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Santorini Travel Guide: Exploring the Island

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

When you think of Greece, especially Santorini, you think of endless blue views, a landscape of white homes along the cliffs and breathtaking sunsets. I know this is what put Greece on my bucket list, and honestly after spending one week there, I know I will be revisiting Santorini and the other islands in Greece. You probably also think of the Drake song now too.

Santorini is a blue and white paradise, and seemed more like the ideal couples destination to me, but during the planning I learnt that Santorini has something to offer all types of travellers, especially as a girls trip.

That’s why I’ve created this Santorini Travel Guide, to share our itinerary and hopefully inspire you to explore the different parts of the Island. We spent most of our time between Thira, Oia and Kamari while staying in a suite in Imerovigli.

Before picking our destination, we did our research on the travel restrictions between the UK and other European countries. We chose Greece as the country had low cases of COVID-19, and there was no self isolation requirement when we arrived In Greece or when returned to London. We were still cautious and aimed to remain safe and practise social distancing as best as we could.

Where to stay:

While on the island, we wanted luxury but on a budget, so we stayed in Imerovigli for 6 nights and spent one night in the iconic Oia. Staying in Imerovigli with views of the Aegean sea and surrounding vineyards, saved us €€ per night compared to an Imerovigli hotel with Caldera views, and our suite felt like a second home very quickly.

Oia and Imerovigli are the best options for the Caldera views, but remember any accommodation facing the Caldera view will be more costly. On average in peak summer time, hotels in Oia can cost between 350€ - 700€ per night, and over 250€ per night in Imerovigli, depending on the room. As we went to Santorini during the pandemic, we got the perk of cheaper accommodation.

In Imerovigli, we stayed in the Superior Suite with Sea View at Seven Suites for just over 100€ per night, compared to summer 2021 where the same suite costs around 200€ per night. I would recommend these suite style hotels if you are on a girls trip as there is so much room to get ready, play speakers out loud and enjoy breakfast on the balcony.

For our night in Oia, we stayed in the Junior Suite with Hot Tub at Kima suites for 200€, which is around 450€ a night in august 2021. In Oia, you're more likely to get a small hotel or room as the main attraction is the views, so I would recommend staying in Oia as a couple, because it is intimate and romantic, especially watching the sunset from a private pool or hot tub.

Oia is one long street along the cliff and our suite in Kima was at first point near the bus stop, making it the best place to begin a day in Oia.

The two suites we stayed were so different, in Oia you are on the cliffs so the rooms are smaller and quite close together as you are there to experience the view and private hot tub, where as in Imerovigli we had a large two floor suite with a private balcony overlooking the public pool.

Also, remember the further away you go from the caldera view, the less expensive the hotels will be. I.e. Perissa.

What to do:

Explore Fira:

Fira is the capital city of Santorini, and is packed with gorgeous views, a variety of shops and restaurants, beautiful cobbled street and for those looking for something to do in the evening, nightclubs.

Oh, also, you must go to Yogi for the Gyros, the best and most fill meal if you are on a budget. It is a meat / vegetarian based kebab wrap for around 2.80€. It is partially due to the Tzatziki sauce that kept us going back for more (and the price).

Hike from Imerovigli to Oia (or as far as you can)

Nothing earns a dip in the pool and Gyros more than hiking along the Caldera trail from Imerovigli to Oia. The hike is about 2 hours long, depending if you stop to take in the amazing views (or pictures).

So pack comfy shoes, bring water or cash for the one shop near Imerovigli and start early in the morning or late afternoon. Don't make the mistake of going during the midday sunshine, like we did.

You can also hike to Fira, which is about another hour or two.

Spend a day at the beach club (or two)

While in Santorini, we visited 2 beach clubs, because it's one of the best activities on a girls trip. Just a day spent, eating food, drinking some wine, and partying poolside.

Santorini has predominantly black sand beaches that are mostly located on the south eastern part of the island.

Every saturday on Monolithos black sandy beach, Nikki beach & Resort hosts Rose Saturday, which includes a daybed by the pool or beach, a brunch meal and a bottle of wine, that is normally 85€ for 2 people (42.50€ each), but due to covid we got it for 55€. There is also ladies night on thursday, which offers a similar deal.

On Perivolos beach, there are many beach clubs all along the beachfront. We went to JOJO beach club where the daybeds are free and the area is very spacious. There are a range up daybeds and tables in size which is great for a large groups of people.

Another black sand beach to visit is Kamari, similarly to Perivolos, it has many beach clubs with free day beds along the beachfront. Kamari is right next to the airport, so you'll see some planes fly over the beach very close.

Watch the sunset in OIA

Oia is the best way to view an iconic Santorini sunset, you can either find a spot along the path or book a table in one of the restaurants.

A highly popular spot is the view from the Oia castle, so bear in mind if you go there, it can get quite crowded.

See Santorini from the sea

No trip to the Greek Islands is complete without a boat tour, especially a sunset tour. It was amazing to experience a sunset while sitting on the top deck of a boat.

Our boat tour was a semi private tour for around 16 guests. For around 95€ each, we were provided with transport from out hotel to the boat tour and back, bbq dinner that was made on the boat the opportunity Snorkel among the marine life.

We booked ours here, where there are few options, including private tours.

Drink the local wine

Maybe you already knew, but we learnt that Santorini makes pretty good wine, and how doesn't love a wine tour. At Santo Winery, overlooking the gorgeous views you can try a range of Greek wines.

Ways to get around:

Santorini is a small island, you can drive the entirety of the island in less than an hour. The crescent shape allows you to see one end of the island while standing at another. So there are a few options for traveling around the island.

Taking taxis can become costly, especially since it’s more of a flat rate ranging 10€-35€ one way, whereas renting an ATV can range from 35€ - 50€ per day, saving you so much more in comparison to taking a Taxi. If you do not have a driver's license, you could take the bus which is about 2.80€ one way.


The bus is the cheapest travel option at around €2.80 one way.

Depending on where you are going, you may have to change buses. For example, from Imerovigli to Oia, we had to change buses at Fira.

We were advised that due to covid, the bus timetables were not always accurate.


Looking back at our expenses, we easily spent over €250 on Taxis, even though we intended to take the bus or walk. But on our first day, after attempting the first 5 minutes of the 20 minute walk from Imerovigli to Fira, the heat made us turn around and book a Taxi.

Example Costs (one way):

  • Imerovigli to the airport = 25

  • Imerovigli to Oia = 25

  • Imerovigli to Fira = 10

  • Imerovigli to Pyros = 20

  • Imerovigli to Kamari = 30

  • Imerovigli to Perissa = 30

Also note, most of the time we waited around 15 minutes for the Taxi. So I would suggest booking it a bit before you intend to go.


Even though I was nervous driving around the island as it is mainly cliff side and fast paced, after getting the hang of it, it was the best way to see the island.

Just keep calm and don't worry about how fast the cars are going, they’ll most likely pass you because the ATV doesn’t go that fast.

I would recommend booking in advance as we went to about 3 or 4 shops before we could get an ATV for the same day. You can also book online, and potentially get a discount the more days you rent it.

If you’re like me, the months of the lockdown has had you watching the low priced flights OFTEN. Even with a new appreciation for my home and exploring where I live, nothing excites me more than waking up in a new environment with new things to see. So, if you are looking to travel at this time, make sure to do the proper research before booking and travelling, the pandemic is not over.

Spending 7 days in Santorini was a great amount of time, we got to explore most of the island while having time to lay by the pool or party at a beach club. There is so much to see and I am already thinking about what I would do or see next time.

If you are thinking to travel to Greece, and want to get the most out of it, I would suggest going for two weeks and explore other islands. If you want to stay in one island like Santorini, 7 - 10 days will be more than enough.

Have you been to Santorini? let me know what you did.

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