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Das Dorf Oia auf Santorini, Bild: Chantal de Bruijne / shutterstock

Day trip to Santorini

Of course, Santorini offers enough sights to spend a whole week on the beautiful island of the Cyclades in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the location and size of the destination offers the perfect conditions for a day trip from the largest and most popular island in Greece: Crete

Perfect combination of two Greek islands

Take advantage of the island hopping opportunity and get to know two Greek islands, which are nevertheless very different, in one holiday. This way you get the most out of your annual holiday and collect many different unforgettable impressions.

For a successful day trip to Santorini , the alarm clock should be set for 6 a.m., because getting up early is a prerequisite for this. From the port of the capital Heraklion , you can use comfortable car ferries from several providers. The crossing to Thira takes 1:45 – 2:15 hours each way, depending on the ferry company. You can buy the tickets in advance online or directly at the port. However, plan enough time for this and find out about the departure times in advance to make the most of the day.

Once you arrive in Santorini, you will have enough time to marvel at the two most famous and worth seeing places on the island: Thira and Oia

To save time, consider using a taxi to combine the two places. Of course, it is also possible to drive your own car if you have decided to use the ferry crossing with your vehicle.

Santorini is of volcanic origin. Since the island is very high, you can still see the original volcanic crater from almost all known places. Powerful eruptions created a “caldera”, part of which sank into the sea. The fact that the island was actually round one day and not crescent-shaped as it is today can be guessed particularly well from the beautiful view from the city of Oia to the “caldera”.

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Thira, Santorini
The capital Thira, Image: Mistervlad / shutterstock

Although Santorini is not the typical destination for beach vacationers, the island still has some nice bathing opportunities to offer. Especially in the southeast of the island, you can discover picturesque beaches of dark sand. Small restaurants and cafes are of course also available to round off a trip to the beach. However, if you’re only spending one day on the multifaceted island, you might want to save your beach stay for Crete. Here you will find very beautiful long sandy beaches, some with small pebbles, especially in the north of the island (e.g. in the regions of Anissaras, Malia or Georgioupolis) or in the west (e.g. Elafonisi).

The capital Thira is not considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Greece for nothing. The absolutely breathtaking view of the dark blue sea, in contrast with the mostly cloudless light blue sky and the white houses on the rocky hillside, is incomparable and a postcard motif that you can find all over the world. The cave-like white houses with blue windows and doors on black volcanic soil offer a unique architecture. A leisurely stroll through the small streets and a coffee in one of the many small eateries overlooking the sea is a must during a stay in the capital. Of course, there are also many nice shops to stroll through, but the prices are unfortunately generally very high on the island.

Greece, Santorini
The famous white houses with blue roofs in Santorini, Image: Anastasios71/shutterstock

A little tip: When planning, try to pay attention to the arrival times of large cruise ships such as AIDA, TUI Cruises, MSC or even American shipping companies. This way you avoid overcrowded alleys and definitely save a euro or two, because many restaurants raise prices as soon as a large cruise ship docks. In general, the further away you are from the city centre, the cheaper the prices. It is also worth taking a short walk towards the city limits, because you will find many hidden small apartment buildings with abandoned terraces and balconies with breathtaking views without other tourists.

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But the ancient city of Alt-Thera or the artists’ village of Oia are also in no way inferior to the capital as their “little sister”. The view is at least as beautiful as in Thira. The village is considered a little less crowded and is much smaller. It is quieter and more idyllic. Many visitors come to Oia mainly for the sunset, which is said to be the most beautiful to see here. Take a close look during a walk through the village, because you will always catch glimpses of dreamlike infinity pools in exclusive locations from various boutique hotels. In combination with the typical windmills of the island, which are located in the middle of the village, the result is an indescribable picture that you will never forget. Santorini is guaranteed to captivate you!