When you plan to travel to Santorini, the chances are that you are already familiar with the location of the island. This postcard-worthy Greek destination ranks among the most sought-after in the world, especially for its sunsets, wines, and landscapes.
Contrary to what the name inspires, Santorini is not in Italy, is located in the southern Aegean Sea of Greece. Its official name is Thira and it is an entire volcanic island, the site of the largest eruption ever known to man. Moreover, miraculously, it survived this real-life apocalypse, which occurred about 3,600 years ago eradicating the Minoan civilization. Without further ado, here are some of the frequently asked questions you could refer to before traveling to Santorini.
Where Is Santorini Located?
Santorini is in Greece, in the southern Aegean Sea, in the perfect setting between Crete – the largest of the Greek islands – and mainland Greece. Although the name sounds Italian, the island is not in Italy.
How Big Is Santorini?
Santorini is a 90.69 km2 (35.02 sq mi) island, with a population of about 15,550 permanent residents according to a 2011 census.
Is the Volcano Still Active?
Yes, the volcano is active but currently dormant, and its last massive eruption was in 1950. NASA has pertinent information on this topic here. You can also consult this website to see when the volcano erupted in the past.
Will the Volcano Erupt Again?
Most likely yes, but it is constantly monitored and experts don’t see any danger now. Santorini has erupted in 197 BC, 46/47 AD, 726, 1570-1573, 1707-1711, 1866-1870, 1925-1928, 1939-1941, and 1950. Based on the frequencies of these eruptions, it is assumed that the volcano becomes active once every 200 years.
What Does the Name Santorini Mean?
“Santorini” is a contraction of the name Santa Irini given to the old cathedral of Perissa. The Crusaders gave the name in the late XII century. Before being called Santorini, the island was known as Kallisti (the beautiful one), Strogili (the circular), and Dermetzik (small mill, probably because there were many windmills on the island) during the Turkish occupation. Santorini is the colloquial name of the island. The official name is Thēra since the XIX century.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Santorini?
Most tourists prefer to visit Santorini between May and October, when the weather is warm and all the hotels and restaurants on the island are still open. Offseason, although the prices are lower, accommodation is scarce, and most restaurants and shops take a hiatus.
How to Get to Santorini?
Santorini has an airport – the Santorini (Thira) International Airport (IATA: JTR, ICAO: LGSR) – which welcomes flights from all over the world. The airport is well connected to the rest of the island by bus, cab (taxi), and car rentals.
The island can also be reached by ferry. The island has two harbors: Athinios (Ferry Port) and Skala (Old Port). Cruise ships stop at Skala.
Where to Stay in Santorini?
It depends on when you visit. Ideally, if you plan a summer holiday, you should book well in advance, to take advantage of early bird offers. Oia offers luxury and mid-range accommodation. When you consider luxury, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa has fantastic suites and villas offering comfort, privacy, and serenity with majestic sunset views.
How to Get Around in Santorini?
Santorini is an active island, but the terrain is uneven and steep at times. You can rent a car or an ATV to explore, but the island is also a great cycling and hiking destination. There are also public buses and taxi services. Private driving services (limousines) are available too for the traveler who wants to explore Santorini like a VIP.
What Are the Best Things to Do in Santorini?
Santorini is famous for many things and there’s a lot to do on the island. From peaceful sunset-gazing to adrenaline-filled adventures, you cannot get bored. Taste the food, enjoy the wines, and discover the rich history of the place, which is believed to have been part of the legendary Atlantis.
Where Are the Best Spots to See the Sunset on Santorini?
Wherever you are – the spectacle is awe-inspiring everywhere. Granted, the most mesmerizing sunset can be admired of course at Oia, and then at Imerovigli, and Firostefani. Sunset from the sea can be equally majestic.
What Is the Local Currency?
Santorini uses the EURO. Most businesses accept credit cards, but cash is preferred in small tavernas and markets. There are also many ATMs to get cash when you need it.
Is Santorini a Good Shopping Destination?
Because it is a playground for the rich and famous, Santorini has many luxury shops. However, you can also find authentic art and souvenirs.
Do I Need a Voltage Converter in Santorini?
In Santorini, the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You will need a voltage converter if you come from a country that has different standards. Most luxury hotels have converters available but do bring your own to be on the safe side.
Besides these generic questions, here are some other things you should know when you visit Santorini:
- Only drink bottled water when you are on the island. Tap water is not potable.
- Santorini has scorching summers, but the colder season has tolerable temperatures too. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) and January is the coldest with an average of 12°C (54°F)
- Santorini is Greek Orthodox and has more than 250 churches. The island is famous for its white-washed temples with blue domes.
- The official language of the island is Greek, but many people speak English.
- Santorini is favored by people who seek romance. It is not a destination for night owls – although Fira does have a fair share of clubs where you can party till dawn.
- Santorini is excellent for beach lovers, but it also offers beautiful countryside with rugged terrain.
If you have other questions before you travel to Santorini, use the comments box to ask us.