4+6 Activities You DEFINITELY need to do in Santorini
Nobody can argue that Santorini is one of the most romantic and utterly beautiful Greek islands and a top summer destination in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the charming traditional Cycladic architecture with the cubic-shaped whitewashed houses, the blue-domed churches, the cobbled streets, and the unique volcanic landscape comprise a gorgeous backdrop for unforgettable holidays. However, with so many things to do in Santorini, one can easily get lost. This guide has been created to put you out of this, admittedly, difficult place and give you suggestions and tips coming straight out of locals’ mouths so you can enjoy a fantastic Santorini getaway adventure!
1. Opt for a Volcano Tour & a Visit to the Hot Springs
Be it a sailing or walking tour; the volcano is an attraction you absolutely must see in Santorini, Greece. You will have the chance to admire the impressive rock-embedded cave houses and almost eerie volcanic formations, among others. Besides visiting the Caldera (the crater of the still-active volcano) and its heart-stopping views over the volcano’s ridge, the islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni will also offer you elevated levels of excitement and a sense of awe. Created by the same volcanic eruption that gave birth to the Caldera, they entice with a dazzling underwater world and their sulfur-rich hot springs that many people visit for their therapeutic properties.
2. Watch soul-filling sunset views
Santorini is famed for its idyllic sunsets. For that reason, you will see hundreds of visitors coming early in the afternoon to popular sunset locations, like the Blue-Domed churches of Fira and the Oia Castle, in search of a good spot to take a nice photo.
However, if rubbing shoulders with so many other people (the crowds in Fira and Oia spots can be insane), the picturesque village of Imerovigli will provide all the peacefulness and privacy you need just before the sun paints the milky-white buildings with the blue or red window sills with shades of gold, orange, and red. Alternatively, you may choose a different experience with a Santorini sunset cruise that may even include on-board food and drinks. That is if you feel like stepping out of your luxury suite that will also provide you with unbelievable vistas no matter what.
Tip: Another superb place to watch the sun gracefully slipping behind the endless blue of the Aegean Sea and the small Thirassia island is the prominent castle of Skaros, Santorini. Built during the Middle Ages to prevent pirate invasions and protect around 200 families, churches, and monasteries, this labyrinth-like fortress is now a sight offering relaxation and enticing views of the Caldera and the coastline.
3. Swim in the Red, White, or Black Beach
You can’t leave an island without seeing what its coastline looks like! In Santorini’s case, though, you get a bonus. Besides the sandy beaches we have all been to, here, you have the chance to view black, red, and white-pebbled shores. And, yes, you guessed it right – the volcanic activity in Santorini is, once again, the reason behind this remarkable sight. Can you think of a better reason to add them to your Things to See in Santorini list?
These beaches offer captivating scenery, a wonderful landscape (some are enclosed by steep hills), and, of course, crystal-clear cobalt waters. Nevertheless, they are perfect not only for sunbathing and swimming but also water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving. You can’t imagine the riches that lie beneath the sea!
Tip: If you love scuba diving, you can also try diving sites like Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari (perfect for beginners), as well as the Caves Lagoon, the Caldera Lagoon, Faros Reef, and the Nea Kameni volcano.
4. Join a tour that will excite your senses
From wine tasting in Santorini to horse riding and jet skiing, you have plenty of options. Choose your favourite tour and let yourself immerse in the authentic Santorini experiences they offer. For gastronomy lovers, we suggest a Santorini culinary tour, where you will be taught how the best local dishes are made and get to taste some palate-pleasing dishes and locally made mezedes!
A photograph tour may also come in handy, given the incredible allure that surrounds you. The same applies to the various day tours to places like Thirassia island. Want something a bit different? Hop on the cable car that connects the old port with the island’s capital and enjoy the ride! Don’t the Aegean Sea and the Caldera look far more charming and astonishing from around 220 metres high?
Other exciting things to do in Santorini - what the locals suggest:
- Visit the remains of the Akrotiri settlement.
- Step on the 15th-century Agios Nikolaos watchtower (aka Oia Castle) and the rock-carved church of Agios Nikolaos.
- Share unique moments at the Akrotiri Lighthouse that used to navigate ships until the 2nd World War. Now, also offering magical sea views.
- Explore the 17th-century Megalochori village and expect to walk past high-wall historical mansions, old traditional houses, pirate hideaways, and vineyards, to name a few.
- Head to the well-preserved settlement of Pyrgos, the former Santorini capital located at the foot of Mt. Profitis Ilias with the unique atmosphere.
- Hike along the Caldera rim from Fira to Oia village.
However you choose to spend your days in Santorini, the end of each fascinating day can find you with a chilled glass of champagne or locally produced dry wine overlooking the vastness of the sea from your luxury suite. What a way to close each thrilling adventure of yours!