The Cyclades refers to most of the Greek islands, the ones that we associate with having the white houses and warm weather. Most of the Greek islands in the Mediterranean are part of the Cyclades. Although there are over 220 islands in the Cyclades, 29 of them are considered “main islands”. We were able to visit 5 (inhabited) islands, and saw a few more from the ferry, like Ios:


Mykonos and Delos

Mykonos is known for three things – Clubbing, beaches, and white houses. So, while it is picturesque, there is not a whole lot to see. The one site that made going to Mykonos worthwhile for us was Delos, which can only be accessed by a 45-min ferry departing from Mykonos.

General Tips

[expand title = “Accommodations”]

There are plenty of hotels in Mykonos, but it is a popular tourist town, so hotels are very pricey. Hotel availability isn’t as bad as Athens or Santorini, but you probably want to book it perhaps a month in advance. Many hotels say that they’ll give guests a better rate if you book directly with them, but I don’t know whether that’s a good idea, since we tried doing just that, and couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Also, due to a mixup, we did end up booking with them directly (once we got there, we found out that our reservation was cancelled), and we were charged the regular amount anyway. 

[/expand]

[expand title = “Transportation”]

It is only 35 minutes flight from Athens. A taxi to the old town, where most of the hotels are, is about 10 Euros (it’s also only 10 minutes away).

The ferry takes about 4.5 hours. Note that the ferry terminal is rather far away from the main town, but a taxi between the main town and the ferry terminal is around 15-20 Euros. There’s also a bus between the ferry terminal and the main town. 

[/expand]

[expand title = “Food”]

Like hotels, food was expensive. In fact, it was the most expensive without much options for cheap eats. What was worse (opinion alert!), the food was horribly prepared, across the few restaurants we went to: omelets were flat out raw (not runny) to the point that we felt nauseous for hours, and all meats were deep fried without much seasoning. This was also the only place in Greece where restaurants charged for slices of bread per person from a single serving (one loaf). We didn’t find this out until we got the bill.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Health and Safety”]

If you have a weak stomach or are very particular about food, I’d recommend going to a sandwich shop (I recommend “Everest”). Climate wise, Mykonos is quite warm, but the breeze from the water is strong such that it feels cold in the mornings, evenings, and when the skies are overcast. It’s also not uncommon to feel cold on the ferries even on hot days. Bring a light jacket to keep yourself warm.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Cash”]

Most places take credit cards, but keep some cash on you.

[/expand]

Sites

1. Mykonos sites (Little Venice, Windmills, Paraportiani Church, main square)

Paraportiani Church    PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-58

Why it’s worth it: Though there’s not a whole lot to see in Mykonos, I’d recommend still going because it’s a great opportunity for photographing the white houses and the meandering alleyways to go between shops (pictured above), restaurants, and hotels. 

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Transportation:

Once you’re in the main town area, you can walk to pretty much all of the sites. It takes no more than 45 minutes to see all of the sites, even accounting for the time that it takes for photography, and there’s not a whole lot to say about them.

  • Tickets:

We walked around, so there were no admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

Because there’s not a whole lot to see in Mykonos, I’d recommend making Mykonos a day trip. This is doable if you arrive very early in the morning from Athens like we did (we took a 6AM flight) or if you skip Delos. If you absolutely want to see Delos and you can’t make it into Mykonos that early in the morning, you should spend no more than one night there, unless you’re interested in nightlife. There are beaches there, but there are beaches on every island in the Cyclades, and most of these islands are much cheaper than Mykonos.

  • Photography:

The buildings in Mykonos are the recognizable white buildings, with the church domes being painted various colors, including (but not limited to blue). To get the bright white colors to pop against the sky and the blue waters, it’s best to take pictures between 11 and 2 (in the summer), as counterintuitive as that sounds.

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-60

The evening can yield some good pictures, but be cautious of how windy it gets along the water near the main square. It’s not uncommon for people’s stuff, including photography equipment, to get blown away into the water.

[/expand]

2. Delos

Island (and archaeological site) of Delos   PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-33

Why it’s worth it: Delos, in Greek mythology, was known for being Apollo and Artemis’s birthplace. In ancient Greece, it was the home to the wealthy, notably (stage) actors. In any case, if you’re into archaeology and seeing ruins of the ancient, wealthy mostly thespians, this is the place for you. It’s different from the archaeological sites in mainland Greece because this island is now completely uninhabited, and styles of the homes and city structure are fairly different.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Transportation:

The only way to get to Delos is to take a 45-minute ferry from Mykonos’s old port (in the main square). There are 3 or 4 ferries that return from Delos to Mykonos per day. Be mindful of departing ferry times because that’s the only way off of the island.  

  • Tickets:

Once you reach the island, there is an admissions booth where you can purchase your tickets(cash or credit card). There is an option to go with a guide (not sure if it’s extra, but I assume it is). Also, when you buy your tickets, get a map and a backup map, and don’t lose it because it has all the points of interest and will keep you from getting lost.

  • Site Information:

The map that you get from the admissions booth has 3 tracks and the points of interest that each track covers. The shortest track takes approximately 2 hours while the second, a more thorough track – takes about 3 – 4 hours, and the most thorough (and the most physically challenging) of the tracks takes 5 hours. Depending on how ambitious you are, how much time you have, and how easily hungry/thirsty you get (see below), pick the track that you feel will be the most suitable for you. Also, note that the guided tour only does track one.

Stick to the paths marked on the maps! You don’t want to go off-trail, since it’s dangerous due to the decrepit ruins and the terrain, and there are snakes and other creatures that you don’t want to have to encounter on an uninhabited island that has a limited number of ferries that can take you to get proper medical attention.

Delos island’s ruins encompass Doric temples, markets, an amphitheater, houses with mosaics and the iconic Terrace of the Lions statues (pictured below).

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-35

  • Health Advisory:

There are lots of bees on Delos. While they’re pretty harmless, they can be bothersome, so don’t try waving them off lest they sting you. If you are allergic to bees, and still want to go to Delos, BRING YOUR EPIPEN!

Carry plenty of water – it’s quite a challenging terrain and can be exhausting. It’s also very hot, even with the breeze.  On a similar note, bring some light snacks, since there are no restaurants, cafes, kiosks, etc on the island. There’s only one gift shop, and what you can get there is very limiting. 

  • Photography:

To get views of all of Delos, there is a temple at the top of a mountain along one of the paths. (This temple isn’t a building, but rather an area denoted by stacked stones). Climbing to the top of the mountain is arduous (and requires good shoes, preferably hiking shoes, since it’s slippery even in good weather), but it’s worth it to get a good view of the island and beyond.

[/expand]

Naxos

We originally didn’t plan to Naxos, but due to a happy accident with our hotel booking in Mykonos, we made the impromptu trip to Naxos. This was the best thing that could have happened, because not only was Naxos much cheaper, it was much more of an enjoyable destination than Mykonos (at least to us). There’s not too much going on in Naxos (not that there was in Mykonos either unless you go clubbing), but it was quite tranquil and a much different pace from the crowds in Mykonos (and later, Santorini).

General Tips

[expand title = “Accommodations”]

Naxos has some wonderful places to stay at very reasonable prices, especially when compared to Mykonos. We stayed at the Galaxy Hotel, which was located in front of the beach and was about a 7 minute walk to the town. I highly recommend the Galaxy hotel, as the rooms were very nice and the hotel ambience was relaxing. The staff there was also very kind and helpful in allowing us to maximize our sightseeing opportunities on the island.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Transportation”]

You can take a ferry from Mykonos (45 minutes), Paros, or  Santorini. It is less than an hour away from Mykonos and Paros and about three hours from Santorini.

If you want to see the the island outside of Chora, the main town, you will either need to rent a vehicle (car or ATV) or rent a private taxi. Because this was an impromptu trip, there weren’t any automatic cars available, and because there are 3 of us, we decided to use a private taxi instead of renting 2 ATVs (2 people max per ATV). This was the best option for us in hindsight for a couple of reasons. It ended up being cheaper for us ($25 per hour, for 4 hours), and we would have gotten horribly lost if we were driving ourselves. You could probably negotiate the taxi down a little further, but expect about $25 per hour.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Health and Safety”]

Carry water in a thermos like container to keep it cool for when it gets very hot.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Cash”]

Most places are cash only.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Other information”]

Like accommodations, food is very, very inexpensive, and you get a good deal of variety, from meats, to pescatarian cuisine, and even vegetarian and vegan meals.

Naxos is known for its marble and olive oil, and natives are very proud of it. If you decide to go around the island, you can see the mountain from where the marble is collected (in blocks), as well as the factory where the marble is processed.

Naxos Marble   Naxos Marble Processing

[/expand]

Sites:

1. Portara – Temple of Apollo

Portara - Temple of Apollo   Portara - Temple of Apollo

Why it’s worth it: This is a very iconic landmark, and sunsets from here are stunning.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

This is located in Chora (main town). You would have probably seen this from the ferry on your way into Naxos. The best way to get here is to either walk or take a taxi, if you’re staying further away, to the ferry terminal, and then continue walking along the boardwalk, towards it.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The Portara looks like a gate, and you can see the main town from here. As I mentioned above, this is a great spot to view the gorgeous sunset from here.

  • Photography:

Pictures in the evening from here are very nice, but beware that there’s very little lighting, so be careful when you depart and go down the stairs. Also, there’s a lot of other photographers and tourists there, so get there early enough to claim a spot.

[/expand]

2. Old Town Chora (Boardwalk and Castle)

Old Town Chora

Why it’s worth it: It’s pleasant to walk along the boardwalk, and see the town, which isn’t as bustling as the more popular Cyclades islands.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

The best way to get here is to either walk or take a taxi, if you’re staying further away, to the ferry terminal, and then continue walking along the boardwalk, towards it.

  • Tickets:

No admissions for the boardwalk, probably admissions for the castle (I didn’t go to the castle).

  • Site Information and Tips:

N/A, since we didn’t go to the castle.

[/expand]

3. Filoti

Why it’s (maybe) worth it: The village is quaint, and this is an original settlement.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Filoti is in the middle of the island, so the only way to get there is by a vehicle. You can either rent a vehicle (car or ATV), or hire a taxi to take you around the island. The private taxi will cost around $20-$25 (and it takes about 4 hours to go around and see the island).

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

There’s not much to see, but this was an original settlement. There’s not too many people, since they’ve been moving to the city, to a different island, or to the mainland.

[/expand]

4. Chalkio

Why it’s maybe worth it: There wasn’t much to see there, but there are shops with artisan items.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Chalkio, like Filoti, is in the middle of the island, so the only way to get there is by a vehicle.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

You can walk around the town and take pictures, enjoying the breeze and the fresh mountain air.

[/expand]

5. Apeiranthos

Apeiranthos

Why it’s worth it: There aren’t too many people in this town, and how many towns can you say are almost entirely made of marble?? I found it unique, charming, peaceful, and picturesque.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Like Filoti, Apeiranthos is in the middle of the island, so the only way to get there is by a vehicle.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

Apeiranthos is known as the marble town. The streets, stairs, and most of the buildings are made from marble. There’s also a geological museum, but we didn’t go.

[/expand]

6. Flerio Kouros

Kouros

Why it’s not worth it: There’s not much to see there.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Kouros is in the middle of the island, so the only way to get there is by a vehicle.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

There’s a lot of fruit plants (olives, apples, etc.) DO NOT eat those. Juices, snacks, oil, etc. are made from those and sold to people.

[/expand]

7. Mount Zas

Why it’s worth it: We actually saw Mt. Zas (or Mt. Zeus) from a distance, on our way to other sites, so it didn’t really cost us anything in terms of money or time.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

This is located in Chora (main town). You would have probably seen this from the ferry on your way into Naxos. The best way to get here is to either walk or take a taxi, if you’re staying further away, to the ferry terminal, and then continue walking along the boardwalk, towards it.

[/expand]

8. Panagia Drosiani Church

Why it’s not worth it: There’s nothing spectacular about this church except that it’s the oldest church on the island (if I recall correctly).

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

This is located in Chora (main town). You would have probably seen this from the ferry on your way into Naxos. The best way to get here is to either walk or take a taxi, if you’re staying further away, to the ferry terminal, and then continue walking along the boardwalk, towards it.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

[/expand]

Paros and Antiparos

Paros is a much smaller and less traveled-to island than any of the other ones that we went to. It’s much more laid back and quieter, and is a great place to take a break.

General Tips

[expand title = “Accommodations”]

There are plenty of good accommodation in Paros at reasonable prices. We stayed at the Sunset Hotel.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Transportation”]

You can take a ferry from Mykonos (45 minutes) or from Naxos or from Santorini to Paros. Hotels aren’t too far from the main town (about 1km away), so it’s not too bad to walk. Even still, it’s better to use a vehicle to go to the hotel since it might be hard to go to hotels uphill. (Our hotel provided that for free). Renting a vehicle from Paros might also be helpful if you want to go to Antiparos, since there are no taxis in Antiparos, and there are only a handful of manual vehicles on Antiparos.

Getting to Antiparos: There are two ferry terminals in Paros. There is the main one – Paros Ferry Terminal (in Parikia) – where the ferries from Naxos and the other bigger islands stop at, and then there’s Pounda port. Piraeus is the port exclusively for travel between Paros and Antiparos. There are maybe 2 or 3 ferries from Paros Ferry Terminal to Antiparos, but they take 30 minutes and the frequency is low, while from Pounda, there’s a ferry nearly every 30 minutes, and these ferries take about 10-15 minutes. Note that Punda is very far (from the town center, it’s about 10-15 Euros), and once you’re there, there aren’t any taxis. You will basically have to call ahead to arrange one to pick you up, wait for a taxi to drop someone else off, or use your own vehicle. The fare is 1.80 Euros from Pounda and 5 Euros from the main ferry terminal.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Health and Safety”]

Carry water in thermos to keep it cool especially for when it gets very hot.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Cash”]

Almost all the places are cash only.

[/expand]

Sites:

1. Panayia Ekatontapyliani (Church of 100 doors)

Church of 100 Doors

Why it’s (maybe) worth it: The church is ok, but it’s not worth making a special trip to Paros to see it, unless you’re into architecture.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

The Church of 100 doors  is two minutes walk from the Piraeus ferry terminal. Walk to the left. The church is on the right side at the square.

  • Tickets:

Free, though I believe there’s a tour, and that tour isn’t free.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The Church of 100 Doors attracts architecture enthusiasts from all over the world (and it’s the only reason why I wanted to make a stop in Paros). The name though is misleading. The church doesn’t have 100 doors (it’s more like 50).

  • Photography:

You can take pictures inside, but don’t use flash.

Church of 100 Doors (inside)

[/expand]

2. Antiparos Cave

Why it’s not worth it: I outlined how difficult it can be to get to Antiparos, and then how there are no taxis in Antiparos to take you to anywhere on the island. For that reason and because the cave isn’t impressive, I’d skip going to Antiparos.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

See the section “Getting to Antiparos” under the Transportation section under General Tips.

  • Tickets:

Cave is 8 Euros (cash only).

  • Site Information and Tips:

Antiparos is a small island. Make sure if you want to go, you have arranged transportation.

  • Photography:

You can take pictures inside the cave.

[/expand]

Santorini

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-86

General Tips

[expand title = “Accommodations”]

There are plenty of good accommodation in Santorini – in Oia, Firo, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Kamari. Fira is in a central location, Kamari is a good value and is peaceful but it is very far from other sites. Also, Kamari is pretty flat, unlike Fira, Oia, Firostefani, and Imerovigli. Most of the honeymooners stay in Oia and Firostefani/Imerovigli which are very, very expensive (many hotels are 4-5 figures per night and sell out fast).

If you decide to stay in Oia, Firostefani, or Imerovigli, make arrangements ahead of time with your hotel to have someone help you with your bags from the bus stop. Vehicles can’t get to these hotels, since they’re built along the cliffs, and between your heavy bags, finding where the hotel is exactly in the windings alleys, as well as the copious stairs, you will probably become exhausted and perhaps even frustrated.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Transportation”]

To Santorini: You can take a ferry from Mykonos (4.5 hours), Paros, or Naxos.

From ferry terminal to other places: Once you arrive at the port, you will need to take the bus if you didn’t make arrangements ahead of time for a taxi. Don’t feel that it’s necessary to make reservations though. The busses are large coach busses, with room for your suitcases underneath. Almost all of these busses (if not all), go to Fira, where the main bus terminal is, and from there you can change busses to go to anywhere else on the island.

Transportation around the island: The same type of busses that transport tourists from the ferry terminals are the ones that are used for transportation around the island. The bus that goes to Oia (which is the last stop) has stops at Imerovigli and Firostefani from Fira. There are also  busses from Fira to Kamari. However, if you want to explore places on the island other than between Fira and Oia or Fira and Kamari, it’s best to either rent an ATV or car. Note that the roads are narrow and along a cliff, and the drivers, locals and tourists alike, are insanely aggressive and/or horrible drivers (they make New York city cabbies seem like safe, patient, top-notch drivers). Parking is free, though it may be difficult to find parking in some places, especially where convenience is highly coveted. Although parking tickets are rare, be mindful of them, especially in Fira. You could get a taxi instead of renting a vehicle, but once you get dropped off, taxis are scarce, so it will be hard to return, unless you rent a taxi for the day, but be prepared for that to be pricier than renting (think 20-30 Euros per hour for 4-5 hours vs. a rental, which is no more than 70 Euros at most for an automatic car, and no more than 45 Euros for an ATV).

[/expand]

[expand title = “Health and Safety”]

Carry water in a thermos like container to keep it cool especially for when it gets very hot. Even still, budget about 15-20 Euros a day for refreshing beverages. You will also need sunscreen the most here from all the other islands.

Additionally, though most people don’t follow this advice for various reasons, good shoes are highly recommended. There’s a lot of steep stairs and hills on the island (after all, it was formed from a volcano).

[/expand]

[expand title = “Cash”]

Most places take credit cards, but are reluctant to take it, especially for smaller amounts (under 20 Euros). You’ll need cash for the busses though you don’t need exact change.

[/expand]

[expand title = “Other information”]

Santorini is very popular with tourists, with the peak season being from July to August (high season is April to June, and September to October). It’s also very popular with people that get vacation time for Chinese New Years.

The most famous places in Santorini – Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli/Firostefani are built along the island’s calderas (the volcanic cliffs). The hotels and restaurants are built staggered (and sort of on top of one another), so there are lots and lots of stairs.

Another important note is that, like most of the Cyclades islands’ churches, the churches in Santorini are white, but all of them have blue domes.

[/expand]

Sites:

  1. Fira – main town
  2. Oia – Sunset in Oia
  3. Imerovigli/Firostefani
  4. Pyrgos
  5. Perissa Black Beach
  6. Akrotiri Red Beach
  7. Kamari – Boardwalk and Black Beach
  8. Volcano and Hot Springs Tour, and Thirassia

1. Fira

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-87

Why it’s worth it: Fira is the main town in Santorini, and there’s a lot of shops and restaurants there. The main bus terminal is also there, so you might as well walk through a bit of Fira.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

This is the main town in Santorini. It’s located in the middle of the crescent, along the island’s caldera (the volcanic cliffs).  

  • Tickets:

No admissions (for walking around). There are a few sites there that require tickets, but we didn’t go to those.

  • Site Information and Tips:

Fira has a number of sites, but I didn’t visit any of them (like a large orthodox church, cable cars, etc.) They didn’t seem too worthwhile to go, at least to me, but don’t let that stop you, if something sounds interesting.

[/expand]
2. Oia

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-99

Why it’s worth it: Oia has colorful buildings, compared to some other parts of Santorini, which have the recognizable white buildings along the island’s caldera. The main thing that Oia is known for, though, are its sunsets.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Bus: Oia is the last stop on the bus from Fira to Oia. To get to hotels and other places, it’s usually quite a walk, so be prepared for that.

Parking is a problem in Oia. The closest lot to the hotels in Oia gets full fast, especially about an hour or two before sunset, when tourists are rushing in to see the much touted sunsets. Even if you’ve secured a spot at this lot beforehand, or an hour or two after the sunset, when some people have left, be aware that people park just as badly as they drive, so there’s a risk of damage to your rented vehicle.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

There’s a maritime museum, though I don’t imagine too many people go there. Oia, as mentioned, has spectacular sunsets, if you can get some unencumbered views and the sky is just right. Note that it can get very, very crowded about an hour before sunset, so be sure to claim your spot early.

Note that there’s also a lot of donkeys that people ride around there (this isn’t unique to Oia, but there’s a number of them there).

  • Photography:

For sunsets, go towards the windmills if you can, because that’s where you can get some great shots of the sunset.

[/expand]
3. Imerovigli/Firostefani

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-88    PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-97

Why it’s worth it: Imerovigli and Firostefani are great places to walk around and take pictures. While Oia has the reputation for being recognizably “Santorini”, Imerovigli and Firostefani are where you end up seeing the most famous of pictures – the blue domed church and white buildings on the caldera.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

The Red Beach is in Akrotiri. There are busses and tours that go here, but it’s probably easier to take a vehicle. Follow the directions from a map (hopefully from the rental), and also the signs.

There should be plenty of free parking.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The beach is pretty red/pink, but mixed with black and brown. This is from volcanic rocks. The path to the beach is fairly slippery from the loose rocks and gravel, as well as the slight slopes, so be very careful when going on the path.

Like the Black Beach, it’s probably also a good idea to wear water shoes since the beach has large rocks and pebbles. Also like the Black Beach, the water gets pretty deep, so unless you’re a good swimmer, don’t walk in too far into the water.

Take plenty of water and other liquids with you (even if you leave it in the car), because there’s only one kiosk nearby (in the parking lot), and it’s a little pricey.

  • Photography:

To get the bright white colors to pop against the caldera and the blue waters, it’s best to take pictures between 11 and 2 (in the summer), as counterintuitive as that sounds.

[/expand]


4. Pyrgos

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-90    PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-92

Why it’s (maybe) worth it: Pyrgo is one of the oldest towns in Santorini.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Pyrgo is further south of Fira. There are busses that go near here, but it’s easier to take a vehicle. Follow the directions from a map (hopefully from the rental), and also the signs.

There should be plenty of free parking.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The interesting thing about Pyrgo is that there’s a mix of Santorini architecture as well as Venetian architecture.

[/expand]
5. The Black Beach (of Perissa)

PV-WLAT-Greece-2016-93

Why it’s (maybe) worth it: There are many black beaches around the world, and there are actually 2 in Santorini, so it’s not that unique. However, it’s still fairly nice to see Perissa, and the souvenirs are much cheaper than in Fira or Oia.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

The Black Beach is in Perissa. There are busses and tours that go here, but it’s probably easier to take a vehicle. Follow the directions from a map (hopefully from the rental), and also the signs.

There’s a parking lot where you can park, if you followed the signs. The beach is pretty long, so there’s probably many more places to park before the signs for the beach.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The beach has black and gray volcanic rocks. The path to the beach is fairly slippery from the loose rocks and gravel, as well as the slight slopes, so be very careful when going on the path.

It’s probably also a good idea to wear water shoes since the beach has large rocks and pebbles. The water gets pretty deep, so unless you’re a good swimmer, don’t walk in too far into the water.

If you want to sit under one of the straw umbrellas, you have to order something from the restaurants that own them (different restaurants own a set of them).

[/expand]
6. Red Beach of Akritori

Red Beach    Red Beach "Sand"

Why it’s worth it: This is a pretty unique beach – it’s red and full of rocks instead of sand.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

The Red Beach is in Akrotiri. There are busses and tours that go here, but it’s probably easier to take a vehicle. Follow the directions from a map (hopefully from the rental), and also the signs.

There should be plenty of free parking.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The beach is pretty red/pink, but mixed with black and brown. This is from volcanic rocks. The path to the beach is fairly slippery from the loose rocks and gravel, as well as the slight slopes, so be very careful when going on the path.

Like the Black Beach, it’s probably also a good idea to wear water shoes since the beach has large rocks and pebbles. Also like the Black Beach, the water gets pretty deep, so unless you’re a good swimmer, don’t walk in too far into the water.

Take plenty of water and other liquids with you (even if you leave it in the car), because there’s only one kiosk nearby (in the parking lot), and it’s a little pricey.

  • Photography:

It is definitely a beautiful site, so feel free to bring a camera.

[/expand]
7. Kamari

Why it’s worth it: It’s a great place to walk around, and there are lots of restaurants that are cheaper than Fira and Oia. 

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

Kamari is on the other side of the island, and is the nearest locale to the Santorini airport. You can take the bus there, but it’s probably easier to get there by car or ATV.

There should be plenty of free parking.

  • Tickets:

No admissions.

  • Site Information and Tips:

Kamari, like Perissa, has a black beach, as well as a nice long(er) boardwalk. There’s a lot of restaurants that are much more competitively priced compared to Oia and FIra. Because the terrain is not along the island’s caldera, it’s pretty flat, and you see more traditional looking hotels, unlike Fira, Oia, Firostefani, and Imerovigli.

[/expand]
8. Volcano and Hot Springs Tour, and Thirassia

Volcano (where you can hike) from main island in Santorini    Hot Springs in Santorini

Why it’s maybe worth it: This is a tour that includes a hike along a dormant volcano, going to a hot spring, and lunch at Thirassia.

[expand title="Detailed Information"]

  • Location/Transportation:

In order to go to any of those places, you have to sign up for the tour that takes you to all three places. The tours take people on a boat to those places.

  • Tickets:

35 Euros per person for the tour. Volcano tickets are extra.

  • Site Information and Tips:

The volcano hike can be strenuous, particularly if you go all the way to the top. The path is full of gravel and loose rocks, so wear good shoes (hiking shoes if you don’t have stable feet/ankles). A lot of people wore flip flops, and it was extremely problematic.

It’s also very hot, so bring a hat or cap and plenty of water.

The hot springs part of the tour is really just swimming in the bay of a nearby island. The water is green and full of sulfur, so your clothes and towels may discolor yellow. Also, the water around the warm pockets is very cold.

Thirassia only has four restaurants, and they’re located along the water. You take the stairs to the town at the top, but there isn’t much there except shops (and one restaurant). The food is slightly expensive and not that great, but if you’re hungry, you might as well eat something there, because by the time you return, it will be at least 4 in the afternoon. Note that drinks there (including water) is more expensive than the food.  

[/expand]

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *