View from Fira on Santorini’s caldera rim with Thirasia island on the left and Oia a distant right. Considering the steep views a steep café tab is acceptable.This is Greece’s most unique island and the heady romance of the place is undeniable especially since it’s all going to end in a big bang and a short slide one dark day.
The best time for moderate heat and bearable crowds is May-June and September-October. Mid summer is survivable but book hotels well in advance and be prepared for heat, sun and other people.
Avoid December to March when many businesses are closed and the weather is likely to be cold, wet and windy.
A very interesting Deco-Dali house design in the centre of Santorini island.
It’s well worth hiring some transport and taking a drive around the island or even staying outside the main towns and just visiting the caldera edge.
Some guidebooks recommend visiting Pyrgos, the highest point on the island. We did and were very disappointed. It was charmless, unfriendly and unattractive. However, there are quite a few spectacular modern buildings scattered around the island that make an afternoon cruise a treat.
Note that exploring Santorini caldera edge will require plenty of step climbing. Some hotels hanging onto the caldera slope can only be reached by severely steep steps such as the one below in Imerovigli. If you have walking problems but still want to visit San torini ensure you book a hotel with few or no steps.
Make sure that you book hotels in Greece – and especially Santorini – well in advance for the summer months including June and September. If you want a room with a magnificent view then you should expect to pay extreme rates. The further you go from the edge the lower the rates.
Santorini is still terrific in May and October but advance booking is not necessary and crowds will be way down. Even so we’d suggest the best time to visit Santorini is June or September, with less crowds and less heat.