When it comes to Greek Islands, Santorini has earned its reputation as one of the most stunningly stylish destinations around.
There are plenty of reasons to make Santorini your next top holiday destination. This volcanic island is quintessentially Greek in spirit and aesthetics.
Make sure you don’t forget your camera though, Santorini is probably one of the most photogenic places in the world. Around every single alleyway there are distinct whitewashed walls and far-reaching panoramic views to choose for your backdrop.
Best time to visit: May to October
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, about halfway between mainland Greece and Crete. The island is formed around an underwater volcanic crater, known as a caldera. The island was shaped by an enormous volcanic eruption centuries ago, which is responsible for Santorini’s rugged, half-moon-shaped profile when viewed from above.
The group of islands consists of the main island of Santorini, Therasia and Aspronisi at the periphery, and the Kameni islands at the center.
The white, distinctive cubiform houses of the island’s two main towns, Fira and Oia, cover the cliff edges and adorn the mountainous landscape. Each place offering spectacular panoramas across the Mediterranean, with smaller islands to the west and dramatic beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.
We’ve handpicked recommendations for the Best Things To Do in Santorini.
Relax on Perissa, the “Black Beach”
On the south coast of the island is Perissa beach. Famed for its striking black, volcanic sand shores. If you’re travelling during peak season in July and August, it’s likely the beach will be
This is where you’ll find the best beach bars and amenities dotted along the four-kilometre stretch from Perivolos. Tavernas and bars line the beach, with plenty of dining options to boot. There are also opportunities to rent jet skis and banana boats.
The beach is full of coves and hidden nooks, perfect for finding quiet spots to snorkel in.
If you’re looking for an ultra-family-friendly beach, head to Kamari, also known as the “Red Beach” for its reddish sand. Kamari is full of amenities for kids.
Take a photo outside that iconic blue-domed church at sunrise
If you’ve ever seen shots of Santorini before, chances are they were taken in front of the blue-domed church in Oia, to the northwest of Santorini. The stunning blue church of Santorini is an iconic feature of the island, famous for their Cycladic architecture and popping white-blue colour contrast.
Many people are surprised to discover that Santorini actually has numerous cobalt blue-domed churches to admire and appreciate. But the main postcard-filling churches are of Agios Spiridonas (Saint Spyridon) and Anasteseos (the Church of the Resurrection) are perhaps the most famous. Both are built at the edge of the cliffs alongside each other, with the azure from the Aegean providing the most majestic of vistas.
Do note, because this staggering site is the perfect photoshoot pitstop, it gets busy during peak season. To avoid having to queue for your turn, make the journey early in the morning. (You’ll thank us for the added filter of the golden light at sunrise).
Sample sumptuous seafood at the Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern
On the north west coast of the island is Ammoudi, the charming port of Oia town in Santorini, a tiny settlement with just a few traditional buildings built around the natural bay. Often described as the most picturesque port on the island. The combination of rich red volcanic cliffs and dazzling blue water provides quite the vista.
Go to the Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern on the waterfront for arguably the best seafood in Santorini. Try the traditional Greek octopus, freshly caught in the morning and baked in the Santorini sun in the afternoon.
Take the Caldera Trail Guided Hike at sunset
This three-hour hike takes you from Oia to Fera, across the varied island terrain, skirting along the rim of the caldera. This walk takes you through the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia, with stunning views in every direction and plenty of photo opportunities.
Pass by beautiful churches and chapels on your way through, stopping off at the Prophet Elias chapels for a picnic and refreshments. No hiking experience needed, just be prepared to be blown away by the views.
There are several tour operators that can take you along this stretch if the island, but we recommend Trekking Hellas Cyclades, a licenced Greek travel agency that offers tours, activities, cruises and shore excursions in Santorini, organised by selected local tour operators.
Sample volcanic wine on a walking tour with Santo Wines
This local co-operative of wine makers and growers are tasked with preserving the island’s delicacies. The assyrtiko grape variety reigns here, which you can enjoy in white, organic, sparkling or rare vintage varieties.
Santo Wines produces the highest quality Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Santorini wines as well as products, like the local fava beans, capers and the Santorini tomato.
The co-operative is committed to continuing local traditional grape cultivations and vines and promoting sustainable agriculture development. We recommend having the winery tour before the wine tasting. Just so you can appreciate the great lengths the co-operative go to uphold traditional winemaking techniques.
Sip delicious local wines and culinary delights on their vast terrace overlooking the caldera, with 365-degree balcony views.
Dreaming of Santorini but want some recommendations on where to stay? Get in touch with Camel Collection today and we can give you a hand.
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