A trip to Santorini will always exceed your expectations. The colourful sunsets, the rough volcanic soil creating an antithesis with the calming Cycladic architecture, the picturesque villages and the view to the largest Caldera in the world will have you in awe upon arrival.
This magical destination, that has locked its place among the top summer destinations in the world, is only two hours away from Heraklion, the capital of Crete. So, if you already have planned your vacation in Crete this summer, we suggest you consider a day trip to Santorini, to enjoy the ultimate summer experience. You won't regret it!
Besides, why only visit one Greek destination when you can visit two?
See below 5 things to do in Santorini and be there too!
1. Discover Santorini's volcanic past
What makes Santorini so famous the world over is its great antithesis. Whitewashed houses built next to rough volcanic landscapes, create the most stunning scenery. The photos you've seen cannot compare to the real feeling you get when you see this spectacle with your own eyes.
A view to the volcano and the largest caldera in the world (16 km in diameter) that was formed circa 1700 BC is offered from the busy Imerovigli, the picturesque Oia and the touristic Fira and Firostefani. But we suggest you get closer to this natural beauty! Enjoy a full or half day-cruise to the still active volcano, walk on the lunar landscape of the islet Nea Kameni and dip in the waters of Palaia Kameni, with the distinct scent of sulfur.
Nea Kameni, Santorini
2. Explore the villages and come upon the island's rich heritage
Santorini attracts millions of visitors every year and most of them choose to visit the island during the summer months. If you prefer discovering the beauty of Santorini in a more relaxed and less crowded manner, then we suggest you spend less time in the touristic spots and more time exploring the marvellous, picturesque villages. Pyrgos, with the world-famous views and Akrotiri with its prehistoric settlement, consisting of two-story and three-story buildings remains of a flourishing settlement that was erased after the volcanic eruption (17th century BC) should definitely be on your list. Additionally, the famous lighthouse (Faros) is a stop you wouldn't want to miss.
If you really want to come upon Santorini's great heritage, then you should also visit the archaeological site of Ancient Thera, on Mesa Vouno and take a stroll in the Venetian castle of the Emporio.
Akrotiri village, Santorini
3. Experience the world-famous Red beach
Just 5 minutes away from the Akrotiri village, follow the steep path leading to the most unique spectacle. Santorini's red beach is one of a kind! The green waters are surrounded by red volcanic rocks and red sand creating a stunning image. Even if you don't feel like swimming, you should definitely visit this well-known beach.
4. Taste the wine
With a tradition in wine making dating back to the ancient times, Santorini hosts an impressive number of local wineries and even more impressive indigenous varieties, like the renowned “Assyrtiko”. What makes Santorini wine so distinctive is of course the volcanic soil and the island’s climate!
5. Watch the sunset in Oia
Santorini offers great views to the sunset from various locations but hands down the view from Oia is magnificent. You won't believe your eyes when you'll see the sun diving into the sea in the most picturesque setting. The feeling is indescribable, as well as the image you'll capture and remember forever. Be prepared, as this spot is very popular. If you want to stay away from the crowds but still enjoy the glorious sunset, another great spot is the Rock of Skaros in Imerovigli.