Santorini is famous for its cliff-side homes which are painted blazing white with deep blue roofs. They are symbolic of Greece. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this is the place. Don’t miss watching the sunset at Oia, visiting the many historical sites, or exploring the vineyards. I found Santorini to be touristy but surprisingly cheap and, once you get out of the town, it’s easy to escape the crowds. I’m a big fan and prefer this island to nearby Mykonos.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Santorini
1. Spend the day in Oia
2. Visit Akrotiri
3. Go to Red Beach
4. Visit a winery
5. Visit the Santorini Volcano
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Walk up and along the cliffs
Although it’s quite a climb, the view from the cliffs is worth it. You’ll get a great view of the whole island and surrounding oceans. While you can see a lot from the main town, the best views are from Oia.
2. Go scuba diving
Visit ancient wrecks in the harbor. The area here is great for wreck diving and you can get down to about 14 meters and see ancient Greek ships. Visibility isn’t that good and you won’t see a lot of fish, so the main draw here is the shipwrecks. A one-tank dive costs about 55 EUR. Snorkeling costs 25 EUR.
3. Go horseback riding
This is a popular activity with couples and families. You can ride around the hills of the island or along the beaches. It makes for a good afternoon activity and if horses aren’t your thing, you can always ride a donkey. Tours start at 45 EUR.
4. See the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
Located in Fira, this place is host to a mass collection of artifacts that were found in the ruins of Akrotiri. There are a ton of pots and pottery to see, but the highlight is the frescoes of the blue monkeys. (Interestingly enough, there is no evidence of monkeys ever having lived on this island.) It’s open daily (except Tuesdays) from 8:30am-3pm. Admission is 3 EUR.
5. Spend the day hiking
Getting outside of the little towns and villages always makes for a fun adventure. The landscape across the island is really beautiful and it is often quite temperate. Throughout the countryside, there are little establishments of cave housing, gardens, and tiny churches to discover.
6. Visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse
At the southern end of Santorini, close to Akrotiri, lies the lighthouse. It’s used by the Greek Navy, which means you’re not allowed to enter it, but it does make for a good photo opportunity.