Are you trying to figure out what to do in Santorini? Take a look at this list of some of the best things to do in Santorini Greece!
So, you’ve booked that epic trip to Santorini that you’ve always been dreaming of, but now what?
What are the best things to do in Santorini?
Fret not my friend, I’ve got you covered!
I’ve created this list of some of the most memorable places and experiences to be had while on the stunning Greek island of Santorini!
★ = Writer’s Choice
Excellent Things to Do in Santorini
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Culture + Architecture
Visit the Village of Pyrgos
Pyrgos is the picturesque Greek town located just 7.5 kilometers south of the capital town of Fira. This charming little village (once the island’s capital) is a stunning display of untouched ancient Greek architecture. Known to be the largest preserved village in Santorini, Pyrgos is a maze of closely knit white houses and chapels untouched by the tourism industry. A visit to Pyrgos is one a bit off the beaten track with very few tourists. Explore the labyrinth of small alleys to get a taste of the authentic Greek lifestyle while taking in the amazing panoramic views of the caldera and the small island of Thirassia. You’ll also be able to enjoy a nice warm meal, cup of coffee or ice cream from any of the small restaurants and cafes within the village.
Visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse
In the small village of Akrotiri stands the well-known Akrotiri Lighthouse. Located just 11 km from Fira, the Akrotiri Lighthouse is known to be the most beautiful lighthouse in the Cyclades. Since this remarkable lighthouse sits atop a high cliff, the views from the lighthouse allows you to experience a fantastic vista of the caldera.
Visit Ancient Thira
For history lovers, Ancient Thira is one of the best things to do in Santorini. First inhabited by the Dorians in the 9th century, Ancient Thira is a stunning display of ancient Greek architecture and culture. The ruins of this old town include temples, houses with mosaics, an agora (market), a theatre and a gymnasium. A visit to this ancient town is a rewarding experience and one I’d recommend experiencing.
Explore the village of Emporio
The old medieval-esque village of Emporio is actually the most populated village in Santorini. Wander through the town and explore its architectural relics such as its 15th century fortress and Cycladic, blue-domed churches. Emporio is also quite close to arguably the most popular beach in Santorini, Perissa Beach.
Explore the Village of Oia ★
For a true taste of the famed Greek white-washed architecture and blue-domed chapels, ensure that you include a visit to the village of Oia. Oia is the picturesque small village on the northwestern tip of Santorini and is certainly the location for all those perfect images you’ve ever seen of the island. This quintessential Greek village teems yearly with tourists seeking to capture the perfect shot of the impeccable architecture. Oia is also arguably the best village in all of Santorini to watch the most colorful sunset. Most naturally, you have a wide array of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from as well.
Explore the Village of Imerovigli ★
In an extremely close second to Oia is the village of Imerovigli. Like Oia this village is a magnificent showcase of not only impeccable white-washed buildings and blue-domed chapels but also breathtaking panoramic views. Again, this village is definitely one you’ve seen in magazines that highlight the best of Santorini. The white houses seemingly melt into each other as you make your way through the maze-like pathways. While walking through the village you’ll glimpse a rock formation that extends into the sea. Make an adventure out of hiking to this rock formation as it also promises wonderful vistas toward the sea.
You’ll also be able to find a range of hotels in Imerovigli with each clamoring to capture the best views of the stunning caldera. Sit for a moment to take it all in in any of its many restaurants and cafes. This village is also a great, less-busy option to catch the sunset.
Beach + Nature
Swim & Eat at Ammoudi Bay ★
Just a few metres away, below the port village of Oia, is Amoudi Bay. Amoudi Bay is a delight for anyone who enjoys both sea and seafood as it boasts multiple small beaches as well as many seafood restaurants. Head out early to explore Amoudi Bay as it does get crowded after midday. If you head out early you’ll also have the added plus of scoping out a great spot to watch the evening’s sunset.
Relax on the Perissa Black Sand Beach
If you’re a water baby who enjoys lazing around on a beach bed under an umbrella then consider heading to the Perissa Beach in the seaside village of Perissa. As we know, most coveted beaches feature white sands but what makes Perissa Beach even more special is its exotic black sands. Beach beds and thatched umbrellas line the shore for each guest’s relaxing pleasure (they’re rentals). One thing to note about this exotic beach, however, is it can get quite populated.
Go to Eros Beach ★
Less busy than the Perissa Black Sand Beach is the Eros Beach. Eros Beach is a local’s favorite and features dramatic coastline cliffs for added beach scenery. Although you’ll be able to rent beach beds and umbrellas, you also have the option to wander a few metres away from the more populated section of the beach and enjoy a private beach day.
Enjoy Views of the Caldera
Regardless of where you are on the small island of Santorini, it’s almost certain that you’ll catch breathtaking scenes of the Caldera. It is truly one of the highlights of any trip to Santorini. Whether you’re biking, quadding or driving around Santorini, be sure to stop a few times to really indulge in this awe-inspiring surrounding.
Watch the Sunset from Oia ★
Oia is hands down the best spot to catch the Grecian sunset. Of all the places in Greece that I’ve witnessed the sunset (Athens, Mykonos, Paros) Oia took the whole cake. It’s dramatic cliff drops with its vast water-filled caldera lends itself to an even more spectacular sunset display. Do yourself a huge favour by hanging around Oia to witness this fantastic colourful Grecian sunset. Be sure to head there early if you’re visiting in the high season as the best spots go quick!
Watch the Sunset from Firostefani
If you’re not a fan of huge crowds but still want to enjoy the magnificent Santorini sunset, head to Firostefani. Multiple bars and restaurants offer great vistas that will allow you to dine all while enjoying the sunset.
Nightlife + Leisure
Watch a Film at Open Air CineKamari ★
Open Air CineKamari is a cute outdoor theater in the village of Kamari. The theater features recent movies in English (but dubbed in various languages) and is perfect for a relaxing summer evening in Santorini. The theater is opened yearly from May until October when the weather is warm enough to enjoy an experience outdoor. Ensure that you purchase tickets early as they do go quickly! I’d recommend a personal visit to the theater to purchase tickets rather than depending on the Cinema Kamari’s website.
Enjoy Nightlife in Fira
Santorini is known to be quite a party island (probably second to Mykonos) so undoubtedly there are numerous bars and clubs to enjoy lively nightlife. The capital town of Fira is definitely your best bet to find great nightlife in Santorini. Places like the PK Cocktail Bar and the Enigma Club are but a few places you can check out on your visit to Santorini.
Now that you’ve read this list, I think you’ve got a pretty good idea about some of the best things to do in Santorini!
Are you visiting Greece? Check out these other articles!
Lounging with the Greek Gods: Athens, Greece
A First-Timer’s Experience in the Greek Islands: Mykonos, Greece
Plan Your Trip to Santorini!
Oh my goodness how beautiful! Pyrgos is defos on my list. I really enjoy the Greek flair and style of living.