creditsKFeel-good-studio/Shutterstock.com
creditsKFeel-good-studio/Shutterstock.com

Santorini is an incredible Greek island. One that welcomes you to explore its iconic whitewashed villages on cliffs with blue-domed churches and vibrant floral decoration. Combine that with the postcard-worthy sunset on Oia, and you will understand why it is a famous island for many tourists around the world and local Greeks alike! Here is our Santorini travel guide to take you through everything the striking island has to offer for an unforgettable vacation. 

Fair warning 

Please know that you will experience an unbeatable urge to buy tickets to the island of Santorini for your upcoming summer vacation by the end of this Santorini travel guide. You may even feel the need to book a Greek island hopping experience on cruise ships. Give into it. It'll be worth it. Now you can proceed at your own risk.

A little bit about Santorini, Greece 

akrotiri church santorini Mariia Boiko shutterstockAkrotiri church, Santorini - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

We've all seen it: magical sunsets, whitewashed houses with blue accents, steep hills, blue-domed churches, unique volcanic ash beaches, Caldera villages, and a whimsical atmosphere that enchants everyone who visits; of course, we're talking about none other but the world-acclaimed island of Santorini

With a need for escaping reality more prominent than ever, the island of Santorini, one of the most popular islands of the Cyclades and the Greek islands in general both for tourists and locals alike, seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. And how could it not be with its volcanic geomorphology, the deep blue waters of its beaches, and the welcoming locals who feel like enjoying your time on their island is their responsibility!    

The islands Santorini consists of

ammoudi beach santorini ian woolcock shutterstockSantorini - credits: ian woolcock/Shutterstock.com 

Santorini is, in fact, a complex of islands that consists of Thera, Thirassia, and Aspronissi. These used to be one, but following a tremendous volcanic eruption, the land broke off, forming the impressive Caldera everyone knows and loves. Magical as it is, the island Santorini was often thought to be connected with the legend of the "lost" city of Atlantis, becoming the test subject of scientists worldwide for years. 

The history of Santorini island

santorini holidays Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstock
Santorini - credits: Netfalls_Remy_Musser/Shutterstock.com

Before it was named Santorini, according to recorded history, the island was called 'Kallisti,' which means 'the most beautiful of all.' In 1153, the Venetians named it Santorini from the combination of the words Santa (Saint) and Irene (Peace).

In ancient times, the island of Santorini was round and had very close ties with nearby Crete. In the archeological site of Akrotiri, one can distinguish the strong Minoan influence. Nowadays, the island of Santorini has a crescent shape and stands on the sunken crater -also known as Caldera- of its volcano. 

The famous Caldera is the result of the volcano's eruption caused during the 15th century BC, which was one of the largest known to humankind. It is also known as the Minoan eruption. Over the years, the Thera returned to their homeland, and a grand trading island was reborn from its ashes. The last huge volcanic explosion took place in 1950 and has remained inactive ever since.

When to visit Santorini?

catamaran santorini dancar shutterstockSantorini - credits: dancar/Shutterstock.com

As thoroughly explained in our Vacation in Greece Guide, choosing when to travel to Greece comes down to personal preference, and the island of Santorini, Greece is no exception. However, regardless of that, and because Santorini is an island, visiting during the winter would not be the wisest choice.

The Greek islands are infamous for being particularly cold and windy, while due to the small number of permanent residents, they are close to deserted. Therefore, it wouldn't be a surprise to find most of the cafes, taverns, and shops that are at their peak during summertime to be closed through the winter months, which stands true for other islands as well. That being said, due to the incredible, raw beauty of the island of Santorini, there is something to be gained from a winter trip.

The emptiness causes a magical setting that is difficult to find. Therefore, if seclusion is what you're after, then maybe a Santorini travel in the winter is not such a bad idea. In any other scenario, however, choosing the warmer months is the best option without a doubt. 

On the opposite side, if you choose to visit Santorini during the summer and especially during its peak season, which lasts from the end of June to early September, you need to keep in mind that massive tourist crowds have probably made the same choice as you coming from European countries and the rest of the world.

How to reach Santorini

happy woman in santorini Photocreo depositphotosHappy woman in Santorini - credits: Photocreo/Depositphotos.com

By Ferry

The ferry journey takes 8.30 hours by conventional ferry and 6 hours by speedboat from the port of Piraeus. Most ferry routes to Santorini depart from the Piraeus ferry port, though there are also several departing from Rafina port

Piraeus is close to downtown Athens via Metro subway and is the last stop on the green line, while Rafina ferry port is another option, which is actually closer to the airport. As a result, the best port for you to choose to reach Santorini depends on your arrival date, the ferry routes, and the place you come from.

Of course, if you plan on spending your vacations on cruise ships, all you have to do is make sure Santorini is included in your itinerary, and Santorini's cruise ships dock will be waiting for you.

By plane

Santorini is connected by air with Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, and the rest of the Aegean islands, with flights that take place throughout the year with a direction to the Santorini airport. During the summer, flights to Santorini airport increase to serve the heightened tourist needs, while direct flights from cities abroad are also available. Flights from Athens International Airport to Santorini airport take approximately 45-55 minutes. We highly suggest you opt for Aegean airlines for your domestic and international flights, but any other flight company will do. 

Where to stay in Santorini, Greece?

couple santorini Kalamurzing shutterstockCouple in Santorini - credits: Kalamurzing/Shutterstock.com

For first-timers

If you want to be enveloped by luxury and glamor, and especially if you haven't visited Santorini, Greece before, you have to stay at one of the Santorini hotels on the edge of the Santorini Caldera to experience the full "wow" factor.

For a cosmopolitan experience

Moreover, Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia have hotels and villas with whitewashed interiors, terraces, swimming pools that inspire wedding proposals, high-fashion photo shoots, and countless Instagram posts. Please keep in mind that accommodation with Santorini caldera views out to the southern Aegean sea is premium and is in hot demand, so make sure to book ahead of your Santorini travel.

For an offbeat vibe

couple windmills santorini Santorines shutterstockCouple in the windmills of Santorini - credits: Santorines/Shutterstock.com

At the same time, there are more than decent accommodation options in Fira and Firostefani and less in Imerovigli and Oia, away from the panoramas of the front line of Santorini. There is also a large guest house and a welcoming camp with rooms on the outskirts of Fira.

For a stay by the beach

Last but not least, if you are more interested in holidays or activities on the beach, your best bet would be to stay in the beach towns of Perissa or Kamari. There, you will be able to take a break from the massive crowds of tourists and explore a more offbeat, original side of Santorini

You can find the luxury Santorini hotels that fit your requirements best among our favorite accommodation choices we have hand-picked here.

The most famous settlements in Santorini, Greece

Oia

santorini oia lady Maridav shutterstockOia - credits: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Oia village in Santorini, Greece is the most famous settlement on the island of Santorini, known to the ends of the world for its unique sunset. It is built in the northern part of the Caldera, at an altitude of about 120 meters. It extends from the west to the east coast, in this narrow part of Santorini, as the settlement's old core has virtually integrated the surrounding small villages. 

It has been characterized as a traditional settlement since 1993 and maintains unchanged the traditional Cycladic architecture. The all-white houses that adorn the Santorini Caldera with the dark reddish color are "interrupted" by other bright colors, while the blue domes of the churches are the trademark of the village. 

Oia village has all the tourist infrastructure of a modern destination. It boasts a rich market with shops and public transport that connects it daily with many itineraries, especially in the summer months, with Fira, the island's capital, which is about 11 km away if you book a rental car.

Imerovigli

sunset at imerovigli santorini Georgios Tsichlis shutterstockSunset at Imerovigli - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

Imerovigli, one of the most impressive villages of Santorini, stands at the highest point of the Caldera since the Byzantine years. The settlement overlooks the impressive volcano from a height of about 300 meters from the sea and is located approximately 3 kilometers northwest of Fira, on the road to Oia. Apart from the asphalt road, the village is connected with the capital of Santorini with a path that offers endless views of the unique volcanic landscape.

As it is a declared traditional settlement, the style of its buildings remains unchanged, with an emphasis on Cycladic architecture. Today, Imerovigli is one of the most developed tourist spots in Santorini, with high-quality hotels, restaurants, and other shops, which welcome every year tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. In addition, it is connected daily with the other villages of Santorini by public transport, while as it is located in the middle of the island, it is an ideal starting point to get to know the whole of Santorini.

Fira

woman in thira santorini elenstudio depositphotosFira - credits: elenstudio/Depositphotos.com

At a distance of 12 km from Oia, the always busy Fira, the capital city of Santorini, is one of the must-see stops on the island. About 260 meters from the sea surface, it seems like it is hanging off the cliff, dressed in starking white, causing every visitor's admiration. The unique location of Fira on the Santorini Caldera offers stunning views of Nea and Palia Kameni, and the southern Aegean Sea. 

Crowds flock to the densely populated area of ​​Fira at all hours of the day. At the same time, the numerous businesses operating in the alleys of the capital of Santorini attract visitors of various interests and all ages. 

Your walk will start from the central square of Theotokopoulos with the many café bars, while, a little further down, a street full of luxury jewelry stores stretches in front of you. Indulge in the charm of the beautiful straits of Fira and let your gaze wander to the eerie beauty of the Caldera of Santorini.

When visiting Fira, don't forget to visit the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, the Gyzi Palace, and the Santozeum art space. What's more, to enjoy your acquaintance with Fira to the fullest, you can climb the 588 steps from the Old Port. An alternative is the cable car that runs daily every 20 minutes, from 07:00 to 22:20. In fact, we highly suggest opting for the cable car. Everyone knows that a cable car is one of the most fun means of transport!

Firostefani

Santorini in the evening Andrew Mayovskyy shutterstockSantorini in the evening - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

You can reach Firostefani from Fira, following the arch of the Caldera and covering a distance of about 10 minutes on foot. Firostefani, which has always been one of the favorite stops of every visitor of Santorini, owes its name to the fact that it "crowns" Fira, as 'stefani,' the second compound of its name, means 'crown.' 

The view of the Caldera is simply unbeatable, with the cliff being so steep that it causes an addictive combination of awe and terror. In Firostefani, you will find several worthwhile suggestions for food in restaurants and taverns that have as their main feature the relaxing atmosphere. 

On the way from Firostefani to Imerovigli, you will find the monastery of Agios Nikolaos, built in 1651 by the Gyzi family - a famous and wealthy family in Santorini. It is considered the border between the two settlements, and it is more than worth your visit.

The archaeological site of Akrotiri

santorini akrotiri Dimitris Panas shutterstockAkrotiri in Santorini - credits: Dimitris_Panas/Shutterstock.com

Akrotiri, the Pompeii of the Aegean as it is known among the history buffs of the world, is an excellently preserved prehistoric city. You will find it in the homonymous part of the island under a well-designed bioclimatic canopy. 

Walking on the wooden bridges along this small town, you will discover one of the most important civilizations of the Mediterranean, which was covered with volcanic ash as a result of the great eruption of the volcano in 1600 BC. 

In a strange way, the city inhabitants managed to evacuate it in time as no human remains were found in the ashes. But you can see beautiful murals, small everyday objects, and beautiful works of art. The archeological site in Santorini is excellently preserved, and if you want a more well-rounded view of the site, you can complete your experience with a guided tour.

Resorts off the edge of the Caldera

couple toasting santorini Cultura Motion shutterstockCouple in Santorini - credits: Cultura_Motion/Shutterstock.com

The east coast of the beautiful island of Santorini is less well known than the famous, elevated west coast. There, the caldera heights have fallen to sea level. As a result, beaches and volcanic sand resorts offer a very different views. East coast resorts such as Kamari and Perissa have a more traditional holiday charm than any other part of Santorini. You see beaches with sunbeds, water sports, bars, and promenades with taverns.

The beaches of the east coast of Santorini island

catamaran in the red beach in Santorini dancar shutterstock
Catamaran in the red beach in Santorini - credits: dancar/Shutterstock.com

The beaches of the east coast are lined with black sand. However, several beaches in Santorini are famous for their colorful sand on the south coast. The dramatic Red Beach is a favorite for travelers. The island's interior is full of vineyards and traditional villages that allow you to see beyond the tourist traffic of Santorini. Make a stop at Pyrgos for great food and wander the charming alleys.

Santorini for first-timers

oia sunset santorini Mariia Boiko shutterstockOia sunset - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

Santorini is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece, and for a good reason. The island is home to stunning whitewashed buildings, mesmerizing blue waters of the Aegean Sea, and gorgeous sunsets that are best enjoyed from the highest point of the island of Santorini. It's no wonder that Santorini is often called the 'Island of Dreams.' 

The island of Santorini is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle. However, there are a few things that first-time visitors should know before they go. First of all, Santorini is a volcanic island, so be prepared for steep streets and stairs. Secondly, the best time to plan your Santorini travel is during the shoulder season, when the weather is milder and the crowds are thinner than in the high-season months. Lastly, make sure to try some of the local food – Santorini is known for its fresh seafood and delicious Greek salads. 

If you're a Santorini first-timer, as many tourists are, there are also some tips you should keep in mind!

Santorini travel tips

grape picking santorini Alexandros Michailidis shutterstockGrape-picking in Santorini - credits: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

1. The best way to explore this stunning destination among the Greek islands is to rent a motorbike or ATV. The car is best avoided as the roads of Santorini are pretty narrow and parking spaces are minimal.

2. The best time to visit the Greek islands and especially Santorini is from May to the end of October. The period from June to August is characterized by high traffic as it is the peak season. However, March and April are equally good times to visit Santorini if the cloudy sky does not bother you and the beaches of Santorini do not move you.

3. Take the opportunity and stay in a cave. The caves are small houses carved in the Santorini Caldera, which used to be the residences of the lower working class. These unique houses in Santorini usually consist of one or more small rooms and a terrace. Their main feature is that they stay cool during the summer. You will find them along the Santorini Caldera, and your experience in them will be one for the books.

4. You can book travel insurance to be on the safe side and explore the whole of Santorini carefreely. Visiting Santorini while boasting travel insurance will enhance your experience significantly! After all, safety is more important than money-saving tips.

How to get around in Santorini, Greece?

old port amoudi oia santorini kavalenkava shutterstockAmmoudi - credits: kavalenkava/Shutterstock.com

Provided that you don't travel with your vehicle, there are several ways to get around Santorini comfortably and efficiently. 

Due to the popularity of Santorini, there is a wide variety of rental shops from where you can get a rental car. Alternatively, you can book a transportation service that will allow you to get from point a to point b in Santorini luxuriously, effortlessly, and with style throughout your stay on the island. Please also know that no Uber or Lyft is offered on the island of Santorini, while public transport lines with local buses are another option that is affordable, though not always reliable.

Finally, it is worth noting that Santorini is not very cycling-friendly. There are no special bike lanes, so you will have to share the roads with the traffic. In addition, Santorini is very mountainous.

Depending on where you stay, the level of your fitness, and whether or not you lead an active lifestyle, you can sometimes get around Santorini on foot. If, for example, the hotel you choose to stay in is at Imerovigli, you could easily reach Fiora by walking. However, that covers only a small part of your transfers, as you will need some type of commute to explore Santorini and its staggering beauty. 

Of course, there are plenty of taxis you can hire for your transportation around Santorini. However, that is the most costly option you can choose, while it is not the most convenient. Regardless, suppose you haven't booked a transportation service. If a rental or a local buses not a viable option for you, you'll be glad to know that plenty of taxis await passengers from the Santorini Airport. Taxis to Fira cost between € 20 - € 40. 

Reasons to visit Santorini

palea kameni santorini isabela66 shutterstockPalea Kammeni - credits: isabela66/Shutterstock.com

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Santorini is Greece's most popular holiday destination. This island has a stunning landscape, unlike anything you have ever seen before. The spectacular Caldera created from volcanic eruptions centuries ago led to fantastic Aegean sea views. A further feature of Santorini village is its clean simplicity in Cycladic architecture. It is essential to see the ancient monuments, the traditionally blue-domed church, and impressive Blacksands. What are some of the main reasons to visit Santorini?

The volcano

Since Santorini is intertwined in people's consciousness with the famous Santorini volcano, an excursion to it is more than imperative. After all, it all started from there. You will arrive by boat, and you will have the opportunity to climb the hill of the volcano of Santorini. Both from the port of Athinios and from the old port of Thira, small boats that will transport you are constantly departing.

The wine culture

loal wine in Santorini Songquan Deng shutterstockLocal wine in Santorini - credits: Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

According to the evidence, with a history that exceeds 3,500 years, the uniqueness of the Santorini vineyard is apparent. The terroir of Santorini is among the best and most historic in the world and the wines produced are just as special. 

The volcanic soil, the pre-deforestation vineyards, and the precious fruit of Assyrtiko characterized by its intense minerality and richness in pumice and lava make the wines of Santorini an example to be imitated for all the "Volcanic Wines" and the island of Santorini a world wine destination! 

Don't miss the chance to partake in an unforgettable experience of wine tasting but also wine drinking! Be sure to try as many varieties of Santorini's wines as possible, always in moderation. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to watch the fascinating process of production and bottling of Santorini wine.

The Caldera and its sunset Aegean sea view

santorini island Heracles Kritikos shutterstockSantorini island - credits: Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock.com

The Caldera - from the Spanish word Caldera, which means cauldron - is the territorial cavity that is formed when the part of a volcanic cone recedes or when its inner walls gradually erode.There are many calderas in the world. However, the largest and most impressive is the Santorini Caldera, with a diameter of 16 km.

The Caldera of Santorini was formed around 1613 BC. Its outline is formed by the islands of Santorini, Aspronisi, and Thirasia. In the center are two small islands, Palea and Nea Kameni, which are frozen lava. Palea Kameni was created by the huge volcanic explosion that occurred in 47 AD, while Nea Kameni appeared about 1,200 years later. By 1940, two craters had formed on Nea Kameni, from where fumes still escape. At the eruption of 1950, magma was shaken from them at the height of one and a half kilometers. 

Nowadays, the Caldera in Santorini, Greece offers the most magical sunset view one can experience. So much so that people from the other end of the world travel on a regular basis just to enjoy the warm-colored spectacle that leaves everyone in awe.

The best beaches in Santorini

For many, Santorini's assets include its atmosphere, architecture, and views, but not its beaches, like other Greek islands. Still, others consider the wild beauty of the coasts of Santorini as another element of geological peculiarity. Here, you will find the most gorgeous beaches in Santorini for a relaxing or exciting swim.

Red Beach

red beach santorini Lucian BOLCA shutterstockRed Beach - credits: Lucian_BOLCA/Shutterstock.com

The Red Beach is one of the most characteristic of Santorini, an indisputable proof of the volcanic activity on the island. You will find Red Beach in the southwestern part of Santorini, a short distance from Akrotiri, and you will be impressed by its landscape: The Red Beach is not only red in name but is full of red soil! Access to Red Beach is relatively tricky, but the beach is well organized, with a number of umbrellas and sunbeds and a small canteen.

White Beach

Venetian castle in Santorini Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstockVenetian castle in Santorini - credits: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock.com

A natural extension of Red Beach, White Beach is even more inaccessible. To be precise, it is accessible exclusively by boat, either from Kokkini Paralia or from Perissa. White Beach will not impress you with the length of the sandy beach, but with its overall landscape and the vivid contrast composed by the black sand and the all-white rocks that surround it!

Slightly organized, in White Beach, you will find only a small number of umbrellas, while you should take care to have water and snacks with you since the beach is not served by a canteen or beach bar.

Perivolos

santorini island Heracles Kritikos shutterstockSantorini island - credits: Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock.com

Glossy black pebbles, beach sports, and deep clear waters. Next to the touristy beaches of Kamari and Perissa, you will find the also organized and popular beach of Perivolos. There, you will have the opportunity to sunbathe in the comfortable sun loungers and swim in clear, crystal clear waters against the backdrop of the black volcanic sand, a trademark element of Santorini, Greece that cannot be found in any other part of the world.

Vlychada

Vlychada Beach IndustryAndTravel shutterstockVlychada Beach - credits: IndustryAndTravel shutterstock.com

Vlychada is an enchanting lunar beach with white rocks. Another incredibly gorgeous and quiet beach on the island is the beach of Vlychada, located in the southernmost part of Santorini, Greece. There, you can find only one beach bar that, despite offering a few sunbeds, it's not loud and avoids disrupting the calm setting of the beach. 

The rest of the beach is accessible for people to lie wherever they feel like it, with dark sand and lunar rock formations in the background. The beach of Vlychada also happens to be one of the last nudist shelters in Santorini.

Kamari

kamari beach Zocchi Roberto shutterstockKamari Beach - credits: Zocchi Roberto/Shutterstock.com

North of Perissa and above the rock called Mesa Vouno, Kamari adds a similar experience, even bigger and even more organized than Perissa. This beach is ideal for groups, couples, but also families, as it has everything you will need for your bath, lunch, entertainment, and stay in Santorini.

Perissa

black beach santorini elen studio shutterstockBlack sand beach in Santorini - credits: elen studio/Shutterstock.com

Moving with your rental car to the southeast of Santorini, you will come upon the busy beach of Perissa, the most fashionable beach hangout on the island that has been awarded a 'blue flag!'

It is a large beach with black sand. At the same time, it is very well organized, with facilities for water sports, scuba diving, camping, sunbeds, and umbrellas, but also a wide variety of beach bars, taverns, and hotel facilities.

Perissa is the ideal hangout if you like people, music, and entertainment, but you can find quieter corners a few meters below. Don't worry though, despite the popularity of Santorini, there will be no cruise ships in sight!

Columbus

The favorite beach of low profile and nudists, towards Oia. Without umbrellas, with black gravel and an imposing wind-blown rock that gives it a unique character. Unfortunately, the north wind blows strongly on that beach. Regardless, it is an excellent spot for your swimming endeavors, while the bar-restaurant Gaia nearby will provide the best shelter with authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

Ammoudi bay

ammoudi santorini Georgios Tsichlis shutterstockAmmoudi - credits: Georgios_Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

Suppose you feel like branching out to a more alternative side of Santorini for your swimming adventures. In that case, I'd highly suggest you try Ammoudi bay, which is essentially a small harbor at the base of Oia, the beauty of which only a few people know about. Apart from incredible deep blue water, Ammoudi bay offers the ultimate sunset view and is therefore perfect for those enjoying their honeymoon in Santorini. Ammoudi bay is also a local favorite.

Baxedes

Baxedes is the main beach on the north side of Santorini. Baxedes is a quiet place with black sand, but it is not the best beach when the Meltemia winds blow. It is easier to get there by rental car or motorcycle as there are no local buses that will take you there.

Pori

Pori is a fantastic beach on the east side of Santorini, where the rocks have a very unique red color. This is an excellent beach for those who are not bothered by hiking. Unfortunately, there are no facilities such as restaurants and shops.

Mesa Pigadia 

monolithos beach Claudio306 shutterstockMonolithos beach - credits: Claudio306/Shutterstock.com

Mesa Pigadia is a beautiful rocky beach near the town of Akrotiri. About 800 meters away from the main road in Akrotiri, there are restaurants on the beach you can reach either by your rental car or on foot.

Agios Georgios

If you ride your rental car to the southern tip of Santorini, Agios Georgios beach has everything from water sports to beach bars. There are a few small taverns here, and they are the perfect place to take a quiet swim. You can get there from Emporio and Perissa by private or rented car. Walking is also an option. 

For all those who want to be isolated, you can look further than Red Beach, Ammoudi bay, and the rest of the popular beaches. Kambia and Almyra to Akrotiri, Katharos below Oia, and Vourvoulos, relatively close to Fira and Imerovigli, remain relatively quiet beaches you should pay a visit to.

Santorini's Nightlife 

Santorini by night fokke baarssen shutterstockSantorini by night - credits: fokke baarssen/Shutterstock.com

It is a relatively common misunderstanding for both Greeks and tourists visiting Santorini that the vibe of Santorini is similar or comparable to that of Mykonos. Yes, there is a vibrant nightlife, but do not expect that the vibe of Santorini's nightlife is equivalent to Mykonos or Ios or whatever party-animal destination you envision. Is it fun? Sure it is. Does it have a good party scene? Most certainly so. 

However, all this is limited to a specific part of the island, namely, the famous Santorini Fira, which is the capital of the island and gathers the biggest party crowds. The rest of the island is in a slightly different vibe as the predominant form of nightlife is bars, beach bars, and restaurants -fancy or not. As a result, don't expect to find wild nightlife in regions such as Ammoudi bay.

But let's talk about Fira, where most of the nightlife is concentrated, and we will refer to more decentralized options for those who do not like the crowds or live outside Santorini Fira, or in the Cladera villages. The nightlife of Fira seems to be divided into two categories: with caldera views and without caldera views.

Without a view

The category 'without a view' includes the largest establishments, such as Koo Club, Enigma, and Mamounia. All three of them are central clubs of Fira, which are located next to each other. 

There are also many pub bars, such as Murphys, Highlander, Town Club, and 2 Brothers bar, where they specialize in the more relaxed side of nightlife. There, you can enjoy plenty of drinks along with uplifting music until sunrise.

Please keep in mind that to access all of the nighttime establishments, and not only, but you will also need to walk through very crowded, very narrow, traditional, and picturesque -pro-COVID alleys. Fortunately, the larger stores have open spaces and are more comfortable. One of those is the Koo, as mentioned earlier, which has three different levels, with tables and multiple bar points for better service.

At this point, we must refer to a category of bars that, although geographically, they lie next to each other, and to the larger and most "commercial" nightclubs or bars, they have managed to maintain their unique character over the years. This category includes the Casablanca Soul, with its elevated balcony terrace, special music, cocktails, the Kira Thira, which has the reins in the jazz category on the island, and the Momix Bar Santorini with its molecular mixology.

With a view

santorini winey wine tasting Leah Pirone shutterstockSantorini wine tasting - credits: Leah Pirone/Shutterstock.com

In the second category of 'with a view,' we have both mainstream options and more alternative ones. Yet again, we have options for all tastes! First in the category "with a view" is the once little brother of the historic Tango in Psyrri of Athens, the Tango Bar Santorini, which, in contrast to that of Athens, continues its course dynamically, with strong mainstream music choices and refreshing cocktails, in a huge balcony overlooking the Santorini Caldera. 

For lovers of classical music and cocktails, right next to the Tango is the famous Franco's Bar, a historic and award-winning bar that has been open for almost 60 years on the island. 

If you are not convinced by any of the above and want a combination of striking views, good music, dance, and delicious cocktails, then the Tropical Bar is the way to go! This small bar at the top of the stairs leading from Fira to the old port looks like it came from a Hemmingway book.

It operates from the afternoon with relaxed R'n'B, Jazz, and Indie music until the early hours of the morning with loud dance beats, offering iced drinks and beers during the day, a great spot with a unique view to enjoy the sunset.

It is also one of the few places where everyone, including both the staff and customers, forget every trouble of their lives and give in to the endless fun. So if you plan to enjoy the sunset there, make sure you are there in time and try one of the signature cocktails.

Suppose you are looking for a more relaxing place to enjoy the sunset in Santorini. In that case, we can comfortably recommend both the Palia Kameni bar and the Vlounge Cafe & Cocktail bar on the rooftop of Panorama Boutique Hotel.

Special mention should be made of some stores that have managed to stand out due to their character. One of them is Hassapiko, a historical former butcher shop that became a bar in the enchanting Oia, where the mood reaches new highs almost every night, giving a dose of exciting nightlife to the otherwise peaceful settlement in the north of Santorini. 

Respectively, if you want to enjoy your cocktails by the sea, with the gentle breeze of the waves, we recommend either Theros Wave bar, on the edge of Vlychada beach -also known as 'Éros Beach,' or the Yazz bar on the coastal road of Perissa by the sea.

In general, the rule is to go to Fira for traditional clubbing and everything else you can imagine, but outside Fira, if you want peace, quiet, and a laid-back vibe. 

Don't forget! Santorini, Greece may be a relatively small island, but its options are countless! In addition to our suggestions, there are hundreds of places you can explore and discover your own favorites. So get off the beaten path, follow that narrow alley, and who knows, your new favorite bar may be hiding right around the corner!

Top Things To Do in Santorini

Santorini is an incredible yet relatively small island, and driving from north to south with your rental car can take around 30 minutes. It is one of the Cycladic islands located at the intersection of Athens and Crete. It is still very popular with visitors and locals, while it is full of cultural, historical, and aesthetically pleasing attractions. 

There is no guide to Santorini that does not list all the attractions of the island or the top thing to do in Santorini. That is because there are so many things to do, visit, experience, and see that there won't be a dull minute during your Santorini vacation. So here's what we recommend doing in Santorini.

Walk as much as you can

santorini village Food Travel Stockforlife ShutterstockSantorini village - credits: Food Travel Stockforlife/Shutterstock.com

The obvious activity is to walk along the edge of the Caldera and admire the views. The walks in and around Fira are impressive, starting from the north to Firostefani and Imerovigli along Caldera Street. 

Keep walking, and you will eventually reach Oia, but be aware that this is not an easy endeavor, and the path beyond Imerovigli can be rough. It is about 9 miles across and a good three to four-hour walk in one direction. Still, it is worth leaving your rental car behind for a while.

Indulge in wine tasting

santorini vine next to church Panos Karas shutterstockSantorini vine next to church - credits: Panos Karas/Shutterstock.com

The delightful wines of Santorini, Greece are its crisp, dry whites and the amber dessert wine, colorless, known as Vinsanto. Both come from the domestic grape variety, Assyrtiko. About a dozen local vineyards host tastings, and some offer food, with landscapes and local products combining excellent results. 

Explore the island's rich history

The intrigue of Santorini goes deep into the past, with the fascinating point of the Cape showing a Minoan city destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 1613 BC. In Fira, the impressive Museum of Prehistoric Thera helps capture the history of the ancient Cape.

Admire the heart-stopping sunsets

Sunset sailing trip Maximusmeridi shutterstockSunset sailing trip - credits: Maximusmeridi/Shutterstock.com

Nature's handicrafts are on display from any location in the seaside village of Santorini, but the sunset capital is in Oia, where thousands of tourists flock to admire -and applaud- at night.

Swim in luxury

pool santorini caldera Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstockPool overlooking Santorini Caldera - credits: Netfalls_Remy_Musser/Shutterstock.com

Take a dip in the infinity pool of your hotel rooms or your suite's private diving pool from the edge of a boat on a caldera cruise or a black sand beach on the east coast. The Greek islands are known for their stunning swimming opportunities -yes, we do imply Red Beach and Ammoudi bay- as well as their indulgent hotel rooms!

Book as many tours as you can

Any tour that your heart desires can be organized in Santorini. From visits to famous wineries, excursions to archeological sites, walking tours, scuba diving, and sunset watching, you can live life to the fullest with Santorini's idyllic landscape as your background. 

The most popular tour choices include a Santorini highlights tour, a Santorini sailing experience, a Santorini wine-tasting, winery tour, and much more. You can either find or customize yourself to fit your needs and desires.

Where will I see Santorini's history unfold?

thera santorini WitR shutterstock
Thera - credits: WitR/Shutterstock.com

The prehistoric history of Santorini island

You can see the prehistoric history of Santorini in the settlement of Akrotiri, in the Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira, and the Conference Center Petros Nomikos with the three-dimensional depictions of the frescoes found in Akrotiri.

The ancient and Roman periods

You can admire the ancient and Roman period in Ancient Thira in Kamari and the Archaeological Museum of Fira.

The Byzantine era

Moreover, you can witness the island's Byzantine era in the church of Panagia in Episkopi Gonia, in Panagia Mesani in Emporio, and the monastery of Profitis Ilias in Pyrgos.

The mansions of the 18th-century

Worth noticing are also the mansions of the 18th century, which you can find in the Mansion of Argyrou in Messaria and in the Gyzi Palace, which covers the history of Santorini from the 16th century to the 18th century.

The folklore and agricultural history of Santorini island

To learn about the folklore and agricultural history of Santorini, visit the Folklore Museum of Lignos in Kontochori, the tomato processing factories, from which only the factory of the Union of Thera Products in Monolithos operates, or the windmills of Gavrilis in Emporio.

The wine history of Santorini

To see Santorini's wine history up close, pay a visit to the Wine Museum of Koutsogiannopoulos. Moreover, if you want to study the history of rocks, the Museum of Minerals and Fossils in Perissa is the one for you.

The blue-domed churches on Santorini 

Last but not least, to see some of the most important churches on the small island. Keep in mind that the largest are in Perissa, on the edge of the village, Santa Irini on the slope of Mesa Vouno overlooking Perissa, Agia Matrona in Finikia, the cathedral of Fira, the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Firostefani, and Panagia Trypa in Vothonas.

The myth of Atlantis

catamaran ammoudi bay santorini Tyler L. shutterstockCatamaran in Ammoudi bay - credits: Tyler L./Shutterstock.com

The mystery of Atlantis is perhaps the most talked-about myth. However, no one can prove that Atlantis existed or exactly where it was. Some scholars claim that the destruction of the Minoan civilization and ancient Santorini is synonymous with the lost Atlantis.

The first written references to Atlantis come from the Athenian philosopher Plato, who tells us that the Atlanteans were a people of supernatural abilities and divine descent, living peacefully on a fertile island beyond the Gates of Heraclides. The Gates of Heraklion were the Straits of Gibraltar in ancient times, so it was probably located somewhere between Europe and America. But as we will see below, newer elements are coming to overturn the original theories.

All this was taught by the Egyptian priest Sais on a trip to distant Egypt, and he told it to his students Kritias and Timaeus in the work 'Atlantic Speech.' Among the wonderful things he heard was that the Atlanteans gradually began to lose their divine power. Finally, when overwhelmed by human weaknesses, they decided to turn against other affluent peoples in order to submit. 

That is why they traveled to the Mediterranean until they met the all-powerful and brave Athenians, from whom they were defeated for the first time. But after exhausting battles, the Athenians finally bowed. The gods then became angry with the Atlanteans and decided to punish them with eternal annihilation. The rage was so great that they destroyed them in just one night, leaving behind only masses of mud and thick smoke.

What does Santorini, Greece have in common with the lost Atlantis? Ancient Thira was a perfect paradise on earth, destroyed around 1,500 BC, along with a multitude of neighboring beaches, enticing brilliant specimens of Aegean civilization. Her description fits perfectly with Plato's words about the mythical land of the Atlanteans that was utterly destroyed, leaving no trace behind.

Ergon House Athens
LEARN MORE

The letter to Kritia explains how Atlantis was created and why it was circular in shape like a ring, with the sea and a small island in the middle -just like ancient Thera, just before the big bang. When the gods divided the land, Poseidon took Atlantis and handed it over to his sons, the demigods, to cultivate it. One of them married Lefkipi, and they made Cleito, whom Poseidon fell in love with and wanted to make her his own forever. Then he chose a place and protected it with circular zones of fertile land and sea in order to ensure a heavenly life.

The name 'Atlantis' probably comes from the mythical giant Atlanta, which held the whole earth and sky on its shoulders. According to the discoveries of American geologists made in Santorini in 1990, everything refers to the famous mural found in the western building of Akrotiri. 

There, you can see a beach of ancient Thira -Santorini- with a prosperous life on a central island that was rained by the sea all around. Just as Plato described the lost Atlantis. And this island is claimed to have disappeared from a large eruption that caused terrible earthquakes and smoke. According to Plato, smoke was released into the sky, 40 kilometers high. If so, it certainly could be seen from the shores of the Eastern and Central Mediterranean. People watched the make-up of nature in bewilderment, daring to see Atlas himself holding the sky on his shoulders.

The mystery of lost Atlantis is just a myth, with countless unanswered questions. This country probably never existed. Nevertheless, the theory of the volcanic eruption of Santorini is still based on authentic sources reminiscent of the 'Platonic Discourse.'

The best places to enjoy the Santorini sunset

sunset in santorini Georgios Tsichlis shutterstockSunset in santorini -credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

When you hear the word 'Santorini,' the famous sunset comes to mind, and not without reason. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the most prominent feature of Santorini, Greece is its fantastic sunset. Thousands of visitors have associated their presence in Santorini with this image, and so many others expect to see with their beloved the Greek sun lost in the golden waters of the Aegean. 

So, regardless of whether you feel romantic or not, we would urge you to mingle with the waiting crowd and choose a privileged place in Oia, Imerovigli, or Firostefani to face this much-discussed phenomenon. There are several places where you can enjoy this unique spectacle in Santorini, Greece and you can reach most with your rental car:

The castle of Agios Nikolaos in Oia

Naturally, for the time, the inhabitants of Apanomeria, which is located in the northern part of Santorini, needed protection from pirate raids, so they built their own fortified settlement, Kastelli of Agios Nikolaos. Today the ruins of the castle are the most famous place to watch the famous sunset of Oia.

The monastery of Prophet Elias in Oia

The monastery of Prophet Elias in Oia is the highest point of Santorini, with excellent views not only of Santorini but, weather permitting, and the surrounding islands. The entrance to the courtyard of the monastery is a beautiful experience. The church has an eerie peace. If you are lucky and its places are all visitable, you will be impressed by the relics and the historical manuscripts.

The rock of Skaros in Imerovigli

Climbing the rock of Skaros, which is what is left of the castle of Skaros, is an activity that you should definitely do if you visit Santorini for the first time, as it is by far the best place to enjoy the Caldera and the Santorini volcano as it is one of the highest points on the island. 

The rock of Skaros is, in fact, a trademark of Santorini. Just be careful how to access it as the path gets a bit rocky. However, the view will reward you.

The lighthouse in Akrotiri

Akrotiri lihthouse santorini cge2010 shutterstockThe Akrotiri Lighthouse - credits: cge2010/Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the famous sunset from the lighthouse in Akrotiri! The view is unique, and you can see the whole island and Oia in the background as the sun dives into the sea! 

The lighthouse in Akrotiri is one of the most beautiful in the Cyclades. It was built in 1892 by the French Lighthouse Company. The height of the tower is 10 meters. Renovated in 1925, it stopped operating during World War II and resumed operation in 1945. It was electrified in 1983, and its operation was automated in 1988.

Vlychada beach 

For a more colorful sunset, you can visit the beach of Vlychada. Almost in the southernmost part of Santorini, Vlychada is considered an exceptional beach due to its volcanic landscape and the rocks that surround it. Its volcanic landscape changes colors at sunset, making it a top spot for sunset gazing.

Santorini's gastronomy

dinner santorini Santorines shutterstockDinner in Santorini - credits: _Santorines/Shutterstock.com

It is incredibly easy to find a representative product of Santorini! And this is because Santorini is known for its local products, famous all over the world. Santorini's visitors always make sure to take some with them when leaving. 

The most popular products of Santorini include the delicious little white aubergines with the delightful sweet flesh, the dehydrated fruity tomatoes with the intense taste, and the crimson, round, and small tomatoes, known as cherry tomatoes. Fava is also a very typical local product of Santorini that stands out for its deep yellow color, but also the full flavor with a nutty feel.

An essential role in the quality of the products is played by the arid, volcanic soil of Santorini, which in harmony with its dry climate, gives special products with a unique taste, but in small quantities. 

An emblematic product of Santorini cuisine is capers, which you will find in various forms. In particular, the most distinctive version concerns large shoots of the plant, which are dried in the sun and are intended to play a leading role in one of the most famous dishes on the island, such as the traditional Greek salad. 

They are cooked with tomato and onion and served on top of fava beans! At the same time, you will find fava beans in the classic Cycladic version, in brine, or just salted.

Indeed, Santorini, one of the most popular islands in Greece, has a lot to offer. We would suggest you try 'married fava,' which is fava with sauce, 'tomato meatballs' or 'fake meatballs,' as the locals call them, 'fried white aubergines,' 'skate' with garlic, onions stuffed with pork, 'gardoumbakia,' celery croquettes, and eggplant stew. 

Do you like cod? In Santorini, Greece, you will find it in various versions, such as the classic recipe with garlic and potatoes. 'Santorini Brandanda' is a dish that consists of fried pieces of cod, which, after being placed in a pan with a mixture of tomato sauce and diluted garlic in olive oil, are baked in the oven.

The local Santorinians use pork to make the so-called "acquisition." First, they chop the fillet, leave it for a day in salt and three in vinegar, then spread it with cinnamon, black pepper, and dried cloves and hang it to dry for several weeks. 

Finally, the most traditional Santorini cheese is the "green" goat's milk, which is usually eaten fresh, hence its name. 

If for some reason, you don't get satisfied with what you have uniquely seen and tasted in Santorini, Greece, visit its wineries and try the fine wines. You can accompany your alcoholic beverage with local delicacies, such as the traditional tomato paste, sweet or sun-dried tomatoes, and the paschal sweet cheese pies with mizithra cheese and olive oil.

Where to eat in Santorini 

Santorini wine tasting Ludovic Farine shutterstockSantorini winery - credits: Ludovic Farine/Shutterstock.com

Fine dining 

Koukoumavlos

Koukoumvalos is a restaurant that is also an attraction in Santorini, in the sense that, if you do not visit it, you will have lost an important -and incredibly tasty - part of the island. You can find the restaurant in a new location in Fira, in a place reminiscent of a house from ancient times. 

The many years of operation find Koukoumavlos renewed and creative. It values ​​local products, respects Greekness, and loves modern techniques, but in essence, it is a personal narrative of the creative chef.

The menu includes original dishes Santorini and unusual proposals with an impressive presentation, while the unique space contributes to the experience of a gastronomic experience of many stars.

Idol

If you are looking for a restaurant that does not rest on the breathtaking view of the Caldera villages and offers a remarkable culinary experience, you are at the right place. 

You will find it in the heart of Santorini, in a space that extends on three levels, ideally to meet your every need from morning to night. In addition to fine dining, Idol offers from the beginning of the day. 

You can enjoy your coffee with your breakfast or opt for a light lunch on the first level. As you descend, the space leaves aside the most casual character. Instead, it gets sophisticated and transforms to meet the needs of even the most demanding clients. 

With the utmost respect to the raw materials of Santorini and contemporary techniques, the dishes on the menu will immerse you in a remarkable taste experience. 

Selene 

In 2010 the Selene restaurant moved to the beautiful village of Pyrgos, saying goodbye to the Caldera, its "companion" for many years. 

In recent years, Selini has become one of the best -if not the best- restaurants on Santorini. In its long list of assets, what stands out is its constantly updated wine list. Keep in mind that if you want a more casual dining experience, you can opt for 'Selene Meze & Wine.'

Axinos

The impressive restaurant of the Rocabella Hotel in Imerovigli, under the name Axinos, wows the crowds with its Mediterranean flavors that pay tribute to Greek raw materials. 

Mediterranean flavors with particular emphasis on Greek ingredients, French techniques, and Japanese and Peruvian twists add to the gastronomic map of Santorini a must-visit restaurant that excels in fine dining. 

Add to the above Greek recipes that gush tradition through a modern perspective, and you've got yourself a winner. Axinos also has a brunch menu that is served daily from 11.00 am; something that nowadays, most restaurants offer.

Aroma Avlis

The restaurant of the winery of Karamolegos is one of the must-visit delicious suggestions of Santorini. It is the only winery on the island with a restaurant, thus composing a gastronomic experience.

 At Aroma Avlis, you will enjoy dishes of Greek cuisine based on seasonal products of Santorini, such as tomatoes, katsouni, fava, white eggplant, and dry zucchini. Most of the vegetables and fruits that you will taste are produced in the orchards of the Karamolegos family. 

Do not miss the opportunity to try local recipes such as kavourmas, production sausage, cod with garlic sauce, and some more creative flavors. The local products are combined with excellent quality meat, and every taste blends harmoniously with the wines produced by the winery.

Anogi

Permanently on the list of favorite tasting stops in Santorini and, at the same time, one of the most hospitable places. Anogi is a traditional tavern with recipes and influences from all over Greece and a particular weakness in Santorini products. 

The list is long, but without tiring, since here you will come and come again looking for the variety that is generously offered to you. As you will understand from your first visit, bestseller dishes do not exist. 

Instead, the chef combines traditional flavors and a new age approach harmoniously, and the result is delicious. On the plus side, the impeccable service and the authentic Greek hospitality.

Cave of Nicholas

One of the most historic eateries on the island, and an excellent reason to visit Akrotiri often, is the Cave of Nikolas. This restaurant is one of the few taverns-restaurants in Santorini that are a breath away from the sea.

Whatever you try in this family business that opened its doors to the public in 1967 comes from the family's garden. Delicious cheeses, meats, vegetables, and wine all boast a uniquely pure and fresh flavor! 

The fresh fish come to complete the puzzle of quality raw material. As far as its award-winning cuisine is concerned, here you have the opportunity to taste Greek delicacies at their best.

Mezzo

In the enchanting Imerovigli, in Skaros, overlooking the beautiful Venetian castle, the restaurant Mezzo, right where the hotel of the same name is located, invites you to dinner with a view. 

Modern Greek cuisine has its place of honor there, without, however, missing the Mediterranean touches. You can choose one of the traditional dishes, prepared with pure raw materials, but also suggestions that highlight the Mediterranean creative gastronomy.

Local taverns

Santorini Tavern Ikpro ShutterstockSantorini Tavern - credits: Ikpro/Shutterstock.com

Santorini is known for its luxurious lifestyle, especially among its visitors, and gourmet restaurants for dishes that rediscover Greek cuisine and push its limits while nodding to tradition are not only common but very sought after. Thankfully, as we've suggested time and time again, Santorini has many layers.

Therefore, apart from the high-class restaurants, there are more than a few cozy, traditional taverns that remind us of the value of simple flavors by offering mouth-watering cult-classic Greek dishes made of fresh ingredients from the land of Santorini.

Such an exquisite tavern is Nikolas in Fira, where you'll savor delicious food of local cuisine that celebrates the minimalist nature of Mediterranean and Greek gastronomy. Despite being extremely popular and having made a name for itself that has passed the Greek borders, it has maintained its traditional character.

Counting 90 (!) years of success, Aktain in Firostefani is a gorgeous tavern offering well-cooked dishes of Greek cuisine at a reasonable price, which means that you can go for a refill time and time again. Isn't that the perfect excuse?

Another superb tavern option I located in the region of Pyrgos and is called Kallisti. There, in addition to incredible home-cooked meals, you'll find a selection of meats and fish on the grill.

Keeping it local, Lava in the popular region of Perissa counts 25 years of tradition and offers delicacies made strictly from local products. Ethical and delicious; what more could you possibly want? 

If you're a fan of fava beans –how could you not be?- then a trip to Ammoudi in order to taste allegedly the 'best fava in Santorini' in Katina is a must. Along with fava, Katina offers fresh fish and homemade meals.

A bit unconventional, as it serves dishes from the cuisine of another Greek island, the tavern of Metaxi mas, located in the village of Exo Gonia, is the place where Crete meets Santorini. Enjoy a shot of rakomelo alongside scrumptious meze dishes and think about how great life can be. 

Following the same philosophy, Raki in Megalochori offers a wide variety of delicious snacks accompanied by local wine.

How much money will a trip to Santorini cost?

woman santorini blue domes Maridav shutterstockWoman in Santorini - credits: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

There is no doubt that Santorini is one of the most expensive Greek destinations. However, its steep price can be justified by the fact that it offers its visitor a unique experience that cannot be duplicated in any other part of the world. 

It is no coincidence, after all, that despite not being the most budget-friendly of islands, Santorini attracts around a million visitors year after year without fail, and it is the ultimate Greek honeymoon destination for people around the world.

So if you want to visit Santorini on a honeymoon, the magical landscapes and the iconic sunset that will make sparks fly are definitely worth the money!

To get an idea, depending on the type of accommodation you're willing to book, the average you will pay for an overnight stay in Santorini ranges from around 20€ for a bed in a hostel to around 70€ for a 3-star hotel, while a luxury stay in a boutique hotel at the caldera villages will set you back around 300€. Thankfully, the average cost of living in Santorini is not too far off from the one you'll come upon in the rest of Greece, and the same goes for the use of public transport.

Despite the food in the supermarket being only marginally more expensive than in the rest of Greece, the food and beverages served in Santorini's cafes, luxury restaurants, and local taverns, as well as the drinks served in Santorini's bars, are a whole different story. Unless you opt for a fast food option, you should expect to pay not only for what you're consuming but also for the stunning view in front of you.

There is no doubt that if you stay away from gourmet dishes and luxurious hotels, you can find budget-friendly options in Santorini, so you can, too, experience the magic of one of the most popular islands.

To sum everything up, a whole week in Santorini can cost you roughly from 500€ if you watch your money, stay in a hostel and eat fast food, to 900€ if you live comfortably and 3,000€ if you decide to live it up and have a luxurious experience.

But, of course, please note that these prices are only an estimate, and depending on when you choose to experience your Santorini vacations, they can fluctuate greatly. 

Now that you know how much a vacation to Santorini costs from this Santorini travel guide and you've set your mind on when to visit Santorini, don't forget to check our guide on how many days you should spend in Santorini, along with recommended itineraries. There are so many things to do and experience that leaving it out of your to-do list would be a shame. 

Whether it is for its nightlife, landscape, architecture, or impeccable beaches, booking your vacation in Santorini, Greece -even during peak season- will be one of the best decisions of your life. Check our tours in Santorini so you can explore the island like a local!

What to pack for Santorini, Greece

Santorini streets Feel good studio shutterstockSantorini streets - credits: Feel good studio/Shutterstock.com

As with every other Greek island during the summer, when visiting Santorini, you should pack light, comfortable clothes to combat the summer heat, without forgetting to bring a light jacket for the windy and chilly evenings.

Do not pack black clothes under any circumstances. Because the sun and temperatures can get rather high during the day, we recommend that you prefer playsuits, dresses, and skirts that are also suitable for beachwear; your trip to Red Beach will be more important that your fashion choices on the island.

In addition, keep in mind that the bohemian and relaxed holiday mood may require a sandal and a loose dress/tunic/kaftan during the day, but on the island of Santorini, you will need something at night a bit fancier. 

Therefore, make sure you have at least one evening dress and sandals with low wide heels in your suitcase so that you do not have difficulty with high sandals on the cobbled streets. 

Also essential are a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen to ensure a smooth and even tan. you can thank this Santorini travel guide later.

Frequently asked questions

Santorini view sunset Kesu01 depositphotosSantorini view during sunset -credits: Kesu01/Depositphotos.com

Is a Santorini travel safe?

Santorini is a safe place with minimal criminal activity. Regardless, due to the enormous crowds that flood the island in the summertime, it would be best for you to keep your eyes peeled for potential pick-pocketing experts.  

Regarding the pandemic, the most important thing to do before traveling is to see what other travel documents are needed for the destination you are going to. Besides the basics, like your ID and passport, almost all countries of the world need documents like a simple form to fill out online up to negative COVID test or even mandatory quarantine.

Just keep in mind that each country changes its entry regulations almost on a weekly basis depending on the prevailing pandemic situation, so be informed quite often.

Is Santorini an expensive island?

island of santorini Andrew Mayovskyy shutterstock copySantorini - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

Long story short, yes, Santorini is one of the most expensive Greek destinations. Its steep price, however, can be justified by the fact that it offers its visitor a unique experience that cannot be duplicated in any other part of the world. It is no coincidence, after all, that despite not being the most budget-friendly of islands, it attracts around a million visitors year after year without fail, and it is the ultimate Greek honeymoon destination for people around the world. So if you want to visit Santorini on a honeymoon, the magical landscapes and the iconic sunset that will make sparks fly are definitely worth the money!

To get an idea, depending on the type of accommodation you’re willing to book, the average you will pay for an overnight stay in Santorini ranges from around 20€ for a bed in a hostel, to around 70€ for a 3-star hotel, while a luxury stay in a boutique hotel will set you back around 300€. Thankfully, the average cost of living is not too far from the one you’ll come upon in the rest of Greece, and the same goes for the use of public transport.

Despite the food in the supermarket being only marginally more expensive than in the rest of Greece, the food and beverages served in Santorini’s cafes, luxury restaurants, and local taverns, as well as the drinks that are served in Santorini’s bars, are a whole different story. Unless you opt for a fast food option, you should expect to pay not only for what you’re consuming but also for the stunning view in front of you.

Bespoke Santorini: Private Customized Tour With Driver-Guide
LEARN MORE

There is no doubt that if you stay away from gourmet dishes and luxurious hotels, you can find budget-friendly options in Santorini so you can, too, experience the magic of the Greek island, however, better be on the side of caution so as not to be unpleasantly surprised.

To sum everything up, a whole week in Santorini can cost you roughly from 500€ if you watch your money, stay in a hostel and eat fast food, to 900€ if you live comfortably and 3,000€ if you decide to live it up and have a luxurious experience. Of course, please note that these prices are only an estimate, and depending on when you choose to experience your Santorini vacations, they can fluctuate greatly. 

Now that you know how much a vacation to Santorini costs and you’ve set your mind on when to visit Santorini, don’t forget to check our guide on how many days you should spend in Santorini, along with recommended itineraries. There are so many things to do and experience that leaving it out of your to-do list would be a shame. Whether it is for its nightlife, its landscape, its architecture, or its impeccable beaches, booking your vacation in Santorini will be one of the best decisions of your life. Check our tours in Santorini so you can explore the island like a local!

What is interesting about Santorini compared to other Greek islands?

Santorini is one of a few islands within the Aegean Sea and the Cyclades group, although only a caldera can contain human inhabitants on any continent. Its location lies in an underwater volcanic lake. Some people believe the island was called Atlantis by Plato. Santorini is easily recognizable for its whitewashed buildings of cube-shaped shape with blue accents, steep cliffs, and golden sunsets lit by sunset. 

How can I include Santorini in my Greek island-hopping adventure?

santorini lady sunset Littleaom shutterstockSantorini sunset - credits: Littleaom/Shutterstock.com

If you're interested in embarking on a Greek island-hopping adventure, Santorini should be one of the top stops in your itinerary no matter which cruise ships you choose. You can combine a visit to the island of Santorini with a visit to the rest of the Cycladic islands that are part of the island complex. 

Namely, in addition to the island of Santorini, Andros, Kea-Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros, and Tinos all belong to the Cyclades islands in the Aegean sea and are therefore in close proximity to one another. As a result, they offer the perfect opportunity for island-hopping, while you can choose how many of those you will visit depending on the days you have at your disposal.

Conclusion

santorini swimming pool Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstockSantorini swimming pool -credits: Netfalls_Remy_Musser/Shutterstock.com

Internationally renowned names, families, groups of friends, and most importantly - as it is expected! - couples give another air to the island every summer, which despite the hordes of tourists arriving annually in May, has managed to maintain its traditional, architecturally noteworthy element.

A trip to the island of Santorini is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we hope this Santorini travel guide convinces you that it is worth indulging in. Even if it is just a stop during your island-hopping adventure during peak season, Santorini, one of the most stunning Cyclades islands, will mesmerize you!