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The best things to do in Santorini

Last update : 23 May 2024
It's finally time to visit Santorini, the island in the Cyclades we've been dreaming of visiting for years!

We arrived there by ferry, after a week in Mykonos. Its view from the sea was magical. In our opinion, a 4-day stay is the perfect way to discover Santorini, but we advise you to choose the right time to go, especially if you want to enjoy the island in peace and quiet. In this blog post, you’ll find all our tips on what to do in Santorini, as well as our best addresses. This Greek island has so much to offer… Bon voyage!

Visiting Santorini, where to sleep?

During our trip to Santorini we decided to sleep right in the heart of the village of Oia to be as close as possible to the town we were so keen on. So we looked for a hotel that was well placed in Oia yet still accessible, and we found the perfect compromise! White Side Suites is a mix between the services of a hotel and the authenticity of an airbnb in Santorini. Very comfortable and with a small terrace perfectly placed for sunsets. The charm of this place is due above all to its host, Chris, who took great care of us throughout our stay.

Following our visit, we’ve written an article to help you find the best hotels in Santorini with private pools. We recommend you take a look if you’re still looking for accommodation to visit Santorini.

hotel santorin hotel santorin sunset

What to do in Santorini? Must-sees

Oia, Santorini’s most charming town

It’s impossible to visit Santorini without passing through the famous village of Oia! The town is actually quite small, and you can let yourself be carried along the narrow cobbled streets! By the way, we’d advise you to be well-shod, as the streets are quite steep at times. And that’s part of the charm of this town. It has all the trappings of a postcard setting, and photo enthusiasts will be in heaven! The sunrises and sunsets over the Caldera are a must-see at least once in a lifetime. There are lots of little boutiques selling Santorini jewelry, perfect for bringing back a souvenir.

santorin oia visiter santorin santorin sunset oia santorin

Santorini’s chapels and their blue domes

One of Oia’s prettiest church roofs, which you can admire from a side street, the more adventurous will descend (quickly and silently) down the private staircase to get a nice photo. The domes are magnificent, and you’ll take great pleasure during your stay in Santorini in admiring them.

polaroid oia visiter santorin oia santorin

Oia Castle

This castle high above the town is one of the most popular places to watch the sunset. If you want to enjoy the view without too many people, go there at sunrise – it’s also worth the detour!

sunset santorin visiter santorin

Ammoudi Bay

The little port at the bottom of the town of Oia is really adorable! You can take the big stairs on the right of the town that go down and in 15 minutes you’ll be at the port (well, to go back up is another story). Here you’ll find small restaurants serving local fish, almost with your feet in the water! And if you keep walking, you’ll come to a number of small coves where you can enjoy a leisurely swim, a real paradise not to be missed during your stay in Santorini.

Ammoudi Bay Ammoudi Bay Ammoudi Bay Ammoudi Bay

Thira, the island’s largest town

Thira, or Fira, is the island’s capital. We’d read a lot of reviews saying this town was as pretty as Oia, so we decided to spend an afternoon there. We found it nice, but not quite as charming. The main roads are bigger, and there are a lot of touristy shops, which didn’t convince us much. There is, however, a very pretty promenade offering a superb view of the heights of the city!

thira fira santorin Thira fira santorin

For a gourmet break with a view, head for Café Irini

At the end of a walk on the Thira heights, stop here for a drink to get the best view possible! We stayed a while admiring it, we were such fans. Drink prices are quite high, but it’s worth having a coffee here to take in the sights!


Visit Santorini, where to eat?

Vitrin Café Creperie

The best address for breakfast with a view! They serve pancakes, waffles, Greek yoghurts and delicious coffees (which is pretty rare in Greece 🤫). It’s a pretty accessible address, and if you sit down at one of the first tables on the terrace, you’ll get a superb view of the sea. We really recommend a visit. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset, so get there at 5:30 p.m. sharp in front of the terrace to get a seat for the sunset!

vitrin cafe santorin vitrin cafe oia santorin

Flora Comfort Cuisine

A great address on Oia’s main street where you’ll nevertheless feel rather quiet! The terrace above is very pleasant. They serve delicious breakfasts (pancakes, fruit, eggs/bacon tartine style) or delicious dishes (Greek salads, club sandwiches…) it’s worth the detour and affordable in price.

restaurant Oia

Nocturna Café

You’ll find this restaurant right in the heart of Oia, close to a fairly touristy street. Yet you’ll find it fairly quiet, as the terrace is high up and offers a superb view of Oia. Nevertheless, the food is decent without being exceptional!

Skiza Cafe

This address doesn’t look like much from the outside, yet on the roof terrace you’ll be at the top of your game! They offer “Greek-style” breakfasts with local feta and olives, seed bread and Greek yoghurt. It’s quite a pleasant place and the view is out to sea is lovely!

Visiting Santorini, how to organize your trip properly?

How to get to Santorini

To find the best mode of transport to your destination, we recommend you always look on the OMIO comparator. This will give you an overview of all available modes of transport, so you can compare prices very easily.

oia santorin

How to rent a rental car at the best price in Santorini?

For our part, with only 4 days in Santorini, we decided not to rent a car and to use the island’s public transport. But here are all the options available to you during your stay in Santorini:

By scooter: the most popular option, as it’s cheap (€10-15 per day) and easy to park. You’ll find plenty of rental companies in Thira!

Quad bikes: similar to scooters, but a little more stable for Greek roads, and slightly more expensive (around €20 a day). You can hire them from the many rental companies in Thira.

On foot / by public transport: if you’re staying right in the center of Oia, it’s not at all advisable to rent a car for the duration of your stay, as you won’t be able to park it close to your accommodation. There are also many public buses that pass through Thira on a regular basis. For example, you can :

  • Airport – Thira
  • Port/Marina – Thira
  • Thira – Oia / Oia – Thira
  • Thira – Red Beach …

Tickets can be bought individually and cost €1.60, and buses run every 15 minutes or so. We advise you to get on the buses as quickly as possible, as the Greeks are used to filling them to capacity and many passengers find themselves standing and crammed in (worse than the Paris metro). But it’s still a very practical and economical way of getting around, and we recommend it! If you’d still like to rent a car during your trip, we recommend you take a look at RentalCars. This will enable you to find the best prices and conditions for your rental.


How to find the best hotels to visit Santorini

In order to find the best hotels and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels before you leave. You can filter them according to their ratings. There are plenty of recent customer reviews, so there are no unpleasant surprises when you’re traveling!

santorin ville oia

How to find ideas for activities to do on your holiday

If you want to get ideas for activities to do on your vacation and want to book in advance, we’d also recommend taking a look at the GetYourGuide site. This will give you an overview of the activities on offer in your destination, so you don’t have to wait until you get there to book your places.



Some tips for visiting Santorini in the best conditions:

  1. We therefore advise you to visit Santorini out of season. Namely, the island is at “rest” from the end of October to the beginning of April, everything is closed on the island and for the most part in Oia. So take advantage of the “off” periods: between April and June, and between September and October, to discover Santorini at its quietest. Although we went at the beginning of October and it was still very crowded …
  2. Get up early to discover the town without too many tourists! Around 6:30/7am, especially for photo enthusiasts, you’ll be in peace. With a superb sunrise as a bonus.
  3. If you’re only staying a few nights, stay in the heart of Oia, the island’s most charming town. See our favorite accommodation in Oia at the beginning of the article.
visiter santorin

Our thoughts on our stay in Santorini and some tips for a successful trip

Visiting Santorini also means visiting one of the most touristic islands of the Cyclades, and for good reason, it’s gorgeous! We fell in love with the white houses, cobbled streets and blue roofs. But unfortunately, it can spoil the magic of the moment to be surrounded by so many tourists during your stay. Instagram tourism and wedding photos are all the rage on Santorini. So you come across a lot of professional and amateur photoshooters, which can be a little invasive in the long run.


Visit Santorini and take the opportunity to discover Mykonos!

If time permits, you can also take a ferry to visit another Cycladic island, Mykonos. We share our must-sees on this second Cycladic island in our dedicated article.

Mykonos sunset
Thank you for reading

We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit Santorini.

You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex

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