Santorini: one of the most beautiful islands in the world, one of the most romantic sunsets, some of the most photogenic villages, many black pebble beaches and sooo many questions.. Lets get started trying to answer them and make your holiday planning easier.
1)What is Santorini?
Santorini is a small greek island in the southern Aegean Sea. It is one of the 33 inhabited islands that form the archipelago of Cyclades. Actually, Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic island group and is located 127.7 nautical miles far away from Pireaus.
2)Is it Santorini or Thera???
Well, it may get quite confusing, looking up the word Santorini very often you come across the name Thera ot Thira as well, but is there a difference?
Santorini or Thira is a group of five volcanic islands. The biggest island of the five is called Santorini or Thera, let’s say that Thera is an older name and the official one till today.
The second island which is inhabited as well is called Thirassia while the name of the 3 smaller islands are Aspronissi (the white island), Nea Kameni (or the volcano :)) and Palaia Kameni. Now you have a generall icon about the archipelago of Santorini!
3)Such a famous island, how big is it?
With an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 15,550 there are 14 villages on the island. The length of Santorini reaches 18 km. Its width varies from 2 to 6 km. Its shores are 70 km long.
4)How do I get to Santorini?
- a) By plane: The fastest way to get to Santorini is by plane. The journey from Athens takes less than 35 minutes and there are several flights daily held by Aegean Airlines- Olympic Air. At the begging of the 2015 season Rayanair as well lauched flights to Santorini too. If you are planning to come to Santorini between May to October Hellinair may be convient for you as well.
During summer, a local air company connects Santorini with other popular islands such as Rhodes (Rhodes Diagoras airport), Heraklion Crete (Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis airport) and Mykonos. Seasonal domestic flights are also operated from Thessaloniki (Makedonia airport).
From May till October many charter airlines fly directly to Santorini airport from various European cities.
Santorini airport (JTR) is situated on the east coast of the island. Very close to the famous summer resort area of Kamari, next to Monolithos area. The airport is about 10 minutes by car from Fira, the capital of the island, and approximately 30 minutes from Oia, the northern most village of the island. From the airport there are public buses to Fira, where you can change to buses for other towns. Taxis are also usually waiting at the airport, but competition for them can be keen. Many hotels provide shuttle services to and from the airport as well so check it out. In Santorini Airport there are car rental companies currently operating including world wide famous companies.
- b) By boat. Ferries dock at the new port of Athinios which is situated about 19 km (11.8 miles) from Oia village – About 9 km (5.6 miles) from Fira, the capital (Thira) – About 9.5 km (5.9 miles) from Kamari village – About 9 km (5.6 miles) from Akrotiri village. Santorini is well connected all year round to Pireaus, the main for of Greece in Athens. The standar ferry that operates daily leaves Pireaus at 7:25 in the morning and (most of the times) arrives on Santorini around 15:30. During the summer season there are high speed ferries as well and other types of vessel so there is a wide range for you to choose. The voyage during summertime may take you from 5 to 11hours and the tickes price varie between 25- 50 euros. Most of the time taxi drivers are waiting for arriving passengers at the ferry port, but during high season it may be difficult to find one available. Tourists can also use the public bus or pre book a shuttle bus or a private transfer with an independent company to reach their hotel or airport.
Are you an island hopper? Are you planning to visit any other islands? During the summer season the Santorini is connected with many surrounding islands.( Ios, Naxos, Paros, Crete, Mykonos, Tinos, Syros Rhodes, Anafi, Chalki, Diafani, Folegrandos, Karpathos, Kos, Kasos, Katapola, Kea, Kimolos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Lavrio, Milos, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Thirassia are some of them)
If you are arriving by cruise ship we will provide you the information you need in an upcoming post