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Santorini sans Akrotiri

We've been planning to visit Santorini as part of a Greece and Turkey trip coming up real soon. While researching I came across the information that the site of Akrotiri is currently closed (though potentially opening soon!). I realize that there are many other beautiful and enjoyable aspects of Santorini. That being said, we will probably only be travelling to one (maybe two) islands in the trip as we hop over to Turkey. Would you recommend still making that stop at Santorini, or would it be better to choose a different island (or islands)? We enjoy ancient ruins, outdoor activities (hiking, etc.) but will also be ok with a rest :) Thanks!! Any other itinerary suggestions would be appreciated. Current plan: Athens, Delphi, Northern Peloponnese for 4ish days Island/s for 2-4 days Turkey (ending in Istanbul) for 4ish days
(Western coast of Turkey to get to Istanbul?)

Posted by
2863 posts

Even though Akrotiri will probably not re-open this year after all, you can still visit Ancient Thera on the mountain above and between Kamari Beach and Perissa Beach. There's a hiking trail up to AT from the Perissa side. There's also a 2-4 hour hike between Fira and Oia right along the clifftop. You can visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Akrotiri Wall Painting Exhibit, both in Fira. There are several good wineries and a caldera/volcano excursion cruise. There are also several other museums. http://santorini.info/museums/index.html Santorini is beautiful and unique. Don't miss it.

Posted by
2568 posts

Since you apparently only have 8 days maximum in Greece, stick with your plan. Since you say "very soon" I'm assuming you mean April or Early May ... not swimming weather ... so recommending a "beach island" is irrelevant. Going early in the off-season, you will find Santorini nicely uncrowded. Also, the first question you'll be asked on return is "did you see Santorini?" and you'll have an answer. Don't attempt another island. As it is, you probably will have to fly TO Santorini, fly BACK to Athens (vs. a 9-10 hour ferry ride each way), and fly TO Istanbul. If you try to get from Santorini to a Turkey port via ferry it could take you 2 days, and then a day on a bus to Istanbul.

Posted by
1881 posts

Don't miss Santorini. Be sure to see the village of Oiu (or is it Oui, can't ever remember).......it's in all the photos and paintings one sees of Santorini.....but it was the highlight of our trip through the Greek Isles. Be sure to take the little walkways out (sort of behind the shops) to see the lovely views of the caldera, etc. It was SOOO very beautiful. Other than the 3-4 key sites in Athens, I would suggest no more than one full day there (other than your fly-in day). I actually could not wait to leave Athens -- the city is not beautiful, even the "pretty" parts are not clean and well maintained. You didn't ask, but in Turkey, try to see Ephesus, if time allows. A tour through the Terrace Houses (right there with all the other historical sites) is especially wonderful. But, allow plenty of time for Istanbul.....so much to see there!! We were pleasantly shocked by how wonderful Turkey, it's people, and its cleanliness is. Would love to go back. Enjoy.

Posted by
875 posts

Santorini is so spectacularly beautiful it would be a shame if you missed it. Definitely spend some time in Oia where you will be away from the hordes of tourists who come ashore from the cruise ships and spend most of their time in Fira.
Go down to Ammoudi Bay for lunch you can hike down from Oia and then back up afterwards. You can get an interesting close-up of the different layers of volcanic rock and you get to eat right at the edge of the water.

Posted by
31294 posts

Andy, I agree with the others - it's definitely worthwhile to visit Santorini, even without Akrotiri. I was there last summer and really enjoyed exploring the island. There's NO shortage of things to do! In addition to the very scenic Oia at one end of the island, Fira is good and some of the beaches are incredible. If you rent a car (or even a Quad - they're all over the place!) you can get to the top of the only mountain on the island (it overlooks the airport). In addition to some kind of military installation, there's a Monastery or something located there, and there were lots of tour Buses stopping there. If you're planning to do any shopping, be sure to bring LOTS of money! I seem to remember a quote from Catherine Zeta-Jones who reportedly commented that "I think I have raised the National Domestic Product a bit while visiting the shops on Santorini....." If you're hoping to get any sunset photos from Oia, I'd advise getting to your vantage point EARLY, and "staking out your vantage point". As sunset gets closer, that part of the island becomes packed solid with people! Happy travels!

Posted by
655 posts

Another vote in agreement with those above: don't miss Santorini.