Santorini is a gorgeous Greek pearl, a snow white island with incredible atmosphere.
I advise to allocate 3-4 days for Santorini - not to get bored, but to have enough time to see everything you want. The island is very small and it takes not more than 2 hours to go around by car.
By the ways, there is nowhere to rush in Santorini and its relaxed atmosphere encourages for slow wandering around the narrow pathways between whitewashed houses. And the villas with an unequalled view on caldera will always stay in your memory as a fabulous unforgettable impression.
The best way to move around the island is by rented car, or taxi (which is not very cheap). Public transport is not frequents, though it sticks to the schedule. You can get the information about car rental on this page, it is cheaper to rent a car starting from the airport.
There are no direct international flights to Santorini, so, you have to fly to Athens, first, and from there to take a low-cost internal flight or a ferry that will cost you 20-25 EUR.
Photographer in Santorini
You will definitely wish to bring from Santorini not just delightful impressions but also the photographs as the island has such an unrivalled beauty and incredible views that are hard to compare to anything else.
Sites of Santorini
The first location from where you may start exploring Santorini is Оia. Most likely, you have already seen this place without even being here as its image has appeared on so many postcards and advertising booklets that it seems familiar to almost all tourists. However, to see this place on the picture and to be physically here are totally different things.
It is better to plan the tour around Oia for the second half of the day, so that at 5- 6 p.m. you would stop at some suitable location for watching the sunset (a roof, a terrace, or a restaurant/cafe with the view).
In the village, you can visit the Greek Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary, Ekklisia Panagia Platsani with very impressive interior, a marine museum, explore the ruins of an ancient castle, and see one of the mills.
If you are in Oia you cannot miss out a book shop, Atlantis Books. Even if you are not a fan of literature, look into it like a museum. There are hundreds of collectible editions of books here. For example, here, in Santorini, in this very book shop, there is the first publication of “Harry Potter” and “Breakfast at Tiffany” issued in 1958! You can purchase any of these books, or you just can wonder at the prices, from 1,500 € and even higher.
It is possible to reach Oia from any part of Santorini by public transport or taxi.
Public transport is not very frequent and runs according to the schedule available in every hotel. A taxi will cost 15-20 € for 15 min trip.
The Downtown of Oia is closed for transport, so, you have to be ready for a walk.
Plan the entire next day for Acrotiri, which is on the other part of the island. There is a big archeological excavation here that really impresses with its scale.
The entrance fee is 12 €, but this can only allow you to walk around the ruins. If you want to look inside or even to have a guided tour you need to pay extra.
Open hours are:
In winter: (Nov-May) from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m.
In summer: from 8 a.m till 8 p.m.
On the same side of the island there are Red, White and Black beaches.
But what is really worth special attention is Kokkinopetra. It is a unique place with the rocks of incredible colors looking especially bright and impressive against the azure background of the sea.
And since you are already here, you have to walk up to the westernmost point of the island – to Akrotiri Lighthouse.
The main city of Santorini is located right in the middle of the island between Oia and Acrotiri. There are no beaches in Fira but it accommodates a big number of exquisite villas with pools and panoramic terraces and plenty of gift shops and restaurants.
Look into the Greek Orthodox Church St.Gerasimos Christian Church -one of the most photographed churches in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located right on the edge of a cliff on the western coast of the island.
For lunch you can look into the restaurant “Vanilla”, right opposite the church, or a typical Greek tavern “Aktalon”.
There is Santorini Cable Car, just one step of the Church, but it has no value in terms of the view as it connects Fira with the harbor, while all the beauty of Santorini can be observed from the town.
There is one location that is definitely worth to see - Skaros Rock. It isone of the most impressive on Santorini, the peninsula formed by a big, 20 m high, rock connected with the island by a very narrow pathway.
This place is curious not only in terms of its geological peculiarity, but also due to its historical background. This was the location of the first fortress built in Santorini in XV century to protect the island from pirate raids.
Being the capital of Santorini, Skaros Castle was the biggest on the island in the Middle Ages. But because of its location, it suffered severely during the earthquake and the inhabitants of the castle had to move to Fira. At present, there are only ruins left in the site that remind of the former settlement.