Santorini is one or near the top of many travellers’ bucket lists as one of the most popular Greek islands to visit. While it’s especially popular among honeymooners and other romance seekers, everyone will find something to enjoy. The must-experiences include watching a famous sunset from the village of Oia with its blue-domed churches and whitewashed architecture spilling down the caldera cliffs and enjoying a sunset sail around the shoreline, capped off by watching the sun melt into the sapphire Aegean.
There are lots of opportunities for wine tasting and touring and plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy too, including the epic hike between Thira and Oia. One can even explore the Pompeii-like settlement of Akrotiri, which provides an outstanding look at life nearly 3,700 years ago when it was buried under ash during a massive volcanic eruption.

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Best Hotels in Santorini

When it comes to locating the best hotels, you’ll want to have a good understanding of which village to stay in. Fira and Oia are the most popular spots, with the capital of Fira a great base for catching public transport to get to nearly anywhere on the island. You’ll have the most extensive array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options at your door, but beaches will be farther away. Oia is widely regarded as Santorini’s most romantic village, with its famous sunset and sea views along with an abundance of hotels catering to honeymooners, including boutique cave properties.

Imerovigli is the place to go for more seclusion, peace and quiet, combined with magnificent caldera views. It offers some of the best hotels on the island and many provide free shuttles to get you to other villages like Fira. Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari are for those who want to primarily spend their days on the beach. At the island’s center is Pyrgos, a traditional whitewashed village that offers a more authentic experience and an escape from the crowds.

 

Things to do in Santorini

 
Oia Santorini

When to visit Santorini

Summer is the peak tourist season, a time when the island will be at its hottest and busiest, with plenty of activities and lots of fun nightlife to enjoy. That means the crowds are the thickest now and the prices will be at their highest too. If you’re mainly coming for sightseeing, consider the shoulder seasons of mid-April through May or October. This is when the tourist crowds thin and the weather is usually pleasant. Those who want to soak up the sun and the sand while enjoying warm water for swimming may want to visit between June and September. 

 

Santorini FAQ

Perian
From

Perian Our Greece Expert

How many days do you need in Santorini?
If you want to visit as many different places on the island as possible, three to five days in Santorini is recommended. With three days, you can take in one of the world’s most romantic sunsets in Oia and explore Fira, enjoying an array of shops and restaurants, including venues for dining with a spectacular sea and caldera view. On the second day, hike between Oia and Thira, followed by a boat tour around the volcano. The third might be spend exploring explore beaches like Red beach or Perissa with its black sands and visiting the Akrotiri archaeological site.

What is the best time to visit for a more budget-friendly trip?
While prices for tours, food, and transportation don’t vary much by season, accommodation is likely to be significantly cheaper between November and March and you may find some discounts in the shoulder seasons, April/May and October. For a more budget-friendly trip and a good chance of pleasant weather, consider late May or late September into early October.

 

Should I stay in Oia or Fira?
Oia and Fira, the two most popular places to stay in Santorini, are both incredibly picturesque, laced with whitewashed architecture and a maze of cobbled lanes, located on the caldera side for fabulous views. There are some differences though – Fira is easier to get to as it’s closer to the airport and main port. It’s the transport hub and a better spot to land if you want to reach other areas by public transport. While they both have some great restaurants, Oia tends to have more of the higher quality fine-dining options and it’s also a go-to for honeymooners with many luxurious hotel options.

 

Is Santorini worth visiting?
There are few islands that evoke wanderlust like Santorini. It’s world-renowned as a bucket-list destination with its dramatical volcanic landscapes and whitewashed villages as well as boasting some of the Aegean’s top hotels. It’s worth visiting just for that first glimpse of the towering caldera you’ll get when pulling into the port by ferry. But when the sun goes down and blazes its brilliant orange, red, and pink across the sea, you’ll know without a doubt that it was worth the journey.

 
 

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