10 things to do in Santorini
Santorini (Fira) is a magical Greek island enveloped in mystery and charm. Often referred to as the “crown jewel of Greece,” Santorini continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the country, becoming one of the world’s top honeymoon spots. Santorini has some of the most unique geographical characteristics of any other island in the world – it was literally formed by a series of catastrophic volcanic explosions over the course of thousands of years. The result is a wonderland of steep cliffs, ebony volcanic rocks and mesmerizing ocean views.
We present you experiences you can live only in Santorini. Like an enormous crescent moon, Santorini encloses the pure blue waters of its caldera, the core of an ancient volcano. If you miss those, then you have definitely missed a big part of the Santorinian culture.
Santorini things to do
(photo by: lobsterstew)
1. Go Sailing!
Santorini’s unique landscape is best appreciated from the water. Split the cost with your travel buddies and hit the waves on a luxury catamaran by Santorini Sailing. A sailing tour will reveal multihued rock formations, stunning private beaches, and incredible views of the whitewashed towns perched high on the caldera. Stop for a swimming break and enjoy the plentiful seafood lunch prepared by the crew. This all-inclusive experience is the ultimate way to experience Santorini!
2. Witness the infamous sunset
This is a requirement when traveling to Santorini – no ifs, ands or buts about it. When you think of Santorini, what comes to mind? Although the sunset at the Oia Castle is the most famous on the island, it is surely not the only one –and not necessarily always the best! You can admire a spectacular sunset at Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli (we recommend seeing it from Skaros in Imerovigli)! In order to get a different angle of the sunset having the whole of Santorini in the frame, you should go to Faros in Akrotiri, where you will be almost alone.
(photo by Pedro Szekely)
3. Explore Oia
If you pictured whitewashed houses with blue shutters, then you must be imagining the beautiful village of Oia. Perched on the northwest edge of the caldera, Oia is a maze of narrow streets, renovated cave houses and small squares. This town used to be a cluster of seamen houses, but now hosts thousands of tourists each year wanting to experience its breathtaking ocean views and take photos of one of the most iconic landscapes in all of Greece.
4. Rent a cool car or a quad
The first think you “ll need is a cool, well maintained car, in a cool price or a 4 wheel “monster” quad. That way you can feel free to visit almost all the “hidden” corners of the island.
5. Visit Akrotiri
Nowhere in the world is there anything similar -and this year it opens to the public for the first time after six years. Visiting Akrotiri is like travelling in time. Walk around the streets and squares of a pre-historic city of 30.000 inhabitants (!), admire the elegant mansions and high finesse of the 17th century B.C.
6. Have a romantic dinner on the rim of the caldera
The feelings you get from the beautiful sceneries, the atmosphere and the view should be completed with a delicious and elegant meal. Let alone if you decide to eat in one of the most beautiful places in the world: on the rim of the caldera. Even though Santorini has numerous remarkable restaurants outside caldera, a romantic evening there is worth spending.
7. Go on a Wine Tour
The island of Santorini has a long history in viniculture, with the indigenous white Assyrtiko grape being the dominant variety. Wine production on the island dates back to Roman times, but particularly flourished under Venetian control during the Middle Ages. Visitors have plenty of dry whites, roses and reds to sample at the island’s best wineries. We suggest Sigalas and Gaia Wineries for their clean, comfortable facilities and good selection of wines.
(photo by Chase Cheviron)
8. Take a Donkey ride
Donkeys and Santorini go together like pigeons and the Piazza San Marco. They’re an integral part of the local tourism scene, providing tourists much-appreciated rides up and down the 588 steps leading down to the old harbor of Fira. There are hundreds of donkeys and mules lined up along the way. The cost is 5 Euros per person one-way. Please note, that all those donkeys means there are droppings everywhere, so you may want to watch your step. For sensitive noses, there is the funicular, which costs the same and takes about three minutes in either direction.
9. Walk the ancient path.
After your Greek breakfast get ready for a hike. Provide yourselves with cool water, hat and sun lotion and start the ancient walk from the center of Fira and follow the path towards Oia. The path is 12 Km long and during the hike you will be able to see and experience great views of the volcanic Caldera as long as monasteries, 5 star hotels and many more surprises are hidden during the walk.
10. Stay in a cave house in Sophia Suites
The Santorinian architecture is really unique. Yposkafo (cave house) was the type of house built by the poor society class of Santorini in order to stay protected by the gusty winds. Nowadays, famous architects have turned these cave houses in modern and luxurious holiday resorts. It is worth to experience (even for one night) the claustrophobic feeling you get when you stay in a cave house, its characteristic smell and the direct access to caldera.