tentatively have plans for 3 nights at Heliotops in imerovigli and 4 nights and Nostos Apt. in Oia and then come back to Athens for 3 nights.

    We also are going back and forth about weather to take a Ferry-The thought of taking a FERRY directly after 16 hours of FLYING does not sound too smart for us, but THE idea of the FERRY in general sounds very nice-I would love to come into Santorini that way. So that is why we may consider Athens for a two days -We would definitely fly back from Santorini to Athens. Money is not a huge consideration on the trip.

    Our thought of staying 7 days in Santorini sounded very nice-but now I am a little worried that we may not have enough to do there? Also not sure how many days is right to stay in Athens.

    Oh one other pretty big details is I can not eat any gluten so many restaurants may be out – we booked hotels that had kitchennettes so we could cook a lot? Any ideas of what kind of foods we would find in the markets at Santorini-ANY suggestions of where to look online to see-what kind of food I can prepare.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Trinny.

      The highlights of Athens can be visited in one full day but could easily fill 3 days. There are several great islands between Santorini and Athens (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Milos, and Folegandros are all wonderful) if you wanted to break up your ferry trip. I would probably recommend splitting those 7 days between 2 islands and seeing something a little different. The other island also have nicer beaches than Santorini so if some beach time is a priority then the islands mentioned above would be perfect.

      Your question about gluten free eating on Santorini is a great one so I added it the faq above:
      http://santorinidave.com/#gluten-free

      Hope that helps.

      Dave

      Reply
      1. Trinny

        Thanks Dave, -Will the stores on Santorini sell ground beef, chicken broth, rice, potatoes. I know this might seem strange-But I am trying to not be caught off guard. Thanks for your great advice -we might look into going to one of the other islands. Which is your favorite? Is there one halfway between Athens and Santorini?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Yes, no problem with most/all of those ingredients. My favorite island in the Cyclades is probably Naxos – though all are great and you can’t really go wrong. Good luck.

          Reply
      2. Trinny

        So does this plan seem like too much to squeeze in:-Two nights in Athens and One night in Naxos and 4 nights in Santorini and then back to Athens for the last few days.Getting to Athens is going to have us pretty jet legged that first day(we transfer flights a bunch of times and will be traveling for many hours-so we figure we will need the extra day in Athens just to get our bearings.) Is it silly to go to Naxos for two days and one night? Or worth it? We like the idea of breaking up the ferry ride so we are not going for 8+ hours on one day! We are sure we want to arrive Santorini by Ferry.

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          That sounds fine. One night is not a lot, of course, but the town is small and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get a sense of it, and feel like you’ve “seen” Naxos – though you’d have to go some to get out and around the island with so little time.

          Reply
  192. Location of Dream Island Hotel

    Hi Dave,

    I have a question i was looking at Dream Island Hotel
    Fira Santorini, and they say its on the east side of the island, but if i google map it , it seems like its on the west side? It seems to be more inland aka i guess more east then some other hotels, but still seems like it is on the west side of the island in general. do you know anything about this hotel?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi dom.

      If you look at this map of Dream Island Hotel you’ll see it’s located a short walk back from the edge of the caldera in the center of Fira.

      Maps of Santorini can be a little deceiving because that western edge of green (as shown on the map) makes it appear that there’s land between Fira and the sea. While in reality that’s a cliff that precipitously drops to the sea and the port below. So, you’re right it’s not right on the edge of the caldera, but it’s within Fira – and the caldera is just a minute or two walk away. However the views from Dream Island are almost entirely to the east – so you’ll see sunrises (not sunsets) and the Santorini countryside with good views of the ocean. It’s still a very nice view and there’s a beautiful blue and white Santorini church in view too. (I stayed in a room just off that church on my first or second trip to Santorini back in the ’90s.) I’m actually very fond of those views off to the east.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  193. Hotel with Few Steps

    Hi Dave,my husband and i are planning to go to Santorini in Sept for 4 days,i wanted to know,if it was ok for him,as he underwent a big heart op a few months ago,as i heard that there are lots of stairs to climb before reaching the various hotels.pls give some info.
    thank you.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are a lot of steps but I think if you tried you could avoid doing too many and still enjoy the island – though I suppose it depends on how many is too many. Most hotels do have a lot of steps.

      A good hotel that is close to shops and restaurants but doesn’t have many steps to get into town is the Atlantis.

      Reply
  194. Cave Suites in Oia with View

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for this awesome site!! This is soooo helpful.

    My fiance and I are coming to Santorini for the last week in May and would like to stay in Oia. We are looking for a (cave) room with a private balcony with caldera views and ideally a jacuzzi. Our price range is 225 – 390 euros/night (or $300-$500).

    What hotels would you recommend?

    Thank you,
    Michelle

    Reply
  195. Andronis or Canaves?

    Hi Dave
    Well, you have become such a help to us, you are a hero to us :)
    I love your site, so helpful, I have a question for you
    which hotel whould you recommend
    Canaves or Andronis luxury hotel?
    It seems like Andronis has private balconies, and Canaves does not
    so sorry if I am bothering you, also do you have any recomendation for mykonos?
    thank you so much
    Claris

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Both Andronis and Canaves are great – really – so don’t sweat it. Andronis would be better if you’re a family as their “apartments” can easily sleep five.

      Reply
  196. elena

    Hi Dave,

    I want to ask some questions- Which is better to book a hotel on the beach I mean in Perivolos or is better in the main town Fira?
    How long does it take to get from hotels which are on the beach to the main attractions? Is there some kind of public transport to use not to rent a car?
    If you know more useful tips please write.

    All you best,
    Elena

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Perivolos and the beaches have cheaper hotels than Fira and Oia. Restaurants tend to be cheaper and less formal at the beaches. Restaurants in Oia and Fira will be trendier and more expensive (though there are exceptions). It takes about 30 minutes to get from the beaches to Fira. Fira is the hub of the island so you’ll need to switch buses there to get to other places, eg. Oia. The bus is cheap, reliable, and will get you almost everywhere though it does require walking for a few of the sites in the south of the island.

      Reply
      1. elena

        Thank you Dave for your advice, just one more thing. In your opinion it is better to stay at Perivolos or at Perissa and from there to use the buses every night to go for walk in the center of Santorini or reverse version to stay in Fira and during the day to go for walk to explore the rest of the island.Is there a nightlife and movement , and things to do in the evenings in resorts or it is just in Fira?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          Fira has the most nightlife – louder and more clubby – of any town on Santorini. Perissa is quieter but still plenty of nightlife, tavernas, bars. Perivolos is quieter still. Kamari is another good choice if you’re looking for something a bit more lively at night. It has a pedestrian zone that’s nice for a nighttime stroll. There’s also an outdoor cinema – which are common in the towns of mainland Greece and so much fun. As for whether to stay at the beach or in Fira, it comes down to which you’re more interested in, as you likely won’t make the bus trip every day and you’ll spend the majority of your time where ever your hotel is.

          Hope that helps.

          Reply
  197. Recommended Restaurants and Guide Books

    Hi Dave,

    Great website, very helpful information, thank you! My bride-to-be and I will be coming to Santorini at the beginning of June for our honeymoon, staying in Firostefani at Sunrocks Hotel for a week. I’ve got a few questions for you:

    1.) What are some good restaurants to try that are reasonably priced, not too cheap and not too expensive? While a view would be nice sometimes, it’s not essential. Also, do the restaurant staff usually speak and understand English well? How tough are the language barriers on the island, overall?

    2.) Do you have any suggestions for good guide books while we’re on the island? Your website is excellent, but it would be nice to have something to refer to while we’re on the island.

    Thanks for your help and for your outstanding website!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Josh.

      1) English is widely spoken among hotel and restaurant staff and there is very little language barrier in the main towns. Check out Simos Taverna. Santorini does not have many cheap restaurants.

      2) The Blue Guides are excellent for detailed info about the islands. You can purchase just the one chapter on Santorini on the Kindle version: Santorini and Therasia.

      Reply
  198. How To Get To Santorini and Where To Stay?

    Dave – trying to plan first ever trip to Greece – very excited. My friend and I will have about 4 days before we leave on a cruise. We thought 1 day Athens, 1 day Mykonos and then 2 days Santorini. Here’s what we thought: fly to Athens, then fly to Mykonos. Then: should we fly or take a ferry to Santorini? How long is the ferry and is it reliable? What town is the best to stay in (we’re sorta middle-aged) Fira or Oia? and we like to sight see – want to see all the sites and views – one of us in an amateur photographer. Where to get the best sunset photos? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Mary. It’s sounds like a nice plan but I’d make a few suggestions.

      1. Visit Athens at the end of your trip. (I’m assuming you’ll be flying home from Athens.) Ferries can be cancelled for any reason (but usually due to high winds) so if you leave your day in Athens until the end and your ferry is cancelled for a day then you’ll still be fine catching your flight.

      2. Fly to Santorini as it’s a farther trip than to Mykonos. Then take the ferry to Mykonos. There should be at least one every day in high season. It takes about 2.5 hours from Santorini to Mykonos. On Santorini Fira is the most central place to stay to see the sights. Oia is a little more picturesque but not by much. Firostefani and Imerovigli have the best sunsets on Santorini – though Oia and Fira are fine too.

      3. If you’re into sightseeing you’ll likely enjoy Paros more than Mykonos. Paros has great small towns (in the mountains and along the coast) and the Church of 100 Doors. It’s closer to Santorini than Mykonos and has good ferry connections to it and Athens.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  199. Hotel with 3 Kids

    Hi Dave, We plan to visit in mid-April w our 3 boys 5-14yo. They’re active and will likely wade and play in the sand. Where would you recommend staying for a good view, but still good food? If we don’t stay in Fira, how long of a potential drive would it be to get closer to other entertainment for them? Thx!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Karina. You can either have the beach or the views but you can’t have both. The views of the caldera are on the west side of the island in towns like Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli. The beaches are on the south and southeast side of the island. I’m sure your kids would prefer the beach. It’s about 20 or 25 minutes by bus from Fira to the beaches of Kamari and Perissa (the two most popular ones). It’s farther still to Oia as all buses go through Fira. Stay at the beach then do day trips into the towns in the early morning (before it’s hot and the cruise ships have arrived) or in the late afternoon (many cruise passengers will depart the island around 3pm or 4pm).

      Hope that helps,
      Dave

      Reply
  200. Family of 5 in Oia

    Great website Dave. We are a family of 5 with daughters aged 12, 10, and 6. We would like to go to Oia, Santorini for a few nights in late June. I saw your recos regarding family hotels. Would you have any recos for luxury family hotels that are located on the cliffs with a view of the caldera, a large infinity pool, and family friendly? (We don’t love the black sand beaches & stair climbing does not intimidate us.) So many of the luxury hotels are set up for honeymooners and so we don’t want to be someplace where we won’t feel comfortable or wanted. We also have the never-ending challenge of find accommodations for 5. We would appreciate any leads on hotels. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  201. Scala to Oia

    Thanks, Dave. Information very much appreciated. Can you tell us if there is a form of transport which runs directly from Scala to Oia please, or Scala to Fira.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      From Skala to Fira there is cable car or donkey – or walking. You’d need to go up to Fira to catch the bus or a taxi to Oia. It’s possible there is a boat directly from Skala to Ammoudi Bay but these things change all the time so you’ll just have to see if that service is running when you arrive. Good luck.

      Reply
  202. One Day in Santorini on a Cruise

    Hi Dave We are 2 older woman, who will be on a cruise next May and would like your advice on how to spend our day on Santorina . After reading about the problems of the crowd and the access to Fira , we wonder if we should or could hire a car at the port Athinios? If so , in what places should we leave the car and walk?We are keen to take a swim along the way if possible, but not essential.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Diane. I doubt you’ll be landing at Athinios. Most cruise ships anchor away from shore and a small boat takes you to the port at Skala. From there you can climb, ride a donkey, or take the cable car, up to Fira. From Fira it would be no problem finding a car or tour, though arranging it would eat up some of your time. Your cruise should have an island tour available. Though these can be expensive and you’ll lack the freedom to stop where you want, in this case it might be the best way to see the island. And just so you know, be sure to leave lots of time to get back to your ship. As evening approaches and all the passengers need to take the cable car down to the port a long line forms.

      The best place to swim in Santorini is at Ammoudi Bay just below Oia. You could take a bus or taxi to Oia, explore the town, walk down the path to the sea and have a swim, then return to Fira and your boat. Just an idea.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  203. Evan

    We’ll be staying in Oia (2 nights) and Fira (3 nights). I thought we were close to the beach but can’t really tell from the map. What’s are best bet for go for a swim in the sea? I talked to someone at my work and they mentioned the wind on Santorini. So maybe is there somewhere protected from the wind.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are no beaches near Fira. All the beaches are on the eastern and southern coasts of the island. Fira is on the west side. Your best option for a nice swim is in Amoudi Bay at the base of the cliff that Oia sits on. So you’d walk down from Oia to the water (there’s a road and a path and it takes 15 or 20 minutes, I’m sure a taxi would take you as well) and there are a couple different spots to hop in the water and jump off some rocks. It’s beautiful. As for the wind, it can get windy on Santorini. The wind usually comes from the northwest and the beaches, as I said, are on the east and south so they’re somewhat protected, particularly from Perissa south to Perivolos and around the corner to Red Beach. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  204. Day Trip to Thirassia

    HI. I’d like to do a day trip to Thirassia but don’t want to do a tour. Just want to go for the day and swim and walk around Manolas. Can I take a tour boat, but not do the tour?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There’s a boat that leaves from Amoudi Bay (just below Oia) that takes you across to Thirassia. It leaves early, I think around 8am and returns at 5pm or 6pm. It’s cheap, something like 1 or 2 euros. These aren’t big boats so if the sea is at all rough be prepared for some jostling. Good luck.

      Reply
  205. Weather in Early November

    What will the weather be like in early November? Is there any way we’ll be swimming at the beach? Or will we be restricted to our pool?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Unlikely to be swimming in November – anywhere. Pools at most hotels are not heated so they’ll be cool. Of course, there could be a late heat wave that makes it possible in very early November.

      Reply
  206. Ferry Terminal to Fira – Easy or Hard?

    Hello Dave. We’ll be arriving on a catamaran from Athens in late September. Is getting from the ferry terminal to Fira something we should pre-arrange? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are buses (and usually taxis and hoteliers) that meet every ferry and take you to Fira. Don’t worry about prearranging anything.

      Reply
  207. Budget Hotel but Not For Backpackers

    Hi David – your site has some great info. Thanks for taking the time.

    My boyfriend and I are planning to spend 2 nights in Santorini in mid-October. We don’t want high-end luxury, but also could skip the backpacker feel. Looking for something that’s very cute and cozy with great proprietors for $50-80 per night. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Nikole

    Reply
  208. Weather in October

    You site is so helpful, thank you very much. My partner and I are staying in Imerovigli in mid October, how warm do you think it will be (as people who don’t like heat) and are you able to do Greece eating out cheaply?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The weather in October won’t be nearly as hot as July and August, of course. You’ll definitely want a sweater for evenings. You can see a wide range of temperatures during October. There can be a cool few days and it seems like beach weather is long in the past. Then a mini-heat wave can hit and you can see temps approach the 30s.

      It’s tough to find cheap eats on Santorini but the usual advice still follows. Try to eat where the locals eat, away from the touristy areas and the beautiful views. Both Fira and Oia have souvlaki to-go restaurants that serve cheap food. 2 filling gyros shouldn’t be more than €5. In Imerovigli the Estia Traditional Grill House is probably the cheapest restaurant.

      Reply
  209. Hotel Recommendation for Family of 3

    Hi, looking for advice on what hotel you would suggest for a couple with a 7 year old boy in Santorini, late August? Many thanks.

    Reply
  210. daniel browne

    Hi Dave, my wife and son (13) are heading to santorini in august, do you know if there is snorkelling, diving, sailing and other water based activities available around the fiorostifani area? we are looking at hotels on the Caldera but want to be able to jump in the sea for a swim when the notion takes us. Is there access to the sea in that area?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are no beaches below Firostefani. Here’s what the coast of Firostefani looks like. That’s a long way down.

      Vourvoulos or Monolithos are the closest beaches to Fira and Firostefani. Amoudi beach is 214 steps below Oia and is great for swimming – but it’s not really a beach. So if you want swimming to be easily accessible then best get a hotel with a swimming pool or stay on the east coast of Santorini.

      Good luck.

      Reply
      1. daniel browne

        thanks dave, is the water warm enough in august to be in the sea a lot? Also if if we stayed at amoudi would it be a good enough area for swimming and sunbathing that we wouldn’t need a pool?

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          The only hotel in Amoudi is Amoudi Villas. It’s nice and the swimming is great but I don’t think it would replace a beach or pool if sunbathing were high on your list of things to do. Unique setting though. Right on the bay with fishing boats and a few tavernas.

          And yes the water is warm in August.

          Reply
  211. Ken

    Brilliant site mate! I will be going to Santorini in Sept as well for 4 days/5 nights for honeymoon, I am leaning towards staying in Fira or Imerovigli. Would you recommend those towns to stay in? I am looking for something that is more romantic, easy to get in and out of, places that is still lively at night time not necessarily noisy, is accessible to beaches, plenty of places to eat, any suggestions there

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Ken. Imerovigli is the better fit for a honeymoon. It’s quieter than Fira but still has some great places to eat, superb sunsets, and Fira (and the nightclubs) are not far away.

      Two hotels in Imerovigli that are great are Astra Suites and Chromata Hotel.

      The beaches are on the opposite coast but the island is small so getting there won’t take too long.

      Reply
      1. Ken

        Thanks for the quick response David! After continuing to look further, I definitely like Imerovigli more for a honeymoon. Are there any other hotels you would recommend within Imerovigli that are not as pricy as the two you mentioned?

        Reply
  212. Romantic Hotels in Santorini and Mykonos

    Dave… your site is wonderful! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information. My girlfriend and I will be visiting the greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos from September 22nd through September 29th. I wanted to know if you could recommend a few romantic hotels in both places and also wanted to know if there was a nearby island we could hop to for the day. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Glenn.

      For absolute luxury on Santorini stay at Perivolas Hotel.

      In Mykonos, the Belvedere Hotel Mykonos.

      Recommended day trips from Santorini would be the islets out in the caldera. Here’s a day cruise that takes in Thirassia (one of the islets) and some other nearby sites: http://santoriniyachting.com/En/Cruise/Cruise.htm.

      In Mykonos the big day trip is definitely to Delos – it’s the Delphi of the Cyclades with lots of great stuff to see. Good info here: http://www.igougo.com/review-r1355115-Important_Hints_for_a_Successful_Trip_to_Delos.html.

      I hope you have a great trip. Good luck.

      Reply
  213. Mayu

    We stayed in both Oia and Fira on our last trip and much preferred Fira. Oia is easy to take in with a visit or 2 but gets a little boring after that. Unless you’re looking for a very very relaxed holiday then Fira or one of the nearby villages to it are the places to stay.

    Food is expensive so don’t be expecting a budget destination. Plan for spending a bit and you’ll really enjoy yourself.

    Reply
  214. Greek Island Itinerary Help

    We’re going to be in Europe from June until October, living in London, and one thing we HAVE TO DO is get to the Greek Islands. When would you suggest going for the absolute best time? Santorini is a must for me but where else would you suggest? We’ll probably have 3 weeks and really want to make the best of it. Thx.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Lori. The best time to visit Greece? September. It’s nearly perfect and the weather is wonderful. The crowds (and high prices) have subsided. The water is nearly at it’s warmest (it warms throughout the summer and is probably the warmest sometime in late August to early September). For Santorini you’d still want to book hotels in advance. And Athens too – especially if you’re staying at a luxury hotel as they see an influx of tours in September. But everywhere else you could probably get away with showing up and bargaining at the pier with the touts or walking around the town looking for that idyllic hotel. As for other islands, Crete is great but it needs time to explore and see properly so give it at least a week. Naxos and Paros for the typical beach scene. Folegandros for great walks. Antiparos, Ikaria, Sifnos for a quieter island with great beaches. Ios and Mykonos for partying. Lesvos and Corfu are wonderful too but harder to get to if you’re going to Santorini (though not impossible). I hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. BAELE Guido

        Are there in Santorini small shuttle boats going around the coastal villages and if so where do I find info ?
        I can’t find anything . Thank You for helping me if You can

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          There are water taxis that run from Kamari to Perissa beach. These run from about 10am in the morning to 6pm at night and take about 15 minutes one-way. There are also water taxis from Perissa beach to Red Beach and White Beach and between Red Beach and White Beach. These do not run as regularly or with a set schedule. There sometimes is a boat that runs from the old Fira port (at the base of the cable car) to Amoudi Bay below Oia. Amoudi Bay usually has a few boats hanging about that you can hire though they don’t work on a regular schedule.

          Reply
  215. GEORGE

    Hi again Dave. I exchanged emails with you last month. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. All the info was very helpful.

    One last question:

    What is the best website for booking hotels on Santorini?

    Reply

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