The island of photographer’s dreams. Stark white and deep blue homes, dusted on-top of a rock edged island in the Mediterranean sea. There have been thousands of traveler posts about Santorini so we won’t bore you with repetitive lengthy recommendations – here’s our essential key pointers:
1. Radiant Sunsets
This crescent shaped island curves western – directly facing the setting sun. The very northwestern top of the island is a town called Oia, which is considered to have the best sunset view on the island. This is widely known however, so it gets super packed in the evening. We suggest if you want a more remote vibe, enjoy a restaurant or winery anywhere further south along the western edge.
2. Greek Wine
What pairs perfectly with a Greek vacation on an island? Delicious wine! We settled in at Santo Winery and really enjoyed their generous wine sampler (and views)!
3. Sailboat rides
Take the quick sailboat ride to the Caldera, the center crater. You also get gorgeous views of the main island on your way to and from. The captain will likely stop at a place where thermals make the water a bit warmer (only jump in if you can handle cold temperatures).
For getting to the boat launch we opted for exercise and took the 600 stairs down “Donkey Path” and then chose the leisurely cable car accent for the return back.
4. Getting around the island
The island is small but not walkable. If you’re wanting to visit different towns, we recommend getting a car (main town Thera to Sunset vista Oia is 10km for example). We rented a little Fiat convertible for $50 a day and had a blast driving through small streets with the top down. If you’re wanting to stick to one area, just taking the island bus works nicely (taxis can be expensive and sometimes limited).
5. Picking the right season
While summer in Santorini is the warmest, it is also when the island reaches maximum density. The feeling of being packed shoulder to shoulder with other visitors obviously takes away from the ambiance – so we recommend hitting a fringe season and being okay with brisk evenings. (We went in April and it was a bit busy, but we were still able to get dinner reservations night of, and have good sunset views.)
Enjoy and be sure to have your camera charged! 🙂
- Most people will be coming from mainland Athens to get to Santorini. Your options are either a 45min flight or ~5hr ferry ride. If the flights are bought in advance they are pretty reasonably priced ($60 per person).
- The towns of Oia and Thera are very cute to explore and poke around local craftsmen shops (Kelsey loved looking at the jewelry and leather shoes). We recommend checking out Oia mid-day before the evening sunset crowds arrive.