Santorini: 10 things to know before visiting Santorini
For your arrival at Thira Airport, there is nothing better than the comfort of knowing that your ride awaits to take you straight to the hotel. I would highly recommend booking ahead of your arrival a private transfer, and you will have a tanned Greek man holding your name as you come through arrivals. I paid €30 online in advance (€15pp) and I am so glad I did this. You can also reserve mini-van-come-coaches that does drop-off service to various hotels, which is marginally cheaper, but I really don’t think it’s worth your time. Let’s face it, after you endure nearly 4 hours of flight time from London, you would just want to get to the hotel as soon as possible, no?? You can book a return in advance, or alternatively, you can get your hotel to call a local taxi to take you back to the airport. This costs €20 (from Imerovigli) plus my driver cheekily made me pay addition €5 for ‘reserving the taxi’.
Once you are in Santorini though, there are many local businesses offering rent-a-car or rent-a-quadbike. There are plenty of local taxis too – but be wary as they don’t have any meters so you would have to tell them where you’re going first and ask how much it would be, and negotiate as necessary! I didn’t come across many local buses, however they do exist. The best way to see the island though is to walk. I would highly recommend getting your good walking shoes on and walk everywhere. There are good walking paths, and I even did the hike from Imerovigli to Oia, which took me 2hrs [click here for the post on the hike!], and I would highly recommend you do this. Oh, and did I mention there are donkeys as mode of transport as well… usually to take barrels of olive oil up and down cliffs… but I hear they carry tourists as well. Knock yourself out.
4 – Where to Stay:
The main places to stay would be Fira (capital town), Imerovigli (in the middle between Fira and Oia), and Oia (most famous for sunset). The thing is that when you’re looking online, a lot of the hotels are very similar in that they are all white, down steep cliffs, has infinity pools etc. So it depends on what you want: Fira – for shopping, beach, nightlife. Imerovigli – for quiet, private jacuzzis, exclusivity. Oia – for simply chilling. Just make sure you stay in at very least a 3* for cleanliness sake.
10 – Just do it
I had all these misconceptions about Santorini before I went. Is it going to be a very expensive holiday? Is the flight time too long to be on an Easyjet flight? Are the locals going to rip me off as a tourist? Will they be able to speak good English? Will there be good enough sun for a noticeable tan? Will it live up to the high expectations I had built up? Should I look up other greek islands as well to compare and contrast?
Just book it. Just do it. Honestly. Santorini will always remain right up there on my favourite destinations – it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, service is super friendly, food is great and the weather is blindingly sunny.
If you are a hard-working City busy-body like me, there is no better place to relax and completely take your mind off than this little Greek island. It really is worth it.
*** I have done 4 other posts on Santorini which you may find super useful! ***