Santorini Island Info
Information about Santorini
How to get to Santorini
Santorini may be reached by ferry or air plane. During the summer season both the number of ferries and flights to the island double. From the port of Piraeus, there are at least 3 ferries daily to the island. If you take the regular ferry, it takes approximately 8 hours, the fast ferries take 4 hours. There are also at least 3 flights a day & during high season the number increases up to 7 flights a day between the 2 existing domestic airlines, Aegean Airlines & Olympic Airways.
During winter time, visitors to the island can still find things going on.
Each week festivals are held at the local churches, and once the service and the procession of icons around the chapel is completed, free wine and food is offered.
Our ' Winter ' Suggestions
- Visit our Wineries for a Delicious Wine Tasting
- Visit the Archaeological Museum
- Discover the Prehistoric town of Ancient Thira
- Hire a Mini Bus for a really Private Island Tour!
International Code to Santorini : + 30 22860 *****
Santorini - Useful Phone Numbers
Local Port Authorities : 22239
Santorini Airport : 31525 / 31666
Police Station : 22649
Fira Post Office : 22649
Taxi Depot : 22555
Bus Depot : 25404
Visit Santorini in the winter time
Santorini also caters to lovers of peace & quiet. Life on the island during these times of the year continues at a slower pace.
Winter in Santorini is perfect for a quiet and carefree stroll along the Caldera footpaths in Fira and the village of Oia.
The island business community operates for the locals. One can find a few local cafes which remain open, as well as banks, the local bookshop, a small selection of shops, car hire firms & pharmacies.
There are restaurants & tavernas that remain open all year round , catering to the local inhabitants. Visitors to the island have a chance to enjoy real island cuisine.
Perissa is considered to be one of Santorini’s best beaches. It has clear crystal waters and smooth black sand, and the best part is during the August winds called the Meltemia. This beach is protected from the winds
Perivolos lies between Vlihada and Perissa. The sand is a dark grey colour & the waters crystal clear. Beach bars & organised water sports are available.
Kamari is the most organised beach town on the island. The beach front is a long stretch with many shops, cafes and restaurants. Excellent place for lunch by the beach
Red beach in the Village of Akrotiri. The beach is unique in that the sand is a terracotta red. The contrast of the red and deep blue of the waters is truly unique. A trip to the Red beach is recommended
Vlihada is located in the southern part of the island very near Perivolos. There are impressive hills out of pumice stone located right behind the beach. Quieter than other beaches except in the month of August.
Greek Ferry & Airline Companies
BLUE STAR FERRIES
KTEL BUSES (Santorini Public Buses )
Archeological : 22217
Prehistoric Thira : 23217
Megaro Gyzi : 22244
Akrotiri Santorini Archaeological Site: 81939 & 81366
Argyros Mansion : 31669 - 33064
Naval Museum : 71156
Koutsoyiannopoulos Winery : Kamari 22266
Santo Wines : Pyrgos 32128 / 22596
Argyros Winery : Vothonas 32047
Sigalas Winery : Fira 22802
Boutari Wines : Megalohori 81607 / 81011
Local Transfer Shuttle Services Company
Book your transfer now and don't wait for hours at the port or airport...
Only 39 taxi on the island and they are never enough! In the summer it is extremely hard to find. We strongly recommend to book your transportation before you arrive.
Santorini is know for its spectacular sunsets that occur on this island and the sceptic may question whether the setting sun can really appear differently here than from the neighbouring islands of Naxos or Ios. Nevertheless, the sunsets at Santorini, viewed from the Caldera, really are breathtakingly beautiful when seen as a backdrop to the volcano. The colours that streak the sky change from lilac to deep purple, from yellow to orange to red, as the golden sun sinks and becomes blood red reflecting its light on to the sea and the surrounding little islands, an amazing scene for photography. The eastern slopes of the island are green and fertile, even in October. This is due to the copious vineyards that grow so well in the fertile volcanic soil. The terraced slopes of the mountains use every available part of this fertile land. The island suffer from water scarcity, because it has few natural water reserves, but the nature of the dry soil of Santorini produces grapes that make up one of the best wines of Greece. The climate, though damp is healthy and perfect for producing the Famous wine (vinsando), fava beans and tomatoes. There are many wineries and a a local factory for canning tomato paste, tomatoes and vegetables. Santorini used to export a lot of pumice that finally stopped due to the destruction the old pumice mines did to the island. The old mines now are used for the burial of waste.
Today the island's economy relies on tourism, where tens of thousands tourists from Greece and around the world visit the island for unforgettable holidays.
Santorini is probably the most intriguing island of Greece. Simply its name is more than enough to unfold in mind stunning sunsets and scenery, white, red and black sand beaches, impresive traditional houses, balconies with vew to the Volcano and and lively night life. All the above, allong with the remains of the antiquity and the myth of the Lost Atlantis justify the words which the tourists determine this wonderful island.
The active volcano of Santorini erupted in the 50's and ruined many towns of the island. Santorini is also called Thira and its capital is the town of Fira. It is a very touristy island and therefore rather expensive.
The locals live mainly off agriculture and tourism. The islands largest export product is soil; 2.000.000 tons a year are used all over the world, mainly to make concrete. The Suez channel was built with this concrete for example.
Most holidaymakers stay where the beaches are, Kamari and Perissa, but these places really do not represent the island's amazing distinctiveness.
If you can, you should try to stay in Fira, Imerovigli or Oia, the towns on the cliffs, which are very beautiful and full of little cafes, shops and places of interest. There is a bus that goes to the beaches everyday, and it is much better to be in the towns in the evening and on the beaches during the day. If you stay in Monolithos you will have more peace and quiet.
Approaching the island by boat the immediate impression obtained is this is a Greek island unlike any other. The island of Santorini was formed out of the lava from the volcanic eruption in 1660 BC. The central part of the volcano sank into the sea leading to the emergence of Santorini itself and the tiny neighbouring islands of Thirasia, Palaia and Nea Kameni close by.
Today, Santorini is the only inhabited Caldera (volcano cauldron) in the world. Unlike other islands in Greece, the towns and villages sit densely on top of the massive cliffs of the Caldera and from a distance appear like snow capping the towering mountain tops. The coloured strata of the volcanic rock of these cliffs are spectacular in themselves: chocolate brown, rust red, yellow ochre, white and cream. The geological uniqueness however is not the only thing that makes Santorini a special holiday destination.
Where cruise ships dock:
The main ferry port of Santorini, called Athinios, cannot accommodate large vessels, so most cruise ships either put down anchor in the caldera, just below Fira, or 1 - 2 miles away from the old port.
Transfer from the cruise ship to the old port.
Passengers are brought to land (pier at Skala) with tenders (small boats). By request, they can transfer the passengers to Athinios Ferry port if they have organized tours with the cruise ship.
At this small harbour Skala, there are three ways to reach at the top of the cliff which is 260 metres above sea level,
cable car (daily, 6.30am-10pm, every 20 mins, €5 / $6.90),
mule ride (€8/$11.05), or a
tough hike up 580 steps (following the same path as the mules).
Donkey vs. cable car
The cable car ride lasts approximately 3 minutes (the wait can be fifteen minutes), and the much more exhilarating donkey ride takes almost one-half hour to go up, and just 15 minutes to come down. The down journey is faster and more thrilling for two reasons. First, descending is inherently easier, and second the donkey food is at the bottom of the walkway.
Walk up if you can
The zigzag walkway from sea to city is paved in stone, and because of the many switchbacks, the distance from one end to the other is 1300 meters or 4,265 feet. There are 657 four-inch tall steps on the walkway, and this natural stair-master provides a very good workout on a sunny day.