40 places to see in Santorini
Made an overview of what to see in Santorini and what to do . Santorini is one of the many picturesque volcanic islands in Greece with more than 4,000 years of history. In addition, Santorini is probably the most “Instagrammable” island in Greece.
In many commercials and videos about Greece, they often insert photos of the sights of Santorini. There are so many that often tourists come to Rhodes or Crete and ask, “Where are the famous white houses here?” And they are in Santorini! And there are also beautiful views, cozy bays, volcanic beaches, delicious food and friendly Greeks. Here’s what to see in Santorini, in addition to the famous white and blue houses.
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Santorini sights on the map
For your convenience we have marked all the sights of Santorini on the map . Download the Google Maps app, click on any point, and the map will plot a route from your location.
First on the list of things to see in Santorini is one of the most beautiful towns of Fira . Here you can admire the white houses, the view of Caldera, wander the picturesque narrow streets, and relax in the luxurious hotels. Fira is the city of Santorini, where the nightlife is developed.
When the sun goes down, bars, restaurants and nightclubs on the island open their doors. During the high season there are a lot of tourists in Fira, so it’s better to arrive early in the morning, before the hot sun and the crowds of people.
From Fira, there is a footpath to Firostefani village (10 minutes walk) and Imerovigli (the highest point of Caldera, 30 minutes drive from Fira). Firostefani and Imerovigli are also part of the guided tour itinerary . There are beautiful views and you can take pictures. You can also walk to the small port of Fira Scala, where you have to go down the 587 steps.
When you’ve had your fill, take the cable car from the Old Port of Santorini to Fira and see the island from a different perspective. Each cabin seats 6 people and the views are spectacular. A one-way ticket costs 6€. Donkey rides are also offered here. If you want to learn more about Santorini, you can visit 2 museums in Fira:
- Museum of Prehistoric Thera – the main finds from Akrotiri are kept here (about it – below).
- Archaeological Museum – a collection of artifacts from all over the island of Santorini, including vases from Akrotiri.
Donkeys in Santorini
Ia is the second most popular city in Santorini after Thira and one of the most touristic places in Europe. In the Middle Ages, Ia flourished thanks to its large fleet of merchant ships that transported goods from Greece to Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Most of the two-story houses at the top of the hill are former residences of the captains of these ships. Many of them were destroyed in the 1956 earthquake, but all were rebuilt.
In Ia, as in Fira, you can admire the beautiful white houses, the churches with blue domes, the view of the volcano Palia, the island of Nea Kameni and the entire Caldera. Tourists also come to Iya to watch the sunset.
You can settle in to say goodbye to the day in one of the many bars and restaurants. But an even better way to enjoy the sunset in Santorini is from the Byzantine Castle. To take good pictures, come to Ia in the afternoon or evening. There are always many tourists here, especially in July and August.
|In Santorini, you can book excursions from locals with transfers and a Russian-speaking guide. Tours include the Bronze Age volcanic ruins at Akrotiri, the historical village of Ia, and the black and red beaches. You can explore the north of Santorini and also take a large sightseeing tour of the island. View reviews and make reservations here.|
Hiking trail from Fira to Ia
Hiking lovers should follow the scenic 9 km trail from Fira to Ia . On the way you will pass through Firostefani and Imerovigli. The road takes about 2 hours, during which you can admire the views of the island and Caldera. Between Imerovigli and Iaia there are some nice Greek restaurants and stores. The most beautiful part is the view of Ia at the end of the road.
The road is not very difficult, even in extreme heat. Wear comfortable shoes, take a bottle of water and sunscreen. But it is better to walk early in the morning or before sunset to spend the sun in Ia. If you come by car, it’s better to leave it in Imerovigli and not in Fira: there are more parking spaces. The return from Ia to Fira is possible by bus, the ticket costs about 2 € but they don’t go often.
Monasteries and cathedrals
In Fira there is a white orthodox cathedral, which is more than 200 years old. The temple was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1956 but was later completely restored. The cathedral is known for its majestic tower, graceful arches, mosaics and frescoes. To enter, men must wear long pants and women must cover their heads, shoulders and knees.
On the island is the monastery of Profitis Ilias , the highest point of Santorini. The view from Mt. Profitis Ilias is breathtaking. On the way up you’ll find a sign for the Monastery of Elias the Prophet. There is no transport here, so you have to drive or walk from the village Pyrgos. The Church of Elijah the Prophet can be visited as part of a large sightseeing tour .
Boat trip around Santorini
Boat trips around Santorini with visits to the volcano, hot springs or sunset encounters are popular. Many tours start at Athenios, the Old Port of Fira or Amoudi Bay. Some boats include snacks and drinks. If you go all day, bring warm clothes, because when the sun goes down, it gets chilly.
One of the most famous excursions is a cruise on the volcanic islands and hot springs of Palea Kameni. You will visit the island of Nea Kameni, its active volcano and swim in the hot springs of Palea Kameni. You can even walk up to the top of the crater. Also included in the program is a visit to the island of Tirasia (about it – below). This is a very popular excursion in Santorini, so it is best to book it in advance.
|To see all excursions in Russian available in Santorini, with descriptions and reviews, click here.|
For those interested in history, you need to see the ancient site of Akrotiri in Santorini . It is believed that Akrotiri was the inspiration for Plato’s famous story of Atlantis. This huge archaeological site is often compared to Pompeii in Italy. Acrotiri is an ancient Minoan city of 30,000 people destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1613 BC.
Unlike Pompeii, the city of Acrotiri was abandoned when the eruption occurred, as no human remains or valuable objects were found in its place. So what happened to these people? No one still knows whether they moved to another place on the island or sailed to Crete. The excavations here began in 1967 and are still going on. Now you can walk here on the footbridges and admire the old buildings and streets. The ticket costs 12 €.
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Beaches of Santorini
You can’t make a “What to see in Santorini” list without beaches. The island is famous for its “colored” coastlines: white, red and black. The most beautiful of these are:
- Perissa Beach – the famous black beach of Santorini, it is the best beach of the island with developed infrastructure, beach bars and restaurants. The place is suitable for holidays with children.
- Perivolos and Agios Georgios are large black sand beaches, with cafes and taverns on the shore. A visit to these beaches is also part of the tour of Santorini.
- Kamari beach is another large black sand beach on the southeast coast of Santorini. It is located in the shadow of Mount Mesa Vouno. On the beach you can rent sun loungers and water activities or take a walk along the pier. Suitable for holidays with children (like Perissa).
- Eros beach – A secluded beach of Santorini, close to Vlihada beach.
- Red Beach – Named after the surrounding volcanic ochre rocks. Very contrasting formations of black and red volcanic rocks with the turquoise water in the sea. The beach is beautiful, but not very suitable for swimming. You can get here through a path from the ancient Akrotiri (wear comfortable shoes!).
- The white beach is next to the red beach. To get here, you need to take a boat.
- Vlychada beach is one of the longest and quietest beaches in Santorini, with white rocks. Vlihada is a small fishing village where you can taste fresh seafood. It takes 20 minutes to drive from Fira to Vlychada.
- Monilitos beach – shallow beach of Santorini, suitable for holidays with children.
- Kolumbo beach – You can get here only on foot. Because of its solitude, the place is beloved by nudists.
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The Bay of Amoudi
Amoudi is a small fishing village below Ia. To get here, you have to go down 300 stairs from Iya. From Amoudi there is a picturesque view of the ochre cliffs and Ia. There are also several good seafood taverns and restaurants on the coast (e.g. Katina Fish Taverna, Sunset Tavern and Dimitris Taverna). The best place to swim is further down the path after the restaurants.
Skaros Rock was once the fortress of the medieval Venetian capital of the island, which was built around this rock. In the 16th century it was used to protect the houses of the Venetian aristocracy from pirate ships. It is easy to get here on foot from Imerovigli, the walking trail starts from the small church of St. George in Imerovigli. It is difficult to climb up to the top, you have to overcome 300 steps. From the top there is a view of the volcano and Caldera. The Rock of Skaros is included in the tour of North Santorini.
Ancient Tyra on Mesa Vouno Hill is another archaeological site in Santorini. “Tira” is the ancient name for the island of Santorini. During the Middle Ages, the island was called “Santa Irini” by the Venetians, which eventually became “Santorini.” Thira was founded in the 9th century BC. Now you can see the remains of temples, the Agora, the theater, the gymnasium of the Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods. From here you have a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
The island of Tirasia is located directly opposite Ia. This island, which is shaped like a crocodile, was separated from Santorini by a volcanic eruption. To visit Thirasia, you can take a boat trip (the one that goes to the volcano Nea Kameni and the hot springs also stops there) or a tour from Amoudi Bay.
On the island of Tirasia, you should visit the village of Manolas, relax in the local tavernas and enjoy the view of Santorini. It’s much quieter here, and there are far fewer tourists. If you have already seen most of Santorini, you can take a ferry to visit nearby islands:
- Ios is the closest island to Santorini. There you can relax on the beach and have fun all night long.
- Amorgos is the best place for hiking and there are many marked trails.
- Naxos – the beaches are beautiful.
- Mykonos is the best party island in Greece with the best DJs in the world and luxurious hotels on the beach.
Islands near Santorini
Villages of Santorini
There are other villages on Santorini besides Fira and Ia that are worth seeing:
- Pyrgos, Santorini’s tallest village in the center of the island with white-washed houses. It is a typical Cycladic village with traditional architecture and beautiful views of the island.
- Megalohori – it has very picturesque narrow streets.
- Messaria – a village in the center of Santorini in the middle of vineyards.
- Emporio – Here at the entrance of the village is the medieval castle of Goulas. You can also see small churches.
The island of Santorini is famous for its excellent white wines, known as some of the best in Greece. Here you can visit the oldest vineyards in the world and taste the best wines, such as the traditional Vinsanto and Nikteri. The most famous vineyards in Santorini are Santovines, Butari, Gavalas and Argyros. During the tour you can learn how the grapes are grown and the specialty wines are produced.
The Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is located in a natural cave. It was founded in 1880 by two Greek brothers, whose last name is incredibly long and difficult to spell. To this day, the descendants of the founder of the winery run the business, and tours and tastings are held here. You can taste the “volcanic” wines of Santorini on this tour .
Tomato Museum in Vlihada
The Tomato Museum is located in Vlihada , where you can learn about Santorinian agriculture, processing and the importance of tomatoes in the island’s prosperous past. The factory used to be one of the largest of its kind in Greece and Europe, but since 1981 it stopped producing canned tomato paste.
Original machinery, documents, tools and packing labels can be viewed here. There are audio-visual stations throughout the museum with recorded interviews with workers who used to work here.
Tomato Museum in Vlihada
Now you know what to see in Santorini. You will surely fall in love with this Cycladic island. And if you’re interested in vacationing in Greece, read other popular articles.
Cathedral Maritime Museum Black Beach City of Iya Old Port Red Beach Santorini Vlihada Beach
This site contains Santorini attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Santorini, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Santorini.
The Cathedral is located on the Greek island of Santorini, in the city of Fira. This Orthodox cathedral was built in 1827. In 1956 it was damaged in an earthquake, then it was rebuilt after that.
The outside of the cathedral is decorated with many elegant arches and has an impressive bell tower. There is a mosaic on the outside of the cathedral that dates back to 1975. The interior is decorated with frescoes created by the local artist Christophoros Assimis.
The prosperity of Ia in the last century was directly linked to the development of the merchant navy. Sea routes connected Santorini with the Mediterranean countries and trade with Russia. Today one of the town’s mansions, which belonged to the Birbili family, is a maritime museum. Among the exhibits are the personal belongings of sailors, marine equipment, models and sketches of ships, old photographs, historical documents and thematic literature.
Which Santorini sights did you enjoy? There are icons next to the photo, by clicking on which you can rate this or that place.
Imerovigli is a pretty village by the sea. It looks very interesting with its unusual houses. But what is most attractive about this area is the view of the caldera during sunset.
The village itself is on a mountain, so from this mountain plateau you can very well see both the port below by the sea and its returning yachts and cruise ships that cross the sun’s path from the setting sun. It is customary to watch when the sun sets behind the sea, but in Imerovigli the sun disappears in the haze over the volcano.
This village is also famous for its beautiful hiking trails that help you enjoy the picturesque scenery. You can watch the sunset from the ship as well – then it’s sure to stay in your memory forever.
Coordinates : 36.41632300,25.43331100
In photo mode, you can view the sights in Santorini by photo only.
Perissa Beach, another “black beach” of Santorini, stretches for almost 7 km. The sand of unusual dark color is of volcanic origin. The vivid blue of the Aegean Sea and the black coastal strip create a unique color combination. Complementing the landscape is Mount Mesa Vuno, at the foot of which the beach is located. The waterfront is a succession of cafes, stores and hotels – one of the most crowded resorts of Santorini.
The town of Oia
The Greek town of Iya (Oia) is considered the most romantic town of Santorini. The white city literally hangs over the caldera. Old mills, terraces of houses, staircases, domes, arches, which gathered on the edge of the precipice, as if supporting each other. The city was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1956, but it was quickly restored to its original form.
There are many hotels in the city, which have only 5-6 rooms, but despite this, almost every hotel has its own pool.
In addition to the picturesque caldera of the city itself, it is worth visiting the Naval Museum and the Venetian Castle. Walking around the city, you can visit many souvenir and jewelry shops. But the most important thing in Iya is, of course, the magnificent views: volcanoes blazing in the gulf, beautiful and romantic sunsets, the likes of which, it seems, are unmatched in the world …
Coordinates : 36.46215900,25.37524200
One of the attractions of Fira is the Old Port, which today serves as a departure point for excursions to the neighboring islets of Thirasia and Nea Kameni. The port is located at the foot of the caldera – the rock of a volcano that has gone under water – and from a distance it seems completely unsuited to a berth.
To get from the port to Fira, you have to climb to a height of almost 300 meters. You can overcome this ascent on your own, using the stairs. You can ride a donkey. Or you can take the funicular and admire the magnificent scenery of the sea and the white openwork city on a hill.
The red beach of Santorini
Near Akrotiri lies an amazing red beach. The shore is studded with brick-colored mineral crumbs, the source of which is a break in the rock. The combination of the red rocks overhanging the shore and the endless blue sea creates a fantastic landscape. This place is very popular with tourists, so it’s hard to call the rest here lonely. The beach is especially picturesque from the sea.
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Near the village of Perivolos, at the southernmost tip of Santorini, is the amazing Vlychada Beach. The bizarrely shaped cliffs surrounding this coastline have been compared to Martian landscapes. The sand and pebble beach stretches for 2.5 km. There are some quite secluded spots and nudist recreation areas.
The most popular attractions in Santorini with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Santorini on our website.
More Santorini attractions
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Going on vacation in Santorini
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