As I mentioned in my Mykonos Travel Tips blog, visiting the Greek Islands has been a dream of mine for probably a decade or more. And I finally made it to Mykonos and Santorini in October 2019. Now, my dream is go back and visit again as well as experience some of the other islands I missed like Naxos, Ios, Corfu and Paros. Here is all my Santorini travel tips from my experience:
October is probably the best time in my opinion to visit Greece because the crowds are almost non-existent and the weather is still great! I had friends who also visited June & September of the same year and complained about the crowds. I actually plan to visit again in Oct 2020.
Ferry to Santorini from Mykonos
I arrived in Mykonos Oct 2nd via plane and we traveled to Santorini on Oct 4th via the ferry. The ferry situation was a bit of a mess, our boat was very late and I don’t really know why. But we arrived in Santorini about 2 hours later than we had expected. However, it wasn’t that big of a deal to us as that day happened to be the gloomiest weather of the trip. It was just grey skies, so it wasn’t really a day we would take pictures anyway. But, should you take the ferry from Mykonos be aware that it might be late. We also bought some wine for the ferry trip.
Transportation in Santorini
We rented a car, when we arrived at the dock in Santorini there was a rental car desk. We just booked right there and I think it was cheaper than online. We just got a tiny smart car. You might want to keep in mind your luggage situation with that in mind. I was headed to Paris after my Greece trip so I had a huge luggage and a carry on. Luckily my friend only packed a carry on and we were able to get everything in the car.
Where We Stayed in Santorini
For our first two nights we stayed at the luxury hotel OMMA it was honestly paradise. The pool oversees so much blue. I just wanted to dive it! And DO NOT EVEN get me started on the sunset views – holy cannoli. The pictures below do not even do it justice.
Our last night we stayed at Thirea Suites in Oía, a luxury hotel built into the cliffs of Oía. My favorite parts were the hot tub on our balcony and the view – like okay, I am moving in haha! PS when visiting Oía be aware that most of the hotels/airbnbs will be down the cliff. Therefore you will be doing your fair share of walking up and down. Don’t worry about the luggage so much as they hire staff to carry it up and down. Make sure to have enough cash to tip them when you arrive and leave, because I was gasping for breathe without carrying a huge luggages over my head (literally that’s how they do it!)
Santorini Travel Instagram Spots
I mean you’ve gotta get your IG on because how else will everyone know you were soaking up the sun by the Aegean Sea? Get it girl (or guy!)
Santorini Blue Domes
I would be remiss if I didn’t start a Santorini Instagram hot spot list without first listing the blue domes. Click here for the exact location to get to this spot. As I mentioned previously, we were here in October so the crowds weren’t that bad. We got here between 6:30-7am and there was about 5 people in line. But I have heard of way worse. So, if you want this shot without the wait (and good lighting) get there early!
Pink Houses – Kastra Oía Houses
The Kastra Oía Houses are another Santorini Instagram hot spot, it wasn’t really that busy at all. There was a short 2 people line but being there are so many directions many people were just hoping in out of turn. However, I do want to remind you, I was there in October so during peak months the line will likely be longer. And I was there at 8am, I am sure the line gets longer throughout the day. Click here for the exact location.
Byzantine Castle Ruins Santorini
The Byzantine Castle in Oía Santorini is the best location in Santorini for sunset viewing and photos. If you are in Oía and hour to an hour and a half before the sunset you will see every single person start to head in that direction. It’s a wild sight to see. The crowd was crazy and went back super far. I cannot imagine what it would be like in a busier month. So, I would suggest getting your sunset spot EARLY! We made our way through the crowds to the castle. Of course the best spots were taken but I am more a fan of a much darker sunset photo. So, I don’t really care because everyone was done getting there photos and had moved on by the time I wanted mine. But in case you want a lighter sunset photo get there earlier.
If you are also visiting Mykonos check out my Mykonos Travel Guide here!