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Destination Guide: Santorini

Santorini, Greece
Allianz - Santorini, Greece

Azure seas. White walls. Red cliffs. Golden sunsets. These are the colors of Santorini, one of the most beautiful Greek islands — and one of the most visited.

Greece has re-opened to travelers from the United States, so it’s time to plan your trip. All arrivals must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours before travel. Visitors must also fill out a Passenger Locator Form before departure that states where you’ll be staying in Greece.1

Hoping to avoid crowds? Visit during the shoulder seasons, if you can (April-May and September-October), make reservations well in advance, and explore the island’s smaller villages. We’ll share some tips for places to see, stay and dine in Santorini.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Greece

  1. You need to protect your travel investment. Santorini is by no means as pricey as London or Paris, but it’s not cheap, either — especially in the high season. Trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits can reimburse your unused, prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you have to call off your trip (or cut it short) for a covered reason.
  2. Medical transportation benefits are a must. In Greece, “first responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment,” the U.S. Department of State warns. “U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.”2 Travel insurance with emergency transportation benefits can pay for a medically necessary, approved evacuation or medical repatriation following a covered illness or injury.
  3. Greek roads can be dangerous. Greece has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the European Union, the State Department says: “Exercise extreme caution as both a driver and a pedestrian.”3 Make sure you have travel insurance with emergency medical benefits, just in case. If you plan to rent a car in Santorini, the Rental Car Damage Protector can provide reliable, affordable protection.

What’s the best travel insurance plan for Greece? Consider OneTrip Prime, our most popular plan. OneTrip Prime includes key benefits and also covers kids 17 and under for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent. Depending on your state of residence, it may also include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds covered reasons to select benefits for certain losses related to COVID-19 and any future epidemic. (Benefits vary by plan and are not available in all jurisdictions)

Once you’ve booked your trip, don’t forget to get the free TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance. The TravelSmart app lets you access your policy and 24-Hour Hotline Assistance from your phone, anytime.

3 of the Best Things to Do in Santorini

  1. Set sail on a catamaran. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of sailing the Greek islands, but your budget doesn’t allow for a chartered yacht. The next best thing is a catamaran cruise that visits Santorini’s hot springs and beaches.
  2. Hike from Fira to Oia. This six-mile hike on Santorini’s coast offers sublime views of blue-domed churches, shining white villages, and (if you time it right) a stunning sunset.
  3. Explore ancient ruins. Atop the Mesa Vouno Mountain you’ll find Thera, a town that dates to the 9th century BC. Nearby is an even older Minoan site: Akrotiri, which was buried in volcanic ash sometime between 1620 and 1530 BC and is still being excavated.4

3 of the Best Santorini Hotels

Santorini’s known for its cave hotels, which are carved into the side of the island’s ancient caldera. But if you’re picturing something dark and drippy, you’re way off track. Iconic Santorini features a sun terrace, infinity pool, sweeping views of the Aegean Sea and bright white interiors.

Seeking the serene side of Santorini? Stay at the aptly named Incognito Villa, a seaside retreat with a lush garden and pool. Enjoy modern furnishings, spacious rooms, and a welcoming host.

One of the best budget hotels in Santorini is the Galatia Villas, a family-run property in a quiet neighborhood of Fira. There are just 10 rooms, some with sea views, as well as a pool and terraces.

3 of the Best Restaurants in Santorini

Even if you know and love Greek food, Santorinian cuisine is a revelation. The island has its own signature dishes, including fava (not the beans, but a puree of yellow split peas), ntomatokeftedes (tomato fritters), chlorotyri (creamy goat’s-milk cheese), and apochti (salted, spiced and cured pork).5

When a restaurant has been in business for a century, you know it’s something special. In its early years, Aktaion was a favorite stopover for farmers and miners on their way home from work. They’d pause for wine and snacks, and sometimes never go home at all. The same family still runs Aktaion, which is known for moussaka, lamb shanks, and shrimp linguine.

The Kapari Wine Restaurant may be the most romantic restaurant in Santorini. Imagine sitting at a candlelit table on the terrace, watching the sun sink into the sea as the sky turns inky blue. Skilled servers present a seasonal, multi-course menu with local wine pairings. 

Seeking something more homey? Nikolas Taverna in Fira is a favorite for its cozy atmosphere and classic Santorini food. Moussaka, mussels, lemon chicken and sea bream are all good choices, and you can’t go wrong with the house wine.

Ready to slip away to Santorini? Pack your walking shoes, bring an appetite, and don’t forget your travel insurance. See affordable plan options for your next vacation.

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