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The most famous island in Greece and a destination for lovers with sunsets over the sea and typical white villages.

The island and the Caldera of the Volcano

The name of the island is said to come from Sant'Irini (Irene), thanks to the Venetians who wanted to pay homage to the martyr to whom the basilica in Perissa was dedicated, in the south of the island.

Santorini is a volcanic island. 10,000 years ago it was circular in shape, but due to a large volcanic eruption most of the island sank, and with subsequent eruptions the caldera collapsed letting the sea enter and creating small islets. From here it is thought that the myth of Atlantis was narrated by Plato. Today the whole western part of Santorini overlooks the caldera and from its ridge, you can see the wonderful panoramas and sunsets.


Santorini is a destination to visit once in a lifetime for its iconic sunsets and villages that light up at dusk, creating a unique spectacle that remains imprinted in the mind. The dark side of this marvel is the tourist overcrowding which makes it lose its authenticity for the benefit of extra-luxury foreign tourism.

Fira is the main center of the island and here you will find shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs for nightlife. You can reach the port by cable car or with more than 500 steps.

The road that connects Fira with Firostefani and Imerovigli is very beautiful, which can be covered on foot in about half an hour, but you have to consider more time because it is all uphill and panoramic so you stop always taking pictures. If you want to make it easier, you can do the opposite and take the bus from Fira to Imerovigli and then walk down.

🍴 Mama Thira Tavern and the cafenio Volkan on the Rocks (from the Ergon circuit) with music and silent cinema

🌮 To eat on the cheap, just go to "Piazza di Fira" where there are pita gyros (like Bayiatiko) and others

🥂 VR Cafe bar (beer 7€ - cocktail 15€ ), PK Cocktail Bar, Iriana, and Enigma are the best to see the sunset

🎵 Nightlife: Koo Club and on the same street other clubs and pubs with music

🚌 Buses leave Fira at all hours for all the main destinations in Santorini

Firostefani and Imerovigli

These two villages are among the highest points of the island on the Caldera ridge and the view is magnificent because you are in the center and you can admire Fira and Oia.

They are more secluded and less crowded by tourists, the streets are narrower and with steeper slopes and the domes of the churches are of an intense blue.

In Imerovigli, they are located among the most famous super luxury hotels and restaurants on the island.

In front of Imerovigli there is the rock spur called Skaros: here once stood one of the five fortresses of Santorini, built by the Byzantines as a refuge from pirates. In 1700 it became the capital of Santorini; today it is completely uninhabited but the summit can be reached with a good walk.

🍴 Mavro restaurant from €120 per person for the basic menu

🥂Cavo tagoo from €50 per person for an aperitif at sunset (to be booked in advance)


Oia, which in Greek reads "ia", is elegant and well-kept, the superstar not only of Santorini but of all the Cyclades.

In the 60s it was a traditional village devastated by a strong earthquake, while today it is the queen of luxury with swimming pools and terraces overlooking the sea. Compared to Fira which has a long promenade with bars overlooking the caldera and from which you can see the sunset, in Oia the sunset spots are more "hidden" and at the back of the village.

The castle of Oia is a favorite place to watch the sunset, but get there early to find a spot along the walls. Another beautiful point is the view near the windmill and you can stop on the walls waiting for the sun to go down. We have reached the end and next to the mill, there is the Lioyerma bar where in June you can see the sunset fall over the sea and the prices are normal.

🍴 Lotva and Skala with caldera view, Kyprida restaurant (excellent quality food, €80 for two, sunset view).

🥂 for sunset: Sun Spirit near the mill (book), Vitrin, Lioyerma Lounge Cafe, Sparkling Sunset.

Perissa and the volcanic beach

Perissa is, together with Kamari, among the best areas to enjoy the beach and stay away from the hustle and bustle. Perissa is 20 minutes by moped from Fira, with cheaper hotels, nice beach bars, restaurants, and the Basilica of Sant'Irini.

Do not expect the beaches with the usual blue water of Greece, the seabed in Santorini is dark and although the water is crystal clear it does not create that wow effect. But it is beautiful to see the rocky mountain falling into the sea and the rocks with red, black, gray, and purple colors.

The walk to get to the church embedded in the rock: demanding but beautiful Chapel of Panagia Katefiani; it starts from Perissa and climbs the ridge for a quarter of an hour (from Thera it is much longer).

🏝️🥂Quiet, the beach bar and Waves are the places with the most music in the evening and very beautiful even during the day.

Red beach and the Lighthouse

The Red Beach is among the most popular destinations on the island, but it's not the best beach for relaxing. You arrive on a short and rocky road (do not wear slippers like many tourists who then stumble). Before arriving and at the free car park there are various kiosks and taverns, while on the beach there is a beach bar where you can get deck chairs. Most of the beach is free but with a nice carpet of dry seaweed. The strangest part is seeing the cliff which is collapsing several times and has now incorporated an old beach bar.

From Red Beach, you can go towards Akrotiri to see the excavations of the ancient Minoan city buried under the ashes of the eruptions (here bodies and jewels were not found as in Pompeii, it seems that the population escaped in time perhaps alerted by the various earthquakes that preceded the eruption). Continuing to the tip of the island is the lighthouse where you see a panoramic view of the whole of Santorini.

Pyrgos and Megalochori

Pyrgos is a beautiful village a few kilometers from Fira, which has maintained a more authentic and peaceful atmosphere. There are nice tavernas, little shops, and cafes where you can relax for a few hours. Here there are also the typical mules that carry goods and people between the streets.

🍴 Abrupt

Megalochori is considered a "traditional village" because it has tried to keep the royal architecture of the past as much as possible. The small square and the church bell tower are beautiful.

🍴 Traditional Kafeneio, central square

Ancient Thera

In ancient times Santorini was called Thera, after the name of the main city and its ruler. The city dominated the island with its location 300 meters up Mesa Vouna. In addition to a beautiful panorama, the archaeological excavations also offer interesting information such as the ancient cisterns where they collected rainwater, bas-reliefs on columns and stones, and the temple of Apollo. The nobles lived in the upper part of the city, while the rest of the people lived in Kamari (formerly Oia) where the port was located.

A place that we liked is the source of the river where the city used to drink: Spring Zoodochos Pigi. It can be reached from the main road with a ten-minute walk and there is a small church set into the stupendous rock, with a large tree and the ancient spring that still gurgles.

🎫 Admission 6 euros per person until 3-3.30 pm.

🥤 If you forget water or food, there is a kiosk before the entrance that will save you!


On this trip, we spent about 450 euros for two for 3 full days with hotel, moped, flight, 2 dinners at a nice restaurant, aperitifs with a sunset view, and sundry expenses.

Curiosity "They say in Greece that..": if a couple goes to Santorini, they either leave or get married. This is because the beaches are bad and not having much to do, we argue more. On the other hand, the sunsets are stupendous and are the favorite place for proposals.


Trip to the volcano and hot springs where you can bathe in hot water (from €25).

Boat trip between the volcano and red, white, and black beaches (€50-60).

A trip on a catamaran during the day or at sunset.

Tasting in the many cellars on the island, among which the most famous is Vin Santo.

Helpful tips:

  • ✈️How to reach Santorini: the fastest and cheapest way is by direct flight from the major Italian airports, or take the ferry from Athens Piraeus or from nearby islands such as Naxos and Mikonos.

  • 🛵How to get around: many buses connect the beaches and villages of the island. Or you can rent scooters, cars and quads anywhere on the island, we had a good time with Moto Santorini in Fira: we rented a scooter late in the evening at the airport and took it back there on the way back.

  • 🛏️Where to sleep: Perissa is the area with the best quality and the best beaches; Fira is more expensive and you are directly in the center but with distant beaches.

  • 🍴Where to Eat: there is everything. You can spend little by eating pita gyros and in bakeries, or in restaurants with €60-80 or much more in luxury restaurants.

  • 🌞Where to see the Sunset: in Fira VR Cafe and nearby; in Oia at the Castle and Mill near Vitrin, Lioyerma; further south near the Panorama restaurant.

Have a nice trip!



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