Known around the world for its scenic views, a stunning sunset, picturesque spots and volcanic-sand beaches, this crescent-shaped island is considered as the supermodel of the Greek Islands. The landscape and seascape of this island attract over two million tourists annually. With its growing popularity around the world, Santorini has become a head-turner for the first time and seasoned travellers alike.
This place is meant for friends who would like to explore, for couples who would like to have a romantic getaway, for families who would like to spend quality time together or for a person seeking an opportunity to go soul searching. With a variety of activities to choose from, Santorini is the best place for you. To get you started, here are the five best things to do in Santorini:
#1: Delve into its dreamy villages
The unspoiled villages of Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Pyros are perfect for people who prefer a more secluded and hustle-free visit to Santorini. The heavenly village of Imerovigli is located at the highest point of the caldera cliffs, about 300 meters above sea level. Feast your eyes on the magnificent view of the famous volcano, the Aegean Sea and the stunning sunset. Because of its location, it is dubbed as the “Balcony to the Aegean.” Considered as a separate settlement, the village of Firostefani is actually an extension of Fira, the capital of Santorini. Its amazing location will provide you with a magnificent view of the caldera and the volcano. Between Imerovigli and Firostefani lies the female monastery of Agios Nikolaos which is worth the visit for its folklore and ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons. In Pyros, you can spend your night in taverns, bars and restaurants. Because it is far from the hubbub of the surrounding towns, most honeymooners opt to spend their time here.
If you are the kind of traveler who marvels at the hustle and bustle of towns, you may want to visit Oia. Every year, thousands of tourists spend their late afternoon here to marvel at the sight of the setting sun while sipping their favourite drinks at the local tavern by the sea.
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#2: Wine Tasting and Wineries Tour
Santorini is also famous for its wine and wineries. A mixture of volcanic ash, pumic stone and pieces of solidified lava now makes up the soil of the island due to the great eruption of 1, 600 B.C. Because of this, the soil of Santorini is rich in essential minerals which give their wine a naturally low PH level and high acidity. This produces the spicy taste and unique flavour of their wine which helped it gain popularity around the world over the years. Because of the development of wineries in Santorini over the last couple of decades, tours for wine tasting and visits to wineries are becoming famous among tourists especially because many wineries are now open to the public. Two of the most famous ones are Venetsanos Winery and Estate Argyros. A visit to Santorini is never complete without you trying their wine and wineries tour. Book your tour using this link
#3: Visit historical sites
You should also spend some time learning the rich culture and history of Santorini. On the highest point of the island rests the 18th– century Cycladic architecture inspired Monastery of Profitis Ilias. Aside from providing an all-encompassing view of the entire island of Santorini, it also has its own museum, which displays a collection of extraordinary ecclesiastical artefacts, books and Byzantine icons and sculptures. It also houses a collection of displays on local industries. Although the monastery itself is not open to the public, the chapel is always open to visitors where you can spot the colourful frescos and religious icons on the walls and ceilings. The monks living in the monastery are also engaged in wine making and all the goods they produce and cultivate are available for purchase. Another place worth visiting is Light House Akrotiri, the oldest lighthouse in Greece built by a French company in 1892.
#4: Take a Cruise
Unlike the usual fine white sand beaches, Satorini beaches are well-known for their shores composed of red and black pebbles. Its unique shores, combined with steep cliffs, provide for a tranquil and picturesque view. When in Santorini, you can always book a private cruise to enjoy its scenic view. Going on a cruise is a good way to relax and an even better avenue to socialize. You can also try the Volcano Cruise which includes a tour of the hot springs and visit Thirasia island. Cruise to the volcanic islands of Santorini’s caldera region or swim in hot springs using this link
#5: Swim and Snorkel
Santorini is a haven for the lovers of the sea. The White Beach of Akrotiri on the South West coast of Santorini is a tiny beach featuring crystal clear water nestled in white pebbled sand by white towering cliffs. It is perfect for tourists who like calm and quiet because it is not yet frequented by many. If you are into a little adventure, you can go snorkelling to explore its underwater caves and crevices. Another place worth visiting is the Red Beach of Akrotiri. It is a rare sight with its surrounding steep red hills which will provide you with the view of the enormous volcanic rock sitting in the sea. Its shore is composed of small pebbles and red sand. This unique scene is also created by the great eruption.