The Best things to do in Santorini in 2024

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Explore the best things to do in Santorini in 2024 with this comprehensive guide. Santorini offers a captivating mix of breathtaking landscapes, iconic whitewashed buildings, and blue-domed churches. Essential experiences include watching the stunning sunsets, visiting the unique red beaches, and swimming in the clear blue waters. Don’t miss out on these must-see attractions to make the most of your trip to this magical island.

A picturesque beach with striking red cliffs, clear blue waters, and a small sandy shoreline. The landscape is rugged and scenic under a bright blue sky.

Best Santorini Beaches

Santorini’s beaches each offer unique experiences: Ammoudi Bay is known for its seafood and boat tours, while Kamari Beach features black volcanic sand and diverse water sports. Red Beach stands out with its colorful volcanic sand and snorkeling spots. Perivolos Beach, ideal for romance and adventure, combines relaxation with activities like jet skiing and a vibrant bar scene.

Ammoudi Bay

Ammoudi, a picturesque bay beneath Oia, is known for its seafood restaurants and bustling port. The port offers boat tours to various attractions, including a nearby swimming spot. Enjoy the unique experiences Ammoudi has to offer during your visit to Santorini.

Kamari Beach

Kamari Beach in Santorini is a top destination with its black volcanic sand and clear waters. Despite its popularity, it maintains cleanliness and offers numerous amenities for a satisfying beach day. It provides opportunities for water sports and has a diving center. Nearby, a football field and beach volleyball area add to the fun. Enjoy your visit to Kamari Beach!

Red Beach

The Red Beach, located in Akrotiri village, is a short drive from Fira town. Accessible by car, bus, or boat, it’s a popular destination due to its unique volcanic landscape and colorful sand. It’s an ideal spot for snorkeling enthusiasts. Enjoy your visit to this remarkable location in Santorini.

Perivolos Beach

For those on a romantic getaway, Perivolos beach is an essential destination. This vibrant beach is perfect for both relaxation and fun. Its black sand and clear waters attract those seeking adventure with activities like Jet Ski Safari. The beach is also known for its numerous bars that play music throughout the day.

A picturesque village with whitewashed buildings, windmills, and domed roofs, illuminated during sunset. The scene overlooks the sea, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere.

Best Santorini Villages

Santorini’s villages showcase unique aspects of Greek life and beauty. Oia is celebrated for its sunsets and picturesque architecture, while Fira offers vibrant nightlife and panoramic views. Imerovigli provides romantic vistas and Pyrgos offers tranquility with scenic cafes. Emporio features medieval charm, and Megalochori highlights traditional Greek village aesthetics with local taverns.

Oia Village

Oia, a traditional village in Greece, is renowned for its picturesque views and is a popular spot in Santorini for observing the volcano and sunset. The village is a maze of cubic houses, terraces, windmills, and blue domes. Recommended activities: Watch the sunset from Oia Kastro, photograph the blue dome churches and the windmill, dine at Ammoudi harbor, and stop by Atlantis bookstore.

Fira & Firostefani Villages

Fira, Santorini’s capital, is a bustling village known for its traditional houses perched on the caldera’s cliffs, offering views of the sea and volcano. The village features various facilities, shops, restaurants, bars, and lively nightclubs. Activities: Explore the village, photograph the blue-domed churches, visit the Archaeological Museum and Museum of Prehistoric Thera, dine with sunset views, and savor cocktails with volcano vistas. Consider visiting Firostefani, a nearby village to the north. Notable spots include the Homeric Poem hotel and the popular Galini Cafe.

Imerovigli Village

Imerovigli, often referred to as “the balcony to the Aegean,” is a charming village in Santorini known for its volcanic views. It’s a popular spot for couples, particularly during the golden hour, offering an unparalleled view of the volcano. Activities: Walk to Skaros Rock and Theoskepasti chapel, visit Agios Ioannis Chapel, and photograph the Blue-domed Church.

Pyrgos Village

Pyrgos is a quaint village in Santorini that provides insight into local life. Despite its distance from the sea, it offers remarkable views and a serene atmosphere. The village, situated on a hill, features houses and churches constructed around a Venetian castle. Exploring the narrow footpaths can lead to scenic cafes. The village is also home to Selene, one of Greece’s top-rated restaurants.

Emporio Village

Emporio, a medieval village, is among the most picturesque in the area. It features restored stone mansions that now serve as boutique hotels. The village’s architecture is unique, with houses and monuments showcasing old stairs, adjacent balconies, arches, and brightly painted doors. The presence of bougainvillea trees and pergola vines adds a touch of nature.

Megalochori Village

Megalochori is a traditional village that offers a unique experience. Its paved streets showcase the local architecture. The village is known for its neoclassical mansions, blue domes, and bell towers. It also hosts a selection of local taverns.

Ancient ruins of a settlement, partially excavated and housed within a modern protective structure. Visitors can be seen exploring the site in the background.

Best Museums and Archaeological Sites in Santorini

Santorini offers a rich tapestry of cultural heritage through its museums and archaeological sites. Visitors can explore the ‘Greek Pompeii’ at Akrotiri, showcasing well-preserved ancient settlements, or delve into Minoan civilization artifacts at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Ancient Thera presents historical ruins from various epochs on Mesa Vouno Mountain. The Lost Atlantis Experience provides an interactive take on the Atlantis myth, while Art Space Gallery and the Tomato Industrial Museum blend local culture with unique exhibits, including wine tasting and tomato paste production histories.


Akrotiri, often referred to as the ‘Greek Pompeii’, is an archaeological site that offers insights into life around 1450 BC. A volcanic eruption, similar to that of Pompeii, resulted in the preservation of nearby settlements under layers of ash. Today, visitors can explore the site, walking through homes and clay structures, and viewing artefacts that reflect the peak of the ancient Minoan civilization.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, located in Fira, Santorini, is one of Greece’s significant museums. Established in the 1970s and opened to the public in 2000, it is housed in a modern two-story building. The museum was initiated by Greek archaeologist Professor Spyridon Marinatos, who led the Akrotiri archaeological site’s excavations. It showcases valuable artifacts from the Minoan Bronze Age, reflecting a flourishing prehistoric civilization.

Ancient Thera

Ancient Thera, a significant historical site in Santorini, is situated atop Mesa Vouno Mountain. This location, separating the villages of Perissa and Kamari, offers a vantage point over the southeastern Aegean Sea. Its natural fortification made it an ideal settlement for the Lacedaemonian colonists in the 8th century BC. The island was named Thera after their king. The site, rich in building materials and natural springs, later served as a military base for the Ptolemaic dynasty in the 4th century BC.

Lost Atlantis Experience – Interactive Museum

The Lost Atlantis Museum offers a unique opportunity to explore Plato’s renowned myth of Atlantis. This first-of-its-kind museum focuses on the advanced civilization that, according to the legend, fell into the sea due to its moral decay. Plato’s timeless philosophical theories are presented through this narrative. The museum’s location in Santorini, a place often linked to the lost city, enhances the overall experience.

Art Space Gallery

Art Space Gallery in Exo Gonia is a unique destination where art and wine coexist. This cultural hub in Santorini offers a chance to appreciate contemporary art while sampling wines. The venue, built in 1861, exemplifies the island’s traditional cave house architecture.

Tomato Industrial Museum

The Tomato Industrial Museum, located in the secluded beach town of Vlychada, is dedicated to the island’s renowned tomato paste. Even if tomatoes aren’t your favorite, this unique museum, formerly the Nomikos family’s ketchup factory, is a must-see. It features historical photos and video documentaries related to tomato processing, a charming courtyard café, and an art gallery exhibiting local artists’ work.

A dramatic rocky outcrop jutting into the sea, with whitewashed buildings and lush greenery in the foreground. The blue sea extends to distant islands under a clear sky, with a cruise ship sailing in the background.

What is Santorini Famous for

Santorini captivates with diverse attractions suited to various interests. The iconic Santorini Caldera offers stunning views and hiking opportunities, while the Akrotiri Lighthouse is ideal for serene sunsets. History buffs will appreciate Skaros Rock and the ancient ruins on Thirassia Island. The Prophet Elias Monastery provides cultural insights and panoramic island views. Additionally, the volcanic islands of Nea and Palia Kameni offer unique experiences with thermal mud baths and sulfur springs, showcasing Santorini’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

Santorini Caldera

Santorini’s caldera, a crescent formation, spans the island’s west side. Its towering volcanic cliffs provide stunning sea and volcano vistas. Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, and other caldera settlements attract numerous visitors for their views and distinctive ambiance. Suggested activity: Explore the captivating hiking trails near the caldera’s edge in the Cyclades.

Akrotiri Lighthouse

Akrotiri Lighthouse is a beautiful stone watchtower located on Santorini’s southern coast, known for its spectacular sunset views. The journey to this 19th-century lighthouse, situated at the end of a cliff-edge road leading to the island’s southernmost peninsula, is an experience in itself. Visitors who make it to this secluded location at sunset can enjoy the renowned caldera views in solitude.

Skaros Rock

Skaros Rock, a prominent feature in Santorini, extends into the Aegean Sea. Situated near Imerovigli village, it was once home to a significant castle, a hub for the Christian community until the early 1800s. The castle, however, was destroyed in a 19th-century earthquake, leaving only ruins. Interestingly, it is believed that the castle remained unconquered throughout its 600-year history.

Thirassia Island

Thirassia, a lesser-known atoll, was once part of the larger island of Strongilis, which included Santorini, until a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC. The island’s capital, Manolas, perched atop a cliff and accessible by numerous staircases, and its untouched cave houses offer a glimpse into Santorini’s past before the influx of tourism. This 9 square kilometer island is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

Prophet Elia Monastery

Prophet Elias Monastery, located at the highest point of Santorini, is one of the island’s oldest churches, built in 1711. It offers panoramic views of the island, from calderas to the ocean. Visitors can explore the monastery and shop for local products like candles, honey, olive oil, and wine. Enjoy your visit to this historic site.

Nea and Palia Kameni

Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni are two small volcanic islands in Santorini. Visitors can sail to these islands and experience the benefits of hot sulfur springs in the sea. On land, thermal mud is available for health benefits. Tours offer a visit to Nea Kameni’s Geological Park for a view of the volcanic crater.

A vineyard with lush green vines, set against a backdrop of hills and scattered buildings under a clear blue sky. A structure with Greek flags stands in the middle of the vineyard.

Best Wineries in Santorini

Santorini’s winemaking tradition shines at its boutique wineries like Domaine Sigalas and Santo Wines. Domaine Sigalas educates visitors on volcanic soil’s impact on viticulture with ancient vine-training techniques, while Santo Wines in Pyrgos village pairs stunning volcanic views with exquisite local wines and cuisine. Both wineries offer unique insights into the rich wine culture of one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions.

Domaine Sigalas

Sigalas Winery is among the boutique wineries on the island, known for producing some of Greece’s finest wines. The winery offers a unique experience to understand the influence of volcanic soil on grape cultivation and wine production. Santorini, one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions, is home to Sigalas. Here, a private sommelier guides visitors through vineyards that still use the ancient koulara technique of weaving vines into basket-like structures.

Santo Wines

Santo Wines Wine Tourism Center, situated in Pyrgos village adjacent to the Santo Wines winery, offers a stunning view of the volcano. Open throughout the year, it welcomes global visitors to its contemporary facilities that celebrate the wines of Santorini, local cuisine, and refined lifestyle.

A couple sitting on a boat, embracing and watching the sunset over the sea with a mountainous coastline in the distance. The sky is clear, and the sun is low on the horizon, creating a romantic and serene atmosphere.

Best Activities in Santorini

Santorini offers a diverse range of activities tailored to different travel styles. From private cruises and romantic dinners for couples and honeymooners, to family-friendly volcano tours and beach visits. Solo travelers can enjoy the vibrant nightlife and scenic hikes, while budget travelers can explore the island through cost-effective tours. Groups of friends can enjoy beach parties and volleyball, and cruise ship passengers can efficiently see the top sights with private bus tours. Santorini truly has something for everyone.

For Couples

For couples visiting Santorini, top activities include booking a private cruise, such as a catamaran or motor yacht, especially around sunset for a romantic experience ideal for proposals. Enjoy cocktails at PK Bar in Fira, overlooking the stunning landscape. Adventure seekers can engage in water sports like jet skiing around the volcano or parasailing for island-wide views. Couples can also ride ATVs or swim at Eros Beach. For dining, a romantic dinner at a fish tavern in Ammoudi or a restaurant on the Caldera is recommended. History enthusiasts should visit the Prophet Elias Monastery for its panoramic views of Santorini.

For Honeymooners

For honeymooners in Santorini, top activities include staying at a hotel on the Caldera with a private pool for a luxurious experience. Romantic cruises around the island offer a private and intimate setting, ideal for couples. Dining options include memorable meals at Ammoudi or upscale restaurants on the Caldera, featuring traditional Santorini dishes. Wine tasting at prominent wineries like Santo Wines or Venetsanos Winery enhances the culinary experience. Exploring charming towns like Oia and Pyrgos promises amazing moments. Lastly, a visit to Eros Beach provides a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, with opportunities for swimming and sunbathing.

For Families with kids

For families visiting Santorini, booking a boat volcano tour is a top activity, with options including a daytime catamaran cruise for swimming and relaxation or a sunset cruise on a traditional boat. Dining at a traditional Greek tavern offers a friendly atmosphere and delicious food, creating a welcoming experience. Families can also enjoy time at Kamari and Perissa beaches, perfect for swimming, games, or simply relaxing. Additionally, wine tasting is a family-friendly activity, with wineries offering spacious environments suitable for kids.

For Solo travelers

For solo travelers in Santorini, staying in Fira is ideal due to its vibrant nightlife and opportunities to meet new people at clubs like Two Brothers, Murphy’s Club, and Highlander Club. Joining a boat party, is a great way to connect with others during a scenic sunset. Solo visitors can also relax at Perivolos Beach, enjoying a drink or a swim. Hiking from Fira to Oia and visiting the castles offers both historical insights and stunning views. Additionally, booking a bus tour or a specific photo tour is an excellent way to cover the top sights and capture the beauty of Santorini.

For Budget travelers

For budget travelers in Santorini, signing up for a volcano tour is a cost-effective way to explore the island, including hiking on the volcano and swimming in hot springs. Spending nights at Kamari or Perissa beaches provides a romantic and serene setting without high costs. Additionally, booking a bus tour is an economical choice to visit all the top attractions in Santorini, ensuring a comprehensive and affordable travel experience.

For Groups of Friends

For groups visiting Santorini, top activities include booking a private catamaran cruise for a memorable boat party experience. Enjoy a refreshing swim at Perivolos Beach, followed by drinks at popular spots like Jojo Beach Bar and Wet Stories. For those interested in sports, volleyball at Perivolos Beach offers great fun. At night, explore Santorini’s vibrant nightlife with visits to clubs like Koo Club, Two Brothers, or Murphy’s Club.

For Cruise Ship Passengers

For cruise ship passengers in Santorini, booking a private bus tour is recommended to efficiently see the island’s top sights and save both time and money. Additionally, taking a private cruise is ideal for those who love the sea, offering a memorable experience on Santorini’s crystalline waters with arrangements for pickup and drop-off at Old Port of Fira. Before departing, make sure to explore the Caldera and admire its breathtaking views, easily accessible before taking the cable car to Old Port.

Exploring the villages of Santorini offers a rich and diverse experience, capturing the essence of Greek culture and scenic beauty. Whether you’re enjoying the sunset views in Oia, delving into the nightlife of Fira, or soaking up the tranquility in Pyrgos, each village presents its unique charm. As you plan your trip for 2024, make sure to include these destinations to experience the best things to do in Santorini.

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