15 Places to Visit in Santorini, Tourist Places & Attractions

Santorini Places to Visit

Perissa Beach, Oia, Caldera, Emporio, Fira, Pyrgos, Ammoudi Bay, Akrotíri Archaeological Site, Red Beach, Ancient Thira, Kamari Open Air Cinema and many more.

Once ruined by a 16th-century volcanic activity, Santorini's island was reborn as a gorgeous creation of nature. Its rugged landscape, dotted by the cubiform houses, their pristine white exteriors gleaming in the sunlight, presents a breathtaking vista. Places to visit in Santorini are plenty. The lively Fira, the beautiful Oia, the towns on the cliffs along the rim of the Caldera, offer astonishing views of the submerged volcanic crater. Imerovigli provides romantic solitude for newlyweds. And the beachside resorts by the Aegean Sea, Kamari, and Perissa, offer countless water activities for the entire family. 

For history enthusiasts, places to see in Santorini include Ancient Thira and Akrotíri, opening ancient Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine cultures to the modern world. The unique red and black sand beaches formed from lava rocks, the mysteries in the Caldera's unscalable depths, and the imposing terrains of the volcanic islands call out to nature lovers. 

Visit this picture come to life and lose yourself in the dreamy alleyways twining through the fairytale villages of Santorini.

Here is the list of best places to visit in Santorini:

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One of the lesser-known places to visit in Santorini, this picture-perfect 19th-century harbor can be reached from Oia by climbing down over 200 steps. At the end of this descent, you will be pleased to enjoy an alfresco meal of flavorsome seafood and quality wine at the tavernas lining the water's edge.

The glittering water pulls you in for a vigorous swim, and the many rocks around make it the perfect spot for cliff diving. This place is also the idyllic destination of honeymooners for candlelight dinners or date nights.

Location: Oia.

Highlights: Swimming, cliff diving, seafood.
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This is the most popular church in Oia and is located centrally in the main square region. The architectural marvel of this church may behold your sight with its brilliant domes and bell tower.

The church draws its name and significance from ancient stories, which is why it is one of the popular places to visit in Santorini.

Location: Santorini 847 00, Greece

Highlights:
-        Icon of the mother of god and frescoes are worth watching
-        Easily accessible by public transport
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One of the unique places to visit in Santorini Island, this beach is made of bright red sand composed of pulverized volcanic rock. The red cliffs jutting above the red seashore are a sight to marvel at, in the backdrop of the turquoise sea.

It is the ideal location for soaking up the sun, clicking photographs that break social media platforms, and snorkeling to witness the abundant marine life. You can admire the distinctive rock formation and sand color from the headland.

Location: Near Akrotiri village.

Highlights: Dazzling view, uncommon red sand.
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04

Fira

Located right on the rim of the famous Caldera, Santorini's capital, its cultural and economic hub counts among the most important places to visit in Santorini. Set on the celebrated west coast, Santorini's nightlife is also the heart, with elite restaurants, happening bars, and boutique hotels.

Several museums, like Thera Archaeological Museum and Thera Prehistoric Museum, offer an insight into Santorini's colorful history. You can take a cable car to Ormos, the charming port in this city, and depart for the volcano.

Highlights: Attractive views of the volcano and the Caldera, lively nightlife, shopping, active even in winter.
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On your trip to this island, you must include watching a movie at this open-air theater, among the most unforgettable places to visit in Santorini. A tremendous draw for the kids, even the grown-ups will enjoy relaxing with a cocktail and watching a well-admired movie.

State-of-the-art sound and projection, and discrete lighting make for an incredible cinematic experience. The place also offers excellent WiFi internet free of charge, which lets you catch up with your friends, share your experience, or finish pending work before the movie begins.

Location: Kamari, Santorini.

Highlights: Open-air movie viewing, refreshing cocktails, snacks, garden-like ambiance.
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Untouched by commercialization, this volcanic island presents nature at its purest. Walks across this islet, one of the most unspoiled places to visit in Santorini, will regale your senses with the multihued houses boasting gardens in full bloom and the riveting splendor of the churches.

The black beach of Korfos and the arresting geological formations add to the island's lures. Thirassia is famed as Santorini's balcony, with the highest point, the chapel of Prophet Elias, offering hypnotic views of the Caldera.

Location: North-west of Nea Kameni, Caldera, Santorini.

Highlights: Sweeping views of the Caldera, black volcanic earth, local delicacies.
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Nea Kameni is among the many Santorini places to visit and is referred to as the youngest land in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The locals refer to the island as the volcano because the formation of the island began no earlier than 450 years ago.

The sheer abundance of natural features on this island is a reason why tourists love to visit it. You can get a helicopter tour of the island but it will not land there so you will get only an aerial view of the spot.

Highlights:
-        Unique picturesque island
-        Requires intensive walking for exploration
-        Offers hiking opportunity
-        Can be reached only by boat
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This museum lets you explore the history of the ancient cities of Santorini. Some of the notable findings which are housed in the museum are the treasures that were unearthed from Akrotiri.

It is best to visit this museum when you are travelling to Akrotiri itself because it gives you a better perspective of the collections in the museum this way. The museum is not particularly large but it is still one of the best places to see in Santorini Greece.

Location: Thera 847 00, Greece

Highlights:
-        Can spend at least 1-2 hours for exploration
-        Open from Tuesday to Sunday between 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
-        Admission costs 3 Euros
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The ruins of the ancient Minoan settlement, completely ravaged by a colossal volcanic eruption in 1627 BC, is one of the extraordinary places to visit in Santorini Island, attracting travelers from around the globe.

The excavated sites with intricate carvings, frescos, and the artifacts displayed in the museum offer glimpses of Bronze Age civilization. You can view the mud-brick constructions that remain standing, protected from strong winds by the roof built over the town. Modern-day Akrotiri is a spectacular town with blue-domed churches, chocolate-box houses, and fine-dining outlets.

Highlights: Bronze Age artifacts, archaeological excavations revealing rituals of Minoan civilization.
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10

Oia

Arguably the most stunning village on the island, your tour of the best places to see in Santorini remains incomplete if you do not visit Oia.

The view of the whitewashed cube-shaped houses cascading down the cliffs along the Caldera, the crisp white of the walls in sharp contrast to the vivid bougainvillea, the sparkling cerulean of the Aegean Sea, will leave you spellbound. Chic hotels, charming waterfront eateries serving delicious seafood, premium boutiques, and quirky handicraft outlets make this village the most popular destination in Santorini.

Highlights: Magical sunsets, gorgeous hike from Fira to Oia, high-end shopping, seafood.
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11

Emporio

The largest village of the island must feature in your bucket list of places to visit in Santorini. Here you can discover the appeal of an ancient Byzantine fortress settlement. The 16th-century Panagia Mesani church at the heart of the bastion with an invaluable wooden icon screen harks back to the glory of the bygone days.

This region's distinctive feature is that all the buildings communicate via their roofs, reachable through narrow and steep stairs. The castle area constructions' rounded corners and asymmetric shapes lend a touch of the Gaudiesque to the place.

Highlights: Medieval ambiance, a well-preserved castle, Cycladic blue-domed churches with impressive bell towers.
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This stunning black sand beach on the southwestern coast of the isle ranks at the top of the places to see in Santorini. Together with the Perivolos beast, this is the longest shoreline in the island.

It is separated from Kamari Beach by the Mesa Vouno peak, home to Ancient Thira. At Perissa Beach, you can spoil the adventure enthusiast in you with adrenaline-pumping water sports. Afterward, you can satiate your appetite with a sumptuous meal at the renowned restaurants in the village.

Location: Perissa village.

Highlights: Black sand beach, water sports, diving, restaurants.
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13

Pyrgos

The former capital of Santorini, located at its highest point, offers an astounding outlook of the island. You can immerse yourself in your loved one's company, strolling hand-in-hand along winding alleys around the traditional whitewashed houses.

An old Venetian fortress occupies pride of place, and another exciting attraction is the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. Refreshingly free of crowds, this is the place for a tranquil holiday exploring the incomparable places to visit in Santorini.

Highlights: Neoclassical architecture, ruins of the ancient fortress, picturesque churches, typical Santorini houses, panoramic views of the entire island, romantic promenades.
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One of the most remarkable places to visit in Santorini, this ancient Dorian settlement dating back to the 9th century, presents an eclectic mix of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine ruins.

A visit will reward you with splendid views of temples, mosaics, a theatre, an agora or market, and a gymnasium from those primeval cultures. Standing proud on top of the peak Mesa Vouno, the atmosphere is charged with the glory of those prehistoric civilizations.

Location: Near Perissa Beach.

Highlights: Ruins of ancient Doris settlements, sacred areas, the Agora, the Basilike Stoa, magnificent views of the Aegean.
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15

Caldera

A massive volcanic explosion about 3600 years back blasted away the center of Santorini Island, leaving behind a gigantic crater. It was filled with water, making it the world's only submerged Caldera, a thousand feet over the sea level, and the principal attraction among places to visit in Santorini.

The source of the rumors about the lost city of Atlantis, this mystic natural wonder fringed by towering cliffs, present remarkable boat tours, baths in hot springs, and trips to the volcanic islands at the center of the Caldera.

Highlights: Boat tours to active volcanic islands, natural harbor, captivating views.
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People Also Ask About Santorini

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Santorini?

    1. Red Beach: The spectacular wall of red stones and sand, standing tall as a cliff attracts tourists all-round the year. The beach here is a small one and may get too crowded at times so it is best to arrive early.

    2. Caldera: It is impressive to look at what a volcanic eruption can do, which is what this sea-filled crater will show you. You can plan a one-day visit to the caldera via boat and enjoy its splendid views.

    3. Oia: Arriving at this location, you will see why it is among the best places to visit in Santorini. The vibrant coloured houses and narrow walking alleys will give you a pleasant time exploring the neighbourhood.

    4. Fira: If you are looking for Santorini places to visit, then Fira is the capital location here which offers a unique and gripping view of the nature around you, along with the neighbouring towns.
  2. Which are the best places to stay in Santorini?

    1. Aressana Spa Hotel & Suites: This prime property is located at flamboyant Fira where all the buzz is. You can choose from double rooms, suites, and triple rooms, enjoy BBQ facilities, dip into the swimming pool, indulge in relaxing massage therapies or rejuvenating spa sessions here.

    2. Canaves Oia Suites & Spa: 
    Perched on a cliff overhanging the Caldera in Oia, this hotel provides private cruises on motor yachts on the Aegean. The opulent suites, the mesmeric infinity pool, heated plunge pools, fitness and yoga classes offered onsite, and in-house salon and spa services make for a luxurious stay.

    3. Stelios Place: 
    Situated only 30 m away from the black sand beach of Perissa, this waterfront hotel is an ideal family destination offering easy access to thrilling water sports.

    4. Chromata: 
    This five-star accommodation in Imerovigli faces the sea and the volcano. It offers well-appointed suites, serves delectable Mediterranean cuisine, and provides many off-site activities like canoeing, horse riding, snorkeling, and more.
  3. Which are the famous beaches in Santorini?

    1. Kamari Beach: Known widely for its diving club and water sports, Kamari beach is among the best places to see in Santorini Greece. The beach has a family-friendly environment and is ideal for parties.

    2. Perissa Beach: Yet another beach where you can enjoy water sports but during the summers, it can get very crowded. It is most notorious for its black sand.

    3. Cape Columbo Beach: If you want to visit a secluded beach in Santorini, this one has to be it! It is one of the most isolated and quiet beaches that you can travel to and offers a wild landscape for viewing.

    4. Monolithos Beach: Known for its family-friendly environment, this beach offers a special playground and volleyball court for you to enjoy your visit.
  4. Which are the best cafes in Santorini?

    1. Coffee Island: The baristas prepare the most perfect cuppas of several coffee varieties, making this café one of the most popular coffee shops in Santorini.

    2. Franco's: 
    Serving mouthwatering Greek pastries with refreshing coffee is the ideal place to start your day, enjoying incredible views of the sunrise.

    3. Irini's Café: 
    Come to this café for traditional Greek coffee, delicious snacks, enjoy Greek music, unimpeded Caldera views, and take in Santorini's local vibes.

    4. Melenio Café: 
    Famous for its sweets, this is the place to hang out with loved ones. Enjoy meaningful conversations as you sip your Greek coffee and dig into some toothsome Baklava.
  5. Which are the best villages to visit in Santorini?

    1. Megalochori: White Cycladic houses, majestic neoclassical mansions, marbled churches with stately bell towers, and stone-flagged alleys make this hamlet one of the most attractive places to see in Santorini.  The heart of the island's rich wine heritage provides the opportunity to sample the time-honored canvas wine.

    2. Imerovigli: 
    Watch glorious sunsets over the iconic volcanic crater and feast your eyes on the fantastic Aegean views at this highest point of the Caldera's perimeter. You can also enjoy a hike to the medieval fortification at Skaros' rocky peninsula.

    3. Finikia: 
    Situated inside a gorge, this picturesque village is conspicuous for its traditional architecture, pastel-hued buildings, and cave houses. The ocher-colored church of Agia Matrona presents a magnificent view from its yard.

    4. Messaria: 
    Awe-inspiring neoclassical constructions like Argyros mansion, charming churches, and local wineries offering a wide variety of wines are the hallmarks of this village. It provides tranquility away from the bustle of tourists.
  6. What is the best time to visit Santorini?

    July to August is the official peak season attracting most tourists to Santorini. The months of May, June, and September also enjoy pleasant weather ideal for sightseeing and indulging in activities around the beaches.
  7. How can I commute within Santorini?

    Walking is the best way to explore the places to visit in Santorini Island and the quaint seaside villages. You can travel from one town to another by buses plying along the KTEL bus routes.
  8. Can I walk from Fira to Oia?

    Yes, it takes around 3 to 5 hours to walk from Fira to Oia. It is a popular activity among visitors to Santorini, and the hike offers the most scenic views of the island.
  9. How many days in Santorini is enough?

    If you want to cover all the principal attractions of Santorini and visit the mesmerizing local villages, a minimum of 4 days and 3 nights are essential. You can take a boat ride in the Caldera, enjoy the black sand beaches, or discover the ancient Minoan settlements at Thira during the trip.

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