An Introduction to Santorini in 99 Photos

The shape of Santorini before the eruption.

The shape of Santorini before the eruption blasted away the center of the island.

Santorini caldera view from Fira.

The view of the caldera from Fira. You can see the outline of the “bowl” that the volcano created after it exploded. The lagoon sits in this volcanic crater.

Caldera view from Imerovigli.

A similar view from Imerovigli – just north of Fira. Imerovigli has the best sunset views of any town on Santorini.

Grace Hotel in Imerovigli.
Grace Santorini hotel in Imerovigli. Looking at Skaros Rock and Thirassia island which forms the opposite side of the caldera.

A view of the caldera from Oia.

A view of the caldera from Oia. Note: Not all areas of Oia (or all hotels) have a view of the caldera.

A view of the caldera from the air.

A view of the caldera from the air. Oia is on the left tip of the island. Fira in the middle. And the beach towns are on the far side of the island.

Fira at sunset.

Fira as the sun sets. Most of the nightlife, bars, and clubs are found in Fira.

Homeric Poems in Fira.
Homeric Poems hotel in Firostefani. A quiet town but a short walk from the action of Fira

The back alleys of Fira.

The back lanes of Fira are fun to wander about. High end clothes and jewelry shops are a common sight.

Oia Santorini.

Oia is much quieter than Fira and more romantic.

The view from Oia.

A bar patio in Oia.

Breakfast at Canaves Hotel in Oia.
Breakfast with a view at Canaves Hotel in Oia

A church in Oia.

A church overlooking the caldera in Oia.

The sunset from Oia.

The sunset from Oia.

Pool with views of the caldera.

Several hotels have swimming pools perched over the cliffs of the caldera. The one at Katikies Hotel is one of the best.

Amoudi Bay

Amoudi is found below Oia and where you’ll find a few tavernas, hotels, and one of the best swimming spots on the island.

Old port of Fira.

The old port below Fira. This is where passengers from the cruise ships arrive in Santorini. But the ferry port is found farther south.

Vlichada Beach

Vlychada beach – 10 km’s south of Fira. A black sand beach that like all beaches on Santorini gets very hot during the day (so wear sandals).

Vlichada beach.

Vlychada Beach: lots of sun beds to hire here and a car park.

A view of the caldera from Fira.

A view of the caldera from Fira.

A ferry in port.

Ferry is the funnest way to get to Santorini. A bonus of being onboard is pulling into different island ports along the way. (Note: to make the trip even funner buy a couple bottles of wine before coming aboard.)

View from a cave house rental on Santorini.

View from a cave house rental on Santorini.

The start of the grape harvest (vedema) in Santorini.

tourist shop

A tourist shop selling knick-knacks.

Tour boat on Santorini.

A tour boat that takes tourists around the nearby islands from Santorini.

Agios Nikolaos. An islet below Oia and near Amoudi Bay. You can swim out and around the island if you want.

The view from the swimming pool at Katikies Hotel.
The view from Katikies Hotel in Oia.

A view of Oia from a patio.

Sign in Santorini

Wine and fava sign on a road in Santorini.

Bus in Santorini.

These are the buses that run between the main towns, airport, ferry port, and beaches of Santorini. They all have air conditioning, run on a schedule, and cost less than €2 to go pretty much anywhere on the island. (You pay on board.)

Bus schedule for Santorini buses.

Bus schedules will be posted at all major stops and terminals. Like this one for Akrotiri to Fira.

Ferry schedule in Santorini.

A ferry schedule in Santorini. It’s easy to book ferry tickets on the island.

On a walk from Fira to Oia.

View looking south towards Fira and the cruise ships in port.

Tomato bals.

Tomato balls – Santorini style.

Threshing fava.

Threshing fava. One of Santorini’s most common crops.

The island of Thirassia.

The island of Thirassia. The only populated island of the small islets near Santorini.

Superfast ferries in Athens.

Two of the ferries that do the trip from Athens to Santorini. A superfast ferry on the left and a more conventional car ferry on the right.

Sunset crowd in Oia.

Viewing the sunset. A crowd waits for the sun to drop in Oia.

St Nicholas church.

St Nikolaos church in Santorini.

St Athena Church.

St Athena church.

Souvenir shop in Oia.

A souvenir shop in Oia.

Marizan Cave Suites in Oia.
The patio of a suite at Marizan Caves & Villas in Oia.

Looking north from Oia.

A view from Oia looking north.

The caldera.

Looking out into the caldera.

Nea Kameni.

Many restaurants have great views of the caldera.

Red beach.

Red beach – 12km south of Fira. Interesting rock formations in the water make it good for snorkeling. Hot pebbles are uncomfortable to sit upon but lots of loungers available. Accessible by car and boat (from Fira port).

Red beach on the south coast of the island.

Another view of Red beach.

Red Beach.

Red beach’s unique backdrop.

Perivolos beach.

Perivolos beach – 10km southeast of Fira. It’s an extension of Perissa beach. Also called black beach because of the black sand and pebbles.

Perissa beach.

Perissa beach is 8km’s southeast of Fira. This is the backpacker hangout of the island and often the cheapest place to stay. There is also a water park in Perissa which is popular with kids and families. A boat takes passengers between Kamari and Perissa a few times  a day for €3.

Painted donkey in Santorini

A painted donkey in Oia.

A sunset in Oia.

A sunset in Oia.

Oia from a distance with Amoudi Bay below.

Oia at night.

Oia gets quiet at night as there are few clubs or bars.

Amoudi Bay beneath Oia.

Amoudi Bay beneath Oia. One of the best places to swim on the island.

The steps to Amoudi Bay.

The steps to down the cliff in Oia.

Church bells in Oia.

Church bells in Oia.

Church near Megalochori.

A church near Megalochori.

Cars boarding a car ferry.

Cars boarding a car ferry.

Caldera view from Megalochori looking north.

Caldera view from Megalochori looking north towards Fira.

A restaurant in Santorini.

A cook in one of Santorini’s restaurants.

A restaurants overlooking the caldera.

A restaurant  in Fira at night perched on the island’s cliff.

Calamari.

Calamari.

The cable car heading up from the old port below Fira to the town above.

The cable car heading up from the old port (below Fira) to the town above. This is how passengers from cruise ships get up to Fira. But tourists arriving by ferry and catamaran arrive at a different port and take a bus or taxi up.

Boats in the caldera below Fira.

Boats in the caldera below Fira.

Kamari beach.

Kamari beach. 8 km’s southeast of Fira and the most developed beach on the island. Lots of restaurants and hotels are just back from the beach.

Beach chairs at Kamari.

Beach chairs at Kamari.

Bank machine.

Santorini has many ATMs. (And also a picture of a very common type of car rental.)

Amoudi Bay.

Amoudi Bay has some tavernas (specializing in seafood) and a hotel.

Amoudi Bay beneath Oia.

Amoudi Bay beneath Oia.

Swimming at Amoudi Bay beneath Oia.

Swimming from one of the many boat tours that take visitors to Thirassia and Nea Kameni.

The Akotiri excavation.

The Akotiri excavation – recently reopened and one of the island’s highlights.

The Akotiri excavation.

The Akotiri excavation.

Airplane style seating on a ferry.

Airplane style seating on a highspeed ferry.

Octopus.

Octopus.

A nudist beach near Vlichada.

A nudist beach near Vlychada.

Night falls on Imerovigli.

Night falls on Imerovigli – a great place to stay if you want to be close to Fira’s nightlife and restaurants (but not too close).

Astra Honeymoon Jacuzzi suite.
The Honeymoon Jacuzzi Suite at Astra Suites in Imerovigli.

Near Red Beach.

Near Red Beach.

Nea Kameni.

Nea Kameni is easy to visit by boat tour.

Moussaka.

Moussaka. Delicious.

Melitinia cookies. A Santorini specialty.

Melitinia cookies. A Santorini specialty.

Swimming in volcanic hot springs.

Swimming in the volcanic hot springs. Most boat tours from Santorini will make a brief stop here.

A highspeed ferry leaving Athens.

A Cat4 or Highspeed 4 leaving Athen’s port of Piraeus. Besides flying this is the fastest way to get to Santorini (about 4 or 5 hours).

Fruit truck.

Fruit is everywhere and delicious. Once you’ve tasted a Greek peach eating them at home is never the same.

Fried eggplant.

Fried eggplant.

French fries.

Greek fries are great and Santorini is no exception.

Frappe.

The national drink of Greece. Nescafe, water, and milk whipped into a frappe.

Grilled seafood and vegetables.

Grilled seafood and vegetables.

Some stairs in Fira.

Stairs in Firostefani.

Fira at night.

Fira at night.

Athinios port a little south of Fira.

Athinios ferry port a little south of Fira. There’s nothing here besides the ferries, a place to buy snacks, and a few ticket offices. A narrow road winds it’s way up the hill.

Donkey.

One of Santorini’s donkeys.

Little cycladic houses for sale.

Little cycladic houses for sale at a tourist shop.

Cruise passengers disembarking for the short boat ride to Santorini.

Cruise ships are too big to dock in Santorini so passengers have to be tendered to the shore. Here some cruise passengers are disembarking for the short boat ride to Santorini.

Cruise boats waiting below Fira.

Cruise boats waiting below Fira for their passengers to return.

Church near Megalochori.

Church near Megalochori.

Church in Oia.

Church in Oia.

Religious feast in a Santoini cave.

Religious feast in a Santoini cave.

photo credits

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