I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite spots in Santorini in this post.
While Santorini should not be a check-list of things to see (islands are never meant to be that way), these are the few places/things that I think you ought to check out in Santorini.
1. Akrotiri beach (Red beach)
Akrotiri beach is a small beach nestled between red cliffs. Between Perissa beach (black beach) and Akrotiri, I preferred the latter because of its unique position. The stunning colours shades of red that reflect off the cliffs contrast with the turquoise blue shallow waters, making it really pretty. While there is a short, tricky path that you have to take down the rocks, the views make the walk worth it.
A good place to take photographs and to take in the beauty of the scene though there are no amenities such as showers, shops or cafes on the beach.
You wouldn’t do Santorini justice if you don’t give the wines a try when you are on the island. While you can most certainly order the wines at the restaurants/taverns you are eating at, what better way to taste the wine and learn about it by going on a vineyard tour! Especially when Santorini vineyards are said to be amongst the oldest in the world.
We picked two vineyards to visit. The first is Santo wine. We were told that it has a beautiful view of the caldera and a perfect place to see the sunset. We were there in the afternoon but it was just as beautiful. We went on an informative vineyard tour where we learnt that the way the vines are grown a little differently from the rest of the world. The vines are “woven” round and round to form a “basket” to protect the vines from the strong sun and winds.
Our best discovery of the tour was Vin Santo, the famed naturally sweet wine of the island that is made from sundried white grapes. The Vin Santo took me by surprise. It was really good.
We made our next stop at the boutique vineyard, Domaine Sigalas, a small and quaint vineyard with very lovely wines; you can tell that the wines here are made with a lot of care. After a horizontal tasting of the wines, we bought a bottle back with us and wished we could have bought more.
3. Hike from Imerovigli to Oia (Or even from Fira to Oia , if you are up for a challenge!)
One of our highlights on Santorini is our morning hike from Imerovigli to Oia. We took about 3 hour on a slow (snail) pace as we took plenty of stops along the way.
You may see plenty of tourists in Oia but never that many en-route to Oia. With a pair of proper footwear (there are some down slopes and up slopes with loose rocks) and plenty of food and water, the hike is a very enjoyable one. The blossoming spring flowers along the pathway make the place pretty. There are some lookout points, Mount of Prophet Elijah (the highest point in Santorini), as well as the shifting view of the caldera.
4. Catching the sunset at Oia
Catching the sunset from Oia with the view of the windmill in the distance. We waited for about 1.5 – 2hours after at a perfect spot that we found that gave us the view of the Greek houses and windmill.
Because it was spring, the sun set was really late. People started gathering at 5 plus, 6pm and waited till 8 when the colours start to change. It was beautiful and totally worth the wait. You can also pick a restaurant that has a good view and enjoy your dinner while watching the sunset.
5. Catching the sunset at Imerovigli
While Oia gets a lot buzz, I think that the sunsets at Imerovigli are the best. We spent the remaining three of our evenings in Imerovigli after catching the sunset at Oia. The colours are more dramatic and it is the exact spot where the sun starts to set over the caldera.
It is recommended to rent a car or ATV when you are on Santorini because public transportation can be quite patchy and the bus service can be quite irregular.
Akrotiri beach (Red beach)
Akrotiri area, Akrotiri, Greece (Near the ancient site of Akrotiri)
Don’t just stop and admire the beach from atop the cliff. Make your way down (carefully) and enjoy the beautiful waters against the dramatic red cliffs.
Perissa beach (Black beach)
Perrissa, Greece (You can drive or take a public bus from Fira)
A longer stretch of beach compared to the Red beach with black sand and pebbles. There is a line of taverns and cafes as you lounge around the beach on deck chairs.
Hike from Imerovigli to Oia
This is about 10 km hike so make sure you have proper walking/hiking shoes. Some paths are rocky but it is a very do-able hike. It is best if you start off early in the morning or it will get really hot in the mid-day. Bring along enough water and some food because there is no amenities once you leave the town. There are sign post along the way, so follow the route along the coast (do not take the main roads as there is a lot of traffic!).
Hike from Imerovigli to Fira
This is more of a short walk – about 30 to 45 minutes if you stop for photos. There is proper footpath for this walk. You will know when you get to Fira because you would see many, many tourists and shops.
+30 22860 22596
Check out the timings of the vineyard tours before going down. A good time will be the evening for a drink or two, with a perfect view of the sun set. You can order the 6, 12, 18 wine flight tasting to share. The 6 glass wine flight costs Eur 12. You need to pay separately for the tour of the vineyard which is about 45 minutes long and pretty informative.
+30 22860 71644
Domaine Sigalas is a boutique vineyard in the Baxedes area (near Oia). They don’t do wine tours from what I know. You can pay for wine tastings by the glass and spend a good afternoon under the shady terrace sipping on wine.