Santorini’s most unmissable experiences – Lonely Planet

Santorini has extensive been hailed as 1 of the most picturesque getaway locations in Europe, owing to its magnificent panoramic views of the caldera (cauldron-like volcanic crater) and its aesthetically satisfying, uniformly whitewashed, cubic architecture, which has become synonymous with engagement and marriage photoshoots. The southernmost member of the Cyclades islands is absolutely the star pupil.

But there is far more to Santorini than striking a pose on the well-liked black beaches and investing time by the pool. Down below are some of the major issues you can do on the island, with actions ideal for both sun worshippers and journey-seekers alike.

The Prehistoric City of Akrotiri
Take a look at the Prehistoric Metropolis of Akrotiri on Thera to study far more about the islands’ historical background © Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty Images

Visit the real Atlantis 

Effectively around 3000 years in the past, a catastrophic volcanic eruption (one of the worst in recorded history) on the island eaten Santorini, producing the middle of the island to tumble in on itself, before becoming swallowed by the sea. Due to the unearthed writings of Greek thinker Plato, it has lengthy been believed that the historic Minoan settlements that were being ruined throughout the eruption are in reality the fabled Lost Town of Atlantis.

You can get a vacation to the prehistoric town and archeological website of Akrotiri, positioned on the southern idea of the island, to study additional about the misplaced ruins of this Bronze-Age town and the island’s dramatic past. The substantial excavated site (usually dubbed the “Pompeii of Greece”) is visitor-friendly with covered, wooden walkways that lead you all-around the previous metropolis when even now preserving it. There usually are not a enormous amount of placards and pamphlets to describe your environment, so we would recommend pre-scheduling a guided tour for the full expertise.

A magical Santorini sunset
The village of Oia in Santorini is famous for its attractive sunsets which often draw awestruck crowds © Mike Ledwidth / Getty Illustrations or photos

See the famed Santorini sunset

The sunsets in Santorini are renowned as currently being some of the most beautiful in the world and the picturesque city of Oia is a primary location to give your self a bird’s-eye view. There are a several essential locations in the city the place you can capture the big event, but the Byzantine castle ruins have by considerably the most gorgeous look at. Not only do the crumbling remnants of the castle walls provide a stunning glimpse into Oia’s previous, their elevated area also presents panoramic sights of the island.

All these upsides, sad to say, deliver just one downside – the Byzantine ruins are quite well-known with readers and get exceptionally crowded as the night draws in. Get there early and make oneself comfy in a key place right before the sunlight dips beneath the horizon.

Nea Kameni lava landscape.
Adventurers and volcano lovers can take a guided hike up the Nea Kameni volcano © John Elk / Getty Illustrations or photos

Hike up Santorini’s volcano

Enjoy a guided hike up the ash-laden landscape of the continue to-energetic Nea Kameni volcano positioned in the heart of the caldera. Nea Kameni is the youngest of the two volcanos and is a popular tourist attraction owing to its bordering golden, sulfur-infused waters and springs regarded for their therapeutic qualities. Through the hike, you will be equipped to stroll up to the black lava perimeters of the volcano, as well as explore the crater and other openings bursting with sulfur steam. Not only that, but you also get a spectacular look at of the Santorini cliffs and sister towns Oia and Fira. 

The warmth can be oppressive for the duration of the high time and we would suggest an early begin to acquire advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. Sunset-chasers need to approach to finish their hike later in the evening to make the most of Oia and Fira being framed by the last rays of the working day.

Quaint village store, Pyrgos, Santorini, Greece
The quaint village of Pyrgos is house to a selection of charming shops offering a wide selection of area goods. ©
David C Tomlinson / Getty Illustrations or photos

Stop by the charming city of Pyrgos

Although not as occupied as its sister cities of Oia and Fira, Pyrgos is a quaint, charming city that provides beautiful landscapes and some of the most preferred places to eat in Santorini, these as Selene. The town is a excellent put to get to know the locals and see what day-to-day island existence is seriously like, with out the clamor of crowds of travellers. There are also opportunities to capture lovely photos alongside the little, winding footpaths that direct to aspect streets and cul-de-sacs housing scenic cafes, restaurants, and churches.

Plate of fried sardines at taverna
 Greek food stuff is identified to be both simple and delicious! A cooking class can assist visitors recreate their most loved foods when they return home. © Holger Leue/Getty Pictures

Take a Greek cookery course

Dive into a fingers-on working experience and discover all about Santorini’s common cuisine by taking a regional cooking course. The Petra Kouzina Cooking Working experience will train you all the skills necessary to produce a multi-study course feast in a gorgeous, charming environment.

Alternatively, you can select a combination cooking class and wine tasting tour – the enjoyment commences with a tour of diligently picked wineries in advance of you get started cooking, so you can prepare your menu to include the fantastic accompaniment to your food! 

People are seated on the ground waiting for a movie to begin at the Kamari town open air cinema
Take pleasure in the silver display soon after a golden sunset at the Kamari city open-air cinema © FotoHelin / Alamy Inventory Picture

Capture a movie at the open up-air cinema

Given how stunning the temperature is in Santorini, you will absolutely want to make time for an out of doors motion picture through the warm evenings. Web hosting a person of the greatest open cinemas in the world, Kamari Village boasts delicious cocktails, stylish director’s-chair seating and, of class, popcorn. Early arrival is recommended to get a very good seat.

The caldera after sunset, Fira, Santorini, Greece
A cruise of the caldera features a special view of Santorini and the eruption that for good improved the area’s landscape  © David C Tomlinson / Getty Photographs

Acquire a caldera cruise 

Just one of the most common things to do for readers to Santorini is to consider a midday or sunset cruise close to the caldera on a catamaran. The caldera is a significant, crescent-formed volcanic melancholy with a fascinating historical past – some factual, some folkloric – and is an ideal activity for those people interested in merging lovely views with studying much more about the history of the island and its famous volcanic eruption.

There are lots of tour providers who provide this assistance entire with an on-board meal, with Caldera Yachting company staying a single of the most well-known. I endorse booking the sunset cruise to make the most of the attractive sunset sights.

Bell tower of Monastery Prophet Elias, Santorini island, Thira, Greece
The bell tower at the top rated of the Prophet Elias Monastery is 1 of the oldest on the island and located at the highest stage of Mount Eros © sjhaytov / Getty Images

Make a pilgrimage to the monastery of Profitis Ilias

Built in the 17th century, the monastery of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elias) is a person of the oldest structures on the island and is situated at the optimum position on Mount Eros. The web page is littered with stunning gardens, pine woods that lead you to the doorway of the monastery, and the most remarkable panoramic views of the total island – never forget to pack your camera. The grounds of this spiritual attraction household a wide variety of nearby stores that offer you a selection of homegrown create which include olives, wine, olive oil, candles and honey.

Go to the White Door Theatro clearly show

For all those who are on the lookout to partake in some energetic theater, the White Doorway Theatro show is unlike any other. The effectiveness characteristics an interactive wedding celebration efficiency, exactly where viewers users are cast as “wedding visitors” and demanded to choose aspect in a host of enjoyment and playful functions through the display, which include singing, dancing, mezes, and even smashing plates!

Beautiful Oia
Very little beats the view of Santorini from the air. A watch people can only see via a helicopter tour. © Daniela Duncan/Getty Pictures

Take a helicopter tour of the island 

It doesn’t get much a lot more bucket-record worthy than possessing your personal private aerial scenic tour of the island, the place you soar earlier mentioned the picturesque landscapes of Santorini, receiving a birds-eye look at of the stunning beaches, whitewashed cliffs and blue-domed church buildings, not to mention the volcanic caldera. Even with all our suggestions and tips for navigating the crowds this stunning island attracts, very little compares to your personal personal A-record experience in the sky above Santorini.

Black Beach in Greece
The chance to take it easy on a black sand beach front is one of the exceptional activities Santorini has to give © CasarsaGuru / Getty Photos

Sunbathe on the black sand seashores

Alongside its renowned sunsets, Santorini is also known for its legendary black sand shorelines, shaped by the erosion of generations of volcanic molten rock poured forth soon after every single eruption. Perissa beach front lies at the foundation of Mesa Vouno mountain and is a single of the longest beach locations on the island.

Along with the multitude of cafes, bars and places to eat on the seaside, there is also an elevated spot for adventurous divers to leap off into the crystal-clear waters. Family members with young little ones will discover unlimited enjoyment awaiting them in the on-internet site drinking water park.

Linda W. Davis

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