Santorini an a Glance

Alternative Santorini Tourism Activities

Santorini is an infamous island, well known all over the world, mostly for the magical sunsets and lastly for the alternate ways of spending your vacation moments. History, architecture and ancient paths are some of the hidden treasures of Thira (Santorini).

Whitewashed houses, blue domes, donkeys, colorful beaches and many more are some of the activities and interests that you must experience.

Panagia Episkopi

Alternative Santorini

Avoid the crowds and the human traffic and create the possibility to explore the real values of the island by hiking, diving, donkey riding, gastronomical explorations and wine tasting. In addition, Santorini is firmly connected with the religious and historical as long as geographical thematic tourism. The reason is the island is literally flooded with little churches and Orthodox Cathedrals. Panagia Episkopi is one of the most famous old churches. Moreover, the traditional Aegean Cuisine, the traditional local music and ancient handicrafts are waiting for you to explore them.

In fact the villages don’t stop at the rim, but cascade (increasingly each year) down the sheer face of the cliffs, with much of the accommodation being housed in the Gruyere-like caves and indentations in 1967, excavations began at the site of Akrotiri. They uncovered something phenomenal: an ancient Minoan city buried deep beneath volcanic ash from the catastrophic eruption of 1613 BC. Today, the site retains a strong sense of place and reverent awe. Housed within a cool, protective structure, wooden walkways allow you to pass through various parts of the city.

Probably you have heard about the ancient path-hike from the capital Fira to the romantic Oia. It’s a 3 hour walk along a well-marked track is truly splendid, especially when the weather is fine and mild. There are few challenges (steep climbs and slippery sandy areas) but these did not detract from the breathtaking views across the Caldera. The steep cliffs, ragged pathways, churches dotted on the edges, a donkey strolling past; all while taking in the incredible view the whole way! Recommend a good pair of shoes, decent amount of walking fitness and a good amount of water.

Witness the representation of a really traditional Greek wedding at White Door Theater in Fira. Amazing actors-actresses, really talented – very good sense of humor! Someone has to go & enjoy– a lot of dance & very good quality of service (food, wine). The show includes audio visual, folklore music and dance, meze and lots of fun and “OPA”.

Santorini Volcano

photo by Steve Summers

Seize the opportunity given and take the traditional boat form the old harbor of Fira in order to visit the volcano and the hot springs. It’s a 25 minute sail where you will be able to see the magnificent Santorini form the water. As you arrive at the crater you will sense the unworldly feeling of the black stones and the sulfur smell, of one of the top three super volcanos in the history of the world. Be prepared for rocky slopes and hot temperatures. The hike is about minutes and at the end you will be able to see the center of the semi active volcano. As you leave Palea Kameni (volcanic islet) for the hot springs the boat will stop and you will have to jump and swim for 20 meters. Be prepared for yellow, muddy waters that smell sulfur. Energizing, healing and powerful inner-earth materials embrace your body giving you the most for your body health.

Santorini Lighthouse

photo by Chris Wee

Take the path around the lighthouse (which is semi-private) to the headland beyond. Not for those suffering from vertigo – stunning views of the caldera whilst sitting on rocks. Three point turns in the tiny parking area are a little enervating with a sheer drop on one side! Here it is all about the view and the private feeling. Sit on a rock and wait for the sun to set in front of you, while on your back you can see all the caldera cliffs.

The monastery of Profitis Ilias is literaly the crown of the island. Standing on top of everything, at the highest point nearly 848 meters. Overview of the island, step into the small church and light up a candle. Enjoy outside on the terrace and search your hotel, small villages of Santorini. It’s a test to see how well you now the island already. Spectacular view along the way where you can see the whole of Santorini and upon reaching the monastery. Appreciate the well preserved art and architecture. Both inside as well as outside the monastery. Especially the religious mosaic icons beautifully inlaid along its sturdy walls. Refreshing both for the sight and the spirit.

On the boat to Therassia

photo by Bill

If you are an exploring spirit, worth the try to take the small boat from Ammoudi Bay and visit the islet of Thirassia. It used to be part of Santorini, ages ago but now it is isolated and standing there – opposite Santorini – alone, with few habitants and lots of donkeys. It’s an entirely different venue from the Cosmo political Santorini. It’s like almost an image, how Santorini used to be decades ago. Traditional Greek coffee shops, narrow gravel thrown roads and neighborhood style squares, are some of the things that will magnetize your eyes.

Santorini Donkeys

photo by

When someone thinks about Santorini, he is definitely thinking donkeys! Yes it’s the trademark of the island years now. Avoid the touristic donkey ride at the old port with the 588 steps and organize a real donkey ride, which starts from the ranch near Imerovigli and ends at a special point near Finikia village. Along the ride helmets are provided, chilled bottles of water and of course famous local meze. You will stop for pictures and you will have the chance to enjoy the unique experience to combine a ride with one of the most loved animals (the donkey) and some spectacular views of the island.

Eyes sealed, legs crossed on red yoga mat, arms and spine straight, fingers in mudra, and body weight evenly distributed on tosh. Inhale deep through nose, hold, and exhale long through mouth. Focus and relaxed. Eyes open slowly to sunrise and the warm Aegean sea breeze gently blows your bangs from the eyes as a swarm of butterflies dance off the right corner of my peripheral view. Yoga and meditation at the island of Santorini is something different. The energy of the volcano and the Greek sun combination is something that you will admire and furthermore you will reach the highest levels of relaxation and balancing your mind vs mind.

If you love to capture every special moment of your vacation life, definitely you have to do the Photo Safari tour. Private professional photographer, a chilled bottle of white Santorinian wine, speakers to listen to your favorite music and a lot of passion, you have to be equipped with so as to turn your day into a once in a lifetime experiences. Leave the photographer to take you to his favorite hidden spots, guide you through the fancy world of posing and modeling, while he will set and direct all this Mystagogy.

Only last year some extreme sports supporters, founded and created the first climbing facilities at the only mountain like rock, called Mesa Vouno. Well organized and secure, you can climb either at the novice levels or if you are a professional one you can try the hard levels of the climbing facilities.

The Santorini alternative experience continues through winery tours and wine tastings, which is one of the top things you should do on the island. Over the last few years the wines from Santorini have gained international recognition and become popular. It is no coincidence that the Wine Enthusiast magazine chose Santorini as one of the best wine destinations for 2014! So, make this happen by taking a Santorini Wine Trail! This is a great way to see both the island and learn and visit some of the most beautiful wine houses in Greece. Educational, tasty and delightful wine tasting excursion. There are plenty tours to choose from. Usually the tour visits three of the most popular wineries of the island. You will be able to see the wine Museum, to crush some grapes (during August), visit the organic vineyards and of course finish your tour with an extraordinary wine tasting experience.

Concluding all, Santorini is ready to welcome every traveler or visitor in so many different ways. Simply its name is more than enough to unfold in mind stunning sunsets and scenery, white, red and black sand beaches, impressive traditional houses, balconies with view to the Volcano and and lively night life. All the above, along with the remains of the antiquity and the myth of the Lost Atlantis justify the words which the tourists determine this wonderful island. Visit Santorini. It’s a once in a lifetime experiences.