Explore Santorini

Santorini Travel Guide

Not only is Santorini one of the most beautiful islands in the world, it is also geologically and archaeologically one of the most dramatic. The island, which is also called Thira, is shaped like an enormous pair of jaws encircling a lake filled with pure blue water. This is the core of an ancient volcano, which according to legend destroyed the lost continent of Atlantis when it blew its top about 3,600 years ago, burying the ancient city of Akrotiri (now being excavated) under tons of ash and sending out tidal waves that inundated other landmasses.<br /><br /> The island's two towns, Fira and Ia, are perched on the cliff tops of the highest part of the island. Ferries arrive and depart in the harbour below, and visitors walk or ride donkeys up the steep winding path to the towns. The towns are equipped with hotels, good restaurants, bars and plenty of nightlife to keep tourists happy while they relax between visiting the archaeological remains of ancient Thira, dating back to the 9th century BC, on the east side of the island. Other attractions include the excavations at Akrotiri, an archaeological museum, and an 18th-century monastery. Santorini has two swimming beaches, Perissa and Kamari, both characterised by their volcanic black sand.<br /><br />

Santorini Beaches

Address: Santorini

The beaches of Santorini are unlike other Greek beaches and have special and dramatic geological features like black shining pebbles and unique land formations, coloured by black, white and red sands. The beaches tend to be coves surrounded by steep cliffs which add to their beauty. The waters are deep though, so be cautious. The Red beach is possibly the most famous and is located near the village and ancient site of Akrotiri. It is popular because of the stunning volcanic slabs and colour of its sand, although the sand is not comfortable to sit on so the sun loungers on the beach are necessary.<br /><br /> Perissa beach, just southeast of Fira, is another favourite and has an impressively long, black sandy beach with an enormous rock rising out of the sea. For those who prefer a quiet and unspoilt beach environment, Cape Columbo is one of Santorini's most beautiful and most isolated beaches. The waves here are rougher though so beware of a more dangerous sea. The southeastern beaches of Monolithos, Avis and Kamari are family favourites. At Monolithos beach kids love the football pitch, basketball court and play area. Trees at the back of the beach provide shaded respite from the sun, and there are also snacks available on the beach.<br /><br />

Santorini Wineries

Address: Santorini

Admission: Most wineries on the island are open for tours during the summer months.

Santorini is a large wine-producing region, which was helped along by a volcanic explosion in 1650 BC. The vines on the island are very old, and are trained into a distinctive basket shape to protect them from the elements. Wine has been grown in the region since ancient times and has been renowned since as early as the Middle Ages, when the Venetians made it famous - the Italian influence is still detectable in the wine tradition of Santorini today. One of the grapes that the region is known for is the sweet Vin Santo (or vinsanto) which is dried in the sun before use. The blended rosé from white grapes likes Athiri, Aidini and Assyrtiko, and red grapes like Mandelaria, is also highly acclaimed.<br /><br /> There are a number of great wineries on the island. Antoniou is very popular, particularly for weddings, and Boutari is the largest vineyard in the region. Sigalas, which has spectacular views from their patio, is a lovely place to while away a day, and Volcan has a Wine Museum which will interest fanatics interested in the production process and history of the area.<br /><br />

Museum of Pre-Historic Thera

Address: 847 00 Fira, Santorini Santorini

The Museum of Pre-Historic Thera has displays of many archaeological finds from the excavations at Akrotiri, including Neolithic pottery from as far back as 3300 BC. The exhibits attempt to show life in prehistoric times, with tools, metalworkings, pottery, furniture, and other artefacts on display. The exhibition is laid out in four parts: the history of research at Thera; the geology of Thera; the island's history from the Late Neolithic to the Late Cycladic I period (early 17th century BC); and the heyday of the city at Akrotiri (mature Late Cycladic 1 period, 17th century BC). Look out for the gold ibex figurine and the magnificent wall paintings, or frescoes, of Ladies and Papyri and of the Blue Monkeys. A visit to this small but interesting museum is a great complement to exploring the archaeological site of Akrotiri as it provides context and displays the impressive artefacts discovered at the site. Often tour guides will combine the site and the museum. The museum is well-organised and informative and offers a lot of good background information; it consistently rates well with tourists in reviews.<br /><br />

With one of the best nightlife scenes in the Cyclades, Santorini has many cafés, bars and nightclubs to enjoy on holiday. Many cafés and bars are found along the caldera, and most nightclubs are in the capital city of Fira, which is the best place to go for all-night partying. The bars and clubs are always rotating, but be prepared to pay upwards of €15 for a drink in the most popular spots on the waterfront. As with shopping and accommodation, Santorini is not the cheapest Greek island to party on, although it can be very rewarding if you are prepared to pay that little bit extra. Oia and Kamari also have a number of bars and discos.<br /><br /> For those who prefer quieter evenings and more relaxed, cultural night time attractions, there are classical music performances at the Nomikos Centre in Fira. There are also a number of quieter, more authentic restaurants where visitors can enjoy drawn out meals with lovely views. Finding somewhere away from the crowds and bustle can be challenging in summer but a good rule of thumb if you want to soak up genuine Santorini atmosphere is to avoid the resort areas and big towns and look out for places frequented by locals.<br /><br />
Shopping in Santorini offers a range of lovely holiday purchases, the most popular being gold and amber jewellery. The island's cobbled lanes are flanked by jewellery shops, boutiques, galleries and leather shops, as well as stores selling local handicrafts and souvenirs. The Hondos Center and the Fabrica Shopping Center in Fira are popular shopping destinations for jewellery and fashion items such as clothing, bags and shoes. Oia has great Art Deco galleries to browse, as well as shops selling gold jewellery and handmade wooden artefacts. Santorini is also a wine-producing region in Greece, so a bottle of wine is a popular souvenir. Keep in mind that Santorini prices are generally higher than in most parts of Greece; if you are island-hopping shop for special, unique items in Santorini which has great but expensive handicrafts, and shop more broadly and extensively on one of the more reasonable islands. For those who are self-catering on Santorini there are grocery stores and the like from which to buy supplies. Those visiting in winter may find that some of the shops and restaurants are closed or have greatly reduced opening hours, but what is available will be cheaper off-season.<br /><br />
Javascript is required to view this map.
Close Toggle Weather Forecast
 
More information at MSN Weather
(Data provided outside US and Canada by Foreca, Data provided for US and Canada by WDT)

 
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Average High10°13°18°23°28°31°30°26°21°14°10°
Average Low 12°16°18°18°15°11°
 
More information at MSN Weather
(Data provided outside US and Canada by Foreca, Data provided for US and Canada by WDT)

 
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Average High48°51°57°65°75°84°88°87°80°70°58°51°
Average Low 34°36°41°46°54°62°66°65°59°52°44°37°
Toggle Electricity of Santorini
Round pins. Description
Round pins.
Voltage
220 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
C
Round pins and grounding pin. Description
Round pins and grounding pin.
Voltage
220 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
D
Round pins, grounding pin and receptacle. Description
Round pins, grounding pin and receptacle.
Voltage
220 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
E
"Schuko" plug and receptable with side grounding contacts. Description
"Schuko" plug and receptable with side grounding contacts.
Voltage
220 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
F
Toggle Dialing Codes of Santorini
Trip Tools
© 2004 - 2010 TripExtras.com TripExtras.com is a trading style of Core8 Ltd which is an Appointed Representative of Astrenska Ltd. Astrenska Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority under firm reference number 442233. Core8 Ltd. is registered in England & Wales as company no. 6567006 with its registered address at 17 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4SQ, England.
Top of Page Core8.com