Santorini – where to go and what to do

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Travel to Santorini

Travel to Santorini, where to go and what to do – Reminiscing about my short trip to Santorini.  A few days sunshine, blue skies and crystal clear water would be great, right now!

To be honest four days was enough time to spend on such a small island.  Ideal for a short break or island hopping, it is easy to understand why my yacht owning friends enjoy a summer trip island hopping.  My advice is to stay on a few different islands rather than just one.

I stayed in the quiet, Northern part of the island, Akrotiri was the nearest town, on the coast facing Thera and Oia, which are the white blobs on my photo below.

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The North is by far the nicest part of the island, away from the tourist hub of Thera.  The sunsets in this part of the island are spectacular and every evening there would be quad bikes making there way to watch the sunset.  I stayed in a boutique hotel, in a villa with private pool.  I’m not going to recommend this Hotel because it was very, very expensive and not really worth the money.  Admittedly, this was in June and tourist season, but even so ….  Santorini in general is very overpriced.

One of the highlights was visiting Akrotiri and the archaelogical site, the most important Minoan site outside Crete.  Santorini is one of the Cycades Islands hit by volcanic eruption with dreadful consequences for the people of the island.

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Akrotiri has charming little coves, beaches and restaurants.  If I visit another time I wouldn’t bother going to Thera – except for the iconic photographic opportunities!  I hated the crowds of cruise trip visitors filling up the streets, go early or late in the season and it is probably very different.  However, if you enjoy a buzzing nightlife, this is the place for you!

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Oia –  would be lovely without the cruise trippers.  I read recently that plans are in place to limit the numbers, which is an excellent idea. It is a picture perfect, idyllic white village clinging to the hillside.  Definitely visit but only stay if you enjoy crowds and hustle and bustle.

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Southern Santorini – I shot this in the far South, just stunning isn’t it?  The blue skies and sea are unbeatable.

Wine tasting – You must visit some of the vineyards and sample some of the local and surprisingly good wines.  Wine growing started in Roman times in Santorini and the vines are still grown in the same style, allowed to trail on the ground with the leaves covering the precious grapes.

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I discovered santo winery, Pirgos whilst driving back to Akrotiri.  What a delightful place, probably the best view of any winery I have every visited – and I have visited many wineries! http://www.santowines.gr A little wine tasting with cheese, looking at the stunning view above – not a bad way to pass the afternoon!  This reminds me, I bought a pack of local FAVA beans here – still wondering what I am supposed to do with them!

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Yes, that is 6 glasses of wine you can see on the tasting tray!

The Santorini sunsets are magical and you will see scores of quad bikes heading up to Akrotiri to catch the best sunset.  Everyone gets about on Quadbikes here and they are great fun!

Definitely take a boat trip to other islands or just simply cruise around the island visiting little coves.

My Top Tip

Santorini Airport is horrendous in high season, I mean really disorganised and crowded.  Readers have told me of their horror at the airport conditions.  I must say, it is not good for a European airport! I recommend heading up to the roof after check in, this is the best spot to avoid the Sardine in a tin conditions!  You can admire the view and might actually grab a seat.  Be aware, there isn’t a Club Class lounge – British Airways really need to do something about this, and soon! However, it is very convenient having a British Airways flight out of London City Airport.

http://www.britishairways.com

Useful Addresses:

Santorini boat tours and boat rental  http://www.santorinitours.com

Quad bikes: http://www.motorinn.gr

Tourist info: http://www.visit-santorini.com

22 Comments

  1. March 21, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Amazing photos!!

    Santorini is one of the Greek Island I really want to visit!

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      Hi Krystal, Good choice! I love the way everyone hires Quad Bikes to get around – the best fun.

  2. March 21, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    Love the photos! Looks like a really beautiful island and I hope I get to see it one day!

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Thanks Kirsty, it is impossible to take a bad picture – the sky and sea are so blue!

  3. Mili
    March 21, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Santorini looks so beautiful and is definitely at the top of my travel list! Thanks so much for the tips and beautiful pics 🙂

    Mili

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      Thanks Milli

  4. March 21, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    I’ve always been in love with Santorini and you offer some great advice. I would be interested in staying in the north to avoid some of the crowds and venturing to the tourist places early or late to avoid the crowds. Your photos are stunning and it looks like none of the island disappointed.

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      Thanks Tonya, It is a gorgeous place, isn’t it!

  5. March 21, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    Would love to check out Santorini one day! Lovely pics 🙂

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks Haisu, Happy you like the pics.

  6. March 21, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    Santonrini and its colors. That blue sky and the blue ocean as a backdrop to the white buildings is simply stunning. I agree with you though, going in the off season is probably your best bet to avoid the tourist mobs.

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 7:26 pm

      I think they are planning to restrict Cruise ship numbers, which would be a good idea!

  7. March 21, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    We visited some of the Greek Islands last December while on cycle tour and just fell in love. We didn’t make it to Santorini, but I can completely agree with you about staying away from the touristy areas – there are so many places to explore that it’s not worth going to where all the crowds are. And the wine! We were so pleasantly happy to discover all the Greek wine. Glad you had a good time!

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      A bicycle must be a great way to get around and meet ‘real’ people. Did you write about the trip? I will take a look at your site!

  8. March 21, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Amazing photos! We will be heading to Greece and Santorini in the fall so will be saving this for future reference!

    • marie
      March 21, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Spring and Autumn are the best time to go, you will have a lovely time!

  9. March 29, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Hi! Great choice 🙂 Santorini is a wonderful place, so natural.
    When I read it I was able to imagine everything you’ve written. The photos did the remainder 😉
    You’ve included in few words the essential things to see and to do.
    I love it!

    • marie
      March 29, 2016 / 9:15 am

      Thank you! Short and sweet is my motto 🙂

  10. March 29, 2016 / 9:07 am

    Hi! Great choice 🙂 Santorini is a wonderful place, so natural.
    You’ve included in few words the essential things to see and to do. The photos are so good 😉
    I love it!

  11. April 12, 2016 / 11:36 am

    I didn’t like Fira/Thera as well specially at night! With the loud club music from each bars – it was chaotic. We stayed near Oia and it was wonderful! The best wine I’ve ever had was Vinsanto which apparently is only being sold in SAntorini and nowhere else. 🙁

    • marie
      April 12, 2016 / 11:59 am

      Thank you Pinay – I’m glad you enjoyed Santorini! I must admit, our suitcase was full of wine on the way home 🙂

  12. August 4, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    That is just gorgeous.. definitely unbeatable. Some great information as Santorini has always been on my list, but I probably would have ended up in those touristy areas if I hadn’t read this. ^^

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