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Santorini

by rahulkav Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Hi All,

Planning to visit Greece for a week with my wife and two kids ( 8 and 2 )
Looked at the photos and loved Santorini. It seems to be lovely but costly place.

So my Questions are.

1. Is Santorini a good place with small kids for a week.
2. Is End of May better time or Aug.

We are after some quite time, great scenery and access to nice beaches.

Would I need to hire car in Santorini?

Any help / suggestions would be highly appreciated.

cheers,
R

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21 Answers
  • brotherleelove's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by brotherleelove Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Santorini's beaches leave something to be desired, they're not soft sand but black rock/pebbles/grit and can get very hot underfoot. That said, Perissa Beach has a water park for kids. Check www.santoriniwaterpark.gr

    If you want a calm beach go to Paros or Naxos instead but if you'd be satisfied with a pool Santorini has many family-friendly hotels. Check Laokasti Villas, Anemomilos Hotel, Villa Ilias and Villa Manos for starters.

    The end of May is far better than August. It won't be scorchingly hot then nor will it be as crazy-busy as August.

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  • SOLODANCER's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by SOLODANCER Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    One week in Santorini is more than sufficient I think. Yes, decidedly, May is better time (and in all aspects) to be there than in suffocating August...and suffocating indeed that with the brutality of heat comes too the unbearable influx of visitors bringing with them higher demand and hijacked prices.

    As the other poster has said, Santorini is without sandy beaches but rather black basalt sand which make laying on them even hotter.

    These days I do think one takes on Santorini mostly for her unsurpassed dramatic topography and thus unique beauty. A perfectly good place to visit but not to linger in too much. That said, the other Cyclades islands would be better for an unhurried family-type vacation combining both worlds such as - Naxos, Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, Tinos, Folegandros just to name a few.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Santorini is a beautiful island, with the most amazing scenery.

    I recommend this place for accommodation (it is self catering)

    Irini Villas: "A Lucky Find in Santorini" - Santorini Island Hotel Tip by lynnehamman

    Naxos is lovely too, and I have made a review of the island. The link is on my Profile page (with accommodation and tips)

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  • Re: Santorini

    by rahulkav Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Thanks all for your info. Seems perfect for me, but could have done with a sandy beach or two :-)

    Can we do any ferry trip to any of the nearby island where I can find Sandy beach.Because we aren't interested in beach for each and every day of my trip?

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  • brotherleelove's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by brotherleelove Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    If you're asking about a daytrip with a return to Santorini the same day it might be possible to spend a few hours on Ios before you'd have to catch the return ferry.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    You can technically do a day trip by ferry from Santorini to Naxos, but it takes around 3 hours each way
    It might be a better idea to stay at Naxos............a very interesting and beautiful island. It has different scenery to Santorini, but also beautiful.
    Great for families.

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  • Re: Santorini

    by Ouzone Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Hi,
    1. No, definately not a good choice, Santorini is the worst possible, total rubbish for what you require. Crummy black sand/grit beaches. If you are an amateur geologist you might like it.

    2. Depends entirely how crowded you want it. August is peak season some people like the buzz of hi-season, others a bit less frenetic so end of May would be better.

    No, you can't do sensible daytrips to nearby islands with good beaches, go and stay on those islands instead of Santorini.

    There is an enormous choice of islands with good sandy beaches in the Cyclades islands like Anafi, Ios, Naxos, Amorgos, Donoussa, Koufonisi, Schinoussa, Iraklia, Paros, AntiParos, Serifos, Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Sikinos, Mykonos, Tinos, Andros, Syros
    To name but 19 better than Santorini.... no doubt tourist hype will take precedence, but you don't have to follow that....

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    TECHNICALLY one can do a daytrip from Santorini to Naxos.......its not ideal, but if thats what OP wants, then it is what it is.
    An alternative might be to go to Naxos early one morning, spend one night there, then return to Santorini.

    tickets.ferries-booking.com/...

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by GracesTrips Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    I visited Santorini a while ago. I have pics and tips on my travel page. I would not say it's a great place to take young kids. There isn't too much for them to do. Yes, you should hire a car. The beaches are beautiful but May, the water may still be too cold to enjoy. The island in general is not too lush with greenery. You will experience great food, interesting shopping. Lots of steep walking on cobblestones in Fira (the main town area). A week in Greece would be better spent in Athens and the Peloponesse. Hire a car to drive around the Peloponesse. Lots of great ruins to see there and maybe more opportunities for your kids to have a fun experience.

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  • mariakaptein's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by mariakaptein Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Hi,

    Last september, I stayed two weeks on Santorini, walking and exploring.
    I went everywhere by bus, there ara busses very frequent.
    Santorini is a very small island, shaped like the moon.
    On the "inner side"are the cliffs, on the outer the beaches.
    In the south there are many vineyards.
    The capitol welkomes many visitors from cruise-boats and prices
    dubbel when they arrive.....
    I think there are nicer islands to visit. For example Samos with very nice
    beaches and green and full of flowers in May.

    Maria

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  • brotherleelove's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by brotherleelove Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I've been going to Santorini since 1985. NOT ONCE have I seen _any price_ "dubble" when there is a cruise ship in port! If it is happening it is an isolated incident, not a common practice among businesses there.

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  • Re: Santorini

    by rahulkav Online Now Feb 11, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Thx for your tips n advise Santorini looks superb, but I think lack of beaches is a concern.
    How about Kefalonia ( or Cefalonia )
    Have seen the pictures and looked beautiful.

    Cheers,
    R....

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  • starstudio's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by starstudio Online Now Feb 12, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Kefallonia is more "green" island, as its stays in west Ionian sea. For sure you will join many gold sandy beaches, and a hired car will be ideal for the family. You can go everyday in a different location.

    But Santorini is still unique, one and only! You will fill the family album with great scenery photo's.
    As all the VTers agree, May is more easy. We Greec's, avoid the August, as the mass tourist season.
    K.

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  • Re: Santorini

    by rahulkav Online Now Feb 12, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Thx all for your help. Much appreciated. Need to sit down and decide :-)
    My heart says go to Santorini but somewhere head is saying go for Sandy beaches.

    I will return with more Qs for sure :-)

    Cheers!!!

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    Follow your heart.

    Beaches are everywhere, but there is only one Santorini

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  • Re: Santorini

    by Phillyjan Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    R, you might be able to have your cake and eat it too! I have visited Greece 10x, 9x in late may which is perfect for you... AND Naxos perfect for small kids, ESPECIALLY if u stay at Ag. Giorgios (St. George) beach directly adjacent to Naxos Town (the port). Ag. G has a SHALLOW beach, so the water warms up by mid-May, with lovely sand, perfect for pre-school crowd. Every May it's sprinkled with Scandinavian toddlers running around in their birthday suits. There are 3-4 lodging perfect for your family... the "ground floor" units are right on the beach & they have balcnies or patios, plus kitchenettes so U can feed the kiddies on their schedule ... look at Studios Thomais, Studios Kalergis, Sun Beach, also Hotel Akrogiali and Sigma studios (just 20 metres off beach). In may, a 1-BR unit (with 2 daybeds in main room) will be about €50 .. much less than Santorini. Here's a handy map showing many of the lodgings on St. George - the ones I mention may not all be there, but all have websites showing their handy locations: naxos-greece.net/site/gfx/ch... (click to enlarge).

    Because Ag. G. is so handy u really don't need to rent a car unless u want to do a 1-day swoop around the island. The inland "scenery" of mountains and villages is superb -- and there are ruins and ancient statues to see as well. For dining, Nice tavernas right on the sand at the beach, AND also an easy 10-minute walk to other cafes at harborside. Feed your tots in apt, then roll them in "strollers" to the town cafes, and they can have treats while u & spouse relax at dinner during sunset. Greeks love kids so they can roam around the tables, and waiters will just coo at them. I see this every May, with Norwegians and Swedes.

    However, I did say you could "eat your cake" as well.... you still CAN see Santorini. Naxos (and Paros) are almost unique among islands in that they also have dedicated day-trip boats. There are 2 companies that sail to Santorini 2 x a week -- Tues & Sun, I think. The better one uses the vessel HM ALexandros, which is a larger boat, very smooth sail. Just get tickets the day before at a harbor agency, when sunny weather is forecast. Leaves around 8:30 in morning, arrives Santorini 10:30?? They take u on a bus up to the towns... to Oia, and after a couple of hours, back to Fira Town. Plenty of time to enjoy the view, take lots of photos, and enjoy a nice lunch. The bus will take u back down to port, and u depart about 4:30-5, back to Naxos Town by 7. No, u don't get sunset in Santorini -- but frankly that's promotional hype by cruise lines ... Last I checked, ALL Greek isles have a west coast from which you can see a beautiful Sunset nightly... In Naxos, it's particularly fun to walk the causeway out to the Naxos "Arch" and snap the sunset thru it. Take a look at this photo album by my friend "stanbr" who also loves Naxos; flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/s... -- the first half is about the fascinating byways of Naxos Town, the 2nd half shows St. George beach.

    I do urge you to consider this; May at St. George is relaxing heaven for families like yours -- AND you don't have to miss a look at Santorini.

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  • Re: Santorini

    by Phillyjan Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    What's happened to this website??? In the answer above, I divided it into 3 or 4 paragraphs with double-spacing in between. Wha hoppen??? Now it's very hard to read, but I didn't plan for it to be this way! Webmaster, please rethink re-formatting of participants' answers!

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  • Re: Santorini

    by rahulkav Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Folks , after weeks of thinking I have finally decided to go to Santorini.
    The pictures looked irresistible. Thx for all ur help. I will leave the feedback once I come back in May.

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  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by Maurizioago Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    I suppose you'd better go to Santorini at the end of may. In august it could be hot there.

    The island has a good bus service. I could visit several areas there some years ago by bus.

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  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    Re: Santorini

    by Maurizioago Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    I suppose you'd better go to Santorini at the end of may. In august it could be hot there.

    The island has a good bus service. I could visit several areas there some years ago by bus.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    You will definitely love it..........the island is a photographers dream. Enjoy

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