Can we visit Santorini in February
Our highlights on Santorini
The rising sun illuminates them mighty cliffs of the volcanic island, white sugar cube houses spread out as far as the eye can see. From the highest mountain on the island, Santorini looks peaceful and sleepy in the morning light.
On a hike along the edge of the caldera, you will be enchanted by the unique island architecture. What a Dream setting in Greece! If it weren't for thousands of other visitors to share this beauty with.
Unfortunately, there is also the catch that is not uncommon in particularly attractive places. The mass tourism lets Santorini's gleaming facade literally crumble.
Even in the Low season If you look in vain for the original Greek flair, the island has already become far too cosmopolitan.
Still it is from October to April at least a little quieter on Santorini and you usually share the fantastic views with only a few other holidaymakers.
By the way: Santorini and Santorini is the same thing. In German, Santorin is mostly used. Similar to the Italian city of Turin (Torino), the vowel was simply left out at the end. In Greek means Santorini actually Thira.
Is Santorini worth the trip?
In summer, on the other hand, the ferry terminal in Fira is bursting at the seams. Push yourself through the pretty streets of Oia tens of thousands of tourists and the sunset is a pure mass spectacle.
So it is not surprising that troubled locals from Oia signs with the Please respect against their privacy.
None of them want to a second Disneyland in Europe, even if some visitors act like Santorini is an amusement park and the entrance fee is already paid at the gondola.
Those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the main towns can rent a rental car and explore the urbanized hinterland. Off the beaten track, one goes in search of traces of the lost identity of the island.
We'll tell you whether we've rediscovered them in ours 12 highlights the island of Santorini:
Table of Contents
- Hike from Fira to Oia
- The Akrotiri peninsula
- Walk through Megalochori
- Descent to Plaka
- Emporio and the Santorini windmills
- Beautiful beaches in Santorini
- In the alleys of Pyrgos
- The ancient city of Alt-Thera
- The wine of Santorini
- Oia: Santorini's picture-perfect village
- The neighboring island of Thirassia
- Excursion to Nea Kameni volcano
- Nice guided tours in Santorini
- Restaurant recommendations in Santorini
- Accommodation on the island of Santorini
- Getting around in Santorini
- Arrival to the island of Santorini
# 1 Trek from Fira to Oia
A Day hike along the impressive crater rim of Santorini is ideal to get a first impression of the island. The panoramas along the entire route are simply terrific! Make sure you have enough space on your camera's memory card.
The entire route from Fira to Oia, including short detours, is about 14 km and depending on your speed you will be on the road for about five hours. Sturdy shoes, headgear and sufficient water are essential in your luggage.
Santorini book tip: The Santorini travel guide from Michael Müller Verlag is the perfect companion for your vacation with lots of practical tips for exploring the island. Order here: Santorini travel guide
We recommend you start early due to the midday heat. Have your siesta in one of Imerovigli's cafes and taverns before you in the late afternoon in Oia arrive. The picture book place is beautifully lit in the evening light and offers countless photo opportunities.
Fira and Firostefani
The tour starts in Fira, also written Thira. The island capital on the edge of the caldera has over 1,600 inhabitants. You can park your vehicle at the entrance to Fira free parking lot "Parking 1" Off.
Head towards the town hall ("Dimarchio") and the city park. From there you get to the chapel of Agios Minas and the beginning of the crater rim path. The magnificent Ypapanti Episcopal Church sits enthroned above the cobbled street.
The alleys of Fira with their countless souvenir stands and shops are more like a lively bazaar. You will usually look for island idyll here in vain. The one goes behind the cable car from Fira Crater rim path (Nomikou) further to the neighboring town of Firostefani.
Here you discover with the Virgin Mary Church one of the most photographed motifs of Santorini. You catch the church with its bell tower (Three Bells of Fira) particularly beautifully from the often very populated “viewing point” behind it.
Breakfast tip: In the Diverso Café on March 25th (25is Martiou) in Fira we had a delicious breakfast before the long hiking stage. You can choose from filled baguettes, various omelets and of course Greek yogurt with honey.
Imerovigli and the Skaros Rock
From Firostefani it is another 1.5 km to Imerovigli. Shortly before the village at the "Authors Cave Houses" you have a breathtaking view of a white sea of countless modern "cave houses" and a turquoise-blue sparkling pool landscape.
In Imerovigli it is worth making a detour to Skaros skirt. The mighty red rock protrudes clearly into the caldera. The fortress "Kastro", built by the Venetians in the 13th century, once stood on the promontory in front of it.
Only sport climbers should climb the summit of Skaros Rock. If you follow the path along the Skaros Rock to the top, you will discover the lonely one a little below Church "Theoskepasti". For us a place of silence on the otherwise lively island.
Hiking tip:Are you not so fit to walk? Then simply divide the long hike into several stages. From Fira to Imerovigli, for example, it is only about 2.5 km and a 30-minute walk.
After Imerovigli, the route leads along the steep coast to a less populated area. After the last hotel complex, the path crosses again down to San Antonio Chapel with its beautiful bell tower.
The church square invites you to take a short rest, here you can also spread a small picnic. A wonderful place to linger, quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of tourists.
Postcard motif Oia
The way to Oia meanders through unpopulated area and along bizarre volcanic cliffs that glow in various colors.
Behind Imerovigli, the Profitis Ilias church is a great photo opportunity and a few kilometers further follows with the “Panagia” chapel another photogenic gem. From here the last stage of the path begins, all the way down to the village of Oia.
It goes back with that public bus from the Oia bus station. Plan longer waiting times, especially in the summer months, because the buses are usually completely overcrowded, especially after sunset.
A single bus ride back to Fira costs € 1.80. Alternatively, you pay for one Taxi from Oia to Fira at least 15 €.
# 2 The Akrotiri peninsula
In the very south-west of Santorini is the Akrotiri peninsula, which is wonderful to explore on your own with a rental car. In some places, Santorini is still quite original and has one or the other highlight ready.
From the north side of the peninsula you also have a terrific one All-round view of the caldera from Santorini with its islands Nea Kameni, Palia Kameni, Aspronisi and Thirassia.
The lighthouse at Cape Akrotiri
On the south-western tip of the island is the gleaming white lighthouse (Faros), which is a popular destination, especially at sunset.
The area belongs to the Greek Navy and is fenced, so the lighthouse itself is not accessible. Nevertheless, you can enjoy a fantastic view from the cliffs in front of the "Akrotiri Lighthouse".
Kokkinopetra rock formations
The Kokkinopetra near the Red Rock Villas is not only an interesting highlight for geologists. The "red stone" is a curious coastal formation that provides insights into the volcanic origins of Santorini. The rock layers shine here in a wide variety of colors and form a great contrast to the deep blue Aegean Sea.
Shortly before the Red Rock Villas, a gravel road goes down to the left to the quiet Stand "Paralia Gialos". Before the first bend, a beaten path leads to the bizarre rock formations of Kokkinopetra.
Mesa Pigadia Beach
The long stretch of beach with his black volcanic rock is usually not as heavily frequented as its "red counterpart" in the east. There is a hip beach bar or a rustic fish tavern to choose from on site. Parasols and loungers are also provided.
Red Beach (Kokkini Ammos)
The bay of Red Beach is a popular pilgrimage destination on Santorini. The dark volcanic beach is embedded in a here spectacular rock backdrop made of red rock.
Due to falling rocks and rubble, Red Beach has actually been closed to visitors for some time. However, this does not seem to bother anyone.
In summer, numerous vacationers lie down with their beach towels directly under the fragile cliffs. You are a little further back, at the local beach bar, more comfortable and, above all, “safer”.
We personally found the beach, which is polluted with seaweed and rubbish, not particularly attractive. For us, the Red Beach was a nice photo opportunity from afar. On the other hand, you can safely save yourself a walk on the beach between the crowds in summer.
Akrotiri archaeological site
The famous excavations of Akrotiri are just before Red Beach. For those interested in history, it is worth visiting the buried island settlement, which due to its importance also has the "Pompeii of the Aegean" is called.
In pre-Christian times there was a highly developed civilization here that lived in multi-storey houses with baths and sewers. Through the Eruption of the Santorini volcano between 1,630-1,600 BC The city was buried under a meter-thick layer of pumice stone.
Archaeologists discovered the settlement around 1967 and laid, among other things, impressive ones Wall frescoes free. Some of Akrotiri's finds, including wall paintings, are on display in the Fira Prehistoric Museum.
The excavation area covers 10,000 square meters and is completely covered by a weather-protected hall. On laid out paths you cross the facility in a kind of tour.
Information boards provide information about individual components. However, we recommend booking a guide who can explain the tour through Akrotiri more clearly.
Akrotiri summer opening times: daily 8:00 am-8:00pm | Admission: € 12, reduced € 6
Akrotiri winter opening times: daily 8:00 am-3:30pm | Admission: € 6, reduced € 3
The village of Akrotiri
The small settlement at the beginning of the peninsula is ideal for a short walk. In the middle of the maze of streets are the remains of an old one Venetian fort, unfortunately there is a lack of information boards.
Numerous holiday homes and apartments have settled around the place. The leisurely stop is worthwhile Café Akrothiri below the fort. Delicious sweet and savory snacks and good coffee are served in an idyllic atmosphere.
# 3 walking through Megalochori
The pretty village in the southwest of the island has dressed up for holidaymakers. The beautiful white bell towers that span the cobbled streets are a popular photo opportunity.
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