4 Tips to Keep in Mind Before You Visit Santorini

Visit Santorini holiday travel tipsphoto: Tamara Budai

Words by Rosana Beechum
July 10th, 2019

For your next holiday abroad, you’ve probably already considered a variety of destinations. From the magnificent peaks of the Himalayas to the sultry beaches of South America, hundreds of world-class destinations frequently are visited by travellers throughout the year. The Mediterranean Sea is one getaway that attracts visitors on holiday from all across Europe more than most – and with good reason.

With hundreds of localised and remote gems scattered across more than a dozen countries, everything from densely-populated centres of nightlife to hidden and isolated cove villages can be found by those on holiday. In particular, many find the plethora of Greek islands scattered throughout the Mediterranean to be too alluring to resist. Increasingly, the island of Santorini has attracted those on holiday due to its picturesque settings and abundant local history.

For those who are set on visiting Santorini, choosing the right activities and accommodations can make a huge difference in the experience. During your next holiday to the island, keep the following four tips in mind to ensure a great experience for both you and your travel companions.

photo: Ryan Spencer
photo: Ryan Spencer

Invest in Luxury Accommodations

Given that Santorini is Greece’s most visited island, it stands to reason that there are many hotels, villas and other accommodations available. With options for every price range, choosing the right accommodation really comes down to the price you’re willing to pay. While there are luxury accommodations out of range for most everybody, the fact is that your money will go further in Santorini than in many other holiday locales.

These luxury accommodations include options such as bluevillascollection.com, offering everything from infinity pool Santorini ocean views and idyllic seclusion to a central location and modern conveniences. What might cost €1,000 per night at home can be found for half the price or less in Santorini: since the foundation of any great holiday revolves around comfortable accommodation, splurging a bit — if you can — is recommended here.

photo: Farsai Chaikulngamdee

Be a Savvy Shopper

Given Santorini’s increasingly tourist nature, there are many vendors scattered across the island that cater to first-time visitors. Since many of these shops rely on holiday travellers to survive, their prices are often inflated and designed to take advantage of tourists who don’t know better. As such, choosing carefully where to shop while in Santorini is imperative – both for minding your budget and finding the highest quality gifts and souvenirs.

Most locals will tell you that Fira town is the best place to conduct shopping while on holiday. You’ll find all of the typical souvenir shops that are scattered throughout the island, but you’ll also be able to peruse a variety of traditional goods and modern-day conveniences alike. Large-scale supermarkets can be found in the area as well, making day-to-day shopping while on holiday both easier and cheaper.

Choose Transportation Wisely

When you’re not overlooking the sea from your luxury accommodation’s infinity pool, you’ll want to find ways to get around the island. Choosing how to explore Santorini can make or break any holiday experience – and depending on who is travelling with you, options may be limited.

Santorini has an extensive bus system that is well-serviced, cheap, and reliable. For family holiday trips, this may prove to be the best mode of transportation and you can easily get from one end of the island to the other in an hour.

For holiday getaways lasting several days or more, traversing Santorini via a car rental may be a better choice. Reasonable options for €20-30 per day can be found at a variety of agencies around the island. Generally speaking, it is better to rent a car once on the island from a local car hire firm to save money.

Last but not least, young adults and those travelling without children may find the quad presence on the island appealing. You’ll see hundreds of quads traversing the island and its streets: while perhaps not the safest form of transportation, it is both affordable and exciting.

photo: Matt Artz

Visit the Centre of Santorini

With so much to see and do on the island, you might feel overwhelmed at the number of choices. While each holiday experience should be unique and catered to your liking, some sights and locales should absolutely be visited while staying in Santorini.

One such locale is the caldera, centred around the new islands of Palea and Nea Kameni. Every picturesque view of Santorini in videos and photos often looks out from the steep cliffs of the main island toward its centre, where all of Santorini originally formed. With a history of violent and transformative eruptions over the millennia, the island itself is in constant shift – but the caldera is arguably the newest segment of the island.

While technically most of Santorini can be considered part of the caldera, the two new islands form the central portion of the caldera (where the last eruptions occurred). Make sure you explore this awe-inspiring core of the region; with many volcano tours available in Santorini, visiting the centre of the caldera can be done over the course of a single day.

With thousands of people arriving on the island of Santorini for a holiday every day, its local offerings are designed to provide an excellent experience for travellers. Building the foundation for a great Santorini holiday requires considering a few key points: where you’ll stay, how you’ll get around and where you shop can make a big difference in the quality of the holiday. For your next trip to the island, keep these four tips in mind and you’ll make the experience an unforgettable one!