Santorini, Greece

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Welcome to Santorini

Santorini

Santorini is a rugged Greek island. One of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, a volcanic eruption 500 or so years ago created the landscape when it devastated the area. Its two principal towns, Oia and Fira, now cling to the cliffs that rise up out of the volcano's underwater crater. The white houses overlook the sea and the beaches that are made up of red, black and white lava pebbles. 

Information & Facts

Activities

Walk. It's the best way to see the island. Hike the caldera (crater) path from Fira to Oia. This is free and the views are fantastic. Take the boat tour of the crater. This takes in the volcano walk as well as the hot springs. Add a food, wine, and/or photography tour. And make sure to visit the ancient sites at Akrotiri and Pyrgos. 

Climate

The hottest month in Santorini is July with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F). The coldest is January where the temperature tumbles to an average 12°C (54°F). There are an average 14 daily sunshine hours in July. The island is wettest in December when an average 74.5mm of rain falls. 

Eating Out

Santorini is a tourist island where restaurants tend to sell tourist food - some of which is very good indeed. Aim for the fish taverns near the smaller communities and their beaches. These tend to be family run and very authentic.

Getting Around

The best way to get the feel of Santorini is on foot. But there are taxis available all over the island. There is also  a well organised network of local buses, and there are opportunities to rent cars, motorbikes or scooters. And it being an island there's always the boat. Boats can be taken from Perrisa to Red Beach. They can also be taken from Kamari to Red Beach.

Language

Greek is the island's official language. There are a few English speakers among Santorini's locals but a Greek  dictionary or phrasebook will work wonders. 

Money

Santorini, like all Greek islands, and of course Greece itself, is still using the Euro. 

Negatives

It gets very windy in the month of August. This is a problem because the wind blows in your face from the sea and it can be very irritating. In the high season the place gets very crowded 

Night Life

Despite the island's reputation of being a quiet place for people on honeymoon Santorini has plenty of places that make the nightlife live up to Greek island party image. If it is clubbing you are after head for the capital Fira. Fira is where the bars and nightclubs are plentiful. The party tends to begin and end around the main square. Expect to pay a cover charge and to be required to wear more than sandals and swimming trunks.

Restaurants

Greek cuisine is renowned for its rich flavours and it is easily found everywhere in Santorini from its classic tavernas to its simple beach bars.

Argo is the capital Fira's award-winner with a large open-air space which affords panoramic views of the underwater crater . Selene is a stylish restaurant in Pyrgos village that even after 50 years remains faithful to its use of local recipes and ingredients. It also lays on cooking classes and is close to the Santorini of the Past Museum.

Shopping

Santorini is well-served by small galleries and boutiques that include shops selling local arts and crafts. There are more than 40 jewellery shops, but you don't have to travel far as most of them are on Fira's main street. 

Sightseeing

Clinging to the steep cliffs above its underwater crater, Santorini has a wealth of picturesque villages. Each of these offer great views of the Aegean Sea and the volcano.

There is traditional Cycladic architecture to be seen in Oia and Fira and important ancient sites like the Minoan Akrotiri. This is a town that was totally overwhelmed by volcanic ash during the eruption around 1, 500BC. There are also interesting views to be seen at Thera,   on the summit of a hill near Perissa.

Time

Santorini is governed by Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)

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