25 Things To Do In Santorini

Things To Do In Santorini

Santorini, the jewel of the Aegean Sea, is a dream destination for travelers seeking a blend of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. This Greek island, with its iconic white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, offers a plethora of activities that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, an adventure seeker, or someone looking to relax by the sea, Santorini has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore a comprehensive list of the top things to do in Santorini, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this enchanting island.

Things To Do In Santorini

  1. Explore Oia Village

Oia Village is perhaps the most famous spot in Santorini. Known for its breathtaking sunsets, Oia offers a picturesque scene with its white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and stunning views of the caldera. Visitors can stroll through narrow streets lined with charming shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Each corner reveals a new photo opportunity, making it a paradise for photographers.

At dusk, people gather to watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink. This daily spectacle is best enjoyed from the castle ruins or the various viewpoints scattered around the village. Oia is also home to beautiful boutique hotels, offering a luxurious stay with incredible views.

For those interested in culture, the Maritime Museum provides insights into the island’s seafaring history. The church of Panagia of Platsani is another must-visit, known for its beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere. Whether you are looking to relax, shop, or simply soak in the views, Oia Village is a must-see destination in Santorini.

  1. Visit the Akrotiri Archaeological Site

The Akrotiri Archaeological Site offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Minoan civilization. Often referred to as the “Pompeii of the Aegean,” Akrotiri was buried under volcanic ash around 1600 BC. This well-preserved site showcases an advanced society with multi-story buildings, sophisticated drainage systems, and stunning frescoes.

As you walk through the site, you can see remnants of homes, shops, and workshops, giving you a sense of daily life in ancient times. The detailed murals depict vibrant scenes of nature, society, and everyday activities, offering insights into the Minoan culture and artistry.

Guided tours are available and highly recommended, as knowledgeable guides can provide deeper context and share fascinating stories about the discoveries. The site is covered to protect it from the elements, making it a comfortable visit even in the heat of summer.

A visit to Akrotiri is not just a step back in time but also a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of ancient civilizations. It’s an essential stop for history buffs and anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Santorini.

  1. Relax on the Red Beach

Red Beach is one of Santorini’s most unique natural attractions. Located near the village of Akrotiri, it is famous for its striking red volcanic cliffs and sand. The contrast between the red rocks, deep blue sea, and black pebbles creates a dramatic and unforgettable landscape.

Accessing the beach requires a short hike down a rocky path, which adds to the adventure. Once there, you can rent a sunbed and umbrella, making it a perfect spot for relaxation. The waters are crystal clear, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Bring your gear to explore the underwater world teeming with marine life.

There are a few beachside cantinas where you can grab a snack or a cold drink. However, it’s a good idea to bring your own refreshments, especially if you plan to stay for a while. The stunning scenery makes Red Beach a popular spot, so it’s best to visit early in the day to avoid crowds.

Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim, or simply admire the natural beauty, Red Beach is a must-visit location in Santorini.

  1. Take a Boat Tour of the Caldera

A boat tour of the caldera is a quintessential Santorini experience. These tours offer a unique perspective of the island’s dramatic landscape and volcanic history. Various options are available, from luxury yachts to traditional wooden boats, catering to different preferences and budgets.

The tours typically include stops at the hot springs of Nea Kameni, where you can take a dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters. The volcanic island of Therasia is another common stop, offering quiet villages and traditional Greek charm. Some tours also provide opportunities for snorkeling and swimming in secluded bays.

One of the highlights of a caldera tour is the chance to witness Santorini’s iconic sunsets from the water. As the sun sets, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, providing a perfect backdrop for a romantic evening or a memorable family outing.

Whether you opt for a half-day trip or a full-day adventure, a boat tour of the caldera offers an unforgettable way to experience the natural beauty and history of Santorini.

  1. Wine Tasting at Local Wineries

Santorini is renowned for its unique wines, thanks to its volcanic soil and microclimate. Wine tasting at local wineries is a delightful way to explore the island’s viticulture. Popular varieties include Assyrtiko, a crisp and mineral-rich white wine, and Vinsanto, a sweet dessert wine made from sun-dried grapes.

Wineries like Santo Wines and Gaia Winery offer guided tours where you can learn about the winemaking process and the history of wine in Santorini. These tours usually end with a tasting session, allowing you to sample a range of wines while enjoying stunning views of the caldera or the vineyards.

Pairing the wines with local delicacies like cheese, olives, and cured meats enhances the experience. Some wineries also offer food pairing menus or full dining experiences, making for a luxurious afternoon or evening outing.

Wine tasting in Santorini is not just about the wine; it’s also about the scenic beauty and the warm hospitality of the local vintners. It’s an activity that wine enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike will thoroughly enjoy.

  1. Hike from Fira to Oia

For the adventurous, the hike from Fira to Oia is a must-do. This scenic trail covers approximately 10 kilometers and offers some of the best views on the island. The path winds along the caldera edge, providing stunning vistas of the sea, volcanic islands, and charming villages.

The hike takes about three to four hours to complete, depending on your pace and the number of stops you make to take in the views or snap photos. Along the way, you’ll pass through Firostefani and Imerovigli, both of which are beautiful villages worth exploring.

The trail is well-marked and mostly paved, but it can be challenging in some parts due to steep sections and uneven surfaces. Wearing comfortable hiking shoes and bringing plenty of water is essential, especially during the hotter months. Starting early in the morning or late in the afternoon can help you avoid the midday heat.

Completing the hike is incredibly rewarding. Arriving in Oia, with its iconic sunset views and charming streets, feels like a fitting end to a memorable journey.

  1. Discover the Beaches of Perissa and Kamari

Perissa and Kamari are two of Santorini’s most popular beach destinations. Known for their long stretches of black volcanic sand, these beaches offer a unique and relaxing experience. Both beaches are well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, and a variety of water sports.

Perissa Beach is quieter and has a laid-back vibe. It’s a great place to unwind, swim in the clear waters, and enjoy the stunning scenery. Several beach bars and tavernas line the shore, providing delicious local food and refreshing drinks.

Kamari Beach, on the other hand, is more bustling and offers a wider range of activities. You can try windsurfing, jet-skiing, or even scuba diving. The beachfront promenade is perfect for a leisurely stroll, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore.

Both beaches are family-friendly, with shallow waters and lifeguards on duty, making them ideal for a day out with children. Whether you prefer a serene beach day or an action-packed adventure, Perissa and Kamari have something to offer everyone.

  1. Explore Pyrgos Village

Pyrgos Village, the former capital of Santorini, is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the island’s traditional life. Situated on a hill, Pyrgos provides panoramic views of the island and the sea. The village is characterized by its winding alleys, white-washed houses, and blue-domed churches.

A visit to Pyrgos is like stepping back in time. The village retains much of its historical charm, with old stone houses and narrow streets that lead to hidden courtyards. The Kasteli, a medieval fortress at the top of the hill, offers stunning views and a sense of history.

Pyrgos is also home to several beautiful churches, including the Church of Theotokaki, known for its impressive architecture and serene atmosphere. Art lovers will enjoy the local galleries showcasing works by Santorini’s artists.

The village has a relaxed and authentic feel, making it a perfect place to explore at a leisurely pace. Enjoy a coffee at a local cafe, sample traditional Greek dishes at a taverna, or simply wander the streets and soak in the atmosphere. Pyrgos Village is a must-visit for those looking to experience the true essence of Santorini.

  1. Visit the Ancient Thera

Perched on a high ridge, the ruins of Ancient Thera offer a fascinating journey through Santorini’s past. This archaeological site dates back to the 9th century BC and provides a window into the island’s Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. As you wander through the remnants of temples, theaters, and homes, you can imagine life in this ancient city.

The climb to Ancient Thera is steep but rewarding. From the top, you get breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the island below. Guided tours are available and recommended to fully appreciate the historical significance and intricate details of the site. Highlights include the ancient agora, the theater, and several sanctuaries dedicated to various gods.

A visit to Ancient Thera is not just about history but also about enjoying one of the most scenic spots on the island. The combination of ancient ruins and stunning vistas makes it a must-see for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

  1. Enjoy a Catamaran Cruise

A catamaran cruise around Santorini offers a luxurious way to experience the island’s stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters. These cruises typically include stops at key locations such as the Red Beach, White Beach, and hot springs. You can swim, snorkel, or simply relax on deck and enjoy the view.

Most catamaran tours provide meals on board, often featuring delicious local cuisine and refreshing beverages. The crew takes care of everything, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, offering a magical way to end the day as you watch the sky transform with vibrant colors.

A catamaran cruise is perfect for couples looking for a romantic escape, families wanting a fun day out, or groups of friends seeking adventure. The combination of relaxation, exploration, and stunning scenery makes it an unforgettable experience.

  1. Explore the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Located in Fira, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the ancient city of Akrotiri and other archaeological sites around the island. The exhibits provide insights into the island’s history and prehistoric civilization.

The museum’s highlights include beautifully preserved frescoes, pottery, tools, and jewelry that date back thousands of years. One of the most notable exhibits is the “Wall Paintings of Thera,” a series of vibrant frescoes depicting various aspects of ancient life, including nature, society, and religious rituals.

Visiting the Museum of Prehistoric Thera enriches your understanding of Santorini’s rich cultural heritage. It’s an educational experience that is both fascinating and inspiring, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and curious travelers.

  1. Take a Cooking Class

Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Santorini by taking a cooking class. These classes offer a hands-on experience where you can learn to prepare traditional Greek dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Many classes are held in picturesque settings, such as family-run farms or charming village kitchens.

Participants typically get to cook and taste a variety of dishes, including Greek salad, moussaka, tzatziki, and fresh seafood. Wine pairing is often part of the experience, allowing you to enjoy the island’s unique wines alongside your creations.

Cooking classes are a fun and interactive way to delve into Santorini’s gastronomy. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, you’ll leave with new skills, delicious recipes, and a deeper appreciation for Greek cuisine.

  1. Visit the Santorini Arts Factory

The Santorini Arts Factory, located in Vlychada, is a cultural hub dedicated to promoting contemporary art and preserving industrial heritage. Housed in a former tomato factory, this unique venue offers a blend of history, art, and culture.

The factory hosts various exhibitions, workshops, and performances throughout the year. Visitors can explore galleries showcasing works by Greek and international artists, attend live music events, and participate in creative workshops. The venue also features a museum dedicated to the history of tomato cultivation and processing in Santorini.

A visit to the Santorini Arts Factory provides a rich cultural experience, making it an excellent stop for art lovers and those interested in the island’s industrial past.

  1. Explore Ammoudi Bay

Ammoudi Bay, located below Oia, is a hidden gem known for its picturesque setting and seafood tavernas. The bay is reached by descending a series of steps from Oia, which leads you to a charming harbor with clear blue waters and dramatic red cliffs.

The area is famous for its fresh seafood. Dining at one of the waterfront tavernas, you can enjoy dishes like grilled octopus, calamari, and local fish while taking in stunning views of the bay. Swimming and cliff diving are popular activities here, with the warm, inviting waters providing a perfect spot for a refreshing dip.

Ammoudi Bay offers a more tranquil experience away from the busier tourist spots, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Santorini.

  1. Discover the Venetian Castle of Emporio

Emporio, the largest village in Santorini, is home to a well-preserved Venetian castle that dates back to the 15th century. The castle, known as Kasteli, stands on a hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Exploring the narrow, winding streets of the castle complex is like stepping back in time. The area is filled with charming houses, churches, and small squares. The castle itself features impressive fortifications and watchtowers, providing insights into the island’s medieval history.

Emporio also has a vibrant local life with traditional cafes, bakeries, and shops where you can experience the authentic charm of Santorini away from the more touristy areas. A visit to the Venetian Castle of Emporio is a journey into the island’s past and a chance to discover its less-explored side.

  1. Experience a Traditional Greek Night

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Santorini by attending a traditional Greek night. These events are held at various venues across the island and offer an evening filled with music, dance, and delicious food.

You’ll be entertained by live musicians playing traditional Greek instruments, such as the bouzouki, while dancers perform lively routines dressed in colorful costumes. Audience participation is often encouraged, so be prepared to join in the dancing and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

The night usually includes a feast of Greek dishes, featuring favorites like souvlaki, moussaka, and spanakopita, accompanied by local wines and ouzo. A traditional Greek night is a fun and engaging way to experience the island’s culture and hospitality.

  1. Visit the Tomato Industrial Museum

The Tomato Industrial Museum, located in Vlychada, is dedicated to the history and production of Santorini’s unique cherry tomatoes. Housed in a former tomato processing factory, the museum provides insights into the island’s agricultural and industrial heritage.

Exhibits include old machinery, photographs, and personal stories from workers, giving a comprehensive view of the tomato industry’s significance in Santorini’s history. Visitors can also see how the tomatoes were processed and canned, and even participate in tastings of tomato products.

A visit to the Tomato Industrial Museum is both educational and enjoyable, offering a unique perspective on one of the island’s key industries.

  1. Explore the Santorini Volcano

A visit to the Santorini volcano is a must for those interested in the island’s geological history. Nea Kameni, the active volcanic island in the center of the caldera, is accessible by boat from the main ports.

Once there, you can hike to the crater and explore the rugged landscape, characterized by volcanic rocks and steaming vents. The hike is relatively easy and offers spectacular views of the caldera and surrounding islands. Some tours also include a stop at the nearby hot springs, where you can swim in warm, mineral-rich waters.

Exploring the Santorini volcano provides a unique opportunity to witness the raw power of nature and learn about the volcanic activity that shaped the island.

  1. Relax at the White Beach

White Beach, located near the famous Red Beach, is one of Santorini’s hidden gems. It is less crowded and offers a more tranquil setting. The beach gets its name from the white pebbles and cliffs that surround it, creating a stunning contrast with the turquoise waters.

Accessible only by boat or via a challenging hike from the Red Beach, White Beach is ideal for those seeking a more secluded and peaceful experience. The clear waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the natural beauty of the area provides a picturesque backdrop for relaxation.

There are no facilities on White Beach, so it’s best to bring your own supplies if you plan to spend the day there. Its remote location and serene atmosphere make it a perfect spot for unwinding and enjoying the natural beauty of Santorini.

  1. Explore the Boutari Winery

The Boutari Winery, located in Megalochori, is one of Santorini’s most famous wineries. Established in 1989, it has played a significant role in promoting the island’s wines internationally. A visit to the winery offers a comprehensive wine-tasting experience, combined with insights into the island’s viticulture.

The tour includes a walk through the vineyards, an explanation of the unique winemaking process used in Santorini, and a tasting session of their finest wines. You can sample varieties like Assyrtiko, Nykteri, and Vinsanto, paired with local cheeses and other delicacies.

The Boutari Winery is known for its innovative approach and commitment to quality, making it a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. The scenic location and warm hospitality make for an enjoyable and informative outing.

  1. Discover the Ghost Village of Mesa Gonia

Mesa Gonia, often referred to as the “Ghost Village,” is a fascinating place to explore. This village was largely abandoned after the 1956 earthquake, and many of its buildings remain in a ruined state, offering a poignant glimpse into the past.

Walking through the quiet streets, you’ll find old churches, traditional houses, and vineyards, all set against a backdrop of rolling hills and vineyards. The village is slowly being revived, with some residents returning and restoring homes.

Mesa Gonia is also home to the Argyros Estate Winery, where you can enjoy wine tastings and learn about the local wine-making traditions. The combination of historical ruins and modern restoration makes Mesa Gonia a unique and intriguing destination.

  1. Visit the Lighthouse of Akrotiri

The Akrotiri Lighthouse, located on the southwestern tip of Santorini, offers breathtaking views and a tranquil setting. Built in 1892, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece. Although the lighthouse itself is not open to the public, the surrounding area is perfect for a scenic walk and enjoying the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.

The cliffs around the lighthouse provide an excellent vantage point for watching the sunset, often less crowded than other popular spots on the island. The area is serene and picturesque, making it a great place for photography or a quiet moment of reflection.

A visit to the Akrotiri Lighthouse is ideal for those looking to escape the crowds and experience the natural beauty of Santorini from a different perspective.

  1. Explore the Village of Megalochori

Megalochori is a charming, traditional village that offers a glimpse into the authentic life of Santorini. With its narrow streets, white-washed houses, and beautiful churches, Megalochori exudes a timeless charm.

Stroll through the village to discover hidden courtyards, local tavernas, and boutique shops. The village is known for its warm hospitality and relaxed atmosphere. Highlights include the impressive bell towers of the churches and the beautiful central square, where you can enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of the cafes.

Megalochori is also surrounded by vineyards and wineries, making it a great starting point for a wine tour. The village’s blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty makes it a delightful destination to explore.

  1. Take a Donkey Ride

Riding a donkey is a traditional mode of transport in Santorini and offers a unique way to explore the island’s terrain. Donkey rides are available in various locations, including the Old Port of Fira, where you can ride up the steep steps to the town.

While donkey rides are a popular tourist activity, it’s essential to consider the welfare of the animals. Choose reputable operators that treat their donkeys well and ensure the animals are not overworked.

A donkey ride provides a memorable and authentic experience, allowing you to enjoy the scenic views and connect with a traditional aspect of Santorini’s culture.

  1. Explore the Village of Emporio

Emporio, the largest village in Santorini, is rich in history and traditional architecture. Known for its well-preserved medieval Kasteli (castle), Emporio offers a labyrinth of narrow streets, hidden courtyards, and historic buildings.

The village’s main square is bustling with local life, featuring cafes, shops, and a lively market. Climbing up to the Kasteli provides panoramic views of the surrounding area and a sense of the village’s strategic importance in the past.

Emporio’s charm lies in its blend of history and contemporary life, making it a fascinating place to explore. The village’s authentic atmosphere and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the true essence of Santorini.


Santorini is a paradise that offers an array of experiences, from exploring ancient ruins and enjoying exquisite wines to relaxing on unique volcanic beaches and witnessing unforgettable sunsets. The island’s charm lies in its diversity, providing activities that cater to both adventure seekers and those looking to unwind. Whether you immerse yourself in the local culture through traditional Greek nights, discover historical sites, or indulge in the culinary delights, Santorini promises an unforgettable journey. With this guide to the top things to do in Santorini, you’re well-equipped to plan a trip that captures the essence of this magical island. Pack your bags and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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