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18 Stunning Places to See in Santorini

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Santorini is a beautiful Greek island with many stunning sights to see. Some of the best places to visit in Santorini include the iconic blue-domed churches in Oia, the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, the black sand beaches of Perissa and Kamari, and the picturesque village of Pyrgos.

Don't forget to take in the breathtaking views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea from the many viewpoints around the island.

After reading all my other articles about it, is there anything to say about Santorini you don't already know?

If you didn't yet, check out "The Most Complete Guide of Santorini", where you will find all the articles I wrote about this fantastic island.

Santorini is so famous that I don't think it needs more presentation, but I will tell you something about it anyway.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

Santorini is one of the Cyclades and one of the most visited islands in Greece and the Mediterranean sea. It has glorious sunsets, stunning towns on top of cliffs with white-washed houses and blue dome churches where you will spend hours taking pictures and drive your travel mate crazy because you will keep wanting more.

After all, they will never be enough (it happened to me, I was the demanding one), but seriously, have you seen the views?

How can you not take thousands of pictures of everything?
No idea, honestly.

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.

Read 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini


If you like this article, feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Santorini.

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18 Things to See and Do in Santorini, visit the town of fira

1. Visit the town of Fira:

Fira is Santorini's capital, also the biggest town on the island.

It is situated right in the middle, on the west side. From there you can catch any bus to every destination of the island.

18 Things to See and Do in Santorini, visit the town of Fira

In Fira, you can find everything you need. From the over photographed white houses, churches with blue roofs, narrow alleys where to lose yourself while exploring, looking for the best picture spot.

Discover luxury boutiques and stay in romantic rooms with a private infinity pool.

Have a delicious local dinner while enjoying the sunset behind the caldera and do some incredible shopping to take home with you some gifts to remember your wonderful holiday.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

In Fira, you will find everything that makes Santorini so famous and memorable.

If you want to visit the small port of Fira Skala, located right down the cliff, you will need to walk down 585 steps (a lot, right?), but you will walk downwards so that it will be pretty straightforward.

The problem is going back (I mean, 585 steps are not a joke under the hot summer sun), but don't worry, there is a cable car that will take you back to Fira for only 6 euros.

Another option is to go up riding the donkeys, but I would avoid this option, poor donkeys!

Plan Your Vacation in Santorini

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.

18 Things to See and Do in Santorini, hike from Fira to Oia

2. Hike from Fira to Oia:

If you are not planning to visit Santorini in the middle of summer, trust me, you are going to love this hike.

It is not a hike to climb up to a mountain, it is pretty easy, and you don't need any particular clothes to do it (I was wearing a light dress with sandals, and I did not have any issue, avoid high heels).

This hike starts in Fira and will take you to Oia (the second most famous town in Santorini located on the north side of the island) and is almost 10 km long. It will take you around 2 hours to get to Oia without stopping, but obviously, you will stop a lot.

18 Things to See and Do in Santorini, hike from Fira to Oia

This hike is on the Santorini's cliff.

Don't worry, there is nothing to be afraid of. You will walk along some beautiful narrow alleys among luxury hotels and resorts. You will see all the swimming pools of every hotel from above.

You will pass by many restaurants and bars, some souvenirs shops and stunning views.

You will pass some beautiful villages, the Firostefani and Imerovigli, and you will see the Skaros Rock, a lava formation.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

My advice is to do this hike early in the morning to avoid the hottest hours or late in the afternoon (as I did) and make sure to get to Oia right in time (at least 1 hour before) for the sunset.

To go back to Fira, you can catch a bus. There are many buses behind the main square of Oia, but they get full very fast during high season, so you will probably need to wait for a while.

Don't worry about looking for this hike, you cannot miss it, go to Fira and walk along the main pedestrian road (in the middle of Fira) towards Nord, and you will get there (there are indications).

Do you want to see everything Santorini has to offer and save money at the same time?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

3. Visit the town of Oia:

Oia is primarily famous for the sunset. Every day thousands of people run there to see this magical sunset from the northwestern point of Santorini.

It also has many luxury hotels with infinity pools to spend a day relaxing and working on your tan, blue roof churches, narrow alley with fabulous sea view where to take stunning pictures.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

But let's go back to talk about the sunset.

Well, I must say that my experience wasn't so special and romantic (it wasn't at all!).

We got there quite early, more than one hour before the sunset, to make sure to get a nice spot, but once we arrived, there were already a lot of people there. Maybe we should have gotten there more than 2 hours in advance, but we were exploring Oia, and we did not have much time.

All the tall people decided to stay right on the edge of the alleys, so we poor short ones (I am 168 cm, so not a smurf but still) could not see almost anything.

I managed to climb up to a short wall trying to see something, but so many people kept coming and trying to find a space that it got so crowded that I wanted to leave (I felt like a sardine in a can).

I am not telling you to don't go to Oia for the Sunset, absolutely, go early and walk around till you find a perfect spot where no one will stop in front of you and obstruct the view.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

The evening after, we had a table booked on a restaurant terrace in Fira and booked the table on the first row to be able to have a clear view of the sunset, and guys, it was AMAZING!!!

Nothing to compare to the sunset in Oia (that as previously said, wasn't special at all). I booked that table when I visited Fira on the first day as soon as I saw it.

This was just my experience, and I always want to be 100% sincere with you.

Another way to see the sunset in Oia is by booking a table at a bar or restaurant nearby.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

Tip: Looking for the famous three blue domes that you have seen in almost every picture of Santorini? Don't worry. You are going to see them during the hike from Fira.

They are the churches of Agios Spiridonas (Saint Spyridon) and Anasteseos (the Church of the Resurrection).

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

4. Book a Wine Tour in Santorini:

Wine touring is one of the most famous activities in Santorini because (if you don't know) Santorini produce an excellent white wine that is one of the best in Greece.

That is why you can book a Wine Tour (you visit three vineyards, and it lasts 5 hours) or a Wine Tasting (that lasts three hours) depending on your available time.


Cannot wait to Eat Santorini Delicacies?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini
Santo Wine Tasting

5. Book a Wine Tasting at Santo Wines:

Fancy a wine tasting experience you will remember forever?

Then book a table in this beautiful place, probably the most scenic place to taste wines. The view is stunning in front of you, the location is terrific, with a terrace to relax for a couple of hours, drinking wine and eating delicious Greek food.

The wine tasting costs 14 euros per person and includes six glasses of wine (a good amount of wine, not just a drop), some bread, tomato paste to spread, olives and fava beans.

If you are not used to drinking a lot of wine, be prepared because you will get drunk.

what to do in santorini

6. Visit the Ancient Thera:

This archaeological site will allow you to admire many relics from the Byzantine, Hellenic and Roman periods in this old town founded in the 9th century BC.

Thera is the old name of Santorini, which was named by the Venetians "Santa Irini", and then it became Santorini.

I am sorry I don't have a picture of it so here is a marvellous view of Santorini's Caldera.

Amoudi Bay, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

7. Amoudi Bay:

Down the cliff of Oia, there is a little fishermans' village to go for a delicious and romantic lunch or dinner right on the waterfront.

There are some excellent restaurants to enjoy some fresh fish from the sea around the island.

You can get there by car or by walking down 300 steps and then another 300 steps up (the best way to digest your meal, in this way you can get an extra dessert, think about it).

If you fancy a dip before or after your meal, keep walking along the trail after the restaurants. You will find a nice spot where to enjoy some nice clear water.


Want to Know Everything About Santorini?

rent a quad bike, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

8. Rent a Quad Bike:

If you already know how to drive a quad bike or at least have a driving license, you should think about renting a quad bike to visit Santorini.

It is much smaller than a car, so easier to park (Santorini during high season can be a nightmare for parking, I saw it) and what about feeling the wind blowing through your hair and getting tan while exploring the island?

Think about it. It can be a good experience and also fun.

open air cinema kamari, santorini
Cinekamari Santorini

9. Watch a movie in open-air cinema:

The Kamari open-air cinema or Cinekamari is (obviously) an outdoor cinema in the middle of the forest (so cool) that show movies every night from 9.30 pm from May to October at a low fee of 8 euros.

Plan Your Vacation in Santorini

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.

santorini beaches

10. Spend some time on one of the beaches:

Santorini is not very famous for its beaches because people usually prefer white sandy beaches with crystal clear water.

Still, in my opinion, don't skip visiting some of them. You will see something you are not going to see everywhere unless you visit a Volcanic island, so don't miss this opportunity.

the red beach, santorini
The Red Beach
  • The Red Beach: named after the red cliffs around it, this beach has a red colour thanks to the pulverization of the red and black volcanic rocks. You can reach this beach by walking down a footpath for a couple of minutes.

perissa beach, santorini
Perissa Beach
  • Perissa Beach, Perivolos and Agios Georgios Beach: Large and black beaches. Trust me. You are going to love to walk on this particular sand. It looked so weird to me. Around these beaches, there are some bars and tavernas to eat something local and delicious. You can reach them by bus from Fira.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

  • Vilhada Beach has white rocks. It's narrow and has all this particular rocks formation behind it, making it unique and beautiful.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

  • Kolumbo Beach: If you are looking for a naturalist beach, here you can tan every inch of your body.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

  • Kamari Beach: This is another black sand beach where you can rent a big comfortable sunbed and relax all day. There are also some water activities, bars, tavernas, and shops.

  • The White Beach: located next to Red Beach, you can visit it by boat.

  • Monilithos Beach: has shallow waters, so it is best to visit if you travel with kids.


Santorini on a budget?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

11. Try some watersport while in Santorini:

Whether you are travelling with friends or family, everyone loves watersports, which is one of the best ways to enjoy a fabulous day on the beach.

That is why I research the best one for you, so you can book them in advance here and make sure to plan all the fun you want on the beautiful island of Santorini.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

12. Visit also the other villages of Santorini:

Santorini is not only Fira and Oia. Of course, if you have only a couple of days to spend on the island, focus on these two towns and see how much time you have left.

But if you have more days and you plan to rent a car, these villages deserve to be explored:

  • Emporio: located on the south of the island, not far from Perivolos beach, this is the largest village in Santorini where you will admire the 15th-century Venetian Castle and the ruined Tower of Nimborio. Charming ancient alleys are going to take you around beautiful white-washed blue-domed Orthodox churches with intricate bell towers.

  • Pyrgos: this is the highest village on the island, and it is a typical Cycladic village where to admire the fantastic island view.

  • Messaria is the best place to explore the vineyards in the middle of the island.

  • Megalochori: This pretty little village is located on the southwest side of the island, and from there, you can admire a fantastic view of the caldera. It has relatively narrow alleys to lose yourself by taking thousands of pictures.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

13. A wonderful boat trip around Santorini:

Whenever I go to a seaside destination, I always book a boat trip because it allows me to see the location from a different view and explore the coast, swimming in little bays that otherwise I could not reach in another way.

That is why going for a boat trip around Santorini is an experience you should not miss.

There are many different kinds of tours, and the best one is the 1-day cruise to visit the volcanic islands and swim in the Palea Kamini hot springs.

Use the Get Your Guide Widget down below to see all the boat tours available, book it in advance and save money!

14. Sleep in a Windmill:

Have you ever slept in a Windmill? No? Well, in Santorini, this is possible.

At Windmill Villas in Imerovigli, you can sleep in a new windmill with a private pool, hydromassage jets a beautiful terrace where to enjoy the marvellous view of the Aegean Sea.

Each windmill can host up to five people, but if you are travelling with your partner, why don't you make it romantic and book it just for the two of you?

15. Visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri:

If you like to learn more about the history of Santorini, visiting this site would be perfect for you.

Akrotiri is an ancient Minoan city destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1613 BC and was discovered only in 1967.

Here, you will be able to see this ancient city by walking around it and seeing its remaining buildings, streets, and ceramics.

Visit Akrotiri Lighthouse Santorini

16. Visit Akrotiri Lighthouse:

If you plan to rent a car or a quad/scooter, you should look at this lighthouse, not much about the lighthouse itself, more for the view.

From there, you will see Santorini from a different angle (it is located on the southwestern end of Santorini) with the caldera in the middle, with its blue water and many sailing boats that pass through it.


Romantic vacation in Santorini?

Thirassia island Santorini

17. Visit the island of Thirassia:

When in Santorini, you will see an island with the shape of a crocodile right in front of Oia.

If you want to visit this island, you can either get there by boat from Amoudi Bay or by booking a 1-day cruise around the island. The ship will also stop there for a visit.

On this island, there is the delightful village of Manolas, where there are some local tavernas where to enjoy a delicious Greek meal.

The view of Santorini from there is very particular

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Things to See and Do in Santorini

18. Hike to the top of the volcano:

Don't forget your hiking shoes because I highly recommend you avoid wearing expensive sandals (and poor feet too). The top of Santorini's volcano is on this little island you see in the picture above in the middle of Santorini's caldera.

Book a Santorini Volcano, Hot Spring and Thirassia Tour to hike up till the top and then stop where the volcano heats the seawater and jump into it for a warm swim (don't worry, it is not so hot to cook you, it is just warm) and end up your tour on Thirassia island.

Don't worry, Santorini's volcano is sleeping. There is nothing to worry about now.

Did you enjoy my article?

I have plenty like this one about visiting Santorini.

Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Santorini.

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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.


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