Santorini is definitely the most romantic island in Greece… No wonder it has become one of the most desired honeymoon destinations in the world! As you know from one of the previous posts, we were enchanted by this island as well. Many people ask us how to organize a romantic getaway on your own. So, here it is, a step by step guide to your once-in-a-lifetime Santorini honeymoon!
How to get to Santorini?
Santorini is located in the Cyclades archipelago, which comprises of 24 main islands. They are scattered over the Aegean Sea, between the capital city of Greece – Athens and the biggest Greek island – Crete.
The most convenient way to to get to Santorini. If you are lucky, you have a direct flight to Thira from your country. If not, unfortunately, you will probably fly Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air and most likely have a loooong stopover in Athens. Flights from Athens to smaller Greek islands are generally not super synchronized with international flights. Many flights from the other countries arrive at night, while domestic flights start early in the morning. Oh, by the way, I would like to greet Aegean Airlines here, which made my dad’s suitcase gone forever… hope this bag still explores the Cyclades 😉
|Tip: Many people plan to visit Santorini during their trip to Crete (by the way, check out what to see in Crete!). We don’t recommend buying these one-day trips offered by a travel agent (if you booked your holidays with one). They are relatively expensive and you will spend only a few hours in the island, rushing from one place to another. Sometimes you even have to skip the famous sunset in Oia, because you will have to run to catch the ferry back! When we were in Crete a few years ago, we organized a short, 3 days long trip to Santorini on our own. Check it, as booking a ferry on your own could be much cheaper than a day trip offered by a travel agent and you will have enough time to enjoy Santorini to its fullest!|
The second option is a ferry. You can easily reach Santorini from Crete, other Cyclades islands (Mykonos, Ios, Naxos, Paros…) or from Piraeus, the port next to Athens. You can find a schedule and routes on this page (but it’s worth booking directly on the carrier’s website – much cheaper!). Prices and times may vary, in the low season (October – May), services are reduced. Ferries are the best if you wanna do some island hopping, from Santorini you can easily reach the party island of Mykonos or more family-friendly Crete.
|Tip: The most popular companies on Greek waters are: Sea Jets, Hellenic Seaways, and Blue Star Ferries. The first company is the fastest, they have small catamarans in the fleet (minus – not stable when the sea is rough!). Blue Star Ferries have large ships mainly, which are also the slowest (on the other hand – the cheapest, and definitely better for people with seasickness). The Hellenic Seaways has a mixed fleet, depending on the route.|
When to go to Santorini?
The season lasts from May to mid-October. However, I don’t advise traveling in the peak, from June to August. The island is getting very crowded, not only “ordinary” tourists visit Santorini, but also giant cruise ships. If you are more flexible with your Santorini honeymoon, go in May or first weeks of October to avoid the crowds. The weather is still great (about 25 degrees). In addition, the prices of accommodation decrease rapidly. I advise you not to travel in winter – Santorini gets very windy!
|Tip: Visiting the island during Easter holidays is also a good idea – there is probably nothing more joyful and colorful than Greek Orthodox Easter 🙂|
Where to stay in Santorini?
This is probably the only place in Greece where hotels by the beach are not the most desirable ones… Check which hotels we find the best for Santorini honeymoon in our previous post! If you are booking via a travel agent, be very careful. I have noticed that many of them offer hotels in a relatively less attractive part of the island, mainly in Kamari. No caldera view here! They sometimes describe these hotels as “beach hotels”, which is a bit misleading. Yeah, there is a beach but rather… black pebble beach, where you can’t sunbathe without a proper mat!
|Tip: Check exactly where your hotel is located. Fira is a large town, booking a room there doesn’t mean you’ll have a caldera view there!|
How to get around Santorini?
KTEL buses operate between major cities in Santorini. Cons? If you want to go from one end of the island to another (eg. from Kamari to Oia), you will have to change buses in Fira. One ticket costs about 2 EUR. However, during the peak season, it may be really hard to get a ticket. You may be forced to take a taxi (from the airport to basically every place on the island 15-20 EUR).
You may find out quickly, that it’s much better to rent a scooter or car. We rented both from the local rental company and they both worked great. Santorini is quite mountainous, so choosing a scooter with a more powerful engine is a good option, if you are a couple. When it comes to the car, we rented the world’s cutest car a.k.a the Fiat 500. It was a great choice for narrow roads and limited parking space. Renting a scooter or a car is really the best option. You can easily and conveniently reach all the most beautiful parts of the island.
What to see in Santorini?
We visited Santorini a few times – check our favorite spots here, perfect not only for Santorini honeymoon!
Where to eat in Santorini?
Greek cuisine belongs to one of the healthiest in the world, so you don’t have to count calories 😉 Everything thanks to the olive oil and vegetables – it’s a vegetarians’ paradise (reminded me of my food tortures in Iran). You’ll find some hints regarding the best and most romantic restaurants here, perfect for Santorini honeymoon dinner. There are also many tiny, cheap spots offering souvlaki all over the island – you definitely won’t get hungry.
What to eat in Santorini?
Although many Greek dishes are world-famous, these in Greece taste of course way better! There are also some things specific to Santorini. What should you try?
- the best breakfast in the world, Greek yogurt with roasted almonds and thyme-infused honey from Greek islands, often served with sliced peach
- famous Greek salad with feta (here called horiatiki meaning “rural”)
- moussaka (a casserole with eggplant, potatoes, meat, and bechamel, often served in a vegetarian version)
- cheap Greek “fast food” or spanakopita (pastry with spinach, the Greeks’ breakfast favorite), tyropita (stuffed with feta) and pita gyros (rolled pita bread with meat, tzatziki, and chips, about 3 EUR)
- a traditional Santorini delicacy fava (yellow pea dish, eaten warm or cold as meze)
- fried feta cheese saganaki, served with honey
- local wine vinsanto and assyrtiko (I wrote more about it here) and… donkey beer (you just can’t miss this bottle!)
- sweets: baklava (yes, the Greeks still argue with the Turks about who invented this dessert first), kataifi (angel hair pastry, filled with nuts) or loukoumades (tiny doughnuts served with honey and cinnamon sprinkles)
- amazing ice coffees: frappe (frozen instant coffee with condensed milk, 2-3 EUR) or freddo espresso/cappuccino (espresso on ice, optionally with milk foam, a bit more expensive)
Our best food experience during Santorini honeymoon? Go to a taverna with locals only and order 5-6 different meze, Greek appetizers, to share. Try tzatziki (yogurt, garlic, and cucumber) and dolmades (rice wrapped in marinated vine leaves). Best enjoyed with a glass of ouzo on ice!
|Tip: when you are in the restaurant, you’ll usually get some bread with olive oil to nibble. Usually, this is automatically added to the bill (about 1 EUR per person). One dish at a restaurant costs about 10-15 EUR on average. Meze is cheaper, the cost of one appetizer is about 4-8 EUR. Keep in mind, that every cafe, bar or restaurant overlooking the caldera adds a “nice view” premium and prices are much, much higher (even 2-3 times!).|
Are you planning a Santorini honeymoon as well?
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