In the southern part of the Aegean Sea, around 200 km away from the Greece mainland lies one of the largest islands in a small group of clusters of islands named Santorini, at a first glance we will start with a few words about this great Island and next I’m going to show you the Islands near Santorini. The official name of Santorini is Thera and is one of the southernmost parts of the Cyclades. According to the 2011 census, the population of the island is somewhat around 16,000. One interesting fact that you must know is that the entire group of islands, including Santorini, is a part of an active volcano. The last recorded big eruption happened somewhere around 3600 years ago.
Santorini, in popular opinion, is regarded as one of the most desired romantic getaways in Greece. One of the major attractions of this area is crystal clear ocean water and the island’s famous Caldera. Because of these attractions, Santorini has acquired the reputation of a major wedding destination for couples from all over the planet.
Besides the beauty of Santorini there are several islands near Santorini which you should visit to have a worthwhile experience. You can use Santorini as a hub of transport, as it is well connected to all the nearby islands. Now, I will list some of the must-see islands near Santorini that you should definitely check out.
Mykonos, by itself, is one of the more popular islands in Greece. You have two options to travel to Mykonos from Santorini – by flight and by ferry. I would suggest you take the ferry, which takes roughly somewhere between 120-150 minutes. Another option is to travel by air. A direct flight from Santorini to Mykonos takes somewhere between 20-25 minutes. Mykonos have some of the most spectacular sand beaches that you can ever find on the entire planet. You can also find here some of the most luxurious hotels that you will see in the whole of Greece. The nightlife in this island is world-famous. You should visit all the beautiful bars.
The biggest island in the Cyclades archipelago is Naxos. Naxos is approximately somewhere between 1-2 hours by ferry from Santorini. Naxos offers the best Greek delicacies you can find anywhere. If you are a fan of authentic Greek food, then you will surely fall in love with this place (One piece of advice, do not leave the area without trying the world-renowned Naxos Graviera cheese). Besides mouth-watering Greek food, Naxos is also known for water sports like windsurfing, kitesurfing, or water-skiing. Another must-see place in Naxos is the village of Apeiranthos.
If you don’t prefer crowded tourist places and instead like to go for entirely off the cuff places, then Anafi is the place to go. It will take somewhere around 90-120 minutes to reach Agios Nikolaos, the port of Anafi from Santorini. According to local legends, Anafi is the dwelling island of the Argonauts, the famous band of heroes in Greek mythology. If you want a taste of traditional and untouched Greek life, then Anafi is a must go. The small town of Chora (Chora is the Greek word for Capital) is a beautiful place to see.
If you love pristine golden beaches and love to sunbathe, then Ios is for you. It was once a party island back in the 1990s and continues to be the place for nice vibes and music so if you are looking for a relaxing destination then Ios might not be for you. If you travel by ferry, then it will take you approximately 40-45 minutes to reach Ios from Santorini. Ios offers some charming semi luxurious hotels at an affordable rate. In Ios, you should definitely check out the Far-Out Beach Club at Mylopotas.
Although Milos is a bit away from Santorini, I will still include it on this list. You can quite happily spend three to four days just exploring this single island. Milos is the home to the ancient Venus statue, which was discovered about two hundred years ago. According to many experts, Milos has some of the most pristine-looking beaches. The coastline encompasses crystal clear water and rocky cliffs. If you want to explore the more mountainous eastern part of the island, then you should positively need to hire a four-wheeler vehicle.
The island of Folegandros is mainly visited by the local Greeks, who wish to avoid the international crowds in some of the other islands. It takes approximately 180 minutes to reach Folegrandros from Santorini by ferry. But if you can afford it, you can try the speedboat too, which takes half the time. It is effortless to take a ferry in Santorini. You can easily find out the timetable of the ferry services online in many of the websites. Since Folegandros is a bit away, it is advisable that you stay at least one night. The main town here is situated on a high cliff, and the views from there are simply breath-taking. One of the unique things about Folegandros that sets it apart from all the other nearby islands is that it is lovely for hiking. Besides all the cliffs, Folegandros also have some fantastic and beautiful sandy beaches with pristine blue water. Folegandros offers some really great hotels to stay at not so high prices compared to Mykonos or Naxos.
Before ending this piece, I must share with you some useful tips that will make your stay even more fulfilling. You should ideally explore the locality by taking the bus. Sometimes, you may wonder that the cost of a small boat ride is too high. You should not think in that way. For these local people, the tourists are the only source of income, and you should always try to support the local people as much as you can.
In the entire Cyclades archipelago, there are by some estimation more than two hundred islands. So sometimes, it is worthwhile to ask the hotel staff for some Intel regarding those secret beaches which are only known to the locals. At the end of the day, you must definitely enjoy the place and not overthink everything. This was the article about the Islands near Santorini, if the liked it and helped you pick your destination, why not sharing it and helping others? Thanks for reading!