The most famous of the Greek islands, Santorini is known for its white-washed homes and blue-domed churches overlooking the sea. Find out the top things to do in Santorini, Greece and how to navigate your way around this stunning island.
Top Things To Do in Santorini, Greece
Considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Santorini has something for everyone – breathtaking beaches, delicious food, romantic sunsets and so much more. You won’t want to miss any of these must-see stops. Make the most of your trip to Santorini and enjoy all that the island has to offer.
The Red Beach is one of Santorini’s most famous beaches. The magnificent landscape of red sand is made up of black and red pulverized volcanic rock.
The beach has interesting rock formations and marine life that make it an ideal place for snorkeling. Boat tours also allow you a view of the beautiful beach without having to battle the crowds, as this is a very popular tourist destination.
Akrotiri Archaeological Site
Nearby the Red beach is the Akrotiri Archaeological Site. The Cycladic Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri was one of the most important Minoan urban centers and ports in the Aegean Sea, but it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 16 century BC and buried in volcanic ash.
The ancient site has been excavated, revealing the preserved remains of beautiful frescoes, artworks, and other artifacts. A tour of the archaeological site is a must for any visit to Santorini.
Ancient Thera is located on the top of Mesa Vouno Mountain. This Hellenistic Period settlement was the religious and commercial center of Santorini.
Immerse yourself in Ancient Thera’s vast history at this excavated site. The mountain top locale also provides amazing views of the Aegean Sea.
Sunset in Oia
Santorini is known for having some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The picturesque village of Oia is the most popular spot for watching the Santorini sunset. This traditional village is built on a cliff and adorned with Santorini’s classic white-washed houses and blue-domed churches.
One of the most popular spots for watching the sunset in Oia is by the ruins of the Venetian Castle of Agios Nikolaos (Oia Castle). But really anywhere in Oia makes for a beautiful sunset picture. You can even take a sunset cruise so that you can experience this daily phenomenon without the crowds.
Santo Wines, located in Pyrgos village, is a winery with stunning volcano views. It is one of the most popular spots in Santorini for a wine tasting.
They offer walking tours of the winery, wine tasting experiences and wine flights, an on-site restaurant for snacks and entrees, and a sprawling terrace on which to enjoy the views. Santo Wines is just one of many wineries and vineyards that you can tour in Santorini.
How to Get Around Santorini
Steep cliffs and winding roads make for amazing photo opportunities in Santorini. But they also make getting around the island difficult for visitors.
When you come to Santorini, you have your choice of renting a car, hailing a cab, taking the bus, or renting an ATV or scooter to get around on your own. Renting a car is by far the superior choice for seeing all that Santorini has to offer.
Why You Should Rent a Car in Santorini
You’ll want to rent a car in Santorini so that you have the freedom to go where you want, when you want. By renting a car, you’ll be able to see the whole island and will have an easier time exploring off the beaten track.
While the ATVs and scooters sound like a fun choice, Santorini has heavy traffic and you’ll probably prefer the safety of a car.
The bus is not a practical option for seeing much of what Santorini has to offer. What would be an easy trip across the island in a car becomes cumbersome when you have to deal with a bus schedule and the many changes it will take to reach your destination.
Taxis in Santorini are expensive. There are no meters and the price is fixed based on the destination. You’ll save a lot more money in the long run by renting your own car.
Tips for Renting a Car in Santorini
- If you only drive automatic, then be sure to rent an automatic. Many rental cars in Santorini have a standard transmission, and you’ll need to reserve in advance to ensure you get an automatic.
- Booking in advance is not necessary, but it’s a good idea. This way, you ensure you get a car that fits your needs. Booking in advance is especially important during the high tourist season from June through September.
- Arrange for airport pick up as it’s easier than picking up in Fira or Oia.
Top Santorini Tours
- Semi-Private Santorini Catamaran Cruise with Meal & Drinks
- Santorini Luxury Caldera Cruise with Greek Meal, Drinks & Hotel Transfers
- Santorini Sea Kayak – South Discovery, Small Group incl. Sea Caves & picnic
Where to Stay in Santorini
Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Santorini, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.
- Top Hotel: Apanemo Hotel & Suites
- Best Value: Santa Irini Hotel
- Unique Stay: Canaves Oia Sunday Suites
Ready to visit Santorini, Greece? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Santorini here.
- Start Packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
What are your favorite things to do in Santorini, Greece? Let me know in the comments below!