Destinations,  Travel

9 unusual places to see in Santorini

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Santorini is that insanely beautiful island pretty much everyone has heard of. Well anyone who has ever opened Instagram. Or Pinterest. Or any other social media website.

It is most known for that iconic view of the white houses and churches with blue roof tops in Oia. But in this post I wanted to include not only the popular and touristy destinations, but also unusual places to see in Santorini. The island has more to offer than just the white houses – it has ancient ruins, lovely beaches, hiking routes, wineries, lighthouses and other fun places to visit. So read on to learn more about them, and don’t forget to include them in your Santorini itinerary.

That Insta-famous view of Oia.

Getting there

The easiest way to get to Santorini is by flying to the Santorini (Thera) airport. You can fly to Santorini from many places in Europe. I flew from Riga via London. Please note though that the flights from Europe are seasonal and mostly begin in May. If you want to fly to Santorini in the winter, you will have to fly via Athens. For the best flight options, have a look on Skyscanner – my favourite cheap flight search website.

You can also take a ferry to Santorini from the other islands or Athens. Go to FerryHopper.com to book your ticket.

Where to stay

We all have different budgets when it comes to traveling. It doesn’t matter whether you can afford to spend €50 per night for a hotel room or €500, you can still enjoy the same sights as everyone else. The price for hotel rooms varies in Santorini, but it is not the cheapest place to stay. I have divided the price range for Santorini into budget (up to €80), mid-range (€80-€200) and luxury options (more than €200).

For budget options

Stelios Place in Perissa, Villa Galinia in Akrotiri, Philoxenia Hotel & Studios in Perissa

For mid-range budget

Smaragdi Hotel in Perivolos, Kalimera Hotel in Akrotiri, Nano Suites in Exo Gonia

For a luxury experience

West End Suites in Imerovigli, Cavo Bianco Boutique Hotel & Spa in Kamari, Andronis Boutique Hotel in Oia 

1. Oia

Now, let’s just get Oia out of the way, shall we? Oia is an incredibly busy town that’s filled with Insta-worthy picture opportunities. Think white houses, narrow streets, churches with blue rooftops, stunning sunset views, cute cafes and shops. You’ll find it all in Oia. It is the place that everyone likes to see when visiting Santorini.

A view from Oia, Santorini in Greece

Amazing views of the sea!

A view of white houses and the sea from Oia, Santorini in Greece

Churches and the coast.

A sunset in Santorini, Greece

Oia is an excellent place to watch the sunset. One of my favourite places for sunsets, for sure.

Most people leave the sunset spots right after sunset. But if you stay longer, you have the opportunity to take photos of Santorini lit up in the dark and enjoy those wonderful views without too many people around.

2. Imerovigli

Ok, Imerovigli is also known for its beautiful white buildings, but it is not as busy as Oia. This is the town that I stayed at when visiting Santorini, and you get breathtaking views from pretty much every part of Imerovigli. It is also another perfect sunset spot with magnificent views towards both sides. Imerovigli is also a much cheaper place to stay at unlike the overpriced Oia. We stayed at Ayoba and loved the traditional suite!

A small street in Imerovigli, Greece

One of the pretty little streets of Imerovigli.

A view towards Thera, Greece

A view towards Thera.

Sunset in Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece

Imerovigli is another place to enjoy sunsets in Santorini and is less busy.

3. Akrotiri ruins

If you enjoy history, make sure you head to Akrotiri to see the ruins. Akrotiri is sometimes called the Pompeii of Greece because the settlement was destroyed during a volcano eruption in the 16th century BC.

Akrotiri ruins in Santorini, Greece
Akrotiri vases in Santorini, Greece

4. Red beach

The beach is named Red beach for obvious reasons. You can head to Akrotiri and access the beach by walking along the coast. I remember the Red beach mostly because of the beautiful colour of the water. But the red rocks looked amazing, too!

Red beach in Santorini, Greece
Red beach in Santorini, Greece
Red beach in Santorini, Greece

5. Akrotiri lighthouse

Akrotiri lighthouse is located in the southwest part of Santorini. And, yes, it was one of the three sunset best sunsets places that we found.

Akrotiri lighthouse in Santorini, Greece
Akrotiri lighthouse in Santorini, Greece
Cliff next to Akrotiri lighthouse in Santorini, Greece

Couldn’t resist climbing some of the rocks. It’s fine, it was safe.

Sunset in Santorini, Greece
Sunset in Santorini, Greece

I spent a lot of time just sitting down, enjoying the surroundings, taking photos of the sunset and random silhouettes.

6. Ancient Thera

Ancient Thera is an ancient city that was located on top of Messa Vouno mountain. It’s a lovely place for history and a little outdoor adventure. The views are pretty amazing, too. You can even see the airport from there and watch the planes land.

Wandering around the ruins of Ancient Thera
Ruins of Ancient Thera in Santorini, Greece
Ruins of Ancient Thera in Santorini, Greece
A road going up to Ancient Thera

Be prepared to drive up some twisty roads to get to Ancient Thera!

Watch the planes land and see the nearby towns from above.

7. Kamari beach

Kamari is a long stretch of a unique black sand beach on the southeastern part of Santorini. It is filled with cute cafes and resorts.

I wanted to go for a swim, but I wasn’t wearing a swimsuit, so getting in the water in a dress it was!

Have a relaxing day on the beach in Kamari.

8. Santo Wines

When in Santorini, you must try local wine. We went to Santo Wines and did a tour around the winery and then did wine tasting. And I have to say, Santorini wines are amazing!

4/6 glasses done = happy times!

9. Go sailing to the other islands

When in Santorini, you can also visit the smaller islands right next to Santorini – Thirassia, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni.

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