Santorini Greece

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Santorini Greece - 2023 Guide

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Santorini Guide – Everything You Need To Know

Are you looking for an enchanted destination that will take your breath away? Look no further than Santorini (Thera), one of the most visited Greek islands and a world-renowned tourist attraction.  

This guide will provide you with all the necessary information about a perfect holiday in Santorini island. We’ll tell you about fascinating tours & activities, amazing beaches, incredible sights to explore, and much more.

santorini greece
Sunset in caldera


🇬🇷 Greece Travel Resources We Use: 


Some Facts About Santorini

Santorini island, the most sought-after Greek destination, will take your breath away. When you step onto its soil, you’ll be teleported to an otherworldly paradise full of mesmerizing red hues that paint magnificent sunsets each night. Here are a few little-known facts about Santorini:

  • The four islands of Thera, Therassia, Aspronisi, and the volcanoes (Palaia Kameni and Nea Kameni) are collectively called Santorini.
  • Santorini is situated in the enchanting Cyclades archipelago between Ios and Anafi islands. Santorini is located approximately 128 nautical miles from Piraeus Port and 63 nautical miles from Crete. 
  • Santorini boasts 76 square kilometers (30 sq. miles) of land and a 69 km/42 miles long coastline full of stunning beaches, turquoise waters, whale sharks, and much more.
  • Out of all the active volcanoes in Greece, the one in Santorini volcano is by far the most captivating – accompanying Methana, Nisiros, and Milos.
  • Three captivating islands encircle the Caldera, a bay that was formed when the core of Strongyli submerged into the Aegean Sea. This magnificent natural wonder spans 8 to 5 kilometers (5-3 miles) and reaches depths as deep as 370 meters (1200 feet).
  • What makes this Greek island stand out from others is the fact that it was built along the edge of the inner walls.In contrast, most Greek islands are constructed right next to the Aegean Sea.
  • Santorini draws its name from the ancient Spartan settler, Theras of Sparta, who founded the town of Mesa Vouno in the 10th century B.C. It was only in 1153 that Santorini got its current name.
  • Thera, the main island of this cluster, is distinctively crescent-shaped and lies in its easternmost position. The walls on its western side tell a remarkable story about the geological past, depicting different stages of volcanic activity that have occurred throughout the centuries.

Why Visit Santorini?

The remarkable beauty of Santorini is unrivaled and unique. The world-famous Santorini caldera, the volcanic Black Beach and Red Beach, as well as Nea Kameni’s volcano crater are all reminders of its captivating beginnings. 

Furthermore, you can anticipate an incredible stay with top-notch services in luxurious villas featuring breathtaking infinity pools. Make lasting memories from a one-of-a-kind escape during your retreat at this magnificent location.

Pamper yourself with spa treatments, wine-tasting experiences, vineyard tours, shopping excursions, and romantic dinners against the backdrop of a never-ending cerulean Aegean Sea. 

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santorini The crowning jewel in all this luxuriousness is the captivating sunset. Gaze at the sun slowly setting below the horizon. At the same time, an awe-inspiring spectrum of colors paints over Fira or Oia’s skyline – no picture can compare to witnessing such beauty firsthand. 

Oia’s breathtaking sunset view, elegant Cycladic architecture, lavish accommodations, gourmet dining options, rugged landscape, and awe-inspiring volcano make Santorini a place to fall in love with! 

Explore the Island’s Villages

Located 260m/850 feet atop the striking Caldera, Fira serves as the capital city of Santorini and provides sweeping views of Nea Kameni and the Aegean Sea. Along its rim are three villages of note: Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani.santorini island

What Makes Oia So Special?

Behold the majestic beauty of Oia, nestled within the pumice cliffs and designated a cultural heritage site. Hundreds of visitors come annually to admire its fabled sunset. Furthermore, Emporio is another traditional village oozing with medieval charm. Explore its fortress architecture, winding streets, and six-meter-tall windmills for a truly spectacular experience.

Why Couples Love Santorini?

Santorini island is the premier go-to spot in Greece for a romantic retreat, thanks to its combination of unparalleled blue waters and breathtaking views from atop an active volcano. 

The island’s popularity amongst couples across the globe as a wedding destination has risen significantly over time. Few places on Earth offer such beauty for those wishing to tie the knot or just take in fantastic scenery. romantic sunset santorini

A romantic excursion to Santorini with your beloved is the embodiment of any dreamer’s vision- from glimpsing the famous Caldera to exchanging passionate kisses beneath its mesmerizing sunset. This unparalleled experience transcends all expectations and will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

Uncover the hidden gems of Santorini and bask in its crystal blue waters, pristine white, red, or black sand beaches, and volcanic pebbles. Explore awe-inspiring rock formations and remarkable lunar landscapes that will take your breath away. Experience a romantic journey like never before.

Unique Experiences

Wines of Santorini

The warm sun and powerful winds of Santorini help preserve the vines’ health, drying any moisture on the fruit and preventing afflictions like mildew or botrytis. 

This natural climate also has a hand in furthering organic farming efforts; all that growers can do is sulphuration and pruning – a specific technique used to form “baskets” that protect grapes from wind-borne sand particles. So take a tour at famous Santorini wineries.

Flavors from Santorini

The brilliant light, the Aegean air, and Santorini’s bountiful volcanic soil nourish its local agriculture, thus bestowing the island’s cuisine with premium quality and a distinct taste. 

Here are the island’s most famous products:

1. Fava (fava beans)

Santorini’s visitors often come back for the exquisite taste of fava dishes, which can be enjoyed in various ways – boiled plain or with pork, blended into tomato puree, as soup or risotto, or even as part of an omelet. 

2. White aubergines

The beauty of this pure white eggplant is not just because it’s been colored by the volcanic soil but also due to its sweet and juicy texture. 

3. Capers

Not only are the fragrant petals employed in local cuisine, but their sharp and spicy leaves are used to make mouthwatering dishes as well. 

4. Cherry tomatoes

In the 18th century, this special type of tomato was carefully nurtured by locals. Since then, it has evolved to acquire its distinct flavor due to the island’s arid soil.

Santorini’s beaches

The stunning coastlines of Santorini island are unlike any other, boasting deep blue waters, white and colorful sands, towering cliffs, red and black volcanic pebbles, and remarkable rock formations.

red beach santorini
View of Red Beach

Anyone who appreciates its beauty or simply finds intrigue in its peculiarities can not deny that the Santorini beaches here are breathtakingly special. The Aegean Sea shimmers a captivating hue which further highlights this lunar landscape making for an indescribable experience. 

Red Beach is a hidden gem nestled in an enchanting cove beneath the cliffs of Santorini. Its unique red-brown sand and soil are framed by jagged black and red pebbles that were left behind from the ancient volcano’s monoliths. What makes this Red Beach so special is its sweltering temperature – hotter than other parts of the island due to its dark coloration and lunar-like terrain. 

The black sanded beaches in Santorini are a result of the island’s volcanic history. Santorini is a volcanic island that was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, which have left a unique geological landscape, including black volcanic sand. The black sand is created when lava flows into the sea and is rapidly cooled by the water, creating fine-grained volcanic sand. Over time, this black sand is then broken down and carried by sea, creating black sand beaches.

The most popular black sand beach is the Perissa Beach.

Join us as we take you on a journey along the glistening beaches that adorn the island’s windswept coasts so that you can observe their mysterious charm and breathtaking beauty firsthand! 

Museums in Santorini

Not many people know that Santorini island isn’t all about beaches and nightlife. The island also has a rich history, one that is depicted perfectly by its museums. Here are a few of the many must-visit museums dotting this island:

1. Museum of Ancient Thera

Seize the chance to witness history with a visit to the Museum of Ancient Thera, one of Greece’s most renowned museums. Here you can explore Akrotiri town and its incredible artifacts, such as bronze utensils, tools, weapons, plaster casts of wooden furniture, and Linear A boards. All of them provide an unrivaled insight into life before it was wiped out by volcanic eruption. 

2. Archaeological Museum of Fira

At the Archaeological Museum of Fira, visitors can dive into a unique and expansive view of human history on this island. Starting with the Dorian colonization at the birth of time to late Roman times, guests will observe collections composed of sculptures, inscriptions, clay figurines, and stunningly crafted painted vases. This museum offers an intriguing scientific insight that cannot be found elsewhere.

3. Museum of Folkloric Art

Home to an array of lithographs, manuscripts, and books, the Museum of Folkloric Art in Kontohóri is nestled within a pumice cliff. This remarkable museum also plays host to ancient professions such as blacksmiths, cobblers, and carpenters that have been given new life.

4. Naval Museum of Oia

Step back in time to the 19th century and explore the Naval Museum of Oia, which celebrates Santorini’s illustrious past and its invaluable connection to the Greek Navy. 

Archaeological Sites of Santorini

Here are the most famous archaeological sites of Santorini island:

1. Akrotiri

Located in the south of the island, Akrotiri is a treasured relic from the early Bronze Age (first half of the 2nd millennium B.C.). A volcanic eruption forced residents to evacuate. Coincidentally, their former settlement was blanketed by ash and preserved for eternity. santorini greece

In the archaeological site you will find multi-story dwellings with stunning frescoes alongside intricate sewers, pre-modern streets, and squares, as well as an abundance of luxurious vases and furniture pieces that showcase its vibrant history.

2. Messa Vouno

In ancient times, Messa Vouno, a natural fortress area located inland, was chosen as the site for Thera —the only town on the island. 

Standing atop a hill at 369 meters tall, this archaeological gem spans out in terraces surrounded by incredible artifacts such as The Sanctuary of Artemis, Agora, Royal Portico, Temple of Apollo Karneios, Basilistai House, and Gymnasium of Epheboi. One can also find an old theater here, along with Terrace Festivals.

Experts info

For more than four decades, couples from across the globe have been flocking to Santorini’s iconic villages of Oia and beyond for their weddings and honeymoons. Around 500 ceremonies are thought to take place annually, with Orthodox services often held at churches that gaze out over the Caldera.

Bottom Line

Allow Santorini to captivate you with its spectacular myths and legends, incomparable views, and awe-inspiring sunsets. Located in the southern part of the Cycladic islands, Santorini is a place that captures laidback glamour unlike anywhere else on Earth. 

Poets, artists, and dramatists have been inspired by this remarkable destination for centuries.

So book today to visit Santorini and find out why holidays in Santorini island are so life-changing! 

Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.


Most frequent questions and answers

Santorini is famous for Caldera views, white-washed villages, several beautiful beaches, stunning sunset views, delicious cuisine, and wine grown in volcanic soil. 

The quaint village of Oia in Greece is known far and wide for its charm and beauty. From here, you can take advantage of truly stunning views overlooking the volcano, as well as the magnificent Santorini sunset – making Santorini island one of the most sought-after destinations in all of Europe! 

Santorini island is renowned for its Fava, a delectable Greek dish. Besides this delightful treat, locals also love to savour fresh fish as well as Tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters) and Cretan Dako Salad.

Santorini has some of the most iconic beaches in the Aegean Sea, not least because of its iconic black sand. The most popular is Perissa Beach. Red Beach is also one of the best Santorini beaches.