Everyone knows about the glorious sunsets in Santorini. It’s on many bucket lists, must do lists, most beautiful list, you-name-it lists. However, we’ve been to Santorini several times, and although the sunset is amazing, you would be amiss if that was the only activity on your Santorini itinerary. Hopefully, Joe and I can entice you to spend a little more time on the Greek island and soak up all there is to do in Santorini!
7 Things to Do in Santorini, Greece
1. Watch the sunset in Oia.
Of course, you have to watch the sunset. That’s a must. Just be forewarned, everyone else has the same idea. It will be hot and crowded. We staked out our primo spot about an hour ahead of sunset. Even though I tried to make myself as wide as possible, there were still people who tried to squeeze in next to us right at the last minute. Joe finally got the hint when I started yelling at him, “Hold your ground! Hold your ground!”
Is the sunset in Oia a bit of over-hype? Yes. Is is worth it to see at least once? You better believe it!
2. Watch the sunrise from Kamari Beach (or anywhere on the eastern side of the island).
Kamari is on the opposite side of Santorini. It is probably the most developed resort area of the island. Our accommodations were a block from Kamari Beach which we loved. Our hotel manager told us that we had to see the sunrise. I was skeptical, but he assured me that it would be worth getting up to see it rise at 6 a.m. When I walked out on the beach early the next morning, I was the only one there. No hustling for position like the night before in Oia. Our hotel manager wasn’t exaggerating. The sunrise was breathtakingly beautiful!
3. Spend some quality beach time.
Like I previously mentioned, we loved being just a block from Kamari Beach. We adored the resort town. We spent two full days just lounging around, ordering food from the various vendors. Many of the resort town restaurants offer free beach loungers if you order food. The food on this beach is reasonable and the service is prompt. I even indulged in a foot massage! From Kamari Beach you can even take a boat taxi to neighboring Perissa. Getting to Fira or Oia from Kamari is an easy bus ride away.
4. See the volcano.
You will see the tour signs everywhere in Santorini–“See the volcano!” “Swim in the hot springs!” The most popular cruises include stops in the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni (crater) and Palia Kameni (hot springs). To be honest, it wasn’t an activity that I care to repeat. The crater was hot (sunny, that is) with just a bunch of rock and dust. Joe thought it was cool. He liked seeing steam coming up from the rock. Joe grew up around Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Rainier, and volcanoes fascinate him. The hot springs were mainly cold with a few spots of lukewarm relief. Joe thought that was cool, too! I’m glad one of us enjoyed the tour!
5. Hike from Fira to Oia.
Now this was a highlight for me. The hike from Fira to Oia was hot and tiring and took us about three hours. It was also afforded us some of the best views of the island. For details read Santorini- Fira to Oia Hike.
6. Eat massive amounts of Greek food.
Santorini is known for being expensive, especially for lodging and food. We didn’t find this the case once we got away from the tourist heavy towns of Fira and Oia. There are so many restaurants in the resort towns of Kamari and Perissa that the prices are reasonable and food is delicious. If there hadn’t been so many other things I wanted to do in Santorini, I could have easily stayed on my lounger on Kamari Beach eating the day away. For some of our favorite Greek dishes read What to Eat & Drink in Greece.
7. See Ancient Thira.
Although these ruins are not as extensive as what we had seen in Athens or in Delos, they are still worth a visit. You can take a van from Kamari for about 10 euros (round trip). It is well worth it because the ruins are up a steep cliff. After the van drops you off, there is still a small entrance fee and about a 15 minute hike. I loved the view of the sea from the ruins. Plan to spend about an hour touring Ancient Thira.
Have you been or want to go to Santorini, Greece? Please share by commenting below! Any questions? Please ask!
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