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Things to do in
Santorini

Greece’s iconic island of love boasts towering cliffs, stunning sea views, and a dormant volcano in the midst.

Our most recommended things to do in Santorini

Santorini: Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit

1. Santorini: Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit

Sail from Athinios Port to small islands that are home to volcanos, hot springs, and traditional villages. Enjoy some free time on each island, enjoy the fantastic views and charming atmospheres of typical Greek countryside. Set sail from Athinios and enjoy live commentary on board throughout the journey. First stop at Nea Kameni where you can opt for hiking to the crater of the active volcano. Please note that the hiking is done on your own and there is no guide with you, so you must take care of your safety. Next, the boat heads to Palea Kameni, where you have some time to swim in the volcanic hot springs. Please note that the sulfur in the water might leave a stain on light-colored swimwear. Return to the boat for a short sail to Thirassia, where you’ll have free time to explore this charming village. There you can also visit Manolas, accessed by winding stairs, or by a donkey ride up the hill. This is optional of course. If you book the extension option the boat will also take you to a port where a comfortable bus will be waiting to transport you to the mesmerizing village of Oia. Immerse yourself in its unique charm as you enjoy 2-3 hours of free time to wander through the winding streets, soak up the breathtaking views, and witness the magical sunset that has made Oia world-famous. As your time in Oia comes to a close, hop back on the bus for a relaxed journey back to your original destination. Reflect on the incredible memories you’ve made, carrying the beauty of Santorini in your heart. Please meet your bus in Oia at the meeting point 15 minutes after sunset.

Santorini: Catamaran Tour with BBQ Dinner, Drinks, and Music

2. Santorini: Catamaran Tour with BBQ Dinner, Drinks, and Music

Climb aboard the 74-foot Ocean Voyager or the 80-foot Tahiti catamaran for a 5-hour cruise around Santorini in the Aegean Sea. Set off on a journey of discovery that will first take you to the hot springs, then the Red Beach, and finally the White Beach. Swim and snorkel and tuck into a delicious meal onboard. Start your adventure with a comfortable hotel pickup and set sail for beautiful Red Beach to swim and snorkel for 30 minutes. Continue to a secluded White Beach, only accessible from the sea, for more swimming and snorkeling in the shadow of the towering white cliffs. Onboard the catamaran, savor a barbecue supper of salads and grilled meat and veggie options. Continue sailing inside the crescent-shaped Caldera, close to the volcano, and enjoy a final dip in the Hot Springs, before sailing back to Oia as the day ends with a spectacular sunset.

Santorini: Luxury Catamaran Day Trip with Meal and Open Bar

3. Santorini: Luxury Catamaran Day Trip with Meal and Open Bar

Drop anchor on a luxury catamaran tour around the Santorini caldera while enjoying a delicious traditional meal with refreshing drinks from the open bar. Sail in the morning or at sunset on a cruise with a maximum of 20 guests. After being picked up from your hotel, unwind as you’re taken straight to the port. Take advantage of the snorkeling opportunity with a half-hour stop off the coast of Red Beach, plus 1.5 hours to snorkel in the sea caves of White Beach. Bathe in the lagoon’s hot springs and snorkel in clear waters. Taste the flavors of Greece on board a menu of local Santorini delicacies for lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day you choose, with meat and vegetarian options. The menu includes barbecue skewers, dolmadakia (rice-stuffed vine leaves), Greek salad, and other local dishes. Sit back and unwind with a post-meal cocktail and music. Stay refreshed with unlimited drinks on board, including local white wine, Greek beer, and soft drinks. Continue past the two uninhabited volcano islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni and take in other sights such as Aspronisi island and the Akrotiri lighthouse. Later the cruise sails in the caldera below the town of Fira and past the old port. If you chose the late afternoon option, stop below the village of Oia and be wowed by the striking sunset lights adorning the skies with vibrant, pastel colors. This is sure to be an unforgettable highlight to an already unforgettable cruise experience. At the end of your Santorini excursion, relax as your minibus driver conveniently drops you back at your hotel.

Santorini: One-Way Transfer to/from the Port or Airport

4. Santorini: One-Way Transfer to/from the Port or Airport

Enjoy your time on Santorini with a transfer service. Travel between Santorini National Airport, the port, and your hotel in a well-maintained bus, mini bus or van that has plenty of space for you and your luggage. Shared Shuttles might not be door to door and you will be dropped off/picked up from either your hotel or nearest appropriate stop. Book an arrival or departure transfer, whether you are arriving or departing from the port or airport. Whatever your needs, the local operator will take care of them. Travel in a vehicle equipped with the latest technology for a worry-free journey. There may be a wait at the airport/port (up to 60 minutes) or at your departure pick up point (up to 15 minutes), as Shuttles run to a schedule. In some locations, Shared Standard Transfer have specific operating hours.

Santorini: Catamaran Day Trip with Snorkel, Meal, & Open Bar

5. Santorini: Catamaran Day Trip with Snorkel, Meal, & Open Bar

Set sail on a luxurious catamaran cruise from Santorini's Vlychada Marina, welcomed with a glass of wine or soft drink. Explore the island's vivid coastlines while learning about its history and geology from an onboard local guide. Your journey begins at the stunning Red Beach for swimming and snorkeling among the red cliffs. Enjoy mezedes onboard as you sail to White Beach, capturing photos of the Indian Rocks and the Venetian Lighthouse at Akrotiri. The journey proceeds into the caldera, steering towards the volcanic hot springs known for their therapeutic properties. After soaking in these sulfur-rich waters, savor the iconic view of cliff-side villages. The final stop is Mesa Pigadia for more aquatic activities. During this time, savor a BBQ lunch with options like chicken, Neapolitan pasta, Greek salad, and Greek Ratatouille and a traditional greek dessert, complemented by an open bar offering wine and soft drinks.

Santorini: Traditional Sightseeing Bus Tour with Oia Sunset

6. Santorini: Traditional Sightseeing Bus Tour with Oia Sunset

Explore Santorini on a full day sightseeing tour by bus. Learn about the island's history and visit traditional villages. Stop at volcanic beaches and experience an Oia sunset. Tour Itinerary • Akrotiri excavation site: guided tour in this Minoan Bronze Age settlement buried by volcanic ash in the 17th century BC • Emporio village: Explore this quaint village with hilltop windmills, fortified medieval castles and centuries-old churches • Perissa Beach: Enjoy free time for lunch and a swim at the island's most popular black sand beach • Take the opportunity to taste local Santorinian wine, one of the most famous products of the island. Learn about the winemaking process and enjoy a private wine tasting session of 3 wines made of local grape varieties. • Profitis Ilias: Visit the island’s highest peak and admire views from the agricultural plains to the hilltop village of Oia • Oia sunset: Enjoy free time to experience a Santorini sunset at the most-photographed place in Greece

Santorini: Top Sights Day Trip, Wine Tasting, & Oia Sunset

7. Santorini: Top Sights Day Trip, Wine Tasting, & Oia Sunset

Embark on a full-day guided tour of Santorini's highlights. Visit the iconic blue-domed churches of Oia, admire the views from Profitis Ilias, and relax on the shores of Perissa Beach before some well-deserved wine tasting. After pickup from your hotel, board the luxury coach and drive to Profitis Ilias, the highest point on the island. Take in an incredible panorama of the entire island of Santorini, and the stunning deep blue color of the Aegean Sea while learning about the island´s fascinating volcanic history. Wander around the courtyard of the 18th-century monastery that sits on top of the mountain. Then visit the Saint Nektarios chapel and enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings. Continue to the village of Pyrgos, a hidden gem of Santorini. Wander through its winding alleys and immerse yourself in its traditional atmosphere. See typical houses, blue-domed churches, and quaint shops. Walk up to its imposing castle for beautiful vistas of the surrounding area. The next stop is Emporio, where you will join a guided walk and visit the small Venetian fortress. Feel like you’re on the set of Mamma Mia as you discover the many doorways, windows, alleys, and arches of this picturesque medieval village. Continue to Perissa Beach, also known as Black Beach. Here, there will be plenty of free time to go swimming in the sea or have lunch at one of the Greek tavernas facing the beach. Take the opportunity to taste local Santorinian wine, one of the most famous products of the island. Learn about the winemaking process and enjoy a private wine tasting session of 3 wines made of local grape varieties. In the early evening, arrive at the cliff-top village of Oia with its famous blue-domed churches. Once at the bustling castle area, enjoy some free time to take some photos, shop, or have a relaxing drink. Finally, watch an incredible sunset before meeting up with your coach at the parking lot. Board the bus for a relaxing evening journey with drop-off back at your hotel.

Santorini: Catamaran Caldera Cruise with Meal and Drinks

8. Santorini: Catamaran Caldera Cruise with Meal and Drinks

Our brand new tailor-made catamaran offers all the amenities for a perfect day out on the crystal-clear waters of Santorini, including a large deck for sunbathing and a dining area spacious enough for enjoying meals and drinks, and even a bar for relaxing. The Comfort Max cruise takes in the highlights of the island, including the stunning caldera and Thirassia island, so passengers aboard are sure to have an unforgettable experience. Start your sailing adventure from the traditional port of Ammoudi.Let us unravel for you the hidden treasures of Santorini. Explore the unmanned volcanic beaches or sunbathe on the deck. Feel the energy of the volcano while heading to the hot springs. We continue sailing in the Aegean blue waters, passing by Aspronisi and moving across to the Indian Rock & Venetian Lighthouse with cinematic landscapes ideal for photography and video.We then sail to Mesa Pigadia, White and Red Beach for approximately 60 minutes where you can relax, swim or snorkel. When we anchor, a delicious dinner prepared on board is served with traditional Greek appetizers and your choice of BBQ Skewers (Souvlaki). Return to Ammoudi Bay full of lifetime memories!.

Santorini: Catamaran Tour with BBQ Meal and Unlimited Drinks

9. Santorini: Catamaran Tour with BBQ Meal and Unlimited Drinks

Explore the clear Mediterranean waters of the Santorini Caldera on a brand new Lagoon 450 catamaran. Make 2 swimming and snorkeling stops, then feast on a barbecue meal.  Once out on the water, the first stop of the tour will be a 30-minute visit to Red Beach, so named for its bright sand. After some relaxed swimming and great snorkeling, get back aboard the sailboat and continue to White Beach, featuring equally striking rock colors and more excellent swimming and snorkeling.  After swimming, the crew members will serve a delicious barbecue meal onboard. From there, take some time to take in the views from the beach before sailing past the beautiful uninhabited islands of Aspronissi and Akrotiri.  The tour's last stop will be at the hot springs for 30 minutes of relaxation, with the chance to go for a soak in the springs. The tour finishes at the port where you'll board a minibus for a transfer.

From Heraklion/Crete: Santorini Island Guided Day Trip

10. From Heraklion/Crete: Santorini Island Guided Day Trip

Enjoy a roundtrip tour to Santorini. Travel comfortably on a modern boat and in air-conditioned buses while learning about this island's history and mythology. Capture pictures of Santorini's famous Aegean architecture and narrow, winding streets.  Travel to Heraklion port where you will depart on a high-speed boat for Santorini. Enjoy ocean views on the 2.5-hour cruise to the island and pickup a snack from the bar onboard.  Arrive at Port Athinios and hop aboard the bus for the guided tour. Travel 40 minutes to Oia, where you will admire the blue and white houses built over the cliffs. Learn about the city before enjoying free time to admire the volcanic caldera at your own pace. Next, travel 30 minutes to Fira, the main town of Santorini, built on the edge of a 300-meter cliff. Check out its narrow streets, white vaulted houses, and bright blue domes. Have the option to take a cruise from Fira in a wooden boat to the volcano and hot springs (for an additional charge) or spend more time exploring the city. Return to Port Athinios where your guide will help you board the return ferry.  Take in the late-afternoon views on the boat before arriving at Heraklion port.

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Top sights in Santorini

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Frequently asked questions about Santorini

Insider tips: Explore Santorini like a local

Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports.

What should I do on my first trip to Santorini?

One of the best things to do in Santorini is to watch the sunset from the gorgeous town of Oia and see the white buildings drenched in golden light. Santorini also has some great beaches, including Red Beach or the black sand Perissa Beach. Or you can dig into Ancient Greek history at the archeological site of Akrotiri, which gives a fascinating look at life on the island long, long ago.

What are some hidden gems to see in Santorini?

If you want a quieter vibe than Oia or Fira, head to Pyrgos, where you can wander the peaceful, charming streets. While there, check out the little wine bar Brusco where you can relax on the patio with a drink and a delicious local mezze plate. For a stunning 360-degree view of Santorini, hike the trail up to Skaros Rock, a ruined fortress in Imerovigli.

How much time should I spend in Santorini?

While seeing Santorini’s top sights is doable in a weekend, the ideal Santorini itinerary should be about three to five days. It’s long enough to enjoy several towns and archeological sites and still have chunks of time open for hiking and enjoying the beaches. Oia and Fira are the most visited towns on Santorini, but don’t skip some great smaller villages such as Emporio, Imerovigli, and Perissa.

What food is Santorini known for?

Santorini’s rocky, volcanic soil results in some amazing produce, including the grapes that go into its delicious wine. Santorini also has several breweries that make local craft beer. Try tomatokeftedes to sample the sweet tomatoes grown on the island. Santorini is also known for a unique type of fava bean blended into a yummy dip. Try it with another Santorini star dish, the amazingly fresh seafood. Octopus is particularly popular here.

What is the best way to get around Santorini?

Santorini is fairly small and easy to get around, but if you want the most freedom, definitely rent a car. With a car you can be on your own timetable as well as have the freedom to stop at any villages or interesting sites you suddenly see on the way to your destination. Another option is traveling around the island by public bus. The main bus station is in Fira, where all the buses depart from and return to. This is a great budget-friendly option for getting around the island.

What are the best months to visit Santorini?

While beautiful in every season, the best times to visit Santorini are the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October. The weather is warm and pleasant and there are fewer crowds. It's quietest in winter, though it can be chilly, and some restaurants and sights are closed for the season. Summer is hot and crowded, but if you don’t mind the people, it has the warmest days for laying out on the beach and the liveliest evenings for going out.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Fira, the island’s capital, has the most shops, markets, and the Fabrica Shopping Center with clothes, jewelry, shoes, homeware, and much more. Oia also has quite a few shops, including boutiques and souvenir shops.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Santorini?

If you want relaxed beach vibes, stay in Perissa where there is a gorgeous black sand beach. If you want amazing views and luxury accommodation, Oia’s cliffside villas with private pools overlooking the caldera are for you. If you need a more budget-friendly option but still want to be by Oia, consider staying in the neighboring town of Finikia, a 25-minute walk from Oia. If you want to be somewhere that you can easily explore the island from, stay in the centrally-located Fira.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Santorini?

Make fantastic memories with your family on a caldera boat cruise, where you’ll get a chance to see the island from afar, visit the volcano up close, and swim in volcanic hot springs. Good swimming options in Santorini for families include jumping off low rocks near Ammoudi Bay or playing in the black sand and waves at beaches like Kamari or Perissa. If you visit in the summer, don’t miss out on the cool open-air cinema in Kamari, which shows films in English with Greek subtitles.

What is the best thing to do in Santorini for solo travelers?

Santorini is great for solo travelers whether you want to be alone or meet other travelers. There are plenty of great hiking paths you can take by yourself, or join a walking tour to meet other people. Another great way to spend the day is relaxing on the beach. The best ones include Red Beach, Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari. Treat yourself to a lovely sunset dinner with spectacular views at one of the terraced restaurants along the coast. If you want to check out Santorini’s nightlife, Fira is the liveliest town after dark.

What is the best thing to do in Santorini for couples?

Santorini is undoubtedly a famous couples’ destination with many romantic things to do. Book a private evening sailing trip to get spectacular views as the sun goes down to avoid the crowds waiting to watch the sunset. Just south of Órmos Athiniós is a heart-shaped hole in a rock (called the Heart of Santorini) that looks out on the caldera, which is a perfect place for a cute photo op with your partner. A nice dinner with sunset views or a wine tasting at one of the local vineyards are great ideas for ultimate romance.

What are the best annual events in Santorini?

In August, have fun at the Ifestia Festival (the Greek Volcano Festival), enjoying dance performances, concerts, and fireworks. In September, Fira hosts the International Music Festival of Santorini, which offers a variety of orchestral and operatic performances. If you’re in Santorini between May and October, don’t miss the fun open-air cinema in Kamari, which shows films in English with Greek subtitles.

What are the best things to do around Santorini?

Santorini has some fantastic outdoor activities to enjoy. Spend the day at the beach, where you can swim or snorkel. Hiking trails abound — an especially good one is the trail between Fira and Oia, which includes a path to Skaros Rock. You can discover the ancient archeological sites of Akrotiri and Ancient Thera. You can also explore some small islands in the caldera, such as Nea Kameni or Thirasia.

What are the best beaches around Santorini?

Santorini has a variety of interesting beaches you can choose from. Perissa and Perivolos are black sand beaches that are great for swimming. You can rent a beach lounger to relax the day away, and if you get hungry there are several beachside restaurants where you can grab a snack. Red Beach has a unique landscape and bright red sand. Kamari Beach, a pebbly, family-friendly beach, has crystal clear water with shops and restaurants nearby. While not a beach, Ammoudi Bay is a great spot for jumping off rocks and swimming in the water below.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santorini

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What people are saying about Santorini

Overall rating

4.6
(22,184 reviews)

Our guide was Agatha and Petrov was the driver. Agatha is a great guide. She is very enthusiastic and full of energy, she talks the talk and walks the walk literally. The locations were great too. This tour is really value for money.

I am so happy that I booked my transportation to Oia through this company. I was nervous about getting from the ferry port into the city on my own but they were amazing and super affordable.

An also;ute MUST DO when you're in Santorini! A super experience with a professional photographer who knows the best spots .

Wonderful day, great value. Guide went above and beyond. Would highly recommend this trip

It was great! The service and food were wonderful, we were well taken care of!