40 Most Common Questions About Santorini

You asked- I answered.  I have been doing tours in Santorini and writing on this blog for a while now. During these years, I have been asked many questions. But some are repeated every so often. And so I collected them all and put them together in one article hoping it will help you plan your holiday. 

 Here are all my answers to you. 

#1 Where is Santorini island?/ Where is santorini greece?/ Where is Santorini located?

Santorini is an island in Greece. Many people get confused and think Santorini is in Italy. It is not. It is in the South part of Greece, in the Aegean Sea, part of a group of islands we call Cyclades.

#2 Where is Santorini Greece on the map?

Here is the location of Santorini on a map of Greece:

#3 Is Santorini and Thira the same place?

 Yes. Thira is the official name, Santorini is more of a nickname.

The capital town of Santorini is called Fira- not to be confused with Thira.

#4 What does Santorini mean?

In 1204 AD Franks arrive to the island and name it Santa Irene after a local church. Over the years, Santa Irene turned into Santorini and this is the name we use today. 

#5 What does Thira mean?

Spartans inhabited Santorini as well. During their time here, they had a King named Thiras and thus the island was named Thira to honor the King. This remains the official name of Santorini till this day.

The legacy of the Spartans can be found in the ruins of Ancient Thira.

#6 Where to stay in Santorini?/ Santorini where to stay Oia or Fira?/ Where in Santorini should i stay?/ Which part of Santorini should I stay in? / Santorini what area to stay?/ which part of Santorini is the best to stay?

That depends on what you want to enjoy more. If you plan on enjoying the nightlife, stay in Fira (all the nightlife is here). If you just want to chillout by the beach, stay in Perissa/Perivolos or Kamari. If you are coming to enjoy Oia and the views from there, stay in Oia. If you are looking for views and romance, you can also consider staying in Firostefani or Imerovigli.

Read More On Where To Stay In Santorini

#7 Santorini island airport: which airport serves santorini?/ santorini nearest airport/ santorini nearest international airport/ santorini where to fly into?

Santorini has an international airport.  It is about 15 minutes away from Fira (which is the main town of Santorini). That means you can fly in. Since the airport is international, you can find direct flights connecting Santorini to most European countries (for the summer season).

In winter, you will probably have to travel via Athens.

Find the airport of Santorini on the map here.

#8 santorini how to get there?/ santorini how to go?

Santorini is an island, so to get here you have two choices:

A.      Take a ferry from Athens

B.       Take a flight

Read More About How To get to Santorini

#9 Santorini how far is it from Athens?

Santorini is about 200 km (120 mi) away from Athens. That translates into about half an hour flight from Athens. The ferry takes about 5hours (the highspeed one). 

#10 Santorini how far away is it from crete?

Santorini is about 110 km (68 mi) away from Crete. The ferry takes about 1hour45minutes. 

#11 How far is santorini to Mykonos?

Santorini is 120km (74mi) away from Mykonos. The ferry takes about 2 and a half hours. 

#12 santorini how to get there from uk?

In the summer, there are many directs flights connecting the UK to Santorini. Here are the details: 

British Airways & Aegean - from London Heathrow

Thomas Cook Airlines- from Birmingham, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne

Thomson Airways- from Birmingham, Bristol, London-Gatwick, Manchester

Easyjet: from London-Gatwick, Manchester

In the winter, you have to travel via Athens. 

#13 santorini how to get around?

You will be needing a car or an ATV to get around Santorini. Especially if you want to make the most of it. To rent one, you need an international license (by that we mean a license written in English). 

If you don’t want to rent a car, then you can use the local bus, or local taxis. Another choice is to hire a personal driver. There are many companies offering chauffeured serviced.  

Read More On How To Get Around Santorini

#14 Santorini how big is it? 

Santorini is 90.69 km2 (35.02 sq mi). That  is including Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea KameniPalaia KameniAspronisi, and Christiana. The main island of Santorini is about 76km2 (29 sq mi). 

#15 What is the population of Santorini?

Santorini has 15,000 residents. 

#16 santorini how many days/ santorini how long to stay/ santorini how many nights?

In my opinion, you need 3 nights to fully enjoy what Santorini has to offer.

#17 Can you see santorini in a day?

You can a get a taste of Santorini in a day. But you will be wanting to come back for more. Santorini is a very famous destination for cruise passengers. If you are also coming on a cruise, my advice to you would be to go on a tour. This is really the best way to see Santorini in a day. You can choose private or semi-private depending on your budget, but this is the only way to see all the highlights. 

Here Is What You Need To Know If You Are Cruising To Santorini

Ps. Santorini is more than just Oia, so do explore other parts of the island as well to fully appreciate it. 

#18 how santorini was formed? how did santorini form?

The island of Santorini was made of lava and has changed shape many times throughout the years. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have shaped the island into what it is today. The history of Santorini starts about 5 million years ago and is quite fascinating.

You can read all about the formation of Santorini here.

#19 When was the last time Santorini’s volcano erupted?

The last volcanic eruption was in 1950. There was also a big earthquake in 1956 that left Santorini in ruins and made most residents leave. 

You can see a super cool video about the volcano here

#20 Will the volcano in Santorini erupt again?

Maybe sometime in the future. It is still considered an active volcano, but we do monitor all changes on it and around it so we will know if something changes. For now, let's not jinx it.

#21 how to get to the volcano in Santorini?

You will go to Fira, take the cable car or the steps down to the Old Port. From there, you get on a small boat across to the volcano. You can hike to the top of the volcano and then back.

If you only want to see the volcano without walking on it, you can also book a boat tour. Most of them sail around the volcano and also stop at the hot springs.

#22 Can santorini be the city of the lost atlantis?

Yes. Atlantis was a circular island populated by talented people of high culture and wealth, according to the Greek Philosopher Plato. Some people think it existed, some say it is only fictional. They all agree that it was a small paradise, but they cannot agree on its location.

Some say Santorini might be the Lost Atlantis and that is mainly based on its circular shape and the volcanic eruption. If Atlantis really existed there is a good chance it was where the Akrotiri excavations are today. 

Read More About The Akrotiri Excavations. 

Although no one has been able to firmly prove whether Santorini is the Lost Atlatnis, I can confirm that Santorini is indeed a small paradise.

I found this very interesting article about the Lost Atlantis. It is perfect if you are looking for more details on the matter. Read it here

#23 What is Santorini famous for?

Santorini is mostly known for the dramatic cliffside, the breathtaking views of the caldera, the volcano, the white and blue houses (mostly blue domed churches), the amazing sunsets, the great wine and all things romantic. Santorini is a very famous destination for people in love. Couples, honeymooners, newly-weds, they love it here. You will too.

#24 santorini where to go/things to do?

Here is a list of things to in Santorini, a list with things you should avoid and a guide to Santorini for first timers.

#25 santorini where to swim / are santorini beaches good/ what are santorini beaches like?

Santorini beaches are all made of lava. That means they have unique colors such as black, red and white but they mainly consist of pebbles. If you dream of dipping your toes in the sand, this is not the place. Also, most beaches are quite steep, so basically you take a couple of steps and then you dive into the water. This is why Santorini is not famous for the beaches.  You can read our detailed guide to Santorini beaches here.

If you are going swimming, I would recommend choosing Perissa/Perivolos or Kamari beach.

#26 santorini beaches near fira/ near Oia?

Important thing to know about beaches on Santorini is that most of them are on the west side of the island. This means there is no access to a beach if you plan on walking from Fira or Oia. You will need a car/taxi or the local bus. 

Oia is closer to a few places you could go swimming, but they are not organised beaches. 

Have a look at the map with all the beaches below:

#27 Santorini Nightlife/ Where to go out in Santorini?

Fira has all the bars and clubs. You will find very nice beach bars in other places as well, but if you want to stay out late, Fira is the only place that keeps partying until the early morning.

Read A Detailed Guide To Santorini's Nightlife Here.

#28 where to shop in Santorini?

The main two shopping areas are Fira and Oia. You will find a few small shops in every town of the island, but if you want to have many choices, choose Fira or Oia. Also, there is no mall in Santorini. 

# 29 what is the main town of Santorini?/ What is the capital of Santorini?

Fira is the capital of Santorini. 

#30 Santorini Or Mykonos?

I get asked this question a lot. I don't think you can compare these two places since they are so different. If you can combine them and visit both, that would be great. In a nutshell: 

  • Mykonos is our party island. If you want to party, go there. Santorini is the romantic place.
  • Mykonos is famous for the beaches, Santorini does not have so many nice beaches but it has a very unique landscape due to the volcano.
  • Groups of friends usually go to Mykonos, couples come to Santorini.
  • These two are the most famous islands in Greece, so they are both super crowded in the summer. 

#31 Can you drink the water in Santorini?

No, you cannot. Only drink bottled water here. 

# 32 What is the currency in Santorini?

You will need Euros to pay for everything in Santorini. Most places accept credit cards, but you should check in advance. You might have problems with card payments especially in small shops and bars.

# 33 What is the official language in Santorini?

That would be Greek, but most people also speak English so you shouldn't have problems communicating. 

# 34 How is the weather in Santorini?

Santorini has hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. 

July and August are the hottest months with an average temperature of 26°C/79°F. December and January are the coldest ones with average temperatures of 10°C/50°F. 

Santorini tends to get very windy, so bring a jacket just in case. 

Find more details about the weather here

#35 Can I hike in Santorini? Are there any walks to do in Santorini?

Yes there are actually some very nice hiking trails in Santorini. You can check them out here. 

#36 What is the name of the famous Santorini Wine?

That would be Asyrtico. Learn more about Santorini wine here or discover the wineries on Santorini here.  

#37 What is the name of the port in Santorini?

Santorini's port is called Athinios. This is the same place that we also refer to as the "New Port". The "Old Port" is the one in Fira where the cable car is. Ferries come into the New Port- Athinios. 

#38 What is the name of the airport in Santorini? 

The airport is known as Santorini (Thira) Airport. The code is JTR. 

# 39 What is the main religion in Santorini?

Like mosts parts of Greece, Santorini is Greek Orthodox. 

#40 What are the main towns/villages in Santorini?

You can read a detailed guide to Santorini towns here. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I will keep adding them :)