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.
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
For mid-range budget
For a luxury experience
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.
Amazing views of the sea!
Churches and the coast.
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.
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!
One of the pretty little streets of Imerovigli.
A view towards Thera.
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.
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!
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.
Couldn’t resist climbing some of the rocks. It’s fine, it was safe.
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.
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.