At the beginning of this year, in the very first days of January, I ventured to visit Greece in winter, and among others, I was in Santorini. The truth is that I loved it a lot, and I wanted much more of this island, so I decided to return in the spring to see what it was like and I must say that I fell even more in love with the landscapes and postcard views that offers this country. We travel to Santorini from Athens, where we arrived the night before, and we enjoyed 4 wonderful days before visiting the capital of Greece.
Spring is probably one of the best times to visit Greece, and more specifically Santorini. They told us that it was the best time because the weather is good, a good part of the places are already open and the madness has not yet started. It is not the time if you want to swim on the beach or in one of the pools offered by hotels unless they are heated. to Santorini from athens
Going to Santorini from Athens
We flew to Santorini from Athens with SkyExpress, a local airline that I liked a lot. It is not very expensive and the service is very good. During the low season, you also find flights with Olympics, and in high you will probably find flights directly from main European capitals. But I have to say that is good to go through Athens because it is worth a stopover.
I found that SkyExpress offers more services for the basic rate, and you don’t have to add a lot of fees for a comfortable flight. Attention to the weight of your luggage if you are flying from Athens to Santorini, the basic rate allows 15 Kgs (international flights normally 23Kgs).
It is possible to take a boat to Santorini from Athens, but it is a little longer than a flight, if you don’t have a lot of time I don’t recommend it.
How to move inside Santorini?
There are several possibilities to move from the airport to the different hotels. Many offer a transfer that can cost between €40 and €60 (private or semi-private). There are also Shuttles that take you to the center of Fira, or Oïa for €10/person. You will also find the classic taxis, which I could not say what price they offer because I have never taken them.
And the other option, which is the one we opted for, is to rent a car. At this time it pays off and it is not so difficult to find a place to park. I would not recommend it for the entire stay in summer because I think it must be very complicated with the island full and due to the narrowness of the tracks. In Fira people have a tendency to double park ‘momentarily’ to go buy bread or things like that, and this makes it difficult to cross the town.
On the other hand, having a car gives you the freedom to browse anywhere and not limit yourself to tourist stops. But I remember once again that most of the places are small and there is not much place to park.
Most of the hotels cannot be reached directly by car, generally, you have to notify them and they will give you a meeting point where they will send luggage carriers, who will gently take them through the narrow stairs of Santorini. Some hotels include this service and others charge an additional fee for each suitcase. to Santorini from athens
Our accommodations in Santorini
On this trip, we chose two hotels in Fira. When I went in January, I realized that it was where there was more life when traveling in the low season. However, now that I went at the end of March, we saw that a large part of the Oïa premises was open and it already had much more life. Imerovigli for its part was still the same in lethargy and looking like a ghost town.
In terms of prices, Oïa will be more expensive than Fira and Imerovigli. But it is the place that offers the most beautiful views of the island. Virtually all postcards of Santorini come from there. There are a lot of hotels and an excellent level of quality. When you are close to the opening of the tourist season, prices can increase quite a bit.
I must say that I was very satisfied with the two places we chose to stay, both had their advantages.
First place was Dana Villas & Infinity Suites, a 4-star hotel with a variety of rooms that are essentially known for their private infinity pools with spectacular views of the Santorini caldera. The decoration is the classic Greek decoration that we see in postcards and magazines, immaculate white rooms with pale blue windows, offering spectacular views even from inside the room. All the accommodations, even the smallest ones, have a terrace with a bed and a table and chairs.
I must say that we spent a large part of our stay on the terrace, taking advantage of the sun, the views, and the magnificent sunset. The terraces are not necessarily intimate, someone will always have an eye on you, it is not that you can sunbathe as God brought you into the world, but it is very good, especially at this time when there are not many people.
We then changed to another hotel, called Anteliz Suites, a 4-star closer to the center of Fira but suitably located on the edge of the cliff, and with a fabulous view from end to end of Santorini and the caldera. The rooms are very good, they are very spacious, decorated with refinement in light tones.
What to do in Santorini? The spots we visited
Surely I will write a slightly more detailed article of this section, which summarizes my recommendations as a result of these last two trips I have made. For now I’ll tell you what we did on this spring trip:
Visiting Fira and Firostefani
Fira is the capital of Santorini, and Firostefani another town that practically merges with Fira, and for this reason, it is difficult to know where one begins and the other ends.
In the center of Fira and it is where there is more movement, there are lots of places to eat, and several shops. You will also find travel agencies, car/motorbike rentals, quads… in short, everything you need.
The ideal is to walk between Firostefani and the center of Fira along the paths that pass along the edge of the cliff. The views are incredible. We walked so much along that road that is on the edge of one that passes more centrally between the different hotels and houses. Both ways have wonderful views. We did it both at night and during the day, although at night the sea will be seen as a dark immensity, the lighting of the town and the hotels produces a unique and beautiful environment. It was great to walk on cool nights through the different paths and enjoy the beautiful architecture of Santorini ideally lit to highlight it.
Pyrgos is a small town in the center of Santorini, it is not very well known but it offers beautiful views and beautiful little streets where we discover small souvenirs and artisan shops.
We climb to the highest point to the ruins of the Kasteli fortress, from where you have an excellent view of the entire island thanks to its central position and the highest point in all of Santorini.
We ate in a nice restaurant on the main street in the lower part, in the restaurant Kantouni.
A wine tasting with an exceptional view
There are several places where you can do wine tastings, but there is one that was recommended to us and that we found super special. The view is one of the most impressive we saw in all of Santorini. The place is called Venetsanos and you pay for the type of tasting (depending on the number of wines you try).
We only took the tasting with 6 wines because we had just eaten, but you can also have a tasting that includes a menu that is handcuffed with each of the wines that are tasted.
Visiting a postcard of Santorini : Oia
If you stay in Fira like us, going to Oïa is a must. This town is at the northern tip of the island, and it is the place that has almost all the postcard views of Santorini in Greece.
One possibility is to go at the end of the day to enjoy its famous sunsets, but Oïa is beautiful at any time. What I do recommend is to go on the best day that the weather can offer to enjoy its beautiful architecture even more.
Oïa is full of shops and restaurants, and in spring I found almost all of them open. We saw a lot of people and it was very lively, but you could still walk freely and enjoy some lonely and photogenic corners, usually closed to the public but still open because the workers are working on the different renovation works. to Santorini from athens
to Santorini from athens