Kamari (Greek: Καμάρι) is a seaside village on the southeast side of Santorini, an island that is part of the Cyclades group of Greek islands. It has a long black sand and shingle beach. Though there are many taverns, bars and clubs Kamari has a far more relaxed atmosphere than Thira. There are all the usual water based activities plus a regular water taxi to take you round the headland to neighboring Perissa.
The airport is very close about 3 km. Most days the noise from landing planes is sporadic and kept to daylight hours. There are exceptions to this.
There is a regular ferry service from Perissa, but it doesn't appear to be running year round. Check with local bar keepers whether it's actually running, don't believe the signposted schedules!
If you are staying in Kamari for a week, a rental car, scooter or quad would be advised for about 3 days. Most companies offer discounts for rentals of this period. While scooters and quads are very popular, the vehicle best suited to exploring the island in full is a small 4x4 like the ever-popular convertible Suzuki Jimny. For the even more adventurous there are street-legal beach buggies that seat 2 and look like a lot of fun.
There is ample parking by the beach, with several larger car parks (so don't bother with street parking)
Ancient Thira is literally above Kamari. There are buses available to take you to the top but you can walk or drive. The walk takes about an hour and is quite steep. The drive is up a cobble-stone cliff-side twisty road and requires not only confidence behind the wheel but the ability to ignore your scared passengers who are actually looking down.
- 1 Kamari Beach (Παραλία Καμάρι). 24/7. A wide black sand and pebble beach forming a strip between sea and steep cliffs. The most popular beach on Thira, and usually crowded. Free.
- 2 Ancient Thera (Αρχαία Θήρα) (about an hour walk up the hill from Kamari), ☏ , email@example.com. 08:30 - 15:30 daily, Wednesdays closed, last entry 15:00. The ancient ruined city of Thera, with a history dating back to archaic times, are all that remains of a once important city that was home to a significant Minoan settlement and a central trading post in the Aegean Sea. The Ptolemaic wartime fleet for the entire Aegean Sea was stationed in the city's harbour in Hellenistic times. During Roman times, the city was part of the Asia province, and is known to have been relatively prosperous and at a high standing with the Roman Empire. After the dissolution of the Empire in the 3rd century, documented history became sparse until the heights of Byzantine times when Thera was a diocesan town and until the 5th century the only urban settlement on the island of Santorini. It then gradually lost importance, and in 726 the city was covered by a layer of pumice after a small volcanic eruption. Thera was abandoned shortly afterwards. The ruins were lost until 1895, when German archaeologist Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen systematically investigated the city until 1904. A second round of excavations under supervision of N. Zapheiropoulos between 1961 and 1982, under the auspices of the Archaeological Society of Athens, unearthed the city's necropolis at the foot of the mountain. The most recent archaelogical work dates from 1990 to 1994 under the leadership of Wolfram Hoepfner of the Free University of Berlin, which provided more insights in the role of the city in ancient times. The ruins can be visited, and the basilike, agora, theatre, and garrison are well worth visiting. €6 standard, €3 reduced.
- 3 Zoodochos Pigis Cave (Σπήλαιο Ζωοδόχος Πηγή). A small cave and a church reachable by hiking along a rock wall used as a climbing area. The cave features dripstone formations and a source of drinking water. Free.
- 4 Panagia Episkopi. Panagia Episkopi, a former bishop's church from the Middle Byzantine period, is the oldest church on Thira.The church is dedicated to Panagia ('All Saints'), a Greek Orthodox name for Holy Mary. Free.
- 5 Kamari Necropolis. 24/7. Remains of an ancient necropolis, the former cemetery of ancient Thera. Archaeological excavations were carried out at the site between 1961 and 1982 under the direction of Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Zapheiropoulos. His team discovered funerary gifts, vases, and sculptures in the tombs. It is believed to have been a burial site from the Geometric period (10th – 7th century BC) to Roman times. Free.
- 6 Saint Pagratios Church (Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Παγκρατίου Καμαρίου). Greek Orthodox church. Free.
- 7 Ancient Kamari. 24/7. Ruins of the ancient city of Kamari also referred to as "Ancient Oia" which is rather confusing. Not well signposted. Free.
There is an outdoor cinema about a 20-minute walk from the beach that has one showing everyday at 21:30. There film it shows changes every few days but they are published in its leaflet which can be found in most towns around the island (there is a poster board just south of the bus station in Thira). The films it shows tends to be American blockbusters, but it also shows some Greek movies. Tickets are €8 and there is a bar on site. Smoking is acceptable and even dogs are left in to watch the movie with their owners.
- 1 Escape Game Kamari, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Escape games with 4 different rooms to play with up to 5 players. Suitable for families with children.
- 2 Open Air Cinema Kamari (Θερινός Κινηματογράφος Καμαρίου), ☏ , email@example.com. 20:30. Open air cinema playing English movies with Greek subtitles. They also have a cocktail bar. This cinema was rated in the top 10 of best open air cinemas in the world by CNN in 2015. €9.
- 3 Santorini Mini Golf, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:00 - 23:00 daily. 18 hole mini golf course. It lacks shade, so better played in the evenings than during day time in summer.
- 1 Eduart Gjopalj Woodworking Workshop, email@example.com. Artist's workshop, specialised in wood sculpting.
- 2 Gabbiano Nero, firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-23:30 daily. Art gallery with handicrafts.
- 3 The Secret Room, email@example.com. Outfitter selling hats and summer dresses, with solutions to be found in line with everyone's budget.
- 4 Eruption Store, Παναγίας Μυρτιδιωτίσσης, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Souvenirs, cosmetics, jewellery, and traditional products at inflated prices.
- 5 Ministry of Art, ☏ . Ceramics and fashion shop.
- 6 TK Place, Panagias Myrtidiotissis str, ☏ , email@example.com. Contemporary art gallery and shop.
The streets of Kamari are abundant with restaurants and especially so along the beach. Kamari is a great place to while away the afternoons sipping cocktails before heading to a great restaurant for a truly memorable meal. While some places in particular are mentioned below, most of the restaurants offer incredible food at good prices (budget €40 for a meal for 2 with drinks). If a restaurant is empty or has staff who are overly keen to get you in the door with offers of free wine or discounts, move on. To cater the tourists from around the world, Kamari also has restaurants that serve Chinese, Thai and British cuisines.
- Alexander's Restaurant about 50 m from the main bus terminal, offers fresh fish, steaks and Macedonian specialties. Very high quality of food and very very tasty.
- No Name tavern next to Alexander's Restaurant. Offers a large variety of delicious Greek food.
- El Greco on the beachfront. The seafood in general and calamari in particular are very good.
- Saliveros at Kamari Beach. Good food and special price. Great location in the promenade in Kamari
- 1 Santo Athiri, ☏ . 10:00 - 23:45 daily. Greek cuisine.
- 2 Gia Mas, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00 - midnight daily. Specialised in beef and lamb.
- 3 Ariale, ☏ , email@example.com. 09:00 - midnight daily. Mediterranean restaurant at the waterfront.
- 4 Almira, ☏ . noon - 23:30 daily.
- 5 Koutouki The Rakomelo, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. noon - midnight daily. Lamb, pasta, and seafood.
- 6 Captain's Corner Taverna, ☏ , email@example.com. noon - 23:30. Mediterranean restaurant with large portions of seafood, with plenty of vegetarian options.
- 7 Orchidea, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00 - 23:45 daily. Greek cuisine and seafood.
- 8 Elias Grill, ☏ , email@example.com. noon - midnight daily. Souvlaki & Gyros.
- 9 Fistikies, Makedonias Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 14:00 - 23:00 daily. Alternative food. If you're tired of Greek seafood, this is where to get a portion of quinoa with avocado.
- 10 To Pinakio, Panagias Myrtidiotissas, Επαρ.Οδ. Μεσαριάς-Αρχαίας Θήρας, ☏ . 17:00 - 23:45 daily. Seafood and vegetarian cuisine.
- 11 Taverna Danas, ☏ . noon - 15:00; 18:00 - midnight daily. Seafood restaurant.
- Hook Bar on the beach promenade in the big rock end of the promenade. Good music.
- Prince Bar-Restaurant in the centre of Kamari (500 parking spaces) excellent place; the best choice
- Splash Bar - Restaurant on the beautiful beach of Kamari you can find an oasis of refreshment in the form of Splash Cafe-Bar-Restaurant.
- 1 Gaia Winery, Exo Gonia, ☏ , email@example.com. 18 April - 15 October: daily 11:00 - 19:00. €14 - €18.
- 2 Psatha, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. noon - 23:00 daily. Cocktail bar & restaurant.
- Acqua Vatos Hotel (in the heart of the village, 50 m from Kamari beach), ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Three-star hotel fully renovated in spring 2011. €50.
- Tamarix Del Mar Hotel. The hotel Tamarix del Mar suites was built in 2003.
- Kafouros Hotel. Small, friendly, family-run with a great pool and bar that's open till late. Handy to the beach and space to park your rental car. Adonis and his family will become friends who you want to return to see.
- Makris Beach Hotel Large apartments 20 m from the main beach of Kamari. Located at the center of Kamari.
- Hotel Sunshine A small and expensive hotel by the beach promenade. Has very basic standard. Staff not particularly friendly. Many of the "balconies" are so small that for all practical purposes they cannot be used.
- Aegean Plaza Resort. A four-star hotel with a traditional and unique Cycladic architecture, combined with modern facilities.
- Alesahne Beach Hotel.
- Irini's Rooms, ☏ . A family-owned business.
- Bellonias Villas, ☏ . A sophisticated, Cycladic-style complex of hotel apartments, studios and suites.
- Mediterranean Royal, Aghia Paraskevi, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. €20 minimum price.
- 1 Imperial Med Hotel, Aghia Paraskevi, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional Cycladic architecture.
- Kalya Suites and Studios, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Suites and studios with pool.
- 2 Studios Marios, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Studios with basic equipped kitchens, single bedrooms, and private bathrooms. Shared unheated swimming pool. Rooms on the 2nd floor have sea view. The wifi password is "kalimera". €75.