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Santorini Travel Guide

by Santorini Dave

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Santorini best hotels
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July 19, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Hotel with pool in Firostefani, Santorini.

Belvedere Suites in Firostefani.

Ferry arriving in Santorini.

SeaJets high-speed ferry arriving in Santorini (from Crete).

Fishermen in Santorini.

Local fishermen selling today’s catch in Emporio.

July 18, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Church in Kamari, Santorini.

The church of Saint Pagratios in Kamari.

ATV and scooter rentals in Santorini.

ATV and scooter rentals at Kamari Street Moto.

Infinity pool with sunset view in Santorini.

Infinity pool and sunset view at Aeifos Boutique Hotel in Imerovigli.

July 17, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Oia hiking path to Fira.

Visitors start the hike to Fira just outside of Oia.

Caldera hike in Santorini.

My favorite views on the caldera hike are on the stretch between Oia and Imerovigli.

Villa with caldera view in Santorini.

Ftelari Villa on the caldera’s edge. (You might recognize it from season 3 of “Jack Ryan”.)

Fira, Santorini.

The end of the hike (or start, depending on which way you’re walking) is typically the main square of Fira.

July 16, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Church in Santorini.

Chapel of Panagia Katefiani built into the cliff. You can visit it on the hike from Perissa to Ancient Thera.

Ancient Thera, Santorini.

View of Perissa on the walk up Mesa Vouno.

Ancient Thera, Santorini.

The ruins of Ancient Thera on top of Mesa Vouno.

Ancient Thera, Santorini.

Lots to see here. (You can drive up to Ancient Thera from the Kamari side of Mesa Vouno if the hike is too much.)

Ancient Thera, Santorini.

The theatre of Ancient Thera.

Hotel in Perissa.

Marianna Hotel in Perissa. A family run hotel located near the start of the Ancient Thera hiking path. (Close to town and the beach too.)

Gyro restaurant in Santorini.

Gyros Place in the central square of Perissa.

July 15, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Marriage site in Santorini.

El Viento near Megalochori. A popular spot for weddings.

The Old Port in Santorini.

Walking the path down to the Fira Old Port (Skala). A tender boat is transfering cruise passengers from the ship to the Old Port.

Cable car in Santorini.

The cable car from the Old Port up to Fira. There are no roads down to the Old Port so if you don’t take the cable car you have to walk or hire a donkey to get up to Fira.

Boat transfer to Oia.

There is also a boat transfer from the Old Port to Oia.

Donkey handlers in Santorini.

Donkey handlers at the Old Port.

July 14, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Korfou Bay in Thirassia.

Looking down on Korfou Bay in Thirassia with Santorini visible in the distance. Thirassia is a short ferry ride from Santorini and forms the opposite side of the caldera.

Korfou Bay.

Looking up from Korfou Bay towards Manolas Village.

Restaurant in Thirassia.

Captain John restaurant in Korfou Bay.

Seafood in Thirassia.

The grilled squid at Captain John was amazing.

View from Manolas Village.

View from Manolas Bay towards the sea (looking west, not into the caldera like above).

Thirassia hikes.

The undeveloped countryside in Thirassia makes it ideal for peaceful hikes.

View of Oia.

Heading back to Oia. Approaching Ammoudi Bay (from Thirassia) by ferry

Katharos beach near Oia.

Katharos beach near Oia. Thirassia visible behind the splashing wave.

July 13, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Santorini proposal.

A proposal at Amara Villa in Imerovigli. The patio and private location is all yours when you stay at the villa.

Santorini bakery.

Traditional Greek breads at Erotokritos bakery in Karterados. (About a 15 minute walk from Fira. Open 24 hours.)

Cooking lessons in Santorini.

Raki restaurant in Megalochori. Great food and also offers Greek cooking lessons.

July 12, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Church in Pyrgos, Santorini.

Saint Sampson church in Pyrgos.

Cave Houses in Pyrgos.

Olyra Traditional Cave Houses in the heart of Pyrgos village.

Shop in Pyrgos.

Souvenir shop on the lanes of Pyrgos.

Fira bus station.

Fira bus station early in the morning.

Magma Hyatt Resort in Santorini.

The huge pool at the Magma Resort. (Note: website photos try to make it look like the hotel has caldera views, but the hotel is not on the caldera, and views are to the east.)

July 11, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Restaurant in Oia.

Lycabettus restaurant at Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia.

Restaurant in Oia, Santorini.

Lycabettus restaurant from a different angle. For reservations: reservations@lycabettusrestaurant.com

Flying dress in Oia.

Flying dress photoshoot at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Oia.

New apartment in Oia.

One of One – Aether suite in Oia. (Formerly Zoe Aegeas Traditional Houses.)

Santorini beach.

Beach south of Pori on the east side of Santorini. Looking north.

Santorini beach.

Looking south.

Church in Santorini.

Saint Efstratios church in Vourvoulos.

July 10, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Lifeguard at Kamari Beach.

Lifeguard keeping watch at Kamari beach.

Kamari shopping.

Trendy and eclectic La Boheme in Kamari. (Patios at the excellent value Santellini Hotel perched above.)

Kamari shop.

Inside La Boheme.

Cafe in Kamari.

Cozy Cafe Dolce in Kamari.

ATV rental in Kamari.

A huge selection of buggies and ATVs at Moto Star in Kamari.

View of Santorini.

View from Pyrgos towards Exo Gonia. A bit hazy today.

July 9, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Fira, Santorini.

Photos and ice cream on the streets of Fira.

Path from cruise port to Fira.

The path from the cruise port to Fira.

Coffee Island in Fira.

Coffee Island in Fira. Popular with locals early in the morning, tourists through the day.

Church in Fira.

Saint Minas Church in Fira: This is the first summer it is open for everyone, 10 AM to 2 PM.

Church in Fira.

Getting some shade from Saint Minas.

Interior of Santorini church.

Inside Saint Minas Church.

View from Santorini church.

View from inside Saint Minas.

July 8, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Snorkeling in Santorini.

Snorkeling at Perissa beach

Cafe at Santorini beach.

Chocolat creperie-cafe on Perissa beach

Hotel in Perivolos.

9 Muses hotel in Perivolos offering horseback riding, lawn tennis, and bike rental.

Hotel with church in Santorini.

The private chapel at 9 Muses hotel. (Available for weddings.)

Santorini vineyard.

A vineyard near Megalochori. The grape harvest usually begins in late August or early September.

Megalochori, Santorini.

Megalochori village, late in the evening.

July 7, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Akron Art Museum in Santorini.

The Akron Art Centre in Megalochori.

Akron Art Museum in Santorini.

The Akron is a gallery displaying reproduced wall paintings from Akrotiri and Minoan and Classical ceramics.

Boats in Santorini.

Boats at Mesa Pigadia Beach.

Mesa Pigadia Beach Restaurant.

Mesa Pigadia Family Tavern (the food was excellent).

Tomatokeftedes in Santorini.

Tomatokeftedes, also known as fried tomato balls, are a popular appetizer originating from Santorini. They’re made from crushed or pureed tomatoes mixed with herbs, onions, and sometimes feta cheese, formed into balls or patties, and then fried in oil until crispy and golden brown. They are often served with a side of tzatziki or as part of a meze platter.

Mesa Pigadia Beach.

The beach is just below the restaurant.

July 6, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Morning in Oia.

Early morning view of Oia.

Santorini church in Oia.

Saint Basil church on the caldera cliff. The entrance to Captain John Traditional Houses is just to the right, near the boat in the background.

Santorini restaurant with rooftop seating.

KooKoo restaurant. Close to Oia’s bus stop with a rooftop garden open for sunset views.

Oia restaurant.

Markos, manager and part owner of Kookoo.

Tour in Santorini.

A guided tour group in Oia.

July 5, 2024

Today in Santorini.

ATV in Santorini.

The road along Monolithos Beach.

Paddleboard rentals in Santorini.

Nemely Windsurf and SUP Center on Avis Beach just north of Kamari.

Windsurfing in Santorini.

Nemely rents windsurfing and paddle boards, and offers lessons and caldera tours.

Coffee shop in Messaria.

Omoo Coffee in Messaria.

Cafe in Messaria.

Omoo.

Santorini windmill.

Windmill in Karterados village, which is close to Fira and has a good collection of affordable hotels.

July 4, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Santorini Camping.

Santorini Camping. Located east of Fira, about a 10-minute walk to the main square.

Santorini Camping.

Reception at Santorini Camping.

Santorini Camping.

Tents at Santorini Camping. There are also doubles, triples, quadruples, and dorm rooms with bunk beds.

Santorini Camping.

Pool at Santorini Camping. There’s also a cafe, bar, and mini-market.

Guide at the Distillery Museum in Santorini.

Artemis, a guide at the Distillery Museum.

Messaria church.

Άγιος Σπυρίδων (Saint Spiridon) in Messaria.

July 3, 2024

Today (a foggy one) in Santorini.

Donkeys in Fira, Santorini.

Fira.

Hotel in Santorini.

Petite Palaces south of Fira.

Church in Imerovigli.

Church of the Resurrection of the Lord in Imerovigli.

Breakfast in Fira, Santorini.

Breakfast at Luku Mum in Fira.

Breakfast in Fira, Santorini.

A great place to get loukoumades. (Be sure to try them if you haven’t already.)

July 2, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Church in Fira.

One of the most iconic scenes in Santorini is the Catholic Church of the Dormition, also known as the Three Bells of Fira.

Ice Cream in Fira.

My favorite gelato shop in Santorini – Zotos in Fira.

Art & Icon Studio in Fira.

Art & Icon Studio in Fira selling handmade souvenirs and Byzantine icons.

Local souvenir shop in Fira.

The shop is hidden down a lane and some steps off the main path.

Imerovigli.

View of Skaros Rock on the Fira to Firostefani path.

July 1, 2024

Today in Santorini

Plane landing in Santorini.

A plane flying over Kamari to land at the Santorini airport just a few miles away.

Bakery in Santorini.

Erotokritos Bakery in Kamari.

Pizza restaurant in Santorini.

Sirocco Pizza in Perissa.

Pizza restaurant in Santorini.

Wood fired pizza.

Pizza restaurant in Santorini.

Delicious.

Pizza restaurant in Santorini.

Costas, owner of Sirocco.

June 30, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Best coffee in Oia.

Early morning at Luno Cafe. The best coffee in Oia.

Astarte Suites.

Astarte Suites near Akrotiri.

Aeolos restaurant near Akrotiri.

Lunch at Aeolos near Akrotiri.

View of caldera.

View of caldera from inside Aeolos.

Greek salad in Santorini.

Horiatiki (Greek salad) and saganaki (baked cheese).

Moussaka in Santorini.

Moussaka: A classic Greek dish made with layers of eggplant, potatoes, and ground meat, topped with bechamel sauce. So good!

Souvlaki in Santorini.

Brizola (steak) with potatoes and souvlaki with potatoes.

June 29, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Seafood restaurant in Santorini.

Fresh seafood with a view at To Psaraki in Vlychada.

Seafood restaurant in Santorini.

Dish of the day: Swordfish souvlaki with potatoes.

Seafood restaurant in Santorini.

Grilled manouri cheese with homemade pesto.

Seafood restaurant in Santorini.

Overlooking the marina …

Seafood restaurant in Santorini.

… in Vlychada.

View from Akrotiri.

View of the island, looking north from the Venetian Castle in Akrotiri.

Venetian Castle in Akrotiri.

Venetian Castle.

Venetian Castle in Akrotiri.

Path to the Venetian Castle.

Home in Santorini.

Classic local home in Akrotiri.

Beach in Santorini.

Monolithos Beach had high winds and rough waves today. It’s the most shallow beach and usually great for families with kids.

Waves hitting coast in Santorini.

Waves hitting the shore in Monolithos. Some ferries were cancelled today due to rough seas.

June 28, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Beach in Santorini.

Baxedes beach near Oia.

Beach in Santorini.

Baxedes beach.

Santorini cable car.

Cable car running from Fira to the Old Port (Skala Pier).

Restaurant in Fira.

Irini’s Cafe overlooking Fira.

Gyros in Firostefani.

“Why Not?” gyro joint on the main path through Firostefani.

June 27, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Fira outdoor cinema.

New Bar Volkan, located next to the Fira bus station. Offers sports viewing, starting when it gets dark.

Wedding shots in Imerovigli.

Wedding shots in Imerovigli.

Restaurant in Imerovigli.

Anogi restaurant in Imerovigli. A personal favorite.

June 26, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Church in Santorini.

Saint George Ksexreotis Holy Orthodox Church near Vourvoulos. Built in 1750.

Vlychada Marina.

Vlychada marina.

Vlychada marina with To Psaraki restaurant on the cliff above.

Vlychada marina with To Psaraki restaurant on the cliff above. (Great food.)

June 25, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Oia, Santorini.

Oia.

Ammoudi Bay below Oia.

The Ammoudi Bay port busy with deliveries and the morning ferry to Thirassia (daily departures at 8:00 AM, 12:30 PM, and 5:20 PM).

Oia, Santorini.

Even early morning can be busy in Oia.

Oia, Santorini.

Staurós Church in Oia.

Grocery store and ATM in Oia.

Proton Minimarket in Oia. Open 7 AM to 1 PM.

Bakery in Oia.

A couple of tourists at the Milopetra bakery in Fira.

Santorini farming.

Locals picking cherry tomatoes.

June 24, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Perissa Beach in Santorini.

Perissa Beach.

Bikes for rent at Perissa Beach.

Bikes to rent at Perissa Beach from Exi Experiences.

Hotel in Vourvoulos.

Venus Sunrise Suites & Villas in Vourvoulos Village. This is the quiet side of the island and not on the caldera. Sunrise views instead of sunset.

Beach in Santorini.

Paralia Agios Nikolaos, next to Exo Gialos harbor.

Yalos Bar in Santorini.

Yalos in Exo Gialos. One of our favorite beach restaurants in Santorini. Delicious!

Hiking path in Santorini.

Walkers on the Fira-Oia path.

Caldera hike in Santorini.

A view of Skaros Rock and the caldera on the path between Imerovigli and Oia.

Hotel in Imerovigli.

Nobu Hotel in Imerovigli, directly on the hiking path.

June 23, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Santorini water taxi.

Akrotiri pier where daily boat trips to Red Beach and White Beach depart from.

Akrotiri restaurants.

Water side taverns on the beach of Akrotiri – Cave of Stolida and Cave of Nikolas.

Emporio jewelry store.

Amoni Jewelry Workshop in Emporio Kastelli.

Jeweler in Emporio.

Owned and operated by Angeliki Katsira. Handmade and custom-made jewelry.

Church in Emporio.

Sunday Mass at the Panagia Mesani Church in Emporio.

June 22, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Airbnb in Emporio.

Traditional houses in Emporio.

Cafe in Emporio.

The Old Barbershop kafeneio inside the Kastelli of Emporio

Santorini church.

Agios Charalambos Church in Exo Gonia.

Kamari leather shop.

Leather shoes, wallets, and belts at Kamari Sandal Workshop.

Kamari leather shop.

A three-generation family business run by Georgos Vlachos.

Kamari beach.

Early morning at Kamari beach.

Santorini bus stop.

Waiting for the bus to Fira.

Greek post.

A mailbox on Kamari beach. Don’t forget to send your postcards.

June 21, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Volkan on the Rocks in Firostefani.

The view of the volcano from Volkan On The Rocks in Firostefani.

Movie on the caldera.

Volkan plays Mamma Mia every night at 9pm. (Reserve in advance.)

Hiking paths in Pyrgos.

Hiking sign in Pyrgos village for the path to Profitis Ilias, Ancient Thira, and two other churches.

Profiti Ilias, Santorini.

View towards Fira and Oia from Profitis Ilias.

Profitis Ilias, Santorini.

View towards Perissa from Profitis Ilias.

Santorini donkeys.

Donkeys in Pyrgos village.

June 20, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Akrotiri, Santorini.

Table and chairs at Charoula Canteen near the Akrotiri Lighthouse.

Akrotiri, Santorini.

Akrotiri Lighthouse.

Akrotiri, Santorini.

A swing with a view.

Akrotiri, Santorini.

Looking north from Akrotiri into the caldera.

Akrotiri, Santorini.

The winding road down to the ferry port.

Pygros, Santorini.

Johnnie’s Cafe in Pyrgos.

Pyrgos, Santorini.

Brusco Wine & Coffee Deli in Pyrgos.

June 19, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Pori, Santorini.

Pori Beach.

Pori, Santorini.

Pori Port.

Kamari, Santorini.

Restaurants and beachfront walkway in Kamari.

Kamari, Santorini.

Ice cream in Kamari.

Kamari, Santorini.

Kamari Square.

Oia, Santorini.

Windmills outside of Oia.

Oia, Santorini.

Passaris Bakery in Oia.

Oia, Santorini.

Looking towards Imerovigli from Oia.

Imerovigli, Santorini.

A flying dress photoshoot in Imerovigli.

Imerovigli, Santorini.

Honeymoon Petra Villas (with the volcano in the background) in Imerovigli.

Imerovigli, Santorini.

Imerovigli looking towards Oia, with the pools at Tholos Resort and Astra Suites visisble.

Imerovigli, Santorini.

Avaton Resort in Imerovigli and the start of the walking path to Oia.

June 18, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Oia, Santorini.

Breakfast at Vitrin Cafe in Oia.

Oia church.

Oia.

Oia blue door.

Oia.

Oia, Santorini.

A lineup for photos in Oia.

Art gallery in Megalochori.

Art gallery in Megalochori.

Megalochori's main square.

Mr Scoop for great ice cream in Megalochori’s main square.

June 17, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Fira, Santorini.

A Greek Orthodox priest walking to work in Fira.

Fira, Santorini.

Tourists grabbing some photos.

Fira, Santorini.

A back alley in Fira.

Fira, Santorini.

Stores opening for the day in Fira.

Fira, Santorini.

Early morning deliveries in Fira.

Firostefani, Santorini.

A church in Firostefani.

Firostefani, Santorini.

Enjoying the caldera view in Firostefani.

June 16, 2024

Today in Santorini.

Vlichada, Santorini.

Fishing boat in Vlychada.

Perissa, Santorini.

Tranquilo Bar in Perissa.

Pyrgos, Santorini.

Morning coffee at Penelope’s Ouzeri in Pyrgos.

Pyrgos, Santorini.

Monument of the Fallen next to the Church of Agios Nikolaos in Pyrgos.

Pyrgos, Santorini.

Browsing for souvenirs in Pyrgos.

June 15, 2024

Today in Santorini.

New Atlantis Bookstore in Santorini.

Atlantis Books new location in Firostefani is now open.

Perissa, Santorini.

Lifeguards preparing for the day at Perissa Beach.

Bakery in Santorini.

Santa Irini Bakery in Persissa. Inexpensive and authentic Greek pastries.

Emporio, Santorini.

The winding lanes of Emporio’s Kastelli.

Emporio, Santorini.

Looking from Emporio towards Perissa Beach.

June 14, 2024

Ferry port in Folegandros.

Waiting for the ferry at the Folegandros ferry port.

Restaurant at Folegandros ferry port.

Dal Capo is a delicious little restaurant right at the port.

Food in Folegandros.

The ferry is late, time for some pasta.

June 13, 2024

Today in Folegandros.

Folegandros, Greece.

The Kastro neighborhood of Chora.

Folegandros, Greece.

View from Kastro neighborhood.

Folegandros, Greece.

Public square in Chora.

Folegandros, Greece.

Looking up at the Church of Panagia from Chora.

Folegandros, Greece.

Looking down from the Church of Panagia.

June 12, 2024

Today was beach day on Folegandros.

Folegandros, Greece.

Katergo Beach.

Folegandros, Greece.

Agios Georgios Beach.

Folegandros, Greece.

Agkali Beach.

Folegandros, Greece.

Vorina Beach.

Folegandros, Greece.

Karavostasis Port.

June 11, 2024

Hotel in Folegandros.

This morning’s view from Gundari hotel on Folegandros.

June 10, 2024

Mykonos ferry.

This morning’s ferry from Mykonos …

Folegandros ferry.

… to Folegandros.

June 9, 2024

Agrari Beach, Mykonos.

Agrari Beach this morning.

June 8, 2024

Sunset at Mykonos hotel.

Last night’s sunset from the brand new Deos Mykonos hotel.

June 7, 2024

Hotel in Mykonos, Greece.

This morning’s view from Lovia Mykonos hotel.

June 6, 2024

Mykonos Town, Mykonos.

Looking out over Mykonos Town this afternoon.

June 5, 2024

Cali Hotel in Mykonos.

Checking out Cali Mykonos hotel today.

June 4, 2024

Mykonos, Greece.

The beach scene today at Kalo Livadi, Mykonos.

June 3, 2024

Mykonos, Greece.

This morning in Mykonos Town.

June 2, 2024

Thirassia, Santorini.

Catching the boat this morning from Thirassia to Oia.

Athinios, Santorini.

… And then the ferry from Santorini to Mykonos in the afternoon.

June 1, 2024

Thirassia, Santorini, Greece.

This morning’s view of Santorini from Riva Beach on Thirassia.

May 31, 2024

Thirassia, Santorini, Greece.

Our bike tour of Thirassia with Explore Thirasia.

May 30, 2024

Thirassia, Santorini, Greece.

The view of Oia from Thirassia – the small island neighboring Santorini and forming the western edge of the caldera ring.

May 29, 2024

Santorini, Greece.

Enjoying some local wine at Oeno P. Paris Sigalas sold his Domaine Sigalas winery in 2020, and this is his new project. A boutique winery, opened in 2022 and making about 20,000 bottles a year.

May 28, 2024

Santorini, Greece.

The new location in Firostefani of famed Atlantis Books (formerly in Oia). Opening soon.

May 27, 2024

Athens, Greece.

The new metro line from Athens International Airport to the Piraeus Ferry Port. Easy, cheap, and fast. The Blue Star ferries to Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros depart directly across the street.

Santorini Travel Guide

Santorini, Greece.

The view of Oia from Skaros Rock in Imerovigli, Santorini. The hike along the caldera is my favorite thing to do in Santorini.

Santorini is the most spectacular island in Greece and one of the geologic treasures of Europe. The five villages of Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Akrotiri sit atop the caldera and offer spectacular views into the crater created from a 16th-century BC volcanic eruption. What remains is an incredible sight and a magical setting for island hikes, infinity pools, luxury hotels, clifftop wineries, and dreamy sunset dinners. With a land area of 76 square kilometers, Santorini is a little bigger than New York’s island of Manhattan.

Santorini Basics

Santorini Hotels

Santorini Activities

Santorini Trip Planning

Latest Articles & My Travel Newsletter

Frequently Asked Questions about Santorini

See Also: Greece: Tips & Information for First-Timers

Where is Santorini?

Santorini is an island in Greece, located in the Aegean Sea, 200 km southeast of Athens, 150 km south of Mykonos, and 140 km north of Crete. Flights to Santorini take 4 hours from London, 3.5 hours from Paris, 2 hours from Rome, and 1 hour from Athens. There are no direct flights to Santorini from the USA, Canada, or Australia.

Map of Santorini's location in Greece.

How do I get to Santorini?

There are multiple daily Athens to Santorini ferries (4.5 to 6 hours by highspeed ferry). The islands of Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Folegandros, Mykonos, and Crete (1 to 3 hours) will have direct ferries from April to early November, and sometimes year-round for Naxos and Paros. Flights from Athens to Santorini take less than 1 hour, direct flights from western Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice) take 2 to 4 hours.

Map showing possible air and sea routes to Santorini, Greece

Santorini Ferry Port Video

How big is Santorini?

Santorini has a population of 15,500 and a land area of 76 square kilometers (an area a little bigger than Manhattan). The length of the island is 16 km and its width varies from 1 to 5 km. It takes 45 minutes to drive from one end of Santorini to the other.

Map showing the size of Santorini, relative to Manhattan

What is the best month to go to Santorini?

The best time to visit Santorini for good weather, boat tours, swimming, sunbathing, and nightlife is from June to September. If beach time and hot weather are not a necessity and you’re more interested in sightseeing, history, hiking, and exploring then late March, April, May, October, and early November are also great.

Graph indicating the best times to visit Santorini for a variety of indicators

What are the main towns in Santorini?

The towns of Fira, Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Akrotiri cling to the 300m cliffs and have magical views of the caldera and volcano to the west. The beach towns of Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, and Agios Georgios are on the east and south sides of the island (not the caldera).

The most popular towns to stay in Santorini.

Do I need a car in Santorini?

A car can be helpful to have in Santorini, but it is not necessary. It’s easy to get around Santorini using their public bus service, which is cheap, comfortable, and reliable – especially if you’re staying in Fira, the central hub of the bus system. If you prefer renting a car in Santorini instead of relying on the bus, I recommend picking it up at the airport, even if you are arriving by ferry. There is a very limited number of taxis, and Uber is not available on Santorini, so private transport from the Santorini airport or ferry port is best arranged in advance through your hotel or through Welcome Pickups car service.

Public bus at the Santorini ferry port.

There will always be a public bus to meet all arriving ferries. Buses in Santorini are comfortable, cheap, and have plenty of room for luggage.

Where should I stay in Santorini?

The best places to stay in Santorini are along the caldera in the villages of Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani. These towns have incredible views of the volcano, sea, and sunset. All of these towns are on the west side of Santorini.

Map of where to stay in Santorini.

What are the best things to do in Santorini?

The best things to do on Santorini include hiking the incredible caldera footpath, touring wineries, doing a boat tour of the caldera (with volcano hike/hot spring swimming/sunset), and visiting the island’s small charming villages. There is a vibrant nightlife with everything from wine bars to dance clubs but it’s never rowdy and the club scene is easily avoided if you’re not interested.

Pool with caldera view in Santorini.

The view of the volcano and Skaros Rock from the amazing Astra Suites Hotel in Imerovigli.

How was Santorini created?

Santorini is what remains from a massive volcanic eruption 3600 years ago. The eruption destroyed all settlements and created the caldera. The caldera is a lagoon of seawater surrounded on 3 sides by the steep cliffs of Santorini and on the 4th side by the island of Thirassia (which was part of Santorini before the eruption). The current volcano (on the island of Nea Kameni) sits in the middle of the caldera. It’s active but presently not at risk of erupting. This is a good video on the Santorini volcano.

Map of how the Santorini caldera formed.

How many days should I spend in Santorini?

Stay a minimum of 2 days and 2 nights. But there’s so much to see and do that it’s easy to fill 5 to 7 days. If possible, do one boat tour, one wine tour, hike the Fira to Oia footpath, explore the villages of Pyrgos and Emporio, and visit the historical sites of Akrotiri and Ancient Thera. You’ll also want plenty of time to wander the cobblestoned lanes and alleys of Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli. Then there’s nightlife and all the great places to eat on Santorini.

Kamari Beach in Santorini.

Santorini does not have the best beaches in Greece – they’re mostly pebble beaches – but the swimming is divine.

What currency is used in Santorini?

Greece is part of the European Union, so the currency used in Santorini is the Euro (€). Most shops and restaurants on Santorini accept credit cards, but it is a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases like bottled water and snacks. ATMs are easy to find in all of Santorini’s main towns.

Sunset view in Fira.

Most restaurants in Santorini, like Marinera in Fira, accept credit cards.

Is Santorini expensive?

Santorini is known for 5-star luxury hotels, great restaurants, and high-end shopping but it’s easy to visit Santorini on a modest budget. There are no all-inclusive resorts on Santorini so the key to saving money is to choose hotels and restaurants not directly on the caldera. Enjoying the incredible views is free and cheap hotels in Santorini are plentiful, good value, and good quality.

Outdoor cinema in Fira.

Watch a movie overlooking the caldera at Volkan Cinema in Fira. But for the best movie experience in Santorini head to the Kamari Open Air Cinema.

What towns and hotels have the best caldera views?

The towns of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia, and Akrotiri are perched on the Santorini cliff and offer incredible views of the caldera and volcano. Not all hotels in these towns have caldera views but many do and the ones that don’t are a short walk (sometimes just steps) from the caldera’s edge, so staying at a caldera hotel isn’t necessary to enjoy the views. Each town offers a unique perspective and there isn’t any one town with the absolute best views. Imerovigli generally has the best sunset views but even this is open to debate and each of the caldera villages has a reasonable claim to having the island’s best views.

Hotel with private pool in Fira.

The Honeymoon Suite at Athina Luxury Suites in Fira.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.