15 things to see and do in Santorini essential

Today we tell you all the things to see in Santorini that should be on your list to discover all the corners of one of the most beautiful islands we have ever seen.

Santorini doesn’t have great things to do, that’s true, but strolling through its streets, enjoying its sunsets and dawns, delighting ourselves with the local gastronomy and contemplating the magnificent views of the Aegean Sea are enough excuses to come and enjoy this Greek island.

We spent four days touring the island, we recommend you spend at least two full days to enjoy all the things you see and do in Santorini.

Here we go with all the things to see and do in Santorini! At the end you have a map with the exact location.

To tour Santorini we stayed at the Art Hotel and Louis Studios, both highly recommended to visit the island!

15 things to see and do in Santorini

#1. Descend to the Old Port of Amoudi

Going down to the old port of Amoudi in Oia for a pleasant walk is one of the things you can do in Santorini. However, we recommend you to do it early or in the evening to avoid the sunniest hours.

Before you go down make sure you have enough strength to get back up and please don’t get on one of the poor donkeys that make this hard journey by carrying tourists.

#2. Trek to the rock Skaros

Do a little trekking to the rock Skaros and find the small church of Theoskepasti and some amazing views!

Just the afternoon we were going to do it the weather got complicated and we cancelled it, so we have a good reason to return to Santorini.

If you’re going to tell us how it is! By the way, bring water and comfortable shoes, the trekking is about 15-20 minutes and as many to return.

#3. Oía, an essential place to see in Santorini

We could say that it is the most popular part of Santorini and of almost all the Greek islands.

The contrast of its white houses with blue churches make Oía a postcard place, beautiful!

It is true that they have taken advantage of every square metre to build a hotel overlooking the caldera and although this takes a bit of authenticity away from it, it is still an amazing sight and one of the essential places to see in Santorini.

The best thing is to get lost in its labyrinthine streets, go up and down the steep stairs and marvel at the views of the boiler.

Another good plan is to visit Oía at dusk, the castle is the most popular place to see but sincerely we do not recommend it because it gets up to tourists.

The best thing is to look for another gap between the interweaving of streets, you will be calmer and you will enjoy the sunset without burden.

Our best recommendation is that you get up early! We were completely changed by the vision of the city, we were alone, the streets were deserted and we breathed a calm that is impossible at any other time of the day.

In addition to enjoying the sunrise from there is one of the things you will not forget on your trip to the Greek Islands.

Other places to see in Oia:

Panagia Platsani Church
Castle of Oía
Atlantis Bookstore
Oía Mill
Oía, one of the essential places to see in Santorini

#4. Enjoy the beaches of Santorini

Despite not having the most spectacular beaches in Greece, relaxing on a beach is another thing to do in Santorini.

Some of its beaches have peculiarities that make them unique, such as Kamari for its black sand of volcanic origin, Red Beach and also Palea Kameni beach of waters rich in iron and sulfur.

You have below the map with all the locations 🙂

#5. Explore Imerovigli

For us Imeroviglli was a great discovery, a beautiful and quiet village, with spectacular views of the Aegean Sea.

You could say it’s the least touristy version of Oía but just as cool! In our Instagram stories you can see the brunch we had at Café Galini a very recommendable place to have breakfast, it also has accommodation with very good evaluations.

There are beautiful sunset views from any of the terraces overlooking the sea.

Other places to see in Imerovigli:

Greek Orthodox Church of St Anastasia
The Skaros Rock and Theoskepasti Church (which I mentioned above)
Greek Orthodox Church of St Anastasia in Santorini

#6. Fira (Thira), one of the best places to see in Santorini

Fira seemed to us one of the coolest cities to see in Santorini, is the capital of the island and as such has a lot of accommodation on offer that you can see here.

It’s a perfect place to base and tour the island, especially if you don’t have a rental car.

It has a very nice port to which you can get off with the cable car for 6 € and have a drink in one of the cafes.

Or watch a heart attack sunset from the Volkan Bar, for example.

The Greek island cruises leave the passengers in this port, if you arrive by cruise you can hire a one day tour of Fira y Oía that starts from here.

Other places to see in Fira:

Fira Orthodox Cathedral
Thera Archaeological Museum
Thera Prehistory Museum
Church of the three bells of Fira
Mitropoleos Street

#7. Enjoy the local gastronomy

If you are a lover of good food, in Greece we have no doubt that you will enjoy, what delicacies!

During the whole trip through Greece we could taste the chicken or pork gyros (similar to a kebab), the sovlakis (similar to the Moorish skewers) or the famous mousaka, a kind of aubergine lasagna, very good!

In Santorini the fish and seafood dishes are very famous, in almost all the menus there was a dish with lobster.

And of course desserts! The one we liked the most and could be bought everywhere are the Baklavas, some puff pastry with honey a little cloying but very good!

By the way, in Greece they have the good habit of giving you dessert in almost every restaurant!

Ah! And you can’t leave the country without trying the famous Greek yogurt, great!

Sovlakis in Santorini

#8. Try Santorini’s beer

If you are a beer lover you can visit the small brewery of Santorini Brewing Company and taste its characteristic beers.

Open from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 17:00

#9. Visit the Atlantis Bookstore

The picturesque Atlantis Bookstore in Oía is a charming corner you have to see in Santorini yes or yes!

It is very cool and has a breathtaking view of the boiler.

Open from 12:00 to 20:00 every day, you can see their website here.

#10. Watching sunset from the Akrotiri lighthouse, should be in your plan of things to do in Santorini

The sunset from this lighthouse was the most amazing of all we enjoyed on the Greek islands.

Getting there by public transport is a little more complicated, but if you have a motorcycle or rental car for Santorini, it can’t be missing from your list!

The most beautiful sunset we saw in Santorini, from the lighthouse of Akrotiri

#11. Enjoy a boat trip through the cauldron

Taking a boat trip at sunset through the boiler is a breeze, and if there’s also a barbecue on board, better than better!

You can book the boat trip here.

#12. Take a thousand photos but always doing a responsible tourism

Everything in Santorini is super beautiful and in every corner you will find a beautiful photo. You can see the ones we made in our Instagram profile.

However, it is ALWAYS necessary to respect the prohibition signs, it is not allowed to climb the roofs of churches, there are signs everywhere indicating their prohibition.

There are also some streets closed to the public during the day, the good thing is that if you go at dawn they are open and you will have no problem in accessing almost any part of Oía and take some photos that at another time is impossible.

But don’t jump fences! Endangering you and surely the old roof of the building in question.

On the other hand, do not contribute to animal abuse and make a responsible tourism with animals. On the island is common to see donkeys carrying tourists or we find some tied to a fence in full sun. If there’s no demand, there’s no business.

Make a responsible tourism in Santorini

#13. Visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri

This is an ancient village buried by the eruption of the volcano, today this very well preserved, is known by the Pompeii of Santorini.

You can visit it for free or book an organized tour.

If you want to visit more archaeological remains, you can also visit the ancient Thera site.

#14. Rent a car or a motorbike and go around Santorini for free

We rented a small car through Auto Europe for the entire trip and were delighted to be able to travel the island from end to end without relying on public transport.

You have much more info in the post of tips for renting a car in Greece

#15. Book a tour to see Santorini

If you don’t have much time or you use public transport, probably the most interesting thing is that you book a full Santorini tour with a Spanish speaking guide that lasts 5 hours.

They take you through all the most touristic points of the island and include a tasting of the famous wines of Santorini.

Santorini Accommodation

The accommodation in Santorini is not very economical and specifically in Oia in the summer months, almost prohibitive, but of course it is the most touristic part of the island!

We were in two accommodations on our visit to Santorini and both were a total success.


The first one was Louis Studios which was located very close to the beach and had free airport/port transfer service.

It is in a quiet area a little away from the village but has a bus stop nearby and a small supermarket in front of the hotel, the village of Kamari is 5 minutes away by car.

The swimming pool of the hotel came to us of luxury to relax and to refresh us of the heat of Santorini, and although we did not get to make use also it had a mini kitchen equipped to make us some food or breakfast.

→ See in Booking.com prices and availability for your dates.

Santorini Accommodation – Louis Studios


In the Art Hotel we also spend two nights, it is a very cool and modern hotel! We had a very spacious room with a private pool, and they serve you breakfast in the room every day, not just any breakfast! A piece of breakfast.

It also had a large pool in the center of the hotel and from the rooms we had incredible views.

→ See in Booking.com prices and availability for your dates.

Santorini Accommodation – Art Hotel

Rent a car in Santorini

As we already commented in the post of tips for renting a car in Greece, we booked a car for the whole trip through Athens and the Greek islands.

We recommend you to rent a car or a motorbike to be able to cross the island much better without having to count on public transport, in addition we did not have problems to find free parking, it was all a success.

We book the car through Auto Europe with Super Cover.

Rent a car in Santorini

Travel insurance for Greece

According to the Ministry’s travel assistance page, they recommend taking private insurance to travel to Greece, public health is not in very good condition and travel insurance for Europe is very affordable.

We remind you that from our link you have a 5% discount on your travel insurance Iati! This way you can save a little on this aspect and also travel quietly.

Map of all things to see in Santorini

And here’s our list of things to see in Santorini essential!

We hope it will help you to plan your trip to this beautiful Greek island.

The best thing is to let yourself be carried away, to soak up the essence of Santorini and, as I said above, to get up early! So we can see the island before the cruise ship tourists arrive.

Do you have any questions? Would you add anything else to our list of things to see in Santorini? We look forward to hearing from you!

Other articles from our trip to Greece:




Other links of interest for your trip to Athens: