Santorini’s group of islands consists of Thera, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea and Nea Kameni islands and is located in the most southern part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. Out of all the thousands of Greek Islands, Santorini is probably the most magical one, enveloped in mystery and charm. Santorini is a world-famous destination that will fascinate you with its amazing sunsets, red cliffs, black beaches, white windmills, and blue domes. It has some of the most unique geographical characteristics of any other island in the world, it was formed by a series of volcanic explosions over the course of thousands of years. Check out our Top 10 Things To Do In Santorini.
Akrotiri was a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic island of Santorini (Thera). The site shows the ruins of an ancient city buried in volcanic ash and conserved under layers of lava which dates back to 3,500 years ago in the Theran eruption. Ancient Akrotiri is a fascinating and important archaeological site.
The small exquisite village of Oia is the most famous of all villages in Santorini. It is known throughout the world for its quiet life and fantastic sunset, and is certainly the most beautiful village of Santorini. Wander around the narrowed cobbled walkways lined with small stores, galleries, and restaurants or watch the most breathtaking sunset on earth from the gorgeous cliff-top village of Oia with the white washed houses, the windmills and little churches with the blue shutters.
Fira is the capital and the cultural and commercial center of Santorini. It is located on the top of a cliff of a caldera and offers a great panorama over the submerged volcano. It is made of many white painted houses in stepped streets with blue domed churches and sun-bathed verandas. This great area offers museums, galleries and cultural events, it has the island’s largest shopping center and the biggest choice of dining out and entertainment.
Theotokopoulou Square is the main square of Fira and it is where all the locals meet. The small streets during peak season period are crowed and filled with all kind of shops, jewelleries, cafes, restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Ammoudi Bay is a great place to enjoy a delicious lunch away from the hustle and bustle of Oia with beautiful views. It is a 15 minute walk down the magnificent red cliffs that surround this picturesque, cozy and charming little harbor. Mingle with local fishermen who have lots of stories to share with you over a beer or a baklava. This is a quintessential spot; no visit to Santorini is complete without a stop by Ammoudi.
Perissa is a seaside village on the south east coast of Santorini with several kilometers of black sand beach. Perissa beach is unexpectedly beautiful and incredibly peaceful. The volcanic location makes the black sand seem fake. It is situated 15 km (9.3 miles) southeast of Fira.
Emporio, the largest village of Santorini beckons visitors with its well-preserved ancient castle, myriad of churches, enticing sequence of old windmills on the hillside and historic architecture galore in its narrow whitewashed alleyways. Overlooking the beaches of Perissa and Perivolos, this is the perfect spot for people to sit at traditional tavern and simply enjoy life.
Pyrgos is a picturesque traditional village in the center of the Santorini and it is the highest point in the island. It was the ancient capital of Santorini where monastery of Prophet Elias still stands. From here, you can enjoy amazing and breathtaking panoramic views over the Aegean Sea.
Take a boat excursion to Nea Kameni, a small uninhabited Greek island of volcanic origin, a protected natural monument and national geological park. Nea Kameni is a pole of attraction for tourists due to its healing hot springs. The yellow water there contains a large amount of sulfur and are known for its therapeutic purposes. If you are a true adventurer, climb to the to top of the volcanic mountain, it is definitely a very long uphill hike (took us like an hour) but it is worth it.
Just a short walk from the ancient site of Akrotiri is Red Beach with its famous red and black volcanic pebbles. Red Beach earns its name from the iron-rich sedimentary rocks in the cliff face towering above you, as well as the red sand which form a breathtaking unique volcanic landscape. Access involves a walk from the harbour of Akrotíri (around 10 minutes) or by boat from Kamári, Akrotíri and Períssa.
Santorini’s volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the more unique beaches in the Greek Isles, and Kamari is no exception. Kamari is a cosmopolitan beach resort on the south east of Santorini, it lies under the impressive mountain of Mesa Vouno. The Kamari Beach seafront promenade features many shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars with lively nightlife. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Just So You Know…
- Santorini produces some of the best wines in Greece – book a winery tour with Sigalas Winery.
- Scuba Diving is a must when visiting Santorini – Check out the Santorini Dive Center.
- Stay in a cave house – Cave houses or ‘yposkafa’ were historically built by the poor society class of Santorini to protect themselves against gusty winds. Nowadays, famous architects have turned these cave houses in modern and luxurious holiday resorts.
- Hike from Fira to Oia – When looking for an adventurous day filled with huffing and puffing, you should hike from Fira to Oia.
Grab A Bite:
- The Museum of Prehistoric Thera – hosts the important findings that were brought into light with the excavations in Akrotiri. Impressive plaster furniture mouldings, bronze pottery items and the unique golden statuette of the wild goat.
- The Archaeological Museum – exhibits collections of sculptures and inscriptions from the Archaic to the Roman Era.
Grab A Bite:
- Selene – The traditional village of Pyrgos to dine at one of the island’s premiere Michelin-starred restaurant.
- Taverna Nikolas – A genuine golden oldie, here since the 1960s,
- Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna – It is one of the few restaurants in Oia with sunset views and right next to the ocean. It serves great Greek food and very fresh fish. Service is efficient and friendly although the cloth they serve the wine with looks very weird.