Find how to tour Santorini in the best way! Read where to stay, what to expect there, and what to do in terms of tours, and other hacks on this unique Greek island, and the top destination of the south Aegean sea!
Is Santorini worth visiting?
Santorini is definitely worth visiting due to its unique volcanic topography. Formed 3.500 years ago from a huge volcanic eruption, Santorini is the remaining of the initial volcanic crater also known as a caldera.
Apart from its history, Santorini is also worth visiting for the luxury accommodations, the great food, the ancient sightseeings, its unique wines, and the breath-taking romantic sunsets.
It is a top "worth a visit" destination for couples and honeymooners!
How do you travel around Santorini?
The best way to get around Santorini is on a tour or by bus if you want to travel around as an individual.
Santorini is also very easy to walk around if you are fit enough, but if you will get tired - the bus or taxi is best to link you to all areas.
KTEL operates bus routes from Fira town to many different villages and destinations on the island of Santorini.
Santorini has a piece of adventure for everyone, and due to its many trails, it is an ideal destination for hiking!
How long does it take to drive around Santorini?
It takes only one hour to drive from one side of Santorini to the other. In the high season June to September, you might be challenged by the big traffic of some areas.
Santorini is an easy island to drive around especially during the low season, but be careful as the main road network is on the standards of a motorway (2 lines only, 1 to go - 1 to come) and passes through inhabited areas, so you do not have to drive on high speeds.
How many days do you need for Santorini?
Ideally, you will need 5 days to visit and to explore Santorini in order to be able to explore many famous beaches, hike in Santorini or Thirassia, or even take a cruise to the volcano and hot springs and see the romantic sunset on board.
The truth is that Santorini is compact in size, but the huge touristic demand has created many facilities and things to see and do on the island, and for some people, even 2 weeks are not just enough to make the most of it!
Is Santorini expensive to visit?
Santorini can be expensive or not. It all depends on the accommodation, how early you book a room and tickets, and what you want to see and do on the island.
I have lived in many areas in Santorini, as I have worked and came for holidays here, and I have seen the area from both sides.
Santorini attracts big wallets and has many luxurious facilities for you, but in general, you can find a lot of cheaper solutions.
Is food expensive in Santorini?
Souvlaki, gyros and fast food, in general, are the cheapest options to eat in Santorini, and they are all good quality.
In case you chose the restaurant option with a caldera view, then it can be quite expensive, but again you can find cheaper options in restaurants too. Santorini has agricultural production (fava, tomatoes, etc) and good restaurants are using local quality products in the recipes.
Because of the local wine production, a glass of wine is often cheaper than a glass of beer.
You can always hit the happy hour of restaurants for a more reduced price of your meal.
Which side of Santorini is better?
The best side of Santorini is obviously the west side due to the best direct view of the volcano, the caldera, Thirassia, and the sunset.
The east side looks towards Folegandros and Anafi, it is still nice to stay here if you want to avoid crowds or get some better room rates, but you will definitely need to rent a car or a motorbike staying here.
What is the best area of Santorini to stay?
The best areas to stay in Santorini are
They are all located at the edge of the caldera cliff looking towards the western side of Santorini and they all have a wonderful view of the crater of the volcano.
Another hot spot on the island is Megalochori, a traditional village right in the heart of the island away from the coast.
Should I stay Oia or Fira?
Oia is more quiet and romantic to stay but Fira is more central. They both have hotels with the greatest caldera view on the island, but Oia has a bit more expensive ones and more high-end restaurants.
Fira has a big market and due to its connection everywhere on the island, it is recommended for the low season, as long as you do not seek isolation on your holiday.
How do I get from Fira to Oia?
You can take a bus to Oia from the central bus station in Fira. It is only a 30 minutes one-way journey from just € 1.80 per person.
You do not need to book bus tickets in advance, as you can purchase your ticket on the bus.
Oia is the final stop of this route, and the drop off is just within a walking distance from the center of Oia.
You can always use the footpath from Fira to Oia, and just hike the distance via Firostefani and Imerovigli, and the greatest view always on your left-hand side!
Are taxis expensive in Santorini?
Taxis are not very expensive in Santorini. A typical fare from the Santorini airport can be 40-50€ to Oia, and 30-40€ to Fira or 35€ to 45€ to the ferry port.
But this is typical fare and might change over the season also the fares might increase after midnight where most flights arrive or depart.
In case you are having trouble with finding taxis in Santorini, you can ideally check our section about transfers in Santorini and you can find many types of transfers to get you anywhere on the island.
Is there Uber in Santorini?
UBER or any other taxi app does not exist in Santorini as in the rest of Greece.
You can always find taxis or transfers to move around and to explore the island and its beauties.
How do you spend a day in Santorini?
Find the best way to spend a day in Santorini, either you are an island hopper or on a shore excursion, by doing these things:
Visit Oia village, the castles and the sunset
Explore the Black Beach and the Red Beach for swimming
Visit a winery for a unique wine tasting experience
Visit the picturesque Pyrgos Megalochori and Emporio villages
Visit the Mount of Prophet Elias and the chapel
Get a cruise in the caldera and visit volcano hot springs and Thirassia island
You can find many full-day or half-day tours private or shared and fit most of the above spots in one itinerary and see everything about Santorini.
You can visit our blog (sections at the bottom of the page) and explore more sightseeing tours in Santorini!
What can you do in Santorini in 3 days?
If you are in Santorini for three days only, then do the hike from Fira to Oia, try to have both a boat tour and a wine tour.
Also, do not miss to visit the traditional villages of Megalochori and Pyrgos (you can find many tours) together with the archaeological site of Akrotiri and visit also the Black Beach and the Red Beach.
Foodwise, you can choose to eat at Metaxi Mas (!!) in Exo Gonia, and the Athenian House in Imerovigli.
In case you are staying in a luxury hotel, check their restaurant and the food events they take. Most of the luxury hotels have fine dining restaurants with tremendous chefs and cuisine.
What you must do in Santorini?
You must definitely do these things when in Santorini, no matter for how long you are staying for, do not miss out to:
Visit Kamari Beach - Kamari is close to the airport of Santorini, located on the east side of the island. In Kamari, you will find low room prices and a cosmopolitan style, with many stores, restaurants, and cafes, and also one of the most organized beaches of Santorini
Visit Amoudi Bay - Amoudi Bay is located just below the castle of Oia in the north of the island, and it is the smallest and most picturesque port of Santorini. You will find great restaurants here, with delicious food and the most romantic sunset dinners next to the waves, and the old fishing boats. Many celebrities are also coming here to dine.
Get a Fira to Oia Hike - It is the most beautiful hike of Santorini. Get it alone or find a proper hiking tour and explore all the hidden spots of this trail.
Visit Ancient Thira and Ancient Akrotiri - Santorini was once a colony of the Minoans. The location close to Crete made Santorini a thriving area for the trade and the civilization of the Minoans. Inside the archaeological territory of the excavations, you will find two-floor buildings, vases, local ancient irrigation systems and paintings of 4.000 years ago and more. Visit the area with an archaeologist or get a guided tour to Akrotiri.
Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera - The Museum is located within the town of Fira. You can access it easily and you are one step away from exploring the Cycladic Civilisation's findings and history.
Do Winery Tours - Santorini is famous for its unique wines! The composition of the soil in minerals and other elements in Santorini gives a unique taste and distinctive quality of the wines, unlikely anywhere in the world. The production of Santorinian wines is very limited, and this makes the wines even more precious. Almost all the famous winemakers of Greece have a subsidiary plant here, together with the many local wineries, offering exhibitions and wine tastings. If you are not sure which one to go to, you can check our tours section on the bottom of the page and get a wine adventure in Santorini!
Visit Red Beach and Black Beach - Visit those two world-famous beaches the Black and the Red Beach, travel back in time, and see the consequences of the massive volcanic eruption back in time, that finally shaped these two beaches with different lava. The Red Beach has only one canteen before the entrance, but on the Black beach (Perissa) you will find almost the biggest organized beach of Santorini, with many beach bars, lounges, umbrellas, and restaurants by the beach.
Visit open-air cinema - Visit the open-air cinema in Kamari and watch new releases under the night sky, the stars and the summer moon. You can combine the cinema with a night out in Kamari.
Try the local food - Santorini has really nice food and restaurants to go around for every appetite and wallet. Enjoy a snack by the beach or a romantic dinner with a volcano view and give another impression of your holiday!
What is there to do in Santorini at night?
You can also do many things in Santorini on a night out. Santorini's options for a night out are becoming more and more every year.
Always remember that Santorini is not Mykonos (and probably it will never become one), and people who come here are mostly romantic couples and honeymooners from around the world to live the romance, the calmness, and the amazing views together with luxury. So do not expect to find the huge and noisy clubs of Mykonos here, but find instead small lounge bars with special character offering specific food or the perfect cocktails!
More specifically, on a night out in Santorini please do not miss:
The White Door Theatro and the live wedding show
Love Boat Bar
Albatross Beach Bar
Can you swim in Santorini in September?
You can definitely swim in Santorini in September. Santorini has a hot climate (beeing in the South of the Aegean) and the weather is hot until mid-October but after mid-October is not recommended as the weather cools down a lot.
How safe is Santorini?
In general, Santorini is extremely safe to visit as a traveler and so is Greece as a whole. Santorini has a zero crime rate and the people here are really welcoming and warm and will make your stay an unforgettable memory.
The locals are also very busy during the season, as people here mostly work for 7-8 months non-stop (no day offs, same I did in the past).
Every tip from your side could be a huge reward and extra motivation for them when they have to deal with extreme fatigue, especially when approaching the end of the season.
You have always to be aware of though, and double-check the prices before buying something.
Santorini has many options certainly for its size! It has a really long history and many secrets and gems to explore. Santorini has all the elements to become your best next summer escape if you know how to tour it the best way!
Santorini will definitely amaze you on every step!