Santorini, or Thira, with its white towns over the bright blue sea, is the most beautiful resort in Greece, its “visiting card”. It has a warm subtropical climate. The beach season lasts for several months: from early summer to mid-autumn, but you can always just relax here and admire its beauty.
The Santorini archipelago (in fact, it includes as many as four islands, only three of them are uninhabited) are the remains of the caldera of a huge volcano. It erupted about three and a half thousand years ago and its eruption destroyed an entire ancient civilization.
Areas of Santorini
The western part of the island, from which you can see the breathtaking sunsets over the snow-white houses and churches, is both the most expensive and the least beachfront. These are the remains of a former volcano crater: there are rocky steep shores with beautiful views of the caldera. There are places for swimming, of course, but there are no traditional long sandy beaches here. At the same time, the hotels are luxurious: it is quite possible to find the opportunity to simultaneously swim in the pool with a jacuzzi and admire the sea from above. Here is the capital of the island of Fira with its suburbs and the most famous city of Santorini - Oia.
The eastern part of the island is more democratic in all respects. The coast here is not steep, but flat. There are many kilometers of sand and pebble beaches, water parks, amusement parks, modern hotels, both expensive and quite budget. We list the most popular resorts in Santorini:
- And I;
- They were;
- Agios Georgias;
The most beautiful place in Greece, the heart of Santorini - a snow-white city on a rocky cliff. Traditionally, people come here to watch the sunsets from all over the island, so keep in mind: if you do not have an individual terrace in a villa or in a hotel, a crowd of people will be waiting for you and overpriced prices in specific restaurants. This is a place of prestigious vacation: here are the most expensive hotels, but also the most luxurious. Traditionally, people come here for wedding photo shoots, so serving newlyweds has become a whole industry. As for shopping, there are few supermarkets and consumer goods, but there are many art galleries where you can buy something truly unique.
Oia is located high above the sea, there is a small beach below the city, but it is best to take a car and go to the comfortable beaches. The nearest is Baxedos beach at 4 km. Some hotels provide not only car rental, but yacht rental.
Oia is a place for an expensive, prestigious and very, very beautiful vacation.
The capital of the island is also quite high above sea level and does not imply a beach holiday, there is no beach in the usual sense here at all. Prices are lower than on Oia, but also rather big, hotels are the same as Oia: expensive housing with pools and sea views. There are, however, and simpler housing - but it is very high on the mountain, in residential, not resort areas.
But there are more attractions in the capital. The most, perhaps, the richest and most interesting museum in Santorini is an archaeological one, here are collected objects found during excavations of ancient settlements on the island. There is an ethnographic museum, there are several beautiful churches, the ruins of an ancient city have been preserved on the mountain above the city. In addition, Fira is a transport hub, there is a bus station from which you can go to any part of the island by public transport. The best shopping opportunities are also in the capital: there is a city market, several shopping centers with expensive boutiques of European firms, and many specialized souvenir shops.
The nearest beach to the city is Monolithos, 5 km to the east.
Villages Firostefani and Imperavili
The villages to the north of Fira are actually suburbs into which it flows. They are considered even more elite than Oia: on the one hand, they are closer to the capital, and on the other, they are much less promoted, there are no such crowds of people here. Imerovigli is the "balcony of Santorini", the highest village with views of the caldera. There is no beach at all, but the views are breathtaking, and the sunsets are no less beautiful than in Oia.
It has its own small white church, Ai-Stratis, nearby is the monastery of St. Nicholas, a large beautiful pedestrian zone that stretches from one side to Fira, and from the other to Oia, and runs through both villages.
Another suburb of Fira, it is much more democratic than all the previous ones: here the hotels are simpler and the prices in restaurants are lower. And he has an undoubted advantage over the elite Imerovigli: a small, but located right under the town, beach. Before him, in any case, you will need to go down the stairs and sweat up. Karterados even has its own mill - no worse than in Oia, only not snow-white, but spotted! The infrastructure at Karterados is quite modern: there are supermarkets and restaurants with views of the caldera, the only thing that is almost absent here are playgrounds and attractions. So this is a great option for adults who want to see the island, relax, and at the same time are not ready to overpay for promoted places.
The southernmost large settlement, located exactly in the caldera. The nearest beach is already on the other side of the island - this is the famous red beach: rocks and sand have an amazing reddish tint. The depth here begins immediately from the entrance to the water, and the red sand gets dirty, so the place is beautiful, but specific. But it is not far from here both to the black comfortable beaches and to the elite white one.
Nearby are the ruins of the city of Akrotiri, which belonged to the Minoan civilization, the same one that was almost destroyed by the volcano. But all the other attractions of the island are quite far from here, and the village of Akrotiri itself is quite small.
Hotels here are mostly inexpensive villas and apartments, there is no night or evening entertainment here, and there is no special tourist infrastructure either. But this is one of the most budgetary options for settling in Santorini.
Perissa and Agios Georgias
Perissa is one of the popular beach resorts on the island. Located next to the longest beach strip: several beaches (Perissa, Perivolos, Agias Georgias) make up a line about three kilometers long. Further south on the same line is the resort village of Agias Geogias, Perissa and Agias Georgias flow into each other. A feature of these beaches is the beautiful black volcanic sand. They are municipal, sun loungers with umbrellas are paid, there are free zones, there is all the necessary beach infrastructure. Entry into the water is quite smooth and suitable for children.
Unlike Oia and Fira, here are the most common beach resorts: a long promenade along the sea, restaurants, shops and hotels on the boardwalk. There are restaurants with live music and discos. There is a city landmark - the Museum of Minerals and Fossils. It has its own - though not too big - water park, Santorini Waterpark. There is a water sports center. Housing is both elite on the first line, and quite budgetary on the second or third.
In a word, these villages are the most suitable place for an ordinary beach holiday with children, and you can get to any sight of the island with a guided tour or by public transport.
The next popular beach resort to the north. Kamari beach is also made of black sand and small pebbles. Many people prefer to wear special shoes here: there are areas with larger pebbles and stones at the bottom, and there are areas with a very soft approach. When choosing a specific hotel, it is better to clarify from the reviews which section of the long beach is nearby.
Kamari Beach is considered the most comfortable in all of Santorini: there are the most restaurants, shops and entertainment for Russian-speaking tourists.
One of the main local attractions is a small winery Gaia Winery - the convenience is that it, unlike others, is not in the depths of the island on the slopes of the mountains, but on the very coast. There are nightclubs - for example, Groove Bar Kamari, popular quest clubs have recently opened: Escape Game Kamari and Escape Land, there is an equestrian club not far from the city. The airport is only 7 km from here, this is not for everybody: the transfer is short-lived, but the planes fly right over the beach. The capital and its attractions are also very close - 10 km away.
Another place suitable for a beach holiday. But this village is small and quiet, unlike the noisy Perissa and Kamari, and the beach is not so crowded. The village of Monolithos is located on a promontory, it actually has two beaches: one oriented to the south and one oriented to the north. The north beach has big waves and is considered the center of surfing and is called the Beach Sports Arena. And the southern part is very wide, it is considered the most suitable for families with children.
The main attraction, which is very close, is the ruins of a knight's fortress on the very shore. But the village of Monolithos itself is very small and there is little infrastructure here, it is suitable for sports and family recreation at an affordable price. But this is the closest beach to the capital, if you have a car, it is very close to the beautiful rocks of the western coast from here.