Santorini, or originally Thera, is one of the most famous islands in Cyclades, Greece. The island acquired its present form after a major volcanic eruption, called the Minoan eruption, which occurred about 3600 years ago.
With its outstanding sights, numerous amazing museums, culinary experiences and hospitable locals, you can feel right at home. Moreover, the stunning beaches will amaze you and you will not want to leave.
You can feel the romantic atmosphere everywhere, which is why Santorini is the perfect island for couples and lovers. However, this does not mean that you can not enjoy the island with friends and family as well.
So without further ado, let us explore some of the best things to do in Santorini.
What are the Best Things to Do in Santorini?
Churches | Santorini Travel Guide
In Greece, just as in Italy and Spain, a great religious spirit prevails throughout the country. Therefore, Santorini cannot be lacking in impressive churches and beautiful monasteries. So get ready to visit some of the most breathtaking temples you can find on the island.
If you visit Fira, the capital of Santorini, one of the most emblematic buildings you will see is the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral. Constructed in 1827, this temple and its beautiful bell tower can be seen from far away. Plus, the beautiful view will take your breath away.
Right in the heart of the Catholic neighborhood, you’ll find the St. John the Baptist Cathedral. It was originally built in 1823 in the Baroque style. However, after a major earthquake in 1956, it was rebuilt by locals in 1970. Learn more about the Roman Catholic Diocese right on site.
Prophet Elias Monastery is not only a place with a great religious spirit, but also the place with the best view of the island. This amazing monastery is located on the highest point of Santorini, about 560 meters above sea level, and therefore the view is breathtaking.
Museums and Art Galleries | Santorini Travel Guide
One of the best things about traveling to a new destination is that you get to experience a different culture. The best way to do that is to visit the museums and art galleries. Santorini, like Sevilla, has some of the most fascinating museums.
If you are interested in ancient history, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera is the place to start your visit. The museum houses many amazing artifacts that you can admire and spend a constructive day learning about the past.
One of the most popular and unique museums on the island is the Wine Museum. Like the Cider Museum in San Sebastian, it shows you how winemaking works from start to finish. You’ll also learn how the process has changed over the years.
Next to the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, you’ll find one of the greatest art galleries in Santorini. The Mati Art Gallery houses some of the most stunning sea- inspired artworks that will take your breath away.
Art of the Loom is a cross between an art gallery and a gift store. However, it is one of the best things to do in Santorini. If you pay a visit to this charming little store, you will find some of the most outstanding artwork made by locals. Moreover, you can buy everything here at reasonable prices.
Best Beaches | Santorini Travel Guide
One of the greatest things you can do in Santorini and any other Greek island is water activities and swimming. Unlike Naxos, Santorini does not have many beautiful beaches, but some will impress you with their beauty.
Red Beach is the most famous beach on the island. The numerous red volcanic rocks along the coast make the scenery unique and perfect for taking some memorable photos. However, choose your transfer to the beach wisely, as you can only reach it via a rocky path downhill.
One of the best places for water activities is Kamari beach. It is located in the village of the same name near the capital of Santorini and is perfect for a relaxing and fun day. The sea can be reached by car, bus or even by boat.
Last but not least, of course, one of the most romantic options cannot be missed in this Santorini travel guide: the Eros Beach. It is located on the south side of the island, surrounded by impressive huge rocks. There is a dirt road that you can follow with your car that will lead you to the heart of the beach.
Archaeological and Alternative Tours Around the Island | Santorini Travel Guide
When it comes to sites of archaeological interest, the Excavation of Akrotiri is a must-see place. You will see some of the most important prehistoric settlements in the Aegean. The remains of the city await you on site, while some of the smaller objects are housed in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera.
Ancient Thera is another impressive archaeological site that you should visit. This amazing site is located on the mountain Mesa Vouno, about 565 above sea level, and was used as a great observation point. So, join the tour and discover not only the sights but also the excellent views.
On the other hand, Santorini is known for its amazing, tasty and unique wines. So get ready for a different kind of tour. Decide how many hours you want to spend and get ready to have the time of your life. Plus, if you want a tip: wine tours are a special thing to do in Santorini at sunset.
What to Eat in Santorini? | Santorini Travel Guide
Greece, just like Spain and Italy, is known for its Mediterranean cuisine. That’s why Santorini couldn’t lack having some of the best flavors you can taste. Therefore, there are some unique, local dishes that you should try at least once during your visit.
If you want to taste the local flavors, you should visit a small taverna that offers everything you could want. From the fava to the moussaka, all the dishes of Santorini will leave you wanting more. Also, you have to try the national fast food, gyros, and see why Greeks love it so much.
On the other hand, Santorini has some of the most glamorous and popular restaurants in the world. So if you want to try something special, you can visit these restaurants all over the island.
Does Santorini Offer a Great Nightlife? | Santorini Travel Guide
Santorini, like Naxos and every other Greek island, has plenty of great options to offer for your night out adventures. After your dinner in one of the restaurants or tavernas, you have to be prepared for an extraordinary night.
You can visit any of the well-known bars and clubs. There are also some hidden smaller bars where you can spend a few hours. Also, the beach bars host some of the most amazing parties you have ever seen. So prepare to have fun until the wee hours of the morning.
When to Visit Santorini? | Santorini Travel Guide
We have mentioned in many of our Travel Guides that there is something to do in most cities and countries all year round. Santorini, however, is not one of those places, as there is not much to do on the island during the winter months.
Moreover, all the major festivals that are held in Santorini take place during the summer months. From the Megaron Festival to the festival that depicts the explosion of the volcano, the summer months are the best time to visit the island.
However, since most people visit the famous island from July to early September, it gets very crowded during these months. So, you need to choose your travel dates wisely if you want to avoid a crowded Santorini.
Wrap up | Santorini Travel Guide
Santorini is one of the most romantic places in the whole world. It is perfect for couples and especially for honeymooners. But you can also spend a great time there with your family and friends.
Finally, there are numerous fascinating things to do in Santorini and our guide includes just a few of them. Therefore, you should travel to this magical island and discover it on your own.