From Athens, it is easy to travel to Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands. The fast ferry takes about four hours, and the cheaper ferries take closer to ten hours. The ferries are comfortable and you can take in the views passing by other islands. From London, there is also an option to travel to Santorini by plane. I ended up visiting Santorini to meet my sister and her husband on their honeymoon (they invited us)! We had heard a lot about the island before visiting and it was charming and beautiful as promised.
We enjoyed walking around to see the characteristic blue and white architecture. The ancient ruins of Thera were impressive and not crowded, which was a nice change from Athens. And we loved the food and wine! The sun was shining every day of our visit in May and I would love to go back.
- Ancient Thira – archaelogical site
- Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira town
- Oia sunset with the windmills- a bit touristy but scenic
- Karavolades Stairs
- Fira Theotokopoulos Main Square
- The Heart of Santorini- rock with a hole to see the view
- Donkeys with bells
- Santo Winery
- Canava Roussos Winery
- Estate Argyros– try their white Assyrtiko
Before you go
- The official name of Santorini is Thira or classical Greek Thera. It’s one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea
- Santorini has a lot of great wine and especially some native grape varieties such as assyrtiko
- The views from all around the island are stunning
- If you get seasick, then bring medicine for the ferries as they can rock a lot
- There are so many churches around the island that it’s easy to lose track
- We took the ferry to Santorini from Athens. There are a number of companies to choose from: Blue Star Ferries, Zante Ferries, Seajets, Sea Speed Ferries, Golden Star Ferries and Anek Lines
- Santorini has a small airport and it is possible to fly there from the UK, though I haven’t tried it
- There are buses to get around the island if you have time. Alternatively, hiring a car makes travel more convenient.
- We stayed at the Loizos apartments near Thera town centre. It was very convenient for walking to town to eat.
- The rooms were spacious and comfortable, and there was a kitchen
- We had a nice balcony with a view and could hear the jingling of the donkeys with bells. It was peaceful and beautiful.
We were lucky to stay close to the centre of Thera, so we had plenty of restaurants to choose from. For quick lunches, we went to the small cafes selling gyros. They were fresh and delicious!
The Greek salad at Naoussa was amazing. It had tomato, cucumber, olives, onion, green pepper, and feta cheese. The portions were large so we shared the salad and ordered mains.
At Lithos, we had a traditional dish called moussaka. There are variations of this dish but usually there are layers of aubergine (egg plant), white sauce and cheese. Sometimes I have had potatoes. It is delicious and very filling.
We had breakfast and snacks from the local bakeries. One of the places we went to was Medevio, near the sunset spot in Oia. We could not resist the cakes after passing by the window looking down into the shop!
In addition to the food, wine tasting on Santorini was a fun experience. We had retsina, which is a traditional white wine in Greece. My favourite grape is assyrtiko, which is native to Santorini. One of my favourite assyrtiko wines is from Estate Argyros wine. However, I did not go there during my trip, and only discovered it years afterwards.
There are many wineries to choose from and we visited Santo and Canava Roussos. It was fun tasting wine in the sunshine while enjoying the views.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, you can walk and drive yourself around to see the island.
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Most people speak English. However, the alphabet is Greek so you may want to have GoogleTranslate available to read signs.
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: No, the island is not walkable if you want to get around. It is better to hire a car or take buses. Otherwise you can just stay near your accommodation but you may miss some interesting ruins, vineyards and different sides of the island.
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