Santorini Volcano: Learn the history and Plan Your Visit

Santorini Volcano: History, Tips before Going, How to Get There and the Best Boat and Catamaran Tours

A visit to Santorini is not complete unless you visit its famous volcano, the hot springs and enjoy swimming in the Red and White beach. Here is all you need to know before you plan your visit to the Santorini Volcano with a boat or catamaran tour.

– Where is the Santorini Volcano located?

The Santorini Volcano is located on the small volcanic island, called “Nea Kameni”. It is opposite of the Santorini island and fairly close to it, as it takes around 10 minutes with a boat from Fira to reach the volcano, located at Nea Kameni. See the map below for an easy explanation of where the Santorini Volcano is located, in relation to Santorini, Thirasia, Palaia Kameni islands.

The Santorini Volcano - Where it is located

The Santorini Volcano – Where it is located

1. Santorini Volcano History

Nea Kameni - Volcano in Santorini

Nea Kameni – Volcano in Santorini

If you wonder how old is the Santorini Volcano, the answer is that it is 2 million years old. Yes, the very first volcanic eruptions in the area of Santorini, started 2 million years BC. Ok, that’s a long time ago, so let’s see what happened closer to our times.

The most important eruption of the Santorini Volcano has been 2000 years BC when the eruption created a huge earthquake which formed the crater in Santorini island and gave birth to the amazing caldera and some of the small volcanic islands next to it. The most important effect of this eruption, however, wasn’t in Santorini island itself. It was in Crete island, which is around four hours by boat away from Santorini. The volcano explosion and the earthquake it created, has resulted in a huge tsunami, which hit the Crete island and has actually destroyed the most advanced civilization of Greece at that time. The Minoans. It as like an Aegean sea apocalypse.

You can watch a youtube video of the history of the Santorini Volcano, here. You can also watch here a youtube video of the history and the secrets of the Minoan civilization. Santorini used to be a Minoan colony for many years in ancient times.

2. Santorini Volcano Eruption History

So, when did the volcano erupt in Santorini?

The most recent well-known eruptions of the Santorini Volcano have been in the years of 97 BC (created Palaia Kameni island), 1570 AD (created the Nea Kameni island), 1707 AD, 1866 AD, 1925 AD and 1956 AD. The lava magmas that came out from the eruptions once solidified have created the following volcanic islands:  Thirassia, Aspronesi, Mikrà Kameni, Palea  Kameni and Nea  Kameni. All these islands are around the main Santorini Volcano and are facing the half-moon caldera of the Santorini island.

Will Santorini Volcano erupt again? Most probably yes, but no one can predict the time. Don’t worry though. The seismic activity that is evident before the volcanic eruptions will notify you well before, so you will have plenty of time to leave the island if you are soooo unlucky that a volcanic eruption occurs during your vacation to this wonderful place.

3. Santorini Volcano Last Eruption

A lot of people ask when was the last eruption of Santorini. The answer is that the last eruption of the Santorini Volcano took place in 1956 and destroyed part of the Imerovigli village. And if you wonder if the volcano in Santorini is still active, the answer is that yes, it is still active but in a dormant mode. So, no need to worry that is going to erupt while you visit Santorini. Volcanos don’t erupt from one moment to the other, so in the worst case scenario, they will be plenty of time to deal with the unexpected.

4. Santorini Volcano – How to get there

So, how do you get to the Santorini Volcano, in Nea Kameni volcanic island? There is no public boat service that connects Fira, Imerovigli, Oia or other parts of Santorini with Nea Kameni, as the latter is a small uninhabited island and there is no reason for a public transportation to existing. That means that you have to get a boat tour to go the Santorini Volcano from Santorini island.

5. Santorini Volcano – Hot Springs Information & Tips (don’t dive before you read this)

Palaia Kameni - Hot Springs

Palaia Kameni – Hot Springs

A popular stop for many tours going from Santorini to the Santorini Volcano in Nea Kameni is the area of the Hot Springs. This area is in a small cave next to Nea Kameni, at a volcanic island called Palaia Kameni (old Kameni). This is where the boat stops and you can jump in the water and swim in the thermal waters.

Now, you have to be careful with swimming in the hot springs. The reason is that the water smells sulfur, so it smells really bad. And it is not clear, but muddy. Your skin and your clothes will smell bad for some hours and even days. Most probably, you will have to through away your swimming suit due to the stains it is going to have from the chemicals in the water, as you will not want to wear it again. So, don’t go to the Hot Springs with your best expensive swimming suit but get another, old and cheap one that you might get rid of easily after the boat trip. And don’t even think about wearing anything in white color, while you jump in the waters of the Hot Springs.

6. Santorini Volcano Tours

You can get a Santorini Volcano Tour from Fira, Perissa, Kamari or even other places in the Santorini island, as most of the tours offer a free pick-up and return from your hotel. The cheaper tours will not do it obviously, so you will have to transfer to the departure area. As said, you cannot get a Santorini to Volcano visit without the tour. The catamarans usually depart from Vlychada village, outside of Fira.

Here are the most popular tour routes that exist from Santorini to the Volcano:

Fira to Hot Springs to Volcano and back to Fira. Some Tours include the Red and White beach.

This is a popular route for boats and catamarans that they usually pick you up at your hotel, leave from Fira, go to the Hot Springs at Palaia Kameni island, then visit the Volcano at the Nea Kameni island and return to Fira. Typically, these tours last four to five hours and leave you time for swimming and hiking in the volcano.

Here is the map with the most usual stops of the boat tours:

The best Santorini Volcano boat or catamaran tours are:

Santorini Sailing DreamCatcher, 5-hour Sailing Tour in the Volcano: 

Santorini Volcano Tour - Dreamcatcher

Santorini Volcano Tour – Dreamcatcher

This tour lasts 5 hours. They pick you up from your hotel, it takes you to the thermal springs, then to the volcano and they cook a bbq for you. It allows time for snorkeling and swimming in the hot springs and a couple of other bays. It costs around 100 euros per person. This tour uses a catamaran, which is an interesting experience by itself. Check prices here.

The Santorini Catamaran Red Cruise: 

Santorini Volcano Tour - Red Catamaran

Santorini Volcano Tour – Red Catamaran

The tour with this catamaran lasts for five hours and they pick you up from your hotel, with a minibus. It will take you to the Santorini caldera, then to the Red and White beach for some swimming, then to the Hot Springs and finally to the Volcano. It also offers beverages and a bbq with pork or chicken. The cost is around 90 euros per person. The maximum persons on the catamaran are around 50 to 55, so it’s not a private experience. Make sure to bring your own towels, as they are not provided by the tour operators. Check the prices and book it here.

4- hour Tour to the Volcano in Nea Kameni and the Hot Springs: 

Santorini Volcano Tour - Boat Tour

Santorini Volcano Tour – Boat Tour

This is a cheaper tour, which costs around 30 euros per person. It lasts four hours and it will get you to the hot springs, then to the Volcano and back to Fira in Santorini island. The boat used is a simpler, standard one and not a catamaran.They will also pick you up from the hotel you stay at (Kamari, Fira, and Perissa) but there is no lunch or bbq included in the tour. Check the prices and book it here.

Semi-Private Boat Tour to the Volcano and the Hot Springs with a Luxury Catamaran

Santorini Volcano Tour - Semi-Private Catamaran Tour

Santorini Volcano Tour – Semi-Private Catamaran Tour

Again, this tour lasts about five hours. They pick you up from your hotel, and the catamaran will get you to the hot springs and to the Volcano. They will offer towels, so you don’t have to bring your own. They also offer unlimited wines and beverages and a greek buffet on board. There will around 15 to 18 people on board, so don’t expect that semi-private means under ten people on the catamaran. This tour costs around 170 euros per person and has great reviews. Check the prices and book it here.

Santorini Gems: Small Group (semi-private) sailing cruise on a Catamaran: 

Santorini Volcano Tour - Santorini Gems

Santorini Volcano Tour – Santorini Gems

This tour is on a catamaran which stops at three sites for you to swim. It lasts for five hours and it takes you to the Red Beach, then to the White beach, to the Hot Springs, and to the Volcano. It offers barbeque, drinks, wifi onboard, snorkeling equipment and they pick you up from your hotel and return you back. It costs around 140 euros per person. Check the prices and book it here.




Thessaloniki - The White Tower

What to Do in Thessaloniki: The 15 Best Things to Do in Thessaloniki, Greece

What to Do in Thessaloniki: The 15 Best Things to Do in Thessaloniki, Greece

Asking what to do in Thessaloniki, so that you enjoy the best of it? We got you covered. Here is a list of our suggested things to do in Thessaloniki.

Before we start with the list let’s reply to the question:

What is Thessaloniki Famous For?

Thessaloniki is famous for its White Tower, the Byzantine castle ruins, and the exhibits from ancient Macedonia at its museums. Thessaloniki is also famous for its great food, probably the best in Greece, its vivid nightlife, and its shopping streets. Certainly, a city to enjoy spending some days at, especially if you combine your trip with a visit to Chalkidiki and Mount Athos during the summer, or at Meteora, Pella and Vergina.

#1 Visit the White Tower

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is the symbol of the town and an interesting place to visit, as it has many photos from what life looked like in Thessaloniki many decades ago. This used to be an observatory tower, belonging to the castles of Thessaloniki, but the castles have been ruined in their most part. The White Tower has also served as a prison in the past when the Ottomans were occupying the town. The White Tower has been built by the Ottomans when they captured the city of Thessaloniki, somewhere in 1430 and it is part of an older Byzantine fortification castle. Its height is 34 meters and it is situated on the waterfront of Thessaloniki.

Operating hours: The White Tower is closed on Mondays and it is open all the other days from 08:30 am to 3 PM. 

Admission fee: There is a 6 euro admission fee for the adults.

Information in 20 languages: 

#2 Walk through the Aristotelous (Aristotle’s) Square

Aristotelous Square at night

Aristotelous Square at night

Aristotle’s Square is the most central place in Thessaloniki and one of the most beautiful areas to visit. It offers you a direct view of the sea, while it is surrounded by neo-classical, fairly high buildings and the beautiful Electra hotel. You will find many cafes and places to eat gyros and souvlaki, a cinema and shops, or you can just walk around and enjoy the beautiful sea breeze and the warm Greek sun. If you go to Aristotle’s square during lunchtime, try the “Ayoli” restaurant, right next to it and on the waterfront of Thessaloniki. It serves delicious fish food and many Greek mezes.

#3 Drink a Coffee at Le Garcon, next to the sea road

It is common for people in Thessaloniki to go and drink a coffee at one of the many cafes you will find on the road “Megalou Alexandrou” which is just in front of the sea and leads to the White Tower. Probably the most beautiful cafe on this street is “Le Garcon”, which is styled as a French brasserie and offers great views of the sea, excellent service, and an eye-catching interior design. Le Garcon belongs to Pedrak Stojakovic, a famous basketball player who is a local basketball hero in the town.

#4 Visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is the biggest museum in Northern Greece and one of the biggest museums in Greece. Some of its notable exhibits are the Derveni Krater, the statue of Harpocrates (2nd century BC), the head of Serapis (2nd century BC), the gold Medusa heads and many gold medals and other interesting artifacts from ancient Greece and Macedonia.

Address: 6, Manoli Andronikou Street, Thessaloniki

Operating Hours: Everyday from 09:00 am to 16:00 pm.

Admission fee (Ticket Price): 8 euros for the adults and 4 euros for the children.

#5 Go to Athonos Square and try some mezes

Athonos square hosts many Greek traditional restaurants, one next to the other and is a very handy and warm place to visit, if you would like to try the Greek mezes. Due to the low price of the food, it is often frequented by young students.

#6 Buy a “Tsoureki” from Terkenlis shop

The famous Terkenlis Tsoureki

The famous Terkenlis Tsoureki

Terkenlis is the most famous food store brand in Thessaloniki and this is due to its popular “Tsoureki”, which is covered with white or black chocolate. You have to try it for yourself to judge, so we strongly recommend you visit the Terkenlis store at Aristotle’s square.

#7 Have a drink at the Kitchen Bar

Kitchen bar is an all-day cafe and restaurant, which lies in an excellent position, on the old harbor of Thessaloniki. You can have an amazing view of the town from it, as the view includes the sea, the White Tower and the city of Thessaloniki.

#8 Visit the Castle ruins on top of the hills

The Castles in Thessaloniki

The Castles in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki used to have strong fortifications, however, the biggest part of its Castles has been ruined, due to a huge fire and to the locals getting the stones from the castle to build their homes. One of the best-preserved places of the castle fortifications is at “Ano Poli”, meaning “Upper Town” in Greek and it is a beautiful area to walk through and enjoy the view down to the town.

#9 Go for lunch at Erotikos Restaurant in Kalamaria

Kalamaria is a suburb of Thessaloniki which is five kilometers away from the center of Thessaloniki and it boasts many restaurants and cafes, overlooking the Thermaikos sea. Erotikos restaurant is very well positioned in a peaceful area of Kalamaria, just in front of the sea. Give it a try.

#10 Have a coffee or drink at Istioploikos Omilos

Istioploikos Omilos is close to the Macedonia Hotel and it is also right on the sea. A great place to sit outside and drink a mojito or a coffee, while enjoying the sea breeze and the fantastic views of the town.

#11 See the Arch of Galerius (Kamara) and the Rotonda

The Arch in Thessaloniki

The Arch in Thessaloniki

These two architectures are among the most famous emblems of the city of Thessaloniki, with Kamara being the standard meeting point for parties who want to go out for coffee in Thessaloniki. “Let’s meet at Kamara”, is a common phrase among students and young citizens who have an afternoon rendez-vous there, so as to descend their way to the popular cafes and bars in the center of Thessaloniki. Both Kamara and Rotonda were built on the 4th century AD by the Roman emperor Galerius.

#12 Visit the Hagia Sophia Church

Hagia Sophia church is one of the oldest churches in Thessaloniki and a Unesco world heritage monument. It has been built in the 8th century AD, at the same place was another smaller church existed for 500 years. Hagia Sophia was built according to the architecture of the Hagia Sophia church in Constantinopolis, now called Istanbul, in Turkey.

#13 Visit the Saint Demetrius Church

Saint Demetrius was a Christian martyr and is nowadays the saint who protects the city of Thessaloniki, according to the locals. There is also a festive on the 26th of October, every year, when it is a public holiday, for everyone in the town. The Saint Demetrius church has been built in the 4th century AD and it hosts many catacombs for Christians who were hiding there.

#14 Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture

One of the most interesting museums of the Byzantium era, that you can find anywhere in the world. The museum of Byzantine Culture has eleven different rooms, with exhibits from the early Christian times to the latest stages of the Byzantium and how it affected the city of Thessaloniki. Here you will find many exhibits including coins, books, statues, wooden icons, mosaics, wall paintings.

Address: 2, Leoforos Stratou, Thessaloniki

Hours: Everyday from 9 am to 5 pm


Ticket Price: 8 euros for the adults and 4 euros for the children

#15 Visit the Ataturk Museum



Walking Tour of Amsterdam with Google Maps Instructions

Amsterdam Walking Tour with Google Maps Instructions

Amsterdam Walking Tour with Google Maps Instructions

We have prepared a 90-minutes walking tour in the center of Amsterdam, which will take you through the best spots you should see while strolling around Amsterdam. This map is available on Google Maps, with step-by-step instructions, so that you can easily navigate around, with your mobile phone, while in Amsterdam.

Stop 1: Central Station

Stop 2: Dam Square

Stop 3: The Oude Church

Stop 4: Nieuwmarket

Stop 5: Waterlooplein Market

Stop 6: Rokin

Stop 7: Bloemenmarket

Stop 8: Westerkrek

Stop 9: Brouwersgracht

Stop 10: Central Station

You can get this map here.

Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City Review

Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City: A Review from a Couple that Spent 3 Nights Here

Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City: Our Review

So, we chose to spend four days, three nights in Amsterdam, as a couple and we have been searching for a decent hotel to stay, that would not break the bank and would be convenient for seeing the main attractions of Amsterdam and getting to know the city. We ended up with the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City and here is our review, with all the pros and the cons.

The first point to remember: Amsterdam is very expensive in lodging. Even more expensive than London. The four-star hotels in the center of Amsterdam cost north of 150 euros per night and they don’t offer anything special in terms of accommodation. Airbnb is pretty expensive too. So, don’t expect to get any great room, in a very convenient location for under 100 euros per night.

The second point to remember: The absolute center of Amsterdam is the Dam Square. Draw a circle of around 2kms from Dam Square and almost everything you want to see is in that area: The Red light district, the coffee shops, most of the museums (though not the Van Gogh museum), Leidseplein, the Central Station and so on. But the accommodation in this area is not good value for money.

The third point to remember: Amsterdam is a flat city. And it has a great transportation system, mainly with the tram. 

So, our decision was to go for a hotel that would be decent enough, with a lower price than staying in the center and that would be close enough to transportation (tram), so that we could move easily to the center of Amsterdam (Dam Square) and preferably to the airport.

That’s why we went to the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City. I have to admit, that we paid around 130 euros per night, which is not cheap, however, the central hotels were asking for 170 euros per night. Here are the pros and cons:

+ Going to Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City from the Airport of Schiphol is quick (10 minutes by train) and easy (the train leaves from a station which lies inside the Schiphol airport). It is also cheap. The ticket costs 4 euros per person. An Uber from the Airport of Schiphol to the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam city, took us 21 euros, while a “regular” taxi would cost around 35 euros.

+ There is a Tram Station, in 3 minutes walk from the hotel. It is the Tram line 4, which gets you to the Dam Square in around 25 minutes. And it leaves every 7 minutes. So, all in all, to get from your room to Dam Square you will need 30 minutes. The tram lines operate until 00:30 in the evening and then you can get the night buses (or taxis, which are obviously more expensive). 

+ Next to the Tram Station, there is the Amsterdam RAI station, which is a hub for trains. So, when you want to get to the hotel from the airport, you pay 4 euros per person, you enter the train station at Schiphol station, after 10 minutes you are at Amsterdam RAI, you walk 3 minutes and you are at Novotel hotel. Pretty easy and straightforward.

+ The rooms are pretty much ok, even though the lobby area is more “modern” and you would be waiting for something more ….interesting. 

+ The room service is fast and convenient.

+ There is a free wireless everywhere in the hotel, which is fast-speed and works great almost everywhere, in the room or in the lobby.

+ There is a shop inside the hotel where you can buy some coffee, snacks etc.

+ It is a 100% non-smoking hotel. Of course, for others, this might be a minus 🙂

On the downside now:

– You lose at least 60 minutes per day for transferring from the hotel to the city center and back. So, the “time toll” for four days is around 4 hours and if you save an average 40 euros per evening, you sacrifice 4 hours from your trip to win around 120 euros or 30 euros per hour. On the other side, the tram goes through Amsterdam canals and it is a pretty beautiful trip. Moreover, you always find a seat in the tram, as the Tram Line 4 begins from Novotel Hotel.

– The check-in starts at 15:00. Not at 12:00 as in most hotels around the world. We were there earlier at 13:00 and they let us wait in the lobby. After an hour of waiting, we went and asked again and they made us the favor to give us a room at 14:00, instead of 15:00. So, we lost one-hour waiting. Of course, this is not the hotel’s fault, as we knew that the checkin was at 15:00 but 99% of the times we travel, the hotels are flexible enough to give you a room a couple of hours earlier.

– The employees at the lobby are smiling and trying to do their job but…how should I put it… They are a little bit tight. They will not bend the rules easily for you or do the extra mile to help you. Of course, if you ask you will get a reply but you will not get the “real warm feeling of hospitality”.

– There is no breakfast included in the price we paid. For 130 euros per night, I would expect a breakfast for two persons to be included. And the water is crazy expensive in the shop. You have to pay 2.7 euros for 500ml of water. You should better get a beer, it might be cheaper.

Would we stay at Novotel Amsterdam City again? We would probably do. Especially if we could strike an even better deal, including breakfast in the price of the room. If you want to check the prices and book it, click here.

Uber in Greece

Is Uber available in Athens Greece?

Is Uber available in Athens Greece?

A common question we get about Athens is whether uber is available in Athens, Greece. The short answer is yes. Uber is available in Athens and you can download the application from your mobile phone store and just use it in Athens. Is Uber the most common taxi-call service in Athens? Actually no, the most popular app for calling a taxi in Greece is “Beat, which is a Greek app developed under the name “Taxibeat”, which got acquired by a German company and was renamed to “Beat”. 

In comparison, Beat has around 1200 taxis using its service, while Uber should have around 800 taxis using the service.

Can you get an Uber from the airport of Athens to the city center? Yes, you can call an Uber to pick you up from the airport of Athens. However, you have to know that uber is not that welcomed by the taxi syndicates in Greece and there are sometimes issues with Uber drivers trying to get passengers from the airport of Athens. As of March 2018, it is not illegal, although a new law in Greece tries to create stricter borders, supporting the taxi syndicates vs Uber and Beat in Greece. 

On March 2018, angry taxi drivers were attacking Uber drivers and cars in the center of Athens, as part of a protest that the taxi syndicates had ( We have used Uber and Beat many times in Greece and never had an issue, however, you should keep that in mind.

From our calculations, Uber (and Beat) are usually 25% to 30% cheaper to get than the regular taxis. As an example, a “regular” taxi from the North Suburbs of Athens to the Airport, will cost you around 35 euros and an Uber will cost you around 22 euros.

Where to stay in Santorini

Where to Stay in Santorini, Greece in 2018: Best Areas and Hotels

Where to Stay in Santorini in 2018

Santorini is a unique place on earth. A volcano island that offers astonishing views and infinite possibilities to enjoy a broad range of vacation from partying hard to romantic getaways. We often get the question “Where to Stay in Santorini?” and we decided to create a small guide for you to help you get the best possible place and hotel to stay according to how you want to enjoy the island. This is part of our Kindle Guide: “Santorini in 3 Days, Travel Guide”, which you can get here.

The Best Villages to Stay in Santorini:

When deciding on where to stay in Santorini, you should know that there are four (4) main places where visitors stay in Santorini: Fira Village (the capital), Imerovigli Village (close to Fira), Oia (fantastic sunset) and Perissa (black beach, cheaper place to stay). Here are the pros and cons of each location:

Where to Stay in Santorini: Fira Village

Fira Village in Santorini - View from Below

Fira Village in Santorini – View from Below

Fira is the biggest village of Santorini Island; it has the most visitors on the island, ranging from youngsters who want to party in the clubs of the village, to couples who enjoy the scenic views of the caldera and the fabulous restaurants and hotels. Fira is built on top of the volcanic caldera, so it doesn’t have a beach, and you will have to drive 10kms to get to a decent beach to swim. Fira village is quite expensive and if you can save some money if you choose to stay at “Karterados” village, which is 3.5kms away from Fira village. Of course, you will have to drive to Fira every night (or get the bus), and you have to know that you will have to leave your car at the parking in the entrance of Fira and walk on foot (about 500m). Fira offers five(5) 5-star hotels and fifteen (15) 4-star hotels.

Plus: Romantic Views, Great Hotels, and Restaurants, Nightlife, Shopping

Cons: Expensive, Too busy during July and August, no (or extremely difficult) parking inside the village, no beach

Where to Stay in Santorini: Imerovigli Village

Where to Stay in Santorini: Imerovigli Village

Imerovigli Village in Santorini

Close to Fira, Imerovigli is also built on the caldera hill and offers fantastic views. It is less crowded than Fira, and usually, many couples choose to stay at Imerovigli for their honeymoon. It doesn’t offer a beach and it’s not for young people who want to party. It is romantic, with white houses and fabulous hotels. Imerovigli offers six 5-star hotels and ten 4-star hotels.

Where to Stay in Santorini: Oia Village

Where to Stay in Santorini: Oia Village

Oia Village in Santorini

Oia is well known all over the world for its fantastic sunset. Oia is a beautiful village with small, white houses and famous restaurants. Oia is quite expensive to stay, though. It doesn’t offer any great beach to swim, and you will have to drive through a tiny and crowded road to get to Fira in the evening. Oia has thirteen 5-star hotels and seven 4-star hotels. Obviously, Oia is the most luxurious village in Santorini and here you can find hotel rooms, which are actually caves inside the caldera, which cost up to 3.000 euros per night.

Don’t worry, later on, we will let you know the best value hotels to stay in Oia. You should stay at Oia if you are on a honeymoon, or if you are looking for romance with your partner. It’s also a great place if you are a photography lover. Don’t stay at Oia if you are looking for parties and you want to spend a lot of time on the beach. 

Where to Stay in Santorini: Perissa Village

Perissa Village in Santorini

Perissa Village in Santorini

Perissa is the cheapest place to stay on Santorini island. And it is by far the ugliest village of Santorini, compared to Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. The good things about staying at Perissa are the cheaper prices and the proximity to the beach life. Perissa offers the vast black beach (at least 5kms of a black sanded beach) and many great beach bars where you can relax and enjoy yourself. As we pointed out, the village doesn’t offer any scenic views, as it is on the sea level and not built on the caldera rocks (unlike Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli), and the village has nothing special to offer you regarding architecture and beauty.

Don’t stay at Perissa if you are on a honeymoon. Stay at Perissa if you are a bunch of friends or a couple, looking for the cheapest possible accommodation on the island.

Frequently Asked Questions about Where to Stay in Santorini:

– How Big is Santorini, Greece?

Santorini is only 18km in its length and 5kms wide. It is a small volcano island!

-Where is the port in Santorini?

Santorini has only one port and it is in the middle of the island, around 4 km away from Fira, which is the main village of the island.

– Where to Stay, in Oia or in Fira?

Oia is more romantic, quieter and with fewer people than Fira. For a honeymoon, you should better stay at Oia. If you like parties, crowds, more fun, and action, you should stay at Fira. The drawback of staying at Oia is that it will take you longer to get to the south beaches of the island, as there are no beaches close to Oia. The roads are small and they get busy, so you are going to need at least 20 minutes more to get to the beach, than if you stay at Fira.

– Where to Stay in Santorini to Party?

You should stay in Fira Village. It is the most crowded place, with many bars and nightclubs. All the young people stay here, or close to Fira. If you don’t have the budget to stay inside Fira, try to stay in Karterados village, which is 4kms away.

– Is there an airport in Santorini?

Yes, there is a small airport in Santorini, around 7kms away from Fira, the main village of Santorini.

-Where to Stay in Santorini on a budget?

Santorini is expensive. The most budget-friendly places to stay are Perissa village and Karterados. During the high season, you will end up paying 50 to 60 euros per night for a very basic flat. Don’t expect to get good value for money in Santorini. Airbnb will not save you, as the rooms that are rented on Airbnb are also expensive.

-Where to Stay in Santorini on Honeymoon?

You should stay either in Oia village or in Imerovigli. You can visit Fira just for the views, but you will have a much more relaxed honeymoon if you stay at Oia or Imerovigli. The first choice would be Oia village in that case.

– Where is the nightlife in Santorini?

The nightlife in Santorini is only in one village, the Fira village, which is the biggest village of the island. So, if you ask yourself “Where to party in Santorini”, you should stay at Fira village.

– Which is closer to Athens? Mykonos or Santorini?

Mykonos is closer to Athens. You need another 3 hours with the boat to get from Mykonos to Santorini.

– When to Visit Santorini?

The touristic period starts in March and ends in October. The high season is July and August. August is really crowded and the temperature is very high. The overall best months to visit Santorini are July, August, and September. The most expensive month to visit Santorini is August. The cheapest months are March, April, and October. The sea is at its warmest in August and September.

– How much are flights from Athens to Santorini?

If you get a low-cost airline (e.g. Ryanair or Easyjet) and book early enough, you might find a one-way ticket from Athens to Santorini at even 30 euros per person. The average price is around 80 euros for one person for a one-way ticket from Athens to Santorini. You can check all flights at

– Where did the Kardashians Stay in Santorini?

They stayed at the Andronis Hotel in Santorini. Funny question, but we got it sometimes, so we thought we should answer it!

-Why are Hotels in Santorini So Expensive?

Santorini is a volcano island and it is very far away from Athens. So, if you want to build a hotel, the cost is very high. Moreover, the local government construction office prohibits the construction of super big hotels, in order to keep the beautiful architecture of the island intact. You will not find 10-floor all-inclusive hotels with thousands of people in Santorini. Moreover, the cost of maintenance for the hotels is high as for example the island doesn’t have its own water supplies and each hotel has to bring water with ships and fill in its tanks, to serve its customers. Finally, Santorini has become really popular in the past 15 years and millions of visitors flee there. For all these reasons, the Hotels in Santorini are so expensive, especially during the high season.

– Which are the Most Expensive Area to Stay in Santorini?

Oia Village, Imerovigli, and Fira Village are the three most expensive areas to stay in Santorini.

– Which are the cheapest areas to Stay in Santorini?

Kamari Village and Perissa village are the cheapest areas to stay in Santorini. Of course, you don’t get the views to the caldera that you can get when you stay at Oia, Fira or Imerovigli.

– Should I use Airbnb to stay in Santorini?

You could try Airbnb for your stay in Santorini, but you will not find any great opportunities.Prices are high in Airbnb as well..Especially in July, August, and September that are the peak months for Santorini.

– Can I find a fantastic hotel with 50 euros per night in Santorini?

No. You cannot. If you go to Santorini in August and September, you should plan for a budget of 120E to 150E per night for a double room, as the minimum to get a beautiful scenic view to the caldera. With 50E per night, you can stay in small, plain rooms outside of Fira, usually at Perissa or Kamari.

-Where to Stay in Santorini on a Budget?

If you are on a budget, the cheapest double room you can find in July/August is usually 40 to 50 euros for a very basic accommodation. No views, no breakfast and hopefully a clean room. You should avoid searching the villages of Oia, Imerovigli and the center of Fira for this type of budget accommodation and look at villages such as Vlychada, Perissa or Vorthos (a couple of km away from the airport of Santorini). Unfortunately, we cannot recommend you any decent room at this price. We have stayed at more than 10 of them during the past years, but they are a basic type of accommodation.

-Where can I get a map of Santorini?

You can have a look at the villages and beaches of Santorini on the map below.Otherwise, you can always consult a google maps view of Santorini.


-Where are Santorini’s best views?

You can enjoy the best views of Santorini from 3 places: From Fira village, from Imerovigli village and Oia village. Of course, as Santorini is a volcano island, you should be on the edge of the caldera to get these fantastic views, which made this little gem island worldwide famous.

– Is it dangerous to drive in Santorini?

Santorini is a volcano island. The roads are really small and with bad lighting in the evening. It has many scooters, many cars, and many other strange vehicles on the road at every time of the day. We cannot say it is dangerous, as the speeds are low, but certainly, it is not a breeze to drive in Santorini. You should always take care.

– Are the Rooms Big enough in the Hotels in Santorini?

No, they are not..The land is expensive on a volcano island, so don’t expect to get US size hotel rooms. The baths are usually small, and the rooms are just ok to fit in a double bed with some extra space. Of course, they make it up for you with the fantastic balconies that offer scenic views to the caldera.

– Anything I should be aware of before booking a hotel in Santorini?

You should know that sometimes, there is a strange smell coming from the volcano, which cannot be avoided. So, you may find yourself in a situation where you have a fantastic view of the caldera and a strange smell coming to you from the air…Unfortunately, you cannot avoid it, and it happens sometimes.

– Is it worth it to give 150E for a hotel in Santorini?

Usually, the level of service that you get from the hotel is much lower than the one you get at a Hilton chain hotel for the same price. But on the other side, it is expensive to keep a hotel in Santorini. The owners have to pay a lot for the land; they have to buy water as there are no natural water supplies in this volcano island, and the food is always imported. Santorini produces wines, tomatoes, and very few vegetables. The experience to stay at a hotel with this amazing views of the caldera is one in a lifetime, so we recommend that you bite the bullet and spend some more money for your stay in Santorini. You will not regret it, and it is guaranteed that you will break the “facebook likes” record, once you start posting your photos on the social media.

– What about Car Parking for my rent-a-car?

You should always take care if there is a parking area for your rented car at the hotel you are staying. Santorini is busy in summer, and you might lose a lot of time to park, so always pay attention to that.

– What additional packages, trips, excursions, do hotels in Santorini offer?

Hotels in Santorini are affiliated with many tour operators and they usually allow you to book different excursions. The most common ones are a trip to the volcano and a trip around Santorini island with a boat. They also offer wine tours to the local wineries and scuba diving trips.

– How far is the airport from Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa?

Santorini is a small island, and you can transfer yourself from the airport to Fira in 15 minutes with a 15E taxi. Going to Oia will take 35 minutes.

– When Should I book my hotel to Santorini?

If you plan to visit Santorini in July and August, you should pre-book your hotel two months ago, to make sure that you get an excellent price for a nice hotel. Santorini has many hotels, and you will not suffer from finding a place to stay even in the busiest time. However, you may end up paying a lot of money if you book it at the last minute.

– When are the Busiest Months for Santorini?

August is the busiest month for Santorini. Then, it is July and September. Santorini has visitors starting from May until late October.

– When do Greeks visit Santorini?

The locals go to Santorini usually in July and August.

– When is it the best time to swim in Santorini?

July, August, and September are the best months for swimming in Santorini. June and October are usually ok, even though the sea gets colder.

Where to Stay in Santorini: The Best 4 star and 5-star Hotels in each area

When thinking about where to stay in Santorini, one should consider the hotels per area. So, here is a list of the best hotels to stay in the different areas of Santorini:

1. Cosmopolitan Suites Santorini

Where to Stay in Santorini: Cosmopolitan Suites


2. Volcano View Hotel


3. Aigialos Niche Residence Suites


If you decide to Stay in Imerovigli Village, you should try these hotels:


1. Hotel Grace in Imerovigli, Santorini


2. Hotel Vasilicos in Imerovigli, Santorini


3. Santorini Princess SPA hotel in Imerovigli, Santorini



If you decide to Stay in Oia Village, you should check out these hotels:

1. Katoikies hotel in Oia Village Santorini


2. Perivolas hotel in Oia Village, Santorini


3. Kirini Suites and Spa Hotel in Oia Village, Santorini


4. Ikies Traditional Houses in Oia Village, Santorini


5. Santorini Secret Suites and Spa, Oia Village, Santorini


If you decide to stay in Perissa, check out these hotels:

1. Resort Veggera, Perissa Village, Santorini


The Best Tours to Book Before Your Arrive to Santorini

Here is the information on the best tours to book while you are in Santorini. We advise you to pre-book your tours, especially if you are traveling in the high Season time of July, August, September.

  • The best site to book your tours and get some decent discounts is GetyourGuide.

The best tours are:

#1 Santorini Half-Day Small Group and Private Wine Tour

A four-hour tour that gets you to 3 wineries, in the countryside of Santorini. Wine tasting tips from experts.

#2 Santorini 5 hour Catamaran Cruise

The Catamaran will get you to the Red Beach and the White Beach to swim and snorkel. You see the sunset from the catamaran and enjoy a bbq dinner of grilled pork and Greek salad. Finally, it gets you through the Caldera and lets you swim in the hot spring waters.

#3 Santorini Volcano Tour and Oia Sunset Cruise

This is an 8-hour tour which gets you to the volcano, to the small island called “Thirassia” and then to Oia village to see the sunset.

#4 Santorini Cooking Class and Wine-Tasting Tour

You get to visit some wineries in Santorini and learn how to cook Greek food from a Greek Chef. You get to try nine different Greek wines and you will a full dinner is also included.

#5 Santorini Full Day Private Tour

#6 Santorini 7 Hour Volcano Adventure with Cruise

#7 Helicopter Tour in Santorini

You fly with a helicopter over Santorini, for 20, 40 or 60 minutes.

Read also our Blog posts on Santorini:

Santorini: 30 Frequent (and some Crazy) Questions about Your Next Trip to Santorini

How to Get from Santorini to Mykonos

Which is Closer to Athens, Mykonos or Santorini?

Perissa Beach Santorini – What You Need to Know about this Black Volcanic Beach

31 Awesome Artistic Photos You Can Shoot in Santorini

3 Days in Santorini Travel Guide – Best Things to Do in Santorini

If you want to get a detailed three days travel guide to Santorini, you can get it here:

Santorini Travel Guide

Where to stay in Athens, Greece in 2016

Where to Stay in Athens in 2018: 7 Best Areas and Top 20 Hotels

Where To Stay in Athens in 2018?

We have built an extensive guide to help you decide where to stay in Athens depending on your preferences. This is part of our Kindle Guide, “Athens in 3 Days Travel Guide”, that you can get here. Here is a quick reference on the best areas to stay in Athens:

Best clubs and nightlife in Athens: Stay in the center, in Kolonaki, Psirri, Monastiraki, Gazi. If it’s summer, stay in Glyfada or Vouliagmeni.

Most romantic: Stay in Lycabettus or in Koukaki area. Both areas offer an amazing view of Acropolis.
 Best views of Acropolis: Stay in Lycabettus or in the center of Athens. Grande Bretagne  is an excellent choice if you can afford it. Electra Palace is another excellent and more budget friendly choice.
 Best Area to stay in Athens for shopping: Kolonaki, Halandri, and Kifisia. Hilton (city center) and Divani Caravel (city center) are the most convenient.
 Best Area to Stay in Athens for a beach place: Glyfada or Vouliagmeni [Stay at Westin Astir Palace Beach Resort in Astir Beach]
 Best restaurants in Athens: Stay in the center: Kolonaki, Psirri, Gazi, Plaka. Hilton is next to a couple of excellent restaurants (i.e. “Koukouvaya” and very close to Kolonaki, which has some of the best restaurants in Athens.
 Best Athens Hotels for peace and families: Plaka, Kifisia, and Glyfada. You could stay at Semiramis at Kifisia (Northern Suburbs). It is in a very peaceful and quiet area, which also has a lot of nice shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is in Kifisia, the posh area of Athens; however you will be away from the city center.
 Best budget Hotels choice: Stay in Gazi or Exarheia. Airbnb has a lot of options too in these areas. Some of them are really nice (e.g. lofts at Gazi).

 Best Luxury Hotels: Grande Bretagne (city center), St George LycabettusHilton (city center), Divani Caravel (city center), Theoxenia Palace (14kms from the city center to the north), Westin Astir Palace Beach Resort in Astir Beach (on the best beach of Athens)

Short Answer:

From November to April, stay at Plaka, Psiri, Thiseio, Monastiraki or Gazi area. From May to October, you can also stay in Glyfada or Vouliagmeni to be closer to the beach. Avoid the Omonoia area.

Long Answer:

If you Plan to Visit Greece, you will most probably stop for 3 or more days in Athens, where you will be wondering what are the top things to do in Athens and what is the best area to stay in Athens to have the best possible experience.

Athens is one of the biggest cities in Europe, with a population of 5 million inhabitants and features many different options for areas to stay at, depending on what you want to do during your stay in Greece’s capital. Traffic is also quite heavy, and although there is an underground network, it’s not that extended, so you should pay attention when choosing your hotel area.

Don’t worry if you get confused on where to stay in Athens! We got you covered. Read below, to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of staying at the different areas of Athens. Information is based on criteria such as Hotel Prices, Proximity to the main attraction areas, Nightlife, Shopping Areas and Safety.

What is The Best Neighborhood to Stay in Athens?

We often get asked, “What is the Best neighborhood to Stay in Athens?”. If you want the mainstream and quick answer, we would suggest Plaka, Kolonaki or Psiri.

However, it is not that easy to choose the best area to stay in Athens, as you may want to combine your visit with different experiences, which would require for you to stay somewhere else.

For example, if you are visiting Athens during the summer, you may want to remain in the Southern Suburbs, so that you are closer to the beach and the excellent Night Beach Clubs that Athens has to offer.

Moreover, if you are a family wondering where to stay in Athens with Kids, you may choose a safer area, which is also more friendly to families such as Kifisia, in the Northern Suburbs.

So, allow us to provide you with more information on where to stay in Athens, regarding the different areas to stay in Athens, with their advantages and disadvantages.

Where to Stay in Athens: General Description of the Best Areas

In general, there are four main areas where you can stay in Athens.

The first is the center of Athens, which features the main touristic places and has neighborhoods such as Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, Kolonaki, Omonoia, Ilisia, Thiseio, Zografou, and others.

The second one is the southern suburbs, which is the beachside of Athens, with neighborhoods such as Vouliagmeni, Alimos, Glyfada, Voula, Elliniko, Faliro, and others.

The third area is “Piraeus,” where the biggest port of Greece lies.

The fourth area is the North Suburbs of Athens, with neighborhoods such as Halandri, Marousi, Kifisia.

Below you can see a general map of Athens, featuring these four areas. We would not recommend staying in other sectors, e.g. on the west or east suburbs, as they tend to be quiet far from the main activities you will most probably pursue while you are in Athens and will not be convenient for your stay.

Areas of Athens to Stay

A Map with the Main Areas that you Could Stay in Athens

Now that you got a general idea of where to stay in Athens if you want to be in the main areas, let’s have a closer look at each one of them.


1. Staying at the Center of Athens [Museums, Sightseeing, Acropolis, Bars]

Staying at the Center of Athens features quite many different areas, with each one pros and cons. Below, we have prepared a map which features the main areas that you can choose when staying at the center of Athens. The Commercial Area and Plaka, the Acropolis Area, Exarheia, Pedio Areos Area, the hill of Lycabettus, Kolonaki area, and Ilisia.

Where to Stay in Athens - Map of the Center of Athens

Where to Stay in Athens – Map of the Center of Athens


Let’s have an even closer look at these areas:

a. Staying at the Commercial Area and Plaka [Underground, Bars, Sightseeing, Noisy]


If you choose to stay at the Commercial Area (or commercial triangle as it is called) and the area of Plaka, you will find yourself right in the heart of Athens.

Plaka area is like a small village in the center of Athens. It is below the hill of Acropolis with old, traditional houses and many restaurants, cafes, monuments and things to do.

Plaka is an excellent place to stay, as it is conveniently placed regarding museums, Acropolis, the underground station of Acropolis and the main shopping street of Athens, Ermou street.


Plaka - Πλάκα


The prices are of course higher here, and you will not easily find a value for money hotel room. If you are planning for a budget of under 100E per night, you will find yourself in a standard type of room, which – on the other side- will be close to everything. This is also a safe area to stay.

Psiri in Athens is also a nice neighborhood to stay if you want to stay near to the center of Athens. Psiri is full of bars and restaurants. Psiri used to be a very poor neighborhood in Athens, which got renovated and is now quite popular to the younger generation of Athenians. Even thought it was trendy and was visited by the hipsters of Athens a decade ago, it is now being snubbed by them.

The best hotels to stay in Plaka are:

1. The Central Hotel in Plaka: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book the Central Hotel Online

2. Electra Palace Hotel in Plaka: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book Online the Electra Hotel in Plaka

b. Staying at Acropolis Area [Quiet, Sightseeing, Difficult Transportation]

Acropolis is on a hill, so the whole Acropolis Area is quiet difficult to walk. Here, you will find hotels in an area that is called “Koukaki” and is 500 meters from Acropolis.

It is a safe area, and you might get a hotel with a view of Acropolis and Parthenon. This is not such a convenient place to stay at, not the same with staying in Plaka, as you will have to walk a lot (and usually uphill and downhill), to get to the other side of the hill, where all the action takes place.

The best hotels to stay in the Acropolis area are:

1. The AthensWas Hotel:  Click to See Ratings, Reviews and Book Online the AthensWasHotel 



2. Hotel Grande Bretagne: Click to See Ratings, Reviews and Book Online the Hotel Grande Bretagne



c. Staying at Exarheia [Hipster, Noisy, Not That Safe, Bars]

Graffiti Exarheia

Graffiti at Exarheia Street


Exarheia area is very close to the center of Athens. This is the most alternative area of Athens. With a good and a bad sense. In Exarheia you will find the most alternative bars, restaurants, and people.

On the other side, this is the most “revolutionary” part of Athens. Protests start from Exarheia, and you may find police giving fights with people belonging to the anarchist groups. It’s not easy to judge Exarheia. It has its character. You either love it or hate it.

Exarheia is not the safest area of Athens to stay at. If you are young and wild, you may want to choose it for its feeling and to get a better sense of Athens. If you are a more conservative traveler, stay away from it.

d. Where to Stay in Athens: Lycabettus [Nice Views, Not convenient for Transport]

Mount Lycabettus


Lycabettus is a hill. The second hill of the center of Athens, which is on the opposite of Acropolis’ hill. It is very close to the posh area of Kolonaki. As it is on a hill, it offers a fantastic view of Athens, and it has some nice hotels, such as St George Lycabettus, which you will certainly enjoy.

It is also a safe area to stay at. On the downside, you will still have to walk a lot (and uphill/downhill), it is not that close to the underground stations, so we would not recommend staying in this area.

The best hotel to stay in Lycabettus is the Hotel St George Lycabettus.


e. Where to Stay in Athens: Kolonaki [Posh, Central, Shopping, Bars, Cafes, No Sightseeing]

Kolonaki (Κολωνάκι), Athens (Αθήνα)


Kolonaki is the most expensive area of Athens. It is the main shopping center of Athens, with the most expensive streets, shops, restaurants, and bars.

Although Greece is in crisis since 2010 and Kolonaki have lost some of its glam, especially visible in the first decade of 2000, it remains the “VIP” area of Athens. Kolonaki is an old area, so you will not find new hotels or new apartments to stay at.

Kolonaki is a safe area to stay. It is 2kms away from Acropolis, so a 10E Taxi drive to there. The good thing about staying at Kolonaki is that during the evening you will find many bars and restaurants open and usually full of people. Moreover, it features many great shops from top brands, including Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, Boss, etc. You get the idea.

Kolonaki doesn’t have any important museums or monuments to see. Still, it is a safe choice when choosing an area to stay at, if you want to explore the center of Athens and get some fun in the evening. St George Lycabettus is the best hotel in the Kolonaki area. You will not find many hotels to stay here. It is easier to find places from Airbnb (apartments). Please bear in mind that most buildings are very old here so that the apartments might be over 40-50 years old.


f. Where to Stay in Athens: Ilisia [Student Area, Cheaper, No Sightseeing, Easy Transport in Lower Ilisia]

Ilisia is also three km from the Acropolis hill and 3kms from Kolonaki area. Ilisia is the place where the biggest university of Greece lies, the University of Athens, which has 80.000 students.

Moreover, it is close to the National Technical University of Athens, which has another 10.000 students. So, it is the area of Athens that is mostly inhabited by students and young people.

Ilisia is split into two areas: Upper and Lower Ilisia, or “Ano Ilisia” and “Kato Ilisia” as it is called in Greek. The Lower Ilisia is on the foot of Ilisia’s hill and closer to the center of Athens and Kolonaki area. This is where Hilton hotel lies. The Upper Ilisia are on the hill, and we would not recommend staying there, as it is harder to walk and to get to other places. There is no underground station in Upper Ilisia.

Lower Ilisia is closer to two underground stations, the one at the Concert Hall of Athens, and the underground station of “Evangelismos” which is close to Hilton hotel.

This area is also safe, but it doesn’t have any monuments, important museums or other things to explore. You can find better prices than staying at Plaka or Kolonaki.

An area you should avoid to stay while you are in Athens is the area in the Omonoia square. It is probably the most dangerous area in Athens, with a lot of illegal activities, including drug dealing and prostitution and a lot of small burglary taking place.

The best hotels to stay in Ilisia are:

a. Hilton Hotel in Ilisia, Athens: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book Online the Hilton Hotel in Athens

b. Divani Caravel Hotel in Ilisia, Athens: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book Online the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens


2. Staying at the North Suburbs of Athens [Posh, Safer for Families, More Expensive]

Let’s have a look now at the opportunities that the North Suburbs of Athens offer for your stay. North Suburbs in general, are considered to be the areas where the upper middle class of Greeks remains at, especially in the rich areas of Kifisia, Ekali, and Dionysos. As you can imagine, the inhabitants of these areas of Athens, worry the least about the capital controls in Greece!

They don’t feature museums, ancient sights or anything touristic.

Here, you will find three many areas with hotels: Halandri, Marousi, and Kifisia.


Where to Stay in Athens - Map of the North Suburbs

Where to Stay in Athens – Map of the North Suburbs


a. Staying at Halandri

Halandri Square

Halandri Square


Halandri is a great northern suburb of Athens. It’s full of restaurants, bars and is very safe. It is a very vivid place, and it’s much “happier” to hang around when compared e.g. to Marousi.

It has an underground station, but it is not that close to the center of Halandri. If you take a taxi from here to the heart of Athens, so as to visit the more touristic areas, you will have to pay around 15 to 20 euros, and it is a 30-minute drive, with all the traffic of Athens.

The best hotels to stay in Chalandri (or Halandri) are:

1. The Athens Habitat Hotel: Click to See Rates, Reviews, and Book Online the Athens Habitat Hotel



2. The Civitel Olympic Hotel: Click to See Rates, Reviews, and Book Online the Civitel Olympic Hotel


b. Staying at Marousi

Marousi is the business center of Athens. All the big multinational companies and the biggest Greek companies, such as the National Telecommunications Company, have their offices here.

Marousi is a safe area to stay at. However, it doesn’t offer too much other than that. It has a beautiful central square with cafes and restaurants, and it has the electric train of Athens passing from its center. You will need around 40 minutes with the train to reach the center of Athens.

Marousi is around 12 km away from Acropolis. You can find cheaper hotels to stay, but you will pay the price of having to move all the time with the train or a taxi towards the center of Athens.

If you choose to stay here, get a cab and go out at Halandri or Nea Erythraia in the evening, as Marousi is quieter when it comes to nightlife.

c. Staying at Kifissia

Semiramis Hotel in Kefalari Square at Kifisia

Kifisia is a posh area of Athens. It is on the same level (if not even higher) with Kolonaki area. Here you will find many villas from some of the richest Greeks, a great shopping center with expensive jewelry, clothes and shoes, fantastic restaurants and posh nightclubs.

Kifisia’s best areas are the Kefalari Square – where you can find some nice hotels to stay at and the center of Kifisia, where its shopping center exists. Be careful not to stay at Nea Kifisia, which is a new area that is close to the national road of Athens and doesn’t offer many things to do. The hotels in Kifisia are quite expensive.

If you choose to stay here, you will have only the choice of the electric train to get to the center of Athens, in around 45 minutes. There is no underground station in Kifisia. It is a safe area to stay at.

The best hotels to stay in Kifissia are:

1. The Theoxenia Palace: Click to See Rates, Reviews, and Book Online the Theoxenia Palace


2. The Semiramis Hotel: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book Online the Semiramis Hotel in Kifissia




3. The Y Hotel in Kifissia: Click to See Rates, Reviews and Book Online the Y Hotel in Kifissia


3. Staying at Piraeus


Piraeus is the second biggest town in the prefecture of Athens, after ..well, Athens. It is home to the famous team of “Olympiacos” and has the largest port in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe.

Piraeus is on the beach of Athens. However, you cannot swim here, as the water is polluted. You will find many restaurants with excellent sea view (“Ahinos” restaurant is one of them for example) and quite a few hotels.

The good thing about staying at Piraeus is that if you are planning to get a boat to any Greek island, you will be only 10 minutes away from the port. Boats to every Greek island, even the best kept secret Greek islands, leave from Piraeus’ port.

Piraeus is not close to the center of Athens, so you will need at least 30 minutes to get there. It has an electric train but no underground stations. The prices of hotels are lower than the ones in the center of Athens.

One of the best areas of Piraeus is called “Kastela,” and it is the hill that overlooks a beautiful beach area of Piraeus.

Restaurant at Kastela in Piraeus


4. Staying at the South Suburbs of Athens

Let’s have a look at the South Suburbs of Athens. The South Suburbs of Athens offer you the opportunity to be next to the beaches of Athens, and you will find it easy to swim at one them.

The main hotel areas are the neighborhoods of Palaio Faliro, Alimos, Elliniko, Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni.

Where to Stay in Athens - Map of the South Suburbs


We will not get into much detail about each area in the Southern Suburbs of Athens. First of all, let us tell you that these are better places to stay at if you are looking into enjoying the beach, so you may not want to stay here from November to April, in the heart of the Greek winter.

The most convenient time to swim at the beaches of Athens is from June to late September. Sometimes May is a beautiful month too, or October can prove to be quite hot as well.

From all these areas, here is a quick review:

– Best Beaches: The best beach is in Vouliagmeni and is called “Asteras Vouliagmenis.” It is a private beach, and you will have to pay 17 euros per person from Monday to Friday and 25E per person on the weekends to swim there. Voula and Vouliagmeni also have lovely beaches. The farther you go from the center of Athens, the better the beaches get. It’s not nice to swim at Palaio Faliro or Elliniko – or at least we don’t like it that much.

– Best Overall Area: Glyfada is the best overall area. It has the best shopping center in the south, the best night clubs, restaurants and easy going style. It also features many hotels. The downside of Athens is that it doesn’t have an underground station.

– Best Access to the Center of Athens: Elliniko, Alimos, and Palaio Faliro have the best access to the center of Athens. Elliniko and Alimos have underground stations which will get you easily to the center of Athens. If you stay at Glyfada, you will have to get to Elliniko and get the metro from there.


5. Athens Areas to Avoid

Like every town in the world, Athens has some areas that you should better avoid either due to security reasons or due to difficult access to everything that the city has to offer. The areas that we suggest that you avoid Omonoia Square in the center of Athens, the whole sector close to the main train station of Athens called “Larissis Station”, the Patisiwn street area and  the Metaxourgeio area, even though the latter one has been upgraded during the last years and offers some gourmet restaurants.

So, that’s all regarding where to stay in Athens. We hope you got an excellent overview. If you are planning to visit Greece, you may also want to consider one of our travel guides to Greece. Have a look below!

Greece Travel Guide

Greece Travel Guide

See Also

The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in Athens, in 2016

The Absolute 10 Best Day Trips from Athens 

Astir Beach: A Guide to the Best Beach in Athens

Where to Stay in Athens in 2016: The Best Areas and Top 20 Hotels

What are the must-try dishes while you are in Greece – How to Eat like a Greek!

Athens to Santorini: Should you get a flight or a ferry?

How many districts is Venice divided into

How many districts is Venice divided into

Venice is divided into Six Districts. The “sestieri”. The six districts of Venice are:

  • Sestiere of San Marco: This is the area with the most sights and its borders are the district of Castello on the east and the district of Cannaregio on the north.
  • Sestiere of Castello
  • Sestiere of Dorsoduro:
  • Sestiere of Cannaregio
  • Sestiere of San Polo: This is the commercial district of Venice.

Venice has 118 islands and these six districts include all these islands. Please notice that cars are not allowed in Venice and you can only move around on foot or on water. 

Here is a map explaining the main districts of Venice:


The six districts of Venice

The six districts of Venice

3 Days in Santorini Travel Guide – Best Things to Do in Santorini

This is a three days-2-nights guide to Santorini, with a perfect 72 hours plan that will guide you on the best way to enjoy this amazing Greek island. All tips, maps, costs, information, are included so that you feel like you have your best friend with you showing you around this marvelous place. This is part of our Kindle Guide, “Santorini in 3 Days, Travel Guide“, which you can get here.


The Best Tours to Book Before Your Arrive to Santorini

Here is the information on the best tours to book while you are in Santorini. The best site to book your tours and get some decent discounts is GetyourGuide.

The best tours are:

#1 Santorini Half-Day Small Group and Private Wine Tour

A four-hour tour that gets you to 3 wineries, in the countryside of Santorini. Wine tasting tips from experts.

#2 Santorini 5 hour Catamaran Cruise

The Catamaran will get you to the Red Beach and the White Beach to swim and snorkel. You see the sunset from the catamaran and enjoy a bbq dinner of grilled pork and Greek salad. Finally, it gets you through the Caldera and lets you swim in the hot spring waters.

#3 Santorini Volcano Tour and Oia Sunset Cruise

This is an 8-hour tour which gets you to the volcano, to the small island called “Thirassia” and then to Oia village to see the sunset.

#4 Santorini Cooking Class and Wine-Tasting Tour

You get to visit some wineries in Santorini and learn how to cook Greek food from a Greek Chef. You get to try nine different Greek wines and you will a full dinner is also included.

#5 Santorini Full Day Private Tour

#6 Santorini 7 Hour Volcano Adventure with Cruise

#7 Helicopter Tour in Santorini

You fly with a helicopter over Santorini, for 20, 40 or 60 minutes.


Information About Santorini Island

Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece’s mainland. The total Santorini’s land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera.The population of the island is about 16,000 inhabitants. The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni (Volcano), Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana.

View of the volcanic caldera cliffs


The caldera side(west coast) of the terrain is rocky, with unusual rock formations. Other areas have a gentler terrain.

The volcanic caldera cliffs


The climate is moist. The summer is warm with cool evenings, especially in August when the famous ‘Meltemia’ winds are present.

The architecture is typical Cycladic (white houses with blue windows and doors). However, in Santorini you may also see the Cave Houses dug into the volcanic rock.

The Capital of the island is Fira, which is built on the Caldera cliffs on the west coast.

Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing, wine industry, based on the indigenous grape varieties, “Assyrtiko”, “Athiri” and “Aidani.” The viticulture pride of the island is the sweet and vigorous Vinsanto, a dessert wine made from the best sun-dried Assyrtiko, Athiri, and Aidani grapes.
You may also taste white wines that are extremely dry with a strong, citrus scent and mineral and iodide salt aromas contributed by the ashy volcanic soil.

Other local specialties are melitinia (a dessert with cheese-they prepare it during the Easter period), Brantada (cod fish with potatoes), koskosela (scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese), sfouggato (traditional pie with courgettes) and tomato croquettes.





Tomato croquettes

 Where to Stay in Santorini

Our favorite hotel recommendation for Santorini is Agnadema Appartments

Address: Firostefani,  84 700, Santorini Island

Tel.: +30- Tel.: +30 22860 25284 email:


Price per night: 120€ (130$) for a double room (depends on the period you are going to travel to Santorini- In August the hotel may cost much more)

Recommended: Spacious and clean rooms with private balcony and amazing view at the Aegean Sea, Thirasia Island and the volcano.

Book it Online: Click Here


How to arrive to Santorini

-Arrive to Santorini By airplane:

Daily direct flights from the Athens International Airport ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ to Santorini –the flight duration is 40’. There are two airline companies that fly to Santorini directly from Athens: Aegean Airlines (which is the same company with Olympic Airlines) and Ryanair.

Charter flights to the Greek island from many €pean cities such as Rome, Budapest and Vienna. These charter flights start in April and end in October. The distance of the airport of Santorini to the main city of the island, Fira, is about 5km.

-Arrive to Santorini By ship:

From Piraeus Port (Attica’s biggest port) or Rafina Port, which is 30kms outside of Athens. To go to Piraeus you can use the electric train which crosses the city of Athens and you should stop at the final destination. If you arrive at the Athens airport, take the X96 Bus. It departs every 20’ from the airport bus station and it takes about 70’ to reach the port. If you take a taxi from the airport to the port it should cost you about 35€, otherwise, if you get the taxi from any other part of Athens it should cost you about 15-20€. To go to Rafina, you can use the bus from Mavromateon Street – Pedio Areos (it is 10minutes walk from the central train station Victoria). The bus departs every 15’-45’ starting from 05.45am and until 22.30pm. It takes 1h to take you to the Piraeus Port and the ticket costs 2,40€.

Athens to Rafina Bus Time Table

Monday to Friday

Time Minutes  
05 45      
06 00 15 30 45
07 20      
08 00 45    
09 30      
10 15      
11 00 45    
12 15 45    
13 15 45    
14 15 45    
15 10 25 45  
16 15 45    
17 15      
18 00 45    
19 30      
20 15      
21 00 45    
22 30      


Saturday to Sunday

Athens to Rafina:

Time Minutes
05 45      
06 05 25 45  
07 30      
08 30      
09 30      
10 30      
11 30      
12 30      
13 30      
14 15 45    
15 15 45    
16 15 45    
17 30      
18 30      
19 30      
20 15      
21 00 45    
22 30      



If you arrive at Eleftherios Venizelos airport and you want to go to the Rafina port, you can take the bus; it takes 30’ and it costs 3€:

Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to Rafina Bus Timetable:


Monday -Sunday
Time Minutes
04 40      
05 35      
06 10      
07 05      
08 50      
10 30      
12 20      
13 20      
14 10      
15 20      
16 30      
18 00      
19 20      
20 45      
22 20      

Taxi from Athens to Rafina’s Port: You can also get a Taxi from the Athens center to Rafina’s port. It takes almost 1h (depends on the traffic) and it costs about 35 to 50€.

Here is a map that shows where is Rafina Port, the Athens International Airport, which is also called “Eleftherios Venizelos Airport”, Piraeus Port and the center of Athens.

Get This Map Online: Click Here or Click on the Map.



Athens International airport (El. Venizelos): +30 210 3530000,

Santorini Airport Tel: +30 22860 28400 Departures-arrivals: +30 22860 28702

Port Authorities in Santorini: +30 22860 22239

Buses Tel in Santorini: +30 22860 25404 & 25462

Radio taxis (taxi stand/Fira): +30 22860 22555

Cable car: +30 22860 22977 & 22978

Greek National Tourist Organization Office: +30 22860 27199

Car Rental Association, Tel.: +30 22860 71200

Motorbike Rental Association, Tel.: +30 22860 22801

Health Center (Fira): +30 22863 60300

Post Office (Fira): +30 22860 22238

Santorini’s Buses Timetable:

Banks:  Open from Monday to Friday 08.00-14.00pm. Located around the main square of Fira and on the road from Fira to the port.  ATMs are everywhere.

Credit Cards: Internationally recognized credit cards are accepted at restaurants and shops.

GMT Time in Santorini: Time zone in Greece is GMT+2


1st Day in Santorini: Arrival, Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia, Kamari Beach- Top things to do

07:50 am: Arrival at the Santorini International Airport []

The airport of Santorini is a very small airport which is located north of the village of Kamari and it is about 6 km southeast of downtown Thira. Thira or Fira, is the name of the capital city (actually it is a village) of Santorini island.

08:00 am: Take the luggage and pass through the passport control.

Tip: It does not take more than 3 minutes to get your luggage and exit the passport control. Santorini’s airport is a very small airport.

08:05 am: Take a taxi from the airport to the city center, to reach the recommended hotel (12 min distance).

Our hotel is at Firostefani village-  which is a 3’ distance from Fira.

Cost: 120€/ double room

Firostefani is only 1km from Fira and it is a great village where you can find several walking paths that lead to the Caldera, in order to enjoy the unique view that Santorini island has to offer. Why do we recommend that you stay in Firostefani village and not in Fira or Oia village? Because Firostefani is in the highest part of the island, offering a better view to the caldera, it is quieter than the hyper-busy Fira village – while it is conveniently located close to it.

View from Firostefani

08:20 am: Accommodate yourself in the hotel and then start discovering Firostefani village and the nearby villages including Imerovigli and Oia village.

Start your day visiting the famous Santorini’s villages with the marvelous Cycladic architecture and the excellent view to the Aegean sea and the volcano. Enjoy your walk at Firostefani. Then, take a taxi or rent a bike or a car and walk to Imerovigli village (1,5km from Firostefani) and then drive to the Oia village (10km from Firostefani). On the side of the Caldera, the view of the volcanic rocks and the volcano is astonishing, while on the opposite side you will admire the Aegean Sea. From this point on you will drive near the impressive Black and Red mountains. At the entrance of Oia village, you will find a sign showing a right turn to Finikia and Baxedes. Driving straight ahead you will enter Oia. Oia is a very famous place for its sunset.

Many couples are visiting Oia village during the sunset time, in order to pass some romantic time, watching the sun go down. Passing through the village you will find access points to the main pedestrian street offering an amazing view to the Caldera and the neighborhoods of Oia. There are several parking lots which also serve as the bus stations.

 Imerovigli Village


Oia Village

10:30 am: Coffee at ‘Melenio Pastry Shop’- Oia Village

Enjoy your coffee with some local handmade sweets at the balcony of the café. Amazing View!

Don’t forget to taste some “galaktoboureko” (a sweet with white cream inside), chocolate pie or “baklavas” (the Greek version).


12.30 pm: Lunch at ‘Anogi’ Tavern at the Imerovigli Village [Tel.: +30 22860 21285, Facebook Page:  Click Here]

This tavern-restaurant is located in the Main Street between Fira and Oia village. This tavern offers a tasteful local cuisine with a modern sensation. 

Tip: Order the tomato balls  (“tomato keftedes” in Greek) and the split peas of Santorini (called “fava” in Greek).

Expected Cost: Around 20€ per person, with a glass of wine.


14.30 pm. Go to Kamari beach and relax under the sun.

The beach has black sand and clean waters. You can enjoy your drink there, in any one of the plenty beach bars that you will find nearby.


Kamari Beach


Kamari, a 5km beach with black stones, is one of the most popular beaches of the island. At the south side of the beach, you may see the ‘Mesa Vouno’ (the inside Mountain) of the ancient Santorini. You may also see many airplanes that are passing very close to the beach, as the airport is very close to Kamari village.

17:30 pm: Return to the hotel and get some rest.

19.00 pm: Enjoy the Sunset in Oia village.

In case you are a couple or a sunset hunter, do not miss this magic moment and unique sunset view. You need to protect your eyes, if you are going to watch the sunset, so you could use your sunglasses and a glass of something good to drink while watching the sun shyly dip its underbelly into the sea! Don’t look directly into the sun.

The Sunset at Oia Village is a Popular Touristic Attraction-


Tip: Be ready to secure a good spot well ahead of the sunset – at least an hour ahead. Hordes of tourists go to bask in the warm sunshine. You have to find the perfect spot, fend off a hundred fellow sunset gazers and then try very hard to crop them out of your photos.

20:45 pm: Go to Fira Village and enjoy a crepe atCreme de la Crepe’- either with cheese, mushrooms, and ham or sweet with white chocolate and strawberries.

Crème de la Crepe: The address is – Georgiou Nomikou Street, Fira, Santorini, tel. +(30) 22860 36463

21.30 pm: Discover Fira Village.

Great white paths with many local shops and restaurants

Fira Village in Santorini

Tip: if you are visiting Santorini during the high season (June-August) you should know that the central square at Fira is closed for vehicles and you will have to take a detour if you are driving a car.


22.30pm.  Enjoy your cocktail at Franco’s Bar, one the oldest and most famous bars of the island []

Drink the famous ‘Maria Kallas’, a cocktail prepared with champagne.

Tip: It is a bit expensive bar (a cocktail costs 13-15€) but the view and the cocktails are really breathtaking. So, it is actually the amazing view that you are paying for and not so much the cocktails.


12.30am. Return to the hotel and get some rest.


Santorini 1st Day Map:

Get this Map Online in Google Maps Format: Click Here


If you want to get the rest of the guide – a step-by-step schedule for the next two days in Santorini, click here.

See Also

Where to Stay in Santorini, Greece in Summer 2016: The Ultimate Guide to the 5 Best Areas and 20 Value Hotels

3 Days in Santorini Travel Guide – Best Things to Do in Santorini

What are the must-try dishes while you are in Greece – How to Eat like a Greek!

9 Best Secret Greek Islands that Only Locals Know

31 Awesome Artistic Photos You Can Shoot in Santorini

Where to Stay in Santorini

30 Frequently Asked Questions about Santorini

Which is Closer to Athens: Mykonos or Santorini?

Perissa Beach in Santorini

12 Fun Things to Do in Santorini

What to Do in Santorini in 3 Days

Athens to Santorini: Should You get a Ferry or a Plane?

31 Artistic Photos You Can Shoot at Santorini

Top Foods to try in Granada

Top Foods in Granada

Granada is an amazing destination for foodies, as well as history lovers and if it happens to be both, this is the perfect place for you because you can actually taste the history. Granada was the longest-lasting Muslim territory on the Iberian Peninsula and this is something you can observe when wandering around the city, but also when indulging in the traditional dishes.

The Arabic influences in Granada’s gastronomy give the traditional Spanish food a surprising balance that will make your tasting buds go wild.


Begin Your Day With a Typical Spanish Breakfast: Tostadas con Tomate

Tostadas con Tomate

People of Granada love their tostadas, which are bread rolls cut in half and toasted. Some might say that there is nothing special about something this simple but not only are the tostadas delicious but they also represent your introduction to one of the best culinary experiences in Spain.

The most common breakfast is represented by tostadas con tomato. As you probably imagine this is made with tomato ( grated) and olive oil. But you can go further and choose other toppings as jam and butter (mantequilla y mermelada), cured ham (jamón) and many others. Pair these with a freshly squeezed orange juice (Zumo de Naranja) and white coffee (café con leche) and you are ready to begin exploring the beautiful city of Granada.


A Spanish Breakfast for Your Sweet Tooth

Churros Con Chocolate

Visitors who feel wild enough to begin their day with a sugary breakfast should order Churros con chocolate. This is another typical breakfast Spaniards love, especially during the weekend when they allow themselves to have more calories than usual. If you order the churros with chocolate, expect to receive a delicious thick drink you can dip your churros into. However, in case you want less sugar, choose to pair the churros with coffee, as some Spanish people who take good care of their diet do. Either way, your morning will be sweet and beautiful!


Don’t Say “No” to a Tortilla del Sacromonte

Sacromonte (“sacred mountain” ) is the gypsy quarter of Granada. Not only is this a great place for travelers to enjoy a traditional flamenco show, but it is also a perfect spot for a delicious omelet with a twist, especially if you are not a vegetarian. The Tortilla del Sacromonte is a Roma tradition, containing nuts, mutton brains, and chorizo or jamón Serrano and it is absolutely mouthwatering.


Try the Local’s Favourite Traditional Dish: Plato Alpujarreño

Plato Alpujarreño

Originally from the mountain villages of Las Alpujarras, the interesting Plato Alpujarreño contains fried eggs, potatoes, cured ham, chorizo, sweet peppers and blood sausages. It sounds very simple because it is but its simplicity together with the local ingredients makes it very delicious. There are few things in Granada that can beat this tasty, hearty combination.


A World Famous Combination: Jamón y Queso

Jamón y Queso

Wherever you go in Spain you have to order Jamón y Queso at least once. They serve this starter everywhere but it is different since the cheese and the Jamón served are usually local. In Granada go for Queso Montefrieño and Jamón de Trevélez.

Queso Montefrieño is an award-winning goat cheese from Montefrío a place known as “one of the villages with the best panoramic views in the world.” Meanwhile, Jamón de Trevélez comes from one of the Alpujarras villages and it is so delicious that it was chosen as the private ham brand of the Spanish royal family!


Gazpacho – The Best Choice for a Warm Summer Day


Spaniards love the famous Andalusian gazpacho and everybody eats this cold coup, especially in in the summer months. Even though the ingredients change from region to region, gazpacho is usually made with tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, olive oil, breadcrumbs, salt, and vinegar. Everything is blended and served cold. This is one of the most refreshing summer soup in the world.


What to Drink in Granada

Everybody knows Spaniards love their coffee in the morning and their alcoholic beverages in the evening. Just like French people, Spanish don’t drink a lot, but they always enjoy a glass or two during dinner and even lunch. So, in Granada, as well as in the whole country, you should know that coffee is more than just a drink. It is the reason why people take their social breaks at work and why they get together in their free time. Coffee is a way of life. Unlike the Italians who like drinking their strong coffee rapidly, Spaniards like coffee with milk and they prefer a long chat while enjoying their caffeine dose.


When it comes to alcoholic beverages, you should know that Spanish people are not only fond of their wine but they are also extremely proud. French people might say nobody has better wine but Spaniards can actually fight over their products. And they have good reasons for loving and promoting their wine because it is absolutely delicious. Whether you love white wines ( vino Blanco) or you prefer the red ones (vino tinto) you will be completely satisfied in Granada.

And if you go to Granada during summer, adventure yourself into drinking sangría, also known in Granada as “tinto de verano“.  This is a fruity, refreshing, red wine-based drink made with lemonade and it is just perfect for lunch!

tinto de verano

If you want to have a complete culinary experience you can always join a food tour in Granada. And real foodies who want to take something back from the Andalusian cuisine can always learn how to cook from one of the many talented locals who offer very interesting cooking classes.