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Plan Your Trip to Santorini: Best of Santorini Tourism

A stunning island tinted every shade of the artist's palette at sunset
Even if you’ve never been to this Cyclades island in the Aegean Sea, you’d still recognize it immediately—its candy-colored houses carved into cliffs, sapphire waters, and chalk-white buildings topped with cobalt-blue domes. Roam the peaceful black-sand beaches or wander the streets of a provincial village like Imerovigli. Beautiful Oia is world famous for its sunsets, which seem to dial through a kaleidoscope of colors before fading to starlight.

Travel Advice

Essential Santorini

Santorini Is Great For

Renowned wineries and vineyards

Dreamy sunset cocktails

Spectacular water expeditions

The top tastes of Santorini

Close your eyes and picture a Greek Island paradise. It’s most likely Santorini you see. Golden hour over the blue domes of Oia. The whitewashed buildings of Fira. It’s all stunning. And during multiple visits, I’ve discovered the island’s food scene is as spectacular as the scenery. From fancy fare to super-fresh seafood—all with a view—here are my unique finds for mouthwatering wining and dining.
timjohnsontravels, Toronto, Canada
  • Captain Loizos Fish Restaurant
    400
    Before tourists discovered Santorini, fishing was one of its mainstays and local fishermen still reel in an impressive daily catch. Captain Loizos, on a quiet stretch of beach near the airport, is one of my favorite, under-the-radar spots for fresh seafood. I enjoy everything at this small, unpretentious, family-owned restaurant, but the shrimp saganaki, stuffed calamari, and ultra-fresh catch of the day—your choice of red snapper, sea bass, swordfish—are guaranteed home runs.
  • Le Moustache Caldera Pool Lounge & Restaurant
    977
    Every night, people pack the tiny town of Oia to watch Santorini’s legendary sunsets. Skip the crowded streets though and relax with dinner with a view at Le Moustache’s dreamy poolside restaurant. The menu offers twists on traditional Mediterranean fare. Some of my favorite dishes are the vibrant watermelon salad with fried halloumi cheese, octopus caramelized in vinsanto wine paired with fava beans, and the lobster ravioli in a cream and bisque sauce.
  • Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini
    823
    Sure, Santorini’s dramatic during the day—but you’ve really got to see it at night. And it’s hard to top the views at this hotel/restaurant in Oia, literally carved into the side of the cliff, where the villages across the caldera glow like candles under a million stars. The romantic open-air restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients, including from their organic garden, for dishes like kakavia, a hearty local rockfish soup with mussels and prawns.
  • Estate Argyros
    325
    At the stylish Estate Argyros winery, you can take a tour of the fields to see how they grow their vines into a basket shape, a “kouloura,” to protect the grapes. Then settle in for wine pairings, including assyrtiko, a mineral-rich white, with some local bites. Think: fresh olive oil with crusty bread, fava beans and feta, and plates piled high with local Greek meats and cheeses like kasseri and graviera.
  • Caldera Yachting Santorini
    1,800
    To truly experience Santorini’s beauty, you need to get out on the water. My top choice: Sailing in a traditional wooden Kaiki boat to remote Red Beach and snorkeling in the calm waters. And then? A lovely lunch back on board. It doesn’t get much better than this: the sun warming your shoulders after a swim; digging into Greek staples like stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki, and fresh pita; and toasting with frosty bottles of Mythos.
  • Petra Kouzina
    502
    More than just a simple cooking class, during this four-hour immersive experience young husband-and-wife team George and Paula welcome you as family. You’ll get your hands dirty making five courses including everything from tomato fritters to Greek salad heaped with feta, plus decadent moussaka and a garlic-kissed saganaki shrimp I still dream about. And perhaps the best part? There’s a bottomless wine policy, so your glass will never be empty.
Santorini Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Santorini

Mike N
Go in late May or late Sept and enjoy it without the huge crowds and manageable pricing.
brotherleelove
Tipping is not widely practiced in Greece the same way it is in the States. For meals you can just leave a couple of euros — a percentage isn't the rule.
Chris_Fulton
Cards are accepted almost everywhere. The only places we found that didn't accept cards were the buses and some smaller shops (bakeries, etc). Also be aware that ATMs will charge a fee for withdrawing cash (anywhere from 2€-4€ per withdrawal).

In the words of those who've been there before ...

brotherleelove
Truly one of the wonders of the world.
tuliplvr22
Breath-taking! Words can't describe the beauty of the island.
Mike N
The first time you look out onto the caldera from Imerovigli and take it all in will never get old. Once in a lifetime isn't enough… It’s amazing!

What is the best way to get there?

Flying:

Santorini (Thira) International Airport receives seasonal direct flights in high tourist seasons from various European destinations. Long-haul flights typically connect in Athens. Shuttles and taxis run from the airport to the island’s towns and resorts.

Ferries:

Regular ferries leave from Piraeus ferry port near Athens and arrive at Athinios ferry port near Fira. Santorini also has ferry links with Mykonos and other Greek islands.

Do I need a visa?

Greece is part of the Schengen Area with many other European countries. This means tourists from certain countries don’t require a visa for trips less than 90 days -- as long as your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned departure date.

Find more information about the Schengen Visa and what countries are exempt here.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer (June to August): Summer is Santorini’s high season and brings with it a number of music and cultural festivals. Average highs at this time are in the low 80°F (high 20°Cs) — ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and cruising the neighboring islands.

But to avoid the crowds and benefit from slightly lower prices on tours and accommodation, visiting in May or September/October is a smart choice and temperatures often still reach 77°F (25°C).

Car

Hiring a car is the most convenient way to get around and rentals are available at the airport and major hotels.

Bus

KTEL operates buses between the main towns of Fira, Oia, Perissa, and Kamari, but getting to smaller towns and beaches is not possible by public transport.

For more information about timetables and fares, see here.

Taxis

Taxis are available in Fira and will take you to most places on the island. Rideshare services such as Uber are not available.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Eastern European Standard Time.
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in Santorini is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. The plug has two round pins.
What is the currency?
The Euro.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes.
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Yes, except in smaller shops and cafés. It’s still advisable to carry some cash.
How much do I tip?
Tipping is not obligatory on Santorini, however, a 10-15% tip for exceptional service is always appreciated.

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking
The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Water
Tap water in Santorini can be used to wash and brush your teeth, but is not recommended for drinking — stick to bottled water instead.
Public transport
Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.
Try to speak the language
Learn a few basic phrases as a sign of respect. Locals will often switch to English for your ease and comfort but they appreciate the effort.
Frequently Asked Questions about Santorini

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Santorini, which include:


Santorini is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Santorini between December and February, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between June and August.