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  • Angela Mona

Why Santorini should be on Your Bucket List



Santorini is one of the most beautiful and popular islands in Greece, and for good reasons.

It has a stunning landscape, shaped by a massive volcanic eruption that left a caldera (or crater) with towering cliffs and a submerged volcano. It has charming villages, perched on the edge of the caldera, with whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches.

It has amazing sunsets, that paint the sky and the sea with fiery colours. And it has a rich culture, history and cuisine, that will make you fall in love with this island.


If you are planning to visit Santorini, here are some tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your trip.







Where to Stay in Santorini


Santorini has many options for accommodation, ranging from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxurious hotels and villas. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose from different areas and towns on the island.

If you want to enjoy the iconic views of the caldera and the volcano, you should stay in one of the towns on the west coast of Santorini: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli or Oia. These towns are connected by a scenic path that you can walk along and admire the scenery. They also have many shops, restaurants, bars and museums to keep you entertained. However, they are also very touristy and expensive, especially in peak season.


If you want to relax on the beach and have some fun in the sun, you should stay in one of the towns on the east coast of Santorini: Kamari, Perissa or Perivolos. These towns have long stretches of black volcanic sand and pebbles, with clear water and plenty of facilities and activities. They also have a more laid-back and affordable vibe than the west coast towns.


If you want to explore the south coast of Santorini, you should stay in Akrotiri, a village that is close to the ancient ruins of Akrotiri and the famous Red Beach. Akrotiri has some hotels that offer caldera views at lower prices than Oia or Fira. It is also a good base for hiking to the lighthouse or visiting some of the wineries in the area.


What to Do in Santorini


Santorini has something for everyone, whether you are looking for culture, adventure, relaxation or romance.


Here are some of the best things to do in Santorini:


  • Visit the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, a Minoan settlement that was buried by volcanic ash in the 16th century BC. You can see the well-preserved houses, frescoes and artifacts that reveal the life of the ancient inhabitants.

  • Hike from Fira to Oia along the caldera edge, passing through Firostefani and Imerovigli. This scenic trail offers stunning views of the volcano, the sea and the villages. The hike takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on your pace and how often you stop for photos.

  • Watch the sunset from Oia, the most famous spot in Santorini for witnessing the sun dip into the horizon. Oia gets very crowded during sunset time, so make sure you arrive early to secure a good spot. Alternatively, you can watch the sunset from a boat tour or from other less crowded places such as Skaros Rock or Ammoudi Bay.

  • Enjoy a wine tour and tasting at one of Santorini’s many winerie2. Santorini has a unique wine-making tradition that dates back thousands of years. The volcanic soil and climate produce distinctive wines such as Assyrtiko, Nykteri and Vinsanto. You can learn about the history and methods of wine production and sample different varieties at wineries such as Santo Wines, Domaine Sigalas and Venetsanos Winery.

  • Relax on one of Santorini’s volcanic-sand beaches. Santorini has beaches of different colors and textures, ranging from black to red to white. Some of the most popular beaches are Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach and Perivolos Beach on the east coast, which have dark sand and pebbles and offer plenty of facilities and activities. On the south coast, you can find Red Beach (named after its red cliffs and sand) and White Beach (accessible only by boat) which are more secluded and scenic.

  • Explore the Santorini caldera by boat, kayak or jet ski. The caldera is the submerged crater of the volcano that created Santorini. You can see the two small islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, which are still active and have hot springs and sulfur vents. You can also swim in the warm waters, snorkel in the caves and admire the views from a different perspective.

  • Visit some of the museums and cultural sites in Santorini, such as the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira, which display artifacts and exhibits from different periods of Santorini’s history. You can also visit the Megaro Gyzi Cultural Center, which hosts concerts, exhibitions and events throughout the year.

  • Experience the nightlife and entertainment in Santorini, especially in Fira, which has a variety of bars, clubs and pubs to suit different tastes and moods. You can also find some live music venues, such as Jazz Point and Koo Club, or watch a movie under the stars at the Open Air Cinema in Kamari.

When to Visit Santorini


The best time to visit Santorini is during the shoulder season months of April, May, early June, late September and October. During these months, you can enjoy pleasant weather (average temperatures range from 16°C to 24°C), fewer crowds and lower prices than in peak season. You can also catch some of Santorini’s festivals such as Easter (April or May), Orthodox Pentecost (June) and Ifestia Festival (September), which celebrates the volcano with fireworks.

Peak travel time to Santorini is July and August, when prices soar and hotels, viewpoints and beaches are packed with tourists. The weather is hot and dry in July and August, with average temperatures of 28°C and highs of 35°C. If you visit Santorini in summer, make sure you book your accommodation and activities well in advance, and avoid the midday sun. You can also enjoy some of the summer events such as the Santorini Jazz Festival (July) and the Megaron Gyzi Festival (August), which features music, art and cultural performances.

The low season in Santorini is from November to March, when the weather is cooler (average temperatures range from 12°C to 16°C) and wetter, and many hotels, restaurants and shops are closed. However, if you are looking for a quiet and budget-friendly getaway, you can still find some open places and enjoy the island’s natural beauty and charm without the crowds.


How to Get to Santorini


Santorini has an international airport that connects the island with Athens and other European cities. The flight from Athens to Santorini takes about 45 minutes. You can also take a ferry from Athens or other Greek islands to Santorini. The ferry from Athens takes about 5 to 8 hours depending on the speed and type of ferry. You can also take a high-speed catamaran that takes about 3 to 4 hours.

Once you arrive in Santorini, you can get around by bus, taxi, car or scooter.

The bus network covers most of the island and is cheap and reliable. However, buses can get crowded in peak season and may not run frequently in low season. Taxis are available but expensive and hard to find during busy times. Renting a car or scooter gives you more flexibility and freedom to explore the island at your own pace. However, you should be aware of the traffic rules, parking issues.


Conclusion


Santorini is a dream destination that will leave you breathless and enchanted. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a solo adventure, you will find something to suit your needs and interests in this island.

From the stunning views of the caldera and the volcano, to the charming villages and the volcanic beaches, to the rich culture and history and the delicious cuisine and wine, Santorini has it all.

Don’t miss the chance to visit this amazing island and experience its magic for yourself. Book your trip to Santorini today and get ready for an unforgettable journey.


xoxo, Angela & Lali, from Chasefortravel




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