Attracting millions of tourists each year, it is fair to say that Santorini is probably the most visited island in Greece. And it is easy to see why! We have put together this ultimate Santorini guide to help you plan your holiday effectively and to make sure you do not miss out on any of the good stuff.
When to visit?
It really depends on your preferences and expectations. Summertime’s peak season attracts throngs of vacationers, but temperatures and rates on everything from flights to accommodation, are at their highest this time of the year. September and October could also be good months for a visit as Santorini offers balmy weather and better deals. The months that span November and March see lower temperatures and thinner crowds, while April is a nice shoulder season when you can also take part in the spectacular Orthodox Easter festivities.
Where to stay?
When it comes to places to stay in Santorini, it is hard to beat the charming town of Oia. An insanely popular destination among honeymooners, celebrities, and curious travelers alike, there is something for everyone in Oia. Whether you want to bask in some sunshine on a panoramic terrace overlooking the volcanic caldera, explore the Old Town with its winding bougainvillea-adorned alleyways, or dance the night away in a chick bar or club, this quaint little cliff-top town is the place to be.
Where and what to eat?
It does not take long for visitors to discover that Santorini is a culinary paradise once they arrive on the Greek island. The two biggest towns, Oia and Fira offer a great number of fine dining experiences. However, if you prefer something equally excellent but more traditional, we have the best tip for you. You can enjoy the freshest fish and seafood at the tiny fishing port called Amoudi Bay, tucked under the rocky cliffs of Oia. Among the array of authentic Greek taverns, Sunset Tavern is known for the most delicious lobster spaghetti. You will surely not leave hungry!
This iconic island in the heart of the Aegean Sea is an expression of culture, glamour, and leisure. Santorini boasts a great selection of picturesque beaches that you will not see on any other island in the region. The Red and White Beaches are an absolute must while Kamari, Perivolos, and Perissa are also unique for their black sand. History buffs will love to explore the ancient archeological site of Akrotiri or admire the sunset from the Agios Nikolaos Castle in Oia. Taking a Santorini sailing trip is also an amazing experience, which will allow you to discover the island’s breathtaking coastline as well as the nearby dormant volcano and Santorini’s natural hot springs.
A little history
Santorini is dotted with spectacular Bronze Age places and archaeological remnants of the great Minoan civilization. The history of Santorini tells a beautiful story of the eternal struggle between man and nature. Once one of the most important transit ports for goods between Europe and Asia, Santorini was changed forever after the 1600 BC volcanic eruption. During the Byzantine era and Frankish occupation, the inhabitants built several castles to protect themselves from the pirates. The year 1956 marks another devastating event in the island’s history. The catalytic earthquake followed by a volcanic eruption caused incalculable damages. However, luckily in the ‘70s, tourism picked up and today Santorini enjoys insane popularity among travelers from every corner of the world.