One of the most beautiful and visited of the Greek Islands, there are lots of things to do in Santorini, home to breathtaking sunsets, blue-domed churches and stunning infinity pools. We set out on a mission to check out the best things to do in Santorini and we’ve put together our sightseeing guide to the island: it’s our guide to the 15 best things to do in Santorini. Enjoy!
1 | Watch the sunset from Oia Castle
Santorini is famous for its iconic sunsets which are among the most photographed in the world. As the sun goes down the island basks in the soft glow of the setting sun and the colourful cliffside villages are softly illuminated against the stunning caldera and the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
Oia Castle is the most popular spot for sunset photos in all of Santorini and, justifiably so, its sunsets were among the best we’ve ever seen. Perched on the edge of the Caldera and set against the backdrop of the colourful OIa cliffside, it is the most coverted sunset spot in town.
Santorini sightseeing tip: as evening approaches hundreds and hundreds of visitors descend into Oia in their pursuit of watching its incredible sunset and that itself is a sight to behold! Arrive early to grab a good spot!
2 | Float in an infinity pool overlooking the Caldera
It’s the perfect Santorini bucket list moment: floating in an infinity pool overlooking the Caldera. Santorini boasts some of the most incredible infinity pools that we’ve ever seen and the setting and views are incredible. Our favourites are the Katikies Hotel in Oia and the Cosmopolitan suites in Fira – check out the prices of the Katikies Hotel here and the Cosmopolitan Suites in Fira here!
3 | Stay in a Cave Hotel
Cave hotels are another Santorini special. If you’re wondering what a cave hotel is: it’s accommodation built into the rocky Santorini cliff sides to form a cave hotel. They’re magical places to stay and our cave suite was one of the highlights of our time in Santorini.
- Oia Collection: We stayed in a fantastic cave suite overlooking the caldera just a few minutes walk from Oia Castle and its sunset views. It’s the perfect spot to relax on the terrace and chill in the outdoor tub while gazing out over the caldera – Check prices here!
- Perivolas Hotel: Perivolas in Oia is one of the most luxurious cave hotels on the island and has the added bonus of an incredible infinity pool – check prices here! – check prices here!
4 | Sleep in a windmill, Imerovigli
If sleeping in a windmill is on your bucket list then make sure to squeeze in a stay at Windmill Villas on Santorini. The gorgeous windmills have been converted into charming villas will beautiful sea views and, let’s face it, everyone needs to sleep in a windmill at least once their lifetime – check the price of Windmill Villas here!
5 | Explore the maze of meandering alleys in Oia
Having adorned a million postcards Oia is the picture perfect Santorini town that draws millions of visitors to the island. We adored its picturesque setting, the maze of narrow streets lined with shops and cafes and the cliffside views.
6 | Browse the literature at Atlantis Bookstore, Oia
Atlantis books is an Oia gem. Tucked away in the basement of one of Oia’s white houses, Atlantis books is one of the qurkiest book shops we’ve ever visited and one could get lost for hours browsing its shelves and poking through its unique collection. Don’t forget to say hello to the resident cat and dog too!
7 | Swim in the turquoise waters of Amoudi Bay
A swim in the turquoise blue waters of the volcanic sand and pebble beaches of Santorini is a mandatory excursion during a sunny island day. From red sands to black sand beaches to stunning bays the island is surrounded by crystal clear waters: our favourite is Amoudi Bay which, although not a beach, is a gorgeous swimming spot and worth the 300 step descent from Oia.
8 | Hike from Fira to Oia
The 9km hike between Fira and Oia rewards with beautiful views of the island and takes in some small towns, picturesque beaches, ancient churches and wild flowers. It’s also possible to hike out to the famous Skaros Rock if you fancy an extra challenge!
Santorini sightseeing tip: The hike takes around 3 hours so make sure to bring water, wear sunscreen and start early before the midday sun! The trail can be loose in places so gym shoes are a help.
9 | Eat Santorini’s best gyros at Lucky’s, Fira
Lucky’s is a Santorini institution and serves awesome gyros and souvlaki. It’s cheap, cheerful and satisfying and perfect after a long day on the island!
10 | Walk the black sands of Perissa Beach
Known locally as the black beach, due to the volcanic black sand, Perissa Beach is a great beach option in Santorini with the bonus of easy access to bars and restaurants along the boulevard.
Santorini sightseeing tip: when visiting Perissa Beach make sure to check out Tranquilo Bar, located right on the beach front, for some colourful times.
11 | Fall in love with the cats and dogs of Santorini
Santorini has no shortage of cats and dogs manning its shop fronts and narrow alleys and it’s hard not to fall in love with them all. Many are looked after by the locals but, in the height of the summer sunshine, the strays broke our hearts and lapped up cool water and some tlc.
12 | Admire the the beauty of the Three Bells of Fira
Fira town is essentially a busier, bigger version of Oia with lots of restaurants and nightlife. Despite this it still has its share of beautiful views and quiet winding streets and you can get completely lost exploring the many alleys and streets that meander the hillside overlooking the caldera. Our favourite view was this signature Santorini photo of the blue domed church bells overlooking the caldera.
13 | Check out the Red Beach at Akrotiri …
The soaring red lava cliffs and red sand of Akrotiri’s Red Beach is a unique sight in Santorini and it is one of the island’s most famous beaches. Even on the gloomy Santorini day we visited the red pebble sand and cliffs were incredible to see, just be careful of potential rock falls.
…and step back in time at Ancient Akrotiri
14 | Enjoy the quaintness of Emporio Town
This beautiful little town is on the road to Perissa beach and is easy to pass without ever knowing it’s hidden away. Quiet streets, adorable resident dogs and friendly locals show a very different side to the hustle and bustle of the main Santorini towns.
15 | Discover the blue domed churches of Oia and Perissa
Santorini is famous for its blue domed churches and the blue dome churches of Oia are an iconic Santorini postcard image. Perissa houses another beautiful dome domed church located in the central square.