1. Admire the sunset from Oia, 2. Take a hike from Fira to Oia, 3. Set sail around the stunning Santorini caldera, 4. Uncover ancient myths at the Lost Atlantis Experience, 5. Profitis Ilias Monastery, 6. Visit the black sand beaches, 7. Get the adreniline pumping with water activities, 8. Take a lovely stroll around the Megalochori village, 9. Tuck into traditional Greek food with a food tour, 10. Visit the White Beach, 11. Chill out in picturesque Ammoudi, 12. The Kamari Open Air Cinema, 13. Thirassia Island, 14. Explore the enchanting Emporio village, 15. Reading book at the Atlantis Bookshop, 16. Explore Wine Museum. Santorini is a magical island known for breathtaking landscapes, stunning sunsets, whitewashed buildings, and blue-domed churches. Not to forget, the red beaches and clear blue waters await to give you an excitement overload. Here’s a complete guide to help you plan a fun-filled trip to Santorini.
- Admire the sunset from Oia
- Take a hike from Fira to Oia
- Set sail around the stunning Santorini caldera
- Uncover ancient myths at the Lost Atlantis Experience
- Profitis Ilias Monastery
- Visit the black sand beaches
- Get the adreniline pumping with water activities
- Take a lovely stroll around the Megalochori village
- Tuck into traditional Greek food with a food tour
- Visit the White Beach
- Chill out in picturesque Ammoudi
- The Kamari Open Air Cinema
- Thirassia Island
- Explore the enchanting Emporio village
- Reading book at the Atlantis Bookshop
- Explore Wine Museum
Admire the sunset from Oia
Start with one of the most recognizable locations and travel to Oia for a leisurely afternoon stroll through this town perched on a rock. The historic hilltop village of Oia is the best place to view a Santorini sunset. Find the ideal vantage point among a sea of white buildings and blue-domed churches, and then watch as a blaze of orange and crimson fills the sky in front of you.
Consider taking a guided tour to some of Oia’s more secluded and unknown sites for the finest sunset experience rather than congregating in the touristy sections. Even better, find a beautiful restaurant terrace to idle away the evening with a glass of wine in hand.
If you’re looking to watch the sunset, you can either find a spot in the town itself or book a table in one of the restaurants that overlook the town. If crowds aren’t your thing, head to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias on the other end of the island where you’ll see the sunset over the whole island.
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Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa in Oia Santorini
Take a hike from Fira to Oia
One of favorite things to do in Santorini was to hike along the caldera’s edge from Oia to Imerovigli to Fira. The vistas of Oia and the caldera as well as discovering the walking routes from Imerovigli to Fira are the highlights.
Depending on your pace and how frequently you stop, this 6-mile walk might take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. Since you will be on dirt trails and climbing up and down slopes for a portion of the route, it is more of a hike than a walk, but the majority of the route is paved.
You can go either direction, from Oia to Fira or from Fira to Oia. However, it would be a better experience to walk from Fira to Oia. Doing it this way would make it an overall downhill walk (although you will have to hike up some hills), you get to see the amazing views of Oia in front of you (rather than having to turn around to see them), and you can end in Oia. Spend the rest of the day exploring the village, watching the sunset, and then return to your hotel.
The plunging crater views will take your breath away, so make sure your camera batteries are charged. Explore dramatic cliffside villages and take a small detour to the beautiful Three Bells in Firostefani. This is the most photographed church on the island thanks to its picturesque setting.
Santorini Princess Spa Hotel
Set sail around the stunning Santorini caldera
Set sail around the magnificent Santorini caldera is a fantastic pastime, with plenty of spectacular coastline scenery and renowned Greek landmarks to appreciate while you relax on deck and take in the sun.
These boats will take you ashore to Nea Kameni, which we’ll talk about next, and they leave from the harbor just south of Fira. You are welcome to have a free dip in the green sulfurous hot spring at Palea Kameni, a bizarre experience amid charred volcanic rocks. Enjoy swimming breaks at sandy beaches and plunge into the cold Mediterranean seas for an exhilarating snorkel with the local marine life.
You’ll find a plethora of boat tours to choose from, ranging from quick sightseeing tours on sailboats to day-long adventures on catamarans, dinner cruises, all-inclusive party boats, and fully private yacht experiences. You can also book a jet boat tour to explore even more of the unique traits of this volcanic realm, from striking seaside caverns to relaxing hot springs.
Uncover ancient myths at the Lost Atlantis Experience
As the most well-known lost city in history, Atlantis has more mystery and unanswered questions than any other submerged relic. Visit the first museum in the world to have all the information. Learn about how this historic utopia was destroyed while admiring the 3D holograms and in-depth exhibits.
In addition to leaving a sizable crater that gave rise to Santorini’s enormous cliffs, it also caused the majority of Thera, the large island that was originally Santorini, to submerge beneath the water. This led to speculation that Santorini was once the site of Atlantis. Archaeologists have discovered locations like the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, which provides a window into the past, throughout the previous five decades. Visit this location to learn more about the spectacular (and relatively recent) history of the island and to see some of the prehistoric sites.
Far more than just a museum, this Megalochori attraction offers up the chance to get interactive – the best possible way to learn. Become a super sleuth and find out if modern-day Santorini is in fact the location of this mysterious underwater realm. You might be left with answers, or you might leave scratching your head with more questions – either way, make sure to visit the Lost Atlantis Experience – the first museum in the world dedicated to the mystery.
Profitis Ilias Monastery
On the peak of Mount Profitis Ilias, in the southeast of Santorini, next to the community of Pyrgos, is the Prophet Elias Monastery. It is the highest point on the entire island and has a fantastic outlook because it is erected at a height of roughly 567 meters above sea level.
The monastery prospered in the 18th century when it owned a ship that traded across the Aegean and was a school for Greek language and literature in the early 19th century.
Today, the Monastery has its own museum, with a collection of ecclesiastical items, rare handwritten books, and stunning Byzantine icons and sculptures. It also hosts displays of shoemaking, printing, and candlemaking. You can pop into the chapel and the small gift shop, while the monks hold occasional workshops for shoemaking, bee-keeping, winemaking, printing, and making candles.
Location: Epar.Od. Pirgou Kallistis – Profiti Ilia 10, Pirgos Kallistis 847 00
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Visit the black sand beaches
Many people are familiar with the term “Black Sand Beach” in reference to one specific beach on the Greek island of Santorini. The most well-known beaches of Santorini are found on its southeast coast, about 24 minutes from the town of Fira. In reality, the island has many beaches that have been produced by the solidified lava giving them their dark tint. Those are the Perissa and Perivolos beaches, two sizable stretches of sand that run parallel to one another to form a lengthy beachfront. With its black sand and pebbles, which contrast with the pure waters’ blue hue, they provide guests with an idyllic setting and a wonderful site to spend their vacations.
Another famous black beach in Santorini is Kamari beach. Separated from Perissa beach by Mesa Vouno Mountain and a 16-minute drive from Fira, Kamari beach is considered a beautiful place to relax with your family or friends.
The black sand beaches of Perivolos and Perissa are beautiful. They are lined with small shops, cafes, beach bars, and restaurants, so if you want to spend a day at the beach and have lots of amenities, this is a great place to go. These famous black beaches are fully organized with beach umbrellas and wide comfortable sunbeds alongshore, and many beach bars and restaurants. For water sports lovers, there is a wide selection of adventure activities, from jet skiing to parasailing, which ensures moments of fun and excitement that will definitely be memorable.
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Santorini Best Tours
Get the adreniline pumping with water activities
Get the adrenaline working overtime with a spot of jet skiing along the shoreline of this beautiful black sand beach. Or have a go at parasailing and soar over the water, enjoying incredible island views.
For something even more epic, feel the freedom of flyboarding as you practice your superhero moves high above the sea. Reward your efforts with fresh seafood from the shorefront restaurants.
On the island’s southeast coast is Perivolos beach, where a variety of seaside eateries and bars are waiting for you once you’ve had your fill of adrenaline.
Check explore some of the other great beaches nearby, such as Red Beach, Monolithos Beach, and Kamari Beach, after you’ve experienced all the awesome excursions. And if you’re still in the mood for adventure, try windsurfing or paddleboarding, which will let you soar above the ocean.
Take a lovely stroll around the Megalochori village
It would be fun to spend some time exploring the small village of Megalochori. The center of Megalochori is made up of a maze of cobblestone roads that are surrounded by the traditional whitewashed buildings of Santorini with blue-painted doors and bougainvillea blossoms.
It is adorable but also really little. It merely takes a few minutes to stroll around the town center and there isn’t much to do here. You should avoid this town unless you have a car and are a big fan of exploring tiny settlements. This small hamlet is nice to visit if you want a break from Oia or Fira because there aren’t many tourists there.
Megalochori is considered a truly traditional village with bags of charm. The labyrinthine streets and steep alleyways are lined with an eclectic mix of Neoclassical mansions and iconic cave houses, so keep your camera handy.
Eat ice cream in the sunny square and admire the rolling vineyard setting; make sure you swing by the iconic, blue-domed churches for the ultimate photo opportunity; soak up the ever-lively atmosphere in the central square; discover the secret underground caves, and, if time’s your friend, hop around some of the village most renowned wineries – namely the Boutari Winery, Antoniou Winery, and Gavalas Vineyard.
Location: the southwest part of Santorini, about 9 kilometers from the capital Fira
Dimael Mansion Fira Santorini
Tuck into traditional Greek food with a food tour
In addition to its famous sunsets and whitewashed villages, Santorini is also well known for its culinary prowess. While going from restaurant to restaurant is a no-brainer, taking a food tour is unquestionably worthwhile if you want a truly exceptional culinary experience.
You will have the chance to sample meze platters, taste oh-so-sweet Greek honey, and tuck into bowls of creamy fava as you meander about the town with a native who knows all the secret spots. While every tour is unique, you will undoubtedly make a few stops at quaint tavernas and eateries while on this culinary journey, learning everything there is to know about Mediterranean culture through its delectable cuisine.
Toast your newfound knowledge with a cold beer or rich Greek coffee, and be sure to save some room for what is arguably the country’s most beloved dessert: Loukoumades – Greece’s unique take on donuts.
Visit the White Beach
White Beach (Akrotiri), which is hidden away on the southern side of Santorini and sits in the shadow of imposing white cliffs, is undoubtedly worth the detour off the usual path. Despite the fact that the sand is black, the name of this beach is derived from the surrounding white cliffs. The only means of transportation to this location is via boat, but if you don’t mind a little adventure, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the beach.
This cove, which is close to Red Beach and is quieter and more isolated than its sister cove, which is more accessible, is worth combining with Red Beach for an afternoon of exploration.
To get to the viewpoint, you first have to drive down a very narrow, rough, unnamed dirt road. The road starts near the Aeolos Tavern and leads to Kambia Beach. Just past one small house, there is an unmarked trail that leads up and over a hill to a viewpoint of the White Beach. It’s a very short walk to the viewpoint (2 – 3 minutes). You can go farther for views up the coast to Red Beach.
On this tour, sail to White Beach and Red Beach by catamaran. The tour includes an open bar, a Greek meal, and a visit to the hot springs at Nea Kameni volcano.
Chill out in picturesque Ammoudi
Ammoudi, a quaint port town, is a wonderful location for lunch and a stroll along the waterfront. The natural bay is lined with traditional white homes, fishing boats bobbing in the clear seas, and towering red cliffs maintaining watch above. It’s just one of those spots where pictures can never do it justice.
The nearly vertical 300-step descent begins immediately below Oia Castle and winds along the rocky route carved into the caldera edge, revealing the island’s famed geological layers and vivid red sandstone. Thirasia, Santorini’s equally stunning sister island, is off in the distance, and the Aegean Sea’s brilliant blue hues can be seen gleaming in the midday light between them.
On those sizzling summer days, an hour or so snorkeling off the rocky beach makes for a wonderful way to cool off – especially if you’ve worked up a sweat from the lovely cliff walk (also a fabulous location for sunset viewing).
Once you’re ready for an evening feed, find yourself one of the charming waterside tavernas where you can tuck into some of the area’s most tantalizing freshly caught seafood.
Location: Oia, Santorini
The Kamari Open Air Cinema
You should absolutely go watch a movie at the open-air Cinema, whether you’re in Santorini on a family vacation or a romantic getaway. In the center of the forest is the Cinekamari, also known as the Kamari Open Air Cinema. A very unique and pleasant venue to view a movie.
In the thriving coastal community of Kamari, catch a late-night movie throughout the summer at this unique outdoor theater (on the eastern side of the island). This serene open-air theater, which is well-liked by both tourists and residents, provides a pleasant evening out with movies showing in both Greek and English (usually with Greek subtitles) and featuring a fun mix of recent releases, Hollywood blockbusters, cult classics, and Greek award-winners.
Grab some popcorn, choose a spot under the starry sky, and relax while watching the performance. It’s tough to beat if romance is what you’re wanting.
Ticket fee: 8€ per person
Location: Santorini, Kamari 847 00
Footsteps – Footsteps to Santorini
While the majority of things to do are on the Santorini peninsula, it would be a sin to ignore the outlying islands’ varied natural beauties, especially Thirassia. This tiny island, with a population of about 300, was created by the same volcanic eruption in the second century BC. It is as pretty as they come.
Take a boat trip to this charming volcanic island across the lagoon and take in the sights and sounds of the Agios Konstantinos and Agios Dimitrios churches, the colorful homes of Manolas village, a hike up the rocky terrain, and the scent of blossoms emanating from the meticulously maintained gardens as you go.
Feel the sand between your toes on the secluded beaches then trek to the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin. And once all’s said and done, make sure to reward yourself with a dip in the hot springs.
After all of your exploring, go out for a fantastic dinner. Whether you’re enjoying a picnic after kayaking or enjoying traditional music and dance performances while you sample a savory buffet, it’s the perfect way to wind down the evening.
Strogili Traditional Houses
Explore the enchanting Emporio village
Sprawled out in the foothills of Mount Prophet Elia, and sitting in the shadow of the ancient 15th-century Venetian Castle, the village of Emporio is the largest settlement on the island. It is sprawled out in the foothills of Mount Prophet Elia and is situated in the shadow of the historic Venetian Castle from the 15th century. One of the most soothing things to do in Santorini is to stroll around the picturesque medieval streets, where little shops, secret restaurants, and whitewashed buildings are everywhere.
Spend a few minutes at the 15th-century stronghold before wandering around the popular local market. While you’re there, don’t forget to take some envious pictures of the blue-domed churches and their eye-catching bell towers.
You shouldn’t igrnore Kasteli. It is the heart of Emporio village and the medieval castle town. It is unique among medieval castle town structures for many reasons. One is that the walls are made with mortar containing volcanic materials, which gives the walls a smooth surface that you won’t get to see elsewhere. The winding pathways in Kasteli are very narrow, meant for a single person to walk through, with steep staircases and very narrow doors and windows. The houses in the outer part of Kasteli basically form an unbreachable wall, protecting the rest of the settlement inside.
Location: the south part of Santorini
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Reading book at the Atlantis Bookshop
Atlantis Books on Santorini has become a popular tourist attraction and one of Europe’s most enchanting bookshops. Hideaway for a while in this enchanting bookshop, where tones of Greek mythology sit alongside rare first editions and dusty Mediterranean maps. A terrace overlooks the Aegean Sea. Bookshelves swing back to reveal hidden, lofted beds where the shop’s workers can sleep. Take a moment to sit on the scenic terrace, where the sweeping views and immersive pages will have you escaping into a new world – even if only for a few minutes.
This quaint literary haven on the main marble street of Oia is calling to bookworms with its wide selection of fiction and non-fiction works in every genre under the sun, as well as a vintage collection of classic mysteries and deep-dives into ancient Greece.
The owner started receiving emails from writers who wanted to stay at the world’s most beautiful writer’s colony, which was located on the island Plato thought to be the long-lost Atlantis, as news traveled along the road that visiting writers could also spend summer evenings there writing and sleeping.
Location: Nomikos Street, Oía 847 02.
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Explore Wine Museum
In addition to being a winery, Koutsoyannopoulos is also a 300m-long, 8m-deep museum designed to resemble a cave. Through images, antiques, and dioramas of life in the 1600s wine trade, the museum illustrates the history of winemaking on the island. This quirky yet intriguing museum chronicles the history of vine growers in Santorini from the 1600s and is a popular destination for oenophiles or partygoers.
You may learn all about how wine is made on this unique volcanic island setting, how it influences the flavors and textures of the blends, and the secrets of winemakers throughout history as you explore the exhibitions and speak with knowledgeable local winemakers.
Koutsoyannopoulos Winery produces a range of wines: young and aged white, young and aged red, rosé, sweet, and semisweet. A variety of indigenous grapes are used, most commonly assyrtiko and aithani. Multiple tasting options are available, varying in price depending on the number of bottles tasted; tasting prices include a museum tour.
Location: Bothonas, Βόθωνας, Vothonas 847 00
Wine Museum Santorini