Santorini is one of the most iconic Greek islands, with cliff-hugging towns, crumbly cliffs and breathtaking sunsets. So, what are the best things to see and to do in this beautiful island?
Start your journey by taking a tour around the caldera, visiting the most popular villages. Then, take a boat trip around Nea Kameni for snorkeling and relax in hot springs!
Akrotiri, a small village in the south of Santorini, is a great place to visit on a day trip. It is home to the remains of a Minoan civilization that flourished before it was destroyed by a huge volcanic eruption.
The ruins of Akrotiri are remarkably well-preserved. They date back to the Bronze Age and are located on the southwest coast of the island.
For over 3,700 years, the settlement was buried under layers of ash and pumice stone that preserved the city’s buildings, their contents, and artefacts. It wasn’t until 1967 that it was discovered in an archaeological excavation near the modern-day village with the same name.
Akrotiri is also known for its unique Red Beach (Kokkini Paralia), a stretch of pebbly sand surrounded by high, bright-red cliffs. It is not a popular beach, but it is worth a visit to see the unusual landscape.
If you’re visiting Santorini, don’t miss out on a trip to the island’s Red Beach (also known as “Kokkini Paralia”). You’ll never be able to get enough of its spectacular sand and pebbles, along with the stunning lava cliffs.
The name of this unique beach comes from its distinctive color that is derived from the sulpharic and iron elements found in its rocks. During past volcanic eruptions, the cliffs eroded and exposed this unusual geological formation.
As a result, the sand of the Red Beach is mainly derived from rocks that have turned red over time. In fact, it is one of only two beaches in the world where you can find this kind of sand.
The beach is accessible by boat from Akrotiri and Fira, but keep in mind that it can be quite crowded during the high season. It also has a certain amount of rockfall risk, so be careful.
Pyrgos is the highest village in Santorini, providing amazing panoramic views of both sides of the island. It's also the largest preserved medieval settlement on the island.
You'll find labyrinthine streets, fortified walls, stone houses, restaurants, bars and hidden galleries here. The village was officially recognized as a protected village in 1995 and has continued to balance its traditional way of life with its tourist economy ever since.
The best way to see Pyrgos is by climbing the hill to its prime attraction, Kasteli Castle (also known as Venetian Kasteli). It's a fortress hamlet, one of five on the island, and if you're brave enough to climb up and around it, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.
You can also visit the nearby church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, which is considered to be one of the most famous churches on the island. The church is famous for its annual Epitaph procession, which sees the entire castle illuminated on Good Friday night.
Oia is one of the most beautiful villages on Santorini, famous for its pretty white houses, churches with blue domes and splendid views over the caldera. It’s a must-see tourist attraction!
- Aside from being a breathtaking sight, Oia also has many unique activities to do. For instance, you can visit a bookstore, hike up the clifftops, or enjoy a swim at a pool bar!
- The village is characterized by its unique architecture, including its 3 Blue Domes churches. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this magical place!
- Aside from the breathtaking architecture, Oia is also home to a number of shops, coffee shops and small taverns. This picturesque village is a perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal or to grab a drink.