Santorini, Greek Islands
If you have been wondering where in the world those islands are with the Blue and White
domes overlooking the deep blue oceans, then look no further than the Greek Island of
Santorini nestled in the Aegean Sea.
The Greek Islands are without a doubt one of the most unique areas in the world to visit.
The weather is fabulous, the strenuous activities are minimal and the view is spectacular.
The Capital city (Thira or Fira) is a sun-lovers dream!
Born from one of the largest volcanic eruptions of all time, the island is famous for
its beautiful sunsets, hypnotising views over the ocean and of course its recognisable
blue and white domes and buildings on the hill above the Aegean Sea.
In this review:
* Things to do with the children
* How to get there
* When to visit
* Where to stay
* Some beautiful pictures of Santorini
Where exactly is Santorini?
Located about 120miles (200km) southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini is in the
southern part of Aegean Sea.
The coordinates are 36°25′N 25°26′E, or click on the map to the Right to zoom in
to the Town using Google Maps.
Things you can do in Santorini with the kids includes:
Walk down the Hills of Thira
The walk down from the Centre of Thira to the bottom of the Cliffs can be a casual one. In some places, the path is a little rocky and uneven and in others smooth and easy. Not a difficult walk, but remember your comfortable walking shoes.
Say hi to the donkeys on the way down, some like to take a ride down the path on a donkey (which will cost you about 5 Euro's), however, if you are concerned about the welfare of the donkeys: many people are, perhaps you should walk down. The walk is a nice one anyway.
Keep in mind that the “donkey drivers” may tell you a tale or two about how long it will take to walk down the path;
in truth it will take you about 20 minutes, they may exaggerate this time. The entrance of the walkway is found
nearby the “Volcano Blue Seafood Restaurant”.
Take the cable car up to Thira Centre
Once you have walked down the hill of Thira’s cliffs, it is time to head back up, as there is not really much
to do at the bottom, except to possibly hire a boat around the Island. There is a boat hire place at the
“old port” if you are interested. Instead of walking back up the hill, you can return by cable car - this
will cost you a few Euro’s and will give you a beautiful view as you travel up the hills of Santorini.
This is definitely a must-do activity.. you certainly won’t regret it.
Hire a car (or take a bus) and drive to Oia
Oia is another town only a few miles from Thira, located on the Northern tip of the Island of Santorini.
It is another stunning part of Santorini that offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.
It is quieter than Thira, and offers a great view of Santorini and some other iconic churches and
dome-themed landmarks. There are a few hire car places in the Centre of Thira.
Alternatively, click here for some hire car company options.
Before you take the car, check the children’s car seats. Some hire car companies
may not typically meet the European grade safety standards. If this is critical for
you, make this decision when you view the car seats that are available before you
accept the hire car.
Hire a car or take a bus and visit the Black Beach in Kamari
Kamari is south of Santorini's Aiport about 15 minutes on average away
from Thira by car. There are plenty of places to park just behind the shopfronts at
Kamari's beach. You will find some beautiful restaurants, convenience stores and loads
of retail stores. Re recommend you pack the car and spend 1 day here. It is literally
only 10-20 minutes drive back to Thira.
The beach is, as it is described, a black beach; which black colored sand and rocks
for as far as you can see reaching the water's edge.
Shopping for local items and souvenirs
No matter where you stay in Santorini, you will come across many local stores that sell items (many which are locally crafted). You will have plenty of opportunities to buy beachwear (particularly white linen or cloth sunwear), hats, pictures and paintings of Santorini and Greek Island, plenty of ceramics, crocheted and crafted tablecloths, napkins and pillow cases. There are a few art galleries and small goods stores there also, offering artwork, delicate pieces and loads of jewellery designs.
Our personal Note on Santorini...
The Island of Santorini really calls for you to relax, dine and dine again (many many times), take morning walks around the town and just absorb the relaxing nature that is Santorini. It really is a beautiful destination with stunning views. Some of the restaurants are simply divine. If you can manage it, eat out as much as possible. Oh, and do not forget your hat!!
In the hotter summer months, be aware that if you travel right in the middle of Summer (July-August), there may be several shops and establishments closed, as many close during these two months.
Also, if you prefer a quiet side to Santorini, you may wish to research which Cruise Ships may be in town.
Click here for the ships that travel to Santorini - just research the dates and ensure not to visit during Cruising
Season. If you, however, want to get there by Cruise Ship here are the cruise ship options.
There are many cruise liners that visit the Island and is a fantastic way to see this part of the world.
Other hints making your visit a safe one include:
* Always bring a secure day-bag with you and always keep it with you
* Be wary of people who may stop you just in the streets. Do not be distracted and keep guard of your belongings
* Always know where your passport and documentation is
* If you are not content with leaving your belongings in the Room Safe, speak with the hotel reception about possibly using their safe, or just keep your belongings with you.
Local Santorini bits and pieces:
Santorini’s currency is the Euro.
For your own conversion (from your own currency) use our basic currency converter here.
At the moment, for instance, for a tip or inexpensive souvenir,
consider $3-$4 (US) to be the equivalent of 2.70 - 3.60 Euro’s.
$10 US will equal 8 Euro's .90.
Santorini, like Greece experiences typical Mediterranean weather. The coldest period of the year is between Dec-Feb
(their Winter) which will experience average temperatures of 54°F (12°C) . Summer (July-August) can see temperatures of 79°F (26°C).
Santorini is at UTC+2 hours.
To convert this relevant to your home country,
How to get there?
Click here for some options on how to get to Santorini.
From Athens, the flight time is about 30 minutes.
Search for flights here
Search for a Cruise here
Where to stay?
There are so many options for where to stay in Santorini, ranging from affordable but still lovely and comfortable accommodations, to truly stunning boutique and luxury hotels overlooking the Sea. Don't expect to find a Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton here!
We have a couple of recommendations for accommodation. 1 for affordable accommodation and a couple for more luxury accommodations. Click here to look through these options.
There are many eateries in Santorini. In almost every street you walk down, you will find a casual cafe or an elegant restaurant, most offering beautiful views across the water. The food is not so expensive and the options for the children are broad.
Always spend a couple of minutes perusing the Menu board in front the Restaurant. Become familiar with what
the cafe's and restaurants have on offer and make quick decisions about dining with the family. Otherwise, you will spend most of your time arguing about what to have next to eat.... Try to mix up your dining experiences
amongst various restaurants, as this will give you a great appreciation for the local cuisine. However, there is also
nothing wrong with staying with a restaurant that just suits everybody. Sometimes dining with the family on
holidays can be the most challenging element of traveling.
As soon as you arrive in your hotel, ask reception staff to direct you to the Supermarket. Knowing where this is will save you loads of money, and loads of time and frustration. Particularly if the children are happy with a snack, drink or ice-block. This will be your god-send.