Known around the world and one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, Santorini is a dream vacation for many. Five days may not be enough to get to know it from end to end, but they are capable of giving a complete picture of the island, which is dominated by the volcano and the impressive caldera.
The beautiful villages, some hanging on the edge of the cliff and others built in a unique way inland, the cave houses of traditional architecture, the churches, the unique wine that this very special land produces.
But also its very special beaches, make Santorini an ideal destination that combines both the rest and the comfort of the holidays, as well as the acquaintance with the new, the different. The prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri, an archaeological site of unique value for all of humanity, is also a tourist attraction.
Five days in Santorini are ideal to visit its most popular villages, to see up close its impressive sights and its very special beaches, but also to visit both the volcano and Akrotiri.
Thira or Fira
Fira is the established name for the capital of Santorini, the official name is Thira. Today it is the largest settlement, it is located in the middle, on the “eyebrow” of the caldera and gathers not only most of the services, but also the visitors. Below the village, at sea level, is Gialos, the old port of Santorini.
Throughout the year, Fira is bustling with life, as the vast majority of shops remain open. Supermarkets, grocery stores, shops, banks and public services are located around the central square of the city, Theotokopoulos Square, while travel agencies, hotels and rooms for rent, restaurants and bars can be found in almost every alley, especially in the caldera.
In the capital of Santorini are the seats of both the Orthodox and Catholic churches of the island. You can take a Santorini exclusive shore private tour with us.
Oia of Santorini is the most famous settlement of the island, known throughout the world for its unique sunset, when the sun sinks into the blue sea behind the volcano… It is built in the northernmost part of the caldera and preserves unchanged the traditional Cycladic, and especially theraiki, architecture, the traditional caves and captains’ houses, the houses of the island’s shipwrights.
At the highest point of the caldera, Imerovigli has been standing since the Byzantine era, gazing at the impressive volcano from a height of about 300 meters from the sea. Today it is one of the most developed tourist spots in Santorini, with high-quality hotels, restaurants and other shops, which welcome tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
The view of the sunset from Imerovigli is unique and many recommend the village for romantic holidays. A special place for the village is the Castle of Skaros, the old Kasteli which for several centuries was the capital of the island.
One of the largest villages of Santorini, Pyrgos is built in the southern part of the island, at the foot of Prophet Ilias and at a distance of 10 kilometers from Fira. The view from the village to the whole of Santorini is magnificent, while the old castle, which is preserved to this day in very good condition, is uniquely decorated on the night of Good Friday, during the procession of the Epitaph. Inside and outside the castle of Pyrgos there are a total of about 48 churches and chapels.
Emporio of Santorini is the most populous settlement of the island and is located approximately 12 kilometers south of Fira, near Akrotiri, at the foot of Prophet Ilias. The traditional Kasteli of Emporio is preserved to this day in very good condition, just like the medieval Goulas.
The old Primary School, built in 1900 with a donation from Andreas Sygrou, is still considered a sight to see, while just outside the village is the famous beach of Perissa, one of the most popular in Santorini. Even from afar, facing the village, the visitor sees the ornate bell tower of Panagia Messiani, located inside the castle.
Akrotiri of Santorini is known because of the great discovery of the prehistoric settlement. The modern settlement is built on the southern tip of the island, very close to one of the most famous beaches of Santorini, the Red Beach.
It is characterized by Kastelli, the medieval castle at its highest point and has excellent tourist infrastructure, from tourist accommodation, to cafes, restaurants and water sports. One of the areas that the visitor deserves to see is Balos or Palos, a small bay just outside the village.
There is no other island in the world like Santorini and its uniqueness is mainly due to the volcano. It is one of the most important in the world, it was born from the sea and significantly influenced the geological form of the entire Eastern Mediterranean – of course also the human life and activity in the area.
When the locals say volcano today, they mean the small island of Nea Kameni, in the center of the almost circular perimeter formed by Santorini, Thirasia and Aspronisi. In Nea Kameni, after all, one can see vapors emitting steam from the bowels of the earth, while only about 60 years ago, its most recent soils were formed, during the 1950 eruption.
Right next to it, Palaia Kameni is the island that was formed about 2,000 years ago, during the 47 AD eruption. Both islets of the volcano can be visited and one can even walk on them and reach the steams of Nea Kameni or swim in the warm waters of Palaia, where sulfur is released, coloring them yellowish.