Santorini is famous for its cliff-side homes which are painted blazing white with deep blue roofs. They are symbolic of Greece. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this is the place. Don’t miss watching the sunset at Oia, visiting the many historical sites, or exploring the vineyards. Santorini can get really touristy in high season but surprisingly cheap and, once you get out of the town, it’s easy to escape the crowds. People tend to prefer this island to nearby Mykonos.
Expect to pay around 20-35 EUR a night for a dorm bed. Most of the hostels are located on Perissa beach and near the port. You can book your room here: http://www.romani.gr/hotels/
Budget hotel prices
For a little bit more, you can spend 50-80 EUR for a budget hotel room for two people. Or book an apartment with a free car rent here: http://www.santorini-villa-thebirds.com/
Average cost of food
Food is not very expensive here. You’ll find a lot of cheap gyro and sandwich shops for about 4 EUR for a meal. Inexpensive restaurants will cost around 9 EUR. A nicer restaurant will cost around 18 EUR with a drink. Prices just go up from there. If you are eating in Oia, prices are about 30% higher because of all the tourists.
The bus starts around at 3 EUR per trip and leaves each town every two hours. Taxis cost about 27 EUR to go across the island. Private transfers cost starts at 75 EUR for 4 people and 4 luggages, you can book your tranfer here: http://www.romani.gr/transfers/
Money Saving Tips
Rent a car – The buses are infrequent, the taxis are expensive and private tranfers are usefull for catching a fligh or a ferry. The most cost effective way to get around is to rent your own car. We reccomend cars over ATVs because an ATV can cost the same as a car but its more dagerous driving an ATV in a small island with narrow streets. You can book your car rental here: http://santorinicarrentalonline.com/
Hit Happy Hour
Drinks get very expensive on Santorini. Drink your fill during happy hour, when they have 2 for 1 drinks and 1 EUR shots. Perissa beach is a popular nightspot.
The main town is the most expensive place on this relatively cheap island. Avoid stay and eating here and you’ll find yourself cutting your costs in half.
Things to See and Do on Santorini
Visit the Santorini Volcano
A good daytrip, you visit the volcano’s caldera and then take a dip in the hot springs, take a donkey ride, and then see the sunset in Oia. If that’s too much for you, you can simply head out to the caldera and go to the hot springs. You can book trips and tours to Santorini here: http://www.santorini-volcanotours.com/
Visit a Winery
Santorini has a lot of great wineries. The fertile land is perfect for growing grapes. There are winery tours through the island and they last about half a day. You can also rent a car and do your own tour. Just don’t drink too much. You can book your car rental here: http://santorinicarrentalonline.com/
Spend the day in Oia
This is the main attraction on Santorini and the picturesque white houses you see on all the photos are from here. Walk around the small village of Oia. They have great (but expensive) restaurants here and it’s a popular place to watch the sunset from as it sets right over the town.
Go to Red Beach
This beautiful beach on Santorini Island has a red volcanic cliff worth visiting. There is also a black sand beach on the south eastern side of the island.
Walk up and along the cliffs
Although it’s quite a climb, the view from the cliffs is worth it. You’ll get a great view of the whole island and surrounding oceans. While you can see a lot from the main town, the best views are from Oia.
Akrotiri is a roughly 3,500 year old Minoan town preserved in volcanic ash (like Pompeii) on the southern part of the island. The excavation site is covered by a roofing system, which makes it something that you can comfortably visit no matter what time of year. The ruins, are extremely well preserved. Streets, buildings, stairs and even second floors of buildings are still visible. Visitors can stand in the ruins and look at Minoan pottery and frescoes.
Visit ancient wrecks in the harbor. The area here is great for wreck diving and you can get down to about 14 meters and see ancient Greek ships. Visibility isn’t great and you won’t see many fish so the main draw here is the wrecks.
Go horseback riding
This is a popular activity with couples and families. You can ride around the hills of the island or along the beaches. It makes for a good afternoon activity and if horses aren’t your thing, you can always ride a donkey.
See the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
Located in Fira, this place is host to a mass collection of artifacts that were found in the ruins of Akrotiri. There are a ton of pots and pottery to see, but the highlight is the frescoes of the blue monkeys. Interestingly enough, there is no evidence of monkeys ever having lived on this island.
Spend the day hiking
Getting outside of the little towns and villages always makes for a great adventure. The landscape across the island is really beautiful and it is often quite temperate. Throughout the countryside, there are little establishments of cave housing, gardens, and tiny churches to discover.
Go on a boat excursion
There is a great boat excursion that goes to Volcano Island, the hot springs, and then to Thirassia. It is basically a daytrip, even though it is only a few hours long. Lunch isn’t included, but the group typically stops and eats at some local taverns. You can book trips and tours to Santorini here: http://www.santorini-volcanotours.com/
Visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse
At the southern end of Santorini, close to Akrotiri, lies the lighthouse. It’s used by the Greek Navy, which means you’re not allowed to enter it, but it does make for a good photo opportunity.