The enigma of the sleeping volcano
The enigma of the sleeping volcano, the black sandy beaches and the astonishing world famous sunsets shape the uniqueness of this beautiful island.
Characterized as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Santorini will leave even the most demanding traveler speechless. Dark red cliffs and colorful houses are literally hanging over the deep blue of the Aegean. The volcanic sceneries of the caldera, the unique black sandy beaches, the colourful villages and the golden sunsets will definitely exceed your expectations.
Santorini is a magical island with supreme flavors and a long-standing tradition in winery. Explore its gastronomic treasures at high-end restaurants and accompany your meal with wine, choosing among indigenous varieties, cultivated in volcanic soil.
Experience an afternoon private cruise to the volcano and dive into the world’s most breathtakingly inspiring sunsets, witnessing the sun going down while on board, making the caldera come alive in a burst of colors.
Santorini and its millions of mysteries is a destination you deserve to explore even for once in your life and grasp gently a piece of its enigmatic soul.
Any stay on Santorini Island should feature a yacht cruise to the three islets which were violently created during the explosion of ancient times, namely Nea Kammeni, Palea Kammeni and Thirassia. Their location opposite the western part of the island of Santorini gives visitors the opportunity to actually see the volcano and all of its wonders. Here, visitors can explore and trek around these rather barren, but nonetheless beautiful three islets. Fascinating in terms of their rock formations and color, visitors are also able to swim in their hot springs. Some 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the surrounding sea temperature, these natural mud baths also have therapeutic properties due to their high levels of Sulphur, a by effect of the volcano. Away from the crowds, during the course of their sailing tour, visitors to the three islets, can also stop for a swim and sunbathe on some of the secluded beaches, all of them different little versions of paradise.
- Nea Kammeni
- Palea Kammeni
- Hot Springs
Fira, the capital of Santorini, is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260 meters high, offering impressive views of the volcano. Fira town is full of small whitewashed houses of traditional Cycladic architecture, blue domed churches and stepped streets filled with all kinds of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. As the busiest touristic area of Santorini Island, Fira offers the largest choice for shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs and features many museums and sites to visit.
- Mansion Gizi
- Archaeological Museum
- Prehistoric Museum
- Folklore Museum
No wonder why Oia village is one of the most photographed places in the world; its beauty is beyond imagination, with picturesque architecture with cave houses carved in the Cliffside called Iposkafa, medieval Venetian houses called the Captain houses, thousands of blue domed churches and color splashes of ochre, early red, oyster pink, green and fuchsia. Oia is also famous for its magical sunsets, famous as the world’s best, attracting hordes of visitors every day.
- Picturesque Village
Imerovigli village is built 300 meters over the sea at the highest point of the Caldera offering privileged views over the Aegean Sea and the volcano. Located north of Fira and south of Oia, Imerovigli is a quiet traditional village, featuring the famous huge rock called Skaros, which was the most important fortified settlement of Santorini.
- Skaros Rock
- Volcano Views
When the volcano erupted 3.600 years ago, the ancient town of Akrotiri was buried. Today, Akrotiri, one of the five fortified settlements of the Island, is presenting a great interest to travelers, since the excavations have also revealed beautiful frescoes, tools and everyday life objects and the village itself features very good fish taverns, beautiful natural environment and the must-visit Akrotiri Castle and Akrotiri Excavations that brought to the light the remains of the Minoan town.
- Akrotiri Castle
- Akrotiri Excavations
Megalochori, located southeast of Fira, is an unspoiled authentic traditional village that combines Cycladic architecture and neoclassical mansions. The picturesque village is famous for its vineyards and wineries; make sure you visit Boutari, Antoniou and Gavala, amongst the most renowned wineries on Santorini.
- Vineyards and Wineries
- Picturesque Village
- Traditional Mansions
Pyrgos is located at the highest point of Santorini Island, offering panoramic views of the whole Island. Featuring neoclassical mansions, small whitewashed houses, churches and beautiful narrow paths, Pyrgos amazes travelers with its unique atmosphere of a forgotten era and entices visitors to visit the famous medieval fortress Kasteli and the Profitis Ilias Monastery.
- Neoclassical mansions
- Medieval fortress Kasteli
- Profitis Ilias Monastery
Perissa is famous for its incredible black sand beach which includes many beach bars, but more importantly, it is the place where you cannot miss to visit the remnants of the Byzantine Period, such as the Church of Agia Irini or Santa Irini which gave the actual name Santorini to the Island, the Church of Timiou Stavrou, one of the largest churches on the Island and the Museum of Minerals and Fossils where you will discover splendid minerals and fossils from Thira and the rest of Greece.
- Byzantine Churches
- Museum of Minerals and Fossils
Kamari is situated on the southeast side of Santorini and is mostly appreciated and preferred for its beautiful and famous long beach with crystal clear waters and its natural green environment. In Kamari, you should absolutely visit the church of Panaghia Episkopi, built in 1100 and the church Panagia Myrtidiotissa.
- Beaches & environment
- Church Panagia Myrtidiotissa
The archaeological site of Ancient Thira is located on top of a cliff above Kamari, offering, beside unique historical vestiges Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, incredible views over the eastern coast of Santorini. Make sure to visit the Sanctuary of Artemidoros, the Agora, the Theatre, the Temple of Dionysos, the Sanctuary of Appolo Karneios and the Necropolis of ancient Thera.
- Ancient sites
- Temples & Sanctuaries
Experience the island of lava in full
Santorini, offering such a great variety of choices for all tastes, becomes a top ‘not to miss’ destination for all travelers’ bucket list.
The opportunity to practice kayak and sailing in Santorini is definitely an unforgettable experience. With one of the most exceptional topographies in the Mediterranean, you will have the chance to admire spectacular rocky formations and the beautiful beaches.
We advise you to go on a private tour to caldera, one of the most outstanding natural wonders on earth. Steel rocks and cliffs compose the landscape of the caldera extending more than one thousand feet above sea level. The boat will take you across to Nea Kameni, the small island of the volcano, while you enjoy the breathtaking views of the imposing caldera. Once the boat reaches the harbor, walk along the path to the top and visit the active craters, still smoking. This is as unique as it gets!
Santorini is blessed with numerous outstanding diving spots and thus, diving would be an unforgettable experience. One can find diving centers on the beaches of Kamari, Perissa and Pyrgos.
Although the caldera seems ideal for climbing, the truth is that the fragments of volcanic subsoil are not suitable for climbing. However, there are three organized routes on the island. It would be most preferable to go early in the morning as you can enjoy a delightful swim in the beach afterwards.
The hinterland of Santorini hides millions of surprises. The opportunity to discover these beauties on foot is a beautiful experience. The views will definitely reward you.
Embark on a private tour designed to reveal the secrets of the Great Vineyard of Santorini, uncork the full flavor of the local wines and unfold the beauty of the island.
Get ready to take in the island’s spectacular panoramic views, and see the caldera in all its glory, surrounded by the blue of the Aegean Sea. A helicopter tour is a must as you will fill your mind with the most breathtaking images, to savor in the winter to come. You can’t miss this!
Want to feel some authentic local charm? Then step on to a fishing boat and explore the island capes and coves while searching for the ideal spot for fishing. While your boatman steers, sit back, relax and enjoy the views, or you can even help catch some fish.
Imagine starting your day on the magical island of Santorini and practice yoga on the terrace of your private villa overviewing the azure blue sea. Later in the afternoon enjoy another unique experience, yoga session on the beach while the sun sets in magnificent colors in the sea.
Red Beach | Kokkini Paralia
The Red beach is the definition of a volcano beach. Everything here is red. The imposing rocks as well as the alteration of sand and pebbles.
If you have kids, Monolithos beach is your ideal destination. For teenagers or adults, there are beach volleyball, basketball courts and a soccer field, where at the neighboring beach you will find kite surf and water sports facilities. There is a lifeguard at the beach of Monolithos.
The volcano white rocks in Vlyhada remind us of a moon landscape. It is one of the most beautiful and best organized beaches in Santorini. Ideal for those who do not like the hubbub of crowded places and are interested in simply swimming and lying in the sun. No water sports available here.
Agios Georgios | Perivolos
Amazing waters, cosmopolitan shops, the “elite” people of the island. Black sand and crystal clear waters; the ideal beach for safe diving and long sunbathing lying in comfortable deckchairs while listening to summer music. Mind the rocks because at some spots it is slippery! There is a lifeguard on the beach.
The natural “extension” of Perivolos, awarded with the E.U. blue flag, stretching up to the imposing white rock at the end of the beach. Ideal for water sports. The more adventurous can dive from the rocks at the end of the beach (the area is called Kolada).
The heart of the touristic Santorini. A beach awarded with two E.U. blue flags, well-organized, with a lifeguard and plenty of room for lying free on the sand. In the northern part of the beach, the sea has slippery slabs. For the more adventurous and risky ones, the best place for diving is at Kamari towards the hill of Prophitis Ilias. But always with great caution!
The closest beach to Fira and the smallest beach with amenities on the island: black sand, quite deep waters, only a few beach chairs for couples and visitors seeking calmness and tranquility.
The closest beach to Oia. Park your car in the concrete road and walk down a steep dirt road. On your left you will see a high white cliff and on the beach many couples and small companies seeking for quiet and peace. The sea is not particularly deep with black pebbles and clear waters.
Ammoudi – Agios Nikolaos
Right below Oia lies the picturesque bay Ammoudi. You will have to walk down 235 steps from the Oia castle or approach it by car. In both cases, Ammoudi looks like a cinema setting, where you will find a number of tavernas carved in the rock. Follow the path continuing from Ammoudi, to the cliff with the chapel of Agios Nikolaos. The space for sunbathing may be limited but the feeling of swimming right at the foot of caldera is inconceivable!
White Beach | Aspri Paralia
Right next to the Red Beach, the White Beach is reachable only by boat from Akrotiri or swimming from the Red Beach. It will take you about 20΄ and you will definitely need flippers. You will find yourself swimming in the most crystal clear waters ever having in front of you the imposing white cliff. Caution: there is nothing to eat or drink here.
Limanakia | Pori
About 10kms southeast of Fira lies the sandy beach Pori which belongs to Imerovigli. You can find it by following the lower road of Oia. The waters are crystal clear and quite shallow.
prepare yourself for a unique experience
Combined with a surreal view on the impressive Caldera, Santorini gastronomy and nightlife are quite exceptional.
Santorini boasts supreme local produce, due to the singular soil and the distinctive weather conditions on the island. Explore its gastronomic treasures at high-end restaurants, providing excellent quality.
Visiting the local wineries and tasting the uniquely tasteful varieties of wine, as well as discovering the hidden gems where top local products are sold can offer you superb experiences. Choose among custom menus and take up cooking lessons for mastering the art of Mediterranean cuisine with a Theran twist.
Going out in the evening in Santorini is like a fairy tale. Twinkling lights over the Caldera and the reflection of the full moon in the dark waters make for a magical atmosphere. Fira heads the nightlife section – many bars and cafes are actually on the caldera, whilst others, as well as the large clubs, are tucked into the quaint cobbled streets weaving through the town.
Santorini Island has a rich tradition of wine production that dates back to Ancient times. You will be amazed to discover how a journey in the magical Island of Santorini is also an exclusive wine-tasting experience for wine lovers and connoisseurs, since the Island’s vineyards are recognized all over the world for their particular grape varieties’ flavor deriving from the rich volcanic soil and microclimate. Get ready to be initiated, through organized visits in Santorini wineries and wine tastings in gourmet restaurants, to the secrets of the Island’s traditional wine culture and taste the famous local grapes varieties such as Assyrtikos, Aidani, Athiri, Nychteri, etc.
The Fava dip of Santorini is an exquisite Santorinian specialty prepared with a different variety of local fava bean forming a smooth paste of boiled fava lentils with onion and olive oil.
The white eggplant, called lefki melitzana, is a rare local Santorinian product with a unique sweet taste. Juicy and simply delicious, the white eggplant does not absorb oil and makes a delicious melitzanosalata, a white eggplant dip.
Capers, handpicked from the wild since they grow in the steep Cliffside of the Caldera, are extensively used in Santorini local cuisine, giving a particular flavor to salads and sauces.
Meletinia are small pies, like cupcakes, made of hand-made pastry filled with the creamy cheese called mizythra. They are usually prepared during Easter, but you can find them in several places on the Island.
Santorinian cherry tomato
The Santorinian cherry tomato appears as the most famous local product in Santorini. Delicious, juicy and aromatic, its unique taste will captivate you
Tomatokeftedes (Tomato balls)
Tomatokeftedes or tomato rissoles are tomato balls, made with the delicious local tomatoes and are usually served as a started; order them with tzatziki, you will be delighted!
When to go
Santorini is most enjoyable in late spring – when the landscape is still green, the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures, but the crowds have yet to descend – and early autumn, when the summer hordes have departed and the sea is at its warmest. In both spring and autumn, you can expect attractive prices for villa accommodation compared to summer.
In Santorini, the climate is affected by its location and its volcanic nature, but the temperature usually stays pleasant all year long. In the summer months, the weather is usually hot and dry during the day and cool during the evening. During the months of July and August, there is the meltemi wind blowing, therefore it is recommended that you carry a jacket with you if you go out for dinner or a walk.
National prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad All numbers in the capital Athens start with 210 and are followed by 8 digits (e.g 210 3227400) Area Code for Santorini: +30 22860 xxxxx If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialling the other country’s national prefix (i.e Germany is 0049, England is 0044 etc.) and continue with the area code and the number where you wish to call.
You can reach Santorini by air and arrive at Santorini International Airport, located north of Kamari village, 6 km of Thira town, with regular flights of 45 minutes duration from Athens with the companies Olympic Air or Aegean Airlines. During the summer season, you can reach Santorini with direct flights from many European countries.
- Santorini National Airport Tel.: +30 22860 28401/Fax: +30 22860 33349
- Athens International Airport Elefterios Venizelos www.aia.gr
- Olympic Air: For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Olympic Air website www.olympicair.com. Tel.: 801 801 0101/ +30 210 3550500
Office at Santorini Airport Tel +30 22860 31666
- Aegean Airlines: For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Aegean Airlines website www.aegeanair.com Tel.: 801 112 0000/ +30 210 6261000
Office at Santorini Airport Tel +30 22860 28500 Athens Airways: Athens Airways is a new charter airline flying from Athens to Santorini during the summer season www.athensairways.com. Tel.: 801 801 4000/ +30 210 6696600
Santorini Island features two ports; the main port is Athinios, where arrive all the ferry and commercial boats, and there is also the Old Port, mostly used for cruise ships. The main port to take you to Santorini from Athens is Piraeus, but there are also ferries departures, especially high-speed ferries, from the port of Rafina, which is closest to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport. To reach Santorini by sea, there are two types of ferries; the high-speed ferry which takes approximately 4h30 and the normal ferry which is much slower and takes approximately 7 hours. You can also travel to Santorini by ferry from/to main Cyclades Islands. In Santorini, you will arrive to Athinios, the Island’s main port, which is 3 km south of Fira Town.
Blue Star Ferries Santorini (normal ferry) For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Blue Star ferries website www.bluestarferries.com
High Speed Ferry Santorini (fast ferry) For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Hellenic Seaways website www.hellenicseaways.gr
http://www.ktel-santorini.gr (KTEL) Tel.: +30 22860 25462 Travelling by bus within Santorini is safe but can be tricky as sometimes the timetables changes without prior notice. During summer, the buses depart every 30 minutes and the main bus depot is near the central square of Fira.
You can also get around Santorini by taxis; you will find the main taxi stand below Fira square. Taxis in Santorini are silver. You are advised to ask for the fare before getting in the taxi in order to avoid bad surprises. They can be hailed on the street or arrive by appointment. Radio Taxi Service Tel.: +30 22860 22555/ +30 22860 23951
Rent a Car / Motorbike
You will find a multitude of car rentals, with the majority of them in Fira Town and in the Fira Harbor.
Banks and ATMs
If you need a bank in Santorini, you will find most of them in Fira town’s main square. There is also a National Bank branch in Kamari and an Alpha Bank in Oia village. If you need an ATM, there are plenty of them all over the Island of Santorini. Note that all credit cards internationally recognized are accepted in most of the Island’s restaurants, bars and shops. Banks opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8.00 – 14.30 Friday: 8.00 – 14.00
Banks exchange all major currencies in cash, travellers’ cheques or Eurocheques; the commission is lower for cash. Post offices exchange cash but not travellers cheques, and usually charge lower commissions than banks. Travel agencies and larger hotels change cash and travellers cheques but usually charge higher commissions than banks. Banknote exchange machines can be found in most tourist areas.
The Greek post is called ELTA and you can find the main post offices of the Island in Fira, Emporio and Oia. Also, there are postal agencies in Pyrgos, Kamari & Perissa. Post Boxes in Greece are YELLOW for normal post, usually with 2 slots for INTERNAL POST (meaning inside Greece) and post for ABROAD. RED Post Boxes are rarer and they are used for URGENT mail. REGISTERED mail is always handled and given a receipt for at the POST OFFICE. Post office in Fira Tel.: +30 22860 22238
In the village of Karterados, 800 meters away from Fira. Tel.: +30 22860 22649
Municipality of Santorini
In Fira Tel.: +30 22860 22231
• Radio Taxi: +30 22860 22555/+30 22860 23951 • Tourist Police: +30 22860 22649 • Port authority: +30 22860 22239 • Weather Forecast: 14944 • Elpa (Car Breakdown): +30 26610 39504
You can find International Press in Fira: +30 22860 25301
• Police: 100 • Fire Department: 199 • Ambulance: 166
• Health Center At Fira: +30 22860 23123 • Health Center At Kamari: +30 22860 31175 • Health Center At Emporio: +30 22860 81222 • Health Center At Oia: +30 22860 71277 • Health Center At Pyrgos: +30 22860 31207 • Health Center At Thirassia: +30 22860 22860 • First Aid Fira: +30 22860 22237 • First Aid Emporio: +30 22860 81222 • First Aid Kamari: +30 22860 31175 • First Aid Oia: +30 22860 71227 • First Aid Pyrgos: +30 22860 31207 • First Aid Thirasia: +30 22860 23191
• Thira: +30 22860 23444 • Messaria: +30 22860 32566 • Oia: +30 22860 71464