There is a saying that being in Santorini is like “Living on the Edge”. When you see the island’s topography, you will understand why it is like living on the edge. The whole island is a cliff’s edge and in order to get to the main towns, you will have to get from the bottom (the sea) to the top. It truly is a remarkable island to visit especially if you like living on the edge!
The island of Santorini located in the Cyclades is on everyone’s ‘Must See List’ for so many reasons! I believe that we all want to be part of Santorini, we envision ourselves in the photos that capture our imaginations. We want to walk along the cliffside village of Oia and watch the sunsets. We can taste the fresh seafood and creamy tzatziki sauce from a local taverna. We can feel the heat of the sun as we daydream of laying on one of the beaches with a drink by our side. Santorini is seductive and serene, the reason why it is on everyone’s ‘Must See List’.
When we visited Santorini, it was for a few days which I considered a taste test. To visit a few of Santorini’s sights and to nosh on the island’s delicious food, knowing that I will return one day. We stayed in Fira (Thira) which is the main town of Santorini.
It is a lively tourist town which was great but next time I plan on staying in Oia!
I suggest that you spend a few days on the island if you can. There are many day trippers who come in from cruise ships which is fine, if that is your jam. I recommend the Santorini stay because there is so much to do- the beaches, the food, the volcano, Oia and much more!
The Old Port in Fira is a small harbor where you will more than likely pass through on your visit to Santorini. If you are on a cruise ship, this is the port where you will be brought into by small boats. If you are taking a day trip to the volcano for example, you will leave from the Old Port.
Getting to and from the Old Port to the town of Fira there are a few ways- take your pick.
- Walking up and down almost 600 steps (20 minutes)
- Cable car
We chose the Cable Car!
The Cable Car is the quickest way to get up and down the cliffs, plus you can take luggage if you wish for an additional fee. Please Note that although this is the quickest and most convenient way, the lines may be very long especially during the summer.
We took the cable car early in the day, an hour or so before our volcano tour. Then we kept busy in the Old Port for awhile. When we returned to the town of Fira, the lines to take the cable car down were enormous. I can see why some people walk down the 588 steps!
If you are okay with riding a donkey up and down the cliff to Fira/ Old Port there are many waiting to carry you. The zig zag path is one you will be sharing with those who are walking the 588 steps. This may be a good option if you are fit as the cable car line can get long and may halt during windy days.
One of Santorini’s major attraction is the volcano and hot springs. There are guided tours that you can book on line or in town that will take you to both. I booked the tour from an agency while in Fira and got a better deal than online. The excursion to the volcano made for a fun and active day trip from Santorini.
The trek to and from the crater will take about an hour depending on how fast you walk. It is not a paved road and has uneven surfaces, so make sure you wear sturdy shoes. Although I wore sandals (see picture), I was okay because my shoes had rubber soles. Make sure to bring water because it is a full trek in the sun and remember to wear light clothing.
If you are not able to do trek the volcano, do not let that stop you from taking the tour. There were several people who chose not to walk to the crater or swim in the hot springs. The boat trip alone is a great excursion from Santorini.
One of the many reasons visitors come to Santorini is to go to Oia. The stone white houses overlooking the blue sea to the magnificent sunsets that draw crowds from all over the island- her magic is real!
👩🏻💻 For more information and my thoughts of Oia, please visit my blog post → Oia, Greece – Those Magical Sunsets
Food in Greece
The cuisine in Greece is undeniably delicious and different from what is served outside the country. The fresh ingredients including same-day catch seafood on the islands creates beautiful dishes when paired with local produce and Greek seasonings.
👩🏻💻 For more information on Greek Food, please read my blog post→ What I ate in GREECE – A Food Journal
Getting to Santorini By Ferry
Considering Santorini is an island, there is only two ways to get to there : By flight or by boat. If you take the ferry into Santorini you will more than likely dock at the New Port. There are taxis and shuttles that will take you up the winding road to Fira (Thira).
We arrived to Santorini by a high speed ferry from Mykonos which took about three hours and it was a nice ride. If you are taking the ferry, more than likely you will land in the New Port of Santorini. Similar to Old Port, it is at the base of a cliff but there is a driving road unlike the old port. There are taxis and shuttles that will take you to the town you need to go. I booked a service online before we arrived that waited for us and drove us to our hotel. It was much easier than hailing a cab.
However you get into Santorini and however long you stay, have an incredible trip and make some memories!
🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!
📸 All photos are mine unless otherwise noted