..water, soft drinks, food or other hidden charges that you are expected to pay! Get clarifications for everything, before you embark.
..drone in the Caldera of Oia and Fira!
..transportation from and to the airport and the port of Santorini (ask at the hotel you are staying).
..walk around the streets of Fira is 1-2 hours before the sunset (everyone is going towards Oia in order to secure a good spot for the sunset)!
..the Byzantine castle in Oia. But you will have to be there 2-3 hours in advance in order to secure a good spot!
More tips Santorini
Santorini is an island that hides plenty of traps, while due to high visit rates the stay and transport aspects might hold a lot of difficulties. Read the useful Tips Santorini to make your holidays more pleasant, saving time and money.
- The best period to visit it is mid-April to mid-May. The weather is very nice, there are plenty of people (but not to a suffocating point), all stores are open and hotel prices are 3-4 times lower. The only disadvantage is that the sea is still cold!
- At selected kiosks like THIS ONE you can buy prepaid SIM cards, of varying duration from 4 to 30 days, with the respective voice minutes for calls to Greek or foreign numbers, as well as data. (Prices from 18€ for 4 days to 30€ for one month.)
- All stores have POS terminals for card payments.
- Do not miss the chance to watch a movie at Cine Kamari, Europe’s most beautiful open-air cinema.
- It is forbidden to operate a drone in the Caldera of Oia and Fira!
- On the island there is a lot of dust, due to the dry and arid volcanic ground, which gets picked up by the wind and sits on cars, food, hair and faces!
- The rock of Skaros (Imerovigli) offers the most wonderful view of Santorini’s Caldera.
- The sun is shining on more than 230 days a year.
- The ideal number of days to explore it is 4 to 5.
- All residents, business owners and employees are fluent in English.
- In Santorini, rain is (almost) always accompanied by dirt!
- It is forbidden to climb on the roofs of churches to take photographs!
- The Museum of Prehistoric Thera and especially the Archaeological Museum of Santorini have nothing to show.
- Respect the lives of others! EVERYONE on the island walks around with a cellphone in hand and photographing everything, even places they are not supposed to or private locations. Caution!
- Tap water is not potable. Do not drink out of the faucets.
- At the beaches of Perissa and Vlychada you will find countless pumice stones!
- Book your airplane and boat tickets way in advance so that you find lower prices, but also in order to find seats.
- The price of gas on the island is 30%(!) increased compared to the average price in mainland Greece.
- Many hotels offer free transportation from and to the airport and the port of Santorini (ask at the hotel you are staying).
- Taxis are uneconomical, as for a 10-minute ride they might charge you up to 30€!
- The lift at Fira costs 5€ for adults and 2.5€ for children aged 6-12. Rides every 20 minutes, 07:00-22:20.
- Drive with caution, especially during the summer months.
- By bus: Longer route duration, more economical (2.20€)
- By taxi: Faster but more expensive (around 35€)
Athinios Port Santorini
- Bus routes are synced with the arrivals and departures of ships.
- Santorini is connected to Piraeus through daily boat trips.
- Renting a scooter on the island is a one-way street! Distances are short and you can easily go from one side of the island to the other (30 minutes).
- Wear a helmet under all circumstances! High speeds, bad roads and drivers’ ignorance cause 90 deaths every season!
- ATVs are the no1 accident risk on the island! They require caution, as one can lose control of them pretty easily.
- There have been tens of deaths involving ATVs, which fall off the Caldera. Extreme caution is required!
- Car parking is an especially difficult “sport” and almost impossible during high season months, even more so inside Fira and Oia!
- At the entrance and exit of every village you will find free parking (limited spots).
- Avoid driving through the villages in the afternoon hours. There is only one road and tour buses get stuck and cause huge congestion.
- If you wish for more privacy during your stay, prefer to stay in Imerovigli!
- Many accommodation sites at the Caldera (Fira, Oia, Firostefani and Imerovigli) offer wonderful views, but lack privacy, as the roads run right by them or there are other rooms above them (due to the inclined position).
- The accommodation sites outside of Oia and Fira are 2-3 times cheaper.
- With occupancy reaching 100% throughout the whole summer season, you must have booked your accommodation many months in advance!
- Treat yourself to the experience of staying in a cave room (built inside the rocks)!
- If you are staying at the caldera, you will have to carry your luggage yourself to the hotel, as a car cannot make the route.
- At Vlychada beach you will find the Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos” Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00. Cost: 5€, free for children under the age of 12.
- There is a boat from Perissa to Kamari (every half hour).
- The archaeological site of Akrotiri is open April-October.
- At the port of Akrotiri, there are boats that transport you to nearby beaches (Red and White).
- Also, it is the starting point of a trail leading to the Red Beach.
- The “Patsouli” point is the best spot to photograph Fira.
- The best time to take a walk around the streets of Fira is 1-2 hours before the sunset (everyone is going towards Oia in order to secure a good spot for the sunset)!
- At the Theotokopoulou main square you will find a taxi rank, as well as the bus schedule.
- The Theotokopoulou main square is transformed into a pedestrian walkway in the summer months, and in order to reach Firostefani you will have to go around via the ring road.
- In order to get to know its true beauty, wander its every street and alley during sunrise.
- Prices in food, clothing, accessories and souvenirs are up to three times higher compared to the rest of Santorini.
- Take a photo of the Three Bells with the Aegean in the background, without having to climb a dome by going HERE!
Santorini Volcano (Nea Kameni)
- There are many agencies that plan the trip. They all offer the same benefits and prices differ to a degree of 2-5€ per person.
- There is extra charge for entrance to the volcano (2€), which is not included in the price of the cruise.
- There is not even a centimeter of shade, so make sure you have put on sunscreen, worn a hat and brought bottles of water!
- The volcano is active, but it is going through a period of remission.
- Do not miss the chance to take a dive in the thermal springs, which actually ooze sulfur!
- It is one of the best activities in Santorini.
- Check out the Fira-Oia route HERE
- It is about 11km long (!), of medium difficulty and you will need around 2¼ hours, with a fast pace and 2-3 stops.
- The most wonderful images are found on the route from Imerovigli to Prophet Elias.
- There are signs everywhere to guide you.
- Start in the morning, so that you avoid the afternoon sun. You must have with you (at least) 3-4 bottles of water and small, sugar-free snacks.
- Wear shoes that don’t get dirty and don’t slip. At 2-3 spots the ground is slippery, shaky and “colors” shoes.
- At 3/5 of the total route you will find a canteen (the Snack Shop), in case you run out of water or want to make a good stop!
- In the afternoon, the light in Oia and Fira is pretty hard. You will take the best photographs until noon.
- Visit the famous spot for photographs with the churches (Oia) early in the morning (during sunrise). Extra tip: Open the small door and get inside in order to take the pictures you want (be careful and quiet, as it is a hotel)!
- The best location to watch the sunset is the Byzantine castle in Oia. But you will have to be there 2-3 hours in advance in order to secure a good spot!
- SOS: In order to take the pictures you want, with the fewest people possible around, you will have to be at the points of interest during the sunrise!
- This is the best hidden spot (Oia) to take the perfect romantic photograph, with a view of the mills (visit it early in the morning)!
- Visit the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Oia) a bit before the sunset in order to take the best photo!
- From here you will take the best and most quiet photograph with steps, white houses and the Aegean’s endless blue (Firostefani).
- Agios Minas (Fira) is one of the best “unknown” spots for photographing on the island!
- Stand HERE (Fira) in order to take a picture of Imerovigli with the Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos.
- The most easily accessible church is the one of Agios Nikolaos in Oia. Extra tips: Take your shoes off and visit it very early in the morning.
- Nudism is allowed at the beach.
- There is a cafeteria and a few umbrellas with sunbeds.
- Bring some water with you and wear dark-colored shoes for the path.
- You can reach it via three ways: 1) From the archaeological site in Akrotiri, you leave the car at the parking area and walk the upwards path. 2) From Akrotiri, you head towards Agioi Pantes and turn to the beach (dirt road) 5-10 minutes. 3) With a caique from Akrotiri (every half hour).
- The temperature is twice as high compared to the rest of the island.
- Even though it is in the path of southern winds, it does not have big waves.
- The Rock as well as the rocks in general have developed their color due to the rust in the area!
- The beach has been characterized as dangerous by the authorities, due to sudden rockfalls.
Kamari Open-air Cinema
- At the register as well as the cafeteria, they accept only cash and not card payments (it is the only place on the island)!
- Doors open at 20:30, however the line is pretty long, so make sure you are there around 20:00.
- Caution, seats are limited (around 170) and there is no possibility of telephone or electronic ticket purchase; you can only purchase tickets from the cinema booths. Also, tickets cannot be presold or reserved for upcoming days!
- Every day there is one movie played, which starts at 21:30, in English version with Greek subtitles.
- Sometimes, the line for the bar is longer than the one for the tickets. To order without spending all this time in queue, wait until the movie starts!
- In order to reserve a spot in Oia you will have to be there at least 2-3 hours in advance!
- The crowd that gathers in the location is so massive that it is impossible to walk in the streets of Oia right before the sunset (from Agios Nikolaos and beyond)!!
- Check out the best spots to enjoy the world-renowned sunset:
Oia-Without excessive amount of people (See HERE)
Fira-From Fira’s Three Bells (See HERE)
Unknown location From Katharos beach (See HERE)
Akrotiri-From the Lighthouse (See HERE)
Firostefani-From the rooftop of the restaurant “To Briki” (See HERE)
Imerovigli-From Skaros, of course (See HERE)
Ammoudi-From sea level (See HERE)
- The waters in Santorini are not turquoise or green-blue, but dark colored because of the rocky volcanic terrain. Nonetheless, they are pretty clean! Of course, the dark color is not so inviting to dive, but if you make the start you might like it.
- The beaches of Monolithos, Krateros and Exo Gonia are quite unexceptional (when it comes to their water, location as well as organization).
- The Red beach is just an attraction. It is not worth swimming in. Just photograph it from above.
- The most quiet and worthwhile beach is located in Perissa (at this spot).
- The best beach for entertainment (with plenty of beach bars) is located in Perivolos (at this spot).
- Perivolos – Perissa – Agios Georgios – Vlychada are coastally connected. The first three are turned into walkways after 5 in the afternoon.
- The best spot for the Akrotiri Lighthouse is right under it (fewer people, amazing view closer to sea level).
- If you want to get a good spot, visit it at least one hour before the sunset.
- Park your vehicle way before the end of the road, so that you can leave comfortably and easily (the road is very narrow and fits only one car)!
- The route from Pyrgos to Prophet Elias lasts about half an hour.
- On the Fira-Mesa Gialos route there are 588 steps.
- Download the Santorini topoGuide app on your phone so that you have all the trails.
- You can also download Santorini’s hiking maps from the www.anavasi.gr website (cost 7€).
- At many spots, the trails have been corroded by weather conditions, while signage is insufficient.
- The ideal amount of time to spend on the island is 5-8 hours.
- The time needed to get from the port of Korfos to Manolas is 25 minutes.
- It is understandable for the service at taverns to not be the best possible, as the flow of customers is not steady but in droves.
- There is only one ATM on the island and it is located in Manolas.
- On windy days, wear a hat or a headscarf as the volcanic dust will get in your hair and eyes.
- At the port of Korfos you will find souvenirs cheaper compared the ones in Santorini.
- If you want to avoid large crowds, take the launch boat at 08:00 and return at 12:00. The next trip (12:00-17:00) is the most crowded.
- The ground is consisted of soil and volcanic ash, which makes it slippery and stains shoes. Wear dark-colored shoes and watch your step.
- Υ There is a trail from Kamari to Ancient Thera that lasts 50 minutes (medium difficulty). It starts HERE.
- The ascent to ancient Thera is very difficult and steep. You will require a motorcycle, car or…strong lungs!
- Visit it on the opening so that you avoid large crowds and the heat.
- From Kamari to the entrance of the archaeological site you will need to travel 3km (upwards S-shaped route). Ascent time 40-50 minutes.
- Από την είσοδο μέχρι την κορυφή της Αρχαίας Θήρας θα περπατήσετε άλλα 10-15 λεπτά (1χλμ).
- From the entrance to the top of Ancient Thera you will walk another 10-15 minutes (1km).
- At the entrance of the archaeological site there is a canteen with reasonable prices.
- In the summer months, you must always have with you some water, sunscreen and a ha.
- Along the way, you will find plenty of shaded spots to rest.
- From the entrance of the archaeological site, you will find the path that leads to the Necropolis.
- The largest festivals of the village take place on 6/8 the day of the Transfiguration of Jesus and on 22/10 the day of Saint Averkios, patron saint of wine.
- SOS: Most gas stations on the island charge you 10€ while they fill for 7€!
- Many gas stations add water to the gas!
- The cleanest and most trustworthy gas station is located outside of Messaria, on the road to Kamari (BP gas station)
- In the tight squeeze that occurs when people gather for a spot to watch Oia’s sunset, many thefts of personal items have been reported. Be careful of your personal belongings.
- Avoid establishments that use “barkers”. They always have food of mediocre quality and very high prices.
- SOS: Many accommodation sites in the Caldera show photographs with the impressive view from the room. BUT in front of it, there is a road that does not let you relax or enjoy the view you paid for gold! Ask before you book the room.
- Many cruises have extra charges for water, soft drinks, food or other hidden charges that you are expected to pay! Get clarifications for everything, before you embark.
- Bread is charged extra (1-4€ per serving)!
- Trust the taverns located in Akrotiri, Vlychada, Perissa, Pyrgos and other small villages. They have decent food and lower prices.
- Most restaurants have continuous operating hours.
- In cafés/bars/restaurants if you ask for water, they will not bring you tap water (not offered), but bottled at a pretty high price!
- In order to find a table on Fridays and weekends you must make reservations, due to the increased traffic on the island.
- Try the local products, i.e. cherry tomatoes, fava, the rich in flavor caper, the PDO wines, the domatokeftedes (tomato fritters), the fresh fish and the meletinia (traditional Easter dessert).