One of the most accessible islands from the UK and still relatively untouched by tourism is the stunning Santorini. Think Mamma Mia, white beautiful buildings set against the azure blue sea and donkeys being led up and down cobbled streets. This is the most idyllic place to rent a holiday letting!
Find a Mamma Mia style holiday rental in Santorini
If getting some seriously enviable instagram shots is your priority, then Santorini is the ultimate photographers dream! You'll find incredible villas, apartments and guesthouses to rent all over the island on Tripadvisor and Airbnb, don't be surprised if you see a Hollywood star sipping a cocktail next to you in one of the stylish cocktail bars!
How to Get to Santorini?
There are a few ways to get to Santorini from the UK, we would recommend flying to Athens as the airport is much more sophisticated than the one in Santorini. Flights from Athens to London are reasonably priced, direct and fuss free, once you are in Athens you can jump on a ferry which will take you approximately 5 hours. The views as you enter the caldera are just stunning so definitely worth the extra travel time. Flights from London go direct to Santorini but they can get very pricey during the summer months. If the direct flights are too expensive or not available then look into one stop flights via Paris, Rome, Venice or Athens as an alternative. Once on the island, jump in a taxi to your accommodation.
How to get around Santorini
Getting around the island is relevantly simple on the local buses and this is an extremely cheap way of seeing the island. The tickets are issued from inside the bus, and the cost can vary from 1.80€ to 2.50€ per person per route. However, if you're a nervous passenger then the buses are probably not for you. Alternatively, hiring a car or quad bike is a great option as the roads are easy to navigate and parking is straight forward in most of the hot spots.
Where to book a holiday apartment or villa in Santorini
When choosing where to stay in Santorini, it's worth doing your research as there are plenty of villas and glamorous hotels to choose from. Fira is the largest town on the island and one of the most picturesque spots in all of Greece. The town is perched on the caldera cliff with fascinating views of the volcano and it is filled with pretty white and blue houses. Bed and Breakfasts in Fira are very popular with honeymooners and loved up couples. However if you want space for the kids to run around find a villa with a private pool, just outside of Fira. These villas are perfect for large families or big groups travelling together. What's also great about Fira is that it's the hub of Santorini's bus network so day trips are easily accessible from this part of the island.
For a spectacular spot that remains mostly untouched by tourism then find accommodation in Pygros. It is built on the foot of Elias Mountain and the panoramic views are to die for. Pygros has luxury holiday lettings, sophisticated restaurants mixed with traditional character, charming winding streets and medieval characteristics. Overall it is understandable why Pygros is such a popular choice for those with big budgets. The town also has an array of local vineyards, churches and galleries to explore.
If you're looking for something in between Fira and Pyrgos then Oia is 100% your best choice. Again, situated on the top of a cliff, this traditional village is famous for its sunset views attracting thousands of visitors each evening. The natural beauty of Oia, with traditional white washed houses, blue domed churches and picture perfect views makes this extremely popular with visitors from around the globe. Stay in a self catering apartment just out of town if you're budget is tight or splash the cash and rent a villa.
What to visit?
Wine Tasting Session
You may be surprised to hear that Santorini is full of incredible vineyards and Santo Vineyard is the most famous on the island. Spend a lazy afternoon sipping on Greek wine, olives and nibbles, you may even spot a wedding happening! A wine tasting session is really reasonably priced and if you head there mid afternoon or early evening it's a great spot watch the sunset down on Fira and the caldera.
Being a historical country, Greece is famous for its archaeological discoveries, and Akrotiri prehistoric town does not disappoint. The ticket costs 12EUR but to experience the Pompeii of Greece, its most definitely worth the visit. We'd recommend hiring a guide if you're interested in the finer details.
Although Santorini is absolutely stunning, you won't find many beaches with golden sand, the majority are black due to the volcanic landscape. However, a Greek holiday wouldn't be complete without spending at least a day chilling on the beach. Perissa and Perivolos are great options for travellers of all types even if you're travelling with a young family. You'll find plenty of beach bars, tavernas and lots of sea activities such as diving, jet skis and volleyball courts, to keep those little ones entertained.
For a small island, Santorini has some surprising hidden gems for the family to enjoy. It is famous for its incredible sunsets and most of the tourists head to Oia Castle in the hope for that perfect Instagram snap. However, only a small handful know that the sunset in Imerovigli is just as, if not more, beautiful than its rival Oia. Take a picnic and once you are sitting down with a crisp cold white wine in hand, this is one of the most relaxing and romantic spots on the island (without a thousand other tourists pushing you to get to the front). You won't find any cheap villas in this area of Santorini - this is for the select few only!