Santorini travel guide

Travel and tourist information about Santorini island

Santorini is one of the most famous islands of the Cyclades. During the summer thousand of tourists visit the island of Thera as it is called in Greek to enjoy its dramatic nature and the world famous sunsets. Santorini certainly differs from the other Cycladic islands, because of its geological morphology, caused by the action of the now extinct volcano.
Particularly impressive is the scenery on the west coast, where huge cliffs decorated on top with white houses, sink gently in to the sea.
The coastline of the island is steep in the west, transformed into endless sandy or pebbly beaches on the east side. From the old harbour of Santorini, visitors can climb up to the capital Fira through the hundreds of stairs either by donkey or more easy by the cable car. The town is picturesque with its labyrinthine narrow streets with arches. Fira is the most cosmopolitan area of the island with a vibrant nightlife, numerous bars, cafes and restaurants as well as all types of hotels and accommodation.

Important is the museum. It contains prehistoric finds (mostly pottery), a large collection of pottery from the seventh century BC, including the well-known as "Theraic Pottery, evocative is the view towards the two volcanic islands of Palea and Nea Kameni that were born from the volcano, visitors can reach those islands by boat.
Much interest has the archaeological site of Ancient Thira where Phoenicians, Dorians, Romans and Byzantines lived in various times. The city is divided along the sacred way. Apart from building clusters of houses of various ages including are markets, baths, theatres, temples, tombs from the Archaic and Classical periods, etc. In the surrounding rocks are carved early Christian relics.

In the ruins of Akrotiri was discovered a Minoan city that was destroyed around 1500 BC from the eruption of the volcano. This is a prehistoric town with two and three storey houses with squares, shops, workshops etc. all buried by volcanic dust.
The magnificent frescoes, vases, objects of daily use, etc. that was found in Akrotiri are exposed in the National Archaeological museum of Athens.

The highest peak of the island Prophet Elias located the homonymous monastery with its the picturesque festival in July. The traditional village of Oia, located 11 km North from the city of fira and has a unique beauty. Small houses carved into the soft rock and other white colored with blue, pink and ocher, neoclassical mansions with courtyards, narrow cobbled streets, create a separate image.
Between Oia and Fira is the village of Imerovigli with old castle of Skaros.
To the east side of the island are the resorts of Perissa and Kamari where the beaches and the sea is unique. Beautiful beaches for swimming, others with black sand and others with pebbles. Some of the most popular are the beach of Perivolos, Perissa Kamari, Armeni Ammoudi, Baxedes, Monolithos the Red Beach, the white beach etc. The good tourist infrastructure of the island together with the charm of the landscape, the amazing architecture with the specificity of the natural environment and the remarkable sights from the antiquity, attracting every year thousands of visitors.

There is a fairly regular bus service on Santorini. However, not all places in the island are accessible by bus. The roads are particularly good in many places exept in the main town where are narrow. The bus schedules are adjusted frequently according the season, so do not rely on old plans in the hotel but ask for the present ones.
For the independent traveller renting a car or a bike is more practical. On the island there are many car and bike rentals to choose from car 4xw scooters and quads. For renting a scooter in Greece you must have a driving license for motorbike or scooter.
In order to fully enjoy the caldera views you should consider various perspectives ie the weather and the clear sky.
There are several boat tours through the caldera. For example, there are tours from the old port of Fira to the volcano and then to the hot springs. In high season, this tour is 3 times daily.
There are many ding schools in Santorini most of them in Perissa and Kamari. The diving areas in particular at the cliffs are very interesting and varied. There are many different rock formations and caves.

How do you get there: From Athens Greece (Olympic  airlines or Aegean) and many European cities with direct flights. From Piraeus by ferry or catamaran as well as from Rafina port and many other islands of the Aegean and Crete.

Useful telephone numbers:
Port police: +30 2286025015
Police: +302286022649
Municipality of Thira +30 2286022331
Community of Oia: +30 2286071228
Archaeological museum +30 2286022217
Olympic airlines Agency in Fira +30 2286022493,
Airport: +30 2286031525, 31666
Hotel Association:+30 2286023134
Health center: +30 2286023123, 23125.