The island of Santorini is always on the list of the top places to visit in the world. It is considered one of the most romantic places and a lot of people from around the world come to the island to get married or for their honeymoon. Santorini has also beautiful villages with white-washed houses, blue domed churches, pristine beaches with black sand and crystal waters, a lot of history and great cuisine and wine. There are many things one can do in Santorini.
What to do in Santorini:
What to do in Santorini # 1 Watch the sunset from Oia.
It is said that if you want to see the best sunset, the island of Santorini is the place to go. From the beautiful cliff-top village of Oia with the whitewashed houses, the windmills and little churches with the blue domes you will see the sun dive into the Aegean Sea. Beware, you will not be alone, every day a lot of people gather in Oia and climb the cliffs in order to find the best spot for the perfect picture.
What to do in Santorini #2 Walk from Fira to Oia
It might sound tiring but it is not that bad and the view of the caldera will compensate you. This route will take you to all the villages that are build in the cliffs of Santorini and have amazing views of the Caldera. Along the way, you will pass the beautiful villages of Imerovigli and Firostefani. In order to reach Oia it will take you approximately 3 hours depending on how often you stop to admire the view or take photos. You can start your walk in the early afternoon and reach Oia just in time to admire the sunset. Don’t forget to wear a hat for the sun, take some water with you and wear sensible shoes.
What to do in Santorini # 3 Visit the museum of wine and do a wine tasting
Santorini has been producing wine through the ancient times. The most famous varieties include Assyrtico, Athiri and Aidani. In the beautiful village of Messara the Koutsoyannopoulos family has made a museum of wine. The museum is housed in a natural cave 300 meters long where you will learn the history of wine and the life of vine growers in Santorini since the 1600s. After the tour, you will have the chance to taste four of the best wines that the winery produces.
What to do in Santorini # 4 Eat local food
Santorini apart from the famous wines produces other products like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and kapari. You can taste all these in the famous Greek salad. Other dishes you can taste is fava (split pea) and Tomatokeftedes (fried balls made from tomatoes). Try to avoid all the tourist restaurants and find a small family run taverna to enjoy better quality food at good prices.
What to do in Santorini # 5 Visit the Akrotiri Archaeological site
The excavations of Akrotiri have uncovered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean dating back from the 4th millennium BC. There you will see the magnitude of the town, the multi – storey buildings, its drainage system, the wall paintings, the furniture and vessels all well-preserved due to the fact that they were covered by the volcanic materials. The archaeological site is open to visitors daily from 10:00 to 17:00.
What to do in Santorini # 6 Book a photo tour with Shotz tours
On my recent visit to Santorini, I decided to book a photo tour with Shotz tours. It was the best decision ever. My guide took me around the island, showed me how to improve my photography and took me to off the beaten path places. Santorini is a very photogenic island and a paradise for photography lovers.
Check here my post: A photo tour of Santorini with Shotz tours.
What to do in Santorini # 7 Make an excursion to the volcano
There are several tours operating on the island that will take you to the volcano, from there it is a 10 min walk to the top where you can see the active crater. Some other tours after the volcano take you to the island of Palaia Kameni with the hot springs and famous mud baths.
What to do in Santorini # 8 Visit the village of Pyrgos and Emporio
In the traditional village of Pyrgos you can visit the well-preserved ancient castle, Kastelli, one of the many churches of the village and enjoy the traditional architecture. In Santorini there are in total 352 churches. The village of Pyrgos overlooks the beaches of Perissa and Perivolos. The village of Emporio was one of my favorite places on the island. I loved wandering through its little alleys.
What to do in Santorini # 9 Spend a day on the beach.
One of the most beautiful beaches of the island is the Red Beach, named by the red and black volcanic pebbles. The water is warm and the beach is organized. Another nice beach on the island is Perissa. The beach has black sand, crystal waters and an impressive rock called Mesa Vouno that rises trough the sea. The beach is famous for young people due to the beach bars and water activities. From the village of Perissa you can visit the ruins of Ancient Thera either on foot or by car.
What to do in Santorini # 10 Visit Oia
Visit the village of Oia the most photographed place in Santorini with the white-washed houses and blue shutters, stroll around the narrow streets, see the local galleries and admire the view of the caldera, the volcano and the islands of Palaia and Nea Kammeni.
Where to stay in Santorini, Greece
HotelsCombined is a great website to check out to find the most cost-effective accommodation option for you in Santorini. It will tell you which hotel booking site has the best price. Here are my picks for the best accommodations in Santorini, Greece:
Astarte Suites (Akrotiri)
Located 12km from Fira and 4km from the archaeological site of Akrotiri, this romantic all-suite hotel is situated on a clifftop and enjoys breathtaking scenic views. Its spacious and modern rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, whirlpool tubs and crystal-speckled ceilings. A complimentary breakfast can be served in-room, while an infinity pool, a bar, and an elegant restaurant are included in its amenities.
Canaves Oia Santorini
Built on the side of a cliff, Canaves is a polished all-suite hotel 10km away from Fira. Within the rooms are complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, minibars, tea and coffee making facilities and balconies overlooking the blue. Free breakfast and parking are available for all guests, as well as access to an infinity pool, restaurant, bar, gym and open-air spa.
Costa Marina Villas (Fira)
Located just 200 m away from the central square of Fira this guesthouse offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a fridge. The hotel is next to many restaurants, bars, and shops and is a good choice for travelers looking for a budget friendly hotel in Santorini.
Smaragdi Hotel (Perivolos- Perissa)
Situated just 80 m away from Perivolos beach, Smaragdi Hotel offers spacious studios and apartments with a kitchenette, free wi-fi, and air conditioning. Other hotel amenities include a swimming pool with a pool bar and a hot tub. The center of Perissa village with the restaurants, shops, and bars is 800 m away. This is another budget-friendly accommodation option in Santorini.
Santorini is a unique island with many things to do and see worth visiting at least once in your life!
Have you ever been to Santorini? What did you enjoy the most?
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