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23 Best Things to Do in Santorini in 2023

23 Best Things to Do in Santorini in 2023

For decades, Santorini has been a dream destination for millions of people across the globe. With its dramatic cliffs that soar above its blue sea, charming homes, and iconic sunset, it’s hard not to be awestruck by its sheer beauty.

To make your vacation worth remembering, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Santorini. Be sure to read our entire list — it’s one of the best ones around, with lots of unique things to see and do!

23 of the Best Things to Do in Santorini

Santorini, also known as Thera, is one of the most iconic holiday destinations in the world. In 2021 alone, the island was visited by close to 500,000 tourists.

It should come as no surprise that there are many unforgettable activities to experience on this Cycladic island. Whether or not you’re visiting during the peak season, here’s how you can make Santorini your playground. 

1. Sunbathe on Black-Sand Beaches

Black sand beach in Santorini, one of the best things to do there


Points of Interest:

  • Kamari Beach
  • Perissa Beach
  • Perivolos Beach
  • Mesa Pigadia beach
  • Vlychada beach 

The island’s most recognizable feature is its black sand beaches, which you’ve likely seen on social media. These sun-kissed strands are known for their dramatic backdrop of bright-white cliffs.

It’s hard to take your eyes off the beauty in front of you. The sand takes on this unique color because it is mixed with bits of solidified lava, volcanic ash, and pumice.

Kamari is easily one of the island’s most popular beaches, with its black sand and clear blue waters. But if you’re not a fan of the crowds, head to Perissa Beach, which is somewhat less busy.

2. Explore Oia

Exploring a narrow street in Oia, one of the best things to do in Santorini

Marina Datsenko/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Atlantis bookstore
  • Amoudi Bay
  • Agios Nikolaos castle
  • Church of Panagia
  • Armeni bay 

Oia is an iconic backdrop for any Santorini photo, and rightfully so. The village’s picturesque alleys painted with bold blue and pastel hues make for the perfect setting for Santorini’s famous sunsets.

However, it’s not just for aesthetic purposes. If you’re looking to discover more of Santorini’s culture, you’ll find the town’s winding alleys to be a good starting point.

3. Take Lots of Pictures

Cute woman taking a photo in Santorini


Points of Interest:

  • Fira town
  • Oia Cliffs
  • Pyrgos village
  • Akrotiri Lighthouse 

Santorini is a photographer’s dream because of its breathtaking beauty. Sunrises, sunsets, winding alleyways, and busy streets are just a few of its stunning scenes

This glowing island is the ideal place to turn your camera back on after a long hiatus. With an endless supply of vistas, you can spend days snapping shots of Santorini at every angle.

4. Go on a Wine Tour

Photo of a woman doing one of the best things to do in Santorini, a wine tour


Points of Interest:

  • Santo wines
  • Venetsanos Winery
  • Gavalas Winery
  • Art Space Winery
  • Domaine Sigalas

After you’ve had your fill of sightseeing, it’s time to bask in the island’s glow and take in the island’s local wine-making tradition. The Greek island of Santorini is a grape-growing region because the volcanic soil on the island creates the perfect conditions for grapevines.

For years, the island’s grapes have been grown and exported to the rest of the world. Most wineries in Santorini offer wine tasting and tours. However, you can also book a wine tour if you want to visit various wineries in one day.

If you don’t have the time for this activity, don’t miss ordering Assyrtiko wine in restaurants when you dine out. Most establishments carry this crisp and fruity wine because it’s so popular.

5. Head to Imerovigli

Coast of Imerovigli, one of the best things to do in Santorini


Points of Interest:

  • Chromata hotel
  • Anastasi church
  • Skaros rock
  • La Maison 

Looking for a quieter side of the island away from the crowd? Head to the village of Imerovigli. The gorgeous village remains very tourist-friendly, but it’s not as commercialized as Fira.

The village is more laid back and more affordable, making it one of the top destinations for Santorini activities. Many tourists also love how the village is far from the crowds.

6. Stay in a World-Class Hotel

Cool view of a rooftop hotel in Santorini, one of the best things to do there

Olga Gavrilova/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Cavo Tagoo
  • Katikies Hotel
  • Perivolas
  • Art Maisons
  • Athina Luxury Suites 

Fancy a staycation in one of the best hotels in the world? Santorini has the perfect accommodation options to match your needs. Santorini’s hotels are a world apart from any other hotel you’ve stayed in.

The island’s room choices are a mix of modern and traditional, allowing you to stay in either a premium suite or an idyllic cave house.

7. Marvel at Santorini’s Party Scene

Hot Ukranian woman at a club, one of the best must-do things in Santorini

Alexey Lesik/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Enigma
  • Franco’s bar
  • Tranquilo Beach bar
  • Tango Bar 

It’s a fun night out in the streets of Santorini when the sun goes down. As soon as the sun sets, the streets of Fira and Oia come alive with people and nightlife. Most clubs and bars start getting busy between 9 PM to 11 PM.

Clubs and bars open their doors to the public, with colorful lights illuminating the streets. Suppose you want to go to the dance clubs, then head to Fira. And if you prefer to enjoy cocktails during the day, the beach bars in Oia and Perissa will be your favorite.

8. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Food on a terrace in Santorini, one of the best things to do there


Points of Interest:

  • Falafeland
  • Le Ciel
  • Santo Athiri
  • Armeni Restaurant
  • Catch bar
  • Kapari Wine Restaurant
  • Lombranos
  • Petra Kouzina Cooking Experience 

A trip to Santorini is always incomplete without taking in the island’s culinary delights. The local dishes are inspired by the island’s location, with a wide array of seafood and fresh produce.

Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking to grab a delicious bite, the local cuisine offers a lot. You can enjoy tasty treats in numerous restaurants and cafes or head to a local market to buy the ingredients yourself.

Want to take the extra mile? Learning how to cook a local recipe is a memorable and interactive way to experience the island.

Thankfully, there are tons of cooking workshops run by local chefs. The best part is you’re guaranteed to feed yourself delicious meals at home after your vacation.

9. Hike From Fira to Oia

Hiking trail in Fira, one of the best things to do in Santorini

Nicole Kwiatowski/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Profitis Ilias
  • Imerovigli
  • Firostefani
  • Meteor Café 

If you’re the adventurous sort, there’s no better way to enjoy Santorini than to hike along its breathtaking cliffs. This hike usually lasts between 2 to 5 hours and spans a total of 6.5 miles. Although the hike is fairly easy, make sure to prepare well by bringing water and wearing comfortable shoes.

You can easily traverse the long and winding route from Fira to Oia. All the way through, you’ll be able to soak in the island’s dramatic scenery, from the black-sand beaches to the scenic villages.

10. Take a Boat Trip

Boats on the gorgeous ocean, one of the best things to do in Santorini

Feel good studio/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Old port
  • Nea Kameni
  • Palea Kameni
  • Thirasia 

The beautiful caldera encircles Santorini. So taking a boat trip will give you the best view of its breathtaking landscape. This tourist hub is a great place for a leisurely boat trip.

This offers an unparalleled view of the island’s cliffside villages. You can also visit iconic destinations in Santorini easily through boat tours.

11. Check Out the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

One of the best things to do in Santorini, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera


Points of Interest:

  • History of research
  • Geology of Thera
  • History from Late Neolithic to Late Cycladic Period
  • Mature Late Cycladic Period

Santorini has a rich history, and its archaeological sites are a testament to this. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, also known as the Akrotiri Archaeological Museum, is a great way to learn about the island’s rich past.

It houses finds from different excavations done at Akrotiri and other sites on the island, mostly from the Late Neolithic to the Late Cycladic period. The artifacts in the museum prove the wealth and cultural taste, as well as trade links of the people of Akrotiri.

12. Visit the Red Beach

Gorgeous view of the red beach in Santorini, a must-see attraction

Lucian Bolca/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • The ancient site of Akrotiri
  • Akrotiri port
  • White beach

It’s not just the scenery that makes Santorini one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The island is also known for its off-the-beaten-path attractions, which you can find a little further from the island’s more popular sights.

One of the best examples is the Kokkini Paralia or Red Beach, which is one of the hidden gems of the island, and it is as enticing as its name suggests with its vibrant red sand and the volcanic landscape that surrounds it.

13. Enjoy Your Day in Amoudi Bay

Amoudi bay as viewed from the shore, one of the best things to do in Santorini


Points of Interest:

  • Cliff jumping
  • Island of Saint Nicholas
  • Greek coffee
  • Ammoudi Fish Tavern 

After a long week of sightseeing and activities, it might be time to cool off, and no place is better than Amoudi bay. To get to this beautiful place, you need to descend over 270 steps. If you’re renting a motorcycle, you can also drive down to its port via Venizelou street.

It’s best to visit this spot in the morning if you want to catch fishermen with their daily catch. You can dive, swim, sightsee, and enjoy a fresh meal after you’re done with all activities.

14. Head Over to the Akrotiri Ruins

A must-see Santorini attraction, the Akrotiri Ruins

R. Lemieszek/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Artifacts
  • Murals
  • Old pottery
  • View of the Caldera 

The Santorini that you know is a shadow of what it used to be. Centuries ago, an eruption of the island’s famed volcano led to the mass destruction of the island.

In just one day, the volcano obliterated the island, leaving behind a large crater. Today, the island’s former site is known as the Akrotiri ruins.

This used to be the center of the Minoan Civilization. This historical find was only excavated in 1967, and since then, there have been continuous archaeological digs on the site which offer the best glimpse into the island’s past.

15. Go to Megalochori Village

Visiting Megalochori Villag, one of the best things to do in Santorini

Milan Gonda/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Gavalas winery
  • Megalochori square
  • Heart of Santorini
  • Petra Kouzina 

This quaint village is home to many of the island’s traditional taverns and restaurants, and it’s the perfect place to get away from the crowd and experience a local Greek town. Here you can explore the traditional stone-walled buildings and narrow streets, which are reminiscent of the island’s past.

16. Experience Cinema Kamari

Best thing to do in Santorini is to Experience Cinema Kamari, an open-air cinema, as viewed from the entrance


Points of Interest:

  • Gardens with eucalyptus trees
  • Cocktails
  • Local beer

With a relaxing ambiance and the best local movie lineup, Cinema Kamari is a great place to unwind. Considered one of the best things to do in Santorini, this establishment is only open from May to October.

Cinema Kamari is one of the most beautiful outdoor cinemas in Europe, and it shows popular movies in English and Greece with subtitles.

17. Go Shopping

Image of a couple shopping in Santorini, one of the best things to do while there


Points of Interest:

  • Epilekton 
  • Crossroads Antiques
  • Stardust

If you love to shop, then Santorini is the place for you. The island is home to an array of craft shops and stores that sell lovely items, including handcrafted goods, jewelry, trendy clothing, and vintage finds.

18. Go to the Tomato Industrial Museum

Entrance to a top pick for the best things to do in Santorini, to Go to the Tomato Industrial Museum


Points of Interest:

  • Vlychada beach
  • Old tools
  • Processing machinery
  • First labels used
  • Recorded narrations 

The Tomato Industrial Museum is a great place to learn about Santorini’s thriving agricultural heritage. The Santorini cherry tomatoes are one of the most common products of this iconic destination, and it is famous for being small, juicy, and sweet.

This makes it a wonderful ingredient in tomato paste. This museum offers a peek into the island’s industry and a glimpse of its past, particularly the methods of cultivation, processing, and production of tomatoes.

19. Visit Any of the Blue-Domed Churches

one of the best things to do in Santorini, to visit a blue-domed church


Points of Interest:

  • Saint Spyridon
  • Church of the Resurrection 

A walk down the streets of Santorini is an architectural journey through the island’s past. As you stroll along, you’ll be able to stumble upon some blue-domed churches, which are common sights on the island.

It’s worth noting that these churches weren’t always the same color as the Aegean sea. The color change was only done to comply with the colors of the Greek flag to make the landscape more uniform.

20. Go on a Walking Tour

Hot young tourists in Santorini walking in the sun during summer

Erika Cristina Manno/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Oia walking tour
  • Fira walking tour 

You can’t leave Santorini without exploring it on foot. This is a great way to head off the beaten track while getting a unique perspective of the island. To get off the tourist trail and experience a local’s day in Santorini, you should check out different walking tours.

This is one of the best things to do in Santorini because you’ll get to see the island like a local, and you’ll learn about the island’s culture and history. It’s also one of the best ways to get to know the island and its people.

21. Wow Yourself With a Helicopter Tour

Elegant couple in a helicopter for a piece on the best things to do in Santorini


Points of Interest:

  • Vineyards
  • Nea Kameni
  • Megalochora
  • Oia 

If you’re the kind of person who gets a kick out of flying over Santorini, then you should shell out for a helicopter tour.

You’ll get to explore the island like never before, as you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Santorini and its famous caldera. It’s an experience that’s not to be missed, and you can count on it to take your breath away.

22. Visit the Monastery of Profitis Ilias

Guy visiting the Profitis Ilias, one of the best things to do in Santorini

Konstantin Mizikevitch/Shutterstock

Points of Interest:

  • Iconostasis of the chapel of the Monastery of Profitis Ilias
  • View of black beaches
  • View of Oia 

Built in the 13th century, the monastery of Profitis Ilias is one of the most popular local attractions in Santorini. It’s a tranquil place, which is perched atop a hill overlooking the sea.

It’s the perfect destination for those who want to get away from the bustling streets and embrace a peaceful day. Because it is built on the highest point of the island, you’ll be awed by sceneries from all angles.

23. Marvel at the Beautiful Sunset

Insanely beautiful sunset on Santorini, one of the best things to do there

Vladimir Hodac/Shutterstock

Points of Interest (to watch the sunset):

  • Oia
  • Santo Winery
  • Sunset Cruise
  • Fira rooftop bars

One of the most breathtaking sights in Santorini is its sunset. Every evening, the island’s sun dips behind the horizon, leaving behind a stunning array of colors in its wake. It’s a beautiful sight that’s made even better with a glass of wine in hand.

Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Santorini

If you want to make the most out of your stay in Santorini, you must keep some things in mind. Perhaps one of the most important tips when visiting Santorini is to become mindful of which season you want to visit.

Santorini can be visited any time of year, but its popularity as a tourist destination peaks during the summer season. During this time, the island can get pretty crowded, and it can be difficult to enjoy the in-demand sights.

If you insist on visiting during the sunniest months, make sure to book your accommodation in advance. Santorini can be quite hot, so make sure to remember to pack these things:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  •  Sunglasses
  • Light clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Sandals/comfortable shoes
  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Insect repellent

Frequently Asked Questions

Tourist woman walking down the steps of a Santorini Church


Here are some questions you may have about this beautiful island:

Where is Santorini island?

This island is part of the Cyclades group of islands in Greece.

Why is Santorini famous?

Santorini is known for its breathtaking views. The island’s beautiful cliffs and villages look like they were pulled straight out of a postcard.

Is Santorini a cheap place to visit?

Santorini’s prices are quite high, especially when compared to the rest of Europe. However, you can still be able to visit the island for a reasonable price.

Which airport serves Santorini?

Flying to Santorini National Airport or Thira Airport is the most convenient way to get to Santorini. It is 4 miles away from Fira and 10 miles away from Oia.

Can you see Santorini in a day?

Visiting Santorini in a day depends on what your priority is. If you are only visiting the island for the day, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to see the entire island. You will most likely only be able to visit a few key places.

What is the best time of year to go to Santorini?

The best time to visit this tourist spot is from September to October or April to May. It is not a good idea to visit the island during peak season, as the island is extremely popular, and it can get quite expensive.

So, What Are the Best Things to Do in Santorini? 

Santorini is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It’s an island full of life, history, and adventure.

Although it’s been a popular tourist spot for years, it still holds onto its traditional feel. Now that you know what the best sights, attractions, and things to do in Santorini are, you can plan and make the most out of your trip.