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Like something out of a Matisse original, Santorini makes the Greek landscape scream with colour. If you didn’t know better, you might think you were in the middle of an ABBA-themed film while you’re visiting—after all, the blue rooftops and killer views featured in Mamma Mia! are all present and accounted for on the island.
Of course, travellers from around the world have been heading to the island of Santorini (aka Thira) long before Meryl Streep broke into song on a dock. Considering the mighty cliffs and domed architecture, we can’t blame them. At Wotif, we suggest you sort Santorini accommodation by proximity to fine wine, but it’s up to you.
When you’re not busy texting envy-inducing photos to your mates back home, there’s plenty to do on Santorini holidays. Write your name in the sand at Kamari Beach, tour the Ancient Thira site and visit the Santo Winery.
If you tackle the Fira to Oia hike, and we think you should, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramas of the caldera and coast. Restaurants line Amoudi Bay, so follow your taste buds to this pocket-size port and sink your teeth into the catch of the day.
Most flights to Santorini will deliver you not to the island, but rather Athens International Airport (ATH). After an obligatory selfie in front of the Parthenon, head to Piraeus. A ferry will transport you from mainland Greece to the island of Santorini. Depending on the ferry, this journey will take between 5 and 10 hours—so bring your latest book club selection.
Want to start your island getaway sooner than later? In that case, just hop aboard a 45-minute flight from Athens to Santorini (Thira) National Airport (JTR).
Once you’re safely settled into island life, there are a few ways to get around. Lots of hotels in Santorini have beaches, eateries and stores within easy walking distance. When your footsies get tired, you can also hail a cab or ride the bus.
Accommodation in Santorini brings a pretty packed punch when it comes to the event scene. You can get your boogie on at a number of music festivals, for starters. In July, the Santorini Jazz Festival in Kamari is a can’t-miss affair. Local and international acts will have you on your feet, even if both of yours are left. The Megaro Gyzi Festival takes place for the first three weeks of August, imbuing the salty Santorini air with everything from jazz to classical music.
Also in August is the Ifestia Festival. Its name translates to “Volcano Festival”, and this event is anything but dormant—for a few days in the middle of the month, fireworks and dancing bring new life to the streets. And, hey, who doesn’t want to celebrate a good volcano eruption once in a while?
In September, the International Music Festival takes over the island for just over two weeks. This month also happens to mark the beginning of a busy cruise ship season, offering the chance to meet fellow adventurers from around the world. A word to the wise: The top places to stay in Santorini fill up fast when a festival is afoot, so book early.
We won’t have to twist your arm to convince you to leave Santorini hotels. One look at the azure sky and sparkling sea and you’ll be jumping out of bed in the morning with lightning speed, throwing on your best island attire and making a beeline for the door. Like Nike (the Greek goddess of victory), you will make it outdoors in record time.
What will you do once you greet the day? Sailing and kayaking call you toward the sea, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, scuba diving will draw you beneath the surface.
So you say you’re a landlubber? Rent a car or ATV and drive your way around the island. With a coastline as pristine as Santorini’s, every route is the scenic route. Be sure to put your vehicle in park at Red Beach and Eros Beach so you can get out and explore on foot. The feeling of lava pebbles beneath your feet can’t be enjoyed from the driver’s seat!
Take the cable car from Old Port to Fira and the ride will be full of panoramic views that would impress Zeus himself. After you grab some of the best food in Santorini, take the cable car back up the side of the hill. If you want to enjoy a slower-paced journey between the two cities, don’t be a donkey’s behind—just ride one (donkey rides are also available between Amoudi Bay and Oia). For a magical night of film and wine, get tickets for the Open Air Cinema in Kamari.
If you only have one day in Santorini, we say you make it a good one. Get your history fix early in the day by visiting the Museum of Prehistoric Thira and the archaeological site of Ancient Thira before lunch. Now you can unwind! White sand beaches are a dime a dozen, so why not try something new? Take thee to Perissa Beach, where black sand provides a dramatic backdrop for your day of fun in the sun.
Conclude your day in paradise by doing Poseidon proud and climbing aboard a sunset dinner cruise around the caldera. Homemade feta will taste even better with stunning views, trust us. As you count the blue-domed roofs on the cliffside, you’ll already be planning your next holiday back to Santorini.
Hey, it’s always a good time to book your next getaway to Santorini, especially with Wotif. Whether you’re trying to track down accommodation near Monolithos Beach or have your heart set on staying in Fira, we can hook you up with the travel deal of a lifetime. Plus, you can mix and match your airfare and accommodation and create a holiday package you won’t forget—at a price that won’t make you cringe!
Hotels in Santorini start at AU$51 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.