Getting to Santorini Island

Santorini is a very popular touristic destination and so is served by multiple connections via both air and sea. If you are coming from any European country you may reach Santorini by taking a connecting flight from Athens International Airport or a ferry from Pireaus port. In the summer time, many charter flights fly directly from different cities of Europe to Santorini island.

By air

Travelling by air to Santorini is the least time consuming method and you can choose from 7-10 daily flights direct from Athens International Airport to Thera (Thira) Airport, Santorini, operated by Greece’s two national carriers – Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines. The cost of a return flight from Thera (Thira) to Athens is approximately €100 and flight time is approximately 40 minutes.Charter flights that operate from various European cities are also an option if you are arriving from Europe.

Air Travel Contact Details:
Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”
Arrivals/Departures: (+30) 210-353-0000;
General Information: (+30) 210-353-1000;

Santorini (Thera) National Airport (JTR)
Tel.: +30 22860 28400
Fax: +30 22860 33349

Aegean Airlines
Aegean Airlines operates 4-6 daily flights from Athens to Santorini and back. For more detailed information on prices and availability, please visit the Aegean Airlines Website.

Olympic Airways
Olympic Airways operates 3-4 daily flights depending on the weekday. For more detailed information on prices and availability, please visit the Olympic Airways Website.

By sea
Ferry connections between mainland Greece and Santorini are frequent, especially during the summer time. During the summer high-season (June-August), ferries leave daily from Piraeus port to Santorini and vice-versa. A typical ferry journey is: Piraeus - Paros - Naxos - Ios - Santorini.
There are also frequent connections between Santorini and other Cyclades islands (Mykonos, Anafi, Amorgos) as well as Rhodes , Crete and Thessaloniki.
Taking the boat from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, you will reach Santorini in around 9 hours with the classic ferry, 7 hours with the Blue Star Ferries and less with the catamaran or the hydrofoil (4.5hrs).
During the summer time, there is a daily speed boat service (that takes 6hrs 20mins to reach Santorini) from the port of Rafina, an hour’s drive from Athens centre.

Getting to Pireaus port from Athens International Airport [return to top]

You may reach Pireaus port from Athens International Airport either by taking a taxi (there is a taxi rank outside the airport arrivals level) or by public transport. A taxi journey from Athens International Airport to Pireaus will take about an hour and cost approximately 40 euro.

Athens Taxi Contact Numbers
Emergency Numbers:

18300 (quick dial from Athens) or +30 210-520-0020
Athina 1
1203 (quick dial from Athens) or +30 210-921-2800
+30 210-363-6508
+30 210-515-2800
+30 210-614-4000
+30 210-645-9000
+30 210-645-7000
+30 210-213-0400
Glyfada +30 210-960-560

If you choose the public transport option, you will take the metro line (blue line) from the airport to Monastiraki. At Monastiraki you will change to the green line, in the direction of Pireaus. The train station is then only a short walk from Pireaus port. The total fare for this journey will be 6 euro.
flyer Athens Metro Map (319 KB)

Port Contact Details

Piraeus Port:
Tel: (+30) 210-414-7800

Rafina Port
Tel: (+30) 22940-22300

Ferry Contact Details

Hellenic Seaways:
Tel: (+30) 210-419-9000

Blue Star Ferries:
Tel: (+30) 210-891-9800

Tel: (+30) 210-411-5015

Getting Around the Island [return to top]

The public bus service is quite well developed, however, if you would like to see some less touristy parts of Santorini, renting a car or motorbike from one of the many car rental agencies is perhaps a better option. Taxis are relatively inexpensive compared to European standards.

Public Transport [return to top]
A very convenient and cheap way to get around the island is by bus. The service is reliable and reasonably punctual.
The first bus to Thera leaves Kamari at 7.10 a.m., from Perissa at 7 a.m., and the last from Thera to Kamari leaves at 1 a.m., and to Perissa at midnight.

Sample fares (2007):
Kamari-Thera €1.20
Perissa-Thera €1.90
Akrotiri-Thera €1.60
Oia-Thera €1.20

Half-fare for children and disabled. Fares go up a touch late at night.
Detailed timetables can be found on the Santorini public bus website
or by calling: +30 22860 25404 or +30 22860 25462

By Taxi [return to top]
Taxis in Santorini are a relatively inexpensive way to get around, however, at times can be hard to find. If you choose to call a taxi to pick you up (as opposed to flagging it down), a fee of 2 euro is automatically applied to your final fare.

Santorini Taxi Contact Numbers:
+30 22860 22555
+30 22860 23951
+30 22860 23952

Car Rental [return to top]
If you wish to explore the island on your own, you can rent a car, motorbike or even dune buggy at one of the many car rental agencies found on the island. The following car rental agencies are found at Santorini (Thera) National Airport:

HERTZ: Tel.: +30 22860 33670
EUROPCAR: Tel.: +30 22860 24610
BUDGET: Tel.: +30 22860 22900

Excursions [return to top]

monastiri On-line submission of reservations for excursions and accommodation as well as payment is preferred through the Travel & Accommodation Arrangements on-line system. Your payment will be processed through a secure web-based credit card payment system (SSL encrypted data transfer). You will notice that the application for excursions is combined with the application for accommodation (Travel & Accommodation Arrangements service). Please refer to the respective ACRI 2012 web pages for more information on accommodation.

Due to high demand during the summer months it will be wise to book your excursion early in order to secure a place on your selected tour. While it is planned that all excursions will be available before, during, and after the Conference dates, it is emphasized that any tour may be cancelled on any of those dates, depending on the number of participating persons.

Thera, and rest of Santorini Island, offers many opportunities to enjoy your free time, during, before and after attending ACRI 2012. For those who will decide to accompany a Conference delegate, a dream holiday plan is at hand! You can either choose to sign up for a tour, or spend your day leisurely swimming at one of the beautiful beaches in Santorini. The tours listed on our web site may be booked through before or during the Conference. Details on how to book your excursions online will be posted here soon.

theraPerissa Beach, Pyrgos Village and Monastery tour
In this full-day tour, we will first visit Panagia Episkopi church with its wall-paintings dating back to 1100 and then, passing through some beautiful vineyards we shall continue to enjoy wonderful views of the caldera on to Profitis Elias monastery with its amazing mosaics. After this, a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Perissa beach (black sand) will be in order before stopping at Pyrgos village for refreshments.

Ancient Thera and Oia tour
In this full-day tour, we will first visit Panagia Episkopi church with its wall-paintings dating back to 1100 and then, passing through some beautiful vineyards we shall continue to enjoy wonderful views of the caldera on to Profitis Elias monastery with its amazing mosaics. After this, a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Perissa beach (black sand) will be in order before stopping at Pyrgos village for refreshments.

volcanicVolcanic Islands and Hot Springs tour
In this full-day tour, we will first visit Panagia Episkopi church with its wall-paintings dating back to 1100 and then, passing through some beautiful vineyards we shall continue to enjoy wonderful views of the caldera on to Profitis Elias monastery with its amazing mosaics. After this, a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Perissa beach (black sand) will be in order before stopping at Pyrgos village for refreshments.

Santorini Weather [return to top]

Santorini is an ideal holiday destination with comfortable and favourable climate conditions for travel and sightseeing. The summers (June through August) are mildly hot with slightly high levels of humidity. Deceptively, during the day it is quite hot, while it cools noticeably during the night. During May, Santorini has an average high temperature of 19 °C, the rainfall is about 12mm and it has more than 10 hours of sunshine. For an updated review on Santorini weather click here

Banks [return to top]
The banks in Santorini are open between 8:00 and 14:30 hours during working days, except Friday, when banks open between 8:00 and 14:00 hours. On Saturday and Sunday the banks are closed.

Post Office [return to top]
Post offices are open from 08:00-13:00 hours (Monday-Friday).

Shopping [return to top]
Usual operating hours for shops in Santorini are:
- Monday, Wednesday & Saturday from 08:30-14:30 hours
- Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 08:00-13:30 hours and from 17:30-20:30 hours.
These times are not always strictly adhered to. Many shops in tourist areas are open seven days a week from morning to night.

Time [return to top]
Greece is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).

Currency [return to top]
The official currency in Greece is EURO (€). Major credit cards are widely accepted, although cash is preferred in most shops, especially the smaller ones.

Taxes [return to top]
Santorini has a sales tax (VAT) of 19% applicable to most goods and services purchased, regardless of whether the buyer is a resident of or visitor to Greece. Food & Beverage is an exception (the sales tax is about 9%). The VAT can be partially reimbursed or rebated to non Europeans.

Electricity [return to top]
Outlets and voltage (220 volts) are the same as in most of Europe (except UK). Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, razors, etc. can be used in Greece. For those from USA or Canada or other non–European countries adapters are required. The frequency of electrical current in Greece is 50 Hz.

Smoking [return to top]
The conference is a non- smoking event. Generally in Greece, smoking is not allowed in public buildings. You can smoke in most restaurants, liquor establishments (bars) and cafeterias.

Liability & Insurance [return to top]
The organisers cannot be held responsible for accidents to conference participants or accompanying persons, for damage, or loss of their personal property, or for cancellation expenses, regardless of cause. Participants are advised to carry out their own insurance arrangements during their stay in Greece.

Dress [return to top]
Casual wear is suggested for all conference events, except the banquet, where we suggest a more formal outfit and a jacket since the dinner will be held outdoors. Warm cloths are generally recommended in the evening.

Tipping [return to top]
Customary gratuity should be calculated at 10 per cent.

Special Needs [return to top]
Delegates and accompanying persons with disabilities are invited to advise the Conference's Secretariat of any special requirements.

Useful Telephone Numbers [return to top]
(If using a Greek telephone, call the number after removing the +30 prefix)

General Telephone Information (quick dial from Greece): 11888
International Phone Assistance (quick dial from Greece in English, French and German): 139

Emergency Numbers:

Fire Emergency: 199
Ambulance: 166
Police: 100
Tourist police: (English, French and German) 171
Police: +30 22860 22649
Port Authorities: +30 22860 22239

Tourist Information
Local Government Tourist Office: +30 22860 27111

Emergency & Hospitals
Hospitals, pharmacies and doctors on call: 1434
Hospital: +30 22860 23123, +30 22860 23333


Air Travel (Athens)
Athens International Airport: +30 210-353-0000
Olympic Airways: +30 210-966-6666
Aegean Airlines: +30 210-626-1700
Air Travel (Santorini)
Civil Aviation: +30 22860 28400
Aegean Airlines: +30 22860 28500
Olympic Airways Airport Office: +30 22860 31525
Olympic Airways City Office: +30 22860 22493
Cable Car: +30 22860 22977
Tourist Information on Sea Transport:
Boat Timetables: 1440

Other Services

Santorini Post Office: +30 22860 22238

Agricultural Bank of Greece: +30 22860 22261
Alpha Bank: +30 22860 23801
Commercial Bank of Greece: +30 22860 22533
National Bank of Greece: +30 22860 22370
Piraeus Bank: +30 22860 23136, +30 22860 25415

Embassies (based in Athens)
Australia: +30 210-6450404
Austria: +30 210-8257230
Belgium: +30 210-3617886
Canada: +30 210-7273400
Denmark: +30 210-3608315
France: +30 210-3391000
Germany: +30 210-7285111
Italy: +30 210-3617260
Netherlands: +30 210-7254900
Sweden: +30 210-7266100
United Kingdom: +30 210-7272600
United States: +30 210-7212951

Santorini Guide [return to top]

Santorini, part of the Cyclades islands network, is a volcanic island of immense natural beauty. World-renowned for its spectacular sunsets, it is believed that it the Lost City of Atlantis before it was completely destroyed by a large volcanic eruption. Santorini is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of both foreign and national tourists annually and thus it is connected to mainland Greece via Athens International Airport and Pireaus Port. With a Mediterranean climate, Santorini Island has the desirable weather conditions, with sun-drenched days and a cooling breeze blowing frequently during the evening.

GENERAL [return to top]


Santorini is unique both in its shape and its landscape. The whole island is a volcano (still active today) and its actual shape is the result of volcanic eruptions over the years. The most important of these eruptions took place in 1500 B.C., when, all the western part of the island disappeared under the water. This formed the walls of the "caldera", the remains of the volcano’s old crater, a steep, 300m high, rock of volcanic material.

On the opposite side of the "caldera", to the west, two smaller islands, Thirassia and Aspronissi, form a circle with the main island, giving an impression of the island’s shape before the eruption.

Virtually, one can reconstruct a rather round island, as its ancient Greek name – Strongyli (meaning "round") - suggests. In the middle of this circle, two small islands made of volcanic material, appeared in more recent periods - Palaia Kammeni ("kammeni" meaning burnt in Greek) and Nea Kammeni. When reaching Santorini by boat the view of the "caldera" is truly breathtaking.
A steep cliff, composed of various colours, ranging from purple to vivid red and from various tones of grey to pale yellow, without any vegetation, stands out, threatening and discouraging anyone wishing to explore the island. The rest of the island, hidden behind this cliff, is totally invisible. However, when you reach the cliff-foot you start seeing small white houses, churches with blue domes, narrow paths and steps leading to the top.

VOLCANO [return to top]


The present-day crescent shape of the island is a consequence of volcanic activity that took place in prehistoric times. The island itself owes its very existence to the volcano. The volcano’s last huge eruption dates back 3,600 years, to the late Bronze Age. Thirty million cubic meters of magma in the form of pumice and ash were blown to a height of up to 36 kilometers above the island. Pumice deposits, dozens of meters thick, buried one of the most prosperous prehistoric settlements of that period, feeding the myth of the lost Atlantis.

volcano2 Mild volcanic activity, after this major eruption, continues into the present (the most recent eruption occurred in 1950) building up two small islands within the caldera, Palea and Nea Kammeni. These islands represent the volcano's most recent activity.


The marvelous dry climate and continuous sunshine create conditions which are perfect for observation and photography under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colours. Visitors to the island often take the opportunity to experience a boat-journey to the volcano’s interior.

HISTORY [return to top]


Ancient Thera
Ancient Thera, is located on Mesa Vouno, 396 m. above sea level. It was founded in the 9th century B.C. by Dorian colonists whose leader was Theras, and continued to be inhabited until the early Byzantine period. The preserved ruins belong to the Hellenistic and Roman phases of the city.
There are many important monuments in Ancient Thera, such as the Sanctuary of Artemidoros (with its many engravings), the Temple of Dionysus, the Cemeteries of Ancient Thera and the Agora.

Thera Akrotiri

One of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean, Akrotiri was a large settlement with an elaborate drainage system, sophisticated multi-storeyed buildings with magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, all indicating its great development and prosperity. Please note that the Akrotiri museum is presently closed due to renovation.



The Lost Civilisation of Atlantis
The story of Atlantis, a fabled utopia destroyed overnight, in ancient times, has captured the imagination of scholars ever since it was first described in 355 B.C. by the philosopher Plato more than 2,000 years ago.
Plato’s depiction of a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty has spurred many adventurers to seek out its location. Debate rages over where it may lie, however various studies place it to be submerged, near Santorini island.


MUSEUMS in SANTORINI [return to top]


In Santorini there are a variety of museums showing the island’s history from prehistoric times, up until today. Ancient engravings, Cycladic style dresses and shoes, books about Santorini and information about wine-making techniques can all be found in one of the various museums in Santorini.


The Archaeological museum
The museum is located in Thera, the island's capital, opposite the cable car station. You will be able to admire some finds testifying the island's long history. You can also see a collection of Hellenistic and Roman sculpture from the Archaic to the Roman period, as well as vases and clay figurines from the Geometric to the Hellenistic periods.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera
Located in Thera, the island's capital, this museum houses masterpieces of art from the prehistoric Cyclades.

The Naval museum
Located in Oia, a picturesque town in the north of Santorini, this museum houses all kinds of marine objects tracing the maritime history of the island. The museum also features a small library and the vestiges of a Venetian fortress.

The Megaron Gyzi
Museum Gyzi is located in Thira, behind the Catholic cathedral. It exhibits engravings from the 16th to the 19th century with dresses, views and maps of the Cycladic islands as well as fascinating photographs of Thera before and after the earthquake of 1956.

The Folklore museum
The Folklore Museum is located in Kontohori, in Thera. It was built in a cave-house in 1861. You will find a variety of exhibits in this museum: barrel and shoe makers, an old traditional winery and also the work of local artists.

The Bellonio Cultural Centre and Library
Situated next to the post office, the Cultural Centre has a good collection of books about Santorini.

Santorini Wine Museum
The museum is located in the village of Messaria and offers information about the wine traditions of Santorini.

VILLAGES [return to top]


Santorini’s villages have kept their traditional character with white-washed buildings, narrow, winding, cobbled streets and exquisite blue-roofed churches. Some of the villages are perched on the top of 300 m high cliffs and offer gorgeous views. Some of the most beautiful villages include: Thera, Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, Megalochori, Akrotiri, Pyrgos, Messaria, Exo Gonia, Finikia, Emporio, Katarados. For further details about each village you can download the pdf guide.

TASTES [return to top]


Santorini owes its worldwide uniqueness to the peculiar ecosystem that was created due to successive volcanic explosions and lava that burnt rocks and formed a porous terrain of porcelain slabs. The composition of this terrain combined with drought and the island’s microclimate, which is a result of territorial humidity and the morning coolness, caused by sea vaporization at the point where the caldera is located, give the produce of this land an extra special taste.

BEACHES [return to top]


The island is full of original and scenic beaches that have unusually colored sand due to past volcanic activity. Deep, clear-blue water is found in the western part of the island, where the caldera is, where as beaches with black or red sand, polished black stones and pumice stones are found in the eastern part. Most beaches have full tourist facilities, offering a wide range of amenities. Two of the better known beaches worth visiting are the Red Beach and the White Beach.

Red Beach (Kokkini Ammos)
Not far from the archaeological site of Akrotiri is Kokkini Ammos. Here, one does not only find black sand and blue water, but also red sand. The beach took its name ("red beach") from the impressive red lava cliffs dropping to the sea and surrounding the beach. This impressive beach seems to have been painted on one of the frescoes found in the Minoan settlement.

White Beach (Aspri Ammos)
At a walking distance from Kokkini Ammos, in the West, you will find Aspri Ammos "white beach". Another scenic environment, where the cliffs surrounding the beach are whitish. Access is possible by boat or on foot.


NIGHT LIFE [return to top]


Santorini Island is famous for its lively nightlife. There are many lively bars and clubs in the main tourist areas of Thera, Oia, Perisa and Kamari.
Thera is the most popular place in Santorini and many cafe bars or clubs are situated along the caldera (the cliff-top).
Caldera (Thera) bars and cafes are usually built into decorated caves and renovated old houses. For this area there are very strict laws about music and closing time. These bars will generally close earlier.
Clubs and large bars operate during summer months and stay open to the early hours. There is usually a fee at the door which includes the first drink.
Enigma, Koo and Dom are the best known clubs, where the partying continues till dawn.
If you are in search of quieter nightlife experiences in Santorini, Oia is the place to be.


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