Santorini and its Caldera are among some of the best-known images of Greece. Santorini sets a trend that never goes out of fashion, receiving thousands of visitors who choose to spend their holidays on the crescent-shaped island.
Crowds can turn this charming place into a very busy nightmare during the peak season, yet not many know that it is possible to take a break and explore some nearby secret islands. Here are three nearby destinations offering interesting day-trip opportunities.
This very calm Cycladic island, small and less touristic, certainly offers the unspoiled Greek ideal of summer made of quiet and lonely sandy beaches and blue waters.
For those looking for the traditionally perfect Greek photo, the Chora or main town of Anafi is an enchanting village where to stroll in peace.
On Anafi, there is a short offer of luxurious accommodation or fancy touristic structures, and that is the real beauty of it. The island is relatively unknown to tourists and presents the perfect opportunity to experience authentic Greek island life.
The island also boasts incredible trekking opportunities, with the largest monolith in the Mediterranean, after the rock of Gibraltar.
According to the myth, Anafi is also the home of the Argonauts, the famous 50 heroes who sailed on a ship called the Argo on a quest to bring back the Golden Fleece around 1,300 BC, before the Trojan War.
There are frequent ferry connections between Anafi and Santorini during summer and the trip is only 1.5 hours.
Tinos is one of the most tranquil destinations of the Cyclades where to enjoy the typical triptych made of sun, sea and sand, minus the crowds of Santorini.
An island known for its annual religious pilgrimage, Tinos has much more to offer: impressive natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes and interesting historic monuments. Far from being a party place, the hospitality of locals perfectly combines with a very relaxing atmosphere.
Some of the attractions to visit include the Panagia Evangelistria Cathedral as well as the Monastery of Agia Pelagia. Tinos is also known for its marble village, Pyrgos,and its Museum of Marble Crafts.
During the high season, ferries cross from Tinos and Santorini almost daily and the trip takes about 3.5 hours.
Folegandros is another hidden gem worth a day-trip visit (and even more) when staying in Santorini. It is mainly visited by Greek people in search of a relaxing place still unspoiled by mass tourism.
Though Folegandros has started receiving more international tourists in recent years, it still remains a remarkably beautiful Cycladic island with an impressive capital town – the Chora – built on top of a cliff.
Even when many of the beaches of the island are hard to access — and in many cases, it is only possible to visit them by means of small boats or over dirt roads — the landscape really pays off as views are breathtaking and the beaches among the most beautiful in the Aegean.
Visitors only need four hours to reach Folegandros from Santorini if they choose to travel by ferry, while high-speed boats can make the journey in 1.5 hours.