Attractions Nearby Santorini and Island Hopping

(Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)

Photograph of Matala Beach in CreteHoliday makers on Santorini are often looking to get so many different things from the island's attractions, be it sightseeing, sunbathing or fine dining. However, close by to Santorini and linked by regular ferries are a series of awaiting attractions on islands such as Ios, Mykonos, Naxos and Paros, all of which lend themselves to a day or two of island hopping.

Famed for its ancient remains and Minoan sites, Crete is one island destination not to overlook at any cost. Hellenic Seaways operate high-speed catamarans (Flying Cats) between the islands of Crete and Santorini, with the journey taking less than two hours. Slower and cheap ferry options are also available, although the journey time is extended to around four and a half hours.

Close-up picture of Crete's unique Matala Beach caves


Try to plan you visit to Crete is advance, so that you don't miss out on any other the best in the way of tourist attractions. Crete attractions are in plentifu supply and include hiking trails through the spectacular Samaria Gorge (Europe's longest), priceless relics at the Archaeological Museum in Iraklio, the remains of a Minoan civilisation at Knossos, and the beaches on the southern side of Crete, around Rethymno.

Ios photo, showing coastal Greek church


Ios is an island with something for everyone. Families flock here to enjoy the endless beach attractions, along with older holiday makers, while a younger crowd enjoy the nightlife that Ios has become so famous for in the past. The most popular beaches on Ios include Agia Theodoti Beach, Manganari Beach and also Mylopotas Beach, amongst others. The capital of Hora is a particularly charming Cycladic village, comprises a series of winding alleyways and cubist houses.

Photo of the coastal Mykonos windmills


A day trip to Mykonos will be a day well spent, and the island is well connected to Santorini by regular Blue Star boats, which are at their most plentiful during the summer season. The journey to Mykonos is extremely scenic and lasts for up to four hours. When you arrive, you will find a huge choice of attractions and so you will need to plan you day out, so that you make the absolute most of your time on the island. Mykonos offers five interesting museums, a host of water sports opportunities (including scuba diving and windsurfing), and endless beach resorts, with the popular beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise being especially lively.

Waterfromt image of Naxos


The attractions of Naxos can be reached onboard one of the regular Minoan Lines Ferries, which ply this scenic route from Santorini. Naxos has long been a centre of Byzantium and reflects classical Greece is many ways, along with some string Frankish and Venetian influences. Hora is the capital of Naxos and it is here where the main tourist attractions reside, such as the Kastro, the Mitropolis Museum and the Archaeological Museum.

Paros beachfront picture, showing sweeping golden sands


Many sailings link Santorini with Paros, en route to Athens. One of the main carriers is Minoan Lines Ferries, which are both reliable and relatively inexpensive. The attractions on Paros are in plentiful supply and range from beaches and water sports, to waterfront restaurants and bars, which are is good supply within the town of Parikia. If you intend to stay for a few days, you may also wish to take advantage of the vibrant nightlife scene.