What to do in Santorini Greece

watching the sunset fro Fira
watching the sunset fro Fira

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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.

The three Domes in Oia---popular photography spot
The three Domes in Oia—popular photography spot

 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.

sunset in Fira
sunset in Fira

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.

watching the sunset fro Fira - What to do in Santorini
watching the sunset fro Fira

What to do in Santorini # 3 Visit a winery and do a wine tasting

Santorini has been producing wine through the ancient times. The most famous varieties include Assyrtico, Athiri and Aidani. There are many beautiful wineries you can visit scattered around the island where you can learn about the wine production and taste the wine.

I totally recommend the Santorini Half-Day Wine Adventure tour that includes a visit to 3 wineries and sampling 12 different wines.

 

view from the caldera
view from the caldera
what a view!
what a view!

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.

Recommended: Metaxy Mas Tavern in Exo Gonia village for reservations +30 2286 031323

Aroma Avlis Food & Wine in Exo Gonia village for reservations +30 2286 033395

churches in Santorini - What to do in Santorini
churches in Santorini
Fira town, Santorini
Fira town, Santorini

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.

cats-in-Santorini
cats-in-Santorini

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 and find more information about the Highlights of Santorini 5-Hour Photo Tour.

Church bell in Oia Santorini - What to do in Santorini
Church bell in Oia Santorini

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.

I recommend the Santorini: 5-Hour Small Group Catamaran Cruise that includes a swim in the hot springs and buffet lunch and drinks on board or its sunset version.

If you actually want to walk on the volcano I suggest the volcanic island cruise.

view from the caldera Santorini - What to do in Santorini
view from the caldera

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.

a church in Emporio village
a church in Emporio village

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.

Red beach Santorini
Red beach Santorini

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.

You might also be interested in: How to get from Athens to Santorini.

art galleries in Oia Santorini
art galleries in Oia

Where to stay in Santorini?

Mid-Range Hotels:

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.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or TripAdvisor

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.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com orBooking.com

Luxury Hotels:

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.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

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.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

How to get from Santorini airport to your hotel

By bus

This is the most inexpensive way to get to your hotel but you should consider a few factors. The buses run regularly during the summer not that often during the other periods. The bus will leave you at Fira and from there you need to change the bus. For more information click here.

By Welcome Private Transfer

You can pre-book a car online before your arrival, and find your driver waiting for you at the arrivals with a welcome name sign and a bag with a bottle of water and map of the city, thus saving you all the hassle of having to find a taxi or taking the bus. The cost of the private pick -up is the same price as a regular taxi. It is around 35 euros from the airport to Fira and approximately 47 euros from the airport to Oia.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer.

Hotel Pick up

Another option to consider is to ask your hotel how much they charge for an airport pick-up. There are some hotels that offer this service for free.

How to get from Santorini port Athinios to your hotel

By bus

This is the most inexpensive way to get to your hotel but you should consider a few factors. The buses run regularly during the summer not that often during the other periods. The bus will leave you at Fira and from there you need to change the bus. For more information click here.

By Welcome Private Transfer

You can pre-book a car online before your arrival, and find your driver waiting for you at the port with a welcome name sign and a bag with a bottle of water and map of the island, thus saving you all the hassle of having to find a taxi or taking the bus. The cost of the private pick -up is the same price as a regular taxi. It is around 35 euros from the port to Fira and approximately 47 euros from the port to Oia.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer.

Hotel Pick up

Another option to consider is to ask your hotel how much they charge for a port pick-up. There are some hotels that offer this service for free.

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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38 Comments

    • Hi

      I want to visit Santorini . Can you recommend a romantic beautiful place to stay but reasonably priced under 200 pounds a night .
      I want something like a honeymoon suit feel

      • Could you please let me know for which month you are interested in? June, July, August and September are expensive. You can also save money by booking in advance.

  • Santorini has been on my bucket list since I saw my cousin’s pictures who went there on her honeymoon. Amazing island!

  • Ok, so I think you missed the massive archaeological dig which proved that a sophisticated people existed on Santorini before the eruption – it was called Thera then.

  • Wow, the views from Santorini are just amazing. After being a little disappointed with Kos we really want to visit Greece again and fall in love with it and Santorini seems like the perfect place to do that.

  • My favourite part of Santorini was watching that amazing sunset.I also rode a donkey but it was a quite terrifying descent!

  • I absolutely loved Santorini! I did almost everything on this list and can’t wait to go back and do more! It is so picturesque! I did ride the donkey and go to a winery and watched the sunset in Oia and eat delicious food and more!

  • I just made plans to come to Greece in September and was looking for some local tips. Thanks a ton Chrissy, your site is a gem!

    • Hello Camie,
      I was in Santorini the last days of November this year. There were still people around because of the cruise ships. There were some restaurants and bars open along with museums and wineries. The weather was perfect but it doesn’t mean that you will have good weather. Generally it was good because it was less crowded.

  • Thanks for the all the information. And the pictures are beautiful. I am hoping to visit Santorini next week. The only issue is that I have just a day there. Is it possible to cover all the 10 of the above in a day?

    • You are welcome. If you need to see as more as possible in a day you need to either rent a car or a private day tour. I don’t know your interests but if I skipped something from the above I would skip the volcano.

      • hello, I’m planing to go for honeymoon me and my husband on July 17 till
        July 24 , any recommended place and hotel to stay in we are planing to
        go to Athena, Santorini and Mykonos how to go from each island to
        another ? this is my email plz contact me when you can 🙂
        haneen1993@hotmail.com

  • Good Day. I am hoping for some advise. My friend and I are scheduled to go on the Crown Princess for a week long cruise in July 2018. We are doing the Mediterranean cruise from Rome, Italy to Athens, Greece with stops at 5 different ports along the way. We would like to extend our trip by a few days and see some more sights. We are from South Africa and never expected an opportunity like this to present itself and therefore have no idea on what we should do… get there early and explore more of Italy or hang around in Greece for a few days???
    Do you have any suggestions for us?

    Thanks

    • Sounds like an amazing cruise. If you are interested in art and cultural sights you can get to Italy beforehand. If you are looking for beach time combined with some archaeological sights I suggest Greece. Both countries are equally beautiful. If you want you can email me using the contact form and we can talk about it more.

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