Know the Best Places to Go and Things to Do in Santorini, and you’ll have the best holiday of a lifetime.

As far as having the best holiday experience, there is certainly a checklist each one needs to prepare ahead of time. After all spending a holiday with our loved ones is not all about how much bucks we put out or how far we travel. It’s truly about sweet memories we have in those remarkable places and special things we do together that counts.

Romantic destination

Santorini is probably the most overrated romantic destination on the face of the planet. Some say the place has become a hype due to too much commercialization. However, once you set foot on the island, its natural beauty and character cannot be denounced.

Santorini

Santorini is one of the beautiful islands of Greece, located in the South East part of the Aegean Sea, about 200 km away from Athens. Like most Greek islands, what set Santorini apart from the others is not its beaches and sand quality but its caldera view (volcano’s crater), picturesque blue skies and ocean seemingly floating together along with white-washed houses set on the cliffs.

What else should be said about this gifted island? Well, every place or village you visit here has its own personality which makes them unique. Plus, the activities you can possibly do are countless so long as you keep yourself active.

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Santorini’s Best Places to Go and Things to Do [revealed]

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1.) Akrotiri Archeological Site

This place is most especially for those who are fond of history and culture. Do you want to know how extravagant ancient Aegeans lived on the island about 4,500 years ago? Then, head down to the south and discover the Minoan Age settlement.

What to Do:
a. Learn about the history and culture of the ancient Minoans. You can hire a personal tour guide at an affordable price or do the tour yourself by following the information posts standing all over the area.

Address:
Akrotiri Archeological Site, Akrotiri 847 00, Greece

Opening Hours: 08:00 AM – 18:00 PM
Entrance Fee: €12/pp

2.) Red Beach

Not far from the ancient site of Akrotiri is what looks like an out of this world beach and extremely popular with tourists. What makes the Red Beach unique is its red landscape due to the high amount of iron deposit created naturally during one of the volcanic eruptions a long time ago.

What to Do:

a. Hike and Climb – This is not the most convenient way to get to the Red Beach as you may need to do a little hike and climb here and there. However, this is the only fast way to get here from the archeological site at the moment. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes when coming here. Pay attention though to warning signs as landslides or falling rocks may occur.
b. Rent a sunbed – For just €10 you can enjoy sunbathing for a full day in Red Beach with a perfect view of catamarans sailing across the bay. If you don’t feel renting a sunbed, bring your own towel or blanket and station yourself near the sunbeds but away from the rocks. Note: Do not sit or station next to the wall of rocks just like many tourists do. As mentioned, landslides or falling rocks can happen at any time.
c. Swim – It’s the best thing to do when on the beach.

Address:
Red Beach, Akrotiri 847 00, Greece

Opening Hours: Always Open
Entrance Fee: Free

3.) White Beach

Just next to the Red Beach is a cove called White Beach. Getting here is only possible by riding a water taxi or a private boat. The presence of limestone makes its cliffs white. There is also a private bar situated in the area where you can rent a sunbed, and order drinks.

What to Do:
a. Just like in the Red Beach, you can do exactly the same thing, except you cannot climb as the cliffs are too high. There is a small road from Red Beach where you can get here by foot but it can be a hassle.

Opening Hours: Always Open (Pay attention to the timetable of a water taxi.)
Entrance Fee: Free

4.) Kamari’s Black Beach

Black beach is more prominent in Santorini as black pebbles are scattered across the island’s shorelines. The places where you can visit Black beaches are Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos. The most famous of them for tourists is Kamari. On the left side of the beach is a gigantic rock called Mesa Vuono. In the evening, when the moonlight shines, the light reflects on the rocks.

What to Do:

a. Shop, Dine, & Party

Kamari’s Black Beach is the most organized beach in Santorini. With a 1 – mile long aisle of shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants lining up in the coast, it’s definitely the place to go not only for couples and groups but also for families. Shopping is best here in terms of price-quality compared in the capital.

b. Sunbathe and swim

When you arrive in Kamari’s shore, you’ll be greeted as well by hundreds of nice sunbeds and native umbrellas perfectly arranged on the coast. Don’t hesitate to rent a sunbed for €10 to have a comfortable sunbathe-experience. Most restaurants and hotels offer them for free to their guests.

c. Walk or Hike

A morning walk can be a nice thing to do along the bay as you can experience a great-view while doing your routine.

d. Water Sports

If you’re a water-sport lover, you have a place here in Kamari. There are numerous agencies available along the coastline or in small streets where you can inquire to do kite-surf, sail a boat, jet-ski, and scuba-dive.

Address:
Kamari: Kamari Beach, Main street, Kamari 847 00, Greece

Opening Hours: Always Open
Entrance Fee: Free

5.) Visit a Grape Farm

Santorini is also famous for its white wine called Assyrtiko. During the 14th and 16th century, local farmers began producing wines for Europe. Vineyards here are like no other compared to the rest of the world mainly on how they grow the grapes. Grape plants are packed together as close to the soil as possible like a bunch of plants squeezed together.

Places where you can visit to Learn Making Santorini Wines and Do Wine Tasting:
a. Koutsoyannopoulous Wine Museum
a. Estate Argryos
b. Santo Wines
c. Domaine Sigalas
d. Gaia
e. Art Space Winery

Opening Hours and Entrance Fee: Opening Hours and fees vary from one grape farm to another, so please get on the link for more information.

6.) Fira (The Capital)

The city center of Santorini is Fira, where tourists come to get an ultimate experience of the island. It’s also a popular place for young people to party all night. As a touristic place, there are many different activities to do in the capital aside from gazing at its magnificent caldera-view.

Fira, the ultimate caldera-view experience in Santorini.Click To Tweet

a. Attend the Sunday services at the following churches

As we all know Christianity has rooted deep in the Greek culture. History says that Saint Paul(disciple of Jesus Christ) first came to Greece around 49 A.D. to preach Christianity to the locals. According to the recent record, 98% of Greeks are Orthodox Christians and the rest are Catholic Christians, Jewish, and Muslims.

Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Address: Ipapantis, Thira 847 00, Greece

Sunday Service: Between 09:00 AM – 12:00 NN

Catholic Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist
Address: Agiou Ioannou, Thira 847 00, Greece

Sunday Service: Between 09:00 AM – 12:00 NN

Note: When attending a church mass or service in one of these churches, avoid wearing slippers, sleeveless shirts, shorts, and mini skirts. Greeks take their faith seriously and consider their churches a holy place.

b. Hike the Old Port of Ormos Firon

Get your heels ready as we hike Fira down to the Old Port and then back up the hill again! If you’re looking for an intense workout in Santorini, this is a great deal! The zigzag hilly road to the Old Port is 588 steps – one way. Make sure you gear yourself with comfortable shoes and clothes. Also, bring some water with you. As you go along, there are rest areas, where you can sit and take fantastic photos.

c. Take a Cable Car

So basically, a cable car-ride is mainly a mode of transportation in bringing tourists from the Old Port to Fira and vice versa. This is an alternative for those wouldn’t want to be bothered with hiking or riding a donkey(traditional way of transportation).

d. Boat Tour

If you’re the type who loves to discover what it is like to set foot on a caldera or experience a swim in a hot spring, this is right for you! There are affordable boat excursions available in the Old Port, where you can compare prices and eventually decide for yourself.

e. Shop, Dine, and Party

Fira is a one big shopping haven. There you can find local jewelers who make their own unique pieces, high-end local brands selling clothes, accessories, and Santorini giveaways. This is also a place where many tourists dine in caldera-view restaurants. Prices here can double or even triple due to the demand and the fact there is a beautiful scenery entertaining the people. This is also a place to be for young at age and hearts to party all night long.

Restaurant Recommendations:

1. Mama Thira Tavern – It has a caldera view.
Address: Firostefani 987, Thira 847 00, Greece

2. Kokkalo Restaurant – It has no caldera view but undoubtedly the best place to eat lamb & pork menus in Fira.
Address: 25is Martiou 25, Thira 847 00, Greece

7.) Oia

It is the village where tourists love to visit and take the most picturesque angles of Santorini’s famous white houses and sunset. It is located in the topmost part of the island where you can see the nice long view of the island’s up and down hills. Just like Fira, you can do pretty much the same thing like shopping, dining in a caldera-view restaurant, and partying. It is not as busy and loud though as the capital which can be good for tourists who want to mix party with relaxation.

a. Ammoudi Bay

It is located more or less 300 steps below Oia. If you’d like to stretch out your hips and legs, try hiking to Ammoudi Bay. The place is famous for cliff jumping, eating seafood, and swimming. The view is also as magical as when you’re on the top.

Address: Ormos Ammoudiou, Oia 847 02, Greece

b. Ekklisia Panagia Platsani

This is a famous church in Oia with a beautiful ocean view. You can’t miss this place as it is not so far from the bus station.

c. Lounge Bars

What best way to enjoy the view while having a refreshing cocktail on a warm bright place is lounging in a cafe or bar.

Lounge Bar Recommendations:
1. Lioyerma Lounge Cafe Pool Bar
2. Tramonto All Day Lounge – Address: Post Office Square, Oía 847 02, Greece

8.) Imerovigli

It is dubbed as the “Balcony of Aegean” since it is said to be the place where you can see the most epic sunset. Situated 2km away from Fira, Imerovigli can be reached by foot from the city center by walking through narrow pathways. The name of the village got its name from the Greek word “vigla” which means a view spot. This is also the home to the most exclusive and upscale hotels in the whole of Santorini.

a. Skaros Rock

It is a rocky cliff lying in front of the Imerovigli village. At the top of the hill stands a breathtaking castle that used to be so grand and majestic. However, the castle was destroyed from a strong earthquake in 19th century. The hike and climb to Skaros Rock can take about 2-hours to and fro with no breaks. The most impressive sunset in the whole of Santorini is best experience at the peak of Skaros Rock.

b. Lounge Bars

As Imerovigli is known for its magnificent sunset view, it’s no surprise to find the most chic bars and cafes here.

Lounge Bar Recommendations:
1. Buddha-Bar Beach La Maltese Santorini
2. 363 Champagne Lounge

9.) Santorini Ports (Sailing)

Santorini has two main ports, both cater to public ferries and cruises. The first one is the Old Port(Fira) and the second one is Athinios which is the main port. The smaller ports are in Ammoudi Bay and Vlychada port which serve to private boats, catamarans, and yachts. As the island is based in Aegean sea where strong winds can blow, sailing can be a perfect activity to do especially for sports enthusiasts and those seeking adventure. There are so many different sailing companies to choose from according to your budget.

Sailing Company Recommendations:
1. Spiridakos Sailing Cruise
2. Caldera Yachting Santorini
3. Santorini Sailing

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After discovering the Best Places to Go and Things to Do in Santorini, do you look forward to visiting Santorini?

Katrina

She's a passionate writer and editor for Belgian Filipino Lovers. Katrina describes herself as a Believer, Holiday Buff, Art Lover, and a Success Seeker. She is a proud Filipino based in Belgium and thinks that Filipino Artists are talented and dedicated.