Santorini needs little Introduction, especially as beautiful Greek Islands go. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s probably one of the most iconic Greek islands to visit. Honestly, there are so many amazing and some of the best things to do in Santorini that you’ll be spoilt for choice as soon as you land.
Honestly, Santorini is a beautiful island, especially with all those cave-like hotels; crumbly cliffs, gorgeous sunsets from Oia and who can forget the cheeky donkeys.
Actually, digressing slightly but the Santorini donkeys are best viewed from an arm’s length! In my excitement to wrap my arms around one of these cute little beggars, I ended up smelling like a farm for the rest of the day. Be warned, the smelling of a farm in 30-degree heat is pongy!
Anyway, before I ramble on anymore, I wanted to share some of the very best things to do in Santorini on your next trip. Have the best time exploring and as with all our posts, message us if you need any other tips.
1.) Watch the Sunset in Oia
Starting with one of the most iconic of settings, head over to Oia for a lazy afternoon stroll around this cliff-top town.
If you’re looking to watch the sunset, you can either find a spot in the town itself or book a table in one of the restaurants that overlook the town.
Honestly, it’s one of the best things to do in Santorini, but you won’t be alone in your idea.
Yes, Oia does get incredibly busy around sunset but who can begrudge others from wanting exactly the same experiences as us, right?
If crowds aren’t your thing, head to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias on the other end of the island where you’ll see the sunset over the whole island.
Read more: How to visit Oia
2.) Grab a tipple at Santo’s Winery
A holiday isn’t a holiday if it doesn’t include a glass of wine, or 10… am I right?
Head over to Santo Winery where you can try a range of delicious Greek wines, olives and bites to nibble on. It’s a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. As with all professional wine connoisseurs, make sure to spit the wine out after. I always like to drink mine and I ended up pretty tipsy after a tasting session here.
Alternatively, book yourself onto an expert winery tour that’ll take you around some of the best vineyards in all of Santorini; this is what we did and loved it!
3.) See the real Atlantis
Well over 3000 years ago, a catastrophic volcanic eruption consumed Santorini causing the middle of the island to disappear into the ocean below, with the island long assumed to be the home of the legend of Atlantis.
The Volcanic eruption was one of the biggest eruptions in the world and happened around 1,600 BC.
Not only did it cause a vast majority of the island of Thera (the big island that once was Santorini) to sink beneath the ocean, it left a huge crater that formed the vast cliffs on Santorini – leading to many assumptions about this being the home of Atlantis.
Over the last five-decade, archaeologists have found a place like the Akrotiri Archaeological Site that shows us a glimpse into the past. Head here to learn more about the island’s dramatic (and pretty recent) past while also discovering some of the ancient settlements.
4.) Grab some local food
Greece is known for its amazing food and Santorini is no exception. There are so many amazing local dishes you have to try.
Just make sure to pack expandable trousers. I swear, I gained an extra few rolls around my tummy after this trip.
5.) Hike to the top of Santorini Volcano
Grab your walking shoes, book yourself on a gorgeous boat tour and jump over to Nea Kameni island. The beating heart (or head) of the Volcano just off Santorini.
This baron and the volcanic landscape is still pretty active but ‘asleep’ right now as I was reassuringly told.
Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear too!
Some boats will make a small stop on the edge of the islands geothermal points that heat the sea below. It was a really fun experience and you can definitely notice a big difference in the temperature.
6.) Visit Akrotiri Lighthouse
Perched on the opposite end of the island from Oia, Akrotiri Lighthouse is one gorgeous point to see.
If you’ve rented a small car or even a quad bike (yes, the island is small enough to explore by quad bike), you should definitely visit.
Explore the dramatic coastline, the gorgeous views and soak up that amazing Greek charm.
7.) Sail around Santorini
No trip to the Greek Islands is complete without a little jaunt on a boat. It’s one of the best things to do in Santorini for a tour of the island.
Many of the routes will head around the dramatic parts of the bay, visit the Volcanic Island and even have a little time for diving into the deep blue sea.
Read more: The Catamaran Tour we booked
8.) Explore the capital, Fira
Fira is the capital city of Santorini (although, don’t expect it to be anywhere near as large as other capitals in Europe).
For a tiny little capital, Fira packs a hefty punch when it comes to gorgeous views, picturesque churches and cobbled streets that are just too good to miss.
Oh, also, don’t forget to visit the Archaeological Museum of Thera for a little glimpse into the island’s heritage and past.
9.) Hike From Fira To Oia
You didn’t think Santorini was just pools and gobbling mountains of feta cheese did you?
Okay, well, before I visited, this was totally my idea of Santorini.
After exploring some of the best things to do in Santorini, I found some pretty cool trails that are amazing to follow, especially the Caldera trail between Fira and Oia.
Pack some comfy shoes, some water and head off in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the strong midday sunshine.
10.) Visit the quaint village of Pyrgos
Step away from the edge of the Caldera and you’ll spot so many amazing little places. Case in point with Pyrgos.
This quaint little village is home to less than 1,000 people, expect plenty of charm, friendly locals and a photo opportunity around every corner – it really is very pretty.
Built on top of a hill, it really is one of the best things to do in Santorini if you love a good view.
11.) Explore Megalochori
Megalochori is a small town that’s perfect to explore for a few hours.
Head across early in the morning and stop off at one of the town’s bakeries to pick up a Saganaki (I swear, I lived on these whilst I was here).
12.) Head to the highest point on Santorini
Profitis Ilias is a mountain and mountain-top monastery that’s well worth visiting when exploring Santorini.
Head inside some of the beautiful monastic buildings and enjoy the views across the island and gorge on some of the local produce they sell.