Santorini: If you dream of Greece, a stay on the emblematic island of Santorini may satisfy your traveler’s heart.
Cliffside villages, whitewashed houses, crystal-clear waters, black sand beaches, and breathtaking sunsets—this is just a glimpse of what a stay in Santorini has in store.
Shaped by a violent volcanic eruption that is said to have inspired the legend of Atlantis, this mythical Greek island enchants visitors with its natural, historical, and gourmet splendours. Despite the hordes of tourists, it is difficult to resist the charms of the volcano island.
Here are our essentials for exploring the most beautiful attractions of the jewel of the Cyclades.
BE AMAZED BY OIA
With its postcard setting characterized by its traditional white houses, blue domes, and windmills, Oia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in Greece.
After dropping off your bags at the hotel, venture into its immaculate streets and discover its Byzantine churches, boutiques, and art galleries. From the cornice, you will have a magnificent view of the Aegean Sea and the caldera, the immense cavity formed during the Minoan volcanic eruption.
ADMIRE THE SUNSET
To get a front-row seat to this memorable spectacle—Oia’s sunsets are renowned among the most beautiful in the world—you’ll probably have to elbow a little. Many travellers flock to the village at the end of the day.
Between the terraces of bars and restaurants (remember to book), the balconies of houses, the cliffs overlooking the sea, and the ruins of the kastro (old castle), several options are available to you for observing the sky, which forms a gradient of colours.
DISCOVER LOCAL FLAVORS
There is no doubt that your taste buds will be seduced by the freshness of Greek cuisine. If you fancy a romantic tête-à-tête, put on your most comfortable shoes and take the steps that lead into the small bay below the village of Oia.
At the Armeni restaurant, just a few steps from the sea, you can enjoy freshly caught fish and seafood.
If you are in good physical condition and want to experience the caldera in a unique way, don’t miss the hike connecting Oia and Fira, the capital of Santorini. This marked trail of approximately 10 kilometres alternates between cliffside portions and immersion in the heart of the picturesque villages of Imerovigli and Firostefani.
The more adventurous can even reach the rock of Skaros, a detour of around 45 minutes rewarded with a lovely panorama of the Aegean Sea. Remember to bring water and sunscreen since shade is rare on the island.
ENJOY A GREEK SALAD
After this exercise session, you will probably feel a little hungry. Traditionally composed of tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, red onion, kalamata olives, and feta, all drizzled with olive oil and oregano, Greek salad is always a winning choice.
In Santorini, the recipe sometimes differs somewhat. Typical island ingredients like cherry tomatoes, manouri cheese, caper leaves, and bread croutons are added to cucumber, red onion, olives, and green pepper. In the old town of Fira, go to Rastoni or Ouzeri to enjoy this fresh dish!
Rastoni: Agiou Mina, Fira, 84700
Ouzeri: Fabrika, Fira, 84700
RELAX ON A BLACK SAND BEACH
In the afternoon, head towards the southeast coast of the island to treat yourself to a well-deserved swimming session. Perissa Beach, one of the most stunning on the island, is crowded with tourists during the summer months because of its black sand, which creates a striking contrast with the turquoise water. Don’t get lost, burn your feet in the sand, use the deckchair-parasol combo, and take turns soaking in the water and sunbathing.
SAIL TO KAMARI VILLAGE
For a few euros, small boats offer transfers between the seaside resorts of Perissa and Kamari. In addition to being affordable, the twenty-minute journey promises you a magnificent panorama of the mountains that flow into the sea.
Once you arrive in Kamari, stroll through the small streets of the village, which are full of pretty shops, and treat yourself to a frozen yogurt to refresh yourself.
EAT UNDER THE BOUGAINVILLEA
Back in Fira, enjoy a lively atmosphere on the terrace of the Panigyri Festival Food Restaurant. The best Greek olive oils are chosen to complement each dish on the menu, which is created based on seasonal ingredients.
Treat yourself to sourdough bread, mezze (small dishes to share), grilled fish, and meat cooked in a wood-fired oven to accompany delicious cocktails and Greek wines. All the ingredients come together for a memorable meal!
WALK IN THE SHOES OF THE MINOAN CIVILIZATION
Santorini is known for its breathtaking beauty, but it also has a rich historical past, which is best explored by traveling to the village of Akrotiri, which is located in the island’s south. The ruins of a Bronze Age hamlet were uncovered by archaeologists in the 1960s beneath several meters of volcanic ash.
With its two-story buildings, stone staircases, vibrant murals (today held in the Prehistoric Museum of Thera), and pottery jars, this “Greek Pompeii” has everything to enchant tourists.
DELVE INTO THE ISLAND’S WINE HISTORY
Explore the history and ancestral techniques of the island’s wine producers through an exhibition that takes place in a traditional cellar, eight meters underground. You will discover, among other things, that the vineyards of Santorini rank among the oldest in the world.
The tour will end with a wine tasting, where you can taste traditional grape varieties like Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri. Not forgetting the famous vinsanto, a sweet wine produced from sun-dried grapes.
Vothonas Santorini, 84700
ENJOY A GOURMET MEAL AT A VINEYARD
Santorini is well known for its distinctively scented white wines, which are a result of the island’s moderate temperature and rich volcanic soil. The island is home to elegant wineries such as the renowned Argyros, a century-old vineyard, and Santo Wines, with its magnificent terrace overlooking the caldera.
To end your stay in style, there is nothing better than an aperitif or a gourmet meal in one of the most beautiful vineyards on the volcano island. Yamas!
Episkopi Gonias, Fira, 84700
Pyrgos Kallistis, 84701
- To get around, you can rent a car, a scooter, or a mountain bike for greater freedom, or take the bus network.
- Accommodation in Santorini can be quite expensive, especially in high season. Although they are very popular, the villages of Oia and Fira represent good anchor points.
- The Oia-Fira trek is provided to you because the route depends on lodging in Oia. Take note that for a more picturesque and straightforward path, many visitors choose the Fira-Oia trek.