Here’s why you should visit Santorini
Santorini’s one of the most well-known Greek islands and is visited by many people each year. If you’ve never been or you’re thinking of going, here’s why you should visit Santorini.
The start of Santorini
Thousands of years ago, a volcanic eruption sunk the centre of Santorini island, leaving a Caldera – a flooded cauldron-like shape. Over time, there were further eruptions in the Caldera which continued to shape Santorini. One caused inhabited Thirasia to be split from it. Much later two other uninhabited islands also appeared in the flooded caldera; Palia Kameni, known as the old burnt island, and Nea Kameni, the new burnt island. As well as Thirasia, Palia and Nea, the Santorini Caldera also includes the uninhabited islands of Aspronisi and Christiana.
There's something about Santorini
Located in the Southern Aegean Sea and part of the Cyclades group of islands, Santorini is stunning. It has since become very popular with tourists. It’s often associated with romance and many couples get married there. They take advantage of the weather, views and beautiful sunsets to get a magnificent backdrop for their wedding photos.
This Greek island stood out for me mainly because of the extraordinary views, black sand beaches and the fantastic views of the sunset. You’ll understand why the island of Santorini has become such a popular place to visit because of its history and natural beauty.
Santorini’s capital, Fira, is a busy town boasting great views out to the Aegean Sea. Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa and Kamari are just some of the other well-known villages on the island. I found out that Oia is one of the best places to visit because of the amazing views it offers for watching the sunset.
When is the best time to visit Santorini
I’d already decided to go to Santorini as soon as possible, but knew I definitely didn’t want to go in the middle of the summer. I wanted to avoid the school holidays when prices rise, and the beaches become even more crowded. While looking into visiting Greece, I had found out that the majority of the Greek islands shut down for winter (off season) at the end of October. During this time ferry services are available, but they run a reduced timetable. The season starts again from the end of April, depending on the island. If you’re planning to visit Santorini, then you may want to avoid the crowds. The months of May and June (classed as ‘low season’) are the best times to visit, while other quiet months to plan a trip would be September or October (post season).
If you’re thinking of visiting, these four months are the quietest, coolest (although still very hot), and typically less expensive when it comes to booking flights and hotels. July and August (high season) are the busiest times of the year. There are more crowds and temperatures can get very high. As this is peak time, travel and accommodation costs will increase a lot. If you book far enough in advance you may be able to get yourself a last-minute deal.
Getting to Santorini
The easiest and most obvious way to get to Santorini is by air. There are direct flights available from UK airports to Santorini’s International airport, Thira (JTR). You can get there by ferry from one of the other Greek islands if you’ve planned an island-hopping holiday. If you prefer, you can take a flight, or the ferry, from Athens if you want to combine a city break with an island getaway.
When to go – for a quieter and slightly less crowded trip, visit Santorini between May and July or September to October.
Book ahead – start looking at accommodation as soon as possible. Santorini is popular and many of the hotels and B&B’s get booked up fast.
The best of both – try combining a city stop with an island break by visiting Athens before heading to Santorini.
Better late – try taking an evening flight. You’ll find your trip to the airport and out at the other end slightly quieter. It does mean less transport options since it’s late but can be worth it for a bit of peace. Try booking with Greek carrier, Aegean Airlines.
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