When people think of Santorini, they think of Oia. The white-washed buildings, the sky-blue roofs, the beautiful ocean view – that’s all Oia. I fell in love with this little northern village when I visited, and when I go back to Santorini this is number one on my list for sure! Oia is small and expensive, so I wouldn’t choose to stay here if you’re on a budget, but fear not, the island has a ton of inexpensive public buses running there all day. It doesn’t have a real beach, but the world-famous sunset is die for – as I’m sure you already know. :)
2. Thera Village
Otherwise known as Fira, Thera is known as the capital of the island. I always recommend staying here whenever someone asks, as the town is centrally located to everything and it has great views. It’s not the cheapest area of the island, but Fira has great hostels and a wide range of restaurants. It doesn’t have a beach, but again, the public buses are a great resource and the drives are very short.
I looooved visiting Perissa when I was in Santorini simply because of the black sand. How cool does that sound?! The sand made the ocean look incredibly blue so it also made for some awesome pictures. I took the bus from Fira and was there in around 20 minutes. There’s no scenic views on this side of the island, but it is one of the cheapest parts of the island – if you can find availability, that is.
4. Red Beach
I didn’t personally go to Red Beach but I really wish I had! I mean, look at those pictures. Red Beach is about 20 minutes from Fira, but I wouldn’t recommend staying there because hostels and restaurants are much more limited than anywhere else in Santorini. Red Beach would be great for a day outing.
5. Palea Kameni
This is the famous Santorini volcano that created the Greek caldera! The entire island provides tours to the volcano, with some of the best prices found in Fira. The volcano also has hot springs that almost all the tours stop at, but a lot of people choose to skip out on the springs because of the color of the water (it might be the only gross-looking water in all of Santorini?). If anything, go for the active volcano - it's beautiful.
Other things to know about Santorini:
- High season starts in April and ends in November.
- There are only direct flights from within Europe. The best way to get there is the ferry from Athens.
- Credit cards are widely accepted but be sure to carry cash for the bus and certain grocery stores.
- Try the sea food! When I was in Oia I literally saw someone go into the ocean, come out with an octopus and sell it to the restaurant next door. Talk about fresh.