Layovers at Santorini Airport are Nothing but Annoying!
Truth be told, Santorini Airport is a minor airfield, offering just the basic services and facilities. Thus, your options for a stopover at JTR Airport are limited. However, on the other hand, you can reach almost any area of the island in just 10-20 minutes by taxi. Hence, even during a 3-4-hour layover, you can leave the airport and get a glimpse of the island!
Have you Settled on Staying at JTR Airport?
The airport’s amenities are minimal. However, don’t lose heart! There are still some interesting ideas about spending your spare time at Santorini Airport:
1. Exploit the Airport’s Wi-Fi
Santorini Airport offers free Wi-Fi throughout all its premises. Thus, you can enter the airport’s network and tie all loose ends. Finish your work projects, organize your emails, prioritize your tasks or even plan your upcoming journey to your final destination. Moreover, you can catch up on your social media or watch your favorite TV series or film.
2. It’s Time to Read your Book!
Free time tends to become a luxury. Nevertheless, now you have spare time, and you get to choose how to spend it. So, why not read the book that you always wanted to read but never had the chance to? Santorini Airport has limited seats. Still, if seating at the airport isn’t an option, you can find a cozy spot outside the airport and enjoy the Greek sun as well.
3. Shop at JTR Airport
Apart from the small-dimension duty-free area, Santorini Thira Airport has a phone store in the Arrivals area along with a Gallery selling artistic objects made by Greek designers and an optical shop lying at the public Departure zone.
4. Eat and Drink at Santorini Airport
Are you hungry? Are you in the mood for a refreshing drink? JTR doesn’t offer many options, yet they will all meet your expectations. Hence, you can:
- eat at “Αυθεντία”, a casual restaurant.
- eat or drink at Bonheur, a snack coffee bar.
- visit Caldera, a fine restaurant serving local and international dishes.
- devour a burger at Holy Burger or
- opt for pizza and pasta at Il Maestro.
All the restaurants and coffee shops are located in the Departures area, after the security control, apart from Caldera, situated outside the Departures zone.
5. Do you Need to rest?
Unfortunately, Santorini Airport doesn’t have lounges or sleeping areas. In fact, its available seating is limited. Moreover, the airport is closed at night, operating from 06:30 am to 10:15 pm. Thus, if you want to sleep during your layover, you’ll have to check in at one of the nearby hotels, though being charged for a night’s stay.
Leaving JTR Airport? Meet the Impeccable Santorini!
If your layover is long enough and you are up for exploration, there are so many things to see and do at Santorini. Do your pick, and let Santorini bewitch you!
1. Visit one of the Island’s Villages
- Fira: The island’s capital, “Chora”, is by far the most tourist area of the island. Facing the volcano and the two volcanic islands, Fira offers breathtaking views during the day and night and especially when the sun sets. Its shopping and dining options will surely attract your attention, while Fira’s nightlife is well-known. Unfortunately, you won’t get to get a glimpse of it as JTR Airport doesn’t serve night flights. Finally, after exploring the scenic roads, you can visit one of the village’s churches or one of the two museums (Archaeological Museum of Thera and Museum of Prehistoric Thera). Please keep in mind that there are controversial opinions concerning the museums: some claim that they aren’t worth the time whereas others find them quite interesting.
- Oia: Oia is another scenic Santorini village full of traditional white houses, churches with blue roofs, and, of course, colorful bougainvilleas. Oia is the perfect place for wandering around the narrow picturesque alleys or visiting the local churches. Still, it is not the ideal shopping area as although having amazing stores, they all tend to be really pricey. Undoubtedly, it is mostly known for its sunsets. However, the place tends to get overcrowded. Thus, other areas of the island, such as Faros Akrotiriou or Profitis Ilias, might be a better option for admiring the sunset vistas.
- Akrotiri: The top archaeological spot of Santorini is Akrotiri. Due to the eruption of Santorini’s volcano, the ancient village of Akrotiri was buried in lava, thus being preserved in perfect condition. Hence, a visit to Akrotiri will allow you to take a peek at the local’s lifestyle almost 3.500 years ago!
- Pyrgos: On the opposite side, Pyrgos is a quiet “low-profile” village. Still, it doesn’t fall short of the other Santorini regions as far as beauty and picturesque scenery are concerned. Here, you can enjoy a relaxed walk, admire the scenic main square, visit “The Cultural Village” -the local museum-, or climb the 30-minute route leading from the medieval village to the impressive Monastery of Profitis Ilias.
- Imerovigli: Another ideal and not-so-crowded location for admiring the sunset. However, Imerovigli is more than that. From its alleys, you’ll get to admire the best panorama of Caldera, while you’ll fully enjoy wandering around the officially declared traditional village. If you are up for an adventure, you can go and climb to Skaros Rock, where you’ll find the relics of the old castle. From that point, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the adjacent church of Panagia Theoskepasti.
2. Walk your Way from Fira to Oia
If you love hiking, you’ll find plenty of routes scattered all over Santorini island. However, by choosing the trail from Fira to Oia during your layover at Santorini, you’ll get to combine your favorite activity with a visit to three of the top destinations of the island (Fira, Oia, Imerovigli). The trail is considered fordable. It has a 9-km/5.6-mile length, and you are going to need 4 hours to traverse its entire distance.
Our Tip: Please remember to be properly dressed and equipped with water and hats, especially during the hot summer months.
3. Go for a Swim
Santorini’s beaches are unique, with each one being entirely different from the others. The volcanic activity of the island has created natural masterpieces scattered from one side of the island to the other. From the famous small Red Beach with the black and red small stones to the nearby White Beach with the white rocky background, and from Perivolos with the black sand to the vibrant Kamari with crystal clear water, the island has plenty of options. Thus if the weather permits it, it’s up to you to pick your favorite one!
4. Visit one of the Island’s Wineries
If wine tasting is your thing, your airport layover has brought you to the right place. Santorini has more than 18 wineries, an impressive fact when the size of the island is taken into account. From the sweet Vinsanto to the famous Assyrtiko, choose one of the wineries’ tours (Santo Wines, Domaine Sigalas, Estate Argyros Winery, just to name a few of them) and relish a memorable wine tasting.
5. Don’t Leave Santorini without Tasting its Foods
Apart from the wine, Santorini is also famous for its local cuisine. Traditional taverns and fancy restaurants lie all over the island, offering their guests unforgettable culinary experiences. Therefore, you should definitely devour fava Santorinis (a local legume), tomato balls, atherinopita (fish pie), sfougato (omelet), chlorotiri (local cheese) and white eggplants, among other equally delicious dishes!
6. Book a Tour
The most efficient and hassle-free way to see as much of Santorini’s sightseeing as possible during your airport layover is to book a guided tour. Depending on the attractions that mainly interest you, you can choose among plenty of travel agencies operating at Santorini, and organizing group or tailor-made tours and excursions.