On Instagram, I was asked what to do on Santorini. Like if there’s more to see than just this little cute village, everybody knows from photos. And the answer is: definitely yes!
Oía is the island’s main attraction for sure. But just coming here for Oía would have been too boring for us.
We’ve been on Santorini for a week and it was a perfect combination of relaxing and being active. Thanks to our amazing hotel and our awesome friends (this time we weren’t alone) we never got bored.
From Firá to Oía – Europe’s most beautiful hike
This is how our travel guide described the island’s famous hiking path many people hike every day. And though there were always people passing our hotel (in sportswear and obviously off for a longer walk) it was surprising how we rarely see other people on our way. We really just passed few people.
The views during the hike are unbeatable. Hiking from Firá to Oía is a must-do on Santorini.
We didn’t hike the whole way as we started from our hotel in Imerovigli. With a few breaks and some ‘Ohs’ and ‘Ahs’ along the way, it took us about three hours to get to Oía. We guess it takes about an hour more if you start from Firá.
I wanted to do a sunset boat trip for a long time and my dear husband made it possible on Santorini. Yes, he’s the best!
But this sunset boat trip wasn’t just sailing a little bit on the water. The tour started in the early afternoon. We were collected from our hotel by bus, brought to the sailing boat and then headed to the volcano island. It wasn’t too busy on the boat by the beginning of May.
After arriving on the volcano island you can choose between a guided tour or just walking on your own. As always we were way too cool for the tour and started on our own. The way up was stony and therefore a little bit exhausting; in the summer heat maybe too exhausting. Temperatures in May were totally okay for this hike.
The landscape up on the volcano seemed surreal while smoke and steam make you aware of where you really are right now. You can walk around the main crater and admire it from all sides before you head back to the boat.
The next stop was at the Hot Springs. But to get there, you have to jump into the really cold water and swim some 300 meters to reach the ground. Here it’s 5° warmer. A friend of us did it. He jumped in and told us about it. But the rest of us were just cowards.
Afterwards, there was dinner on the boat including wine (included in the price of 70€ per person). Accordingly, the vibes were really good when we headed out to the sea for sunset time.
It was awesome to see the Caldera from the ‘seaside’ as it was as impressive from the island.
There are several tour providers on the island. But as far as I know Aphrodite Volcano Sunset Tour is the only one combining the volcano hike and the sunset tour.
We can absolutely recommend this tour!
Red Beach at Akrotiri
There’s not much to say about this one. But this is one of the weirdest and therefore most beautiful beaches I’ve seen so far. Not the classic Caribbean or Maldives beach.
The ‘sand’ is not really red, more black, but with little red stones here and there. In combination with the turquoise water, it makes me imagine how a beach on Mars could look like.
Exploring Santorini’s south-west
While you’re in that part of the island anyway, you should continue further exploring the south-west of the island.
Amazing views, delicious and pricey food and a peaceful atmosphere make this part of the island another highlight.
If you’re searching for a beautiful Greek village on Santorini, which is not too crowded, Pyrgos is the place for you.
The alleys are narrow, houses are all painted white and just a few people make their way here. That’s probably because most people just spend one or two days on the island and don’t have the time to make it here (to our joy).
Thereby it’s as picture perfect as the other villages. Just without the Caldera view.
If you’re spending enough time on the island, Pyrgos is what you must visit. (We were here on Star Wars day, May 4th)
Monastery on the Profitis Illias Mountain
After Pyrgos, there’s a small street leading up to the highest mountain of the island, Profitis Illias. It’s 568m high and the streets up are really narrow. You might get scared when a car is approaching you from the opposite side of the road.
There’s a monastery on the mountain which is partly accessible. The view over the island is fantastic from up there. You can also see some of the neighbour islands. I think the sunset might be really fantastic from here (next time).
What was destroying our little idyllic moment was the military radar station on the peak. And there were just few parking places. But that doesn’t matter. You can park anywhere as there’s almost no one up there.
Wine Tasting at Gaia Wines
It’s pronounced ‘Yeah’. It’s a cute little winery located at the eastern side of the island by the beach. We tasted four wines and Gaia Wines’ own vinegar.
It was a relaxed atmosphere and the wines and the vinegar tasted really good. The wine tasting itself is quite cheap but the wines themselves were totally out of our league.
You can come here anytime and taste Santorini’s only brewery’s beer. Donkey beer is sold everywhere on the island.
Their range reflects the zeitgeist and everything is so hipster. But not in a bad way. The beer tastes good. It’s worth coming here.
When I heard about this wine tasting, I was totally in awe. My husband just knows what I like best.
People from all over the world gather together here to celebrate the sunset with a wine tasting. The combination of both is just unbeatable.
They also serve dinner here and of course, you can buy all the wines you taste here. You can decide how much wines you want to taste and also if you want to make a winery tour or not. We think it was quite interesting.
You should book in advance as Santo Wines Winery is really popular. How could it not be with this view?!
Is there something else you might recommend doing on the island? What did you do on Santorini?