Santorini Airport Mini Guide
Tell me a little about Santorini
The island as it is today was formed from the massive destruction of the volcano Thira, about 3,500 years ago. The volcano, and its subsequent tsunami, is thought to have been responsible for the end of the Minoan civilisation on Crete. Today, Thira is still active but quiet and has left the island with stunning villages perched on precipitous cliff edges overlooking the sea filled caldera of Thira. It’s reputed that Santorini has the best sunsets in the world and the prettiest villages from which to see them.
What’s the best way of getting to the Island?
Many people take the ferry from Athens
but, at over five hours, it can be a trial. Much better is to fly into Santorini Airport from an extensive number of European airports. Budget carrier easyJet fly from Gatwick to Santorini and there are many seasonal charters from the UK
. The airport is around three miles from the main town. First time renters can use our Greece guide
before you travel to learn the rules of the road and hit the ground running!
What is the airport Like?
The airport is modern and with good facilities. The small area available on which it was built means that only six aircraft can be at the airport at once so it doesn’t get overly crowded. It was built in 1972 and upgraded in 2005.
What can I expect when I arrive on Santorini?
Before you even land you should be looking out of the aircraft window to get a bird’s eye view of the geography of the island. From there you’ll see the flooded caldera and the knife edge islands. Your plane will come to a stop close to the terminal building and after a short walk you’ll clear passport control, collect your luggage and pass through customs. A small terminal building means that at peak times it can be a squash getting through the airport and baggage collection can then be chaotic.
If you lose a bag or need other help, there’s an information desk where the staff will be able to resolve problems. If you are taking public transport to your accommodation there are local buses and taxis outside the airport. Some of the chargeable hotel transfers can be more expensive than a taxi so check before you travel. If you’ve pre-booked a hire car, the desks are easy to find in the arrivals hall. Most companies supply you with a map so finding your way to your accommodation should be simple. If you need cash before leaving the airport, there’s an Emporiki Bank ATM for your convenience.
What can I do whilst waiting for my departure?
Once you’ve checked in you’ll find a café/bar serving hot and cold meals or light snacks, enough to keep hunger at bay. If you’ve admired the jewellery made on the island, there’s a gold jewellery shop at the airport together with a duty free shop with a good range of duty free items. The airport doesn’t currently have Wi-Fi facilities but it is planned in future airport upgrades.
Santorini is one of the most famous islands in history having been blown apart by the eruption of the volcano Thira in antiquity. Today it is a picture perfect holiday destination thoroughly deserving of exploration. Hire a car and visit the tiny villages perched on the ridge.
The most beautiful has to be Oia with its white-washed houses and blue roofs and woodwork. The beaches of the island are black, and in places pebbly, but the lagoon water is always warm, heated by the volcanic rocks around it. Whilst on Santorini, try some of the delicious and powerful local Assyrtiko wine.