Santorini Holiday Guide | AREA MAP

Santorini is an idyllic island in the Greek Cyclades, with white washed villages and blue-domed churches perched on rugged cliffs. Famed for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic scenery, it's a honeymoon favourite, but there's something for everyone.

The island's stunning landscape was created by a massive volcanic eruption and the island's most striking feature is the caldera, a breathtaking flooded crater, while the unusual black sand beaches turn the water an incredible shade of blue.

  • Getting There and Around Santorini

    Dozens of tour operators offer packages to Santorini and there are direct scheduled flights from the UK too. The airport is 8km south-east of the capital Fira – the transfer time is about 20 minutes.

    Renting a car or moped is the best way to explore the inland villages and more remote beaches, although the bus system is efficient and reliable and goes to all major tourist attractions.

  • Beaches in Santorini

    Some of the best beaches in the Med are found here. The jet-black volcanic beaches in the east are striking but you'll find red and white beaches too. Perfect for Sun bathers on holiday in Santorini

    Kamari and Perissa are famous for their endless stretches of black sand and there's a great choice of water sports. Red Beach, 8km south-west of Fira is very popular too, with scarlet sands at the foot dramatic red lava cliffs. To escape the crowds, head to Ammoudi, Armeni or Vlichada.

  • Sightseeing in Santorini

    Santorini has a long and rich history and there are dozens of historic sites, museums and ancient churches and monasteries to explore. Highlights include ancient Akrotiri, with frescoes dating back 5,000 years, 17th-century Agios Nikolaos monastery, Mesa Gonia's Byzantine church and Fira's archaeological museum.
    A trip on the cable car from cliff-top Fira to the port is a must for the views. Fira itself is a charming labyrinth of winding lanes, accessible only by cable car, on foot or by donkey.

    Boat excursions in the caldera to visit the other islands in the Santorini group are popular. At Palia Kameni you can take a hot mud bath in natural springs. Thirassia, the largest island after Santorini itself, is a charming place, like a mini, less-developed Santorini, with great views across to Oia.

  • Eating and Nightlife in Santorini

    There are traditional tavernas serving tasty Greek fare everywhere. Meals generally start with 'mezes', a mixture of appetisers, from stuffed vine leaves to taramasalata, followed by fresh fish, seafood, grilled meat or kebabs, washed down with delicious local wine. The island has a long history of winemaking and produces some of Greece's most acclaimed wines (you can visit the vineyards for tasting too).
    If Greek cuisine isn't for you, or you simply fancy a change, there's no shortage of international restaurants serving everything from Italian to Mexican.

    The island's nightlife is surprisingly lively, although simply watching the sunset and then chilling out at the cosmopolitan bars and restaurants on the lip of the caldera's a favourite pastime.
    Fira is the busiest after dark hangout, but there's plenty going on in beach resorts like Kamari and Perissa. Whether it's Greek dancing and ouzo or cocktails and hip clubs that you're after, you'll find it here.

  • Shopping and Family Attractions

    Santorini is something of a magnet for artists and everything from paintings to pottery and stunning handmade jewellery is for sale in tiny shops dotted along picturesque narrow streets. The towns of Fira and Oia probably have the best choice of souvenir shops and boutiques.
    Local wine's another favourite to bring home and for those with a taste for it, ouzo should be on the shopping list. Pumice stone, a major export, is widely available too.

    Santorini as a holiday destination is not as child-friendly, as many Greek islands because of the cliffs and hilly terrain, although kids love the black sandy beaches and you can find family-focused hotels with pools.

    The Santorini Water Park is one of few attractions specifically for children, with water slides and swimming pools, and the Atlantis submarine is fun for underwater views of the volcano. For older children there's plenty to do, from sightseeing to water sports.

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