Tourist Attractions in Santorini Island

  • The cruise ship. The curse of Santorini.
    The cruise ship. The curse of Santorini.
    by miniman2804
  • Yes, it's a sunset
    Yes, it's a sunset
    by miniman2804
  • All fine and dandy, but the cocktail cost 9 euro
    All fine and dandy, but the cocktail...
    by miniman2804

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in Santorini Island

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    Caldera sunset

    by miniman2804 Written Jul 29, 2011

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    Now. We all love sunsets. We all love the caldera.

    When you see a bar advertising "caldera view" sunset view" etc, prepare for a large bill.

    In fact, Oia's claim notwithstanding, I'm not sure how a sunset would look so different from anywhere around the caldera. I suppose the contrast of the islands in front of the sun may make a difference, but not at the prices they charge!

    Unique Suggestions: Avoid bars overlooking the caldera.

    Fun Alternatives: Buy a can of beer and sit on a rock above Iremoviglia, or anywhere on the Akrotiri peninsula.

    Yes, it's a sunset All fine and dandy, but the cocktail cost 9 euro

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    Overblown Fira

    by miniman2804 Written Jul 29, 2011

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    Now, I have waxed lyrical about the views, and some of the buildings in Fira are extraordinary. But - and it's a big but - the whole town is designed to relieve you of your money. Once into the narrow streets at the north end, there seem an endless supply of shops that sell all the same tat, and low value tat at that.

    The clue is that here is where cruise ships dock. We saw a captive group - prisoners even down to the numbered labels on their shirts - fresh off the large cruise liner. They were only there for a few hours, so rapid extraction of euros was important. God help each and every one.

    Unique Suggestions: By all means drink in the views. It's a lovely place to look at and from. In the southern end linger in the quality art galleries, and admire the sumptous Orthodox cathedral.

    Fun Alternatives: Imeroveglia and Firostefani afford similar outlook without the predatory shops.

    The cruise ship. The curse of Santorini.

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    WHEN A CREDIT CARD SIGN MEANS NO CREDIT CARDS!

    by DAO Updated Sep 28, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    I have run into this issue more than once on Santorini. The last time was at the over-priced Central Super Markt near the main square. We loaded up a basket of shopping because we saw the Visa and MasterCard symbols in the window. Then after it was all totalled up at the counter the lady said ‘No Visa Card’. MasterCard then? No. Then we got a story about her not being the owner and the credit card signs being from the previous owner of a previous shop. She was either lying or they were incompetent. Not really good options are they?

    Fun Alternatives:

    Some shops want you to spend a certain amount before taking a card. Say 10 Euros. Fair enough. Don’t panic. Either up your spend, lower your spend or walk away. If they put up the sign, but change the rules later – you have a right to walk away. It’s their fault not yours.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Luxury Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    THE RICHEST MAN ON SANTORINI

    by DAO Updated Sep 27, 2010

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    “Have a photo with my donkey Marika. Just give what you like as payment”. That’s what his sign says. Yes this kindly little old man is probably the richest person on the island. I saw him in 2007. I saw him in 2010. He always seems to be here in Pyrgos. He operates in the little square just down the hill from the Venetian Castle. He almost never fails to get money from tourists and he seems to have a monopoly on this donkey photo thing. He definitely has more than one donkey and most people are probably going to give this old guy at least a Euro. Now that’s a tax-free Euro. Given the Greek disdain for paying taxes, I am guessing only his Ouzo supplier is paying tax. No. On second thought, he probably gets a kick-back from his ‘homemade wine’ sidekick who sometimes operates with him.

    If this guy has been getting tax-free Euros everyday I figure he is probably doing ok financially. Somewhere between people having holiday brain, the kindly old man look, the nice donkey and the surprise of coming across this small square lead to one thing. Yep I think this guy is rich now. And he keeps updating his sign.

    And the donkeys? Probably the least worked donkeys on the island. You climb on and off. They don’t have to carry you anywhere.

    Unique Suggestions:

    Only give him 40-50 Euro cents. Although his English becomes quite good at 1 Euro.

    Fun Alternatives:

    Read this tip and take 2-3 apples with you when you go to Pyrgos. Feed the nice donkeys.

    READ MY SIGN! NOW PAY ME ! READ MY SIGN! NOW PAY ME ! READ MY SIGN! NOW PAY ME ! BUY MY WINE ! READ MY SIGN! NOW PAY ME !
    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Travel with Pets
    • Family Travel

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    THE ETERNAL SHAME OF AKROTIRI

    by DAO Updated Sep 21, 2010

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    To be somewhat fair the local authorities, the last Tourist to visit was killed on site. A protective roof structure was being erected to protect the ancient ruins in 2005. Unfortunately part of it collapsed and killed a tourist. Fair enough, but they estimated it would be open by now. It’s been 5 years! I have been here twice and have only seen the closed sign (pictured).

    Every tourist map lists the ‘Excavations at Akrotiri and several Travel Agent websites actually list it as an activity – mentioning at the end that it is not currently open. It was supposed to open soon in2007. And in 2010. The crazy thing is several tour companies will tell you the closing time each day (3pm), the entry fee (3 Euros) and the parking situation. They even offer transport.

    THE PLACE IS CLOSED!!! HAS BEEN FOR 5 YEARS !!!

    Why is it so important? Akrotiri is the Pompeii of Santorini. The volcano covered, and preserved, this village more than 1000 years BEFORE Pompeii. A virtual time machine where one can see intact frescoes, furniture, pottery and buildings. If you could get in to see it that is. Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement and there are many inscriptions in the ancient Greek language – Linear A. Unfortunately this language is still not fully understood, but they are working on it. Behind the closed gates.

    Fun Alternatives:

    You could explore this fantastic historical site Virtually here:
    AKROTIRI – THE WORK OF THE THERA FOUNDATION

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Shopping traps in Santorini

    by greekcypriot Written Aug 19, 2010

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    It is strongly recommended to ask for a receipt and a certificate of quality and origin of manufacturing if you are buying jewelry from the island.

    Greece has 9,000 years of art in gold but since the E.E..C participation, huge quantites of marchandises from Asiatic countries are mixed with the local production, so be careful. What looks Greek is not nescessarily Greek made.

    The absence of a Jewellery Association the latest 10 years on this island is limiting the possibilites of quality control by the local authorities, so be reasonable in choosing only legal and certified shopping to sustain your own satisfaction and the market reputation.

    Greek original jewellery

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    Getting into Fira from the Port

    by samitbabu Written Aug 17, 2010

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    As soon as your ferry docks into the new port of santorini and you disembark from the Ship, you would be greeted with local tout offering to give you a ride into Town.
    The town of Fira is the closest and is still a 10 km away from the port.
    The rates offered to us were a Euro 40 for a car ride.

    Unique Suggestions: We instead caught the local KTEL bus into town. The seats are comfortable, the luggage can be stowed in the undercarriage locker and the fare is Euro 2 per person.

    Fun Alternatives: The local bus stop is adjacent to the port.
    You only need to look around to find it.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    Volcano Tours Overpriced!

    by greekcypriot Updated Aug 17, 2010

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    The trip where you visit the hot springs in Palea Kameni and Thirasia can be quite expensive.

    Most of the trips are offered only in package, where you visit the hot springs in Palea Kameni
    The cheapest tour, I have found, on offer was135 € per person. Very expensive!
    I did not take any volcano tour!!!

    Unique Suggestions: We took a ride by a tiny fishing boat from Kamari beach to the lighthouse and back instead!

    The views were simply amazing, looking to the beaches, the caldera and the neighbouring island on the Aegean Sea for a fraction of the cost of the volcano tour.

    View of the volcano from our balcony

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    The Plumbing System on the Island!

    by greekcypriot Updated Aug 17, 2010

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    Avoid throwing paper in the toilets.
    You don't want to find yourself in a difficult position, and cause this bad situation because of paper thrown by you!

    Unique Suggestions: When you see a sign that says that papers should not be thrown, don't throw.
    There is a reason for everything.
    The people at the hotels or restaurants know well why papers or other things should be collected.

    Don't throw paper in the toilets!

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  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    Watch your step!

    by greekcypriot Written Aug 17, 2010

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    There are steps everywhere on the island.
    Along the side streets of the Caldera you cannot avoid them and you better have comfortable shoes with you.
    You don't want to ruin your holidays and break a leg or turn an ankle!

    Steps everywhere!

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    Some Hotels have the Same Name!

    by greekcypriot Updated Aug 13, 2010

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    Be very careful when you book your hotel!

    There are hotels which have the same name, and the one might be a 4 * hotel and the other a 2* one.

    I was panicked when I booked at Kavalari hotel-the one facing the volcano, which I was supposed to go to the 3rd day, and while driving I thought to have a look where the hotel is so that I won't lose time the day I move.
    There was another Kavalari which was a studio appartments, and the whole night I could not sleep, thinking what a big mistake I had done. How could I have done such mistake.
    I thought this would ruin my whole vacation.

    I go early the following mornig to check this out and see what I can do, and happily I was announced that it shared the same name but it was not the one I had booked.

    Of course it was a nice apartment but had nothing to do with the one I already chosen.
    So, be very careful when booking!

    A sparrow at our balcony

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    Greek Night of Bad Food & Wine

    by djhartmannn Updated Oct 5, 2009

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    We went on this trip as a package deal (which was not a bad thing in itself) but at our intro morning we bought into a Greek night at the Wine Museum. The wine probe presentation was almost as bad as the wine itself which was not as bad as the buffet that they served. (I think I ate half a sausage and drank the water I brought with me) The dancers were nice kids in pretty good costumes. Their performance was "good" with the lead dancer being "very good" The only saving grace for the evening was the band. The mandolin player was incredible.

    Did I say the food was really bad & my wife and I did not like the wine at all? (and we like wine)

    Koutosoyannopoulos winery & wine museum (on the road to Kamari Beach, Santorini)

    www.waterblue.gr www.volcanwines.gr

    Fun Alternatives: When you go on a package tour, take the first day to check out the alternatives before buying in.

    Also, I found the Santorini white wines to be nothing special, but their sweet reds had this wonderful earthy quality about them that I found quite unique and quite wonderful.

    Kinda like Disney Kinda like Disney
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

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    THIEVING BASTARDS - TAXIS AND PRIVATE BUSES

    by DAO Updated Feb 16, 2008

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    Santorini is a small island with large prices if you take any form of transport other than the public bus. Taxis are thieving dishonest bastards worldwide and they happily mark up the real price by as much as 400% if you are not careful and prepared to argue. Santorini is only about 16 kilometres from North to South. Most journeys are between 1-3 kilometres because you want to avoid steep hills. They will happily ask for as much as 20 Euros for a 2 kilometre ride! Happened to me! Because it is so small, they will never get the miles you would on the mainland so they make up for it by ripping you off! Private busses do this as well. I saw 65 people get charged 5.50 Euros for a 4 kilometre ride! That’s 357 Euros! Wow!

    Unique Suggestions: You must be prepared to stand your ground and argue. Walk away if they do not agree. There are more taxis. Ask how many kilometres it is. If it is less, subtract what they lied about when you get there. Also you can hire a scooter for 10 Euros a day or walk. It is good exercise

    A TAXI TAXI RANK TAXI RANK INSDIE A TAXI WITH A FAN (NOT A/C!)
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    THE PUBLIC TOILET IN FIRA

    by DAO Updated Feb 16, 2008

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    The public toilet in Fira costs about $1 to use making it one of the most expensive places on earth to do what you need to do. Outrageous! It is also not open that many hours. It’s located near the Bus Station and Taxi Rank to catch unsuspecting tourists like YOU

    Fun Alternatives: Don’t use it! The lady is kind of rude anyway. You can walk 15-20 metres and go into restaurants. Bars and hotels to use their toilets. Just look like you belong there and ask where the toilets are. I found 100% of places let me use it without a word. Why pay when you can use it for free?

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel

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    POSTCARDS

    by DAO Updated Jan 17, 2008

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    Why pay more? Your flights and hotel cost enough! Post Cards can be very very expensive. As much as Euro 1.50! No way. Do not do it. You need postcards, but not at any price.

    Fun Alternatives:
    Shop around! I found postcards for as little as 20 cents when I negotiated a large amount of them with one shop. Still not cheap, but better than the shop NEXT DOOR! If you are willing to walk an extra 10-20 meters you will save money. Shop for prices the first 2 days, buy on the 3rd and post on the 4th.

    Have a great holiday!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Santorini Island Tourist Traps

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