Kalimera (Good Morning) Santorini – Travel Guide
If you were forced to choose one destination in the world to visit and nowhere else, then you should without a doubt choose to visit Santorini! Of course, if you’re able to visit multiple destinations then that’s great. But I just want you to understand that this tiny Greek island should definitely be on your bucket list. The pictures of Santorini don’t provide it with enough justice. Every street you walk on and every view you see will be beyond picturesque. The people are friendly, the food is delicious (duh, it’s Greece) and your all your Instagram photos will be on point.
The Santorini Travel Guide
How to get there:
As soon as you decide that you are going to visit Santorini, book your online ferry tickets straight away. The earlier you book, the more likely you’ll snag an early bird discount ticket. The Blue Star Ferry is one that I would recommend you book with. It is not as fast as the Sea Jet ferries, however, the Sea Jet ride is bumpy and many people get seasick on this high-speed boat.
The Blue Star Ferry is more reliable, however, it makes many stops before reaching Santorini. It takes 7.5 hours to get to Santorini from Piraeus (which is a harbour in Athens) depending on the number of stops it makes. The ferry will make multiple stops at different islands and there is a viewing deck to check out the sights.
Where to stay:
- Airbnb: There are beautiful accommodation options available on Airbnb. There are cave houses, beautiful villas overlooking the volcano and most of the options are at affordable prices. I stayed in a beautiful minimalistic sun house which is opposite to the black beach in Perissa. It’s on a street that has many ‘tavernas’ and there is a popular ice cream shop right next door to the house. Irini, who is the owner of the ‘Sunhaus’ provided me with practical tips on what to do and where to go in Santorini. The house was always clean and in a wonderful condition. Overall, I cannot recommend this place enough.
Places to go:
- Red Beach, Akrotiri. The walk/hike to the red beach can be challenging depending on your level of fitness. The pathway is quite narrow and it gets very windy so it’s not the safest hike. Bring along walking shoes. Alternatively, you could go on a quick boat ride that will take you to the red beach.
- Black Beach, Perissa. This beach is generally a lot less crowded than the other beaches on the island. The sand is a dark colour and the beach is clean and serene.
- Check out the lighthouse at Akrotiri.
- Visit Emporio. It’s the largest village in Santorini. There is a medieval castle and the buildings in this village will be less ‘touristic’ than what you see in other parts of Santorini. Walking through the alleyways in Emporio will provide you with a glimpse of what Santorini looked like before it became a touristy island. It’s a lovely experience and it’s very easy to get lost while wandering around but there are plenty of sights to see along the way.
- Visit the Moni Profit Ilia (Monastery Prophet Elia) for the incredible views. It’s built on the highest point in Santorini (556m above sea level).
Things you need to do:
- Watch the sunset at Oia (pronounced ‘Ia’).
- Taste Greek wine at Santo Wines Winery in Pyrgo. The winery also sells other goodies in their deli store. I came home with lots of different delicious traditional edibles.
- Shop at designer boutiques (or just browse) in Oia, Fira or Emporio. You could easily spend hours looking through all the stores.
- Eat at the Cave of Nikolas restaurant in Akrotiri. You’ll find authentic Greek food here.
- Say hi to the donkeys (but don’t ride them). I stopped on the side of the road to take a picture of these beautiful animals.
- Drink ice-cold frappe while enjoying a beautiful view.
Tips on how to Live Your Zoi – Santorini Edition:
- The best time to visit Santorini is during the months of April, May and September, October. There are fewer crowds and the weather isn’t unbearably hot.
- Grab some drinks, snacks and your camera and head out to Oia and grab a good spot before anyone else. Santorini is famous for the Oia sunset so if you want to photograph or just enjoy the sunset then you will need to grab a spot at 17:00. The sun only sets at 20:30 (depending on the season) so it’s a long wait but it’s so worth it. Huge masses of tourists congregate all around Oia to see the beautiful sunset and some tourists even start to clap once the sun sets. It’s a tad bizarre but Santorini really does steal the show.
- The best way to see the island is by renting out a quad bike and not a car. The roads are small and there’s always traffic. Quad bikes are easier to manoeuvre on the small roads. There are also some locations which are only accessible via dirt roads. Therefore, renting out a quad bike just makes a lot more sense.
- With that being said – exploring the villages scattered across the island will require a lot of walking. There are many alleyways waiting to be found and explored. Therefore comfortable shoes is a must.
Let me know what your favourite thing to do in Santorini in the comments below. And don’t forget to share with your friends if they are visiting Santorini soon.