Red cliff stretching along coast of blue ocean with a strip of beach at the bottom.
The Red Beach's unique coloring is a result of the iron-rich black and red lava rocks from the volcano Thira.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

7 Unforgettable Experiences to Have in Santorini

A Place Unlike Any Other

If you’ve never been to Santorini, chances are it’s at least on your travel bucket list. Part of the Cyclades, this legendary island on the southernmost end of the archipelago boasts whitewashed cave houses backed by blue-domed churches that spill down the rim of an ancient volcanic crater. It’s a place countless travelers dream of visiting.

If you’re traveling to Greece, Santorini should definitely be one of your stops; however we recommend making a trip to Santorini all on its own to truly immerse yourself in this beautiful place.

Discover some of the most welcoming people on Earth, extraordinary beaches, ancient ruins from the prehistoric era, incredible cuisine featuring aromatic Mediterranean flavors paired with fine local wines, jaw-dropping sunsets and so much more among these unforgettable things to do in Santorini.

Visit Some of the World’s Most Unique Beaches

Santorini is renowned for its colorful beaches, including the very unique Kokkini Beach, or Red Beach as its more often referred to. It looks as if it should be sitting on another planet.

Set at the base of dramatic, fiery-red cliffs that soar high over azure Mediterranean waters, this colorful stretch of sand is a result of the surrounding iron-rich black and red lava rocks that came from Thira’s ancient volcanic activity. The volcano erupted in 1450 BC and essentially shaped this entire island.

The majority of Santorini’s beaches are made up of black sand with tiny volcanic pebbles, like Perissa, which stretches for more than four miles, and Perivolos. Cape Columbo is one of the most isolated, peaceful beaches on Santorini, surrounded by wild landscape. You’re likely to find your own ideal stretch to enjoy by simply driving around the island.

White and pastel colored buildings layered.Oia is renowned for its whitewashed houses and blue shutters and roofs.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stroll Through Oia

Oia is the idyllic village you’ve probably seen in so many of those Santorini images. It’s renowned for its whitewashed houses and blue shutters as one of the most photographed spots on the planet. It sits atop a dramatic cliff boasting stunning vistas over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni.

Take time to stroll the maze of narrow alleyways and streets, popping into some of the many art galleries and boutiques before relaxing with a drink at one of the many taverns. One absolute must-do during your time here is to catch a sunset from Oia. It’s sure to be one of the magical moments you’ll ever experience, especially if you’re there outside of the busy summer months.

If you have the funds, Oia is home to one of the most luxurious small hotels in the world: Katikies. From here you can take in those breathtaking views while being waited on hand and foot. Let’s just say it adds to the experience.

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Outdoor patio with fishing accents overlooking water.Enjoy breathtaking views while eating delectable cuisine at the Ammoudi Fish Tavern.Photo Credit: K.C. Dermody

Enjoy a Meal at Ammoudi Fish Tavern

For an unforgettable meal, exceptional service and extraordinary views, be sure to head to Ammoudi Fish Tavern at Amoudi Bay, which sits just below Oia village. Make your way down the steep, winding hill and you’ll discover a breathtaking sight tucked among the dramatic cliffs.

Although there is no beach, this is one of the best spots for swimming on the island. After taking a dip, enjoy a drink and dine on dishes like steamed mussels and lobster. The friendly smiles you’ll get while being served make that mouth-watering food all the better.

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