The southernmost island in the Cyclades owes its crescent-like shape to the fact that it is a volcanic island. Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption, which occurred about 3,600 years. That major catastrophic event eruption destroyed Thera (the official name of the island) and an enormous tsunami hit the island of Crete to the south, devastating the Minoan settlement at Akrotiri.
Today, Santorini is —along with Mykonos— one of the most popular destinations in Greece for travelers from abroad. It’s a wonderful island with its very own special character and a natural beauty that you must see to believe!
What are the best things to do in Santorini, we hear you ask. Here’s a list:
- Watch the sunset
While in Santorini, don’t miss the chance to watch the sun go down! This beautiful Greek island is well-known worldwide for its jaw-dropping sunsets. The village of Oia is one of the best places to watch the sunset — this is why it can get extremely crowded, so be sure to start looking for the perfect spot as early as possible! Imerovigli is less popular and quieter that Oia, but it’s still a fantastic spot to watch the sunset, as it’s also perched along the rim of the caldera.
- Go wine tasting
If you are a wine lover, you will also love Santorini! The hot, dry climate is perfect for growing grapes and producing excellent-quality wines. Organized winery tours will help you visit wineries on the island and learn more about the winemaking traditions of Santorini.
- Embark on a boat trip around the island
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Santorini and one of the best ways to admire its unique landscape. Sail between the volcanic islands, take a dip in the hot springs of Palea Kameni and enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear waters!
- Taste the amazing local cuisine
From traditional taverns serving fresh seafood and local dishes —such as fava, eggplant dip and tomato fritters— to fine dining establishments that combine local produce and Mediterranean recipes with ingredients and techniques from all around the world, your palate will never be disappointed in Santorini!
- Wander through the alleys of Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firostefani
You will absolutely fall in love with the whitewashed houses and the blue-domed churches! The picture-postcard scenery of the traditional villages will help you fill your Instagram feed with the unique beauty of Cycladic architecture.
- Hike from Fira to Oia
Hiking on the 10-kilometer-long trail from Fira to Oia can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Get ready to shoot plenty of photos along the way, as the panoramic views are truly magnificent.
- Enjoy the beaches
No visit to a Greek island would be complete without spending a few (or many) hours at the beach every day! Some of the most popular beaches are Perivolos, Perissa, Agios Georgios, Kamari, Red Beach, White Beach, Vlychada, Monolithos and the “isolated” beach of Cape Columbo.
No matter where you choose to stay in Santorini —whether it be a prestigious suite at Ambassador, a luxurious room with stunning views at Sun Rocks or a villa in the countryside at Anema — one thing is for sure: the memories created here will last a lifetime.