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Travel series: tips for visiting Santorini

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There are so many islands around Greece that you could potentially visit to enjoy the sun and surf. However, Santorini could be one of the Greek islands that come to mind and is nothing short of amazing. If you’re chasing stunning sunsets and scenery, white, red and black sand beaches, impressive traditional houses, balcony views to the Volcano and a lively nightlife this could be the place to visit.

Getting there

Ferry: If your intention is to only visit Santorini, you might like to check for direct ferry trips to the island from Athens. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, consider noting down the port in which the ferry departs as there are two major ports in Athens, Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus is the main port in Athens and the largest port in Greece and serves most itineraries to the Greek islands1.Flight: There are multiple options in terms of flights to get to Greece and it all depends on your budget and where in Australia you reside. Often, people organise flights to Athens, do some sightseeing and then make their way to Santorini.


The towns of Fira, Imerovigli or Oia, are known for their position on the cliffs of Santorini, which can be considered very beautiful particularly if you’re chasing the perfect sunset photography to show off to your friends and family. These towns are also full of little cafes, shops and places of interest. There are bus services that stop at nearby beaches and towns all over Santorini, depending on where you choose to stay, consider familiarising yourself with the available public transport if you want to save money by not hiring a car or scooter.If you’re like most tourists, you will probably want to stay somewhere close to beaches such as the townships of Kamari and Perissa. However, there are other options to explore.

Things to do

Fira/Firostefani – both of these towns are quite close to each other. Fira is the main town/capital of Santorini. Part of the town sits on steep cliffs and could be one of the most picturesque spots in all of Greece. Fira has the most restaurants, shops, and hotels and is the centre of Santorini’s nightlife. Firostefani is a suburb of Fira, lying between Fira and Imerovigli. It is on the crest of a hill and thus has one of the spots with the best view on the island and especially looking back down to Fira.This is where the convenience of hiring a car or scooter could benefit you the most. If your budget permits, hiring a vehicle might bring with it the flexibility you may need to fully enjoy what Santorini has to offer.

  1. Red Beach (Akrotiri) – The pebbly sand here has a red tinge and the backdrop is beautiful.
  2. Black Beach (Perissa) – There are some adrenaline seeking tourists out there who jump of the cliffs into the water. This can be quite dangerous so you might like to watch other people do it instead.
  3. Oia village – In order to catch the best view of the sunset, consider getting up early to snag a good spot because this place can get crowded. The architecture can be amazing and is highlighted by the stark white of the buildings and the contrasting colourful doors and window shutters. Combine this with the deep blue of the Aegean Sea in the background and you could have yourself an amazing selfie opportunity.

Overall, Santorini could be an amazing holiday destination for your next overseas trip. If you’re thinking of taking a break in between uni semesters, the sunsets overlooking the Aegean Sea in Santorini can be breathtakingly beautiful when seen as a backdrop to the volcano.

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