Santorini is probably one of the most photographed spots on this earth and at the top of most travelers’ bucket list. But what do you do when the time finally comes to visit this desired destination? Curated Greece has put together some essential recommendations that will let you get a good “taste” of the island:
1.Admire the view from the caldera
Remember all these times when you saw postcards and gorgeous photos of Santorini? Full of white fairy tale like houses and blue windows? Well, it’s time for you to see all this in real life. There is no way that this stunning view won’t leave you amazed!
2.Discover the island’s gastronomy and delicious local produce
Santorini’s volcanic soil and microclimate is the perfect environment for the growth of delicious local produce full of flavor and taste. Fava beans, capers, eggplants, tomatoes, grapes are among the popular products of Santorini. Moreover, the island hosts some of the best restaurants in Greece, with famous chefs creating distinguished dishes based on local products.
Tip: Taste Santorini’s popular cherry tomatoes, you can’t go wrong.
3.Stay in a cave house
You can’t go to Santorini and not live the experience of staying in a traditional cave house, with their characteristic earthy smell. Cave homes used to house the islands habitants as they provided protection from winds and they didn’t need a lot of materials to be constructed. They are built on the 400m high caldera (crater) of the island, they have an extraordinary view to the volcano while most of the rooms in each house are caves dug into the earth.
Tip: Not recommended for claustrophobics
4.Visit the local wineries
Santorini is home to several ancient varieties of grapes that can only be found on the island and the habitants of the island have been cultivating grapes in a unique halo shaped way, adapted to the climate of the island for thousands of years. The tradition still holds strong and nowadays the island has several award-winning wine producing houses. Visit them, learn about the particularities of the Santorinian wines and of course do some wine tasting.
5.Take a dive at the colorful volcanic beaches
Yes, it is not Mykonos but whether you prefer white, black, red or brown sand, Santorini has it all. Make sure to visit the island’s beaches and see the beautiful rock formations and colors of Santorini’s volcanic beaches. You won’t believe when you see how one white beach can co-exist next to a red beach.
6.Time travel to Akrotiri prehistoric village
Archaeologists claim that the first habitants of Akrotiri date back to 5000 BC but what you can see there today is a flourishing village of 30000 inhabitants at its peak, that was buried under the hot lava 3000 years ago. Walking around the paved streets of the village, the squares, the multi-level houses feels like travelling in time.
7.Watch the sunset from Oia
Who hasn’t heard of and seen photos of the Greek sunsets? However, there is one that is the mother of all sunsets and that is Oia’s. Every day hundreds of the islands visitors rush to find the perfect spot to witness the popular Oia sunset and see the sun diving directly into the Aegean sea. It is undeniably beautiful and worth watching.
Tip: Try watching the sunset from Faros, the lighthouse located in one of the island’s southernmost and westernmost parts.
8.Have a romantic dinner on the rim of the caldera
Remember what we mentioned above about the dazzling caldera view, the stunning sunsets and the delicious local cuisine? Combine all these and you get the most memorable romantic dinner. Sit at a table on the rim of the caldera, taste the island’s delicacies and enjoy the scenery.
Tip: If you were thinking when to propose, now it is the time.
9.Ammoudi for fresh fish
Ammoudi is a small fishermen’s port located right under Oia. Enjoy its tranquility and cuteness and make sure you go there during sunset for an unforgettable fresh sea food meal by the sea.
Tip: Walk to the end of the harbor, take the path and discover a hidden rocky beach with a great spot for fun dives
10.Night life in Fira
Santorini is mostly known as a romantic destination. However, visit Fira, the island’s capital, and you will be amazed with its vibrant night life. The town has plenty of bars of all kinds. From chilled lounge bars to dance clubs that stay up until early morning hours. Make sure you try some of the delicious and creative hand crafted cocktails served in some bars.
Tip: When the party is over, make sure you go to the main square of Fira where “breakfast” is served.
11.Take a boat tour to the Volcano
You have all heard the stories how today’s Santorini has been shaped by a volcano. Well, now it is time to meet the creator. Go on a boat tour or even rent a private boat and visit the still active volcano of Santorini where you can smell the sulfur coming out of the earth, feel the warm ground that is still smoking or dive in the bubbling thermal springs.
+1: Visit Thirasia
Practically it is another island, but Thirasia used to be one with Santorini until the volcano broke them apart. Take one of the small boats that go to Thirasia and walk around the small settlements of the island. Compared to its big and cosmopolitan sister, Thirasia has a totally different vibe and it feels like time hasn’t passed there.