Destinations / Greece

Santorini Inspiration

Santorini, Greece

Santorini is calling and I must go


All most people need to draw them to visit Santorini are photographs of this visually magnificent destination. It is one of the most photographed locations in the world for a reason. The weather is near perfect, and the sea is the deepest of blues. All this is perched over a gorgeous caldera that draws your eyes constantly to it. It is one of our favorite places in the world to photograph.

The crescent-shaped island is surreal in its beauty and has an energy that is hard to describe. The white-washed buildings with the backdrop of the deep azure Aegean sea are stunning. But Santorini is much more than that; it is home to ancient civilizations and archaeological sites of buried cities 2000 years older than Pompei. To add some added fun, Santorini is also one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world. Enough said…

We will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Fun facts about Santorini follow the photo gallery or jump ahead now by clicking here.

Check out our blog post on Santorini, Greece: The Jewel of the Aegean Sea to provide even more inspiration and all the ins and outs of making the most of your visit.

Funs facts about Santorini that all visitors should know

  1. Along with the four smaller islets nearby Santorini forms a small archipelago that is a volcanic island. It is located in the Cyclades in the Aegean sea. The are over 200 islands in the Cyclades.
  2. What we know Santorini is a result volcanic explosion was so violent that it resulted in one of the world’s largest calderas with a diameter of over 6 miles. This massive eruption is believed to have occurred around 1600 BC and only side pieces of the previous island remain. The eruption so extreme it caused severe damage to Crete island 70 miles away and destroyed Knossos Palace.
  3. You may ask what is a caldera? It is a huge depression in the top part of the volcano, resulting from a violent eruption destroying the upper part of the volcanic cone.
  4. It is assumed that the main cities of Oia and Fira are cities that have been around for centuries. This could not be farther from the truth. In 1956 a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the island buildings. The structures you see today we part of a grand design to bring more tourism to the island. We would say it was successful, maybe too much.
  5. One of the oldest civilizations of the Bronze age, the Minoans, lived on the island prior to the mass eruption. This was thousand so years BC. These were amazingly advanced civilizations with indoor plumbing and sewers.
  6. The name of the island comes from the 13th-century character of St Irene. It was originally called Strongoli.
  7. Tourism is the number one source of income for residents. Demand becomes so high many hospitality workers arrive seasonally from Athens. Tourist season was May to September but as Santorini’s popularity grows so does the season.
  8. One of the biggest issues causing over-tourism is the cruise ship traffic. Some days there will be 4-5 cruise ships arriving in during a 24 hour periods. Mass people load onto the busses and make it quite difficult to move around in places like Oia and Thira.
  9. Santorini has a few beaches but there are many more beautiful islands for beaches in Greece. There are three beaches that people visit, red, black, and white beach. They are more a rough pebble type beach with black sand.
  10. Why are the buildings white-washed? Santorini gets hot, very hot. The white paint keeps the building cool. Test it compare a non painted or darker painted building compared to a white it. The difference is quite surprising. There are other stories of why the building are painted why but all we know is they are part of the Santorini Inspiration.
  11. Wine-making in Santorini is one of the oldest grape growing regions of the world. The vineyards are virtually impervious to disease and grow under harsh soil and conditions. Local winemakers use the humidity in the air to help irrigate the vines. As a result the harvest is very small as each plant produces few grapes.

    The wines are fantastic and are hard to find though outside of Santorin due to limited production. There are dozens of wineries to visit on the island. The most popular wine is the sweet wine Vinsanto, which many restaurants on the island will offer complimentary glass at the end of a meal. How is that for Santorini Inspiration?
  12. This is deeply religious island and you find churches everywhere. Differing from mainland Greek Catholicism is the dominant faith in Santorini.
  13. There is almost no rain in Santorini and it is quite humid. The water on the island absolutely should not be consumed and bottled water the only source of drinking water.
  14. What makes Santorini unique it is one the few civilizations on earth built into volcanic rock.
  15. Enjoy visiting castles? Santorini has several. The Venetians were a strong presence here, obvious in the Greco-Roman buildings, and used these castles as fortifications to protect against enemies.
  16. On the Caldera side if the island there are two main ports. Fira port sits at the base of steep sheer rock walls that rise 980 feet above sea level. The trip up is not small feat. The road itself is quite a crazy windy narrow road with one hair pin turn after another. But for the more adventurous you can walk up the steep steps, ride a sky car or even hop onto a donkey.
  17. Renting ATV’s is common for tourists on the island to get around. The island is only 11 miles long and parking is a challenge everywhere. An ATV solves many of the issues that cars have but they are also many stories of accidents. If you are visiting in the off season we would suggest a car though as there is so much to see on this island and a car makes it more possible for a short visit.

The Official Greece Santorini tourism website is a great resource and will also provide even more Santorini Inspiration.

Santorini Archipelago

When to travel to avoid the crowds

Santorini in peak season can be a mass of people. We have visited then and when it was empty. The huge crowds can be difficult to navigate, but we still fell in love with the island and the setting despite them. If it is the only time you can visit, don’t miss out.

Our second visit was when it was empty, as it was post-Covid, the experience was very different and by far more exceptional. Our advice is to go off-season, especially when the cruise ships are not running, or look for days when they are not in port.

We discuss the issues of over-tourism in our Santorini post. Check out how sustainable tourism is important to the future of places like Santorini.

© 2021 Wanderers Compass All Rights Reserved

Become part of our Wanderers Compass Travel Community

Stay updated on all our new posts and happenings

Santorini, Greece

Want to learn about Wanderers Compass?

Check out our other Greece posts
Chania Harbor, Crete

Greece Travel Guide

“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their…

February 28, 2021


Our favorite travel insurance site!

If you are booking a trip, don’t forget to get travel insurance within 14 days of your first booking. We could not be stronger advocates of being well insured. Not for the little stuff but the big stuff like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Over the years, we have used many sites but have now found our go-to place. Squaremouth.com does a fantastic job; it has a user-friendly interface, they use top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover Covid medical issues and cancellations. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems with your policy.


Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover Covid-related transports as well.

Medjet carries its own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for $295. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.


Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Whether planning a family vacation, booking for business, or organizing the trip of a lifetime, they are a fantastic resource. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you would need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and cruises, to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  


Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes.

We always start with Expedia to check prices, but it sometimes says it is sold out. We then try Booking.com, and we find it lists plenty of rooms. It could be they are a Europe-based company. Try both before booking accommodations.

Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO)

Are you traveling with a family or having an extended stay at your destination?

With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, VRBO connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip. The VRBO community offers families or groups various rental property types such as condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses, etc.

VRBO is under the Expedia group ownership now, which many were worried about, but it hasn’t panned out to be a concern. It is a massive network that has access to all forms of lodging should issues arise. Joelle has used VRBO for many years with her family with no problems.


Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers worldwide use the Tripadvisor site and App to discover where to stay, what to do, and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants, and discover great places to see nearby. We use them for guidance and research on every trip; it is a valuable app for the independent traveler.

Rail Europe

Discover Europe by Train

Rail Europe sells train and bus tickets for travel across Europe. They cover 24 countries, 105 rail operations, and 20,000 stations. They are the official rail and bus operations agents in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Rail Europe continues to add coverage all the time.

It is a fast, easy and economical way to purchase European train and bus tickets. Eurail passes are also available to buy through their site.


An excellent source for travel essentials and guides

Amazon is one of the most comprehensive online shopping sources in the world. On behalf of their customers, teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery. They offer a vast inventory, and their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com provide extensive options to customers.

We buy most of our travel books, accessories, and luggage from Amazon. We have ordered up to two days before travel and get what we need.

Travelpro Luggage

Thoughtfully Designed | Meticulously Constructed | Quality Guaranteed.

We have used this luggage for years, left briefly to try others, and returned to Travelpro. Travelpro luggage is carried by crews from over 90 airlines worldwide.

Travelpro takes the time to learn what travelers want and need, then builds it. The key factor for us is that it must be lightweight upfront and resistant to rough handling. Their luggage is the best, and we could not recommend it enough. It is our go-to luggage.


Travel documentation made more accessible

iVisa.com is dedicated to providing customers with a simple, fast, and reliable way to get travel documentation for their journey. Their online application process makes getting visas, health declarations, or passport photos a breeze, all from your home’s comfort. As a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry, they take pride in making global travel more accessible for everyone. Ultimately, it is a simple and affordable travel resource to complete the necessary entry documents for your international travel.

This section contains affiliate links. If you use these links (the ads with photos are NOT affiliate links) to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Become part of our Wanderers Compass Travel Community

Stay updated on all our new posts and happenings

Do you have a question for us or have a comment?

No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Cinque Terre

    Become part of our Wanderers Compass Travel Community

    Stay updated on all our new posts and happenings

    No spam, unsubscribe at any time, no more than one email a month