Santorini, officially known as “Thira or Thera” is a volcanic island in Greece. It is widely famous for its stunning panoramic views, dramatic and beautiful sunsets in the whole Europe.
Santorini barely spreads across 28 square miles of area (72 square kilometers). Still, It has a number of villages, some might call them “Towns”.
Santorini has around 20 villages in total.
The Santorini International Airport is in Kamari Village.
The Main Villages : Fira and Oia. (I suggest to plan your stay in either one of these places)
Here is a complete guide of best things to do, explore in the main villages.
The best time to visit Santorini is between late April and early November when the weather is warm and there is little rain. For hot weather, nightlife, swimming, and sunbathing, visit Santorini in June, July, August, or September.
Oia (pronounced as “ee`yah“, as of “see ya”) is a coastal town in Santorini. It is filled with whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftop.
Exploring this village is probably the best thing of your whole trip to Greece. Here are the things to do in Oia.
1. Famous Sunset over the Coast
Sunset over this beautiful village is breathtaking. Oh, Boy! Must you not miss this amazing scenery.
2.Hiking in Oia
Going on a hike in the town covers pretty much about the best things to do in Oia. By the end, you will have seen the beautiful architecture along the coast, Stairways, Hidden Paths, Delightful panoramic views, Local markets, and many more.
3. Sailing Tour Across the caldera
From the Amoudi Bay, there are many boat companies offering several tours. Take this amazing sailing tour, if you are traveling as a couple, it can’t get anymore romantic than this experience. You will get to see the volcano which is the base of santorini, the lighthouse, beautiful beaches and a lot more.
Tip : Go sailing into the sunset with a dinner on board. Trust me, this turns into one of the most beautiful momens of you trip.
4. Smim in Amoudi Bay
Amoudi Bay is the most well-known bays in Santorini and a perfect photographic location. It locates 750 meters away on foot from the center of Oia.
This is also a great spot to feel your adrenaline rush, by taking a plunge (cliff jumping) from tremendous boulders into the waters of Amoudi Bay.
5. Sunbathe on the beaches
The island is filled with beaches around such as Armeni, Cape Columbo, Paralia Paradisos and many more. Baxedes beach is something to experience, which filled with black pebbles. It is very secluded just as if the country wasn’t touristic at all.
6. Panagia Platsani Church
The beauty of churches here in Santorini is at another level. Blue colored domes with white walls on a hilly area make you feel fascinated about Santorini. Oia and Santorini have too many beautiful churches, To suggest, Panagia Platsani is a beautiful greek orthodox church and worth visiting.
Fira is the capital of Santorini (Officially Thera). It locates 6 kms away from the Santorini airport, which is in Kamari Village.
Fira stands out in the island for social and night life as this is the most cosmopolitan settlement of Santorini.
7. Hike From Oia to Fira (or) Fira to Oia
If you happen to find a stay in Oia Village, Hiking from Oia to Fira is an amazing expedition. Stick to the edge of the caldera, you will find the beauty of Santorini with the beautiful villages on one side and the volcanic caldera on the other side as you pursue your hike along the way.
8. The Three Bells of Fira Church
The official name for The Three Bells of Fira Church is the Catholic Church of Koimisi Tis Theotokou. It is a greek catholic church. It has its fame for the three bells on the top, blue-colored dome and Craze for its picture-perfect views.
Take my word, This is a must visit place in Fira. No matter, if you are there in Santorini for a vacation or on business.
9. Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral is famous for its peaceful environment created by tower bells and rolling arches. It has very impressive mosaics (visual art form) on the inside.
It can be seen from almost all the hilly spots of the island because its low elevation. The front views of the Caldera from this cathedral marvelous.
Originally, It was built in 1827. But was badly damaged during the catastrophic earthquake happened in 1956, then rebuilt its original shape.
Tip : It is also a great Instagramable spot for your photos.
10. St. John the Baptist Cathedral
St. John the Baptist Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church. It stands out very different to the other churches because of its colors. It was also damaged due to the 1956 earthquake in Santorini, then restored to its original shape.
Perissa is another coastal village on Santorini Island. It is located 13 kilometers away from the capital, Fira. Being on 57 feet above the sea level, everything is peaceful in this village.
11. Perissa Black Sand Beach
Save your swimming activities for the Black Sand Beach in Perissa village. Delightful views, Relaxing moments are yours at this beach with stunning black colored sand. This beach gives the whole reason to visit Perissa vilage.
12. Red Beach
The only Red beach in Santorini is one of the most famous beaches. Its sand is composed of black and red pulverized volcanic rock near the Caldera.
Its considered to be unsafe and discouraged by locals to go nearby due to the landslides of this place. Besides, It is a great place for photo-shoots 😉
13. Akrotiri Lighthouse
Akrotiri Lighthouse is famous the views of sunset. It was built by a french company. And also it is one of the oldest lighthouse in Greece.
Going on a hike and reaching this lighthouse by the time of dusk can be the most memorable moment of your trip.
14. Archaeological site of Akrotiri
Akrotiri was the settlement for the Minoan Civilization of the Augean Bronze Age period. It was buried under the ashes of volcanic eruption and was closed for a long time, then re-opened it in 2012. If you are someone to take interest in prehistoric sites, without a doubt this is one of the best things to do for you as long as you are here in Santorini. You can find more details from the official website of greek.
Village: Pyrgos Kallistis
15. Moni Profiti Ilia Monastery (Santorini)
Moni Profiti Ilia (Prophet Elijah) Monastery is the highest point of the whole island. It is located 567 meters (1860 feet) above sea level. Henceforth, You couldn’t ask for a more perfect place to look at the aerial view of complete Santorini Island.