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How to Plan a Trip to Santorini for the First Time

Updated: Jul 25


Everything you need to know before visiting Santorini

The famous Greek volcanic island called Santorini is one of the most visited islands in Greece, not only in Europe but also in the entire world. You can see pictures on every social media, that show breathtaking views, extra luxury resorts, and delicious Greek food.


Like for every destination, I highly recommend knowing what to expect, and how to plan your travel to Santorini the best way, by knowing all the info and tips to visit Santorini. This will help you to plan your dream vacation in the best possible way without missing anything.


Everything you need to know before visiting Santorini

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TABLE OF CONTENT:


Time zone santorini, greece

Time Zone in Santorini

Santorini is located in Greece, which is in the Eastern European Time Zone and is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1).


In the summer, Greece observes daylight saving time, which moves the time forward by 1 hour, making it 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +3).


During winter, the time in Greece is moved back by 1 hour to Eastern European Time. These changes occur on the last Saturday of March and Saturday of October each year.


currency in santorini, greece

Currency in Santorini


The official currency of Santorini is the euro. Always bring some cash with you, especially on the islands and in little towns.


You won't be paying cash all of the time, as there are shops and merchants in Greece that are well equipped to accept card payments – Visa and Mastercard are more common than American Express. Check here the actual currency change


vaccinations to visit santorini, greece

Vaccinations needed to visit Santorini

You should ask your family doctor before travelling to Greece and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations.


Just make sure you’re up to date for recommended vaccinations for your home country and have a look at The Travel Vaccines and Advice here.


voltage adapters santorini, greece

Voltage and Adaptors for Santorini

The standard voltage is 220-240 volts. Most of the sockets are European plugs of the two round-pin varieties.

I recommend you buy a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor to use other appliances.

Check the Plug adaptor that I use.


how to get to santorini, greece

How to get to Santorini

Santorini has one international airport that is well connected to most of the main cities in Europe.

There are many airlines that connect Santorini with the rest of Europe, to check which one connects you to one of the most amazing places in Greece check out here on Skyscanner, a travel search engines that allow users to compare airline prices and offers, specializing in low-cost airfare and find the best deal for your next trip.

Otherwise, if you prefer to get to Greece mainland by train or bus and then catch a ferry to reach Santorini, check here train and buses prices and schedule on Omio. It could be the best solution for you to get to Greece, spend some time on the mainland and then catch a ferry to reach Santorini.




Everything you need to know before visiting Santorini

Plan Your Vacation in Santorini

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


how to go from santorini airport to your accommodation

Going from the Airport to your accommodation

I think is always wise to check how to go from the Airport to your accommodation. There are always many ways to choose from.

In Santorini, there are buses that go to the city centre, or you can book a private taxi in advance that will take you to your accommodation.


When we arrived in Santorini, we had a minivan waiting for us that took us right outside our hotel, so we got there in less than ten minutes.


Everything you need to know before visiting Santorini

My favourite private airport transfer websites are:

HolidayTaxis: it provides airport transfers by airport taxi, group minibus, shuttle, coach or limousine to over 21,000 destinations and resorts in over 150 countries worldwide. See here prices and availability.

Kiwitaxi: is a site where one can book a transfer to get from or to the airport in 98 countries, between two tourist destinations or other locations popular with tourists. See here prices and availability.

​​

I recommend checking my articles about all the cities I have visited, where you are gonna find exactly how to get from that specific airport to the city centre and all the information you need before booking and planning your visit.


Everything you need to know before visiting Santorini

Reach your Hotel By Bus:


From the airport, you can reach Fira (Santorini's main town) by bus. And from there, catch your bus to reach your accommodation. Every beach and village is very well connected, and there is a bus to catch in every place that goes back to the main Bus Station in Fira.

Just ask for an island bus map at the station, so you will clearly have an idea of how to reach every place you want to visit.

Bus tickets cost only 1.80 euros.



Rent a Car in Santorini:

If you like driving like me, and you wish to reach all the best beaches in Santorini, you can always rent a car, and in this case, I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and I see where I find the best deals.

Have a look at them here:

DiscoverCars:

Discover cars is basically a Skyscanner, but for rental cars. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from lots of different cars. See here prices and availability.

RentalCars:

Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world. See here prices and availabilities.

Localrent.com:

Local rent is a website that put you in contact with local rental cars, is available only in Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Czech Republic, Montenegro. See car rental prices here.


Do you want to see everything Santorini has to offer and save money at the same time?

Check here all the activities and tours available. You won't regret it!


Need some Travel Tips?

Check out my Travel Tips section where you will find all the help, tips and tricks to plan your next adventure in the most organized way!


is tap water safe to drink in santorini?

Are tap water and food safe in Santorini?

It’s safe to drink tap water in Greece only on the mainland and also from drinking fountains that you will find especially in the major cities and parks. Unfortunately, in most Greek islands (not all of them) like Santorini, it is highly recommended to avoid drinking tap water.

I always carry with me a reusable bottle so I can fill it up anytime I have the chance.

On the Greek islands instead, would be better for you to avoid it.

If you are not sure, it’s always safe to ask locals or, in doubt, to drink bottled water.

is food safe to eat in santorini?

About food in Santorini, the only problem you will have is that your stomach is not big enough to eat everything you wish. That's why I always carry with me some natural remedies, just in case I overeat because, as my mom always says, "I eat with my eyes and not with my mouth".

Unfortunately, bad luck happens. Sometimes it is not the food but just our stomach that needs to get used to the new cuisine (and let's be honest, we all eat and drink more than usual when on holiday) take some of these natural remedies with you in case you will have stomach upset or food poisoning.


travel natural remedies

My favourite Natural remedies for stomach upset or food poisoning:

  • Milk Thistle: is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence of food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach. Milk Thistle is a great natural remedy to always have with you when you travel.


  • Charcoal capsules: recent studies prove that charcoal can be a good help in case you eat something that was not good and it can prevent you from having diarrhoea.

  • Probiotics: My doctor advises me to start taking them some days before my travel, as a prevention, in case I am going to visit a country where water and food can be easily contaminated.

Obviously, ask your doctor first if you can take them in case you have any allergies or health conditions.


eating and drinking our Santorini

Eating and Drinking in Mykonos

In Santorini, you will find a wide variety of food from meat to fish and delicious vegetables.

Check out my articles about What to Eat in Santorini.


In there you will find everything you need to know about the delicious Greek cuisine.

Prices may vary from locations and bars and restaurants, but these are the approximate prices for the most common foods and drinks in Santorini:

In Supermarket

Bottle 1.5 L water: around 1.00 Euro

Bottle of Beer 0.5 L: approximately 2.00 Euro

Bottle of Wine: 10-20 Euro

At a Bar:

Coffee-latte: 1.50 Euro

Coke in a Can: Around 2.00-2.50 Euro

A glass of 0.5 L Beer: around 1.50-2.00 Euro

A glass of Wine: Around 3.50-6.00 Euro

A bottle of wine: 20-30 Euro

Restaurant on a budget per person: Around 15/20 Euro

Restaurant medium-range per person: Around 35-40 Euro

Fine dining Restaurant per person: From 100 Euro


tipping guide in Santorini

Tipping Guide in Santorini

In Greek restaurants, a gratuity of 10-20% is often added to the bill, so check that you're not already paying the tip before you add more to your payment. If it's not, a tip of 10-15% is encouraged mostly in tourist places.


The tip should reflect the customer service that you received so it is really up to you to decide how much to give.

cost of travelling santorini greece

Cost of Travelling in Santorini

Santorini is a very famous island so if you are looking to save some money, I advise you to avoid it from June to August when it can be boiling, crowded and more expensive.

Flights can be very cheap from September to May (I went from London to Athens and one-way ticket cost me 55 £) while LOndon to Santoriini was more than £150.

book accommodation in santorini

The website that I love the most to find amazing deals is always Booking.com.


What I like about Greece is that you can have lunch, spend only 5 euros if you want, and end up feeling very satisfied, just go to a Gyros shop, they are delicious and cheap.

shopping and souvenirs santorini

Shopping and Souvenirs in Santorini

The options are limitless in a cultural country like Greece, and on a famous island like Santorini. You will find many shops that sell arts and crafts wherever you go. If you don't know wat are the coolest souvenirs to buy in Santorini, I got a detailed article for you here.


Locally hand-crafted ceramics, wood carvings, textiles and jewellery are perfect as souvenirs.


If you are looking to buy antiques please be careful and beware of fakes and stick to reputable sellers.

buy honey as souvenirs in santorini

Also, liquors and food are amazing ideas to take home with you like Ouzo the famous anise-flavoured spirit, honey, herbs for cooking like thyme or oregano, olive oil is delicious in Greece and of course olives.

Santorini is famous for its delicious wine, which could be a great idea as a souvenir.

Check my article "58 Wonderful Things You Cannot Miss to Buy in Greece" to better understand the typical things worth buying.


Is Greece safe for a solo woman traveller?

Greece is pretty safe.


During the day with tourists and locals around the streets, the only thing you will have to worry about are pickpockets that unfortunately can be present in every tourist city.

There are many mistakes to avoid as a solo traveler and I advise having with you an antitheft purse or an antitheft backpack. Prudence is never enough when you are far from home even in the safest place in the world.​

Overnight I advise a solo woman traveller to keep your eyes open wherever you are because bad things can happen anywhere, anytime to anybody so please safety first.

During my solo travels, I always contacted locals through travellers' Facebook groups and I have been lucky to meet people that took me around and show me their city so I was feeling pretty safe being out late in the evening because I wasn't alone.


duty free greece

Duty-Free Allowance in Greece

If you are travelling from an EU country, there are no limits on the amount or value of goods you want to take home with you if your goods are for personal consumption.

Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:

  • 800 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco

  • 10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Greece by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco

  • 4L of wine (excluding sparkling wine) and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume

  • Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers

You are not allowed to import meat or dairy products into Greece from outside the EU.


everything you need to know before visiting santorini

Plan Your Vacation in Santorini in the Best Way

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


how to more around santorini

How to Move Around Santorini

When I plan a trip, I always make sure to have a well-planned trip.

I am not talking about planning where to be at every time of the day because when travelling it is nice to be also spontaneous but not too much if you know what I mean. That is why I always recommend checking out how to move around the place you will visit, to save time and money.​​


Buses in Santorini:


In Santorini, there are many bus lines, and they all start their journey from the Fira bus station. From there, you are going to be able to reach every part of the island.

The destination is written on a sign in front of the bus.

By Car in Santorini:

An excellent way to visit Santorini is by renting a car, so you can stop whenever and go wherever you need anytime.

Renting a car in Greece is pretty cheap, but everything is more expensive on the island of Santorini. So in case, you want to explore every single beach and little village like I love to do, the best way to do it is by renting a car or having a good plan and much extra time to explore it by bus.

I always look at my favorite rental car websites, and I see where I find the best deals.

Have a look at them here:

DiscoverCars:

DiscoverCars is a website that compares many rental cars website. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from many other vehicles. See prices and availability here.

Localrent.com:

Localrent.com is a website that connects you with local rental cars, is available only in Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Montenegro. See prices here.

There is also another way to travel that not everybody thing about it, and it is by Renting a Scooter or a Bicycle.


If the weather is nice, why not enjoy the beauty of Greece driving a nice Scooter or a Bicycle without the issue to find a car park?


If this is an option you may consider, I have a fantastic website to advise you to check:

BikesBooking: where you will be able to choose between any scooter, motorbike, quad and bicycle.


everything you need to know before visiting santorini

Book Tours and Activity in Santorini


There are so many activities to book in Santorini that you could never get bored on this island.

From boat tours to explore hidden bays and hot springs, or you want to spend a day at the sea with your friends, getting tan, and having fun, a good option is a catamaran cruise with bbq and drinks.


If you are looking for something romantic (as I always do) why not book a romantic sunset cruise with dinner, to enjoy the famous sunset in Santorini from one of the best sunset spots on the island?



everything you need to know before visiting santorini, wifi santorini

Is it easy to find wifi in Santorini?

You won't have any problems finding wifi here, it is available and pretty fast in all hotels and most restaurants or bars.


important telephone numbers in santorini

Important Telephone Numbers in Mykonos


Airport Santorini +30 22860 28400

Taxis +30 22860 22555

Bus Service +30 22860 25404

Fira Police Station +30 22860 22649

Fira Health Center +30 22863 60300

Port Authority +30 22860 22239

Tourism Office +30 22860 27199


​Did you enjoy my article?

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Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Santorini.


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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.

Valentina

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