Santorini – The Complete Guide

Updated: December 2, 2017

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The 2018 Santorini Travel Guide

The Greek Island of Santorini, Greece

The view from Oia into the Santorini caldera.

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Where Is Santorini?

Location of Santorini, Greece near Italy.
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.

How Big Is Santorini?

Santorini has a population of 15,500 and a land area of 76 sq. miles (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.

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).

What Is The Best Place To Stay In Santorini?

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

How Was Santorini Created?

How was Santorini made by the volcano?
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 sea water 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.

How To Get To Santorini

Santorini is connected by ferry to Athens (5 to 7 hours) and the islands of Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Folegandros, Mykonos, and Crete (1 to 3 hours). Flights from Athens to Santorini take less than 1 hour, flights from western Europe take about 3 hours.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Santorini?

The best things to do on Santorini include hiking the incredible caldera foot path, 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.

When Is The Best Time To Go To Santorini?

The best time to go to 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 the months of April, May, October, and early November are also great.

Saving Money In Santorini

Santorini is known for luxury hotels and high-end shopping but it’s easy to visit Santorini on a modest budget. The key to saving money is to choose hotels and restaurants not directly on the caldera. Enjoying the incredible views is free!