The Best of Santorini, Greece

The best of Santorini, Greece is wonderfully accessible. Thought to be home to the lost city of Atlantis, Santorini is stunningly romantic. Whether approaching the island by ferry or plane, you’ll see why people love it here. The dramatic shape of the caldera—like a perfect ring around the volcano that once wiped out the entire Minoan civilization—is one of the most surreal landscapes in Europe. The best of Santorini includes fresh Mediterranean food, delicious wines, and nighttime frolics.

Agiou Athanasiou, Thira 847 00, Greece
During the months I spent living in a hostel on Santorini island, I returned to Tsipouradiko time and time again, usually with a new group of hostel guests. The owner/server got to know my name, although he barely spoke English. But he always knew I’d order a steaming bowl of bouyourdi -- baked feta with peppers and tomatoes. This is traditional Greek food at its finest, hosted in a small taverna set on the main road just outside of Fira (the main town). The prices are cheaper than the restaurants you’ll find along the caldera’s edge. Other highlights include fried octopus, fava spread, mussels in wine broth, lamb chops, and fried feta drizzled in honey. Their speciality, of course, is tsipouro -- a pomace brandy that will knock your socks off.
m.Mpotsari 6, Οία 847 02, Greece
For one of the best views and best meals in Santorini, try Red Bicycle. Located at the tip of Oia on the northern part of the island, the restaurant is housed in a 19th-century Santorini mansion with a 180-degree view of the famed sunset and the volcano caldera. It was heavenly. Soft island breezes on the open-air terrace. The best food I had in Greece (fresh, local Mediterranean dishes with Greek/Santorini influences). A warm hostess who was incredibly kind to our two children. We ate here twice during our weeklong stay - I definitely hope to go back.
Oia 847 02, Greece
This little private church is probably the most photographed stop in Oia. Our rented house was right next to it but lower on the steps so we could see lots of people getting lots of photos. Married couples would take their photos next to it, photographers were offering workshops that included this spot. I woke up at 5.30AM to wonder when nobody else was around. Best time of day to walk around this very busy tourist destination.
Oia santorini greece, Cyclades, Oía 847 02, Greece
You can’t beat this - a delicious, freshly caught seafood dinner on the edge of the Aegean Sea. Sunset Taverna is located in Ammoudi, at the base of the cliffs in Oia, Santorini - dramatic scenery for simple, rustic, delicious food. From the castle in Oia, enjoy a leisurely, winding walk down to the marina (or take a car down the coastal road). Feast on lobster spaghetti, fresh grilled seafood, baked feta, stuffed eggplant, Fisherman’s Salad. Hike back up to Oia under the clear, starry night.
Fira, Θήρα 847 00, Greece
Santorini, Greece is an unquestionably beautiful island, but you can take the island experience up a notch, from beautiful to breathtaking, by hiking the ancient footpath from Thira to Oia. Start just before sunrise and meander the ancient dirt and cobblestone path, which is perfectly nestled at the cliffs edge, providing breathtaking views of the caldera. I set out on this path alone for a 4 hour hike, not too sure of what I would find along the way. Way up high, above the sea, away from the island crowds, as if walking through the clouds, I experienced the true beauty of the island- obvious natural beauty that surrounds you in every direction, but an ancient, deeply rooted beauty that can only be found in the silence, in the white washed churches scattered along the path, in the sun-smoothed cobblestone of the path ... in the clouds. Don’t forget layered clothes as once the sun rises the temperature does as well, comfortable walking shoes, bottled water & a camera!
The village of Fira clings to the side of a cliff overlooking the Santorini caldera in the southern Aegean Sea. If you arrive by ship, you’ll likely be conveyed up to town by funicular, or on a donkey, unless your cardiovascular prowess can take the 500 narrow stairs that climb the side of the steep cliff. On the old volcano’s rim, the street level is actually above many of Fira’s restaurants and bars, which mark their entrances with facade doorways at the top of their steps. From the terraces of these establishments, guests are treated not only to some of the most delicious fare in the Cyclades, but also to breathtaking, panoramic views of the Santorini Archipelago.
Put on some comfortable shoes and get a serious leg workout on the 350 steps that connect the cliffside town of Oia to the port at the base of Amoudi Bay. Visitors can grab a drink or calamari at one of the tavernas while watching fishing boats bring in fresh catches. There is a small dirt path that leads around the bend to a beautiful rocky, swimming spot that some fans may recognize from the movie, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”
Άκρα Ακρωτήρι, Σαντορίνη 847 00, Greece
In the 20th century, an archaeologist by the name of Spyridon Marinatos wanted to prove “the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded world history” was the reason for the Minoan collapse. It didn’t take long for him to find Akrotiri. Akrotiri is like a Greek version of Pompeii. For the last couple thousands of years, earthquakes and volcanoes have repeatedly caused havoc in this part of the world. The Minoans always rebuilt. But it was that final volcano -- the one famously responsible for Santorini’s dramatic shape -- that destroyed the civilization for good. The site will take you through the various 40-something rooms of Akrotiri. You’ll see the remains of window frames, beds upturned on top of one another as if their owners would be coming back for them, and even the remains of a clay pipe system carrying a constant supply of water to the city. The lava and ash that covered and destroyed the city helped protect it. Scientists have used plaster casts to create replicas of some of the Minoans’ furniture, including intricately detailed tables. Mosaics with ivory pieces were uncovered, and even a gold ibex in a jewelry box. It’s best to take a guide tour onsite, otherwise you’ll miss many important details.
Santorini, Greece
There are two ways to reach the ruins of Ancient Thera: by bus or car, or by hiking from the bottom of the 360-metre high Messavouno Mountain. And since no reward ever came easy, you can bet that hiking is the way to go. Thera was a wealthy Roman town inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AD. Here you can glimpse relics left behind in antiquity, like the agora (main square), the stoa (a marketplace), and the theater. Other ruins suggest dwellings. You’ll also find a sacred area devoted to Hermes and Heracles. In places like these, where you can reach out and touch the columns of emperors past, it’s not hard to find a spiritual presence. The hike to the top will take you along a steep and meandering route, but it’s a well-groomed one. A small chapel will greet you halfway there. Be sure to go in and light a candle for loved ones back home. .
Pyrgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece
Pyrgos was my favorite little town on Santorini island. It didn’t have the dizzying caldera views of Oia or Fira, but it did have the white-washed adobe homes built up into the sky. Here you’ll find cobblestone streets, blue church steeples, Greek orthodox priests out in their black garb, and sunset views to rival everywhere else on the island...but without the hordes of people around. Explore on foot, and soak up the quiet. It might not last for long.
If you think about, the Greeks really invented the open-air cinema prototype -- starting with the theatre. Open-air cinemas have been popular in Greece since the 20s, and this one on Santorini is no exception. Few things rival a good movie with new friends, a beer, and the open Mediterranean skies. All films here are in English, with Greek subtitles. .
Located next to Emporio village, Perissa Beach and Kamari are divided by Messavouno Mountain. Perissa’s black sand is attributed to several volcanic eruptions, giving it an unusual appearance compared to other beaches in Greece.
Fira 1564, Thira 847 00, Greece
The unique quality of soil on Santorini is all due to the island’s history of volcanic activity. The soil is known as “aspa,” and is rich in essential minerals. Santorini is home to some excellent wineries, including Santos Wines Winery, Gavalos Winery, and Estate Argyros. A wine tour will get you out and experiencing the best of the best, all while being introduced to the local culinary scene. You’ll see Santorini’s unique vineyards, with its vines coiled in the island’s rich volcanic soil.
Thera 847 00, Greece
Being in Santorini was like a dream come true. The breathtaking views were like none other I had ever seen. The white buildings against the beautiful blue sea. I spotted these two dogs and thought to myself, “Wow! What a life. What I wouldn’t give to be able to live here and enjoy this view on a daily basis.” They looked so relaxed sitting in the warm sunlight. Every time I look at this picture it takes me back to that moment. I was literally speechless. Just soaking in my beautiful surroundings. We were on a tour, headed to a wine tasting, and we stopped for pictures. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. This was an unforgettable trip, better than I could have ever imagined.
Eparchiaki Odos Mesarias-Archeas Thiras
Everyone goes to Santorini for the famous sunset in Oia. However, the moonlight at the black sand beach in Kamari is worth going as well. Plus, along the beach are shops, bars and restaurants one after another. Most of them are outdoor, so you can enjoy your favorite drink while enjoy the ocean under the moonlight.
Santorini’s Red Beach is one of the most unique beaches in Greece. The stretch of pebbly sand is surrounded by high, bright-red cliffs. It’s not one of the most popular beaches on the island for sunbathing, but it’s still worth a visit. A short walk from the Akrotiri archaeological site will take you directly here.
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