Today we are going to go over the top things to KNOW about Santorini. We are going to share our tips and what to know before and while you are there in Santorini. We will be talking about our experience of going there 2 times in 2 years and what you should know if you are planning to visit with a cruise ship, ferry, or by Plane.
Not only Santorini is a beautiful place on a high cliff with its blue domes and whitewashed walls. Most people know Santorini from pictures of white walls with blue domes. The views from up top and from below are just spectacular. Santorini is the place where so many people want to go for their honeymoon or to get married. Not many people get to go there since it’s very expensive. The tips below will help you plan and know what you can do once you are there so you are not surprised when you arrive.
This is what we will cover in detail
- Where you can go
- How to get to the top of the cliff and back down
- Weather and clothing
How and when to travel to Santorini
The best way to get to Santorini’s in our opinion is by cruise. Getting there by Cruise is the easiest way and without breaking the bank. We will talk more about that later. When you arrive you have a few ways to get to the top of the mountain. There are 2 main cities when you get there. Oia and Fira. The spot where you want to is Oia where the whitewashed walls and blue domes are at.
Traveling to Santorini can happen in a few ways. You can fly, ferry or cruise ship. So if you are coming from the United States there are no direct flights to the Island. In order to get to Santorini, you will have to take a couple of flights. Depending on the time of year matters as well. Most flights to Santorini come from Major Cities like London or Athens. Depending on the time of year you are traveling to Santorini matters. Why? Because during peak season you will be able to get into the island easier from major cities then if you travel off-peak. During the off-peak season, you most likely travel to Athens then take a ferry from Athens or fly from Athens. You are limited on how you can get to Santorini during the low seasons. When you arrive on the island you can get anywhere within 30 min since Santorini is not a big island.
When is best to visit (low – high season)
Should you Fly or Cruise to Santorini
Getting to Santorini we think by cruise ship is the best bang for your buck. All you need to do is hop on your cruise ship and arrive. The Cruise ships usually have about 8-12 hours on the island. Time does fly so planning before you go there will help you a lot. Getting to Santorini on a cruise ship in our opinion is not expensive. Why because with cruise ships they are your transportation on and off the island. Not only will you visit one of the most famous and beautiful places on earth that so many people would want to visit but you are able to do it while visiting other places as well.
We paid about $1000 (Includes Taxes and port fees) for 11 days when we visited Santorini. Not only did we visit Santorini we also visited other Greek islands and Italy as well for the amount we spent.
Below is an example of cost at the time we posted this. We searched the prices you would pay to if you were to fly and stay in Santorini. Depending on the time of year will make a difference.
Hotel and Flight Price Estimates
Below are some examples of what I found if you were going to travel to Santorini.
Flights from 800-1450€ ($888.72-$1610.81) each from the United States with a minimum of 2 Stops.
Hotels from March 2 people cost from $100 a night. June $92-$1366. It all depends on where the hotel is at. Hotels that are on the Cliff are more expensive then if it was away from the cliff.
We wrote a post on avoiding baggage fees which you can find here. You may find this post useful when traveling anyplace.
Stunning View – Sunset at Oia
When we went to Santorini our second time our cruise ship arrived at 12pm in the afternoon. So that we could see the sunset at around 9pm. The best place to watch the sunset in Santorini would be in the city of Oia. They are the famous blue dome tops and whitewashed houses you see in pictures.
Gaze the caldera – From Oia
Boat trip to the volcano
Visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri
Akrotiri is an archaeological site located in the south part of Santorini. From the 17th century B.C. It is an excavation preserved from the bronze age. This was destroyed in the Theran eruption and buried in volcanic ash. For more information about this City check here. This was a place I wanted to visit when I was here last but I didn’t have enough time. Based on the research I saw it looks a lot like Pompeii. Which we did visit. We love visiting Archaeological sites like this. If you are in Santorini for more then a day or just have been here a few times take a moment and visit this place. You can reach this place by car or bus in about 30 min. All depending on the time of day. But since the island isn’t that big it won’t take that long.
For information on prices and what days are free, you can visit their website. Here
How to get around – Transportation
Picture of us on the speedboat and of the cable car on our way down.
If you did not know you can get to the island by Cruise, Airplane or Ferry. (Don’t expect to see a ferry from the United States. Ferries are coming from Greece or other European counties.) If you arrive by plane then you can take a cab or whichever way you like to whatever destination you want. Since the island isn’t, that big it doesn’t take more than 30 min to get where you need. Except for those times that the tour buses are around and there is a lot of buses around that may take a little longer.
This was us walking to get the bus after the Speedboat
Watch for ATV while you are there. They are all over the place and a lot of tourists using them are not the greatest drivers.
If you are arriving at the port near Fia you will need to choose 1 of 4 options to get to the top of the Cliff. (Cruise ships cannot dock so they tender bring everyone to shore.) Where they leave you is where you need to decide where to go next.
- You can choose to go up the Cable car which costs about 6€ euro per person. (Lines can be long since everyone is using the cable car.
- Go up with a Donkey to Fia is about 20€ per person. This is one way.
- You can walk up the same stairs that are used by the Donkeys. The walk up and down is not easy and is at times slippery. (We did this our first time in Santorini and we almost slipped while walking down and a Donkey almost hit us. We did this option because we love to walk and wanted to try it)
- Take a speed boat to Oia. We paid about 12€ each person which included The speed boat to the port of Oia about 15-20 min Ride. The view of the top cliff was amazing. Then they take us to the top and we hop on the bus that takes us to Oia (15 min) Then after we arrived they let us know the times the buses will be back. The bus then takes us to Fira. (Which is where the cruise ships locations are at) Once we are in Fira we need to find our way down. Either walking down or taking the cable car or by Donkey. So the price you pay doesn’t include the way back down. So remember to give yourself enough time to see Fira once you are done in Oia.
We saw Fira as a shopping place. Fira has lots of stores and small shops where you can shop on your way down.
Weather and clothing
- Watch the sunset
- Take a walk in the city of Oia
- Visit the site of Akrotiri
- Visit the active volcano in Santorini
- Enjoy the views from the top of Oia (They are breathtaking)
- Find a place to eat.
- Decide how to get to Oia
- Wear comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking.