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34 Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

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From stunning black-sand beaches and awe-inspiring views to fascinating archaeological sites and lively nightlife, the Greek island of Santorini is a haven for exploration. It has a reputation as being “the one” to visit, and it’s hard to disagree.

Santorini is part of the Cyclades, the island group known for its beautiful white buildings and blue-domed churches. It’s one of the only volcanic islands in the group and remains a geothermally active hotspot. The island is part of a volcano’s rim, making the panoramic views amazing.

I’ve visited Santorini more times than I can count – although it’s a bit touristy, there is no place like it. The black and red sand beaches are one-of-a-kind, the food is to die for, and the island and sea views from Oia are indescribable.

If you’re planning your trip and wondering what to do in Santorini, we can help! Use our experiences and tips to plan the perfect Greek island escape.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – The Caldera-side Village of Oia
  • Park to visit – Ancient Thera Archaeological Site
  • Free activity – Lounging on Kamari, Perissa, or Red Beach
  • Activity for kids – Swimming in the warm volcanic hot springs
  • Activity for adults – Wine Tasting
  • Place to eat – Strogili Restaurant in Oia
  • Nightlife – Enigma in Thera
  • Place to stayMystique, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Things to Do in Santorini Island, Greece

1. Get Lost in Oia’s Narrow Streets

Typical colorful narrow street in Oia the most beautiful village
imagIN photography / Adobe Stock

Address: Oia 847 02, Greece

One of the first things you’ll probably learn when you arrive in Santorini is the pronunciation of the famous town of Oia. It’s not [OY-yah], It’s [EE-ya] – so don’t miss your bus, as this is what the driver will be shouting at the stop!

Oia is the most photographed town on Santorini Island. This is the one you see in photos online. Traditional houses were built in caves on the side of the caldera, protecting them from the frequent winds in the Cyclades.

The shades of white and blue they are painted in, the blue-domed churches among them, and their placement on a cliffside with a backdrop of the Aegean Sea made them famous.

Today, Oia is a place for visitors to the island. The traditional houses are now luxury hotels and vacation rentals. It’s not hard to find one with a swimming pool or hot tub to enjoy the cliffside views; these add even more to that beauty. I think the best is Mystique, A Luxury Collection Hotel – but be prepared with a large budget.

A stroll along Oia’s beautiful alleys is like a dream. It also has many restaurants, cafes, and bars to enjoy. The sunset in Oia is one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see.

However, Oia can also be incredibly crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to visit Oia is in the shoulder season, when temperatures are still pleasant but with fewer visitors.

See Related: Cheap Places to Visit in Europe

2. Walk the Steps to Amoudi Bay

The old harbor of Ammoudi under the famous village of Ia at Santorini, Greece
gatsi / Adobe Stock

Address: Ammoudi Bay, Oía 847 02, Greece

To get a unique glimpse of the caldera and volcanic nature of the island, make your way down to Amoudi Bay and bring your camera along. It’s a small fishing village surrounded by cliffs accessible from a series of steps you take down from Oia.

Amoudi Bay is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the Mediterranean sun. The clear blue water is calm and inviting, and there are plenty of beach umbrellas and sun loungers for visitors – although this is not a beach with sand and space; rather, it’s more of a spot to jump in and cool off.

Plenty of little places to get a glass of wine (or a bottle, if you prefer) and catch the sunset over the turquoise waters. Small cafes and restaurants line the bay, so you can enjoy a refreshing drink or bite to eat in between swims.

Amoudi Bay is worth a visit even just for the view – from the bay, you can see the stunning cliffs of Santorini from below and the brilliant white buildings of Oia in the distance. If you’re staying in Oia, make this a must-do in between your visits to other parts of the island.

3. Explore the Archaeological Site of Ancient Thera

 The ruins of ancient Thira, a prehistoric village at the top of the mountain Mesa Vouno, Santorini, Greece
gatsi / Adobe Stock

Address: Santorini 847 00, Greece

Some of the earliest human histories on Santorini took place on the top of Mesa Vouno Mountain, separating the beach towns of Kamari and Perissa (more on those below). The site is known as Ancient Thera, and excavations there have revealed thousands of years-old relics of civilization.

Ancient Thera was founded in the 8th century BC by Lacedaemonian colonists and their king, Theras, after whom the town was named. At 365 meters above the sea, it was a strategic location with building materials and the only water source on the island. Over the millennia, it would continue to have important significance to the kingdoms that ruled the Aegean.

Excavation of the site began in the very late 1800s, and discoveries are still being made today. The ruins provide a unique insight into this ancient culture. Plenty of mosaic houses, an old marketplace, Roman baths, and churches exist. You’ll also see temples for the Greek Gods Apollo and Zeus.

Expect to spend at least a couple of hours exploring this ancient town. If you’re a real Greek history buff, consider a Santorini history and archaeology tour to get the full story from a guide.

4. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Exterior of Prehistoric Thera Museum, Santorini
saiko3p / Adobe Stock

Address: Thera 847 00, Greece

After you’ve seen the ancient village of Thera, head over to the modern one to see a curated collection of island history and artifacts. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera is one of the most important museums on the island.

It houses a collection of artifacts excavated from sites around the island from the Late Neolithic to the Late Cycladic periods. Collections include pottery, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and even more. The museum is housed in a historic building in Thera’s center that was originally a fortress.

These items were recovered from sites like Ancient Thera and Akrotiri (more on the latter to come) and are preserved here rather than on their sites for their preservation. It doesn’t take long to visit and makes for a great combination with the archaeological sites.

See Related: Friend Vacation Ideas

5. Perissa Beach

Aerial view of Perissa Beach and town in Santorini
ververidis / Adobe Stock

Address: Unnamed Road, Santorini 847 03, Greece

Santorini doesn’t have white-sand beaches like some other islands around the country. Instead, it’s famous for its black sand beaches, like Perissa Beach.

Perissa is a village located on the eastern side of the island, just south of the Mesa Vouno mountain on which Ancient Thera sits. It has a long stretch of black volcanic sand and generally calm, clear water. It’s lined with beach restaurants that set up umbrellas and chairs, which are usually free if you order a drink or food – and you should.

At the end of the beach near the mountain, vendors rent out kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats that can be used to play in the water and go around Kamari Beach. One important note about Perissa is that it can get extremely windy – in that case, don’t paddle out!

If you plan a beach day here from Oia, consider booking a transfer service, as the bus ride is very long. Perissa Beach is also a popular place to stay for visitors to Santorini who want to enjoy the sea. The Veggera Beach Hotel is an excellent centrally-located choice with a beautiful pool.

6. Kamari Beach

Beach Chairs at Kamari Beach Santorini, Greece
FotoHelin / Adobe Stock

Address: Kamari Beach Kamari 847 00, Greece

As mentioned, Kamari Beach is just on the other side of the mountain from Perissa. However, there isn’t a direct route between the two (besides over water), and you have to go back up the caldera to get from one to the other, so it’s better not to combine these into a single day.

Kamari Beach is my favorite place to relax by the water in Santorini. Here, the beach is wider and longer than any other, and it has fine black sand. Like Perissa, there are a ton of tavernas and beach bars with chairs and umbrellas you can use if you order from them. The water is cool and refreshing, although it doesn’t stay shallow for long out, so nervous swimmers should be careful.

It’s also a bit more convenient to reach Kamari as it’s a shorter bus ride or drive from Thera and Oia. But it’s also a great place to stay in a luxurious hotel at a much fairer price than the rest of the island – I prefer Hotel Sunshine for its location, views, and pool.

7. The Monastery of Profitis Ilias

Prophet Elias Monastery architecture
Roger Utting / Adobe Stock

Address: Epar.Od. Pirgou Kallistis – Profiti Ilia 10, Pirgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece

If you want great views of the island, or to appreciate an important piece of Santorini’s faith, consider making the peaceful quest to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. It’s considered the most important church on the island and sits on its highest point on a mountain just beside Ancient Thera.

It is dedicated to the Prophet Elias (or Elijah) and was built in 1711. It takes the form of a fortress with traditional Cycladic architecture and served as a school for Greek language and literature. It was badly damaged in the 1956 earthquake but has been safely restored.

You’re not actually allowed inside the main monastery in most circumstances, but you can explore the gardens and four churches and chapels around it. There is also a gift shop on site that supports the facilities, as well as a small museum maintained by the monks.

With 360-degree views, it will be one of the best drives or hikes you’ve ever taken. If you don’t mind braving the early hours, this is a surreal spot for sunrise.

8. Swim in Hot Springs

Volcanic black rocks, Saint Nicholas Church & hot springs at Palea Kameni, Santorini Island
Fulcanelli / Adobe Stock

The volcanic nature of Santorini isn’t just visible in the island’s shape – geothermal activity continues in its center, where warm water bubbles up to the surface. These hot springs are on Nea Kameni Island, a small, rocky piece of land in the middle of the caldera.

There aren’t any people or towns on Nea Kameni besides some small chapels and old buildings. But you can take one of the frequent boat shuttles from Athinios Port or Old Thera Port to visit the island and swim in the dark, warm waters around it.

You can also take a small group tour that stops here and other places around the island’s waters – for example, this vintage wooden sailboat tour visits the springs plus Thirassia island, while this modern catamaran goes to the Red and White Beaches (more on all of those below).

The hot temperature and mineral content of sulfur, iron, and manganese are healing and great for your skin and muscles. You can also walk around its rocky surface, but be careful, as this volcano could erupt at any moment!

See Related: Best River Cruises in Europe

9. Visit the Best Viewpoints

Beautiful Oia town on Santorini island, Greece
maglara / Adobe Stock

Santorini is mostly famous for its views – there are even Instagram tours that will take you to its best spots. The whitewashed buildings and colorful accents against the caldera cliffside make for magnificent photos and some of the most picturesque sunsets in the world. A few spots on Santorini are especially famous for their views.

First, you can’t miss the famous Oia sunset spot, which is great for stunning sunsets at any time of the day. Although Oia has no addresses, you should find this spot on most maps.

Just walk downhill on its main road, keep left towards the cliffside, and you’ll come up some stairs up to a large open space on a hill – where everyone gathers for sunset. Get there early as it gets very crowded, and visit at other times of the day, too.

You’ll find other great viewpoints in Thera, the island’s capital, where you can see Oia in the distance. At the other extreme of the island, the village of Akrotiri and its lighthouse are other places to appreciate the magnitude of the caldera.

As mentioned, you can also hike or drive up to the island’s highest point, the mountain of Prifitis Elias, for spectacular sunrises and island views. The famous hike from Fira to Oia will give you several hours of panoramic views – more on that later.

10. Experience the Lively Nightlife

Entrance and sign of Enigma
Enigma / Enigma

While sunset may seem like a fitting end to the day, Santorini doesn’t shut down at dark. The island has a lively nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to entertain you on warm summer nights.

The most popular area for nightlife is Fira, where you’ll find a variety of bars and nightclubs to suit all tastes. The most popular are Enigma, Lux Bar, and 2 Brothers Bar, which keep the party going into the wee hours of the morning.

For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Imerovigli or Oia, where you can enjoy a drink or two while watching the sunset and for hours after. For me, there’s nothing like sipping on an Aperol Spritz on one of the rooftop bars here and watching the lights of the island below.

Kamari and Perissa, two of the most popular beach towns, also host a number of lively casual beach bars with parties on the sand. While Santorini certainly has its share of nightlife, the overall vibe of the island is quiet and relaxed, so don’t be put off if this stuff isn’t for you – Mykonos is the real island for party central.

11. Red Beach

Coastline of the Red Beach, Santorini, Greece
smallredgirl / Adobe Stock

Address: Red Beach, Greece

The Red Beach of Santorini is one of the most beautiful and scenic beaches in the world. It’s a bit of a trek from Oia and Fira, as it’s on the southern and outer side of the island and requires a hike to access it, but it’s worth it.

With its dramatic red cliffs, multi-colored sand, and crystal-clear waters, it’s easy to see why this beach is so popular. You’ll be stricken by the view when you round the corner of the hike to get there, which takes less than 10 minutes on a rocky surface. There are rocky tidepools first and then a wide stretch of sand where you can claim your spot.

Visitors can sunbathe on the red sand beach, swim in the clear water, and photograph the magnificent scenery. Note that there is very little shade here, and you can’t use the cliffs to escape the sun – certain areas are closed off for safety, as rocks can slide at any moment. So, if you can get an umbrella, it will prolong your stay here.

See Related: The Ultimate Backpacking Through Europe Itinerary

12. White Beach

White Beach, Santorini, Greece
mathilde / Adobe Stock

Address: Zakynthos 290 91, Greece

Just past the rocky cliffs at the end of Red Beach, there’s another beautiful spot to enjoy the sand and sea on Santorini – White Beach. This secluded spot can actually only be accessed by boat, so it’s usually much quieter than other beaches on the island.

Its name comes from the tall white cliffs that surround it, while the sand here is actually dark pebbles. The water is crystal-clear and perfect for swimming. In the high season, a beach club sets up chairs and umbrellas and provides drink service.

You can only get to White Beach by boat, and the best way to do that is on tour. A ton of catamaran cruises, like this luxury day trip with meals, will combine this beach with other great things to see nearby, such as Red Beach and the hot springs. It’s a great way to see several of Santorini’s most popular treasures.

13. Akrotiri Archaeological Site

The Akrotiri Excavations Archaeological Site in Santorini, Greece
Izzard / Adobe Stock

Address: Thera 847 00, Greece

While we’re on the south side of Santorini, don’t miss the chance to stop by its other most famous ancient site: Akrotiri. Note that there’s a real town of the same name at the top of the caldera, while the archaeological site is further down the road at the bottom near the hike to Red Beach.

Imagine a huge volcanic eruption so powerful that it instantly buried the local village in ash, much like the one at Pompeii. But instead of creating human sculptures to stand the test of time, this eruption did a fantastic job of preserving the culture and artwork of the Bronze Age community that called Santorini home in the 16th and 17th centuries BC.

Because no human remains or valuables remained, most experts believe that the community was completely evacuated when it was covered. That means at Akrotiri, you aren’t visiting a graveyard but a memorial to the people that called this area home. The uncovered frescoes range from blue monkeys to swaying palms in the breeze. Houses, markets, pots, tools, and other artifacts are all displayed.

The ancient town is now covered by a roof for continued preservation and functions as an archaeological museum, so there is a small entry fee to explore – book tickets in advance to skip the line. Even a short walk through it is worth it, as it’s an amazing snapshot of Santorini’s history.

14. Akrotiri Lighthouse & Village

Santorini lighthouse, Greek Islands, Greece
ecstk22 / Adobe Stock

Address: 9954+4M, Santorini 847 00, Greece

Above the archaeological site is the modern village of Akrotiri, sitting on the island’s southwestern tip. It’s another traditional settlement with exceptional views that’s quaint to explore.

There are a number of tavernas serving tasty Greek meals here, as well as a few very luxurious hotels and vacation rentals. It can be a lovely choice to escape the crowds of Oia. The Apanemo Hotel & Suites is a popular option for its three-tiered swimming pool with views of the entire caldera.

The Akrotiri Lighthouse is located on the southwesternmost point of Santorini and was built in 1858. The lighthouse is an important landmark for sailors and is one of the most photographed spots on the island.

The views from the lighthouse are stunning, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea when you explore Santorini. The lighthouse is also home to a small museum, which showcases exhibits about the history of the lighthouse.

See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches in the World

15. Taste the Local Cuisine

Meal at Strogili Restaurant
Strogili Restaurant / Strogili Restaurant

Greek food is some of the tastiest in the world, and it’s literally one of the reasons I go every summer. Santorini is home to some excellent international restaurants thanks to its thriving tourism economy, but don’t miss the chance to try authentic, local taverna cuisine.

The island is known for its fava (a creamy dish made with yellow split peas), dolma, stuffed vine leaves (rice and some herbs wrapped in grape leaves), and tomato fritters. There’s also tzatziki, the delicious Greek yogurt-based food that goes great when spread on a fresh pita.

As it’s close to the island of Crete, a Cretan specialty called dakos (or ntakos) is also commonly served in tavernas – a mix of tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, and olive oil served on barley rusk. If you like Greek salad, it’s a must try – of course, you can also get a traditional one of those, too.

Greek food is typically healthy and flavorful, so you’ll find something you love. There are local tavernas all over the island, so it won’t be hard to find something, but my favorite is Strogili in Oia for its tasty food and rooftop with a panoramic view. And what’s better than enjoying a delicious meal while taking in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea?

16. Shop Till You Drop

Souvenirs at Oia Santorini, Greece
Despina Fountoulaki / Adobe Stock

Whether you’re looking for a cheap souvenir or a new outfit, shopping in Santorini is an enjoyable experience. The island has many boutiques and shops selling everything from local handmade goods to designer labels.

While there are places to shop all over the island, Oia and Fira are the top two. Both have a noticeable concentration of jewelry shops, ranging from local creations to expensive international brands. Especially in Oia, you’ll find a lot of designer clothing, too.

It’s not all high-end garments and accessories, though. Many local boutiques sell white linen clothing that seems synonymous with Santorini. Island-style slippers and shoes are other popular products. You’ll also find a ton of artwork for sale, which can be an especially nice way to remember your Santorini trip from home.

17. Hike from Fira to Oia

Fira Oia trail with hikers and the view of Oia from above
Bernadett / Adobe Stock

To trek the whole length of the Fira to Oia route is another excellent method to see the natural beauty and architecture of Santorini. This 10-kilometer hike runs along the caldera’s edge, connecting the island’s two most popular towns, and is considered one of Greece’s most beautiful walks.

It’s quite a long walk and can take a few hours, even without breaks, and consists of some hills and stairs. You’ll pass through the picturesque villages of Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Finikia, as well as more remote parts of the caldera.

This hike provides fantastic views in every direction, so make sure to bring your camera. It’s also essential to wear proper shoes and bring water. If you get tired partway through, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the route where you can take a break.

See Related: Best Hiking Trails in the World

18. Take a Day Trip to Thirassia Island

Panoramic wide shot showing the volcanic desert island of Thirassia near the popular Greek island of Santorini
Filipe Samora / Adobe Stock

Address: Therasia, Greece

Thirassia, also spelled Therasia or in other variations, is another small island just off of Santorini’s west coast. It’s extremely close and appears to form another side of the volcano rim – which is exactly the case.

The great eruption of Thera over 3,000 years ago separated the two, leaving Thirassia separated by just a bit of water and about 3.6 square miles in size. There’s a very small local population of about 300 on the island and a number of little tavernas in its main village and on its shores.

The main village is Manolas, popular for its quaint lanes of traditional white houses and its spectacular views of the Santorini caldera. The island was once home to many vineyards, and there are still a few working ones today. Overall, it’s a very quiet, off-the-beaten-path spot on a Santorini itinerary that’s interesting to explore.

Local ferries run from Athinios Port to Thirassia every so often, making day trips possible, but most visitors get here on a boat tour. This small group excursion leaves Amoudi Bay for a quick crossing and focuses solely on Thirassia, seeing the best of its history and nature.

19. Step Inside Atlantis Book

Cat in front of Atlantis Bookstore in Santorini, Greece
f11photo / Adobe Stock

Address: Nomikos Street, Oía 847 02, Greece

While we couldn’t possibly detail every shop in Oia, Atlantis Books has to have a special mention on our list. It’s located in a very central spot on Oia’s main path, and it’s unlikely you’ll miss it.

The colorful walls stand out among the white buildings, and a few steps down take you onto its terrace and into the shelf-lined cave. Rare first editions, old island maps, and new best-sellers can be found in the collection. Its American owners saw an opportunity for a place to read and write on the island, and the place has been a local icon for years.

Whether you’re a reader or not, and whether you’re in the market for a new book or not, it’s worth a quick look around this corner of authenticity in a village that tourists often overrun. Besides, the friendly resident cats of the village like to hang out on its terrace.

20. Watch a Movie at the Open Air Cinema in Kamari

Aerial view of Cine Kamari
Santorini Cinema / Santorini Cinema

Address: Santorini, Kamari 847 00, Greece

The Greeks have always enjoyed good entertainment – just look at the thousand-year-old ruins of open-air theaters scattered around the country. In Kamari village, they mixed this historic tradition with modern amenities, creating the Open Air Cinema in 1987.

Every season from May to October, the cinema shows nightly movies after the sun goes down on their large projector in front of theater-style, outdoor seating. A bar and café provide food and refreshments. Tons of greenery and warm summer air create a very island-esque experience.

The cinema is located at the entrance of the village, close to a bus stop and places to park a car or quad. Movies are always in English and have Greek subtitles, so you won’t need to worry about language barriers. Reservations are not accepted.

21. Taste Some Santorini Wines

Vineyards in Santorini
Santorini: Wine Tasting Tour & Sunset Viewing / Burgundy to taste fine wines, but keep something in mind – the Greeks were the ones who introduced them to winemaking! While Santorini may be small, a thriving vineyard community makes some incredible wine.

The volcanic soil and the island’s climate create perfection in mineral-rich soil. Several mainland Greek and international grape varieties are grown here, but the island’s flagship variety is Assyrtico, which makes lovely crisp, dry whites. There are also sweet dessert wines made from Vinsanto.

There are a number of wine-tasting tours to show you around the vineyards and help you learn more about the wine curation process on these amazing Greek islands. This half-day tour includes transportation and a local wine expert, while this one combines three wineries with a brewery. There are also sunset wine-tasting tours. If you’ve got a car and you’re just looking for a winery to visit, Santo Wines in Pyrgos is an excellent choice.

A wine tour on these amazing Greek islands is a great way to learn more about the wine curation process. During a wine tour, you’ll get the chance to visit several vineyards while having the opportunity to taste different grape varieties like white wine, red wine, and sparkling wine.

See Related: Family Vacation Ideas

22. Perivolos Beach

Perivolos beach on Santorini island in Greece at sunrise
Roman Bjuty / Adobe Stock

Address: Perívolos Santorini 847 03, Greece

Just a short way from Perissa Beach is the more understated Periovlos Beach. This black sand beach is perfect if you’d like to enjoy the warmth of the black sand without a huge crowd. If you love adventure, Wavesports Santorini has covered you at Perivolos with jet ski rentals, boat rentals, flyboarding, parasailing, and more to make your time here an unforgettable experience.

Along this amazing stretch of beach, you’ll find many enticing beachside restaurants and bars. One of the most popular restaurants is Seaside Santorini, which features Mediterranean-fusion cuisine, a bar lounge, and a small fashion boutique.

If you’d like to indulge in traditional and authentic Greek fare, head to Taverna Lava, open year-round. The food there is made with the freshest seasonally-available ingredients from the island.

If Perivolos Beach sounds like the perfect escape from reality to you, there are several options for accommodations. Most hotels on Perivolos Beach are small, family-run businesses that can provide local insight that other hotels may not have. A great hotel here is Glykeria Mini Suites, a beachfront family-run hotel with its own private beach area.

23. Eros Beach

Beautiful view of the Eros Beach, Santorini, Greece
Marcus Mudd/Wirestock Creators / Adobe Stock

Address: Benitses, Corfu 490 84, Greece

Many beaches throughout the Greek islands have the appeal of seclusion going for them, and the same is to be said about Eros Beach. Located on Santorini’s southern coast in Corfu, Eros Beach is set on one of the island’s most rugged coastlines. The natural landscape makes for an incredible backdrop while you relax and enjoy the clear waters of the shore.

From May to October, Eros Beach visitors can enjoy Theros Wave Bar’s ambiance, which provides comfortable sun loungers and a full bar and restaurant. Besides that, the beach is wide open and ready to explore. The long coastline extends for miles without another beach bar or hotel.

If you’re craving more civilization, the nearby fishing village of Vlychada is just a few minutes away and provides a host of wonderful restaurants and tavernas. You’ll also find the Tomato Industrial Museum and several fishing tour companies. If you want to enjoy a night or two, read our full guide on where to stay in Corfu.

24. Enjoy a Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Santorini in Catamaran Cruise
Santorini: Sunset Cruise with Swim Stops, Dinner, and Drinks / Santorini sunset catamaran cruise is a magnificent five-hour journey around the island. You’ll stop at some of Santorini’s most iconic swimming spots, including the hot springs at Nea Kameni island, Red Beach, White Beach, and a black sand beach. The tour also includes snorkeling gear to truly enjoy the clear Aegean Sea.

When you’re not snorkeling or swimming, deck life isn’t too shabby. Guests can enjoy Wi-Fi, local wine, and a spread of traditional Greek mezze. During sunset, guests can enjoy a Greek BBQ dinner with vegetarian dishes also available. A sunset cruise is one of the most incredible Santorini tours that everyone should add to their list of must-dos.

25. Hike to Skaros Rock

Sunset in Island of Santorini Greece Skaros Rock
Weronika / Adobe Stock

Address: Imerovigli 847 00, Greece

A hike to the fortress of Skaros Rock is a perfect way to keep active while you visit Santorini. This hike can be done independently or with a hike from Fira to Oia. The fortress is located in Imerovigli, just a few minutes away from Fira.

The rock itself is said to date back to a volcanic eruption that happened around 68,000 BC. Its fascinating shape can be attributed to the natural erosion of the sea and wind. The fortress on Skaros Rock was built in the 15th century and is the island’s oldest and most significant fortress. It protected residents from pirates and other invaders who attempted to overtake the island.

The hike to Skaros Rock takes about one hour and rewards hikers with stunning views of Oia, Fira, and the whole island. Ensure you’re well-equipped with sunscreen, good shoes, and lots of water. If you’re on a family trip, Imerovigli also makes a wonderful place to stay due to its convenient location and more affordable accommodation options. Villa Libertad features wonderful family rooms equipped with a private terrace and breakfast included.

See Related: Places to Get Married in Europe

26. Take the Cable Car to the Old Port of Fira

The cable car in Fira
pillerss / Adobe Stock

Address: Thera 847 00, Greece

While you can certainly walk hundreds of steps down to the Old Port of Fira, the most fun (and frankly, much easier) way to get there is by taking the cable car. While riding the cable car, you can also enjoy majestic views of the Aegean Sea and the caldera.

The scenic cable car ride only takes three minutes each way, so it’s still an option for those who may not enjoy heights or long cable car rides. Alternatively, if you don’t enjoy the ride, you can always take the stairs back up to Santorini’s capital city.

Once you reach the Old Port, you can enjoy the crystal clear waters, unique views, and a few cafes where you can sip on a refreshing freddo espresso. Consider this Fira walking tour if you’d like more out of your trip to Fira and the Old Port. This guided tour will take you around the town and includes your ticket to the cable car. You can also add on an optional wine tasting, which adds incredible value to the tour.

27. Enjoy a Night at The Greek Wedding Show

The Greek Wedding Show performance
Santorini: The Greek Wedding Show / The White Door Theatro puts on an amazing dinner and a show performance that you and your family will remember fondly for years.

This top tourist attraction will entertain you with warm and fun Greek hospitality. You’ll sing Greek songs, dance to Greek music, and enjoy authentic Greek cuisine and wine. At the show’s end, everyone will get plates to break in traditional Greek fashion.

While the songs and music will be in Greek, most performances will be in English. Ensure you’re appropriately dressed before the show, as the theater will not let anyone in who is only in swimwear or barefoot. It’s worth noting that there is only one performance per day after sunset, so book your tickets as soon as possible.

28. Horseback Riding in Vlichada

Horse riding in Black Sandy Beach, Santorini
Horse Riding to Black Sandy Beach / horseback riding tour takes place in Vlichada on Santorini’s southern coast. The tour has a maximum of only six guests to ensure that the guide can always provide the utmost attention to everyone. The tour begins with basic riding lessons as well as knowledge of all the equipment necessary to keep you and the horse safe.

You will then ride along the coast, eventually ending up at Eros Beach. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop at certain points to take in the panoramic views and for photos. Riders have a limit of 242 pounds, and the tour company recommends having a moderate fitness level and no serious medical conditions.

29. Have a Romantic Photoshoot

Couple on a photoshoot in Santorini
Santorini: Photo Shoot / Pictrip connects you with a private, professional photographer in Santorini to capture stunning photos of you and your group.

The price covers a group of up to six people, so whether you’re a solo traveler, on a romantic escape with your partner, or on vacation with your friends or family, you can all get in on the action!

The best part about hiring a local professional photographer is that they know the best locations to get the greatest shots. The photo shoot can last anywhere from one to three hours, and within five business days, you’ll get a link in your email to your private gallery with professionally-edited photos.

You can use these photos for holiday cards, to hang in your home, or to keep as a memento of your time in beautiful Santorini.

See Related: Romantic Destinations in the World

30. Go Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in Santorini
Santorini: Scuba Diving Experience / scuba diving tour begins bright and early at the Emporio Scuba Center. Before diving, the instructors will get you fitted with all the dive gear needed and give you a basic safety briefing before you head out on the water.

The dive lasts approximately 45 minutes, with the whole experience lasting about three hours. During these 45 minutes, you’ll be able to explore the majestic marine life of the Aegean Sea. Dive instructors can take photos and videos of you upon request. Don’t forget to bring comfortable swimwear and a towel!

31. Explore Sea Caves by Kayak

Sea Kayaking in Santorini
Santorini: Sea Caves Kayak Trip / guided tour by kayak. Much of the coastline is inaccessible by car or foot and can only be accessed from the sea, so going by kayak lets you explore Santorini in ways that many have not.

This guided kayak tour begins at Red Beach, but transportation to and from your hotel is included. You’ll start your incredible journey around the Akrotiri coastline from Red Beach. Throughout the coast, you’ll find several magical caves where the water turns electric blue when hit by direct sunlight.

This tour includes an awesome beach picnic lunch made from local organic ingredients. On your way back, you can enjoy cliff jumping at White Beach. Other inclusions that make this tour the best kayaking tour are a dry bag for your belongings, high-resolution photos, towels, and water. If the weather is not ideal, you will be rebooked for a different day or offered a full refund.

32. Go on a Traditional Fishing Trip

Group on a fishing trip in Santorini
Santorini: Traditional Fishing Trip / best things about visiting Greece and the Mediterranean region is the abundance of fresh fish and seafood. As with many other local products like the incredible wine and olive oil you’ll find in Greece, you can just tell the difference in the quality of the fresh seafood here. So, what better way to experience this than going on a fishing trip and enjoying your fresh catch for lunch?

Fishing is a tradition that goes back centuries in the Cycladic islands, and this guided tour allows visitors to experience a Greek fishing trip on a traditional fishing boat. Once onboard, you’ll travel along Santorini’s south coast, where the island’s best fishing can be done.

You’ll learn tips and tricks from an experienced crew on the best techniques to catch octopus, shrimp, and fish before you get your rod to (hopefully) reel in your catch.

After all your hard work, you’ll be rewarded with a freshly grilled fish and octopus lunch, along with some amazing local sides and drinks. This tour suits the whole family; request a kids’ meal. Bring your swimwear and a towel while the boat is anchored!

See Related: Best Fishing Spots in the World

33. Take a Greek Cooking Class

Various Mediterranean Food
Santorini: Cooking Class / this amazing Mediterranean cooking class at Ftelos Brewery. The brewery is located just outside Fira and makes an awesome lunch or dinner stop. But if you want a fun experience, definitely check out their four-course cooking class.

You’ll learn how to prepare four different Greek or Mediterranean recipes during the class. These recipes may include Greek salad, cod fritters, and Santorini fava dip. You can also enjoy a complimentary craft beer and freshly baked bread with your meal.

After your class, you’ll receive a full written recipe and instructions for all the dishes you’ve prepared so you can continue making them in your home. Depending on the weather, you may prepare your meal indoors or outside on the brewery’s lovely wooden patio.

34. Relax at Le Moustache Caldera Pool Lounge

Lounge at Le Moustache Restaurant
Le Moustache Restaurant / Facebook

Address: Imerovigli, 847 00, Greece

If your accommodation doesn’t have a pool or you’re not staying on the island’s caldera side, consider relaxing at Le Moustache Caldera Pool Lounge in Imerovigli. This bar and restaurant feature a stunning infinity pool where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the caldera.

Cabanas and sunbeds are available to rent to get the most out of Le Moustache’s tranquil atmosphere. In addition to the great views and incredible atmosphere, guests can enjoy the restaurant’s phenomenal cuisine, arguably the best you’ll find in Imerovigli.

The menu includes fresh and refreshing Greek dishes, including watermelon salad, grilled octopus with fava, and feta crostini. If you’re craving something more hearty, you can find local favorites like moussaka, seafood pasta, and stew. Le Moustache is open seasonally, usually from May to October.

FAQ

What makes Santorini unique from other Greek islands?

Santorini is unique among the Cyclades islands because of its volcanic origins and dormant status. As the island is the rim of a volcano, called a caldera, it has some cliffs on which villages are perched. Not only that, but traditional Santorini houses are built into caves on the cliffside – this is what made Oia so famous, as the scattered network of whites and blues across the caldera makes for the perfect picture.

What are the best things to do in Santorini?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best things to do in Santorini will vary depending on your interests and preferences. However, some popular activities among visitors to the island include exploring the cliffside villages of Oia and Fira, taking a boat trip to the nearby volcano, visiting ancient archaeological sites such as Akrotiri, and enjoying the stunning views from Santorini’s many cliffside restaurants and hotels.

What is the best time of year to visit Santorini?

The best time of year to visit Santorini generally falls between April and October, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the island is extremely crowded during peak tourist season (July and August), so if you want to avoid the crowds, you may want to plan your trip for shoulder season (May- June or September- October).

What should I pack for my trip to Santorini?

Be sure to pack your sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat, as the sun can be quite strong in Santorini. Comfortable walking shoes are also necessary, as there are a lot of stairs and hills on the island. Other than that, just pack your usual beach vacation essentials, and you should be all set.

Are 3 days in Santorini enough?

In my opinion, three days is enough time in Santorini. The best part of this island is the views and scenery; you’ll have plenty of time to take it all in. Besides that, I’d prioritize spending a day on an island boat tour and perhaps another on one or more of its beaches. After a three-day stay, you can explore other islands with their treasure troves of wonders.

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