Why holiday in Santorini?
Santorini is a Greek island like no other. It was created from a volcanic explosion that left it with volcanic cliffs overlooking a black and red coast, dazzling against the turquoise Mediterranean. Vibrant historic towns spread out along cliff tops, where whitewashed buildings cluster around central squares and the best transport to the beach is by donkey. This is somewhere you have to see for yourself, and more and more people are recognising that by booking a holiday to Santorini.
It's not just the geological make-up of the island that turns heads, though. With its whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and never-ending vineyards, Santorini is Greece at its traditional best. Thira, the capital, is a popular place to stay it is perched on top of the caldera rim overlooking the Aegean. And the northern town of Oia, which also has a spot on the caldera, is the best place to see the island's famous sunsets.
If you don't mind your sand in a darker shade of grey which is a legacy of the island's volcanic past, there are some great beaches in towns like Kamari and Perissa. Framed by jagged cliffs, Kamari's dark sandy sweep has been given Blue Flag status. As for Perissa, the 7 kilometre stretch here comes with a good helping of watersports.
You won't find white sandy beaches in these parts. Instead black pebbles and dark-grey sands circle the island. And they're framed by steep cliffs that were shaped by Santorini's volcanic beginnings. Just so you know, Thira the island's main resort, is perched high up on the caldera, so you won't find any beaches there.
Resorts in Santorini
Thira which is the capital sits on the edge of a huge cliff and offers a fantastic panorama over the volcano. The area is made of numerous white washed houses in stone paved streets with blue domed churches and stunning verandas. This place is ideal for those seeking a relaxing holiday in beautiful colourful surroundings.
Transfer time is 15 mins from the airport and distance is 8 km.
Ancient Thira is sat on the rocky headland, 370 metres above sea level on the southeast coast. This area was re-structured after the great eruption.
Oia village sits on 700 foot high volcanic cliffs at the north end of Santorini. It is the second largest town in the island and has the most fantastic views on Santorini. The famous sunsets are worth seeing but can get slightly crowded during high season.
Many houses and buildings are nooks in the volcanic rock and it is easy to get lost in this village. Tranquillity, pastel colours, houses hanging on the cliffs, Oia is the perfect place for anyone who wishes to relax.
It is also known as 'Apano Meria' or 'Anomeria' and the inhabitants are called 'Apanomerites'. The village is approximately 150 meters above sea level. Oia was severely damaged in the 1956 earthquake and much work has been involved to implement its restoration.
The beauty of Oia is unsurpassed. In fact, it is almost impossible to describe in words. Small white houses tier the hillside, interspersed by splashes of rich okra, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink and earthy red.
Smooth winding paths interconnect, interrupted now and then by a small church, and at every corner there is something new to discover.
Oia is one of the most photographed places in Greece, if not the world. It has inspired artists, poets and every visitor who visits Santorini. Oia is best known for breathtaking sunsets; if truth be told, sunrise in Oia is also magical.
Imerovigli village is the highest point in Santorini giving it panoramic views of the island and the blue domed churches. The village of Fira is a short distance away in a bus or taxi.away.
Traditional tavernas can be found and is ideal for those seeking a quiet, relaxing holiday.
Imerovigli has views of the volcano, breathtaking sunsets and tranquility. There is a main square which leads up to the Caldera and the traditional hillside cave settlements. If you continue on the road to Oia, the lower plains of Imerovigli also have wonderful sunset east coast views. The largest part of Imerovigli was destroyed in the 1956 volcano eruption. Some of the population perished, while others moved away to the mainland. Imerovigli has since then been restored and is home to some of the most beautiful hotels and traditional cave house settlements on the island.
Kamari is hidden at the back drop of Mesa Vouno, which is located just 10 minutes (3kms) from the airport, on the south eastern side of the island. It is a traditional village that has developed into one of the most popular resorts on the island.
Kamari has something for everyone, relaxed and peaceful in the day time and great nightlife and a wide variety of restaurants for the evening.
The village of Perissa is one of the most beautiful resorts on the island and has dark, sandy beaches with a range of watersports available. The resort is set against a back drop of mountains and is spread out which ends the busy beach with lively tavernas and beach bars. The resort attracts a lot of backpackers but appeals to all types of tourists, offering quiet, relaxing days surroundings. Perissa has something for everyone, whether you want nightlife or relaxation. The resort is not suitable for disabled clients as most of the accommodation have many steps.
Transfer time is 45mins from the airport which is approx (14km).
Firostefani lies to the north of Fira and without a doubt, the views from this part of Santorini are spectacular, offering another perspective of Santorini volcano.
You can enjoy the fabulous sights of Thira itself and the breathtaking sunset in the evenings. The village has plenty of restaurants and cafes and between the village of Firostefani and Imerovigli is the Agios Nikolas. There are also few shops, most of them are located on the main shopping street in the centre of Firostefani.
How To Get There
Flights to Santorini (Thira) are available from the following UK airports:
Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle.
The majority of flights depart on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Daily flights to Santorini are available from Athens Airport.
Daily flights to Santorini can be reached by air from Athens Airport with two flights per day or by ferry from Piraues with frequent departures throught the year. During the summer period there are additional flights between Santorini and other islands, and charter flights from abroad. There are also nautical connections between Santorini and many other Cyclades islands, Dodecanesse, Crete and Thessaloniki.
Santorini can be reached from most international airports via Athens.
Athens is served by the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos :
From Athens to Santorini airport (Thira):
Nearly all international flights arriving in Greece during this period allow adequate time for making the connecting flight to Santorini, but because local flights have a minimum seating capacity, please book these flights early.
Olympic Airways, Flights Timetables
Aegean Airlines, Flights Timetables
There is a regular ferry boat service to Santorini from Piraeus offering a relaxing, pleasant journey. The cost is reasonable and takes an average of nine to ten hours. Advanced reservations are not usually required on the ferry boats.
If you have booked a private transfer or car hire, you will be met by your Perfect Blue driver or car hire representative. They will have a card showing PERFECT BLUE HOLIDAYS and your name. You will be taken to the main car parking area to collect and return your car. Cars can also be collected by the clients themselves which will have been pre-arranged.
For all travel enquiries please call our Travel Team on 0800 088 5474.