Day Trips from Santorini
Visible from Santorini’s east coast, the small, unspoiled island of Anafi (population 272) offers respite from the crowds. The main attractions lie on the south coast – the port town of Agios Nikolaos and the beautiful golden-sand beaches of Kleisidi and Roukouna. You can reach it by ferry, or by chartering a private sailing boat for a one-day cruise.
With its fine-sand beaches and elegant capital, Hora, a pedestrian-only cliff-top settlement built around a medieval castle, Folegandros (population 667) is becomingly increasingly popular with visitors each year. However, until the 1970s it was used as a place of political exile. You can reach it by ferry or private sailing boat.
Much loved by young travelers for its vibrant nightlife, Ios centers on Hora, a picturesque whitewashed hilltop settlement above the main port, Yiallos. On the south coast you’ll find the lovely long sand beach of Manganari. Explore Ios by chartering a private sailing boat for a one-day cruise, with a stop for a swim at Manganari then lunch in Giallos.
Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni
In the middle of the caldera lie the bleak, uninhabited twin volcanic islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. The former, which was formed around 2,000 years old, offers hot springs where visitors can swim in sulphurous mud, while the latter, formed in the 16th century, gives visitors the chance to peer inside the volcanic crater.
Rarely visited by foreign tourists, Sikinos (population 240) centers on the tiny capital, Kastro-Hora, which is severed by the island’s only bus from the port, Alopronia. Water taxis run from the port to the island’s best beach, Agios Pandelimonas. You can reach Skinos by ferry of charter a private sailing boat.
On the opposite side of the caldera, Thirassia (population 250) was part of Santorini before the volcanic eruption around 1600 BC. Its chief settlement, Manolas (Horio), stands high above Korfos port, offering fantastic views back to Santorini across the caldera. You can reach it as part of a guided boat trip from Thira or Oia, with a seafood lunch included (plan on around six hours).
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