Santorini is a stunning island in the Aegean Sea, famous for its picturesque white buildings, blue-domed churches, and breathtaking sunsets. But is it really that special? Is Santorini worth it?
The answer is a resounding yes! Plenty of unique experiences can only be found on this island. Read on to discover extraordinary adventures that will entice you to select this majestic island for your upcoming vacation.
20 things you can do in Santorini
Santorini’s sunsets are some of the most beautiful in the world. Watching the sun sink into the sea from the island’s caldera is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Since it’s one of the best things to do in Santorini, everyone wants to witness it. So, if you are not staying in Oia, keep in mind that you will encounter traffic on your way there, so plan accordingly.
Expert tip: Don’t remain at the ancient Byzantine church since it’s crowded. You can visit it after the sunset has begun, as there will hardly be enough room to stand in the center!
Explore the ancient Akrotiri
The ancient site of Akrotiri in Santorini is one of the island’s most notable attractions. This Minoan Bronze Age settlement was destroyed by a volcanic eruption over 3,600 years ago, leaving fascinating ruins and artifacts behind.
Located on the island’s southern tip between the settlement of Akrotiri and the famed Red Beach, this landmark attracts thousands of tourists yearly. So, don’t miss your chance to visit it too.
Sail on a luxury yacht around the island, stopping to swim in the crystal-clear waters and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
Take an exciting Santorini day cruise among the Aegean’s deepest blues. Swim in the thermal springs of adjacent volcanic islands and visit world-famous Santorini beaches, including the Red and White.
Explore ancient sites and take in the stunning views of the caldera, which is undoubtedly one of the most incredible things to do in Santorini.
1. Visit the Red Beach
This unique beach comprises red and black volcanic pebbles and is surrounded by towering red cliffs.
The little cove is hidden behind a cliff and encircled by massive boulders. The beach gets its name from the red-brown sand and dirt surrounding it. The beach stones are red and black. Lava monoliths cause the hues in the region from an old volcano.
Red Beach has a greater temperature than the rest of the island. It occurs due to its dark hue and the soil’s condition. It is breathtaking and one of the spots worth seeing while visiting Santorini.
2. Indulge in a wine tasting
Santorini’s volcanic soil produces some of the best wine in Greece, with distinctive flavors you won’t find anywhere else. Take a private Santorini wine-tasting tour to reveal the secrets of a wine-centric area that will last for years.
Explore the best vineyards and wineries hand-picked by professional oenologists. Sample various wines with complementary flavors and create cherished memories.
3. Take a cooking class
Learn how to cook traditional Greek dishes using fresh, local ingredients.
Enjoy a traditional private Santorini cooking class using the fresh farm produce. Enjoy your creations while benefiting from both tasty and healthful food. In a Santorini private tour, feel the force of nature in a guided farm tour full of well-chosen, first-choice items.
4. Go cliff jumping
For adrenaline lovers, there are plenty of spots around the island for cliff jumping into the crystal-clear waters.
The most famous one is in Ammoudi Bay, underneath Oia. The trail around the cliff’s base comes and goes, and plenty of boulder-scrambling and amateur parkour will be done on the way around to the main beach and its famed cliff jumping site.
Pull yourself out of the sea and make your way up to another concrete platform erected approximately halfway up the height of the little islet; here is where the cliff jumping at Ammoudi Beach takes place. If you don’t feel like jumping into the Aegean Sea from up there, it’s fun to sit and watch everyone else do it.
5. Visit the Santozeum Museum
The museum showcases the history and culture of Santorini through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays.
The images are displayed flush against the museum’s walls. This powerfully provides the sense that you are witnessing the ships, curly-haired maidens, swallows, and flowers as they were viewed on the originals before the volcano erupted somewhere between 1600 and 1500 BC.
The Santozeum – a combination of “Santorini” and “museum” — is also used for art exhibitions, film screenings, and festivals.
6. Hike the Fira to Oia trail
This scenic hike takes you along the cliffs from the capital of Fira to the charming village of Oia.
You should know a few things before embarking on the Fira to Oia walk! First, it is 10.5 kilometers long! Furthermore, depending on your ability level, it takes 3 to 4 hours for most people.
Although it is a level path, there are some ups and downs to be mindful of. It may seem like a stroll in the park to experienced hikers. However, remember that it still demands a reasonable degree of fitness.
10. Take a donkey ride
Riding a donkey up the cliffs is a unique way to explore the island.
The donkey ride is a popular mode of transportation in Santorini. Indeed, donkeys have a long history of supporting humans with daily labor and transportation. Santorini was no exception since donkeys are a must-have convenience and attraction.
11. Go scuba diving
Discover the underwater world of Santorini, including shipwrecks, reefs, and underwater caves.
Santorini provides diving enthusiasts with an underwater diving paradise to explore. It conceals many charms, beginning with its magnificent surface landscape and finishing with an intriguing marine world!
Put on sunscreen, take a deep breath, and go off to see Santorini from…another submerged viewpoint!
12. Visit the Monastery of Profitis Ilias
This beautiful monastery is perched on the island’s highest point and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
13. Watch a movie at an open-air cinema
In the summer, catch a film surrounded by stunning views at one of Santorini’s open-air cinemas.
If you like watching movies, the ‘Open-air cinema Kamari’ is the place to be! Visit one of Greece’s most stunning and atmospheric open-air theaters! Locals and tourists kick back, relax, and watch new or vintage movies beneath the stars.
14. Take a helicopter flight
Fly by helicopter over one of the world’s most beautiful and distinctive islands to experience it in a new light. Santorini’s mountainous topography encircles the remnants of one of the world’s largest volcanic eruptions.
White Cycladic buildings tumble down the terraced rock on those cliffs. It’s lovely at sunset when the orange-red light against the countryside creates a romantic ambiance that makes you daydream. From your helicopter seat, you can see even more natural splendor on the island.
15. Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
This museum houses ancient artifacts from the island’s Minoan civilization, including pottery, tools, and frescoes.
The ancient Thera Museum may be considered an extension of the archaeological site of Akrotiri, where you can walk through the incredible, well-preserved ancient city since it has numerous objects from there. The frescoes and the stunning mural paintings are the most notable among them.
These were discovered in public and private structures in Akrotiri and formed one of the museum’s most spectacular exhibitions. They are vibrant depictions of nature and daily life that provide important insight into the manner of life and the surroundings at the time.
16. Relax at a thermal spa
Santorini’s volcanic hot springs have healing properties, making them the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.
17. Go sea kayaking
Explore the island’s coastline from the water, paddling through sea caves and hidden beaches.
During the Santorini Sea Kayak trip, you will see stunning rock formations, paddle, swim, and snorkel in pristine seas, and appreciate gorgeous beaches in the island’s south. You will also have a wonderful light picnic dinner on the way.
18. Visit the Black Beach in Vlychada
This unique beach is made up of black volcanic sand and is surrounded by stunning rock formations.
19. Explore the village of Pyrgos
This charming hilltop village has narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and stunning island views.
It is Santorini’s most attractive and well-preserved hamlet, featuring the greatest examples of the island’s five medieval castles, blue-domed churches, and whitewashed cave dwellings.
Despite its central position on the island, Pyrgos has yet to escape the development in other parts of Santorini. The end product is a relaxed, serene, and classic town with plenty of elegance and charm.
20. Go on a horseback riding tour
Finally, you can ride horseback, exploring the island’s countryside and coastline!
Nobody can deny that the views over the caldera are breathtaking. When you see it for the first time, it’s an unforgettable experience. The light has an ethereal aspect – shades of blue blend, ranging from deep indigo to pastel turquoise. The mists in the sky dissolve into a sea-like velvety ink.
But Santorini doesn’t have to be romantic. It can also be exciting and fun for you and your pals. So if you’re still wondering, “Is Santorini worth it?” you have your answer.
With its stunning scenery, unique experiences, and rich history and culture, it’s no wonder this island is one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations. So pack your bags and get ready to explore all!