The island covers an area of 76.19 km2 and resembles the shape of a horseshoe
Generally speaking, the coastline is steep and rocky, but there are quite a few pebble beaches, such as Red Beach and White Beach, as well as a few popular sandy beaches with on-beach services like Monolithos, Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos, that are ideal for families. It's easy to get to know the island through a series of short road trips, that will reveal prehistoric settlements, castles, monasteries perched on mountain tops, vineyards and wineries, plus tens of beaches.
The best and most cost effective way to explore Santorini is by road. So hire a car or minivan and explore the island independently. SANTORINI CAR HIRE's fleet has various types of vehicles, ideal for couples, young people, large or small groups and families, and our economical rates and reliability means you'll enjoy ideal excursions.
Try a small and flexible Hyundai Prime, Chevrolet Matiz, Fiat Panda, Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Skoda Citigo or Suzuki Alto, for comfortable, dependable rides to the island's mountainous villages and coastal settlements, without having to worry about where to park or tight curves in the road. These cars literally fit anywhere.
One of the first routes to take starts from Fira heading to Pyrgos, the island's first capital with its impressive Castle (Kasteli), and then to the lovely village of Episkopi Gonia, where there is an important Byzantine church of that name, and ends at Kamari where you can enjoy a swim.
Travel in comfort with your family in a Peugeot 5008 or a Fiat Doblo 7 seater minivan as you take an enjoyable tour of the island, getting to know the Akrotiri archaeological site up close. It's one of the most important prehistoric settlements in the Aegean. Spend some time admiring the houses and amazing frescoes featuring the Saffron Gatherers, the Mistress of the Animals, the Boxers, the Antelopes, the Blue Monkeys and the Spring Fresco. And after that unique experience, head on to Kokkinopetra, or drive down to Red Beach for a swim.
If you have time, stop off for a while at Agios Nikolaos (at Balos Cove), northwest of Akrotiri village, or at Mesa Pigadia, a coastal village on the south side of Akrotiri accessible along a dirt track.