Santorini is wonderful and there are plenty of things to do that it can get confusing to know which ones are totally worth it and which aren’t. Here are my top 10 things to do in Santorini, including my favorite hike and which towns were my favorite!
Planning your Greece vacation? Check out our guide to 2 weeks in Europe which includes two separate itineraries for visiting islands in Greece. Also if you need some photo inspiration, here are 15+ Santorini photos to inspire you to visit!
Top things to do in Santorini
1) SEE THE SUNSET IN OIA
Santorini is well known for having one of the best sunset views in the world. Oia, in particular, is the city to go to when you want gorgeous sunsets and equally beautiful ocean views. Arrive at least two hours before sunset, grab a drink and settle in for a natural wonder. You’ll notice the best spots are the most crowded. If you make your way down to Amoudi Bay to see the sunset, walk to your right down the road leading past the restaurants. Once you round the corner, the best sunset views await.
2) HIKE THE FIRA-OIA TRAIL
The Fira-Oia trail is a must-do for any avid hiker. Most people hike the trail starting in Fira and end in Oia. For a more difficult, uphill hike, hike it in reverse. Start in Oia and make your way over the mountains, keeping the caldera and ocean views to your right the entire time. The trail takes about 3-4 hours depending on your speed so wear good shoes, bring water and be sure to hike on a cloudy day or in the morning before the scorching sun hits.
3) RENT A QUAD AND DRIVE AROUND THE ISLAND FOR A DAY
The best way to view the island is via a quad. However, rent at your own risk. Driving in Santorini can be stressful and dangerous. Watch for pedestrians, passing cars – be alert!
4) WALK THE 250+ STEPS DOWN TO AMOUDI BAY
For great exercise, walk down (and back up) to Amoudi Bay. It’s a must-do for anyone visiting Oia. If you are exhausted by the time you reach the bottom, you can take a donkey back up the 250+ steps. Again, wear good shoes and watch where you step – donkey dung can be spotted in many places towards the bottom.
5) VISIT AKROTIRI AND THE RED BEACH
Akrotiri and the Red Beach go hand-in-hand since they are located so close to each other. Akrotiri is an amazing place to visit – the underground city history is fascinating and transports you back in time for a bit. The Red Beach is beautiful and is truly awe-inspiring.
6) VISIT PERISSA AND THE BLACK BEACH
Perissa is one of the three black sand beaches in Santorini. Located about 20-25 minutes from Oia, Perissa boasts crystal clear blue waters and beautiful black sand. Rental chairs are available and there are quite a few shops lining the street.
7) CLIFF JUMP IN AMOUDI BAY
Once you’ve climbed the 250+ steps and you’ve reached Amoudi Bay, take the road to your left past the restaurants. Keep walking until you reach the unmarked road winding around the side of the bay. Climb over the rocks and continue down the path until you reach the opening overlooking the rock. Swim out to the lone rock, climb to the top and jump off the cliff for a truly exhilarating experience. Be sure to exercise caution as there are rocks at the bottom. Go with friends at all times! If you prefer to skip the cliff jump, climb to the top and make your way to the other side of the rock where a cute little chapel awaits. Jump into the water and swim back.
8) WALK THE STREETS OF OIA AT NIGHT
Oia is gorgeous any day, all day. However, the town truly comes alive at night when thousands of lights dot the black sky. Walk the streets after dusk for a true Greek experience.
9) VISIT AT LEAST ONE WINERY
Surprisingly, Santorini is filled with wineries. Argyros Estates is one of the better known wineries, carrying some of the best VinSanto on the island!
10) SHOP IN FIRA
Fira is the place to go for shopping. Hundreds of shops line the small alleyways and each is filled with something fun or unique. Note: Fira becomes extremely crowded after 11am so plan accordingly!