Is Santorini in Italy? Where is it?

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

You might think Santorini is in Italy, but IT IS NOT.

Santorini is in Greece! Here it is on Google Maps.

santorini italy
Santorini island is in Greece, Europe and it IS NOT in Italy as its name might suggest to many people. These 3 yellow dots on the map show their exact location on the map.

Santorini is the most famous and popular greek island, along with Mykonos and Crete island. Santorini gets millions of tourists every year, and it is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Even Italians visit it!



No. Santorini is NOT in Italy. Santorini is in Greece and it got its name from the catholic church of Santa Irini in Perissa town. It was named in the 13th century by the Latin Empire (Venetians) and it was previously named Kallisti (“the most beautiful”) or Thera (in the ancient times). ฮ˜ฮฎฯฮฑ or Thera is also its official name since Greece became independent in the 19th century. So, don’t get confused: Santorini is and always greek!

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sophia oia view santorini
Santorini has some of the most impressive hotels in Greece. Some of them are actually cave hotels with private pools (but they are quite expensive).

Santorini is in Greece. its name sounds very Italian indeed but the island belongs to the Cycladic islands group and it is in the Aegean Sea that belongs to Greece.

santorini view
Santorini is famous for its amazing views to the caldera (the sea lagoon that encircles the active volcano). Hotels with those views are the most expensive.

Santorini is an island belonging to Greece, which is in Europe. Greece is in the southeastern part of Europe, and it belongs to the European Union. Its currency is the euro (EUR), and its capital is the city of Athens.

red beach santorini
Santorini has some very unique landscapes and beaches as it’s a volcanic island sitting on an active volcano. This is the famous Red Beach and even though it is not the most beautiful beach in Greece, it is certainly a unique set-up.

People in Santorini are greeks, and they speak greek. Modern greek is what is spoken in Greece nowadays and it is an advanced and more simplified version of the ancient greek, which is not spoken anymore.

oia crowded sunset
Oia town (pronounced like the name “Ian” without the “n”) is the most famous town on Santorini island because of its picturesque houses, white-washed alleys and the beautiful sunset views overlooking the volcano. The only problem is that is between May and October, Oia is very crowded because people are flooding its streets to watch the sunset. Yes, some people are clapping when the sun sets in the sea…(cringy)

The best month to visit Santorini is either early June or late September and early October. These periods are considered less crowded but with enough warm weather so you would be able to enjoy a swim in the sea. I have written a very detailed guide on when is the best time to visit Santorini.

santorini high season
This is a rough guide in regards to how busy is Santorini every year and how hot the weather is.

Santorini is a relatively small greek island, and you can literally drive from one edge to the other within 35-40 mins. In my opinion, you don’t really need more than 5 days in Santorini, but that really depends on your situation. Compared to other greek islands, Santorini is a very diverse destination with lots of things to do, and plenty of different restaurants and unique towns. In general, my advice is always to spend half of your time in Greece in Santorini and you won’t regret it. You can read in more detail how many days you need in Santorini.

athens to santorini tickets
There are lots of options on how to get to Santorini, and they include a ferry or a flight from Athens (prices may vary and are just indicative

Santorini is an island so you can get there by ferry or by plane. If you are visiting Santorini from the US then you have to go through Greece’s capital, Athens and then take a second flight or hop on X96 Athens bus and go to Piraeus or Rafina Port and take a ferry to Santorini. You can find all the available options on Ferryhopper website. However, if you are visiting Santorini from any country in Europe there are always scheduled direct flights from the major cities of Europe and these usually start around May and end around October, every year. You can read all options in my Athens to Santorini detailed guide where I explain all the options with pictures and videos.

mykonos or santorini
A quick comparison between the 2 most famous greek islands Mykonos and Santorini.

If you don’t really care about nightlife and the beach life then you have literally no reasons to visit Mykonos, in my opinion. I explain everything in detail in my detailed comparison of Mykonos vs Santorini. You can also see a quick comparison of the two most popular greek islands in the table above. If this is your first time in Greece, then you should definitely visit Santorini and depending on how many days you have in total, you should spend at least half of your time overall in Santorini. Both islands are very beautiful and unique. They are also very romantic and ideal for honeymoons but Santorini is much more diverse, with lots of things to do and different villages and towns to visit. Santorini beaches are definitely unique but they are not sandy like the Mykonos beaches which are picture-perfect (and flooded with celebrities and rich people in general).

where to stay in santorini
If money is not an issue then head over to the famous caldera volcano views on the purple side but you won’t be close to a beach. Beaches (Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos) are on the other of the island and they usually have cheaper accommodation.

The place or the hotel you are staying in Santorini can make or break your holidays on this beautiful island. There are lots of options and you might become overwhelmed by reading all these strange names of the island’s towns and villages. There is though one thing to have in mind and this is: you need to set your priorities first. Do you want the famous Santorini views you see all over Instagram or you need to be close to a beach? Unfortunately you cannot have both in Santorini and as you can see from the picture above, the famous views option with the amazing cave hotels in Santorini is definitely the most expensive but the most premium experience. So, you can stay in Fira (the island’s capital town), Imerovigli, Firostefani or Oia where the best hotels of the island are….or you can spend less per night by staying close to the beach of Kamari or Perissa for example and just travel to Fira or Oia to check out the famous views where you can definitely have a lunch or a dinner. Here is my complete guide on where to stay in Santorini.

Here are some of my handy lists to help you out pick the best hotels to stay in Santorini:

santorini club
Santorini is not a party island by all means but there is definitely some awesome nightlife on the island.

Santorini is definitely not a party island but there is definitely some serious nightlife and some awesome beach clubs on the island that you should better not miss if you can visit them. The title of the best party island in Greece definitely goes to Mykonos which (along with Ibiza) is considered one of the best locations in Europe to party with famous DJs and celebrities. Santorini on the other hand has a long list of clubs and bars that are more on the chill-out and lounge side of things.

local bus santorini
Santorini has an extensive network of local buses that are reliable and cheap but they will limit you in terms of flexibility and timings obviously.

Santorini has a well-established network of local bus routes that are reliable, safe and pretty cheap. The main bus terminal of the island is in Fira town from where you can take a Santorini bus to any location on the island. On the other hand, if you don’t really feel like taking the bus then you can either get a Santorini Taxi or rent a car which will always be more expensive but it will give you more flexibility.


If you are still thinking that Santorini is in Italy then I don’t know what else I can do to educate you! Santorini is in Greece and it is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world famous for its active volcano, picturesque towns and impressive caldera sunsets with some of the most romantic landscapes in the world.

Photo of author
Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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