We decided whilst we were in Mykonos on holiday to go to Santorini for a night. You can’t fly directly to Santorini from Mykonos without first going to Athens and then catching a connecting flight. Based on this we decided to get the Ferry over to Santorini from Mykonos. The fast hydrofoil takes around 2 hours and costs around €100 each. On board the ferry there are three classes available, economy, business and first although each ferry line calls it something different. We opted for business which meant a bigger seat and more space. For the length of journey we would probably do economy if we had our time again as it doesn’t take long and economy looked pretty comfortable. Only time we’d do it again is if was in peak season and lots of island hoppers travelling.
When we arrived on Santorini the port is at the bottom of the cliff, be warned there are two ports in Santorini, one which is where the cruise ships go to near Thira which has a cable car to the town and another which is where the island ferries go to which is located at the other end of the island. When you get off the ferry my advice is to take a break and get a drink at one of the bars which are at the port. The area can be crazy with taxi drivers and tour guides all trying to get you to go with them. Let the crowds from your ferry calm down and then head for a bus, it’s much easier! I found the busses really easy to navigate too and it’s so much cheaper than getting a taxi, also you get that sense of satisfaction when you get to your destination! We stayed in Oia which is located at the far end of the island. To get to Oia you first take the bus to Thira and from there change busses to Oia. It’s really simple and the bus drivers are really helpful.
Once we arrived in Oia we stayed at the Aethrio hotel http://aethrio.gr which was located right in the town centre. The staff at the hotel couldn’t be more helpful, and the facilities at the hotel were great with a pool and deckchairs to relax on and avoid the crowds! Santorini hotels range from the budget, to the mid price which would class the Aethrio as and then the expensive ones which have private infinity pools overlooking the sea. Santorini really is an island which hotels for every budget!
Obviously Santorini is famous for its sunsets and this really was spectacular, although word of warning if you’re looking to get the iconic photo of the sunset over the white church with no one around you’ve got your work cut out for yourself. Santorini is increasingly busy with tourists, we went mid September and the island was packed. At sunset everyone goes to the end of the town and literally hundreds of people will be there taking photos of the sunset. That said when I got home I had taken around 150 photos as the sun went down, if you can’t beat em join em! I’d love to tell you how to get to the vantage point but I can’t tell you exactly so would advise you to follow the crowds!
After the sunset there are many restaurants which are along the top of the cliff edge. Santorini never really gets quiet from crowds in the evening, I’d recommend taking photos of Santorini town in the morning before the crowds from the cruise ships arrive. The sun shining on the ocean and the blue sea and sky makes for amazing photos in the morning. For dinner we ate at Karma which is a lovely restaurant just on a quiet street a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the Main Street. The website for the restaurant is karma.bz we sat outside and the peaceful water features made this a lovely tranquil place to eat. The food was delicious and not too expensive. I’d recommend booking a table to sit outside as when the crowds leave after sunset most people go to eat so make sure get a reservation.
The next morning we took a walk around Oia and took some photographs in the town. It really is a beautiful town. If you’re planning on going to Santorini then would recommend it for one or two nights if your staying in Oia. It’s a really small town and very pretty but also very small. Whilst we didn’t visit Thira it looked more commercial and had more going on with plenty of bars and restaurants, so where you stay really depends on what you’re looking for.
On the way back to the ferry port we opted to take a taxi as we knew we had to catch a ferry. I would recommend leaving a bit of extra time to get to the port as the traffic can be very heavy as you go down the winding cliff face road to the port. If you get to the port early grab a drink at one of the many bars. When it’s time for your ferry home keep a listen out for the people who shout out the name of your ferry, they’ll ask you to stand in an area along the quayside. One your boat is in you’ll be moved onto the boat when it’s safe to do so. It is a bit of a bundle to get on the boat but that’s half the fun of island hopping. Enjoy it and go with the flow!
Would love to hear from you if you’ve been to Santorini already or used any of the advice in my blog, just contact me through the link or via social media.