Santorini Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to do in Santorini

Best Things to do in Santorini
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Santorini SightSeeing: Top 15 Best Things to do in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is located at the Southeastern part of Greece’s mainland. It’s the remains of a volcanic caldera and the largest island of a small archipelago at Southern Aegean Sea. In this post, we listed our top 15 best things to do in Santorini. Read on..

Amazing Things to do in Santorini by Tom Grimbert via Unsplash
Amazing Things to do in Santorini Photo by Tom Grimbert on Unsplash

The houses on the edges of the cliffs make it a top tourist spot along with its wineries, archaeological sites, and other attractions. The main income resources of Santorini are agriculture and tourism. Its history dates back to 3,000 to 2,000 B.C.

Discover Santorini through these 15 activities.

Fira to Oia Hiking Trip

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Fira to Oia Hiking Trip - Activities in Santorini
Fira to Oia Hiking Trip – Activities in Santorini

This is a free activity which any tourist can partake as long as he is fit for the can take 2 to 5 hours. The hike starts at Fira and can take you to Firostefani, Imerovigli then your final stop, Oia.  You can then enjoy the surroundings of Oia by checking out some shops and restaurants in the rural area. Just follow the path by the edge of the caldera to get there.

Epic Photo Ops

Instagrammable Spots in Santorini by Ryan Christodoulou via Unsplash
Instagrammable Spots in Santorini Photo by Ryan Christodoulou on Unsplash

The beautiful island of Santorini has many alleyways, quaint shops, and lush greeneries for everyone to enjoy. You can take pictures of the houses on the cliffs or have a selfie on the beach. There’s also a lighthouse, caves, a church and a castle in Santorini which you can photograph. The whole of Santorini is so colorful that any spot can be considered a good place to take photos.

Greek Winery Tour

Santorini Winery
Santorini Winery

The people of Santorini have been producing wine since the ancient times but it wasn’t popular until the middle ages. They make blended and rosé wines from the white grapes they harvest. A winery tour will take you to the wine region of Santorini where you’ll get to taste the finest wines available. There’s also a wine museum you can visit located in a cave inside Koutsoyannopoulos Winery near Messaria.

Ancient Akrotiri Ruins

Akrotiri Ruins photo by Vancouvermike via Wikipedia CC
Akrotiri Ruins photo By Vancouvermike – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Akrotiri is a settlement in Santorini during the Minoan Bronze Age. It was destroyed during the Theran eruption and buried in volcanic ash. Excavations of the settlement started in 1967 and it revealed town buildings, drainage systems, and pottery. You’ll see all these when you visit the protected site. Going there with a guide is advisable for everyone who wishes to know more details about the ruins.

Visit the Town of Fira

Three Bells of Fira
Three Bells of Fira

Fira is where the old settlement of Akritori is located but more than that, the place boasts of lots of stores, restaurants, and bars. It’s a busy place where you can buy ice cream, take pictures and shop for souvenirs. You can also try going on boat trips from Fira, have a taste of their local beer or visit Art of the Loom Gallery where important Greek artifacts are housed.

Santorini Volcano

Santorini Volcano photo by Tango7174 via Wikipedia CC
Santorini Volcano By Tango7174 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are two peaks in Santorini which they call “Santorini volcano”. These two are Thira which exploded around 1600 B.C. and the island of Nea Kameni.  You can visit Nea Kameni which blows off steam to this day via a boat ride from Oia. The crater can be hiked. The places experience rise in the numbers of visitors during the summer so make sure you book a tour earlier.

Santorini’s Red Beach

Red Beach in Santorini
Red Beach in Santorini

The uniqueness of Red Beach is that you don’t get to witness sandy white beach, instead, you’ll be mesmerized by a pebbly and narrow stretch of beach with high red-colored cliffs. Large volcanic rocks can also be seen in the vicinity which complements the blue water of the Aegean Sea. Though it’s not a sandy beach, you’ll still see a throng of tourists swimming and sunbathing.

Pyrgos Village Tour

Pyrgos Kallistis
Pyrgos Kallistis

This tour will take you to the hillside village which sits on top of the volcanic crater of Santorini. It’s at a high point so there are a lot of opportunities to take photos. You’ll see the ruins of Kasteli Castle along with white houses, Cycladic architecture, and Byzantine churches by walking on its winding cobblestone paths. It has a peaceful environment since it’s not a touristy place but its quaint appearance is its charm.

Profitis Ilias Monastery

Mosaic from the Monastery of Profitis Ilias photo by Renee Ness via Flickr CC
Mosaic from the Monastery of Profitis Ilias photo by Renee Ness via Flickr CC

Profitis Ilias Monastery is a fortress-like stone structure was built in 18th century at the highest point of Santorini. It used to be a secret school of Greek culture during the Turkish occupation. It was devastated by a 1956 earthquake but continues to survive to this day. Today, it’s being used as a museum housing collection of Greek Orthodox icons and other important artifacts. There’s a courtyard and gardens outside the monastery.

Ios Island

Ios Island
Ios Island

The island of Ios caters to people from all walks of life. Party animals can visit bars and restaurants while families can go on educational tours to Homer’s tomb or the ruins of Skarkos. As typical with Greek setting, you’ll also find whitewashed houses but its large cathedral and beaches are its pride. The beaches of Ios are sandy which is perfect for beach bumming.

Skaros Rock Tour

Skaros Rock by Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr CC
Skaros Rock by Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr CC

Skaros ruins can be seen from Fira and Oia. It used to be a settlement in the older days of Santorini and served as a fortress. Today, its ruins are visited by hikers and photographers for its seafront cliff which is an amazing vantage point and spot to watch Santorini’s spectacular sunset. Skaros can be visited by taking the trail from Imerovigli Village.

Ancient Thera Tours

Housing ruins in Ancient Thera photo by Stan Zurek via Wikipedia CC
Housing ruins in Ancient Thera By Stan Zurek – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The ruins of Thera offer a look on the excavated remnants of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Take a tour of the temples, agora (market, theatre, gymnasium and temples of the ruins. The ruins also feature cemeteries which were excavated in the 1960s. The ruins are located on the west coast of the island.

Santorini Foods

Where to Eat in Santorini
Where to Eat in Santorini

Santorini cuisine is made up of simple yet tasty food preparations. Their most popular food is probably Fava which is a yellow split pea purée that is topped with chopped capers or onions. They use a lot of capers in their food as well as tomatoes. It’s easy to eat local when you’re there as there are many restaurants serving Santorini dishes. Do try many if not all of their local dishes to really know about the taste of Santorini foods.

Best Tourist Spots in Santorini
Best Tourist Spots in Santorini

Shopping in Santorini

Souvenir Shops in Santorini
Souvenir Shops – Best Things to do in Santorini

If you want to find unique pieces in Santorini, you must visit smaller shops which really sell handcrafted items. Greek food products include bottled jams, olives, olive oil, wines, pickles and tomatoes which can make anyone really happy if you buy it for them. Other souvenirs you can buy are local books, lava candles, Greek sandals, Greek clothes, and pottery pieces.

Friendly Donkey Ride in Santorini

Donkey Ride in Santorini
Donkey Ride in Santorini

Donkeys remain to be a tourist attraction in Santorini and helpful companions for the locals. Riding a donkey in Santorini offers a way to get to know the culture of Santorini and as a means of transportation to travel the narrow pathways. You can rent a donkey for a fee at the town of Fira. You can then take on these trained and friendly animals to help you go to your destination.

Best Things to do in Santorini
Best Things to do in Santorini

Santorini Travel and Tour Packages

What a beautiful place Santorini is! Its magnificent views, quiet and not so quiet spots, friendly donkeys and rich culture attract travelers all over the world. Get to know this wonderful island and its people when you visit Santorini.

Find Hotels in Santorini, Greece according to your budget via Agoda.

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