SANTORINI

You’re blue-tiful.

WATCH FULL VIDEO! 9 Quintessential Must-Do’s In Santorini

Before it was originally known as Santorini, the island was called Kallístē, meaning “the most beautiful one.”

Greece is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during daylight savings time/the summer.

Greece permits stays of up to 90 days without a visa for tourism or business purposes. Ensure that you have sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. Your passport should have 6 months of remaining validity.

The Santorini (Thira) International Airport is a small airport located to the north of the village of Kamari. It offers domestic flights and some longer international flights within Europe. The Santorini airport offers transportation to and from the air terminal via buses, taxis, hotel car pick-ups, and hired cars.

The best way to travel in Santorini is by foot or by bus. KETL bus routes connect Fira (the capital city) to other locations across the Greek island. Car and moped rentals are also available on the island, though you will have to apply for an international driver’s license here. Taxis are also available in more populated areas on the island, and can be expected to cost between 10 to 20 euros.

Santorini is a very safe place to visit with low crime rates and very hospitals locals. Busy, narrow streets can pose a danger to motorists and passersby, so be sure to have decent road sense when visiting. Use your best judgement when exploring, but rest assured that Santorini is a safe destination to visit.

Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world with an average of 300 sunny days a year. Warm weather lingers throughout the first half of fall (September-November), making it is one of the best times to travel to Greece on a budget to avoid peak travel season while still enjoying the sunny beaches and coastlines. Winter in Greece (November-March) is mostly mild in the south, though northern regions are cold during the winter months, even receiving snow in some areas.

The spring (March-May) is warm with more frequent rainfall early in the season. Prices are typically low for spring travelers, and beaches are far less crowded, though the ocean stays chilly until early summer.  The summer (June-August) is hot and dry, featuring the highest temperatures, best travel schedules, and biggest crowds. June is the best time to catch great deals on a cheaper vacation while still enjoying the warmth and excitement of summer in Greece.

The official language of Greece is Greek, which is spoken by 99% of the population along with other languages like Albanian, Macedonian, and Turkish. The most common foreign languages learned by Greeks are English, German, French, and Italian. Although most popular destinations in Greece are catered to international tourists with language barriers, here are some Greek words/phrases to help you get by:

Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

Please/You’re welcome: Παρακαλώ (para-kah-LOE)

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ri-STOE)

My name is… : Με λένε (may LEH-neh)…

Yes: Ναί (neh); No: όχι (OH-hee)

Excuse me/Sorry: Συγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee)

Do you speak English?: Μιλάτε αγγλικά (Mee-LAH-teh ag-li-KAH)?

Greeks are known to be warm and hospitable, and most etiquette is common sense. Here are a few important tips before your trip:

  1. Shake Hands. When meeting an individual or group for the first time, shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands again when leaving.
  2. Be conscious of gestures. The “O.K.” sign is a rude gesture; “thumbs up” means O.K. Tilt the head backward once to indicate “no,” and nod the head slightly forward to gesture “yes.” It is best to verbally agree or disagree to avoid confusion.
  3. Dress appropriately. Some churches- especially monasteries, require covered shoulders, so be sure to bring a shawl or scarf when visiting religious sites.

Greece is part of the European Union and uses the Euro (€). You can use your credit and debit cards in all ATM machines in Greece, but be sure to keep cash on you, especially when traveling to remote islands.

Feel free to tip if you like the service. Though tipping isn’t a widely practiced norm as it is in North America, rewarding good service will be appreciated, but tips aren’t required.

In Greece, the power plugs and sockets are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. You cannot use your electronics in Greece without a voltage converter because the voltage is higher than the US standard of 120 V. Your converter should look like this:

Opt for bottled water when visiting Santorini, as the island has no source of natural drinking water. You can safely use the tap water to shower and brush your teeth, however.

Santorini offers many free public hotspots, and the entire country of Greece has a higher average connection speed than other European nations like Italy and Albania, but it lacks in comparison to destinations like France and Sweden. Wifi is available in even the smallest hotels in Santorini, as well as in cafes and restaurants. Lack of stable wifi isn’t a problem for most travelers in big cities and small islands throughout Greece.

Though Santorini is certainly a gay-friendly destination, it currently has no gay venues on the island. Greece is considered one of the most liberal countries in Southeast Europe, and its LGBTQ+ rights have evolved significantly over the past decade. Same-sex unions were legalized in 2015, and Greek public opinion is widely accepting and inclusive. Many establishments on Greek islands cater to the LGBTQ+ community, and anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQ+ travelers.

Santorini is a great place for eco-tourism with many eco-residences and nature tours. Hike to the main town of Fira or check out its neighboring volcanic island of Thirasia as well as countless other geological curiosities.

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HOTEL WE LOVE:

Try not to stay in Oia, especially if you don't like to be surrounded by tourists.

FOR THE PLANNERS

Make sure to visit a winery, we highly recommend Gaia Wines for a taste of natural wines by the black sand beach.