As one of the most visually-spectacular destinations in the world, a holiday to Santorini is sure to be a huge hit with couples and families looking for some fun in the sun. Once a volcanic island, it was rocked by a massive eruption that saw half of the crater fall in one itself. The collapsed part was swallowed up by the sea, leaving steep lava-formed cliffs that plunge into the dark, blue waters. Today, it’s one of the hottest holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, speckled with whitewashed, clifftop towns where you can enjoy a quiet coffee or a leisurely dinner, perched on the rim of a volcano and watching the glittering sea below. With its beautiful, black-sanded beaches, Santorini holidays are ideal for families and couples who want to enjoy some quality downtime together, set against one of the most stunning backdrops in the world.
12°C - 26 °C
If you’re looking to get some serious bronzing under your belt, book your holiday between July and August, when the temperatures climb into the high twenties °C.
Approximately four hour Flights to Santorini land at Santorini National Airport, which is roughly five minutes from the centre of the resort.
Experience the dramatic black sand beaches for yourself and spend a day soaking up the Greek sunshine, before paying the local water sports centre a visit for some adrenaline-pumping activities. Catch the bus to Thira and have lunch by the cliff’s edge looking out over the water, or ride a donkey down the hill to see it up close. Reserve a day to explore some historic sites, from the hill top remains of Ancient Thira to the capital’s museums and blue-domed churches. When the sun goes down, hit the beach for a drink on the waterfront or head to the buzzing clubs in town.
Dusted with black sand and lapped by midnight-blue waters, the beaches here are a spectacle in themselves. Shallow shores and regular lifeguard patrols make them ideal for families taking their holidays to Santorini with children in tow. For those who want to see something different, resorts such as Kamari and Perissa have a good selection of water sports on tap and you’ll find that most beaches are lined with bars, restaurants, and snack bars. Couples might like to hunt out some of the island’s secluded coves, formed during the eruption that made the island so unique.
Separating Perissa and Kamari’s beaches is the vast rock formation, Mesa Vouna. On top of that is ancient Thira, a stunning collection of ruins ranging from Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. The ruins are impressive enough, but throw in a clifftop location that overlooks some black beaches and it becomes jaw-droppingly stunning. Thira is a treasure trove of culture for anyone with an interest in the history of the island; visit the impressive Archaeological Museum or take a stroll through the capital’s twisting streets, where you’ll find quirky shops and traditional restaurants.
Santorini’s fabulous island setting makes the nightlife feel a little more magical, with parties starting on the volcanic beaches before the sun has even gone down. The bigger resorts, such as Thira, are the best places to find nightlife, with bars and clubs ranging from chic wine bars looking out over the coast to dance clubs open until the early hours. The buzzing town square is the best meeting point to kick off the night. Even in the smaller beach resorts there are plenty of venues to choose from, with low-key tavernas and restaurants for families.
RESORTS NEAR SANTORINI
HOLIDAYS IN SANTORINI
Safety and Security
For up to date advice on travelling to Santorini, please visit Safety and security - Greece travel advice
Santorini is best for...
Photographers: From volcanic formations that look like they’re straight out of a science-fiction movie, to ragged Roman and Byzantine ruins, there’s always a chance to get your camera out and start snapping!
Party Animals: The island becomes a crescent of lights and music by night. Watch the sun set from one of the bars perched on the crater’s edge or hunt out the clubs in the centre of Fira.
Couples:An incredibly romantic island, pretty pastel towns such as Thira make an ideal setting for moonlit strolls and cosy dinners for two.
Language:The language spoken is Greek. While the locals have a good understanding of English, it’s worth packing a phrasebook or downloading a language app, to show willing.
Currency: You’ll need to change your pounds and pence into Euros, before zipping off on your holidays to Santorini.
Local time: Santorini is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to:Santorini Airport. The transfer time to Kamari is just 15 minutes.
Flight time from UK:The flight time to Santorini is 4 hours.
Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at www.santorini.net/.
Visa and health:Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Santorini.
Weather and climate
Temperature: The temperature can reach 30ËšC between July and August.
Best time to visit: If you’re intent on doing some sightseeing on your Santorini holidays, book between May and June, when conditions are slightly cooler.
The destination enjoys a sunny Mediterranean climate, with the warm weather kicking off in April and reaching highs of 30ËšC around August. Expect long hours of sunshine and beautiful beach weather between May and September. December is the wettest month and January is the coldest, which the mercury dropping to around 9°C.
By bus: The bus service covers the whole island, running regularly and costing around €2. A shuttle bus operates between the airport and the resorts.
By taxi: A taxi is the easiest way to get around for one-off journeys or to get out and see the local attractions. Thira’s main square has a taxi rank, but you may get better rates if you book in advance online or by phone.
By cable car:A ride on the cable car service is a must. Located in the island’s capital Thira, not only is it the handiest way to get down to the coast from town, it’s an experience in itself, offering breathtaking views over the seafront.
International Music Festival: Held each September, the International Music Festival takes over the town for five days. Expect recitals, concerts and performances from world-famous musicians, across a variety of genres, including opera, chamber music and jazz.
Firework festival: If you want your holidays to go out with a bang, book your Santorini holidays in September, just in time for the Santorini Ifaisteia Festival. Celebrating the eruption that formed the island, the sky will be alive with fantastic fireworks, lending a carnival atmosphere to the whole night.