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Things to do in Santorini

Things to do in  Santorini

Welcome to Santorini

Santorini has been called several things over the ages—including Kalliste, meaning “The Most Beautiful One”—and it’s an apt description of an island with high cliffs set around a volcanic caldera in the azure Aegean Sea. Fira, the capital, is an enchanting mix of Venetian and Cycladic buildings set into steep cliffs, which are often climbed by cable car or donkey. Meanwhile, Oia's whitewashed walls and blue domes show off one of the most famous and beautiful sunsets in Europe. On a guided tour, these towns reveal Santorini’s charm, which also extends to the sea. Take a boat tour to experience the volcanic island of Nea Kameni, the hot springs of Palia Kameni, and the ancient lighthouse Akrotiri. There are beaches of many colors to enjoy on shore excursions: white, red, and even the black beaches of Perissa and Kamari. More private tours take visitors to traditional villages such as Megalochori and Pyrgos. The highest point on the island is the Monastery of Prophet Elias, and it’s a popular spot on guided tours for its views. Of course, no outing would be complete without sampling the Santorinian wine, distinctive for its minerality courtesy of the volcanic soil—sip while touring the wineries where each bottle was made.

Top 10 attractions in Santorini

#1
Santorini Volcano

Santorini Volcano

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The “Santorini volcano” may refer to two different peaks: the first, Thira, exploded around 1600 BC and ended the thriving Minoan civilization and may have spawned the legend of Atlantis. Millennia of eruptions formed the second “Santorini volcano”—the island of Nea Kameni, drawing visitors eager to hike to the rim of its active crater.More
#2
Oia

Oia

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Perched on the steep edge of the caldera, looking out over the glittering Mediterranean, Oia (pronounced “ee-yuh”) is famed for its dreamy sunsets. Oia is also one of the most picturesque villages in Santorini, with its striking white buildings, blue-domed churches, and atmospheric cave houses burrowing into the volcanic rock.More
#3
Red Beach

Red Beach

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Santorini’s Red Beach is not your average white-sand beauty. Rather, it’s a narrow, pebbly stretch hemmed in by high scarlet cliffs and scattered with large volcanic rocks. Together with the sapphire blue waters of the Aegean Sea, these volcanic features create a striking natural color palette that draws photographers to its shores.More
#4
Santorini Hot Springs

Santorini Hot Springs

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Santorini’s hot springs are on the tiny, uninhabited islet of Palea Kameni. Continuous volcanic activity underground maintains the springs’ temperature between 86ºF and 95ºF (30°C and 35°C). The sulfuric, orange-tinged spring waters that bubble up into a shallow cove off the islet’s coast are said to be curative for the skin and joints.More
#5
White Beach

White Beach

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Tucked away on the south coast of Santorini, White Beach (Aspri Paralia) is sheltered by chalk-grey cliffs. This minuscule strand is actually composed of coarse black—not white—sand, and liberally peppered with grey and white pebbles as well as massive white volcanic boulders.More
#6
Nea Kameni

Nea Kameni

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Centered around a rugged volcanic crater, the small island of Nea Kameni offers a dramatic landscape, with dark cliffs sculpted from lava rock and orange-tinged natural thermal waters. The island’s striking landscape and natural hot springs make it a popular destination for day cruises from Santorini.More
#7
Akrotiri

Akrotiri

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Akrotiri came to an abrupt end in approximately 1613 BC with a catastrophic volcanic eruption that buried the Bronze Age settlement in a carpet of ash. Beginning in 1967, excavations of the Minoan town revealed buildings, drainage systems, and pottery, but no human remains or gold valuables, indicating locals had time to flee before disaster hit.More
#8
Pyrgos (Pyrgos Kallistis)

Pyrgos (Pyrgos Kallistis)

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Pyrgos(Pyrgos Kallistis) is a picturesque hillside village set on a volcanic crater at the highest point of the Greece’s Santorini, offering panoramic views of the rest of the island. At the top of the village sit the ruins of Kasteli Castle, remnants of the former capitol of the island before it was moved to Fira (where it remains today.)Pyrgos is as beautiful as the rest of the island, but also has a special historic charm — with traditional white houses, Byzantine churches, Cycladic architecture, and small winding cobblestone lanes and paths. Some of the churches has beautiful old frescoes visible on the walls. The area sees far fewer tourists than the rest of the island, so it keeps a peaceful atmosphere. Though the town has merely 700 inhabitants, there are tavernas and local restaurants. Visiting the village is a way to experience the traditionally preserved culture of the Greek islands.More
#9
Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)

Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)

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The monastery of Mount Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou) is perched on the mountain of the same name, the highest point on Santorini at 1,853 ft (565 m) above the Aegean Sea in the south of the island. Built in the early 18th century out of sizeable stone and resembling a fortress, the monastery was dedicated to the prophet Elijah and initially enjoyed great wealth. It once also functioned as a secret school of Greek culture during the dark days of Turkish occupation of the country, but its power began to decline in 1860 and it was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1956. Today Profitis Ilias is successful once more; its three domed church has become a museum hosting an exceptional and significant collection of Greek Orthodox icons, early, hand printed books and bibles, wrought-iron artwork, wooden carvings and elaborately embroidered clerics’ robes. The resident monks put on displays of traditional carpentry, shoemaking, local cooking and wine making as well.The monastery courtyard and gardens are a popular spot to watch Santorini’s fabled sunsets and it is possible to see right to the hilltop village of Oia from the top of Profitis Ilias. Panoramas also take in the patchwork of plains and vineyards sit in the mountain’s lee, sheltering the young vines from hot winds blowing in from North Africa.More
#10
Thirasia (Therasia)

Thirasia (Therasia)

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Before a violent volcanic eruption in 1650 BC, Thirassia was part of Santorini’s mainland and now the pretty islet lies just off its western coast. With small pretty beaches, blue-domed churches, ancient stone villages and a population of only about 200, the little island is a perfectly serene spot to visit.More

Trip ideas

Top Beaches in Santorini

Top Beaches in Santorini

How to Spend 2 Days in Santorini

How to Spend 2 Days in Santorini

Wine Tasting in Santorini

Wine Tasting in Santorini

Top activities in Santorini

Full Day Santorini Highlights and Venetian Castles Small Group Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Santorini

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Pressed for time as we...
Caroline_F, Nov 2021
Full Day Santorini Highlights and Venetian Castles Small Group Tour
Santorini is a must to visit while in Greece
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Great day out
Nessa_D, Oct 2021
Santorini : Morning Sea Kayak & Snorkel with Lunch
lovely way to see the Santorini scenery..
star-5
Easy way to see the...
Zach_C, Oct 2021
Santorini Ebike Adventures-the original bike tours-
Easy way to see the southern part of Santorini.
star-5
Highlight of our santorini trip!
Jessica_P, Oct 2021
Santorini Luxury Sailing Catamaran Cruise with BBQ, Drinks and Transfer
The places we stopped were amazing, and got to see pretty much the whole island of santorini from the water!!
star-5
Best part in Santorini
Winnie_C, Oct 2021
Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks
The sunset cruise with the Summer Boat is the best decision we made to your Santorini.
star-5
Great value for a great experience!
Jeremy_E, Oct 2021
Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks
Great way to explore the beaches and hot springs of Santorini.
star-5
Ton of fun. Best way to see the island
Kimberly_B, Sep 2021
Santorini Private Minibus Sightseeing Tour
He listened to what was important for us to see and made sure we saw it.
star-5
Great one day tour
Taghreed_T, Sep 2021
Santorini Classic Highlights Tour
Very enjoyable tour with hotel transfers A special mention to the manager of Notos Travel Ms Maria , who answered every question with patience and in a informative way Driver picked us up on time and this full day tour was fun and a great way to see Santorini
star-5
Made my dream come true!
Mandy_L, Sep 2021
Private Classic Santorini Panorama: Visit the most popular destinations!
This was my first time to Santorini, and I was able to see all the highlights of the island in one day..
star-5
This was a unique and fun...
AnnMarie_H, Sep 2021
Santorini Sunset Luxury Sailing Catamaran Cruise with BBQ, drinks, transfer
This was a unique and fun way to see Santorini from the Caldera.
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E-Bike Adventure
Todd_O, Sep 2021
Santorini Tour on Electric Bike
Great way to see parts of Santorini that you would likely never see.
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Amazing Santorini Day
Zia_A, Sep 2021
Full-Day Private Tour of Santorini Caldera
Coming to santorini on a cruise we didn’t expect to see SO MUCH in six hours that we did on this tour.
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Fabulous Day Sailing
Kevin_B, Sep 2021
Private Santorini Day Cruise All Inclusive
Visited red beach, white beach and the hot springs.
star-4
A very good and smoothly...
Fredericus_S, Sep 2021
Santorini Full Day Tour
In one day we were able to see a lot of Santorini.
star-5
Best Wine Tour in Santorini
Mehak_B, Sep 2021
Santorini Wine Roads Tour with Wine Tastings Morning & Sunset
We had a great experience and would highly recommend for anyone planning to visit Santorini.
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Beautiful Blue Dome Churches & Baklava
Edward_U, Aug 2021
Explore Santorini with a Local Private Driver
This tour made us fall in love with Santorini even MORE!
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Santorini Our Way
Natasha_M, Aug 2021
Private Classic Santorini Panorama: Visit the most popular destinations!
We loved that it was tailored to what we wanted to see and do.
star-4
Well worth doing
Michael_B, Aug 2021
Santorini Volcano & Hot Springs Tour
Well worth doing to see Santorini other two islands.
star-5
Amazing !!
Aurorz_R, Aug 2021
Santorini Volcano & Hot Springs Tour
The walk for the volcano was not too hard , you can do it with kids!
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A must!
Rosa_V, Aug 2021
Small-Group Santorini Caldera Fira to Oia Hike
My husband and I got to see places you can’t see in a tour bus.
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