Updated on 01/01/2023. Santorini. What to say about this place?! It is one of the most unique and special islands in the world!!
Before presenting you with the best things to do in Santorini, here are our travel guides about this unique island!
Here you will find 21 of the best things to do in Santorini!
1. Sunset from Oia!
What better way to start the list with the best things to do in Santorini than the famous worldwide sunset from Oia?
Here there is no secret! Just find a nice spot and just relax to enjoy this fabulous sunset!
The most famous place for sunset in Oia is the Castle of Agios Nikolaos, where literally hundreds of visitors gather to enjoy and take fabulous photographs of the sunset.
Alert: The castle and the whole Oia area get very crowded!
There are some alternatives that you can enjoy the sunset!
Profitis Ilias Monastery in Pyrgos: One of the highest points of the island is a wonderful place for the sunset, but the route there is unique.
Fira-Firostefani-Imerovigli: The path from Fira to Imerovigli offers lively views to the sunset. Especially in Imerovigli the Skaros rock is a unique place to view the sunset!
Lighthouse at Akrotiri: If you want to avoid the hundreds of tourists then the lighthouse would be an excellent place!
2. Sunset Tours
If you want to avoid the crowds in Oia and enjoy the sunset, you can select the boat tours. A simple and affordable tour is Santorini: Volcanic Sunset Cruise.
Now, if you want to include dinner and drinks, then the DreamCatcher Sunset Sailing Cruise in the Caldera would be ideal for you! It even includes a pick up from your hotel.
3. Volcano visit
Let’s be honest. What makes Santorini unique is not the good beaches, the nightlife, the excellent restaurants, and the remarkable wines, but the volcano that makes all the difference and has created this dramatic scenery and formed this special island!
So, you can get the Santorini Volcano and Thirassia Sunset Dinner Cruise if you want to cruise around the island and get some free time at Nea Kameni volcano, with a dive in the springs, and watch the sunset over the island on a dinner cruise.
4. Fira to Oia Hiking
This is a trail of around 10 km, and you might need 3-4 hours to complete it.
This is one of the most famous trails in Santorini, and this is because of the magical views that it offers. The trek begins at the Fira port, and it passes Firostefani and Imerovigli villages till it reaches Oia.
It is pretty easy to follow the trail, but I have attached the below route that you can follow.
The starting point is the Archeological Centre in Fira, and then you head northwest to Firostefani. Walk towards Firostefani, and after passing by Saint Nicholas, you will continue through Imerovigli, and you will see the famous Skaros rock. You can take a break at the chapel of Saint Antony or Prophet Elias before reaching the picturesque Oia.
5. Akrotiri Archeological Site
The ancient settlement was destroyed during the Theran eruption in the 16th century BC and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine frescoes and many objects and artworks!
Personally, I think this is the most important archaeological site in Santorini, so if you have some time, just put it on your schedule.
There is also a fascinating tour guide that shows you around and informs you about the island’s history, the eruption etc.
6. Wine Tasting
Santorini has one of the best and most unique wines and has plenty of great wineries! You start your visits from the Wine Museum Koutsogiannopoulos and continue to the other 15 wineries!
If you want the best view, then Santo Wines should be your only choice, and if you want something quiet, then Domaine Sigalas is the best choice. Personally, I prefer a new recent entry in Santorini wineries, which is Valsatis Vineyards.
Of course, you can select one of the tours and visit more wineries.
The most popular option should be to get the Santorini Half-Day Wine Adventure Tour, where you will visit three different wineries and try up to 12 different wines!
If you want to combine wine tasting and the sunset, you should get the Santorini: 4-Hour Sunset Wine Tour!
7. Santorini Arts Factory
This is a must-see for lovers of art and history!
With the tour around the historical Tomato Paste Factory, you will get a piece of understanding of previous decades economy and social aspects of Santorini!
Amazing concerts and events during summer. An extra plus; It is situated near one of the best beaches: Vlychada!
8. Visit Red Beach!
Santorini might not have the best beaches in Greece, but it has some of the most unique. One of them is Red Beach.
It is located down the road from the Akrotiri, and you have to walk 10-15 minutes from the car park or the bus stop.
Be careful, because often it is closed because of the falling rocks.
9. Cooking Greek Food
Greek food can be really amazing. Imagine now eating and preparing it and learning all the techniques!
Most of the tours about cooking are quite nice and entertaining.
If you want to combine food with wine tasting, I think the best one is the Santorini Cooking Class and Wine-Tasting Tour.
10. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Atlantis bookshop
While you are walking in Oia, you cannot miss Atlantis Bookshop, an independent bookstore that has been featured in The New York Times and Vanity Fair.
It has been called one of the best ten bookshops in the world!
A really unique little gem that every book lover shouldn’t miss!
11. Stay at some of the best hotels
Santorini has some magnificent and absolutely romantic hotels that you will never forget!
They are on the pricey side, but they are simply unique and special.
I gathered here the best places to stay in Santorini, with detailed information, photos and a map!
12. Highlights of Santorini Photo Tour
If you are a photographer lover, then this tour would absolutely fit you!
If you are not, then you should also consider especially due to Olaf being the photographer!
He is just at the top of what he is doing, and he will take you off the beaten path and guide you at every step on how you will get amazing photos! Truly highly recommended!
13. Open cinema Kamari
This is one of my favourite open cinemas in Greece! From May to September this lovely cinema opens its door, and it waits for you for relaxed summer nights!
A small tip: At the back of the cinema there is a small bar, so you can get your drink during the break or before the movie! There is a small bar at the back of the cinema, and each movie has a short break in the middle so you can get your next drink!
The movies usually start around 9:30 pm (check here the official site), but it is better to be there at 8.30 when the doors open to make sure that you find a seat!
Across the street, there is a bus stop that will take you back to Fira. Just check the schedule when you get there to ensure that there is a bus after the movie (usually there is one)!
14. Don’t forget to visit Perissa and Perivolos beaches
These are actually the same long beach and probably the best beaches in Santorini with black sand! They are about a 30-minute drive from Fira and 45 minutes from Oia.
There are lots of beach bars, tavernas, pizzerias and cafe options for you to basically spend the whole day.
The best bar probably is Tranquillo and if you are looking for a Family-friendly bar then Terra Nera is a nice choice.
15. Drink one local beer or more!
Santorini has amazing wine but also it makes unique beers. You can try the local beer Volkan, which is quite special as due to the salty water of the island, a lava filter is used. Also, a must-try is the “Donkey” beers. There are 3 different types: Yellow Donkey (golden ale), Red Donkey (amber ale) and Crazy Donkey (IPA).
If you are a real beer fan then you can visit the local Donkey brewery. More details here!
I have also posted a full list of Greek beers here!
16. Fishing in Santorini
I find this tour very interesting and entertaining. You will learn some different traditional fishing techniques in lovely scenery. There are two different tours equally nice one during lunch, Santorini: Traditional Fishing Trip and Fresh Fish Lunch and one during dinner, Santorini Sunset Fishing Trip with Dinner and Drinks.
17. Visit Skaros Rock
Skaros was a castle that was used to protect Santorini from the pirates’ attacks in the 16th century.
Now you cannot see that much from the castle but still, it is worth paying a visit for the nice and unique views.
The path to Skaros begins from Imerovigli (there are signs ) and the 300 steps wouldn’t discourage you from visiting it!
18. Don’t forget to visit Ammoudi Bay
You can walk down the stairs from Oia to the Ammoudi Port (and then I am afraid you have to go up again for the stairs, as there is no bus) or drive down the road and park next to the bay. You can always call a taxi.
Also, try to avoid taking the donkeys as there were some cruel events in the past years and I think it is time to stop this cruelty.
19. Get the Cable Car from the old port to Fira
You can walk down the stairs to the Old Port, get a drink and get the cable car back up! It costs 6 euros and it is quite a short route (3 minutes). Y
ou can, of course, walk up the stairs or get the donkeys, which personally I discourage as there are many cruel events in the past.
20. Eat local fava dish
It is well known in Greece that Santorini has the best fava dish! It is like hummus and you should try it!
You will find it in all of the restaurants in Santorini in Greece!
21. Eat with a magnificent view
If you want to eat delicious food with an amazing view, then Santorini is the place! My favourite restaurants are the Athenian House, Steki tou Nikou, the Asterias and the Mezzo!
If you don’t mind about the view then you can go to Lefkes, Terra Nera in Perivolos, Metaxi mas and Fistikies.
2 thoughts on “21 things to do in Santorini in 2023!”
Hi! We just returned from Santorini last week (Sept. 4, 2022) and wanted to share a few updates:
1. We went to Santorini Brewing Company (they make the Donkey Beers) and did a beer tasting for free. They offered us 3 (out of the 5 beers available) to taste, and there’ s a video that explains their story and brewing process in the retail shop. Though their website says you can ‘see our facility,’ that was, sadly, not the case. You can only go and taste a few beers and make purchases. Conveniently, there’s a local bus stop that stops right in front of the brewery on the Fira-Kamari bus line. Just tell the driver or ticket agent that you want to get off at Santorini Brewing Co. (Meso Gonia stop) and they’ll let you know when to get off.
2. The Atlantis Books shop in Oia is closed due to the pandemic. Sadly, when we stopped by there was a CLOSED sign on the door and it wasn’t clear when/if it would re-open.
3. Open air cinema in Kamari (CineKamari) is fabulous and totally worth the adventure. However, be sure to check BOTH how long the movie runs & the bus schedule (latest bus schedule is updated every few weeks: https://ktel-santorini.gr/index.php/en/services/timetable/list/15) b/c when we went, the movie ended very late (12:30 AM!) and there were no more buses running! Alternatively, make sure you arrange transportation before you leave. People were stuck having to hire expensive taxis to get back to their hotels. Also, get there early, it gets packed, and 2/3 of the seats are reserved for SMOKERS (not cool). Despite this, it’s a really lovely experience. The local bus lets you off right in front of the cinema.
Some recommendations I would add to the list:
1. If you really want to do a proper beer tasting and tour, check out Ftilos Brewery and sign up for one of their tours & tasting packages. Very reasonably-priced and tastings include snacks/small bites (https://ftelosbrewery.com/tours/)
2. There’s a lovely little beach that is rarely mentioned when researching Santorini. It’s Exo Gialos Beach and it’s only 2.5 km from Fira (walking distance). It’s also relatively quiet, if you like less-populated beaches. More info here: https://www.whichgreekisland.co.uk/islands/santorini/beaches/exo-gialos/ There’s also a nice little cafe and lounge called Yalos which serves fresh seafood and has beach lounges (https://www.yalos-santorini.com/).
3. Another open-air cinema option: Check out Volkan On the Rocks Cafe + Cinema. It’s a beautiful setting overlooking the water in Fira. It’s a different ambience than the open air cinema in Kamari, but nice if you’re staying in Fira and want something low-key to do in the evening. They also serve a full menu. https://volkanontherocks.com/cinema/
Wow Emmi! Excelent comments.
Thank you for sharing your experience!
I like your recommendations. I would include some of them on the post as they are on the spot!