What to do in Santorini


Where to go on trips away from the beach? Where is the best place to swim in the sea and what else to do on Thira?


There is no more romantic place in Europe, and probably the world, to watch sunsets. The rugged mountainous nature of the island, with views out to sea dotted with other smaller islands, and the iconic villages in the steep hills with their whitewashed houses add a unique charm to Santorini evenings. Even if you have to come here just for the sunset, you can't go wrong.

The entire western side of the main island of Santorini forms the edge of a former volcanic crater and towers 300 metres above the sea. On its edge, visit the iconic towns for the best sunset photos.

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The best places for sunsets on Santorini:

Beaches and swimming

Santorini's beaches are quite different from others in Greece due to the island's volcanic past, and their black and red sands make for an exceptional spectacle that you won't want to miss. However, if you're looking for 'catalaga' beaches with white sand and palm trees, you'll be disappointed to find none on Santorini.

The main beach resorts are concentrated on the islands' convenient shores, but these are mostly just smaller quieter towns. There are no large hotel resorts on Santorini, which just promotes a romantic and quiet atmosphere. The entrance to the water is usually quite steep on all beaches.

Prices for beach services or water sports on Santorini are slightly cheaper than on other Greek islands.

The best beach resorts on Santorini

The most beautiful beaches on Santorini

  • Kamari - the largest resort with a lively beach promenade and a 2 km long black sand beach
  • Perissa - the second largest resort is more of a quiet village with over 2.5km of black sand beach
  • Perivolos - even the longest 3km beach in Santorini has black sand and lives the quiet life of a small Agios Georgios resort
  • Vlychada - a secluded black sand beach on the south coast is often described as the most beautiful on the island thanks to its scrolling limestone cliffs
  • Kokkini (Red Beach) - the very exotic beach at Akrotiri attracts with its red iron sand, which makes it unique in the world

Boat trips

The flooded volcanic caldera with the island crater of Nea Kameni and the other islets of Palea Kameni or Thirassia, as well as the breathtaking sunsets, attract numerous boat trips around Santorini. Boat trips are one of the most popular and best activities on the island and should definitely not be missed.

The vast majority of them start at the port of Fira, which can be reached by a busy local public bus service (the price of a ticket from Fira to the port is about 2 eur.

You can choose from cruises on traditional historic-looking boats or modern catamarans. There is a wide choice of cruises, examples of prices are given here:

  • Visit to the island of Nea Kameni - approx. 18 eur round trip + 5 eur island visit fee, trip length approx. 2 hours
  • Visit to the islands of Nea Kameni + Palea Kameni - approx. 20 eur round trip + 5 eur island visit fee, trip length approx. 3 hours
  • Sunset Caldera tour - visit Nea and Palea Kameni at sunset, prices around 35 eur + 5 eur fee for island visit, trip length approx. 5 hours
  • Caldera tour + visit to Oia village - around 45 eur, trip length approx. 11 hours

Cruises are organised by many companies, usually you just need to walk around the centre of Fira and choose from several offers, as an example we mention Santorini Volcano Tours or Santorini Boat Tours.

Various companies also offer complete full-service cruises with meals on modern catamarans, such cruises start at around 100 eur.

Enjoy a visit to the taverns

After a full day of exploring Santorini, you can't skip a favorite activity. Take a stroll around one of the villages and in the evening, visit one of the dozens, maybe hundreds, of tavernas, typical Greek restaurants. The food on Santorini is great, plus most tavernas offer outdoor gardens with breathtaking views of the sunsets.

Walking tours

For example, take a hike along the cliffs between Fira and Oia. You can finish the 8-kilometre route with stunning sea views at one of the restaurants in Oia and then enjoy a romantic sunset.

Visits to wineries

In Santorini, you can pay for a tour of the wineries or make your own trip to one of them and then enjoy a dreamy tasting on the high cliffs overlooking the sunset. Among the most famous is the Santos Wines winery, and you can also visit the Wine Museum.

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