Megaron Gyzi Festival
This cultural festival takes place in Santorini’s capital, Fira. Various events happen throughout the summer months of June, July and August, with the majority occurring in the first three weeks of August. Generally it includes a collection of art exhibitions and concerts of both jazz and classical music.
Santorini Jazz Festival
The Santorini Jazz Festival takes place in Kamari, some 10km from Fira, in July and has a line-up of renowned international and Greek jazz musicians.
The Ifestia Festival (Greek Volcano festival) happens every August. This usually involves a ‘Volcanic’ firework display, dance performances, concerts and cultural events.
International Music Festival
The International Music Festival takes place in September and hosts a selection of artists from the international music scene.
SAF - Santorini Arts Factory
The SAF in Vlychada hosts a collection of Arts events throughout the year including theatre, dance, music and art exhibitions. The building itself is a beautifully converted old tomato factory.
Religious feasts & festivals
A number of annual religious ‘feasts’ take place in Fira, the island’s capital, and the villages, to honor their saints. These festivities include traditional dance, music and a myriad of local delicacies and wine.
- Easter – Easter is the second largest annual event on the island. The village of Pyrgos is a wonderful place to experience this religious celebration. On Good Friday the whole village is alight with candles, and the effigy of Christ is carried throughout the village. This procession is accompanied by singing making it ever more atmospheric.
- 15th August – One of the islands biggest religious celebrations is the feast day of Holy Virgin, which is celebrated in Fira.
- 29th May - The feast day of Agia Theodosia is celebrated in Akrotiri village.
- 1st July - The feast day of Agioi Anargyroi in Megalochori village.
- 24th July - The feast day of Agios Ioannis is celebrated in Monolithos village.
- 8th September - The feast day of the Holy Cross is celebrated in Perissa.
- 8th November - The feast day of Archangels Michael and Gabriel, 'ton Taxiarchon'.
Suggested General Activities:
Oia – A visit to Oia is a must. This popular little town is the most picturesque of the island, with white-washed houses, blue domed churches, windmills and caves perched up on the edge of the cliff. The town hosts a collection of exclusive boutiques and restaurants.
Akrotiri Archaeological Site - The impressive Akrotiri excavation site, is also a must-see during your stay in Santorini. In the 17th century BC, the Minoan town of Akrotiri was buried by a widespread Thiran eruption. Subsequently, Akrotiri’s buildings and their contents were naturally preserved by the volcanic ash which covered the entire island. To some, this significant archaeological site is a fascinating Minoan centre of commerce, to others a Greek version of Pompeii but true romantics believe it to be the legendary lost city of Atlantis. The site is brought to life at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira (in Fira), where you can see representative artefacts and frescoes from the excavated buildings.
Wine Tasting - A visit to Domain Sigalas or Boutari Wines, two of the island's best, will convince you that this small island, with some the oldest vineyards in the world, produces truly unique white wines.
Cookery Classes - Experience a cookery class using local products rarely found on the mainland of Greece or anywhere else in the world. Enjoy sampling cheeses and sausages from several other Cycladic islands, including Naxos, Siros, Ios and Tinos.
Yacht Charters and Boat Tours - Admire the stunning views as you sail past the White & Red beaches, the Venetian lighthouse and into the crater, where you have the opportunity to visit the Hot Springs.
Suggested Sporting Activities:
Hiking Trail Fira – This classic trail can take you 3-4 hours to cover the 9 km distance from Fira to Oia. Following this Santorini hiking path gives you gorgeous views to the famous volcano and the Aegean Sea and also allows visitors to see the four most important villages of the island.
Watersports - Choose from a great variety of watersports with speed boats, sailing, water-skiing, diving, windsurfing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and snorkeling all on offer.
TIME ZONE Greece operates on GMT + 2 hours.
LANGUAGE Modern Greek (as opposed to Ancient) is the national language of Greece. Vernacular speech contains many borrowings from foreign languages, including Italian, French, Turkish and English, so you may hear some familiar words in everyday speech. "Tourist Police" whose lapel badges picture a Union Jack or American flag speak English. In Greece, people whose work brings them into contact with visitors from overseas are generally excellent English speakers.
CURRENCY The Euro, divided into 100 Cents.
MONEY MATTERS Travellers cheques can easily be converted into Euros; some larger stores will take them as payment. Smaller denominations are preferred. Major credit cards are widely accepted (though American Express less so) and ATM access is widespread.
TIPPING Like most European countries, tipping in restaurants is common, with a recommended 10% on a discretionary basis according to service. Check that a service charge has not been added to your bill before deciding whether to tip. Taxi drivers do not usually expect a tip but it is common practice and considered polite to round up taxi fares.
WEATHER Greece enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, occasionally wet winters. Summer temperatures can reach the upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and sun protection in the form of sun cream, a sun hat and lightweight clothing is recommended.
CLOTHING Style is fairly casual throughout Greece though in more rural areas and during Easter more conservative dress may be observed, for example covered shoulders. Cathedrals, churches and other religious sites require conservative dress. Both sexes should cover their arms, legs and shoulders. Cotton and other light fabrics are comfortable choices for summertime as the heat can be extreme during summer months. You are advised to take lightweight light coloured items, including a sun hat to protect your skin from the affects of sun damage. Spring and autumn temperatures dictate light to medium-weight clothing selections and in winter you will need a pullover and a coat. When dining at better restaurants and for any special occasion during your journey, dress is more formal. For gentlemen, a "jacket and tie" standard is appropriate, with an equivalent standard of eveningwear for ladies. Bring comfortable walking shoes with low or no heels.
HEALTH For up to date information on latest health and vaccination recommendations, please contact your doctor.
ELECTRICITY Electrical service is supplied at 220 volts/50 hertz.
BLACK SAND BEACHES: The majority of the beaches in Santorini have black sand (with the exception of one red sand and one white sand beach). Black sand can get very hot during the summer months and you are always advised to wear flip flops or footwear of some sort when walking on the sand.
MOBILITY: Many of Santorini’s towns and villages are built on cliff sides and as such have a lot of steps up and down to access various parts of the town. Please bear this in mind and make sure the location of your chosen villa is appropriate to your level of mobility.