Top 8 Things to Do in Santorini


Greece has always been the top place in the world that I have wanted to visit, and Santorini was the part of my Euro trip that I obsessed endlessly about. We spent a total of 4 nights in Greece, 3 of which were in Fira, Santorini and 1 day in Athens (read my posts here). When we researched whether we should stay in Oia or Fira, we read a lot of reviews that categorized Fira as the more hip, young part of the island with more bars and people, while Oia was classified as the more romantic and quiet side of the island. You can't go wrong with either choice, so check out your options and compare prices whether you stay at a hostel, AirBNB, or hotel. The pictures below speak for themselves to just how breathtaking Santorini is. I truly did not want to leave and am already excited about my next trip here in the future. Here are my top 8 things you should do here (in my opinion), and I hope they help you in planning your trip here!

1. Tour of Nea Kameni Island (Santorini Volcano), Palea Kameni Hot Springs, and Thirasia For 26 Euro, you can book this tour at many travel agencies around town. It takes you on a boat that starts at the Old Port on Fira, which you should try to get to at least 15 minutes early to get a good seat. The tour first takes you to the uninhabited island of Nea Kameni, so you can hike up the volcano for about an hour with a guide, then stop by the famous Palea Kameni hot springs for 30 minutes (you can decide whether to jump in or stay on the boat), and then you are let off at an island called Thirasia for two hours. Here, you can grab lunch, climb to the top of the island via the stairs, or just roam around near the dock. After Thirasia, the boat will stop by Oia (Ammoudi Bay) for passengers who want to get off. If you choose to stay on, the boat will go back to the Old Port in Fira. In my opinion, this tour is absolutely best way to see the volcano and island off the main island of Santorini. It's a great deal, and easily a full day's itinerary if you get off at Oia to explore and enjoy the famous sunset afterward.

Nea Kameni Island (Santorini Volcano) and Palea Kameni Hot Springs

Thirasia

2. Sunset in Oia at the Castle ruins / Fira above the cliffs at the entrance of the stairs of the Old Port

The sunset in Oia is basically the picture you will see on every popular travel account on Instagram with the famous blue tops and white buildings. I've been waiting to see it for years and I am SO excited I finally got to do it. We secured a spot just at the edge of the castle two hours before sunset and watched the sky turn shades of pink and orange. There are a ton of people enjoying the same view, so pick a spot early and stay there. I suggest bringing food and sipping on wine as you wait

Sunset in Oia

Sunset in Fira

3. Hike the trail from Fira to Oia!

The entire trail last about 2.5-3 hours if you wish to hike the entire scenic coast. Depending on where you start your walk in Fira, you will eventually hit dessert for a large part of the hike before getting to more picturesque landscape again. We decided to go in the morning on our last day and started near the cable cars at the cliffs and stopped just after hitting the "dessert". This is a beautiful scenic journey that everyone should do while they are in Santorini. If we had more time, we would have definitely walked the entire way.

4. Red Beach

The red beach is really popular among tourists because of the beautiful, deep rich red color of the cliffs. It's a pretty rocky walk from the bus station to the beach itself, so I would bring a pair of flip flops with you and wear sneakers to get there. The water is brilliant and the entire beach is exactly as beautiful as it is in pictures.


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5. Eat Greek Food!

Seriously, who doesn't love Greek food?!? I was so excited to have some authentic food on this trip, and it lived up to my expectations in every way. For four days, we devoured everything: fresh yogurt with honey and nuts, chicken and pork gyros and souvlaki, baklava, falafel pita, frozen yogurt, and tasty Greek salad. Food is inexpensive here, especially if you get food to-go or buy from local street vendors.


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6. Perissa Beach (black sand beach)

The black sand beach is located on the eastern shore of Santorini, and is only a 20-25 minute ride from Fira on the local bus (about 2 Euro each way). You can lay out under the umbrellas on chairs outside the back of many restaurants if you just order something. The sand is so unique since the shore is lined with black volcanic sand. The only problem was that it is super HOT, so bring flip flops and wear them as you walk around!


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7. Ride A Donkey (Oia from Amoudi Bay to top of Oia) Donkeys are available in both Fira and Oia for the walk up and down the cliffs. Rides are 5 Euros each, and it's definitely a unique experience to try if you aren't keen on scaling 300 steps. We took the ride up from Amoudi Bay to the top of the stairs of Oia, and it was so much fun! My donkey definitely liked to race because he basically ran to the top in record time.

Amoudi Bay


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Amoudi to Oia Trail


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8. Wine tour at Boutari Wines

Wineries are sprawled across Santorini, and wine tours and tastings are very popular on the island. We chose Boutari, which is closer to the coast, and had a 6-glass wine tasting on our last day (1 Euro per wine). We tried a selection of reds, whites, rosés, and even got a few rounds of Greek spirits on the house from the bartender. If you have extra time in your itinerary, check one out! Some of the popular ones include Santos, the Wine Museum, and Boutari, although there are many others to choose from. Cheers!


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#Travel #Santorini #Greece

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