The Greek island of Santorini is part of the Cyclades group. A popular tourist destination, there are many excellent things to do in Santorini. Famous for its stunning sunsets, glorious views, beautiful beaches, volcanic landscapes, attractive architecture and the large caldera, weekends in Santorini promise to be anything but ordinary.
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1. Discover Santorini’s Numerous Superb Beaches
Santorini’s coastline is fringed with beaches and rocky rugged terrain. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to soak up the sun, admire the vistas while perched on a rock or a place for a scenic stroll with the sand between your toes, Santorini’s beaches won’t disappoint. There are those that are packed in the high season, offering plentiful activities and a lively vibe, and those that are fairly quiet, perfect for a romantic interlude.
Kamari Beach attracts many tourists and there are many accommodation options, restaurants, bars and activities close to hand. The long stretch of Black Sand Beach is also a hot spot. It incorporates Perissa and Perivolos, which has plenty of clubs and bars, though if you’re looking for somewhere a little calmer, head south towards Agios Georgios. Monolithos is ideal for families, thanks to shallow waters and a kids’ play area. Ahmoudi Bay is great for swimming, though there are no sands for chilling out. Cape Colombo is one of Santorini’s most remote beaches. Don’t sit under rocks—they may come tumbling down!
Red Beach is one of Santorini’s most eye-catching beaches. The red sands are beautifully juxtapositioned against the blues of the sea. You can also catch a boat to the small White Beach. Do note that to access the beach you’ll need to wade through the sea for the last part of the journey. The red rocks of Pori are a nice backdrop. The main beach in the north is Baxedes Beach. If you’re looking for a prime skinny dipping spot and to work on an even suntan, head to Vlychada Beach.
2. Take a Boat Ride Around the Caldera
Santorini is a volcanic island. The large water-filled caldera is dotted with still-smoking islets and islands. A boat ride around the coast lets you admire the full splendor of the caldera, as well as seeing Santorini from a different perspective. Hot spring can be found on the Kaimeni islets and the island of Thirassia shows what the area was like in times gone by, with charming homes and churches.
3. Visit the Pretty Town of Oia
One of the main things to do in Santorini is to visit the scenic cliff-top town of Oia. Wander the cobbled streets and get snap happy; there are many beautiful whitewashed buildings and churches to photograph. Some buildings have been hewn right into the rock and many sets of steps lead up and down through the town. It’s a terrific place to enjoy views of the caldera. The cliff-top walk from Oia to Fira takes around three hours. It’s a great way to get active and enjoy the views.
4. Admire the Picturesque Town of Fira
Fira is the island’s capital. Offering stunning views of the caldera and a lively vibe, it also boasts many of the famous white buildings and dome-topped churches that are filled with exquisite religious art. Highlights include the Old Port, which you can access by cable car, and the museums. If you want to do some shopping on your Santorini break, you’ll find the largest selection of shops in Fira.
5. Watch an Incredible Sunset
The sunset vistas from Santorini are widely celebrated, and there are many places around the island where you can witness a breathtaking natural show. Some of the best places to watch a striking sunset include Oia, the trail between Oia and Fira, Fira, especially from the large main church, and Skaros Rock. Faros Lighthouse is another picture-perfect spot as the sun goes down. You could also watch sunset from the small village of Imweovigli or while aboard a boat trip.
6. Tour the Island’s Wineries
Santorini has several wineries, many of which you can visit for free. And, you can sample some of the tasty locally produced wines as learn how they are made. The island’s wineries include Roussos Winery, Argiros Estate and Domaine Sigalas. Others to check out are Boutari Winery, Hatzidakis Winery and Volcan Wines Museum and Winery.
7. Visit Santorini Brewing Company
If you’re more into beer than wine, why not take a free tour of Santorini Brewing Company? The brewery that brought Donkey Beer to the world, you can see how the beer is made, learn about the brewery’s founding and inspiration and, of course, sample some of the locally made brew.
8. Step Back in Time at Akrotiri
Visiting Akrotiri is among the top things to do in Santorini, especially for lovers of history. The ancient town dates back to Minoan times. It was preserved under a thick coating of volcanic ash. Stroll around the now-covered streets and let your imagination take you back long ago in time to ancient Greece. The ruins feature buildings, some with more than one level, staircases and walls. In some parts you can see what’s left of intricate frescoes.
Other great things do in Santorini include visiting Ancient Thira and Profitis Ilias Monastery. Ancient Thira is a significant archeological excavation site. Located on the slopes of Mesa Vouno, the cemeteries, ruined temples and other structures date back to the Hellenistic and Roman eras. The old monastery can be found atop Mount Profitis Illias, the highest point on Santorini. Inside, you can peek inside the ornately carved church and the old kitchen. Within the museum you’ll find interesting artifacts. Snorkeling, diving, and horse riding are among the activities you can enjoy in Santorini. Start planning your Santorini getaway and discover why so many people cannot help but to fall in love with this enchanting Greek island.