“Greek wedding” is what I would call our trip to Santorini. My friend got married and they decided to organize a wedding in one of the most fabulous and romantic places on the planet – on the island of Santorini, Greece.
Places of interest
Santorini is, in my opinion, the only seaside resort where tourists go not for the sea, the beach, parties, but for spiritual peace, for the most beautiful sunsets in the world. And it’s not even the sunset itself, when the sun beautifully goes beyond the horizon, but the atmosphere around that is created on the island. Everything is saturated with romance, every street, every house, you want to love and enjoy the moment.
Of course, there are good beaches, an emerald sea, but millions of people come here every year not for this.
Fira is the main city of the island and is considered to be its capital. A real paradise for young people on vacation. There are many hotels, cafes, souvenir shops, nightclubs and bars here.
The second largest city, Oia, beckons with its quiet cobbled streets with cozy restaurants. It is believed that it is from here that the best view of the sunset opens.
Church of Ayiu Mina (Ekklisia Agios Minas) is a snow-white cathedral with a bright blue roof, located high on a cliff. This world famous symbol of the island was built in the 17th century, and now the temple not only welcomes visitors, but also adorns many Greek postcards.
The excursion to the Nea Kameni volcano, the Palea Kameni sulfur spring and the Thirassia island, frankly, did not impress, so I cannot recommend them.
Santorini is a volcano island in the Aegean Sea, so there are no yellow sand beaches we are used to. The beaches are mostly black, there is also a white and red beach.
The best beaches are Kamari and Perissa Beach , a long coastline of fine dark pebbles and black volcanic sand.
Fans of the exotic should head to the coast of the red Akrotiri beach. The landscapes here are literally alien: the emerald sea is washed by black sand surrounded by sheer red rocks. Nearby there is also a “White Beach” with a coating of light pumice stones, you can get here only by boat or boat.
Best Sunset Views
The village of Oia located 11 km from Fira, people come here not only for walking along the streets. The town of Oia in Santorini is one of the best areas of the island to watch the beautiful sunset and capture this incredible beauty. Therefore, my advice to you: there are a lot of tourists during the season, try to orient yourself during the day and choose in advance a place from where you would like to watch the setting sun in the evening. It can be a small cafe or a hotel, the prices are accordingly not low, but it can be a good turn or a playground on the street. The most iconic sunset spot in Santorini is the Milos windmill.
Skaros Rock – this is where I met my best sunset on the island and one of the best in my life. At the foot of the cliff there is a church (Theoskepasti) with a beautiful view, very few people, a light sea breeze and silence.
There is also an option to watch the sunset from the sea by renting a boat, which is very romantic for me.
How to get to Santorini
Santorini National Airport is located on the island of the same name, in the vicinity of the village of Kamari, 6 km from the capital of the Fira archipelago. We flew from Kiev and changed trains in Athens.
From airport to city
You can get from Santorini Airport to Fira by bus, shuttle or taxi. A bus ticket costs EUR 2.50, the interval is 15 minutes. Small shuttle buses carry passengers to any address on the island for 10-15 EUR. A taxi ride will cost 20-25 EUR (don’t be afraid to bargain with the drivers).
Getting to Santorini is also convenient by water. Regular ferries and speedboats operate from Heraklion, Rethymno (Crete). The boat trip will take about 3-4 hours, tickets – about 50-80 EUR (early in the morning or late in the evening – half the price). Most ferries leave for Santorini from Athens, from 40 EUR and 4 hours on the way. Therefore, it will be useful to think about how to make a route through the Greek capital.
From port to city
The best way to get up from the port to Fira is by funicular, which will be short-lived but quite impressive.
How to get around
Santorini has an excellent bus service. Routes connect almost all settlements and beaches, the cost of tickets depends on the distance and direction.
If you wish, you can use a taxi service.
The offices of renowned car rental companies are open at the airport and center of Fira.
Driving in Santorini is a mixture of risk and pleasure. Driving a car on narrow, winding streets with sharp turns is not an easy task. But driving along scenic roads overlooking the azure waters of the Aegean Sea is an unforgettable experience.
There are many free parking lots in the center of Fira and on the streets of popular resorts, but almost all of them are busy during high season. The streets are narrow, sometimes with one-way traffic, so getting around the city is difficult.
Scooter or bike rental
An option for the hardiest is to rent a bike. Riding here is not easy: the streets are tight and winding, the terrain is hilly, but the pleasure of freedom of movement in the middle of the magnificent scenery is definitely worth the trouble.
Renting a scooter looks optimal in this situation: it is economical, it is easier to drive through the city streets and find a parking place.
Where to stay
For lovers of a luxurious vacation, Oya (she is Oya or Oya) is a visiting little bit of Santopini and the most picturesque place of the day. Most of the clearest photos of the island and the whole of Greece are made in this small village. Namely here – the most gorgeous hotels, the most beautiful views and the most mind-blowing orders, admiring which in the evenings save the whole night, turning a small stare in the middle Many hotels here are built on rock ledges and equipped with pools with a view of the volcano caldera and the surrounding mountains, and you can enjoy a drink directly from the jacuzzi. Oia is the place where to stop at Santorini is for romantics, newbies and simply rich and demanding tours.
Pros: Breathtaking views, the most gorgeous Santopini hotels.
Minuses: An endless tourist spot, especially for a reservation, the highest prices for accommodation in the morning.
Fira is the capital of the island
To be located in the very center of Santorini, and it is here that the main transport hub – Fira bus station – is located from where buses depart throughout the island. Ha beaches, at sunset in Oyu, to the port – from here you can go anywhere. Fira itself is a very interesting place, many sights of Santorini are located right here.
There is an option to save money. You can settle in the eastern part of the city, while there will be no view of the caldera, but in the morning you can watch no less beautiful sunrises.
Pros: Excellent transport accessibility, many attractions, very beautiful views.
Cons: Many tours, high prices.
Budget Santorini Vacation
An economical option would be housing in one of the villages of Kamari, Monolithos, Perissa and Karterados.
Low prices for hotel accommodation, the presence of a beach nearby.
It takes a long time to get to most of the attractions, with a transfer in Fira, there is not enough entertainment for adult tourists.
When is the best time to go to rest
The climate in Santorini is typical of the Mediterranean, with hot sunny summers and mild, humid winters. The best time to visit Santorini is May, June and September. July and August are quite hot and hilly terrain can be challenging at times. From November to March it is cool and damp, gusty winds blow. In winter, the island literally freezes, the streets are empty, transport links to the mainland are suspended.
Quite often, guests of Greece, vacationing on the mainland or Crete, book day trips to Santorini, however, in order to truly experience this unique place, you need to devote at least half a week to it.