Getting there :
We started from Stuttgart , Germany. The connection to Athens was with Lufthansa Airlines. From Athens to Santorini it was Aegean Airlines. If you plan to take a ferry from Athens to Santorini consider the time it takes to reach the port from the airport. During our return it took us a good part of 2 hours to reach from the port to the airport with the shuttle.
If you want to have a quintessential vacation at Santorini then book for a place overlooking the caldera at Fira or Oia. We settled for a reasonably priced EcoXenia studio apartment at Oia (pronounced hee-ah). This place was away from all the noise and had a good view of the Aegean Sea from the terrace.
Visit Timing :
We visited Santorini in September and we had to best of the weather and there was no big crowd.
Things to do :
If you are for beaches then you are probably at the wrong place. Make no mistake , Santorini has one of the best views of nature. The caldera will be one of the best places I have seen. But Santorini is not the place if you want beaches.
Hike from Fira to Oia :
So coming to the point, the most beautiful Santorini experience is the hike from Fira to Oia. Just start from Fira and walk towards Oia along the edge of the caldera. Be prepared with good footwear and carry water. Start some time at around 15:00 and you will make it to Oia for the famous sunset. At least for us this experience was the highlight of our vacation.
Go around Oia :
The host where we stayed told us that Oia is classic Santorini and Fira is more commercial. So make it a point to walk in the narrow alleys and the passages at the edge of the Caldera. The houses and churches unlike Fira have the classical white walls and blue domes. Also in the evening not only the sunset but the colours of the sky right after the sunset is worth seeing.
Some other less interesting places:
The beach at Perissa was the only beach in the Island that was worth spending time. Also the taverns at the beach have good fish for reasonable price.
The ancient site of Akrotiri can be visited if time permits. Its nothing spectacular but if you interested in the topic of Atlantis then this place has some connection.
The rest of the time we spent in our accommodation overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Getting around :
One can rent ATV , cars or two wheelers. Cars would be the safest option as the traffic can be erratic sometimes. The other option would be busses. The ticket prices are very cheap. The connectivity and the frequency is also not bad. Although keep in mind that the busses might not be on time always.
For the return trip we took a ferry from Athinios (Santorini) to Piraeus (Athens). It was a BlueStar ferry. The tickets can be purchased at any travel agent in Fira. During the month of september we did not have to do an advance booking. Most of them offer standard prices. There is always a bus one hour before a ferry departure from Fira to the port. If it’s a late night ferry then carry adequate jackets as it can be really cold at night even though the days are very warm.