Planning a visit to Santorini? You’ve made an excellent choice! From beautiful beaches and dazzling sunsets, to charming villages and amazing food – Santorini packs a pretty alluring punch. Whether you just want chill out for a few days of aimless wandering and beach-hopping, or get more active with an epic hike or two, finding your happy place here probably won’t be too hard. To help you plan the ultimate Santorini vacation, our expert local guides are sharing everything you need to know about getting there, getting around and what not to miss.
Scheduled bus service is the most economical way to get to Santorini’s capital of Fira from the airport and Athinios Ferry Port. A one-way journey from the airport to Fira costs EUR 1.20 and takes around 15 minutes, while a one-way journey from Athinios Ferry Port costs EUR 2.30 and takes around 30 minutes. Both the airport and the ferry port are connected by public bus with Fira.
If you prefer to take a taxi, they are available outside of the airport in a taxi rank. There are no taxi meters in the taxis because prices are usually fixed depending on the destination. Make sure to agree on a price before you jump in. The trip from the airport to Fira shouldn’t cost more than EUR 15, and the ride from Athinios Ferry Port to Fira costs between EUR 10 and 15. We suggest downloading the Aegean Taxi app to make things easier.
Scheduled bus service is the most economical way to get from Fira to every major town and attraction. A single ticket varies from EUR 1.80 to 2.50, depending on where you’re going. You can buy a ticket inside the bus from the bus driver using cash. Cards are not accepted. Operating hours vary depending on the destination. Fixed timetables for each destination are provided at main bus stops and online.
Taxis are available in main towns at taxi hubs (taxi piatsa in Greek). As mentioned earlier, it’s best to agree upon a price before getting in. You shouldn’t pay more than EUR 25 for any ride on the island. After midnight until 5am, the cost of a taxi ride doubles in price. You can also download the Aegean Taxi app mentioned above if you’ll be taking taxis often.
Within towns, walking is the best way to get around as most of the streets are narrow and car free.
Anyone who likes to get active on or near the water will have lots of options in Santorini, including windsurfing, kitesurfing, extreme watersports, diving, sailing, swimming, and beach volleyball. Watersports centers, located in the beach towns of the island, provide various sports equipment for different prices depending on the sport, the type of the equipment, and the hourly/daily rates. Watersports are the best way to spend a fun day at the beach under the hot Greek sun. From May to October is the best period for watersports in Santorini due to sunny weather conditions
One of the best ways to really get a sense of the island’s beauty is to hike from Fira to Oia. Follow the stone path at the edge of the caldera’s top for some seriously epic views (anticipate taking frequent breaks to snap photos). The hike (one-way) is around 10 kilometres. As you hike you’ll pass through the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and end up in Oia.
If you’re interested in culture, Santorini Arts Factory is an interesting arts-focused destination full of exhibitions, workshops, concerts, fairy tale readings, and much more for both children and adults. Or, it’s also worth checking out White Door Theatro to experience Greek culture through music and dance by taking part in the “Greek Wedding Show,” an interactive performance with actors, musicians, singers, and dancers.
In terms of festivals, there are a few great options depending on when you’ll be visiting Santorini. Every September the Ifestia Festival makes it possible to experience a representation of the island’s volcanic eruption through a magnificent fireworks show. Many concerts musical events and dance performances also take place. In July, jazz fans can take advantage of the Santorini Jazz Festival, while during every full moon in August there are free concerts under the stars. No words can capture the atmosphere of a live concert under the moonlight with the outstanding views of the caldera.
Some of the scenes from Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life starring Angelina Jolie, were filmed in Santorini, including the iconic caldera, and the endless blue of the Aegean.
Get ready for your visit to Santorini by listening to some Greek traditional music such as syrtaki, balos, and zeimbekiko. Traditional Greek music is an integral part of Aegean Sea Island culture.
The Santorini Odyssey by Peg Maddocks is an excellent novel in which a number of Greek myths take place in an unusual way combined with tons of romance and humor. Read it before you go, or have it with you to read on the beach.