If your cruise takes you to Santorini, stay on the ship. Hills, hills and more hills, and to get to the top you ride a tour bus or a donkey.
Enjoy the pool aboard ship, use plenty of sunscreen, and you won't be sorry.
It’s Cruel to the Mules… I have personally witnessed handlers severely mistreating the donkeys. PLEASE, do not support this! The abuse takes several forms. The donkeys are forced to climb up and back down a pathway with around 600 VERY STEEP steps, making as many as seven trips a day between 9 o’clock in the morning and sunset. Often, the animals are required to carry tourists who, putting it bluntly, are obese and may weigh considerably more than the donkeys themselves. And the mules must do this exhausting, grueling work in blazing sunshine and searing summer heat, often with unsatisfactory food, water and rest periods, plus few if any breaks in the shade. To add insult to injury, they may be wearing ill-fitting harnesses that inflict cuts and sores on their bodies, while their owners or handlers may frequently strike them with sticks to make them move or hurry up. In short, they toil under cruel and deplorable working conditions.
Day trip from cruise. Wanted to take cable car, go to Oia then visit Santo Winery. Cable car was straightforward. At the top no tourist information or anyone at all interested in showing us where taxi or buses were. Eventually found a house owner to tell us the way to the taxi rank. Still no tourist information. Taxi rank had 2 taxis and only 1 wanted to take our first group to Oia. Had to wait 15 minutes till another taxi arrived who agreed to take the rest of our party. 30 minutes between Fira and Oia. Dropped us in a small square and was told this was the only pick up point for both taxis and buses. Still no tourist information. Was given instructions by taxi driver on where the blue domes buildings were. I counted 6 in total, definitely not how it is shown on to and magazines. Streets smelly, tight and uneven. Back at square no taxis or buses. The taxi come bus hut had no one or even time tables. Called the taxi number and rang out every time. By luck a minibus driver offered to take us back to Fira and bus station. He informed us Source: www.greeka.com
You’ll either love or hate Santorini. Its magnet, the multicoloured cliffs that soar above the sea-drowned caldera, are amazing indeed. The main towns of Fira and Oia – a snow-drift of white Cycladic houses that line the cliff tops and spill like icy cornices down the terraced rock – will take your breath away. And then there’s the sunsets, the glorious sunsets. And the island’s fascinating history, best revealed at the Minoan site of Akrotiri.
Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a head-turner whose face is instantly recognisable around the world: multicoloured cliffs soar out of a sea-drowned caldera, topped by drifts of whitewashed buildings. With its reputation for dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it’s hardly surprising the island features on so many travellers’ bucket lists.
Just recognize the beaches on Santorini suck. The island is volcanic, and beaches are rocky. Perissa Beach is the main beach. It's way on the southern end of the island. Fira and Oia are in the north.
Santorini's has awesome views/sunsets, restaurants and hotels. The downsides are (1) huge cruise ships dropping off thousands of day-trippers, overwhelming the island, and (2) really poor beaches.
If you want the beach, take a short ferry hop from Santorini over to Folegandros. Some of the best (sandy) beaches in the Cyclades are found there.
I've done a fair amount of research on Santorini (Was there last June for 4 days) and there are definitely cheap places for you to stay in. I would recommend staying in Karterados which is a ~15 min walk to Fira and has an AMAZING bakery at the top of the hill (Erotokritos) that we went to every morning for breakfast. For a cheap lunch you can go to Lucky's Soulvaki in Fira where you can get great gyros for 3 euro each. Specifically, we stayed at Pension George in Karterados which was pretty good and cheap, plus the lady there was very helpful and set up the ATV rental for us. We rented out ATV's for 3 days and it was a great experience because you can get around the whole island. A good ATV ran us 15-20 euro/person per day which was reasonable.
Make sure you ATV up the mountain towards Oia for the sunset. That was honestly the best part of my trip. All seemed right in the world and it's very scenic. Truly a surreal experience on the ride up. You can also hike from Fira to Oia which was the best hike of my life. Regardless, you're going to have a great time. Sorry for the long post haha, I just miss Santorini :(
This place is totally awesome and is definitely a must see. Def one of the most beautiful places in Europe with cool White caldera views, amazing sunsets, great beaches and awesome food. Stay in or near Fira and rent a moto to get you round the island (try alex moto www.rentmotoalex.gr who were really friendly with reliable motos and you can get a good deal if you rent a few days). Best swimming is at the amazing red beach or little known rock beach at the bottom of the cliff from Oia (some good cliff jumping here too). Parissa beach has loads of good bars and restaurants and watersports. We stayed in Fira at the aressana hotel and spa which is perfectly located next to the main church, has awesome breakfast buffet and extremely friendly and helpful staff. You can't go wrong (and wicked cocktails)
This island is everything you imagine and more. Wanted to give people a heads up. I f you catch a ferry to the island don't spend the 15-20 euros on a cab to get up the hill take the local bus. It's only 2E and they are beautifully clean and cofortable coaches. not at all what you would expect for the local bus.
Just a great place to get away from it all.
Stayed here 5 days, and 4 were absolutely perfect weather. The one day that was a little iffy was because it was ridiculously windy. This made for an interesting boat cruise to the volcano (Caldera) and the Hot Springs.
Things to do on the island
Rent an ATV (for as little as 8 Euros a day);
Take a Boat Cruise (at least to the volcano and Hot Springs, if you are staying there more than 4 days, splurge and watch a sunset from the boat);
Take a Donkey Ride
If you stay in Thira, spend a day in Oia
If you stay in Oia, and aren't on a honeymooon, spend a couple of nights (and one afterooon) in Thira
If you are beach bum, try Red Beach, which is South. I know everyone talks up the black sand beaches, but thought Red Beach was a better beach to take in.
I stayed at the Majestic, which was pricey but it was nice to be pampered after being completely jet lagged in Athens.
Seafood was very good, and you can find lots of bargain meals in Thira. I actually had sushi at one restaurant, and it was really nicely prepared!
Even the locals who work in the stores expressed how the mules are over worked and mistreated especially through peek season all summer. This needs to stop please do not pay to ride the mules when there.. There are many other things to do there -It is a beautiful island with lots to see -rent a 4 wheeler instead--The donkeys are not givin food or water till sun down -and they are going up and down the stairs from sunn up to sun down-with open sores on there legs --I cannot bellieve that this has not beenn banned-It is horrible to see and leaves a bad taste about the island --all my friends that are animal lovers felt the same way. We all made a pack not to go back unless the ban is put into place to stop the donkey rides once and for all... We will spread the word to anyone who wants to go see beautiful santorini
Santorini, or Thira, is the top destination in Greece and among the most romantic destinations in the Greek islands and also in the world. Located in the Aegean Sea, in the Cyclades islands, Santorini island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world and what remains today is a submerged volcano and a caldera. Amazing villages has been constructed on the edge of this caldera, with Cycladic architecture and breathtaking view to the sea. Apart from the fabulous caldera villages, Santorini Greece is also famous for the romantic sunset, the volcano and the luxurious resorts. This Santorini travel guide will give you all the necessary information to organize your holiday.
Santorini proudly offers a unique dining experience, preparing and serving authentic Mediterranean and Greek food as it has been enjoyed for generations. The extensive menu lets you sample the regional cusines of Lebanon, Greece, Syria and Cyprus, with dishes to please meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Drop by for lunch or come in for a healthy dinner and one of our homemade desserts. We can customize any dish to suit your taste and are always pleased to prepare it "to go" so you can enjoy it in your office or at home. We look forward to welcoming you to Santorini and sharing our food with you, your friends and your family.