Santorini Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the in Santorini.

Santorini  officially Thira  and classic Greek Thera, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast from the Greek mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia, as well as the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.

The island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred about 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep. It may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (68 mi) to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long and 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 mi) wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3-4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around Akrotiri.

Foods in  Santorini :

(1) Moussaka :

Moussaka is an eggplant- or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, which is common in Egypt, the Balkans and the Middle East, with many local and regional variations. The best-known version in Europe and the Americas is the Greek variant created in the 1920s by Nikolaos Tselementes. 

(2) Greek salad :

Greek salad or horiatiki salad is a popular salad in Greek cuisine generally made with pieces of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese (usually served as a slice on top of the other ingredients), and olives and dressed with salt, pepper, Greek oregano, and olive oil. Common additions include green bell pepper slices or caper berries (especially on the Dodecanese islands). Greek salad is often imagined as a farmer's breakfast or lunch, as its ingredients resemble those that a Greek farmer might have on hand.

(3) Roasted Greek lamb : 

This is how the Greeks make roast lamb – cooked until tender, half braised in a garlic lemon flavoured liquid that transforms into a luscious sauce – no mucking around with gravy!  This Greek Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb takes hours and hours to roast, but it is EASY, virtually foolproof and very hands off. A perfect centrepiece for Easter. Sunday Roast or any other occasion for feasting!! But this one I’m sharing today is not just another lamb roast. It’s a Greek one. Rubbed with a simple spice mix, slow cooked until tender, half braised so it sucks up all the yummy lemony garlicky herby flavours.

(4) Saganaki (Fried cheese in filo pastry covered in honey) : 

So as you may have noticed cheese is really important in our home, but also in the Greek diet. Since traditionally Greeks did not eat much meat, cheese played the role of protein to go along with all those vegetable dishes. In fact, according to the USDA and other sources, Greece has the highest consumption of cheese per person in the world (yes more than the French), at 71 pounds a year which corresponds to 3 ounces a day (which isn’t that much really). That’s because it is actually an important component to the meal, especially feta which makes up most of the cheese consumed in Greece.

But cheese sometimes is consumed as an appetizer, such as the saganki which is fried yellow cheese or baked feta and this here recipe is a more fancy version of baked feta. You will see this appetizer in more modern tavernes (taverns) here in Greece and it is delicious. It is very easy to replicate at home. Although usually fried, I made it a bit lighter by baking it and using a bit less cheese.

One of these is an appetizer for 2-3 people, just a few bites each or you can make it for one person and accompany it with a salad for lunch. And while it seems like an indulgent appetizer, one serving is about 100 calories, low carb (the phyllo adds very little) and a good source of calcium.

(5) Spanakopita : 

The traditional filling comprises chopped spinach, feta cheese, onions or scallions, egg, and seasoning. Other white, preferably salted cheeses such as kefalotiri may also be mixed with the feta cheese, and some may be used as a substitute for feta cheese. Herbs such as dill, mint and parsley as may be used as flavouring. The filling is wrapped or layered in phyllo (filo) pastry with butter or olive oil, either in a large pan from which individual servings are cut, or rolled into individual triangular servings. While the filo-dough recipe is most common, some recipes use a village-style pastry horiatiko, which has a thicker crust. It can also be made with puff pastry. The pastry is golden in colour when baked, the colour often enhanced by butter and egg yolk. It can be served straight from the oven or at room temperature.There is a "fasting", or vegan, version of spanakopita, eaten during the Great Lent and other religious fasts. This version has spinach, onions or green onions, other green herbs like dill, parsley or celery, as filling, and uses olive oil and a little wheat flour but no eggs or dairy products. The mixture is oven-baked until crisp. Non-traditional vegan versions are available that typically use tofu instead of cheese.

Weather & geography in  Santorini :

Warm summers and extended period of sunshine can be expected on Santorini, a typical Mediterranean climate. The winter months though see mild, windy and rainy days. The geographic location around the ancient volcano in the southern Aegean plays a role with the unique weather of Santorini.

Per day Cost in  Santorini :

You should plan to spend around €131 ($155) per day on your vacation in Santorini, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €38 ($45) on meals for one day and €23 ($27) on local transportation.

History of  Santorini :

According to searches and excavations on Santorini, the first human presence on the island is situated back to the Neolithic Period. Santorini hosted an important civilization around 3600 BC. Discoveries made in an important city near Akrotiri and the famous Red Beach showed the existence of an ancient Minoan colony. The city was very similar to those found on the island of Crete (like Knossos), with many wall ornaments and pottery showing naturalistic landscapes of animals and humans of the same ancient Minoan style.In Ancient times, Santorini Island was known as Strongili, which means round in Greek. Strongili was the victim of an enormous volcano eruption in 1,500 BC. The eruption was so huge that many consider it to be the main cause of the destruction of the great Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, situated 70 nautical miles away.The specialists believe that the explosion was so strong that it created gigantic waves that reached the shores of the surrounding islands and Crete. After the explosion, the centre of Santorini sank, and the many earthquakes that followed destroyed a big part of the rest of the island. Many studies and researches have been presented in our days about the volcano of Santorini, including a series of documentaries in the National Geographic.

Language in  Santorini :

Greek is the official language, though considering the large influx of visitors the island receives (as many as 10,000 cruise ship tourists alone come ashore daily), you're more likely to run into English-speaking Greeks than not, especially in tourist areas.

Culture of  Santorini :

A trip to Santorini cannot be complete without understanding its rich heritage. The art and cultural activities in Santorini will give you an insight into the city's history, traditions, and artwork. While visiting the cultural attractions in Santorini would prove to be informative, attending its artsy events will leave you entertained. From cultural performances to historical monuments that give you a glimpse of the past, take a look at this list to know Santorini better. Include these in attractions in your itinerary for Santorini and have a great vacation.

Place to visit in  Santorini :

(1) Pyrgos
(2)  Fira
(3)  Akrotiri
(4)  Ammoudi
(5)  Nea Kameni
(6)  Oia
(7)  Caldera
(8)  Red Beach

Hotel in  Santorini  :
(1) Fira Downtown

(2) Myst Santorini

(3) Smaro Studios

(4) Hotel Odysseas

(5) Hotel Strogili

How to reach in  Santorini :

You can travel either by plane (Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos") or by ferryboat (Piraeus Port). There are also links between Santorini and other Greek islands. The flight is the quickest, easiest and most direct way as it lasts more or less 40 minutes and you can book your tickets in advance.

Travel Guide for  Santorini : Food, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).