Famed for its picture-perfect sunsets and pristine white buildings against the backdrop of the Aegean sea, Santorini is a hot favourite tourist destination amongst families and couples.

Besides basking in the sun on the beaches and sipping on cocktails, here are some other exciting Santorini activities you should definitely include on your Greece itinerary.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Things to do in #Santorini, #Greece + A Complete Guide to getting around Santorini - top hotel choice, best views & great beaches included! #beachholiday #beachvacation #beach

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1. Take a day trip to Oia

oia, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini

Oia is the place to be to in Santorini to see the sun set with a backdrop of windmills and white houses.

To get to Oia, we hiked 4 hours (and got a really fierce tan afterwards). We started at 10am and reached at 2pm, hiking and snapping pictures along the way. We passed Perivolas and Imerovigli to finally reach Oia.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Our walk felt shorter by the things you see along the way. There is nowhere in Santorini where you cannot see the sea. We were entertained by different terrains, from black to white to red soils.

We took the wrong turn midway and had to toil through wild grass with spikes (yikes! The grass were made for the desert, it seems), cut through somebody’s plantation (oops!) and climb up a wall into a private hotel resort to finally be on the right track again.

Aha, it may be cheap thrill but that was the highlight of the hike. 😆

2. Swim or do cliff diving at Ammoudi Bay, Oia

Ammoudi bay, which is at the North edge of Oia, is a popular spot to swim. Cliff diving is possible too!

3. Explore Fira Town

Fira is the main town of Santorini, located on top of a cliff on a caldera. We saw the sunset in Santorini every single day, once at Oia when we hiked over and twice in Fira, because we stayed at Firostefani.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

The walk between Firostefani and Fira, the main town, involves walking along the caldera (the edge of Santorini with full views of Fira) which was in the West.

Do remember to bring your camera along with you and go on a photography tour.

4. Ride donkeys in Fira

ride donkey, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

You can also ride donkeys in Fira uphill, and take the cable car downhill to the old port!

5. Explore Santorini on an ATV

Renting an ATV/ car/ motorbike is common here. In fact, it’s inaccessible to travel around the island without it, so be sure to bring a driving license if you’re planning to do that. They are strict on that.

An ATV costs 20-25€ for a full day. If you don’t have a license, that’s no major disadvantage either.

Rent your quad bikes here.

There isn’t much to spend your time on other than wandering around the small towns of Oia and Fira, or going further to the South to check out the beaches.

That said, a helicopter tour around Santorini or a sunset sailing cruise offer other options to enjoy the unparalleled views of Oia, Caldera and a volcano from above and from the sea.

6. Winery tour

wine, romantic, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

When at Santorini, we made sure to get our fill of Santorini wines at the various winery tours available. We tasted house wine, both red and white, at restaurants. They serve 0.25cl of wine at 3€.

What makes Santorini’s wine the most popular local product is because its grapes are grown on Santorini’s rich volcanic soil.

7. Lounge by the beach

santorini beach, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Another one of Santorini’s attractions is its gorgeous beaches. We spent 2 of the afternoons lounging by Santorini’s beaches (and trying to salvage my tan). The waters are crystal clear, though they aren’t the best beaches I’ve been to.

For a different and unique beach experience, be sure to take a trip to the red beach and black beach. Before heading to the red beach, do check if it is opened as it is sometimes closed due to falling rocks.

8. Go souvenir-shopping

souvenir shopping, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

souvenir shopping, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

souvenir shopping, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

There are very nice ornaments that are handmade from the Greek locals, often in the familiar turquoise and blue colours. I would totally have gotten them if I weren’t trying to pack all of my 6-months’-worth of items in one luggage.

Where to stay in Santorini?

I don’t usually promote the accommodation I stay, but this hotel in Santorini where we picked was almost perfect.

where to stay in santorini, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Villa Firostefani offers:

  • Free pick up from the port
  • Free breakfast daily
  • 7 min walk to Fira, the main town, with picturesque views of Firostefani and Fira
  • 1 min walk to bus stop
  • Sunrise views from the sea
  • Responsive to requests
  • Clean rooms, kind hosts

All these for 20€ a night in Santorini! They are a family-run business so their service was very warm.

santorini greece infinity pool villa Perfect Greek Villa

One of the luxury villas with infinity pool overlooking the sea.

Granted, it does not have an infinity pool nor does it sit on in the middle of white terraces. It isn’t the biggest nor the most comfortable hotel room. If you prefer that you’re better off looking in places like Imerovigli or Oia – you won’t be disappointed!

But if you’re budget-conscious yet want to be close to the centre, it is perfect.

How to get to Santorini?

how to get to santorini, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

To get to Santorini there are 2 ways – by boat or by air.

Getting to Santorini By Air

Ryan Air offers cheap flights sometimes, either from Athens or from other international countries. No harm trying your luck there!

Getting to Santorini By Boat

There are 2 types of boat trips from Athens. Speed boat and normal ferry. Normal ferry takes 6 hours from Athens and costs 37.50€. The ferries are always crowded with people. There are 3 floors with seats, with both indoor and outdoor options available. Speed boat shaves off a couple of hours, though the prices are more.

Should I buy the boat tickets online or on-site?

Well, if you buy online you’re guaranteed a place but you pay a little fee (3€). It saves you time from queuing and the risk of being rejected.

Getting Around Santorini, Greece

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

When you’re on the island, the most popular option is to rent an ATV.

You can also hike or ride the bus around the major attractions, like what we did. In fact, buses cost no more than 2€ one-way.

What to Eat in Santorini, Greece

what to eat in santorini, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

what to eat in santorini, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

what to eat in santorini, Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

As part of travelling on a budget in Europe, we mostly stuck to gyros and kebabs, which costed less than 3€ per meal. Of course, we couldn’t resist the occasional Greek food, which consisted heavily of yoghurt, olive oil, olives and cheese.

One shocking thing I experienced was what Santorini, the island, truly looks like in reality versus what you see on social media. In pictures, all you see are the stark white against blue roofs of villas and churches.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

In actual fact, the rest of Santorini is filled with barren land, agriculture and hilly cliffs.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Being on the islands of Greece is a different travel experience all right. All my trips, I’ve been walking from place to place to check out the various attractions. But on beach islands like this, part of enjoying it is lazing by the beach. Perfect to unwind (though I didn’t have much to unwind for I’ve been cruising around Europe for the previous months, heh heh).

Expenses in Santorini

Accom: 20€/night
Ferry to: 37.50€
Free pick up to hotel
Food: 12.90€/day
(Restaurant meals: 6-9€
Gyros/ kebab: 2.60€)
Breakfast provided by hotel
Packed snacks for lunch during hike & beach: 2.50€

52.66€/day, 3 full days 

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Things to do in #Santorini, #Greece + A Complete Guide to getting around Santorini - top hotel choice, best views & great beaches included! #beachholiday #beachvacation #beach

11 June 2015, Thur – 13 June 2015, Sat
Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.


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