Just the thought of Santorini gives us an image of sunshine, amazing and vibrant shades of sea water, bright blue domes, white buildings shining in the bright sunlight, lively beaches, and expensive resorts.
Santorini is probably one of the top destinations on the travel bucket list of many people. There are a lot of things to do in Santorini and this volcanic island really lives up to its reputation and is indeed a very beautiful island full of surprises.
The Greek Island of Santorini is not only a summer destination. It is equally beautiful in winters as well. Greek tourism board is trying to promote Santorini as a year-round tourist destination. Hence, unlike other islands in Europe, you will find that many hotels, restaurants, tourist spots are open in Santorini during winters as well. So, there is absolutely no need to worry about your trip to Santorini, be it anytime during the year. Irrespective of the season you will always find many things to do in Santorini.
20 Evergreen Things to do in Santorini, Greece all year round
1.Watch the sunset in Oia
This is a pretty standard thing to do in Santorini considering that sunset in Oia is very famous. Oia is the northernmost village of the volcanic island of Santorini and has the amazing sunsets. You can stand anywhere in the numerous alleys of Oia. The best location for viewing sunset in Oia is from the Byzantine Castle. Make sure to secure your spot well in advance as the place gets really crowded and you might not get to see the sunset properly.
2. Hike from Fira to Oia
It’s always better to keep one day for Oia. Start early take the awesome and scenic Caldera hike from Fira to Oia, explore the wonderful village of Oia, watch the sunset and return back after a long and satisfying day. To know more about hiking from Fira to Oia, here is my blog post – “Hiking in Santorini“. If you are visiting during Christmas time, then plan the hike either on 25th or 26th December.
3. Enjoy a donkey ride en route Old Port in Fira
You must have taken a horse ride, even a camel ride.. but we are talking about a donkey ride here. The only transport to get to and fro the Old Port of Fira is either by a cable car or on the back of a donkey. Coming back to Fira town center on foot can be strenuous. So, why not try donkey ride instead. A donkey ride will cost around 5 Euros per person and you can book the ride on the spot. Not everyday one gets to ride a donkey. So if you are comfortable with riding on animals then this should be on your list of things to do in Santorini
4. Hike up to Nea Kameni Volcano
Take a boat to the foot of the volcano, and hike up to this awesome experience. You will find mixed reviews on the internet, but for a person who is seeing a volcano for the first time, it is a unique experience. If you have never seen a volcano before then hiking to the top of the volcano is one of the best things to do in Santorini. The best part for me was seeing the feeling the hot sulfurous steam coming out from the crater. we took the combined Volcano and Hot Spring Tour with Dakoutros Bros J.V for 20 Euros per person. We booked the tour after reaching Fira. We had contacted the tour operated earlier and they had said told us to come to their office for the booking. You can find more details about our hike to the volcano and the experience here
5. Take a dip in the Hot water Spring
A tour to the hot springs is combined with the Volcano tour. The boat stops a few meters away from the hot springs. You ‘ve to swim to the hot springs. As a part of any cruise schedule, you will not get more than 15 minutes in the hot spring. We had taken a tour in December, and our fellow tourists who had swum to the springs had informed us that the water was not hot enough and it was not as satisfying as they thought.
6. Spend some time at the Akrotiri red sand beach.
There are many things to do in Santorini and visiting the famous red beach of Akrotiri is something not to miss. Surrounded by red volcanic rocks, and beautiful sea water, Akrotiri beach is a candy for the eye. You will have to climb up a few rocks to reach the beach.. but that is totally ok. The contrast of the red rocks and the blue-green sea water looks very beautiful. The whole place really lights up when it is sunny. We got some of our best photographs in Akrotiri
7. Make a trip to the Ancient Archeological site in Akrotiri
If you are not too much of a history geek, you might not want to go here but if you are going to the Red Sand beach why not visit the archeological site of Akrotiri as well. A trip to Akrotiri is incomplete without visiting the archeological site. It’s a marvel to know how our forefathers managed to build such structures without the technologies we have today.We found the whole experience to be very enlightening. There are no audio guides available at the site. So if you want detailed information it is better to book a guided tour.
8. Climb up to the ruins of Ancient Thira
Ancient Thira is a site with the ruins of an old settlement of Santorini. You can drive to the Ancient Site or even hike from Kamari or Perissa. If you want to be adventurous and feel like hiking to Ancient Thira, read our blog post on Hiking in Santorini for more details. You will not regret your decision of going there. Set on top of a hill, the ruins suggest that the town of Ancient Thira might have been magnificent. The Ancient town of Thira has a great history and with information boards everywhere you will learn a lot about this ancient therian village. You can find information regarding the tickets and the timings here
9. Relax on the black sand beaches of Santorini
Santorini is famous for its black sand beaches. The black sand beaches of Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos are popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Our personal favorite was Perissa and Perivolos Beach. These two are adjacent connected beaches forming the longest beach line on Santorini. The best part about Perissa and Perivolos is that it’s an all year round beach. In summers it is a hub for various watersports and many tours for various underwater activities also starts from Perissa. In winters it is one of the few beaches where seaside shacks and restaurants are open. You can also find beach reclines in Perissa all year round. Isn’t that great!!!!
10. Explore the beautiful village of Pyrgos
Pyrgos is another village of Santorini. Prygos is home to the ruins of one of the Venetian Castles of Santorini. Prygos is located on one of the highest points of Santorini and one offers one of the most amazing panoramic views of Santorini. The quaint streets and the beautiful cafes of Pyrgos are eye-catching. We took a hike from Fira to Pyrgos and it was very picturesque. We could not see much as it had started to rain heavily and so we headed back to Fira soon.
11. Wander Around in the small villages of Santorini
If you think that Oia is the ultimate place to look for those blue domes, then you are mistaken. You can find blue domes everywhere in Santorini. We wandered around a bit through Firostefani and Imerovigli and found these villages to be absolutely stunning. Pretty houses, beautifully done up gardens, decorated alleyways and of course blue domes; we felt like we were walking around in heaven.
12. Explore the Town square of Fira and indulge in some shopping therapy
Fira (Thira) being the capital of Santorini is a lively place during all seasons. If you plan to visit Santorini in December, then you will find the Fira town square beautifully decorated and lightened up. Fira town square has many souvenir shops and other complexes which are open in every season. We found this small shop near the Fira town square where they were selling these beautiful hand painted magnets.
13. Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira
If ancient artifacts interest you, then the Museum of Prehistoric Thira is the place to be. the museum houses many artifacts which were collected from the excavation site of Akrotiri. The artifacts that you see in Akrotiri archeological site is a demo. The majority of them are preserved in the museum. It’s a nice place to marvel at the work of those ancient artisans. Here are the ticket and timings details
14. Watch the sunset in Fira
Though Oia is famous for its sunset, Fira is no less. Sunset views in Fira are equally magnificent. Just overlooking the Nea Kameni volcano, every evening you can witness sunset hues and all around this side of the caldera. Post sunset when all the beautiful white buildings are lit up, the cliff town of Fira looks like paradise.
15. Rent an ATV for exploring Santorini
You can always rent a car anywhere you go, but can you rent an ATV everywhere?. An ATV is kind of a three or four-wheeled quad bike. Not many of us get an opportunity to drive an ATV. Secondly, because of their size, they are easier to drive in the compact lanes of Santorini as compared to cars.
16. Enjoy amazing greek lunch at a cliffside restaurant.
Mouthwatering greek food combined with the amazing views of Caldera and the Aegean Sea is an amazing experience. Santorini is flooded with some beautiful cliffside restaurants. Enjoy a lavish and relaxed lunch in one of these restaurants and enjoy :-). During winters, basking in the sun and enjoying the wine and food, is a thing to really look forward too.
17. Taste the wonderful wines of Santorini
Santorini is famous for its wines. The white wine made from Assyrtiko grapes one of the most popular wines of Santorini. It is commonly sold as Santorini wine. Another famous wine is the sweet wine or dessert wines known as Vinsanto. Santorini had a rich wine history and if you are a curious one, then you must take a wine taste tour to know more about wines and taste some fantastic creations. We took a Therian Wine and Sunset Tour. The best part is that the tour was open on 26th December when everything else as closed, so our day did not go waste.
18. Stay in a traditional Santorini Cave house.
I know that the beautiful and luxurious resorts in Santorini with their amazing views, swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzis, balcony decks, infinity pools can be very alluring, but living in a traditional and cozy cave house is also a unique experience. We stayed in this Caldera Traditional house and our experience was amazing. We loved the place. In case you are booking through Airbnb for the first time use our link here and get a credit for your first booking with Airbnb.
19. Try the Donkey Beer.
Yes, you read it right.. the donkey beer. Santorini has its own brand of beer known as the Donkey Beer. Trying out the local produce is always a unique experience. You may or may not like the taste; that totally depends on your taste buds but you can at least boast of trying all the local things in Santorini 😉
20. Relish the Baklava in Santorini
Even though baklava is a traditional Turkish delicacy it can be found everywhere in Greece. So, a trip to Santorini is incomplete without eating a baklava. Apart from the traditional pistachio baklava a lot of other variants are also available which have a variety of nuts and sometimes coconut as well. And, we must tell you that they taste yum.
Santorini turned out exactly as we had expected. This greek island really lives up to its expectations in terms of beauty and serenity. For us, there were a lot of things to do in Santorini and it was an evergreen destination. We would love to visit here again.
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