Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It’s a small volcanic island only 18km in length and 5km wide, found between the mainland of Greece & Turkey. From any part of the island you won’t be more than 3km from the sea.

Seasons

The holiday season in Santorini starts from late March and finishes in early November.

Peak season is July & August, and the best time to visit Santorini for a beach holiday is July – September. The most expensive month is August, the cheaper months for accommodation are found in March, April, October & November.

The off peak season is best for exploring, March-April and October-November are still warm and popular with hikers, sight seeing & gastronomy visitors.

The winter low season is growing in popularity and more hotels are now staying open through the year, there are daily flights from Athens, it’s best to stay in Fira or Oia during the cooler winter months, as the beach resorts are closed.

If you’re looking for Santorini’s nightlife visit from late June to early September.

The cruise season starts in late March and ends in late November.

Climate

Santorini has the usual Mediterranean weather with warm – hot dry summers and mild – cool wet winters.

Autumn and winter (September-February), mean temperature is 12.5°C (54.5°F). Spring and summer mean temperature is 25°C (77°F). The highest temperature can reach 38°C (100.4°F) during the summer.

January tends to be the wettest month with an average rainfall of 42mm, and February the coldest with an average temperature of 14°C.

There is very little rain from late April to late October, the wettest months are November to February when an average of 40-46mm rain can fall each month.

The best time for beach weather is June to September when the island is sunny with an average daily temperature over 25°C, and a warm sea temperature for swimming.

Meltemia is the name given to the strong Etesian wind blowing from north to northwest across the Aegean Sea, which can occur from May to September. These windy conditions can affect ferry crossings.

September is the perfect month to experience the best of Santorini, it’s slightly cooler than August and less crowded, the wind drops and the sea temperature is at its warmest.

Resorts

If you are visiting Santorini for a stunning view we recommend that you stay in one of the towns situated on the west side of the island including Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. It’s not surprising that this is also where you will find the best of the hotels in Santorini.

However if a beach resort is your main priority then we recommend the south east side of the island including Kamari, Perissa and Perivilos.

Santorini is not the easiest place for families.  If you want to stay on the caldera, Oia has the least steps making it more pram friendly and Fira has lots of things to do to keep kids entertained. The best family friendly beach location is Kamari.

Fira / Thira: Fira is the capital of Santorini and the place to be if you are seeking scenic views and nightlife. It’s easy to get around the island from here, as it’s also the hub of the local bus service. Fira is best for shopping, clubs and nightlife. The restaurants in this town tend to be  open all year round, so it’s the best location for an off peak or winter holiday. If you want the Fira experience but don’t have the budget Karterados Village is 2km away as a cheaper alternative.

Imerovigli: Is situated on the caldera and close to Fira without the crowds. It’s quiet and romantic, attracting couples for the fabulous sunsets. Best for restaurants and peaceful honeymoons.

Kamari: The best beach resort of Santorini with a fun vibe, sun beds, water sports and many taverns. Kamari has a relaxed atmosphere, the beach is black sand / stone and approximately 2km in length.

Oia: Is the most luxurious village in Santorini, known for the views and sunset, this is a romantic location, popular for honeymoons.

Perissa: An economical beach resort, attracting the back packers, with a black beach stretching for 5km and plenty of bars, cafes and taverns.

Perivolos: A cosmopolitan beach with a party scene, this resort is quite lively and a popular location for wedding receptions.

Airport

Santorini Thira (JTR) International Airport is located north of the village of Kamari. There are daily flight connections from Athens. UK connections include easyJet LGW & MAN, British Airways LHR & LCY, Small Planet LGW, Thomas Cook BHX LGW MAN & NCL and Tui BHX BRS LGW & MAN.

Port

Santorini has 2 ports, the commercial ferries dock in Athinios which is the main port of the island, and cruise ships dock at Fira.

Currency

The Euro is the official currency of Santorini, Greece.

Language

The official language is Greek in Santorini, due to tourism English is also widely spoken.

Time Zone

Santorini has daylight saving time, with Eastern European Time (EET) in the winter and Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) in the summer.  UTC/GMT +2 hours

Tourism

Santorini attracts close to 2 million tourists a year which is causing problems for the infrastructure and 25,000 residents. Santorini’s Mayor is capping visitor numbers for 2018, cruise ship passengers are limited to a maximum of 8,000 a day.

From 1st January 2018, the Greek government will enforce a new Overnight Tax which will apply to everyone staying in hotels and apartments in Greece. The amount payable will be charged per room, per night and will vary according to the official star rating and must be paid locally on check in. Official star rating 1-2 stars €0.50, 3 stars €1.50, 4 stars €3.00, 5 stars €4.00.

Entry Requirements

You don’t need a visa to enter Greece for up to 3 months and your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Health

You can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for emergency medical treatment whilst on holiday in Greece. There have been cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Greece during the warmer summer months.

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