Santorini – Visit Greece – Ultimate Travel Guide 2020

The time has come. You’ve been planning this trip for so long, and now you’re all set to visit Santorini. But the amount of information available *out there* is overwhelming. Do you find yourself struggling to choose where to stay, what to do and how to do it when you visit Santorini? Read our ultimate Santorini travel guide for 2020 and enjoy the island like a local.
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Welcome to Santorini Greece. Discover the tours and activities, restaurants and accommodation in our comprehensive Santorini travel guide.

How to Get to Santorini

Santorini is one of Greece’s most popular islands, so it’s relatively easy to reach it, whether you come directly from another European capital or through Athens.

There are two main routes when it comes to reaching Santorini; by ferry and by plane.

Both means of transportation are trustworthy but choosing between the two really depends on how much time you have to spend and how much money you’re willing to spend.

How to get to Santorini By Air

There are several direct flights from Athens to Santorini Airport and the approximate flight time is 45-50 minutes.

Flights from Athens to Santorini and vice versa are serviced throughout the year but beware that the schedule could be limited during the winter months.

During the summer, you can grab a flight towards Santorini from other parts of mainland Greece other than Athens, like Thessaloniki, or islands such as Crete and Mykonos.

You can also score a flight from major European cities and fly directly to Santorini during the months of May through September, which is pretty good deal if you don’t want to spend any time in Athens and just head to the island for a weekend getaway.

How to get to Santorini By Sea

If flights to Santorini are too expensive, which, to be honest, is rather true for July and August, the next best thing would be a more budget-friendly way; take a ferry to Santorini.

A ferry from Athens to Santorini will take approximately 5 hours depending on the ferry company and the speed of the boat you choose. Another advantage of travelling by ferry is that you can take your car with you, in case you’ve booked one for your whole stay around Greece. But note that several companies do not allow rental cars on ferries, so double check with them, otherwise insurance won’t cover for any mishaps.

The Port of Piraeus is where every major company sets out from for the islands. It is very spread out and can be quite hectic, so make sure you figure out in advance which part of the port your ferry is leaving from otherwise you may have to walk long distances with your luggage and even risk losing your ferry.

How to Get Around Santorini – Travel Guide 2020

Buses are by far the cheapest option for exploring Santorini, with prices as low as 2 euro per route. This means you could be staying at the West side of the Caldera but still be able to reach the beaches in the morning, or choose the more affordable east side and still head out to caldera for dinner and drinks.

Routes are limited in the off-season so make sure to check online for all routes, fares and special information well in advance.

Booking a car or minivan is the perfect option for families and friends to easily move around the island and discover its many charms, and will come especially handy if you choose to stay at a more secluded part of Santorini to avoid the touristy crowds.

Hiring a private driver is another ideal solution for many, because it will allow you to enjoy nights out with friends and some drinks. This will save you valuable time from and to the airport, too, without having to worry about transportation to your accommodation, at pre-fixed rates that won’t throw you off-budget.

Taxis are available everywhere but they’re expensive. A taxi from the port to Fira costs about €15, while Fira to Oia costs the same thing. Fira to Perissa is about €20.

Best Accommodation in Santorini – Travel Guide 2020

Here’s the first thing you need to know before deciding where to stay in Santorini:

On the West side, you’ll find the villages overlooking the caldera: Oia, Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli. It’s what the hip is all about! Shops, bars, whitewashed houses, and those sunset views to die for. Well, of course these all come with a price, so beware! You’ll have to put your hand deep in your pocket if you choose to stay here.

On the other side of the island, on the East side, you ‘ll find the beaches and the more family-friendly places, like Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari.

Here’s the Santorini travel guide for best accommodation on the island for 2020:

CALDERA/SUNSET VIEWS

Fira

Fira is the cosmopolitan bustling capital, the epicenter of nightlife, the residence of those who want to be at the center of what’s hot right now. If you don’t have a rental car, then Fira is the most convenient place to stay on the island, too.

Check out this magical Santorini villa to stay in Fira and see what the buzz is all about.

Oia

Oia might be pretty quiet the rest of the day, but it will get considerably crowded between 16:00 and 20:00 every day, almost all year round. Oia has a more artistic atmosphere than Fira, and even though there is nothing wrong with it, the fact that every afternoon it is packed with people is really not ideal.

Who wouldn’t want to spend a romantic getaway in the Gerard Santorini Villa?

Imerovigli

Imerovigli offers perhaps the quietest and most amazing accommodation options of the whole island and it’s the area with the most notable romantic corners – in case you’re visiting the island with your spouse and wondering where to stay in Santorini, your search is over!

I mean, just look at this view:

BEACHES

The beaches at Santorini are not your typical Greek ones. The volcanic eruption of ancient Thira took its toll on this side of the island and its beaches seem to belong to Mars – they have a unique beauty, but they’re not the ones you’re used to seeing.

The east coast of Santorini is less known than its famous west coast. The eastern seaside resorts such as Kamari and Perissa have a more traditional and island-like lifestyle, and it’s also the place where most locals live.

The coast of Santorini at this side is covered with black, volcanic sand, while in the southern part there is the famous red beach – a favorite destination for both swimming and taking unforgettable photographs!

What to do in Santorini – Travel Guide 2020

Walks and Sunsets

Yes, of course we start with the sunsets! They are mesmerizing! It’s not possible to have a Santorini travel guide without mentioning the sunsets! The blues and the oranges and the pinks are out of this world, and you’ll be dreaming about these colors for years and years. Walking across the edge or just stand and take in the view will leave you speechless, and we suggest you do this more than once during your stay!

Wine-tasting

Santorini’s acclaimed wines are its crisp dry whites and its internationally acclaimed dessert wine, Vinsanto. Both are made from the native variety, assyrtiko. Several local vineyards host tastings (usually with a small charge) so you’ll be able to taste first-hand how blessed the volcanic land of Santorini is.

Santorini’s Microbrewery

If you want to try something local and different, ask for the Donkey Beers! This microbrewery in Santorini has been producing some really great beers definitely worth trying. Red donkey is our favorite!

Enjoying the Sea

It’s true that Santorini is not popular for its beaches. The volcano has helped the island in many ways, but gracing it with white sandy beaches has not been one of them. However, both the “Red Beach” and the “Black Beach” offer some unique landscapes, that you can only witness here!

Tours and Cruises

In Santorini you can find agents to organize every type of tour or daily cruise you can think of. Sky is the limit, quite literally, as you can also book a helicopter ride over the caldera! You can visit nearby islands or simply enjoy the sunset from the privacy of a lux yacht. Enjoy your cruise with an experienced captain and staff who will provide you with all services necessary for a romantic getaway or a vivid party cruise.

Hike from Fira to Oia

The hike from Fira to Oia is the most popular one you’ll do in Santorini. It follows the caldera’s edge with one-of-a-kind views over the island and the volcano. It’s about 13 kilometers, so it takes a good three- to four-hours’ walk in one direction, so make sure to bring water and sunscreen with you, and your camera of course, because you’ll be stopping for a photo every step of the way!

Hike up to ancient Thera

You can drive to the top of Ancient Thira to see the ruins, but the most rewarding way to reach it is on foot from Perissa. It’s less than 3 kilometers away, but it’s a steep climb so don’t take it lightly!

Museums

Santorini has been inhabited for thousands of years and it features the museums to prove it! You might want to visit the Archaeological Museum in Fira, or the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, with a massive collection of artifacts that were found in the ruins of Akrotiri

Atlantis Books

This truly unique bookshop in Oia is definitely worth a visit. Opened by two friends just spending holidays in Santorini, it’s a tiny shop with a fascinating story to tell. Whether or not you buy anything, it’s such a lovely stop between sunsets in Oia.

Private Chefs Catering

Partnering with the leading chefs and catering companies in Greece, you can ask your agent to provide bespoke dinning services for any occasion: wedding, corporate event, party, as well as any special event involving highly demanding catering services.

Where to Eat in Santorini – Travel Guide 2020

Speaking of food, our Santorini travel guide also includes the top restaurants in Santorini for 2020. Most of them have a legacy of years, being some of the first fine-dining restaurants in Greece. Make sure you book a table in advance during the peak summer months, and dress for the occasion. Fresh fish, experimental mood, breath-taking views and Santorini wines will sweep you off your feet.

*Note that some of them may open later in 2020 due to the current situation, but rest assured that they follow safety regulations to the fullest!

Selene restaurant

This award-winning restaurant in the village of Pyrgos is a favorite on Santorini. Since it was first established in 1986 in Fira, Selene has been greatly praised for supporting local cuisine and showcasing the best of Santorini.

Koukoumavlos restaurant

Koukoumavlos offers a unique gourmet experience in an amazing setting at Fira. The romantic balcony overlooking the caldera and its stunning views blend in with the experimental approach towards dining.

The Athenian House (opens July 1st 2020)

The Athenian House restaurant in Santorini ventures towards its fifth season with menus composed by some of the most internationally acclaimed Greek chefs, on one the most breathtaking sunset spots on the Santorini Caldera.

La maison

From its preeminent setting in Imerovigli, La Maison Restaurant offers impressive views over the caldera, offering jaw-dropping views at sunset. The chefs at “La Maison” manage to express the culinary identity of Santorini through a menu of Mediterranean fusion cuisine using fresh local ingredients.

Throubi Restaurant

Throubi restaurant celebrates the gastronomy of Santorini under the management of a carefully chosen team, always ready to share its exceptional culinary endeavors. Perfection here is in the details of each dish, inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine.

Metaxi Mas

A destination in itself, especially for those who want to relax from the crowded places, this is a sought-after hangout with great views from Ancient Thira to Anafi. Impressive quality-price ratio and neat dishes such as squid stuffed with shrimp, stamnagathi and fava, lamb with oatmeal, yogurt and mint and fillet with Vinsanto sauce.

Santorini is truly a paradise on Earth, and if you’re lucky enough to visit it once in your lifetime, you won’t regret it! Now you know everything there is to know about this magical place, so book your accommodation as soon as possible and get the best deal!

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