Greece has always been a popular vacation destination. And Santorini island is one of the pearls of Greece. I have a great honour to visit it with my family too. Enjoy this small, but very beautiful island. You will never forget the white buildings, cliffs, red beach and sunset. So how to make the best out of the trip to Santorini?
In Santorini you will need a car
Does not matter if you come with the group of alone, I would strongly recommend to book a car at least for few days. Ok, at least one. We have come with one of the agency so that means that you will be greeted, drove to the hotel and informed about the excursions they offer. When I have heard the price – 50 eur for a half day excursion, I knew it is not worth it. As my parents wanted to try one of the tours, I just went to a local tourism office and got exactly the same tour for 30 Eur. They were shocked. But that’s life. So do not get yourself into the situation of paying too much. 🙂 As the island is really small, you can rent a car for 1 – 2 days.
One day route with the car
Santorini is a very small island. If you want you can walk around it in a week. 🙂 So if you want to save money for renting a car, you can see everything in one day. The route I made starts in Kamari (I have stayed there), but anywhere from south it works. First stop – Pyros – it has a nice old town with beautiful panorama. 30 min to 1h should be enough. Next stop – Akrotiri – the old city. It has a ruins of the fortress that is nice to walk on. Another 1h or even less. After that you can go down to the red beach. Keep in mind that you still need to walk some hundreds of meters from the parking lot. And the way it is not the easiest, but the view is so much worth it. You can also swim there if the weather is nice. As there were many tourists we did not do that, instead, we found a wild beach on the way to the west point of the island. In the end of the island you find the lighthouse, that you can pass and walk on the cliffs. From there you can see all the beautiful island! In the end of the day drive to Oia for the sunset. On the way you can stop in Fira for lunch or early dinner. All the route.
Beaches are in the south
If you are a beach person, then try to get a hotel in the south. All the small towns are there and the main cities are in the north – right on the cliff. Do not expect a sandy beach – it is mostly rocks. Water shoes would be a great decision for that – so much easier to walk to the water! Before Santorini I could not think that you would need shoes for the beach but clearly – you do. So during your vacations it is worth spending 1 – 2 days on the south to enjoy the sun and the beach. Just keep in mind that they are volcanic beaches and thats why they are black. That is also very exotic. 🙂
Do not miss sunset at Oia
When you see the pictures from Santorini, many times they are of sunset at Oia. And it is spectacular! The only thing you will not enjoy is a crazy crowd all over the city! It is like china wall in the pictures looks so empty and when you get there you cannot even walk. Same happened with Oia sunset. We did not arrive earlier to ”book” a better spot, I do regret about it. So just arrive early, enjoy dinner in town and enjoy the views.
Go for a coffee in Fira
I am a coffee lover. Not for such a long time, but I do enjoy a good cold coffee during a hot day. To go to Fira you do not even need a car – a bus will take you there from the south part of the island. It costs less than 2 euros and goes once an hour. Full schedule. In this case you do not need to worry about parking because Fira is not the town for cars. Most of the city is on the cliff so you will need to walk in a cosy narrow streets. It leaves you with an amazing view during all the walk. So just pick a cafe and enjoy the view of the blue water, cruise ships and city itself.
Get the excursion to the Nea Kameni and Therasia islands
Once, Santorini was a pretty round island. Until the volcano eruption, when the island got split and now the main island reminds of a moon. But it is also nice to visit the volcano that caused it. As it is in the other island, the best way to get there is to take a tour that includes transfers to the boat, a boat ride to Nea Kameni volcano island and Therasia island. This is the one I got for 30 Eur instead of 50. If it is 35 eur I think it is still a great price. For this day, take sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.
On the way to Therasia, the boat stops so you can enjoy the warm bath in the hot spring. You need to swim from the boat and the sea is not so warm but once you get to the warm spring it is a great experience! Especially feeling how the water temperature changes.
If it is a hot day and you do not want to sweat going up in Therasia island you can use donkeys! It is a very interesting experience that is also an attraction, not only the way to go up. The view is amazing, you see all Santorini island from the top! In the city there are only few people, few restaurants and a hotel. So it is a little bit pricey.
A good description of the tour in here.
I hope you will have the best days in Santorini! If have any comments or questions – just comment below. 🙂
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