Santorini is romantic island sunsets.Here you’ll find peace as you roam the black sand beaches or the streets of a provincial village like Imerovigli.
Even if you’ve never been to this Cyclades island in the Aegean Sea, you’d still recognize it immediately – candy-colored houses carved into cliffs, sapphire waters, gleaming white buildings topped with half-spheres the color of a stormy sky
With multicoloured cliffs soaring above a sea-drowned caldera, Santorini looks like a giant slab of layered cake. The main island of Thira will take your breath away with its snow-drift of white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops and, in places, spilling like icy cornices down the terraced rock. When the sun sets, the reflection on the buildings and the glow of the orange and red in the cliffs can be truly spectacular.
Beautiful Oia is world famous for its sunsets, which seem tinted with every shade of an artist’s palette.
Santorini is no secret and draws crowds for much of the year, yet it wears its tourism crown well. The island’s intrigue reaches deep into the past, with the fascinating Minoan site of Akrotiri and the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Oia. It also glides effortlessly into the future with accomplished artists, excellent wineries, a unique microbrewery and some of the Cyclades' finest accommodation and dining experiences. The multicoloured beaches are simply the icing on the cake.
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.
10:00am-11:00am : Cathedral Church Of Candlemas Of The Lord
White arches surround Cathedral Church Of Candlemas Of The Lord, featuring an impressive bell tower sitting next to a quaint little garden. Although you cannot take photographs of the interior, step inside to see walls covered with gold-plated frescoes. A favorite with locals, the cathedral remains a great place to spot the area's residents carrying on with their age-old traditions. The hilltop location provides some impressive panoramic views of the two nearby islands.
11:30am-3:30pm : Kumari Beach
Soak up the island atmosphere at Kamari Beach, a popular spot to watch sunrises and sunsets. This beach, Santorini's longest, attracts water-lovers from around the world with its black volcanic pebbles and unobstructed views of the Mesa Vouno and Profitis Ilias mountain peaks, rising imposingly over the calm blue waters of the Aegean. The nearby village, from which the popular beach got its name, boasts a thriving tourist industry and offers a wide choice of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and nightclubs. Be sure to visit the remains of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the god Poseidon, located at the southern end of the beach.
4:00pm-6:00pm : Akrotiri
Set your clock back a few thousand years with a visit to Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption around 1627 BCE. The volcanic ash buried the remains of many everyday objects used by the settlement's inhabitants, preserving for posterity the ancient way of life of a long-lost culture. Some historians suggest this archeological site, once an important port city on the Aegean, served as an inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis, a supposedly fictional place mentioned in two of the philosopher's major works. To gain a better understanding of the lost community, take a guided tour around the excavation site.
10:00am-12:00pm : Ancient Thera
High above Kamari, you can explore the ruins of Ancient Thera. The former city was inhabited from ninth century BC to 726 AD. Hike up the 360 m (1,180 ft) hill, Mesa Vouna, to reach the ruins, or rent a scooter or car to get to the top. The ruins from the Hellenistic era include remnants from the Roman and Byzantine eras. Walk the short main street to glimpse what's left of two agoras (gathering places), several Greek temples, shops, Roman baths, Byzantine walls, and a church. Then look out over the towns and the coast of Santorini below.
12:30pm-2:00pm : Venetsanos Winery
Poised on top of a cliff overlooking the rocky Aegean coastline, Venetsanos Winery remains a distinguished family-run operation in business since 1947. Inside the historic winery built into the cliffs to avoid disrupting the natural landscape you can take a guided tour of the production process. While surveying the romantic panorama surrounding the winery, you can sample dessert whites and rich tannic reds accompanied with well-paired meats and cheeses. Round off your visit with a trip to the gift shop, where you can purchase a bottle of your favorite wine.
2:30pm-5:30pm : Perissa Black Sand Beach
One of Santorini's black volcanic beaches, Perissa Black Sand Beach remains popular for its calm waters and abundance of sea life. Lined with rustic seafood taverns, the beach offers you a chance to snorkel or windsurf the turquoise sea during the day, and explore the island's popular dining and entertainment options at night. The site lies in the shadows of the Profitis Ilias, a 560 m (1,800 ft) high mountain that protects the coastline from the harsh Aegean winds. A rugged trail starts just above the beach and leads to the ruins of an ancient Christian church, which you can explore on foot or by riding a donkey.
10:00am-12:00am : Santo Winery
Taste exceptional Greek wines while enjoying a view of Santorini’s coast at Santo Winery. The vineyard produces a selection of whites, reds, sparkling wines, and dessert wines. Take part in a wine tasting on the upper terrace, which offers views of the islands and sea. Enjoy the small bites of Greek olives, cheese, and tomato paste with your wine.
12:30pm-2:00pm : Sunset in Oia
Thousands of visitors come to Santorini just to experience the famed Sunset in Oia, one of the island's major attractions. A small town precariously perched on the crescent-shaped volcanic cliffs of the island, Oia has been a popular sunset-watching spot for centuries. A major stop for cruise ships touring the Aegean, the town gets quite crowded by mid-afternoon. It's best to arrive early in the day, leaving plenty of time to explore the town's narrow streets and find the best place for watching or photographing the setting sun. The western side of the town offers the finest views and attracts the majority of visitors, so claim your spot as early as you can.
2:30pm-5:30pm : Amoudi Bay
A place of romantic sunsets and traditional taverns, Amoudi Bay sits just below the small port town of Oia. After a swim in the Aegean, scramble up the bay's red cliffs to take in sweeping views of the sea and the coastline, dotted by tiny beaches attracting water lovers from around the world. The bay gets extremely crowded by mid-afternoon, so try to arrive as early in the day as possible. It's best to spend the first part of the afternoon exploring the bay's many seafood restaurants, leaving plenty of time to find a good spot for watching the sunset near the water or up on the cliffs.
6:00pm-6:30pm : Ernesto Workshop & Gallery
Find a great piece of art at Ernesto Workshop & Gallery, a unique shop run by artists who specialize in woodwork and jewelry. Here you can find all kinds of high-quality items, including boxes, chess sets, picture frames, and decorative home accents. Jewelry ranges from necklaces and rings to pendants and bracelets. The emphasis on original design means you'll have lots of one of a kind pieces to choose from for souvenirs or gifts.
10:00am-1:00pm : Santorini Volcano
The cause of one of the largest and most destructive eruptions in recorded history, Santorini Volcano represents an active volcano with a crater rising out of the sea. The volcano violently erupted in 1627 BCE, destroying the island's thriving Minoan settlement. Although no clear records remain of this event, the eruption appears to have inspired many Greek myths and produced a short-term climatic change that caused heavy rainstorms as far away as Egypt. Today, all of Santorini serves as a kind of volcanological museum, offering you a chance to observe a range of geological features. To appreciate the volcano in its full glory, take a boat tour around the island.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Koukla Art
Opening onto a small square, Koukla Art sells pieces of eclectic and unique jewelry made of gemstones, gold, and silver. Whether you're looking for a gift or a treat for yourself, the two sisters who own the store, Olga and Avgi, will help you with your selection. This cozy little shop, whose name translates roughly as "doll" or "beautiful woman," represents several Greek jewelry designers. Considering the quality of the jewels, prices are a real bargain.
10:00am-11:00am : Ekklisia Panagia Platsani
Experience a traditional Greek Orthodox church at Ekklisia Panagia Platsani. The original church stood at the town's edge, inside the castle; after its destruction in the 1956 earthquake, this building replaced it, constructed on the much more stable town square. Step inside to admire the murals and ornate linings of the building. Don't miss the sacred vessels donated by travelers throughout the centuries, and the icon of the Virgin said to have been found in the sea. Take in the peaceful atmosphere, and then step outside to explore the lively town center.
11:00am-11:30am : Eponymo
Eponymo is the largest shop ia santorini that carries the best quality gold and silver jewellery from famous local artists.You will find also original mosaics,oil paintings,antics,silver items,reprodactions of ancient greek poteries,hand paint wood and mirrores and many objects that you cannot see the first time.
12:00pm-2:30pm : Skaros Rock
Skaros Rock once housed a castle that protected the 200 Catholic settlers who called the town home. The town of Skaros was the capital of the island of Santorini until multiple earthquakes caused families to leave. Today the site offers views from the lookout over the flat-top rock next to the sea. The Chapel of Agios Ioannis Apokefalistheis stands silent over the abandoned town. The white buildings high on the plateau are often pictured in postcards of Greece, and it's not uncommon to see a wedding party on the hills among the cafe terraces.
3:00pm-6:00pm : Ekkalisia Theoskepasti hiking trail
To see the best of what Santorini has to offer relatively quickly, tackle Ekklisia Theoskepasti hiking trail. Hundreds of people hike the 9 km (5.5 mi) long trail every day, stopping along the way to discover the island's picturesque beaches, small villages, and ancient churches. The scenic trail covers a variety of terrains, including some rocky and steep pathways for which you should bring a pair of comfortable hiking shoes. The best time to start the hike is just after sunrise or late in the afternoon, during the coolest parts of the day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and bring lots of drinking water and a light snack.
10:00am-11:00am : Cathedral of Saint Jhon the Baptist
Get a glimpse of Catholicism in an Orthodox part of the world at Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Admire the graceful sandstone architecture and the interior's 18th-century decor, including well-maintained stained glass windows, three altars, and numerous art pieces. Outside of the church, take in great views of the island and surrounding waters. Visitors can attend mass on Sunday, but prepare for a bit of a hike beforehand because parking is a short trek away.
11:30am-5:30pm : Captain Georage Santorini Yachting
Follow spectacular limestone cliffs with Captain George Santorini Yachting, offering sunset cruises and small group charters. Enjoy a view of cliff-top churches and the colors of the sea ranging from azure to emerald. Stop at a beach and explore limestone caves, and savor a home-cooked meal onboard a traditional, wooden sailing boat. You can choose between 5-hour and full-day cruises, both with snorkeling equipment and unlimited drinks included. Departure times can be customized to suit your needs, and you can also arrange for a free transfer to/from your hotel.
10:00am-11:30am : Museum of Prehistoric Thira
Featuring artifacts uncovered on the island, Museum of Prehistoric Thira represents Thira's prehistoric centuries with artifacts excavated from nearby Akrotiri and Potamos. Items are divided into four units representing: the history of research, Thira’s geology, the history of the island between the late Neolithic to late Cycladic Period I, and the city’s peak at Akrotiri. Examine pottery and marble figurines that are thousands of years old, and see the changes in pottery as Thira progressed through the centuries. The artifacts from Thira’s heyday paint a picture of how Therans lived in the 17th century BCE.
12:00pm-2:00pm : Caldera Beach
What Caldera Beach lacks in amenities, it makes up for with stunning vistas and a peaceful environment. Located a steep walk away from the main drag, this secluded cove boasts pristine blue waters and striking black sand. Relax in the shade of a tree or try out some of the area's superb snorkeling. It is a good idea to bring drinks with you, but a nearby restaurant can provide snacks and traditional Greek meals. Pack your camera to capture the view of the volcano.
2:30pm-4:00pm : Red Beach
Famous for its red rock formations, Red Beach sits just steps from the site of an ancient Minoan settlement destroyed by a volcanic eruption and buried in ash around 1627 BCE. Blue waters lapping this beach create a striking contrast with the all-red landscape of the surrounding steep cliffs, which offer unobstructed views of the sea and the curving coastline. The small beach attracts hundreds of visitors each day, creating a lively resort atmosphere well into the evening hours. Two small cafes, cut into the volcanic cliffs just a short walk from the beach, offer cold drinks and light snacks.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Boutari Winery