If you find it hard to understand the hype surrounding Santorini, we’ll set things straight here.
For starters, here’s a quick little checklist.
Stunning multicolored beaches? ✓
Whitewashed buildings set against the Mediterranean blue waters? ✓
Hundreds of pretty churches with their signature blue domes? Check.
Little cuboid houses perched over majestic cliffs? ✓
Gorgeous sunsets over azure bays? ✓
Historical geological wonders? ✓
Sparkling wineries and rich art? ✓
It really is hard not to fall in love with this beautiful Grecian island. Santorini can and does charm every kind of tourist.
In fact, as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the gorgeous Santorini islands lure over 1.5 million tourists to its panoramic landscapes every year.
So if you hear these lovely Grecian islands calling out your name again and again, here’s our little guide to help you answer it!
Santorini: What, Where, Why
Located about a 100 miles away from the south east coast of Greece, Santorini is a small island on top of an active under-water volcano.
As the geological story goes, about 4000 years ago a volcanic eruption blew out the middle part of this cyclical island archipelago. Due to this, the Santorini villages of today are perched around the cliffs of the caldera (the sea-filled volcanic crater).
How to get to Santorini?
The best way to reach Santorini is from Athens. You can either take a quick flight from Athens (40 minutes) or take a high-speed ferry from there (5-8 hours depending on the cost). And for obvious reasons, taking the ferry is much cheaper than the flight.
Best Time to Visit
Summers are the best time to visit Santorini as you can gauge by the bright and sunny pictures of Santorini.
How to commute within Santorini?
Taxis and buses are the most popular forms of transportation in Santorini. Buses would work out to be much cheaper though. You can check the bus schedule here. If you have a valid driver’s license, you can also hire a car or a scooter to stay independent.
Things to do
- Take the Caldera Sailing cruise: The caldera and volcano cruises are a must-do on a trip to Santorini. The most popular volcanic area is the Nea Kameni which is visible from all the sides of the caldera. A lot of fascinating facts are attached to the Santorini volcanoes. For instance, the Nea Kameni volcano bubbled up on the surface as land mass in 1707, fazing the Santorini villagers with awe and wonder. Moreover, rock samples from outer space have been discovered in the caldera. During the day time cruises, you can also stop over for a quick swim in the hot springs on the way of your cruise.
2. Cool off in the infinity pools: In Oia, there are several resorts with infinity pools facing the sea. A swim in these pools will be worth every penny.
3. Enjoy a beautiful sunset: Oia is famed for its otherworldly sunsets though the popular sunset viewing spots here may be super crowded. If you’d like a more private experience, you can enjoy the sunset from a boat or a yacht, the lighthouse near Akrotiri or surprisingly even Fira, the capital city of the island.
4. Snap up the cute Santorini donkeys: A lot of people recommend the donkey ride though personally I wouldn’t be too keen on it. But of course, donkeys make quite a common and interesting sight at Santorini so be sure to snap up lots of pictures.
5. Visit the ruins of Akrotiri: A not so idyllic site, the ruins of Thira may fill you touch of sadness. These ruins show the ancient city of Thira which was buried by the volcanic eruption, some 4000 years ago.
6. Check out the vineyards and get a little tipsy on wine: You’ll see some of the most gorgeous vineyards in Santorini and get to savor some of the best wines. One must-have is the ochre-tinted dessert wine which tastes like a million grapes bursting in your mouth while an angel strums a lyre on your shoulder. You can also choose to take private wine tours to get a taste of history and culture attached to the fine wines of Santorini.
Got more tips and travel suggestions to share about a trip to Santorini? Drop it in the comments below! 🙂 Do share your pictures on Instagram and tag @gypsybulletin for a chance for us to savor your trips too!