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Best things to do in Santorini

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Greece  /  South Aegean  /  Cyclades  /  Santorini
Things to do in Santorini range from exploring the archaeological remains from the ancient times to hiking the island's trails with the sight of its active volcano never too far away. You can witness the fatal consequences of the volcano's eruption at Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement largely buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash, which preserved it for posterity. Steep red cliffs contrasting blue waters remain a mesmerizing feature of Red Beach, which attracts tourists in search of a leisurely day in the sun.

Santorini is best known for its Beaches, Landmarks, and Ruins.

Top 15 things to do in Santorini

1. Akrotiri, Akrotiri

Set your clock back a few thousand years with a visit to Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption around 1627 BCE. The volcanic ash buried the remains of many everyday objects used by the settlement's inhabitants, preserving for posterity the ancient way of life of a long-lost culture. Some historians suggest this archeological site, once an important port city on the Aegean, served as an inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis, a supposedly fictional place mentioned in two of the philosopher's major works. To gain a better understanding of the lost community, take a guided tour around the excavation site.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $60 › Learn more about Akrotiri

2. Red Beach, Akrotiri

Famous for its red rock formations, Red Beach sits just steps from the site of an ancient Minoan settlement destroyed by a volcanic eruption and buried in ash around 1627 BCE. Blue waters lapping this beach create a striking contrast with the all-red landscape of the surrounding steep cliffs, which offer unobstructed views of the sea and the curving coastline. The small beach attracts hundreds of visitors each day, creating a lively resort atmosphere well into the evening hours. Two small cafes, cut into the volcanic cliffs just a short walk from the beach, offer cold drinks and light snacks.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $110 › Learn more about Red Beach

3. Kamari Beach, Kamari

Soak up the island atmosphere at Kamari Beach, a popular spot to watch sunrises and sunsets. This beach, Santorini's longest, attracts water-lovers from around the world with its black volcanic pebbles and unobstructed views of the Mesa Vouno and Profitis Ilias mountain peaks, rising imposingly over the calm blue waters of the Aegean. The nearby village, from which the popular beach got its name, boasts a thriving tourist industry and offers a wide choice of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and nightclubs. Be sure to visit the remains of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the god Poseidon, located at the southern end of the beach.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $99 › Learn more about Kamari Beach

4. Semi Private Standard | Santorini Catamaran Cruise with Meal and Drinks

FROM $121
Sail around Santorini on a Catamaran during this 5-hour Cruise, departing from Vlychada Marina. Sail past the island's highlights, such as the Red & White Beaches, the Indian Rocks, and the Venetian Lighthouse of Akrotiri. Stop for snorkeling, marvel at the scenic views of the Aegean Sea and the Volcanic Caldera, and enjoy our Greek Buffet Lunch or Dinner on board with drinks.
Suggested duration: 5h
Tours from $121 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Santorini Sailing, Firostefani

Romance at sea is one way to describe what Santorini Sailing offers to tourists vacationing on the island. The first catamaran company on Santorini, the operator offers full-day cruises, as well as sunset trips, overnight excursions, and short 4-5 hour tours. You can choose between private and semi-private trips, both of which ensure plenty of chances to swim, snorkel, photograph towering sea cliffs, visit hot springs, and enjoy spectacular caldera views. Multi-day charters are also available for visitors looking for a memorable sailing vacation in the Aegean. Pick one of the proposed itineraries, or contact the operator with your preferences for a tailor-made tour that fits your budget and time constraints.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $132 › Learn more about Santorini Sailing

6. Perissa Black Sand Beach, Perissa

One of Santorini's black volcanic beaches, Perissa Black Sand Beach remains popular for its calm waters and abundance of sea life. Lined with rustic seafood taverns, the beach offers you a chance to snorkel or windsurf the turquoise sea during the day, and explore the island's popular dining and entertainment options at night. The site lies in the shadows of the Profitis Ilias, a 560 m (1,800 ft) high mountain that protects the coastline from the harsh Aegean winds. A rugged trail starts just above the beach and leads to the ruins of an ancient Christian church, which you can explore on foot or by riding a donkey.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $55 › Learn more about Perissa Black Sand Beach

7. Wine Tours & Tastings, Fira

Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Wine Tours & Tastings

8. Santorini Luxury Caldera Cruise with Full Greek Meal and Sunset

FROM $132
Board a modern catamaran yacht and cruise along the caldera cliffs of Santorini for a top-notch experience on the water, cruising towards the Red and White beaches, trying your hand at swimming at the warm springs of the volcano, and enjoying a full Greek meal with drinks prepared on board. Take in stunning views of the caldera as you glide through the shimmering waters of the Aegean Sea. Cruise towards the Red Beach and White or Mesa Pigadia beaches and swim at the warm volcanic springs where parts of the water are warmer due to the volcanic activity that exists for centuries on the island. A delicious fresh meal including BBQ chicken, pan-fried fish fillets, shrimp, pasta with tomato and basil, and complimentary Greek wine, beer, and sodas provide the finishing touches, at a secluded bay of the Santorini lagoon. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 guests plus crew, ensuring a relaxing and comfortable experience.
Suggested duration: 5h
Tours from $132 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Sunset in Oia, Oia

Thousands of visitors come to Santorini just to experience the famed Sunset in Oia, one of the island's major attractions. A small town precariously perched on the crescent-shaped volcanic cliffs of the island, Oia has been a popular sunset-watching spot for centuries. A major stop for cruise ships touring the Aegean, the town gets quite crowded by mid-afternoon. It's best to arrive early in the day, leaving plenty of time to explore the town's narrow streets and find the best place for watching or photographing the setting sun. The western side of the town offers the finest views and attracts the majority of visitors, so claim your spot as early as you can.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $60 › Learn more about Sunset in Oia

10. Amoudi Bay, Oia

A place of romantic sunsets and traditional taverns, Amoudi Bay sits just below the small port town of Oia. After a swim in the Aegean, scramble up the bay's red cliffs to take in sweeping views of the sea and the coastline, dotted by tiny beaches attracting water lovers from around the world. The bay gets extremely crowded by mid-afternoon, so try to arrive as early in the day as possible. It's best to spend the first part of the afternoon exploring the bay's many seafood restaurants, leaving plenty of time to find a good spot for watching the sunset near the water or up on the cliffs.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $93 › Learn more about Amoudi Bay

11. Boat Tours & Water Sports, Fira

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Boat Tours & Water Sports

12. Half-Day Exclusive Catamaran Cruise in Santorini with Meal and Open Bar

FROM $121
Sail … the dream on a luxurious catamaran and unlock your senses. Cruise around the Caldera of Santorini. Feel the healing waters and mystical surroundings of the Hot springs. Swim and snorkel at the crystal clear waters of Red beach and Thirasia island. Enjoy a delicious freshly prepared meal prepared on board and open bar. Choose either Diamond Day or Scarlet Sunset cruise.
Suggested duration: 5h
Tours from $121 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Santo Winery, Pyrgos

Taste exceptional Greek wines while enjoying a view of Santorini’s coast at Santo Winery. The vineyard produces a selection of whites, reds, sparkling wines, and dessert wines. Take part in a wine tasting on the upper terrace, which offers views of the islands and sea. Enjoy the small bites of Greek olives, cheese, and tomato paste with your wine.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $165 › Learn more about Santo Winery

14. Ekklisia Theoskepasti hiking trail

To see the best of what Santorini has to offer relatively quickly, tackle Ekklisia Theoskepasti hiking trail. Hundreds of people hike the 9 km (5.5 mi) long trail every day, stopping along the way to discover the island's picturesque beaches, small villages, and ancient churches. The scenic trail covers a variety of terrains, including some rocky and steep pathways for which you should bring a pair of comfortable hiking shoes. The best time to start the hike is just after sunrise or late in the afternoon, during the coolest parts of the day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and bring lots of drinking water and a light snack.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $104 › Learn more about Ekklisia Theoskepasti hiking trail

15. Private Classic Santorini Panorama: Visit the most popular destinations!

FROM $214
Explore the entire island with a flexible 6-Hour private tour. Travel in the comfort of a deluxe and air-conditioned minivan with an experienced local driver/guide. Visit the most known and “do not miss” destinations in Santorini as well as non touristic sights. Seize the opportunity to admire unique views and take memorable pictures of blue domed churches, steep cliffs and volcanic landscapes. Stroll around the picturesque pathways in a traditional settlement and be involved with the local culture and lifestyle. Later on the trip, relax and swim in the black sandy beach and optionally savor Greek recipes in a seaside restaurant. Breathtaking views as well as local wine & handmade Santorinian products will be available at the Monastery of Prophet Elias on the islands's highest peak. Departure time is flexible. The afternoon tour may include an amazing sunset experience from the village of Oia or a less touristic one from the lighthouse and the highest island's point.
Suggested duration: 5h - 6h
Tours from $214 › More about this tour at viator.com ›