10 Top Things to Do in Santorini

Martina Rosado
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Ancient Thera

This Greek painting from ancient Thera dates back to the 5th century BC and is considered to be one of the best preserved Lekythos (Greek “lekythos ” earthenware storage vessel) paintings in the world. It can be viewed inside the Archaeological Museum of Thera in a replica of the original urn.

The scene depicted on the urn represents the goddess Demeter interacting with her daughter Persephone. The urn and its contents were discovered by a workman in a field in the village of Kalavrita, Thera, in 1710.

Although there were six of these Ancient Lekythos, only this one has survived. It is 24 cm tall and 12.1 cm wide and depicts a scene of vase painting, but also of artistic depiction which, besides the colors used, presents all the subtlety of the technique.

The painting is quite fascinating, with beautiful details. Even though it is in the style of the 5th century BC, the figures and the objects which it depicts are preserved with remarkable realism for its time.

Therasia (Thirassia)

Therasia is the most beautiful beach on the island. It is a gorgeous cove that’s visible from the main harbor, and it’s located on the southern part of the island, just before the town of Olympos. There is a ferry that takes you there from Olympia.

Therasia and its cove is known for its tranquil crystal-clear water, which offers a peaceful respite from the bustling main epicenter of the island. It is one of the most popular swimming beaches in the island and it has an especially spectacular sunset view.

Therasia also has the best windsurfing spot in the whole island.

Here, you can find a unique windsurfing spot shaped by the cliffs in the small cove. It is the most beautiful place for windsurfing in the whole island.

It is located in the south-southwest. The northern part of the beach is sandy, while the south side is pebbled. The water is calm and crystal clear, and it has something that is quite rare to see in Greece: a view of Santorini’s crater.

Therasia not only offers a calm and luxurious swimming experience, but it also has a spectacular sunset view. It’s a favorite place for beach bums in the summer and a romantic getaway from the volcanic center of the island in the winter.

Pyrgos

Pyrgos Waterfall is located on the west side of Santorini on the top of the hill. The waterfall is the favorite attraction here in Pyrgos. The location of the hot springs is not very far from this waterfall.

The natural hot springs are surrounded by lush vegetation and are the natural entry to the cave of hot volcanic water. Pyrgos is a rural area and the smallest village of the island. You’ll feel as if you’re the only ones that have arrived in this quiet paradise.

If you spend the full day there, there are a number of activities you can enjoy, such as swimming near the waterfall or a visit to the restored medieval monastery.

The hot spring is located in the cave which is the entrance to the natural warm water spring. The temperature in the earth is between 44-48 degrees Celsius. Hot springs help to relieve pain due to inflammation.

This warm water is believed to heal cancer, muscular degeneration, joint pain, and arthritis. The workers in the hot springs were known to be great healers, they were called Ayurel.

Ayurel means people who show respect in the universe, they help others in their physical and mental suffering.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Kamari Beach

Santorini has a celebrated beach, called Kamari, for the endless possibilities it presents to visitors. It's located at the northwestern side of the island, less than two kilometres from the town of Fira.

Kamari beach is known by most for its wide and white sand and the luxurious Kamari Hotel. The hotel has every amenity to pamper its guests, from a bar, a swimming pool, a gym and other recreational areas, to private beaches.

From this hotel, guests can have easy access to the beach which is enclosed by rocks. Kamari boasts of a great number of coastal dining facilities and a great number of souvenir shops.

Another beach on the count of Santorini's beaches is that of Perissa with its white sand and clear blue waters. Its width is such that it can accommodate ten plastic jetties for sunbathers on hot summer days. It is considered one of the best beaches of the Cycladic Islands, and is an ideal place for a swim.

This beach is famous for its restaurants which look out to the sea, and a number of bars line its shore as well. It also has several sand access paths which offer the visitors the opportunity to walk to the sea to swim or to take a late afternoon sunbath.

Akrotiri Excavations

Akrotiri Excavations, Greece.

Amazing is what comes to mind when you think about Akrotiri, a large ancient site located in Santorini that offers a bit of everything for history buffs: surf, history and sunbathing. Since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, at least €4 million have been spent turning Akrotiri into the amazing place it is today.

Pilgrims walk and celebrate Easter

Easter is now celebrated in Akrotiri every year, which is an interesting way to experience the historical site. During Lent, hundreds of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to Santorini in order to celebrate the religious holiday with fellow Christians and to walk the black volcanic ash-paved Calvary on which Christ was crucified. The church is built on top of the hill and is a must-see attraction. You can also walk along the top of the volcano to the cemetery area where you will find the oldest graves and crematoria.

Get sun tan on Akrotiri

Given the exclusive, ravishing access most visitors have to the area, the site’s free beach is more than a little popular, the sun is beating down hotter than Hades’s good dick as the only thing you will be seeing on Santorini at the time is your own reflection.

Perissa Beach

If you’re looking for a great place to relax, Perissa Beach is the best accommodation that you can find. This part of Santorini is on the north side of the island and is known as an artificial beach. Its name originates from the word perigie, which means a place used for fishing.

The beach is great for novice swimmers and is also the perfect spot for water sports. You can restring your line, fish, and use the surf as an off-road training ground.

Nea Kameni

Picture provided by: Jan Michler in 2008

Nea Kameni (Greek: Νέα Κάμινη) is a tiny island in the caldera of Santorini, Greece with a square boxy shape resembling a grain of rice. The island is protected as a natural park and there is a small settlement on its eastern side. It is the closest of the Cyclades islands to Santorini, less than 1.5 km (0.9 mi) away.

The coastline of the island has no organized resort, and due to its nearness to Santorini most tourists choose to spend their days swimming in its lively waters, snorkeling and scuba diving, or visiting it by the occasional cruise ship.

Nea Kameni lies within the "protected area of Kameni", which covers an area of approximately 140,000 acres of land, extending 20 km along the island's east coast.

The island's name is believed to be related to a legend about the recovery of the island from a severe seismic disturbance. Legend has it that a catastrophic earthquake in AD 1420 left only one single house standing.

The island was abandoned by its inhabitants and remained uninhabited for many years. In 1777, it was discovered by a British seal hunter from the island of Chios named Captain Phocas, who was on his way to the island of Sifnos.

Fira

You’ve reached Santorini and the best views are to be found at the Fira Viewpoint. Here you’ll be treated to a magnificent view of the famous Bay of Fira and will see volcanic rocks, cliffs and a part of the ancient city of Fira.

What you’ll want to ensure of course is your camera is charged and you have a great photo for the end of the day!

There is also a local story that the city of Fira is built on a ship wreck. How it got there is still a mystery.

You can climb up to the top of the cliff for a view of the coast, as well as other points of interest. If you’ve had enough of the cliff, you can then descend towards the harbour.

Oia

Map of Santorini

Santorini has many amazing places for visitors to get to know the island. If you have limited time to get to know the island, we recommend that you check out these must-visit places.

Here are 10 great things to do in Santorini.

Buy a Souvenir at the Souvenir Shops

Like most Greek islands, Santorini is very much about local and traditional souvenirs. There are plenty of shops available to buy local Greek souvenirs, such as authentic handmade ones. Souvenir shops located at the west side of town are especially famous for their locally made, authentic crocheted blankets (tsitsas) and cross-stitch prayer ornaments. Locals at the town are known to have a special preference for these small prayer ornaments.

Have High Tea at Vouliagmeni Bay

Vouliagmeni Bay is a beautiful beach, especially at sunset. There is plenty of space for beach loungers along the beach, and that is where you’ll find Vouliagmeni Bay’s main attraction: a high tea.