7 Things you should know before visiting Santorini 5 years ago

7 Things you should know before visiting Santorini

With its heavenly views, amazing weather and delicious architecture, it's no surprise that Santorini is trending.

The jewel of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, this Greek getaway is the dream holiday spot to visit with friends, family or a partner.

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Here's what you need to know before you jet off...

1.For the best views and atmosphere – go to Oia

Oia is the picturesque heart of the island. Many Hollywood films have been shot here and you can see why. The stunning white buildings with the blue and colourful roofs are common for Greek architecture and the perfect excuse to take a million photos.

Oia is a charming, interesting place where you can explore jewellery and art galleries, cafes, and bars. Make sure you spend an entire day here, where you can wine, dine and stick around for the sunset.

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Go to the other side of the island for the beaches

Santorini is great for views, but not as great for beaches, with the popular town of Oia sitting on a cliff. To get to the beaches, you must head to the other side of the island. Kamari beach is the most popular, with bars, cafes and lots of room to lay out in the sun.

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*Top tip: Make sure you go kayaking on the island from Mesa Pigadia to explore all of the caves, bays and cliffs. It’s the best day out and a great opportunity to explore the island.

Santorini is not a party island

Do not expect Santorini to have the party nightlife of Mykonos and Ios; part of the island’s charm lies in it’s chilled out, relaxed atmosphere. But if you really are looking for a bit of nightlife – Kamari and Fira are the places to go.

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Make sure you visit the volcano

The volcano is situated on a small island in front of Santorini’s Oia town, adding to its stunning views. You can visit the volcano by taking a daily cruise. Walk 20 minutes with lunar scenery and you can discover the crater and the incredible view of Santorini itself, with its white and blue buildings hanging from the cliffs. Make sure you bring runners though, sandals will not suffice.

Get up early for the sunrise

Believe me when I say, there is NOTHING like a Santorini sunrise. Get up early to make sure you catch a glimpse of it, and bring your camera. If you’re staying on the side of the island in front of the volcano, you’ll be in for a treat.

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Instead of a tour – rent a bike or a car

Sometimes tours can be very expensive and a little controlled, so try renting a bike, boat or car and explore the island yourself. You’ll find many things such as beautiful churches, beaches, shops and the island’s resident seal.  You can cover the whole island in a day and it’s really not hard to get lost. Trust us.

Make sure you take a trip to the winery

For a tiny little island like Santorini, it’s hard to believe that it has 13 wineries. THIRTEEN. So much wine to choose from. We recommend trying Santo Winery as its location is divine, sitting on top of a cliff looking out onto the ocean. What more could anyone want?