From Island tours to beach hopping, hiking to ancient cities, wine tasting, and an open-air cinema – these are the best things to do in Santorini this summer!
If you’re looking for the top things to do in Santorini in 2023 then you’re in for a treat. Santorini Island (or ancient Thira / ancient Thera, as it was once known) is one of the most popular and picturesque destinations in Greece, and is a traveler’s paradise with its breathtaking views, vibrant culture, and stunning beaches. Whether you’re looking to explore ancient ruins, relax on the beach, or indulge in delicious local cuisine, Santorini has something to offer everyone.
To help you plan your perfect trip to this idyllic Greek island, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Santorini in 2023. From exploring the charming town of Oia to savoring local wines on a vineyard tour, this list has something for every type of traveler.
So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Santorini.
Disclaimer: Almost all posts on this site contain affiliate links, and this one about the best things to do in Santorini this summer is no different. This means that if you click on any of the links in this travel guide (and make a purchase) I may receive a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. This post is carefully crafted to (hopefully!) answer all your questions and recommendations are made where we believe they will improve your trip and help with your planning. As such we thank you in advance should you decide to click & buy. Read my full Disclosure here.
In This Post
- 1 15+ INCREDIBLE Things to do in Santorini Greece
- 1.1 Watch the sunset in Oia
- 1.2 Relax on the unique black sand beaches
- 1.3 Explore the capital of Fira
- 1.4 Splash out on a helicopter tour
- 1.5 Visit Akrotiri
- 1.6 Take a wine tour
- 1.7 Take a boat tour around the island
- 1.8 Go Scuba Diving
- 1.9 Visit the Monastery of Profitis Ilias
- 1.10 Go on an ATV or Quad Bike Tour
- 1.11 Enjoy a Movie at the Open Air Cinema
- 1.12 Relax in the Hot Springs
- 1.13 Visit The Thirassia Islands
- 1.14 Go Horse Riding
- 1.15 Hike to Skaros Rock
- 1.16 Explore the village of Pyrgos
- 1.17 Conclusion: Top 10 Things To Do In Santorini 2023
15+ INCREDIBLE Things to do in Santorini Greece
Watch the sunset in Oia
Watching the sunset in Oia is one of the most iconic and memorable experiences you can have on the island of Santorini. In fact, pictures of golden sunsets behind stunning white houses are probably one of the things that enticed you in the first place.
Oia is a charming village located on the northern tip of the island, perched on the cliffs overlooking Santorinis caldera. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Greece, and the sunset views from here are truly breathtaking.
There are several spots in Oia that offer excellent views of the sunset, including the ruins of the Byzantine castle, which is located at the top of the village. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the caldera and the sunset, while surrounded by the charming and picturesque architecture of the village.
Another popular spot for sunset watching is Ammoudi Bay, which is located at the foot of the cliffs. From here, you can watch the sunset from a different perspective, with the charming fishing boats and tavernas providing a picturesque backdrop.
Watching the sunset in Oia is an incredibly popular activity, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a good spot. Don’t expect to have the view to yourself. Honestly, though, it’s quite atmospheric with the crowds. Many visitors opt to enjoy the sunset with a glass of local wine or a traditional Greek cocktail, and there are several cocktail bars and restaurants that offer stunning views of the sunset.
Overall, watching the sunset in Oia is a truly magical experience that should not be missed. The stunning views, charming village, and unforgettable atmosphere combine to create an experience that will stay with you long after you leave Santorini.
Relax on the unique black sand beaches
The black sand beaches of Santorini are quite something. If you have the opportunity to visit Santorini, a visit to one of its black sand beaches is a must. The black sand is the result of volcanic activity in the area, which makes for a truly unique beach experience.
One of the most popular black sand beaches in Santorini is Perissa Beach. The beach is located on the southeastern coast of the island and is easily accessible by bus or car. The beach is lined with restaurants, cafes, and beach bars, so you can relax and enjoy the stunning views while sipping on a refreshing drink.
Another popular black sand beach is Kamari Beach, located on the eastern coast of Santorini. There are plenty of beach umbrellas and sun loungers available for rent for those that like to spend the whole day relaxing. The water here is crystal clear, and the black sand is particularly striking against the bright blue of the Aegean Sea.
If you’re looking for a quieter beach experience, head to Perivolos Beach, which is located just south of Perissa Beach. The beach is less crowded and has a more laid-back vibe, making it perfect for those who want to unwind away from the Santorini crowds. There are also several beachfront tavernas here.
No matter which black beaches you choose to visit in Santorini, you’ll be treated to stunning views, crystal clear waters, and a truly unique beach experience. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat, as the sun can be quite intense on the island. And don’t forget your camera – you’ll definitely want to capture the beauty of these interesting beaches!
Explore the capital of Fira
Fira, the capital city of Santorini, is a bustling town perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and for good reason – the town is filled with charming white-washed buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
One of the best ways to explore Fira is on foot, but be aware that access isn’t the best and wear decent footwear. The town is built on the side of a cliff, so there are plenty of winding paths and staircases to explore. Walking through the narrow streets of Fira, you’ll be greeted by an array of shops selling everything from local crafts and souvenirs to high-end fashion and jewelry.
Another must-see attraction in Fira is the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. The museum is home to artifacts from the Minoan civilization, which flourished on Santorini before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the second millennium BC.
The museum’s most famous exhibit is the Akrotiri frescoes, a collection of vividly colored wall paintings that offer a glimpse into life on the island before the eruption.
When visiting Fira, it’s essential to take in the stunning views of the caldera. Although there are plenty of vantage points throughout the town, one of the best ways to experience the breathtaking panorama is by riding the Santorini Cable Car. This cable car takes you from the old port of Fira to the town center, offering an incredible view of the sea and the surrounding cliffs.
If you’re up for a bit of adventure, another option is hiking from Fira to Oia. This hiking trail winds along the edge of the caldera and offers spectacular views, but be sure to bring sun protection, walking shoes, and plenty of water, especially during the summer months.
Splash out on a helicopter tour
While it might be a little indulgent, taking a helicopter tour in Santorini is an unforgettable treat that offers a unique perspective on the island’s stunning landscape. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the air, you can take in panoramic views of the caldera, the Aegean Sea, and the surrounding islands, all while enjoying the thrill of flying in a helicopter.
Some of the most popular tours include the Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs tour, which takes you on a scenic flight over the island’s volcanic landscape, and the Sunset Tour, which offers a breathtaking view of the island as the sun sets over the horizon.
One of the highlights of a helicopter tour in Santorini is the opportunity to see the caldera from above. The caldera is a massive volcanic crater that was formed over 3,500 years ago when the volcano on the island erupted. Today, the caldera is a popular tourist destination, and a helicopter tour is one of the best ways to experience its awe-inspiring beauty.
Another attraction that is worth seeing from the air is Red Beach, which is located on the southern coast of the island. The beach is named for its distinctive red sand, which is a result of the volcanic activity on the island. From the air, you can see the contrast between the deep red sand and the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
A helicopter tour in Santorini is an experience that you will remember for a lifetime. The combination of the island’s natural beauty and the thrill of flying in a helicopter creates a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
You might have pictured white churches, beaches, and sunset views but Santorini does have a fascinating past too.
The ancient ruins of Akrotiri in Santorini are one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. These ruins date back to the Minoan period, around 3000 BC, and provide an insight into the ancient civilization that once thrived on the island.
Akrotiri was a thriving settlement that was destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption in the second millennium BC. The eruption buried the city under layers of ash and pumice, preserving it for thousands of years and offering archaeologists a unique glimpse into the daily life of its inhabitants.
Today, visitors to the site can see the well-preserved ruins of houses, public buildings, and other structures that were part of the ancient settlement. The site features a network of streets, squares, and buildings, many of which are decorated with intricate frescoes and paintings that have survived the centuries.
The site is also home to a museum that displays many of the artifacts that have been unearthed at the Akrotiri excavation, including pottery, metalwork, and frescoes. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about the Minoan civilization and the history of the island of Santorini.
A visit to the ancient ruins of Akrotiri is a must-do experience for anyone interested in history, archaeology, or the ancient civilizations of Greece. The well-preserved ruins and artifacts provide a fascinating insight into the daily life and culture of an ancient society, and the site is a testament to the resilience of the people who once called Santorini their home.
Take a wine tour
Santorini is renowned for the exceptional quality of its wines. A visit to the island would be incomplete without experiencing a wine tour and tasting. You are on holiday, right?
There are numerous wineries and vineyards on the island that offer tours and tastings, each with its own character and style.
One of the most popular wineries on the island is Santo Wines, which is located on the caldera cliffside in the village of Pyrgos. The winery offers tours of its facilities, including the production area, and a tasting room with a panoramic view of the caldera.
Other highly regarded wineries on the island are the Venetsanos Winery and Boutari Winery, which are located in the village of Megalochori. At Boutari, the winery is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion and offers tours of its vineyards and cellars, as well as a tasting of its award-winning wines.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking to sample some of the local flavors, a winery tour in Santorini is an experience not to be missed. The island has produced some of the finest wines in the world, and a visit to the wineries, vineyards and Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum is a chance to explore the island’s rich cultural and culinary heritage.
Take a boat tour around the island
Taking a boat tour around the island of Santorini is an unforgettable experience that allows you to see the island from a unique perspective. With its crystal-clear waters, rugged cliffs, and stunning coastline, Santorini is best explored by sea.
There are several boat tours available that cater to a range of interests and budgets. One of the most popular boat tours is a Santorini catamaran cruise, where you can sail in comfort on a spacious vessel. Catamaran trampolines are also the perfect place for some dolphin watching!
If you’re after a little Greece-inspired romance then head off on a sunset cruise, which takes visitors on a leisurely journey around the island to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea. This tour usually includes a stop at the picturesque village of Oia, where visitors can enjoy a glass of local wine and watch the famous Santorini sunset from one of the village’s many rooftop terraces.
For those who are interested in exploring the hidden gems of Santorini, there are also boat tours that take visitors to secluded beaches, hidden coves, and secret swimming spots that are only accessible by boat.
These tours offer a unique and off-the-beaten-path perspective of the island, away from the crowds and the tourist hotspots.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset cruise or a thrilling adventure on the high seas, a boat tour around the island of Santorini is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Go Scuba Diving
Scuba diving in Santorini is a unique and thrilling experience for underwater adventurers. The island’s volcanic caldera offers a diverse underwater landscape, with its fascinating rock formations, caves, and wrecks.
Divers can explore the crystal-clear waters and discover the hidden treasures of the Aegean Sea, including old shipwrecks and caves that are home to a variety of marine life, such as octopuses, groupers, and colorful sponges.
The caldera’s underwater topography is ideal for divers of all levels, from beginners to advanced, making it a popular destination for diving enthusiasts.
Visit the Monastery of Profitis Ilias
The Monastery of Profitis Ilias (aka. Prophet Elias Monastery) is a historic religious site located on the highest point of the island of Santorini, in Greece. This beautiful monastery is perched atop the summit of Mount Prophet Elias, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the entire island and the Aegean Sea beyond.
Today, the monastery is a popular destination for visitors to the island, who come to admire its beautiful architecture, stunning views, and rich cultural heritage. The monastery features a beautiful bell tower, a chapel, and a museum that displays a collection of religious artifacts, including icons, vestments, and manuscripts.
The chapel of Profitis Ilias is one of the most impressive features of the monastery, with its beautiful frescoes, ornate woodwork, and intricate stone carvings. The chapel is still used for religious services today and visitors are welcome to attend the daily liturgies that are held there.
Apart from its religious significance, the Monastery of Profitis Ilias is also a popular spot for hiking and outdoor activities.
It’s possible to hike up the steep trail that leads to the summit of Mount Prophet Elias, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. There are also several picnic areas and small tavernas around the monastery.
The Monastery of Profitis Ilias is a beautiful and fascinating destination that offers a unique insight into the rich history and culture of Santorini Greece.
Go on an ATV or Quad Bike Tour
Quad biking tours on Santorini offer a thrilling and adventurous way to explore the island’s stunning landscapes and hidden gems. Visitors can rent a quad bike and embark on a self-guided tour or join an organized tour with an experienced guide for one of the most outdoorsy activities in Santorini.
Quad bikes and ATVs are a great way to access hard-to-reach areas, including some of the island’s secluded beaches and traditional villages. The tours typically last from two to three hours, and riders are provided with helmets and safety instructions before setting out.
Along the way, riders can take in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, the volcanic caldera, and the island’s picturesque landscapes.
Enjoy a Movie at the Open Air Cinema
The Open Air Cinema in Kamari on Santorini is a unique and unforgettable experience for movie lovers. Showing a different movie every few days, doors open at 8.30pm and the movie starts at 9.30pm – but they don’t take reservations, get there early to guarantee you seat.
Situated under the clear skies, the Santorini openair cinema offers a relaxing and cozy atmosphere with comfortable seating, blankets, and pillows. The outdoor setting allows visitors to enjoy blockbuster movies while basking in the warm night air. The cinema also offers a snack bar where you can enjoy traditional Greek treats while watching your favorite film.
Relax in the Hot Springs
Visiting the hot spring at Nea Kameni (Young Burnt Island) and Palea Kameni (Old Burnt Island) near Santorini is a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed. The hot springs are located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, surrounded by the stunning volcanic island landscape.
To get there, visitors can take a boat tour that usually includes a stop at the hot springs. Once there, you can swim in the warm and therapeutic waters, which are believed to have healing properties.
The Nea Kameni hot springs are also a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the Aegean Sea. It’s important to note that the hot springs have a distinct sulfuric smell and can sometimes be crowded, so it’s best to visit during off-peak hours.
Visit The Thirassia Islands
Visiting the Thirassia Islands during your stay on Santorini is an opportunity to escape the crowds and experience a more authentic side of the Cyclades.
The Thirassia Islands are a cluster of small islands located just a short boat ride away from Santorini, but with a much quieter and more peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can explore the traditional fishing villages, hike to scenic viewpoints, and enjoy the serene beaches with crystal-clear waters. The islands also offer some of the freshest seafood in the region, with numerous tavernas serving up local delicacies.
A visit to the Thirassia Islands is a chance to experience the authentic Greek island lifestyle and take in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea away from the hustle and bustle of Santorini.
Go Horse Riding
Horse riding tours on Santorini offer a unique and unforgettable way to explore the island’s stunning landscapes. Visitors can experience the natural beauty of Santorini while riding through the scenic countryside and along the island’s beautiful beaches.
Horse riding tours are available for all levels of riders, from beginners to experienced riders, and typically last from one to two hours. The tours are led by experienced guides who provide a safe and informative experience for riders. Along the way, riders can take in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, the volcanic caldera, and the island’s picturesque villages.
Hike to Skaros Rock
Skaros Rock is a majestic natural formation that towers over the picturesque village of Imerovigli and offers stunning panoramic views of the island’s volcanic landscape.
The hike to Skaros Rock is a moderate-level trek that takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your pace. Along the way, hikers will pass through narrow paths and rocky terrain, but the stunning views make it all worthwhile. Once you reach the top of Skaros Rock, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the caldera and the surrounding villages.
The hike to Skaros Rock is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Santorini while getting some exercise and fresh air.
Explore the village of Pyrgos
Pyrgos is a charming and picturesque village located in the center of the island of Santorini, and if you have time then it’s well worth hiring a car to visit. The village is built on the slopes of a hill and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, the Aegean Sea, and the neighboring islands.
With its traditional Greek houses, narrow streets, and labyrinthine alleys, Pyrgos exudes a timeless and authentic charm that is both enchanting and peaceful. You’ll feel miles away from the usual Santorini crowds here.
Pyrgos was once the capital of Santorini and its rich history is evident in its architecture and landmarks. The village is home to numerous churches and chapels, including the Church of Theotokaki and the Church of Agia Triada, which date back to the Byzantine era.
The ruins of a Venetian castle, built in the 15th century, can also be found in Pyrgos, offering a glimpse into the island’s medieval past. The narrow streets and alleys that wind through the village are lined with white-washed houses, blue-domed churches, and small shops selling souvenirs, local handicrafts, and traditional Greek products. It’s a great place to get a little souvenir shopping done!
As well as its historical and architectural heritage, Pyrgos Village is also known for its lively cultural scene. The village hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Festival of Agios Charalambos, which takes place in February and features traditional Greek music and dancing.
In the summer months, Pyrgos also hosts a series of outdoor concerts and performances. If you’re lucky enough to visit when a celebration is taking place then be prepared for some traditional Greek partying.
Despite its popularity among tourists, Pyrgos has managed to retain its authentic Greek character and remains a quiet and tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Santorini’smore touristy destinations. It’s a great place to escape the crowds for a morning or afternoon.
Conclusion: Top 10 Things To Do In Santorini 2023
In conclusion, Santorini is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience.
With its stunning beaches, awe-inspiring landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, the island offers an endless array of activities and attractions for every type of traveler. From exploring the charming towns and villages to savoring the local cuisine and greek wine, there is no shortage of things to do in Santorini.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this idyllic island has it all. So, if you’re planning a trip to Greece in 2023, make sure to add Santorini to your itinerary and experience the magic of this one-of-a-kind destination.
We hope this guide to 15 Fun Things to Do in Santorini Greece this summer has been a huge help in planning your trip to Santorini, and if you know of anyone else that needs a little bit of inspiration or assistance in planning their Greek Island getaway, please be sure to share on social media: Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter or grab the image from below for Pinterest. And remember – sharing is caring (and we thank you in advance!)
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