There are many reasons to visit Santorini in Greece. Santorini is one of the most famous and beloved Greek destinations, and truly one of the most interesting and beautiful islands in the world. Every year, this island hosts thousands of tourists from all corners of the world. Do you know why a lot of tourists adore this destination? keep on reading to find all the reasons…
1. Iconic Architecture
Santorini is the ideal mixture of classic and modern architecture, where sun-kissed whitewashed houses and sea blue tops are in complete harmony with the serene blue ocean view. Characterized by its Cycladic architecture with traditional houses, beautiful churches and the narrow-cobbled streets, Santorini is undoubtedly one of the most favoured Greek destinations.
2. Breathtaking view
Pictures don’t do justice to the amazing views that Firostefani, Imerovigli, Fira and Oia, located on the elevated west coast, could offer. But, hopefully, my pictures below could provide a flavour of what I mean. Truly, this place is the one to be seen to be believed. Summer holiday at this place is precisely what you need to escape your usual routines.
3. Red Sand Beach
I am not kidding you! As if the breath-taking views were not enough, Santorini also offers a unique mix of white, red, and black sand beaches that, I believe, no other place in the world possesses. Best Beach Awards, organized by Travel Channel, honoured the famous red sand beach located near Akrotiri as the Best Most Unusual Beach in the world! The contrast of the blue water with the red sand and steep cliffside is amazing.
Tip: From the red beach, you can catch a boat to the island’s other beaches that are not accessible by car/bus.
4. Volcano & hot springs
The island gets its stunning shape because it was formed by the eruption of a volcano in around 1620 BC that left a huge crater after eruption, more famously called a Caldera. If you are visiting Santorini, I would highly recommended taking a volcano and hot springs day trip with a boat departing from the town of Oia or the Old Port. During the trip, you can take a dip in the hot springs and hike up to the active volcano for panoramic views across lava fields to the Aegean Sea, and on Thirasia, the second-largest island in the archipelago. If you’re not able to visit the volcano, you can get a great shot of it in Fira, one of the main towns in Santorini.
5. Magical sunsets by the Caldera
Santorini offers some of the most magical sunset views in the world. You can enjoy the sunset from the picturesque port of Ammoudi, Akrotiri, Imerovigli or Oia. These sunset spots usually become very crowded as people come in early to reserve good spots. If you had the time, I would strongly suggest reserving a spot in a cosy nearby cafe or on a hotel’s terrace. Watching the sun slip into the Aegean Sea from behind the town’s signature windmills is an experience of a lifetime you shouldn’t miss.
Additional Tips and Information
Tips to reach Santorini
Ferries to Santorini can generally be classified in two types, the fast ferries and the slow ferries. Fast ferries such as the Hellenic Seaways and SeaJets will take about 4-5 hours to get you to Santorini and cost about 60 euros per person. The slower and bigger ferries such as Anek Lines and Blue Star Ferries take almost twice the time (about 8- 9 hours) and cost almost the half price. Anek Lines and Blue Star Ferries are generally more comfortable because you get to walk around the vessel and there are lounge areas serving food and drinks. The frequency of routes depends on the time you travel and the tourist traffic at that time. In summer season, there are 5-10 ferries from Piraeus port and 2-3 ferries from Rafina port. There are also connections from other islands of Cyclades, Dodecanese and Crete.
You can also reach Santorini by local or international connections. In August there are more than 70 direct connections per day from Athens to Santorini. Ryanair offers two directs flights per day from Athens that even in the busy season can start from 18 euros for one-way ticket. Air travel cuts off the time you take to reach Santorini by Ferries.
Where to stay in Santorini
Fira is the island’s largest town and one of the most picturesque spots in all of Greece. Like Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani, it has amazing views of the volcano. Fira is the centre of Santorini’s nightlife, plush with restaurants, cafés, shops, and hotels. Kamari Beach is the closest swimming spot to Fira and about 20 minutes by bus. A good budget option would be the Kavalari hotel.
Imerovigli has the island’s best unimpeded sunset views as the cliff is higher here. Imerovigli is a 30-minute walk to Fira. Imerovigli has a couple of good restaurants, but they can be a bit pricey. There is no nightlife in Imerovigli. An outstanding option for stay in Imerovigli would be Kasimatis suites!
Oia is another town of the island and boasts of the island’s best hotels and restaurants. The southern part of Oia overlooks the caldera. The northern part, on the other hand, offers great sunset views. The walk from Oia to Fira is beautiful but takes several hours so for the most part, Oia is a taxi or bus ride away from the hub of the island. Agnanti villa is one of the best options close to Oia but could get extremely pricey. You could get a good deal if you book in advance.
There are coupons available from many ferry companies, like Hellenic Seaways, which give you both way tickets for ferry in the price of one way.
Trips to the volcano can be purchased on the spot. You can find many companies that offer this trip for 15 euros or less. There are plenty of routes per day, so you will surely get the tickets!
In July and August Santorini is super crowded so it’s better to avoid that time and visit off season when it’s still summer weather but slightly less crowded.
Looking forward to know about your views about this post. Let me know if you have some more reasons to visit Santorini island. I would love to explore it.
Note: This post has been written by Lamprini Papargiri and edited by me.