32 Best Things To Do In Santorini

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

things to do in santorini

There are literally hundreds of activities, attractions, tours and excursions you can do in Santorini. Here is the ultimate list of what to do in Santorini to make this the best trip of your life. 

I have handpicked the ultimate list of the Best Things To Do in Santorini on the list below but depending on your situation this might differ for you (and that’s why I have categorised those depending on that) and you might be interested on different attractions in Santorini.

Where To Stay in Santorini
Best Beaches in Santorini
Best Santorini Boat Tours
Best Santorini Flying Dress Photoshoots
Best Things to Do in Pyrgos

Good news is that Santorini is the island with the most things to do than any other greek island (definitely larger variety of tours and attractions than Mykonos island for example).

In my honest opinion the absolute best things you can do in Santorini are:

But the list of amazing things to do and attractions to see on the island is literally endless and I have picked up 32 of them at the bottom of this article. Bad news is that you probably won’t have the time to do all of them (especially if you are on the island for 3-4 days) so you have to choose wisely and make the best of your time on the island.

Jump in quickly:


  • If you are visiting the island for less than 4 days the best thing is to book a Santorini Tour with a guide that will show you the best of the island in a limited time

  • If you are coming on a cruise and you only have a few hrs in Santorini take a guided tour like this one

  • You should definitely visit at least one winery and if you don’t have the time to visit a second one then visit Santowines Winery. You can also book a winery tour where a guide will take you around a few wineries and you don’t have to worry about transportation while…winetasting.

  • You don’t have to pre-book every tour online but if you are visiting during the summer months of June-September then things get sold out and it’s a good idea to have everything booked well in advance.

Let’s dive in and see the best things you can do while in Santorini:

1. Go on a Sunset Cruise

A sunset cruise will be the highlight of your trip to Santorini

A sunset cruise will most likely be the highlight of your trip! I am strongly advising anyone who is asking what is the single best thing they can do on the island, to take a sunset cruise. Take to the water and view the island from a different perspective. Santorini is known for its amazing sailing cruises, as you get a unique view of the volcanic landscape and the sunset. Most of the sunset cruises depart from the port of the island (it’s called Athinios).

Best Sunset Cruises you can take in Santorini (and I do recommend to book online as during the high season these sell out quickly):

2. Visit a Santorini Winery for wine tasting

Santorini has more than 15 wineries but only 2 of them have impressive views: Santowines and Venetsanos winery

Wine production in Santorini dates back to Roman times and it is still one of the main local products of the island. Santorini’s wine is exported all over the world (read its history here) and there are new amazing wineries popping up on the island. Santorini is famous for its vineyards and in all of the available wine tours of the island you will walk around the vineyards themselves and be given a detailed history of how wine has been produced on the island since 1500BC. If you only have time to visit one winery make sure it is the SantoWines Winery close to Pyrgos town. But if you are more in a rush and want something easy then it’s a very good idea to book a wine tour that will take you with a van to different wineries (wine trail). Most of the winery tours on the island also include the impressive Santorini Wine Museum, which deserves a visit by itself. These are the Best Santorini Winery Tours:

3. Visit The Famous Red Beach

red beach santorini
Red Beach in Santorini has one of the most unique landscapes in the world but it’s not the best beach to swim

Santorini beaches are legendary but the famous Red Beach is probably the most amazing and unique one of them all. The incredible geological formations of the black and red volcanic rocks come in contrast with the crystal clear turquoise waters of the blue sea, all composing a really unique landscape. A visit to the Red Beach is a must for every visitor of Santorini and while it might be incredibly busy during the high season, a selfie as you go down the rough path to the beach is always a perfect photo for your instagram feed! Be careful though, as it is highly recommended that you wear proper shoes (flip flops or sandals is a no-go!) as the path that leads to the beach is quite rough (not a long one though). The Red Beach is also very close to the Ancient Akrotiri prehistoric ruins so you can definitely combine those two and visit both at the same day. There are a few canteens and pop-up shops at the start of the path that leads to the beach, so you can buy water or drinks. There is also a small parking space and if you are visiting any month other than June, July or August you shouldn’t have any issues parking your car or ATV there. While on the beach, you will notice that there is a barricaded area which is basically to protect people from falling stones and rocks (yes, that can happen so be careful!). Though not the best beach in Greece, Red Beach in Santorini is one of the most famous and most impressive ones. You will definitely not be alone on the beach because it’s such a touristic spot, but the scenery and the uniqueness of the landscape will definitely reward you.

  • How To Get To the Red Beach: if you have your own car or ATV, just follow the signs from the road from Fira to Perissa (same turn as Akrotiri) but you can also take the Santorini local bus that also goes to Akrotiri town.
  • Red Beach on Google Maps

4. Visit The Unique Town of Oia

Yes, you won’t be the only one wanting to see the sunset in Oia…

The idyllic town of Oia with its whitewashed houses and blue shutters is one of the most photographed places in Greece (and probably on earth!). Situated on top of an impressive cliff, it boasts spectacular views over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni islands. You can read more about Oia’s history here. You should definitely wander among the maze of narrow streets with its blue domed churches and numerous art galleries and tavernas. Watching the sunset from Oia is considered one of the most magical moments you can have in your life… (even though in July and in August it might be super crowded). I won’t lie to you on that: Oia is a very touristic place and it might feel extremely crowded during sunset time (at any time of the year). No matter how touristic or crowded it might feel sometimes, Oia is an amazing place and you have to be there to understand her beauty. Pictures don’t do enough justice… Not to mention obviously that Oia is still the place with some of the most impressive and luxurious hotels in the world (like Andronis Suites): If you live in a hotel near the sunset of Oia, then you are one of the lucky ones as you could literally enjoy it from your terrace or balcony in most of the cases. But if not…you can still stay at a cheaper hotel in Santorini (like these ones) and still visit Oia whenever you want.

  • How To Get To Oia: If you have your own means of transportation like a car, ATV or a motorbike it’s a 25mins drive from Fira (just before Oia you will be diverted because now the main road of Oia is only exit one way just to accommodate the crowds). There are several parkings where you can leave your vehicle (though not free; expect to pay around 3-5 euros for 5 hrs or so). You can always take the local bus of Santorini that departs from Fira regularly and it costs around 2 euros (one way)
  • Oia on Google Maps

5. Watch the sunset from Profitis Ilias hilltop (yes…not from Oia)

The sunsets from Profitis Ilias mountain top are out of this world

Oia is said to have some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth, but as a matter of fact there are many spots on the island to take in the stunning pink and gold rays as the sun drops into the Aegean sea. The village of Imerovigli with its panoramic views is one, as is Vlychada beach with its volcanic scenery.They can be equally romantic and mesmerising…. However, my favourite spot is not one of the famous ones. I prefer to watch the sunset in Santorini from a different spot. This spot is on the top of a hill on a place where a monastery exists. It is called Profitis Ilias Monastery and it’s the highest point on the island. The view from there is s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g ! On the way up you will find the sign for the monastery of Prophet Elias, where a Greek Air Force radar also exists(it’s on the other side…nothing to worry about).

  • How To Get To Profitis Ilias Hill: Unfortunately there is no local bus that can take you there, so you have to take your car or ATV to go. Just follow the signs from Pyrgos Village. The road to the top of the hill is narrow so be careful driving there:
  • Profitis Ilias Monastery on Google Maps

6. Visit Eros Beach

Theros Beach Lounge Bar is one of the best beach bars of Santorini

Eros Beach and Theros Beach Bar is one of the best well kept secrets of the island. An amazing and extremely relaxing beach bar situated at the edge of a beautiful white rock beach with crystal clear blue waters. Eros Beach, apart from being an extremely romantic and seclusive place, I believe it is an ideal location to get away from the touristic madness of other spots of Santorini.

  • How To Get To Eros Beach: Unfortunately there is no local bus that can take you to Eros Beach and that means you have to drive there by yourself. Just follow the signs to Vlychada Beach and then you will find a sign for a right turn to Eros Beach and Theros Beach Bar. Be careful though because the road that leads to Eros Beach is not paved with asphalt. You don’t need a 4×4 but just be prepared for that.
  • Eros Beach on Google Maps

7. Try (by any means…) local fava beans

Caramelized onions are usually put on top of the mashed fava beans. Yummy!

This is the greek version of hummus and you have to try it , by all means! The stunning local pureed fava beans are usually drizzled with fresh or caramelised red onions and olive oil (sometimes capers are added too). It is considered one of the best delicacies in Greece and you will find it in all of the restaurants of Santorini. Of course there is a ton of other amazing local products of Santorini you should try while on the island!

8. Visit the picturesque towns of Pyrgos and Megalohori

Pyrgos is a picturesque small town in the centre of the island with white washed streets and houses.

Pyrgos is a lovely village (but less touristic), with myriads of churches and small white paved streets and historic architecture galore. It also offers some amazing but different views of the island an some stunning sunset views on top of its glorious hill.. In my opinion, Pyrgos is equally beautiful with Oia and it’s less touristic…so you definitely have to visit it! If you happen to be in Santorini during the Greek Orthodox Easter (99% of the times it’s in April, every year) make sure to visit Pyrgos by all means on Good Friday, as the whole village is lit by small fires on the rooftops, giving the impression of a burning town. Pyrgos village is on Google Maps

9. Visit Akrotiri Prehistoric City Archaeological Site

Ancient Akrotiri prehistoric ruins is considered one of the most important prehistoric civilizations in Europe and for many it is Greece’s Pompeii.

Ancient Akrotiri prehistoric town is one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in Greece and for many it is considered the Pompeii of Greece. It’s a whole town that was once inhabited by about 30,000 people. There is a massive (quite new) impressive rooftop that is now protecting the whole site while there are still archaeologists working on the area. This is one of the most important ancient greek civilisations and it is impressive how the whole city was vanished overnight due to the volcanic eruption of Santorini back in 16th century BC. Many people consider this town to be the inspiration for Plato’s famous story of Atlantis. The ticket costs 12 euros and I do recommend hiring a guide to take you around and explain in detail what you are actually seeing (not very clear to be honest…so a guide is totally worth it in my opinion).

READ MORE: Akrotiri Prehistoric City – All You Need to Know

  • How to Get to Akrotiri Prehistoric Town: there is a local bus that can take you there from Fira (the capital). If you have your own vehicle you can take the the road to Perissa from Fira and then follow the sign on the right that will also lead you to the Red Beach. In total it is about 25mins drive from Fira.
  • Akrotiri Prehistoric Town on Google Maps

10. Hike to Skaros Rock

Skaros rock used to be a fortress back in the day and a hike is very easy from Imerovigli

Surprisingly enough , Santorini has some really unique castle and fortresses that are always open to public. Skaros Rock is actually one of them as it used to be a fortress for the buzzing medieval venetian capital of the island which used to be built around that rock. The ideal location of the rock was used to protect the houses of the venetian aristocracy from the pirates ships back in the 16th century. Hiking up there will give you the opportunity to see Imerovigli (as it sits in front of Imerovigli town) from a different view. You will see some of the most impressive Santorini hotels while there. The hike itself is not a tough one with the 300 stairs being the hardest bit. Though not as impressive as a castle you will find in Scotland or elsewhere in Europe, Skaros rock is definitely worth your hiking as the views to the volcano and the caldera are stunning!

  • How to Get To Skaros Rock:You have to go to Imerovigli first and from there go down to find the chapel/church of Agios Georgios (you can also follow the signs to Grace Santorini Hotel too) where the path to Skaros rock basically starts. From there, you will definitely see other people hiking up the rock and the stairs so just follow the crowds!
  • Skaros Rock on Google Maps

11. Swim at the Black Beaches of Perissa and Perivolos

Perissa is the famous black beach of Santorini and it is the best beach of the island with lots of amenities, beach bars and restaurants

Perissa and Perivolos are basically the same long beach with tens of restaurants and beach bars options for you, to basically spend the whole day there. Perissa is the famous black beach of Santorini. There are lots of beach bars, tavernas, pizzerias and cafe places along the main beach road of Perissa and there are lots of sea activities too (diving school, jet ski rental places, beach volleyball courts). The black Beach in Santorini is the ideal location for kids and families as it’s literally the best spot for the children to play around and have an awesome day by the water. It’s a totally safe and awesome environment where the whole family can have fun and spend a beautiful day out. However, I should say that Perissa and Perivolos beach (aka “the black beach”) are not worth your visit during the winter in Santorini. Even though the amazing black beach and the sea is still there, most of the businesses , restaurants and hotels are closed between November and April every year, so it’d be good to have that in mind if you are not visiting Santorini during the high season (May-October). The weather is quite cold between November and April and you won’t be able to swim at the sea (you can definitely try if you want!!). You can certainly visit the beach but do not expect to spend any time there.

  • How To Get To The Black Beach: there are many regular buses from Fira to Perissa and lots of bus stations close and on the beach road. If you have your own car or ATV it is a 20 mins drive from Fira to Perissa.
  • Black Beach (Perissa) on Google Maps

12. Hike the trail between Oia and Fira

Hiking from Fira to Oia takes about 2.5-3 hrs and it will provide you with some of the most magnificent views of the volcano and the caldera.

Some people consider this one of the best attractions in Santorini for very good reasons. It’s roughly a 2.5-3 hours hiking trail which can be a bit steep at some points but it’s definitely worthwhile doing as it will reward you with some of the best views of the island. It is not a difficult hiking tour but you definitely have to be in good shape. The Caldera Guided Hike is the best walking tour from Fira to Oia. Make sure you do the hiking early morning or late in the afternoon as in the summer it could be super hot and the sun may easily exhaust you. Take plenty of water with you and plenty of sun cream and…off you go!  Or you can just hike early in the morning (especiall if it’s summer). This link provides all the details about the path itself, the starting and end point of the path and other info along the way.

13. Visit the amazing Ammoudi Bay

Ammoudi is a small fishing village just below Oia. DO NOT TAKE THE DONKEYS FROM OIA TO AMMOUDI. JUST WALK THE STEPS OR TAKE A TAXI.

Ammoudi Bay is just a small picturesque bay just below Oia. This is where you will probably see some of the most crystal clear sea waters of your life!In Ammoudi you will find a few very good seafood restaurants like Katina Fish Tavern , Sunset Tavern and Dimitris Taverna where you will literally be seated next to the water. From Ammoudi you can take the long staircases path up to Oia. I know that taking the steps is tiring but please do not take a donkey up to Oia…This has been a major issue the last years and the good news is that there is some movement to stop this cruelty.

  • How To Get To Ammoudi Bay: You can go to Ammoudi by going down the stairs from Oia or by driving through the road and park a few meters before the bay (or behind it). There is no local bus that can take you to Ammoudi and if you don’t have your own means of transportation you can just take a taxi from Oia or just walk the stairs down. You can then call a taxi from one of the restaurants at Ammoudi.
  • Ammoudi on Google Maps

14. Visit the white Vlychada Beach

Vlychada is one of the longest and quietest beaches of Santorini with massive white rocks overlooking the sea

Apart from the famous black beach and the unique Red Beach there is one more colour that Santorini beaches cover: white! This is Vlychada beach and it is super impressive, as the geological formations of the rocks are very dramatic as the long beach unfolds in front of your eyes. Vlychada beach is also one of the most quiet and peaceful places of the island and probably ideal for beach reading. Apart from having an impressive beach, Vlychada is also a small fishing village with some really good fish tavernas and restaurants:

  • How To Get To Vlychada Beach: There are 3 local buses a day from Fira to Vlychada so…your options are pretty limited if you don’t have your own vehicle. if you have your own car or ATV you can take the road from Fira to Perissa and you will find a right turn to Vlychada Beach and to Eros Beach too. It’s about 20 mins drive from Fira in total.
  • Vlychada on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/wQ3wzGriz9k

15. Visit the family-friendly Kamari Beach

Kamari beach is ideal for families as there are lots of amenities around

Apart from Perissa, Perivolos, Vlychada and the Red Beach there is one more really famous and totally worth your visit Santorini beachKamari Beach. Kamari is a long beach with black pebbles and sand which is very well organised with all types of amenities, restaurants, sunbeds, umbrellas and beach bars. Kamari and Perissa are the most family friendly places/areas of Santorini. A day at the beach is always a very good day for a kid and Kamari can offer lots of good options for both adults and kids. You can even dive from the rock which is on the right of the beach and…diving is always super cool, right?

  • How To Get To Kamari: There are regular local buses throughout the day from Fira to Kamari and it’s about a 15mins journey. If you drive then just follow the road to Kamari/Airport (there are lots of signs).
  • Kamari on Google Maps

16. Get On The Cable Car

Just to be clear: this is not an attraction ride but a 3 min ride from the Old port of Santorini to Fira. It offers amazing views to the island and it’s a fun way to go up and down the hill. Please do not choose to ride the donkeys (especially if you just came down from a cruise ship). The whole world is boycotting this cruelty. The cable car ticket costs 10 euros and you cannot book a return ticket. You have to book each ride individually. Normally there shouldn’t be any long queues or crowds (apart from the times when a cruise ship has just arrived obviously when you have to wait for more than 45 minutes to get in). Each cable car can fit 6 people and the views are stunning.

  • How To Get the cable car: you can take the cable car down the hill from Fira or the old port.
  • Cable Car on Google Maps

17. Witness a Greek Wedding

This is seriously fun and it is a true representation of a traditional greek wedding (I know because I have been in quite a lot of weddings in Greece!).

Book it here

This is an interactive play / show where you will be taught how to dance traditional greek dances, you will eat yummy greek nibbles, you will drink lots of Santorini wine and most importantly you will have lots of fun, like greeks and locals do in their private lives. You will see all the traditional things that greeks do (or in some cases used to do…)  in their weddings like smashing plates, dancing like crazy and drink awesome wine! 

This is one of the newest things to do in Santorini and it is has become a viral sensation for everyone visiting the island!

18. Relax at Katharos Lounge

Katharos Lounge is one of the best well kept secrets of Santorini

Katharos Lounge is one of the most relaxing spots of the island and it is a vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant with amazing views over Katharos Beach. The building has a very unique energy and it was a hospital back in the mid 1900’s. Now, it’s a super relaxing lounge bar with mesmerising sunset views of the Katharos Bay. The couple that refurbished the whole building from the ground up also have a lovely story and they love cool music too. Unfortunately, Katharos Lounge on Katharos beach is not open between the months of November and April. It’s open only between May-October.

  • How To Get To Katharos Lounge: There is no local bus that can take you there. You have to drive yourself unfortunately or take a taxi. If you drive yourself just follow the signs from Oia to Ammoudi and you will see a sign for Katharos on the right.
  • Katharos Lounge on Google Maps

19. Wander the streets of Imerovigli town

Imerovigli is the best area to stay in Santorini with the most impressive hotels

Imerovigli is a cute little neighbourhood (not a town really) next to Fira. This is the place that has the most luxurious hotels in Santorini and it is the place where you will find yourself suddenly walking next to someone’s plunge pool! So be careful of that… Imerovigli is the ultimate destination to take amazing photos of the caldera and the volcano. Alternatively, you can always take the Photography Tour of Santorini and be guided by a professional photographer who will show you what the best spots on the island are (some of them are indeed at Imerovigli). Imerovigli is also the home of the best hotel in Santorini which is Grace Hotel Santorini . Imerovigli is also opposite the famous Skaros Rock and you can combine that walk with your hiking to the famous rock.

  • How To Get To Imerovigli: Imerovigli is only 2km away of Fira and there is a local bus that can quickly take you there. Alternatively, you can just take the main road from Fira to Oia and park at the main square of Imerovigli. It’s about 5 mins drive from Fira but to be honest you can even walk From Fira. it’s about 25 mins walk.
  • Imerovigli on Google Maps

20. Buy books from Atlantis Bookshop in Oia

Atlantis Bookshop in Oia is one of the cutest and most famous bookstores in the world with a very inspiring story of a bunch of people who…just followed their dreams and did what they wanted most in life. Craig Walzer , one of its founders has even spoken at TedX Athens. The thing that actually bothers recently its owners the most is the fact that many people just visit the bookstore and don’t actually buy any books. People started seeing it more like a Santorini attraction rather than an actual bookstore and that is hurting their business who needs Santorini visitors to survive in the harsh economic environment of Greece. So, if you visit the bookstore don’t just take pictures and leave. Buy your beach books from their amazing collections and you won’t regret it…

  • How To Get To Atlantis Bookstore: The bookstore is to your left side as you go to the main sunset location of Oia (just follow the crowds of the main street of Oia… you won’t miss it!).
  • Atlantis Bookstore on Google Maps

21. Rent an ATV or quad in Santorini

ATVs or quads are everywhere in Santorini. They can be fun but they are also dangerous.

Riding on an ATV or quad in Santorini is certainly a fun thing to do. This recently has become the most common means of transportation on the island and there are hundreds of places from where you can now rent a quad bike on Santorini. However, you should be careful about driving those as they tend NOT to be the most stable vehicles in the world and Santorini’s streets are not the best.

  • Where To Rent An ATV (quad) in Santorini: the best thing to do is to rent it online through Bikesbooking

22. Visit the Santorini Tomato Industrial Museum

The tomato museum of Santorini is now an lovely area where concerts and other cultural events happen

Tomato Industrial Museum “D.Nomikos” is a museum in Vlychada that you certainly don’t expect to find on an island like Santorini but Santorini’s exceptional cherry tomatoes have been a part of the island’s history for centuries! This factory used to be one of the largest of its kind in Greece and in Europe, but it had ceased producing any canned tomato paste since 1981. It has then been converted to a museum and an Arts exhibition center with lots of visitors from around the world.The factory is in Vlychada beach so you can either go there by the local bus or by driving.
READ MORE: Santorini Tomato Museum – All You Need to Know

24. Visit the unique Art Space Winery & Gallery

Art Space is the only winery in the world that is also an impressive gallery!

Art Space winery in Santorini is a very unique place that combines a family winery and the love of its owner for art. When you visit the winery you will be guided by the owner himself (Mr. Antonis Argyros) who will give you a tour and let you wander in the beautiful cave rooms that are filled with art pieces, paintings and sculptures from artists from all over the world. It is one of the best attractions in Santorini! At the end , you will have a wine tasting session with the owner himself who will explain the traditions of wine making of his family , You can buy both art pieces and wine. It’s a fact that only good things can happen when you combine amazing wine and art…so, this is totally worth your visit! (also do not forget to try the amazing Vinsanto wine of the winery; one of the best on the island!)

  • How To Get To the Art Space Winery: The Art Space WInery inery is close to Pyrgos town on your way to Kamari. You can either take a local bus and get off the main road that goes to Kamari and then walk or just drive there by following the signs on your right hand side from the main road from Fira to Kamari. Google Maps is always your friend!
  • Art Space Winery on Google Maps

25. Try the local “Donkey” beer

Donkey beer is the local lager that is produced by Santorini Brewing Company

Santorini has its own local brewery with its own beer brand called “Donkey”. You will find the Donkey beer in all restaurants and tavernas of the island and it comes in 3 different types: Yellow Donkey (lagered ale), Red Donkey (lagered ale) and Crazy Donkey (IPA). Here are all the beers that the brewery is producing. You can also visit the brewery itself and even buy Donkey merchandise which is pretty cool, anyways. The brewery itself is not something super impressive but you can definitely stop by for a few minutes as you drive to Kamari beach and grab your beers.

  • How To Get To Santorini Donkey Brewery: the brewery is on the main road from Fira to Kamari and you will see it on your right hand as you go towards Kamari. There is a small parking lot outside of the brewery but there is also a local bus stop that stops in front of the brewery. This is the bus from Fira to Kamari.
  • Santorini Donkey Brewery on Google Maps

26. Hike on the active Volcano of Santorini and swim at the hot springs

A stop at the volcano island is usually part of every sunset cruise in Santorini

Hiking on the active volcano of Santorini is one of the best things you can do on the island. The best way to explore the volcano and actually hike on it is through a Santorini Cruise that will actually take you to the volcano itself but also take you to the hot springs close to the volcano and to the small island of Thirassia.

The Best Volcano Cruises of Santorini are the following:

Almost all of the sunset cruises of the island depart from the port of Athinios (the port where the big ferries from Athens also stop).Your cruise operators will give you instructions on where to meet and they may offer transport from your hotel. Hiking the volcano is a really cool experience but you really need to bring proper shoes for hiking as the terrain is tough and flips flops won’t do the job unfortunately… You would need about 30 mins to reach the top of the volcano where the views are stunning. The other cool thing you can actually experience while on the volcano cruise is swimming at the hot sulphur springs. Τhis can be really fun and depending on the cruise itself you have about 30mins to 1 hr in the springs themselves. If you actually book a more private (and obviously more expensive cruise like this one), you can pretty much organize the schedule as you want with your crew and even stay longer at the places where you feel you want more time!

27. Go for kitesurfing, surfing and SUP at Monolithos Beach

Kitesurfing is awesome at Monolithos beach

Kitesurfingsurfing and standup paddleboarding (SUP) at Monolithos beach is another fun thing you can do in Santorini. Greek islands are famous for their strong winds in the summer time and Monolithos beach (which is the beach literally behind the airport of Santorini) is no exception to that. Monolithos beach has been a hotspot for surfing for decades and now it’s a famous spot for kitesurfing too. Dimitris and Manolis are the 2 guys who own and run the famous Santorini Kitesurfing Lessons and Rentals and they offer a variety of options with lessons, rentals or both. You can rent kitesurfing equipment for 50 euros for 1 hour. If you are looking to get kitesurfing lessons this will cost you 80 euros for 1 hour. (obviously check their website for the updated pricelist).

  • How To Get To Monolithos Beach: Monolithos beach is literally behind the Santorini Airport so no matter where you are, just follow the airport signs. There is also a local bus that can take you to Monolithos and it will cost you about 2 euros and it will take about 15 mins from Fira.
  • Monolithos Beach on Google Maps

28. Experience the nightlife at Fira town

Fira is your place when it comes to bars and clubs

You have certainly seen the amazing relaxing photos and the romantic pics from the island but the nightlife in Santorini is equally awesome and if you are in the mood for it, then Fira is the place to be! The best nightclubs and bars in Fira are : 2 BrothersTropicalTango BarKoo ClubEnigma and Murphy’s. You should bear in mind though that all these places are only open during the summer high season which is between April-October.  They all close down at the end of October and open up late April or early May so do check out their social media and websites. While the big clubs like Koo and Enigma are focused mostly on greek pop music , Murphy’s is focusing on mainstream international pop and hip hop music. These are basically the best options for solo single travellers but Tango Bar  is considered a more posh option for a night out (with amazing cocktails and views).

Read More on my detailed guide: Nightlife in Santorini

29. Relax at Franco’s Lounge Cocktail Bar at Fira or Pyrgos

Franco’s is one of the oldest lounge bars of the island

Franco’s Bar at Fira has been on the island since the 90’s and it is in my opinion the single best spot for a cocktail, listening to the most relaxing lounge and classical music you could ever imagine overlooking the famous caldera views. But Franco’s has a second location in Santorini and it’s at the top of Pyrgos town. This is an even better and less known spot to watch the amazing sunset from a different and less touristic spot:

  • How To Get To Franco’s Bar: Franco’s Bar at Fira on the main road of Fira as you go down the street on your left hand side. It is very difficult to miss it. Franco’s Bar at Pyrgos is at the top of the village and that means you have to walk up there, next to the church that sits on the top. You can go to Pyrgos village with a local Santorini bus from Fira or with a taxi. It’s a 10 mins drive and then you obviously have to walk to the top.
  • Franco’s Bar at Fira on Google Maps
  • Franco’s Bar at Pyrgos on Google Maps

30. Watch a movie at the Open Air Cinema at Kamari

The open air cinema is one of the bes tthings you can do in Santorini

Obviously if you are not from Greece you don’t actually know that open air cinemas are a thing. It’s a big thing! We actually call them “Summer Cinemas” in greek because they actually operate from May till September. This is where I have spent most of my Saturday’s summer nights as a kid growing in Greece… The Open Air Cinema at Kamari is one of the best and most famous ones in Greece and it is a great night out. There is even a bar inside the cinema so you can get a glass of Santorini wine and drink it along with some nibbles under the stars, watching a movie! Happy Days! Movies are always in English original audio with Greek subtitles. The doors open at 20:30 and the movie starts at 21:30.

BE CAREFUL THOUGH: Kamari Open air Cinema is only open in June, July, August and September. It then shuts down for the winter.

  • How To Get To Kamari Open Air Cinema: The cinema itself is on the main road from Fira to Kamari and you can either take the local bus (there is a bus stop outside of the cinema) or you can drive there. It’s 15 mins drive from Fira on your right hand side as you go towards Kamari.
  • Kamari Open Air Cinema on Google Maps

31. Eat at the Mezzo Restaurant at Imerovigli

Mezzo restaurant at Imerovigli has stunning views

Mezzo Restaurant is the best restaurant with a view in Santorini. Hands down! it is located in Imerovigli and the views to Skaros Venetian rock and the caldera are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. A few other amazing Santorini restaurants are: Avocado , Metaxy Mas , Ambrosia , Argo .

  • How To Get To Mezzo Restaurant: First you need to get to Imerovigli village (2km from Fira) and then you need to get onto the small alley of Imerovigli. Then go down the alleys of Imerovigli and follow the signs you will see (close to Spiliotica Suites).
  • Mezzo Restaurant on Google Maps

32. Hike to Ancient Thera ruins

Ancient Thera is basically on the top of the mountain/big rock that separates Perissa and Kamari beaches and it is an old city that was inhabited between 9th century BC until 726 AD. It was the old capital of the island! The easiest way you can reach the ancient Thera site is by either walking the path behind the main parking lot of Kamari up to the top or drive to the entrance of the site and then walk inside the town.  It’s about 1 hr hike through a pretty easy path (but obviously proper shoes, a bottle of water and sunscreen are necessary !). You can also hike from Perissa but this is gonna be tiring and the path is not good (especially during the hot summer months). Once up there, you have to pay a small admission fee which is 4 euros. Bear also in mind that the site is open from 08:30 to 14:30 everyday except from Mondays when it is closed. But honestly, the best thing up there is not the ruins themselves. Compared to other archaeological sites in Greece or Athens, there is nothing really impressive to be honest. The best thing up there is the stunning views of Perissa, Kamari and the sea.

33. Flying Dress Photoshoot

flying dress santorini

If you are looking for something unique yet completely viral thing to do in Santorini then this is the best. Booking a photoshoot on the blue roofs of Oia or Imerovilgi while wearing a fabulous long dress is probably one of the cheesiest yet most amazing things you can do while on holiday on Santorini island. These are usually 1-hour photo sessions with a full crew of professional photographers and assistants (who usually hold the dresses so that they look like they are “flying”) and you will get the final photos a few of weeks later. These guys are probably the best on the island and they can definitely make you feel like a celebrity during the session.

But depending on your situation the things you might be interested in doing while in Santorini may differ, so I categorised the best things to do per case:

Best Things For Couples & Honeymooners

Santorini is ideal for honeymooners and couples as there are lots of romantic things to do together. These are the best things you can do while on Santorini:

Best Things For Families With Kids

Santorini is ideal for families and kids as there are lots of attractions and things to do. There are also many family friendly hotels (such as: Tsitouras Collection or Tamarix Del Mar). 

These are the best things to do with kids in Santorini:

Best Things For Solo Travellers

Travelling solo in Santorini can be great because there are so many things to do and so many places to meet other people that you will never feel alone on this island.

If you are visiting in the summer, then the best thing is to stay close to the beach side areas where all the beach bars will be buzzing all day long with endless parties or stay closer to Fira to be able to explore the great nightlife of the island.

These are the Best Things for solo travellers in Santorini:

Best Things for Wedding Guests

Santorini is an ideal wedding destination but your guests can also have an awesome time and spend a few days to explore the island. These are the best things to do with or without your wedding guests:

Best Things to Do In The Winter (Nov-April)

In winter, there is no beach life in Santorini which means you have to stay at Fira to be closer to all the buzz. When it’s windy and cold in Santorini there is not that many things to do but the amazing landscape is still there. The best thing you can do is to stay as close as possible to Fira which is the liveliest town of Santorini in the winter. There won’t be any nightclubs or beach bars open… 

But there are still plenty of things you can do in the winter in Santorini


So, there you have them! The best things to do in Santorini though really depend on what your situation is (couple, solo, with kids, senior etc). There is more attractions in Santorini than any other greek island so you can really use that to your benefit when you are deciding how long to stay in Santorini. If you don’t have enough time for all of those things and you only have 1 or 2 days on the island then you should definitely do a sunset cruise, visit Oia and visit a winery (Santowines is the best). But…no matter what you do…or where you stay… there is one thing for sure: Santorini will definitely be on the top 3 of the places you will ever be in your lifetime!

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Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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