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Santorini needs no introduction! It is one of the most beautiful islands with even more spectacular sunsets! All the sunsets in the world are on one side and the sunset in Santorini is on the other! The view of the glistening Aegean Sea, while standing on the stairs, surrounded by white buildings with blue domes gleaming in the golden light of a Greek sunset gives a whole different meaning to the word magical! The island of Santorini was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption that resulted into the formation of a caldera which gives the region its almost moonlike or circular shape! The best time to visit Santorini would be in the summer months which start from April and go upto November. The prime touristy season is during the months of July and August which is the peak summer time on the island and also the most expensive season! If you wish to avoid crowds and also grab some great deals on flights and hotels, do try to go during May or in early October.

Oia, Santorini at sunset
Photo by Jonathan Gallegos / Unsplash

When it comes to transportation on the island, the best way is to walk it out or to rent a car as the cabs are expensive and the public transport buses are quite unreliable, especially during the peak tourist months of July and August. Do make sure that you have an international driver’s license inorder to rent a car.

If you’re wondering about your accommodation, the one question that you need to ask yourself is whether budget is a priority or views? Santorini is a tiny island! You could practically walk from one end of the island to the other in an hour, so you won’t actually be missing out on much! However, if you want to go all out and book your stay at a luxury hotel whose balconies open up to the view of the pristine Aegean Sea, then the four main towns namely Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firostafani is where you need to be.

Photo by Matthew Waring / Unsplash

Now that all the wheres, whys, whens and hows have been addressed, let’s get to the most interesting part of the blog that is the Ultimate Santorini Travel Guide-

1. Watching Sunsets

Photo by Eugene Chan / Unsplash

As we’ve mentioned before, the sunsets in Santorini are beyond beautiful and something that you should religiously watch every single day of your stay on the island! The town of Oia is the best place for watching the sunset as it is located at the tip of the island! It is a great place for views of the caldera, the Aegean Sea and the white-washed town that turns a hazy shade of pink! Another place to catch the sunset is at the equally picturesque town of Fira. From here, you can see Oia and feel like you're in the middle of the caldera. If you want to avoid the crowd, you should head over to Taxiarhis Church or the Akrotiri Lighthouse. On one of the days, don’t forget to reserve a table at one of the restaurants in Oia or Fira and on the other days, carry along a bottle of wine, find a spot away from the crowd and clink your glasses to a glorious Greek sunset!

2.   Explore the Caldera Towns

A perfect sunset waiting to happen
Photo by Heidi Kaden / Unsplash

When you think of Santorini or even Greece in general, the first image that comes to mind is that of white cubic villages perched on the rim of the caldera, facing the azure Aegean Sea! These are pictures of the Caldera Towns, the most popular ones being Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firastefani. They’re an absolutely fascinating sight to see and can only be found here in the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea. The towns of Fira and Oia are the most popular as they have the best views and a number of restaurants, bars, quaint cafes, souvenir shops and boutiques! Reserve an entire day to wander in the streets, amidst white washed houses with blue doors and beautiful red and pink bougainvillea flowers growing along the walls! Allow yourself to get lost and in the process explore the town, its beautiful churches, fancy shops and occasionally stop at quaint, cozy looking cafes to gorge on some delicious Greek food!

3.   Hike from Fira to Oia

Talking about exploring the Caldera towns, one of the best ways to do so would be to go hiking! Wear comfy shoes, pack some water and simply follow the easy 10 km hiking trail from Fira to Oia. It takes you through all four cliff side towns and you’ll be walking along the caldera’s rim for most of the time. Walking at a leisurely pace, it’ll take only around 2-3 hours to complete the hike.

4.   Visit a Winery

Wine making is a pretty serious business on this island not only because wine is what goes best with the gorgeous sunsets, but also because the wine is produced using the island’s heritage Assyrtiko grapes. Wine tasting tours are quite a popular activity on the island and hence there are many tours that you can chose from!

5.   Go Sailing around Santorini

What’s better than enjoying a mesmerizing sunset on land? It has to be watching it as you sail in the azure blue waters of the Aegean Sea! There are numerous cruises that take you around the islands, following routes that head around very dramatic parts of the bay, stop for a visit to the Santorini Volcano and even allow you to dive into the cool water! If the sea doesn’t make you sick, go for it without thinking twice!

6.   Lounge on the beach!

An island vacation calls for some relaxation time spent lounging on the beach! Santorini has some good beaches that you should definitely visit. Perrissa Black Sand Beach, Red Beach and the Kamari Beach are the popular ones with a number of good bars and restaurants to hangout at. You can swim or snorkel in the water or simply work on that tan! If you want to get away from the crowd, head over to Monolithos Beach.

7.   Explore Akrotiri

The ancient village of Akrotiri is definitely worth exploring. Set along the southern tip of the island it does offer fantastic views of the Volcano and the ocean. The village has a lighthouse perched up on a cliff which gives a panoramic view of the entire area and is the place to be at to watch the sunset. It also has a museum and the AkrotiriArcheological site where you can see ancient Grecian ruins that dates back to 5th millennium BC!

8.   Get a taste of the Local life

The White City.
Photo by Andre Benz / Unsplash

If you want to get to know all about the authentic local life of Santorini, you need to head inland, away from the popular towns! The quaint villages of Megalochori, Pyrgos and Emporio will give you just that. Walk along the narrow alleyways, have meals at tiny bakeries along the way, explore the churches and interact with the friendly locals! It’s definitely a must do when in Santorini. If you wish to save some money while booking your accommodation, there are numerous B&B’s in these beautiful villages of Santorini!

9.   Get to the highest point on the Island!

Prophet Elias Monastery is an 18thcentury monastery built on the highest point of the island and therefore offers some of the best panoramic views in Santorini. Spend time exploring the beautiful monastery and maybe even gorge on some local treats sold by the monks!

10. Hike to the top of the Santorini Volcano!

Hop on a boat and head over to NeaKameni Island which houses the Santorini Volcano! Put on some sturdy shoes and hike your way up right to the top to peek into the mouth of the volcano! Also, most boat tours do make a small stop near the edge of the island where the water is warm due to the presence of geothermal points, so don’t forget to pack your swim suits!

The stairs to somewhere tranquil
Photo by H Fall / Unsplash

The island of Santorini is absolutely picturesque and beautiful anywhere and everywhere you go! The one thing that you absolutely must do is take some amazing pictures of your incredible island vacation and we recommend that you book your travel and vacation photographers from Travographer. Our photographers are the best at what they do and are locals; hence they’ll know all there is to know about the best locations for an incredible photo shoot! So go on and hire one of our photographers to follow you around as you create beautiful memories on the breathtaking island of Santorini!