Published: February, 2018
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Santorini, Greece

It is as if the mountains fell into the sea.” The smell of fresh oregano, fig trees lining the crisp blue and white walkways, crystal blue skies, warm sun and calm sea.
— Sterling Boyd
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Family, Beach
  • Ideal length of trip: 7 - 10 DAYS

to & from

  • If you are traveling through Europe and want to go to Greece but don't have a ton of time, this is the guide for you. You can spend months traveling all the incredible Greek islands as they all have something unique to offer. This trip combines visiting Santorini, one of the most scenic islands, with Folegandros - a tiny hideaway island where the Greeks go on holiday.
  • Start your trip flying directly into Santorini. (We spent three nights in Santorini and one week in Folengandros.) Ferries run from Santorini to Folengandros at least three times a week. The Fast ferry Sea Jet reaches Folengandros in 45 minutes. Don't be surprised if the ferries are running late, get there on time with a bottle of wine and wait. This is Greece!

Where to Stay

Hotels in Greece turnover quite often so I would always checkout the latest reviews. Below are three we have stayed in over the years and love.

  • Nostros Apartments (Santorini). Nostros Apartments are in a great location on the island. We also loved the fact that we had a mini kitchen and our own balcony so we could start cocktail hour whenever we pleased! The pool is also nestled right on the edge of the cliff which makes for amazing day and evenings swims.
  • Aigialos Residences and Suites (Santorini). The hotel was of a very high standard with beautiful rooms and suites. Also a great location. The only downside at this hotel is that the pool doesn't overlook the cliffs.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Pack your swimsuit, towel and a change of clothes and head to the end of the island for a swim between the island and Agios Nikolaos. It is a great place to people watch and enjoy the afternoon in the sun. Grab a table at 'Sunset Ammoudi Taverna' for the sunset, drinks and dinner. Some of the restaurants in Santorini can be shockingly bad given how many tourists frequent the island so do your research before you go!
  • Wine tasting trip around the island is a must. We planned a trip around the vineyards on our first day so that we could explore the island through food and wine. It was fun for us to buy all the bottles we loved to enjoy over the holiday. Make sure to pick some wineries for the wine and others for the ambience. The gardens and food at the wineries are spectacular.

What to Do

  • Rent an ATV and check out the local beaches on the Eastern side of the island. You can rent an ATV right outside of Nostros Apartments and take off from there.
  • Walk down the steps of the cliff on the port side (western side) of Santorini. Take a dip, check out the yachts, grab a beer or an aperol spritz (yum yum!) and then walk back up. It is a good way to burn off your indulgent holiday!

inside scoop

  • Check the weather before you take a local ferry. Trips will often get cancelled if the weather is bad.
  • Plan to take plenty of cash with you to Folegandros! There is only one bank and one ATM (that sometimes doesn't work) so we changed all the money we needed before our trip and packed cash.

skip it

  • Tours on Santorini.
  • Avoid the shops at mid day when all the cruise ships unload. Plan to do your shopping at night before and after dinner. It is much more enjoyable and the locals are in a better mood.

Santorini, Greece - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Courtney Leary Says

    Stay– Andronis Luxury Suites or Canaves Oia. Both right in the village of Oia with beautiful rooms and views.
    Hike–from the larger village of Fira to Oia. Have your hotel arrange a transfer/car/taxi to drop you in Fira and then hike the trail back to Oia. It is gorgeous and then you can jump in your pool when you are done.
    Sunset Sail- Arrange for a sunset sail or boat charter, preferably private and with dinner included. There are companies in the town of Oia that you will find easily or have your hotel arrange. Bring a sweatshirt as it can actually get chilly after swimming and the sun goes down.
    Beach- Santorini is not known for its beaches but we did like visiting Seaside beach club for a fun afternoon of lunch and swimming. Vibe is relatively mellow (not Mykonos) and reservations are needed.
    Visit- Canaves Epitome hotel for a meal or a drink– it is stunning but far from the town so better for a visit than a stay– unless you have enough time to stay two places!
    Skip – the touristy shops and save your shopping for other islands or Athens.

  • Cynthia Pillsbury Says

    WE LOVED Santorini… we did a Backroads so were following their lead, but a few things I would absolutely suggest you do on your own…

    We stayed at Santo Pure– lovely boutique hotel, 5 minute walk to the center of town. We preferred not be in the very thick of it– more space and quiet. Santorini is VERY busy and the place right in the middle of town have constant tourists walking through their hotels.

    Shops: Babo (main street) and Stardust – off a little alley. Both FINDS, full of Greek designers.

    Take a ferry to the small island, Thirasia- and connect with you guides- Nicole and Yammis are warm, lovely and perfect guides… make sure to eat at their cafe!

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