Formed hundreds of years ago by a massive volcanic explosion, Santorini is a spectacular, black-sanded scythe set in the clear, blue waters of the Mediterranean. Bathed in sunshine for most of the year, it makes an ideal destination for those wanting to top up their tans against one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world. However, while the island is well known for it’s laid-back atmosphere, it’s rich history and unique geology means there are plenty of things to do in Santorini.
Bask on a beach, explore the dramatic caldera, sample outstanding wines, enjoy some white-knuckle water sports or plug into the buzzing nightlife; you can make your Santorini holiday exactly what you want it to be!
Panagia Episkopi Church
Visiting the Panagia Episkopi Church in Mesa Gonia, is one of the most popular things to do in Santorini. Particularly, if you want to see one of the finest examples of local architecture in the island. Tall, whitewashed buildings are topped with terracotta tiles and pitted with graceful arches that lead inside.
The interior walls are also white, which only serves to add drama and elegance to the religious paintings, colourful frescos, and marbled columns you’ll find in this inspiring church. Nearby Mesa Gonia is filled with traditional quirk and charm and offers superb views across the Mediterranean. For something a little livelier, head to the island’s former capital, Pyrgos, and hunt out one of the hidden restaurants or vineyards.
Love a bit of history? You’ll find plenty of things to see in Santorini. A visit to Skaros Rock ought to be on your list. The remains of an ancient fort, there’s a bit of walking involved to get there, but you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views of the volcano and the glittering Mediterranean.
Nearby, you’ll find the Chapel of Agios Ioannis Apokefalistheis, which is located on the highest point of the island. Make the trek after lunch and you’ll see the afternoon sun bouncing off the blue domes on the chapel roof. Time your trip right and you’ll have the joy of watching the sun set in the distance.
Local Wines and Stunning Views
It’s also worth putting a visit to one of the local wineries on your list of things to do in Santorini. The island is home to some of Greece’s oldest, including the Canava Roussos Winery, which was founded in 1836. Expect guided tours through ancient wine cellars, a chance to sample some of the finished article. Also, the opportunity to get your hands on a bottle or two, direct from the producer! Visit the Santo Winery and you can perfect your palate, while enjoying astonishing views of the Aegean Sea and the volcanic islets that surround this stunning island.
While there are plenty of beautiful, black-sanded beaches to choose from. Amoudi Bay ranks as one of the best and a visit is a must. To get to this small, secluded bay, you’ll need to trek down 300 steps, but you’ll be rewarded with a superb beach and the picture-perfect town of Oia. Lined with quiet and authentic restaurants and bars, Amoudi Bay offers some of the best local seafood on the island and, arguably, the best place from which to watch the sun go down.