Things to Do in Santorini Greece

Looking for things to do in Santorini, Greece? Here’s our Santorini travel guide, including all the best beaches and best restaurants.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Greece is absolutely stunning. We felt at home the moment we stepped off the plane onto the island of Santorini and into our home for the week, a white-washed bungalow fit for the set of Mama Mia. We rented the place with some of our dearest friends and my sister. The time was filled with beaches, hikes with stunning views, fresh Greek salads, crystal blue water, and lots of laughing and bottles of wine late into the evening. Here are all the things to do in Santorini Greece, including our favorite Santorini pics, beaches, and the best restaurants in Santorini.

Where to stay in Santorini, Greece

The Aibnb we stayed in was Villa Marily and it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever stayed. In the world. No joke. It’s located in the village of Imerovigli, a quaint, sleepy village that was much more our style than the very busy city of Oia. The house is a traditional Santorini cave house right on the Caldera, a huge volcanic crater that looks onto an inactive volcano. Unlike most of the cave houses in Santorini, Villa Marily runs wide and not deep in the rock, so there was a lot of natural light throughout the day.

Check out these insane views from our villa. It was absolutely perfect for our party of 5, and we spent much of our time just sunning ourselves on the patio and talking late into the night with a bottle of wine. The price is a steal, but it is a bit rustic in some senses (for example, we had to rig up the shower head with dental floss, etc). It was a small price to pay for one of our most beautiful memories.

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece | Santorini Travel Guide

Santorini, Greece | A Couple Cooks

Here’s the view from Alex and my window. These Santorini pics get me every time!

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece | Imerovigli

Santorini, Greece | A Couple Cooks

This view from our patio was right into the Santorini caldera, which was created when a volcano erupted 3,500 years ago. The islands rose up out of the ocean about 300 years ago.

Santorini, Greece | Caldera

Caldera | Greek Cave house

Santorini pics

Caldera | Santorini pics

Things to Do in Santorini, Greece | Imerovigli

Things to do in Santorini Greece

Santorini beaches

The next best thing to gazing at the gorgeous views in Santorini is doing the same thing on Santorini beaches! We did a tour of many of the Santorini beaches (we rented a car, which made it easy to get around). Here are our favorites!

The Red Beach

The Red Beach is arguably the most famous of Santorini beaches. It’s a gorgeous beach surrounded by cliffs of red volcanic rock. The Red Beach is located in Akrotiri village, 12 kilometers south west of Fira. We drove there in our rental car, but you can also take a bus from Fira. Because it’s so picturesque, it can get busy. It’s best earlier in the morning and later afternoon. Make sure to bring lots of snacks and water because there are no facilities at this beach.

Santorini beaches | The Red Beach

Santorini beaches | The Red Beach | Woman in hat

Vlychada Beach

One of our favorite Santorini beaches is called Vlychada Beach. This beach is surrounded by large carved cliffs that look like a sculptor’s work! However, they’re formed by a natural process of the volcano, the wind, and the sea. Vlychada Beach is an easily accessible beach by car or bus. It’s located on the south coast of Santorini, 13 kilometers from Fira.

Vlychada beach | Santorini beaches

Vlychada Beach | Santorini Beaches

Best restaurants in Santorini

If you’re looking for things to do in Santorini Greece: how about eating? Savoring a Greek salad in Greece might be one of the greatest pleasures on Earth! It’s the most beautiful simple combination: cool cucumber, juicy tomato, red onion, and salty, savory feta and Kalamata olives, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. Under the hot Santorini sun, it feels like literal heaven. That and chewy pita bread triangles tipped into tzatziki, that refreshing cucumber yogurt dill dip. Go to Santorini, order these two things, and let all your troubles melt away. You can order these in just about any of the Santorini restaurants, and they will be fantastic no matter where you are.

Related: Make them at home our classic Greek salad recipe and our authentic tzatziki recipe!

Greek salad

A few things you also must most definitely order when in Santorini: at one restaurant, we ordered the “feta in the oven” for the table. It became one of our favorite Greek appetizers! What came out was a large block of feta, baked in the oven with tomatoes and Kalamata olives. It was savory and delicious that we made sure to order it as often as we saw it on the menu. Another favorite Greek recipe to order is tabbouleh: that traditional salad of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, a whole lot of parlsey, and lemon. Alex and I used to order it at our favorite Greek restaurant in college, so eating in Greece was a huge treat!

Related: Make them at home: our Baked Feta with Tomatoes recipe and Tabbouleh recipe!

Now, for our opinions on the best Santorini restaurants. Here are a few of the Santorini restaurants that we loved:

  • Kyprida Restaurant in Oia – a fabulous restaurant with tasteful Greek dishes, prepared by a French chef
  • Skala Restaurant in Oia – a traditional Greek restaurant with fabulous views
  • To Steki Tou Nikou in Imerovigli – worth the trek; traditional recipes, no tourists, and great prices!

This beet salad with mint vinaigrette and the sieftalies (a type of chicken kebab) were dishes at our favorite restaurant in Oia, Kyprida. The fresh flavors and creative vegetable dishes were fabulous.

Best restaurants in Santorini | Beet salad

Sieftalies

Best Santorini pics

Of all the things to do in Santorini Greece, getting some of those incredible Santorini photos was top of our list. Here are some of our favorite places to visit for epic Santorini pics (outside of the Santorini beaches, of course). This is Skaros Rock, one of our favorite places to hike and watch the sunset. Skaros Rock was just a 10-minute walk from our Airbnb in Imerovigli.

Skaros Rock | Santorini pics

Santorini pics | Skaros Rock

Things to do in Santorini | Skaros Rock

Things to do in Santorini | Caldera

Things to do in Santorini Greece

Couple in Greece

Santroini travel guide | Santorini pics

Greek church tower

Cross | Greek church

Santorini pics | Greek islands

Santorini pics | Things to do in Santorini Greece

Santorini pics | Things to do in Santorini Greece

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Sunset in Greek islands

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Skaros Rock | Santorini pics

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Sunset in the Greek Islands

Hiking to Oia Santorini

Another place to get perfect Santorini  pics is going to the town of Oia. If you’ve seen those iconic Santorini pics of the blue domes in the white city hugging the cliff, it’s Oia! Oia is pretty touristy: at any moment there were about 5 brides within our sightlines doing wedding photos! So we loved staying in the quierter village of Imerovigli and then hiking in to Oia. Views from our hike from Imerovigli to the village of Oia were incredible! And of course Oia is extraordinarily picturesque.

Oia Santorini | Things to do in Santorini Greece

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Santorini pics | Oia

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Santorini pics | Oia

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Santorini pics | Oia

Things to do in Santorini Greece | Imerovigli

And that’s all: all the things to do in Santorini Greece! We heartily recommend a trip there if you’re considering one. Have you been to Greece, or thinking of taking a trip there? Let us know any thoughts in the comments!

More travel posts

Santorini Travel Guide
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

54 Comments

  • Reply
    Tieghan Gerard
    June 12, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Too pretty for words. I am aww and really want to travel to Greece someday!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 12, 2014 at 1:20 am

    The surroundings are beautiful! The food, people and ocean? it looks too perfect for words.

  • Reply
    Caroline @ Shrinking Single
    June 12, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I did an amazing walking holiday in Greece a few years ago and would love to go back. My favourite bit was travelling on the slow ferries between islands. Just so relaxing.

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:34 am

      That sounds great! We didn’t get to visit any other islands but would love to go back!

  • Reply
    Millie l Add A Little
    June 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Looks so so gorgeous and serene!
    Hope you have a lovely time Sonja and Alex :)
    http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

  • Reply
    BeccaV
    June 12, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I am so jealous of your trip to Greece! Such beautiful photos and the food looks amazing!
    I live in Tennessee and we have Fage greek yogurt that has the pod for honey or fruit. I get it at Super Target and Kroger. It’s my favorite greek yogurt!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks! Maybe we just need to look around :)

  • Reply
    erin
    June 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Absolutely stunning! Greece just moved to the top of my wanderlust list. No doubt it tastes better there, but I’ve seen that Fage yogurt + honey pod here in MSP!

  • Reply
    Gail
    June 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

    WOW WOW WOWWWWW! These photos are STUNNING! What an incredible trip! This only makes me want to go to Santorini more and it’s been on my travel wish list for YEARS!

  • Reply
    CakePants
    June 12, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Truly stunning pictures! I especially love the sunset ones – to date, the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen was in Greece (but on the mainland). I too changed from my semi-vegetarian diet when I was in Greece – it’s hard not to! (it reminds me of that line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “What do you mean, he don’t eat meat?!”) Looking forward to seeing more photos from your trip!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    June 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

    STUNNING!! I have dreamt of visiting Santorini for so long and your pictures have only made my longing grow stronger. You did such an amazing job capturing it’s beauty. I hope you will share more from your trip!

  • Reply
    thelittleloaf
    June 12, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Looks like actual heaven on earth! I’ve loved following your travels on Instagram. We’re off to Folegandros – a nearby island – in September…cannot wait!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Have fun! I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with any Greek island :)

  • Reply
    Archana @ The Perfect Zest
    June 12, 2014 at 10:44 am

    that is stunning – I want to go to Greece so badly now. Those views! breathtaking. I’d love to go hiking too.. The food looks so fresh and good.

  • Reply
    tygalilee
    June 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    oh Greece. On my bucket list. :-) Feeling all dreamy now fantasizing about it. Bookmarking this so that when I do go, I will remember to use Airbnb and to opt for a less touristy village like you guys did.

  • Reply
    shanna mallon
    June 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

    So beautiful, guys!

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    June 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Looks gorgeous!

    For the yogurt — In the states you’ll want to search out “Fage”, which is the same brand as above. It was my first introduction to Greek yogurt and definitely very tasty. I’ve found it at nearly every grocery I’ve been to (in Maryland, at least…).

    The exact yogurt as above is here: http://products.usa.fage.eu/fage-total-2-honey-53-oz

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wow these photos brought me right back to my honeymoon in Greece! Santorini is amazing and your pictures really captured it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Heidi @foodiecrush
    June 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Those pics look like every wanna-visit-Greece-vacationer’s dream! Totally picturesque and GORGEOUS!

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    These pictures…I…I mean, I…I can’t even…GAH! Envy (jealousy?) has rendered me speechless!

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I did a summer study abroad in Greece and loved every second. I stayed in Santorini for a few days but was a bit disappointed by the lack of authenticity. Nothing beats it for it’s beauty but if you want a true Greek experience I would recommend Crete. I thought it had the best mix of culture, history, beach, and beauty.

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

      We’d love to visit Crete someday! Santorini was definitely a vacation destination and not “every day” Greece. It definitely got us interested in seeing more of Greece :)

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    June 13, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Santorini was on our short list for this trip and your pictures have convinced me to move it up the list for next time – just stunning.

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

      You should go! Though, Sardinia looked pretty grand as well…

  • Reply
    Mary @ The Kitchen Paper
    June 13, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Beautiful pictures! THANK you for mentioning your Cambodia posts — I wasn’t a reader back then, so had no idea you guys spent so much time there! We’re currently in Vietnam, but planning to go to Cambodia once our visas run out here (end of July). I’d love to do some volunteer work or get involved in some way over there, so I’m really enjoying reading your posts and learning about CGI!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Awesome! SE Asia definitely has a special place in our hearts (and Sonja’s sister currently lives in Laos). Shoot us an email if you want to hear any details from our trip!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    June 13, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Oh god, your photos are gorgeous! I loved seeing all the beautiful white washed and blue roofed buildings, the views, and that Greek salad with the huge slab of feta resting on top. It reminded me of our time in Sifnos, though I never was lucky enough to run across that beet salad with mint vinaigrette. What a special time to spend together and also be with your sister and best friend. Thanks for sharing your time with us!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

      The restaurant with the beet salad was a lucky find! Apparently influenced a lot by Cyprus, but also with a hint of Parisian refinement. We just stumbled onto it after a 4-hour hike so it was pretty much perfect!

  • Reply
    Rhea
    June 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

    States in which I’ve purchased and eaten that yogurt: MT, MN, UT and IL. It’s SO GOOD.

  • Reply
    Beverage
    June 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Absolutely stunning!

  • Reply
    Erin
    June 13, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    So beautiful it almost seems fake!! Truly AMAZING photos, loved following on IG too!

  • Reply
    kristie @ birchandwild.com
    June 14, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Wow, these photos are simply stunning!

  • Reply
    Tamsin | A Certain Adventure
    June 16, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful photos. The view from your veranda is unreal! Love Total with honey so much – it’s a staple in Greece! :)

  • Reply
    Leah @ georgiapeachonmymind
    June 16, 2014 at 7:42 am

    These pictures are stunning!! I stopped in Santorini for the day on a cruise but I would love to spend some more time there. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth! The food looks amazing as well – Greek salads are my favorite and I’m sure they are even better in Greece :)

  • Reply
    Kasey
    June 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve been following your vacation on Insta and I wanted to teleport myself. A good friend of mine and I were supposed to go to Greece years ago, but fires made us cancel our trip. I still dream of going back! These photos are stunning.

  • Reply
    Marla
    June 16, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    We went to Greece 2 years ago and stayed in the same town. I saw the hotel we stayed at in one of your pictures so it looks like you stayed near where we were! It was an amazing place and loved every minute of it!

  • Reply
    Erin
    June 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Oh my goodness I am so glad I stumbled across your site and saw this. The photos are absolutely breathtaking. My husband and I took a big trip last year to Italy, but Greece had been second on our list and I am still dying to get there.

  • Reply
    Andrea Minarcek
    June 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Gorgeous photos, you two! It looks just spectacular. Now I’m even more excited for my trip— heading there for a wedding in August!
    I hope you’re both great and hope to see you soon! xo

    • Reply
      Sonja
      June 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      How exciting! Hope you love it as much as we did! Miss you! xo

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    June 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    what camera and lenses did u use ? sooo great pics!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you! We used a 5D and 24-70mm lens for most of these shots.

  • Reply
    Monika
    July 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I found your blog in an article on Huffpost. I instantly liked your blog, since the first thing I saw was a Greek salad recipe. Then I found this post and my heart just jumped. My husband and I traveled to Athens, Santorini, and Rome in 2011 to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Santorini was undoubtably the crown jewel of our trip. We had the greatest time there ever. Climbed (or sometimes rather crawled) a few thousands of the steps scattered all over the island, rented a smart car to discover the place end to end, visited local craft shops, took a boat over to the volcano craters, ate the fantastic local food, and admired of the cloudless breathtaking views everywhere. Although there are many places in the world still on my bucket list, Santorini is one hat I would like to visit again….and again. Thank you for posting these pictures and article. They brought back great memories.

  • Reply
    courtneymunson
    July 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    We went to Santorini for our honeymoon six years ago and love love LOVED the little taverna outside of Oia called Santorini Mou. Mihalis makes it such a special experience; we went several times during our stay, and he still keeps up with us to this day! Can’t wait to go back for another visit!

    Your photos are gorgeous! It takes me back!

  • Reply
    Aunt Jo
    July 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Most love the pics of you two from the back. Makes me miss you

  • Reply
    Ginger
    July 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Seeing these gorgeous pictures of Santorini, Oia, and Red beach makes me miss Greece. My husband & I got married there 17 years ago and long to go back. I agree about the yogurt and honey is fabulous (and can’t find anything like that in the States). Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ People, Places&Plates
    July 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    WOW….I was in Santorini travelling a few years ago, and you have captured it more beautifully then I could have imagined!

  • Reply
    Jeni
    September 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    My husband and I are going to Santorini in 2 weeks! Last minute decision trip. Your restaurant recommendations are very helpful since no one can seem to recommend stellar ones. We’re flying from West Coast of US with layover in London on to Greece then a flight to Santorini, with only 2 full days in Athens at the last leg of the trip. Any other recommendations, advice, tips? By the way, did you guys have any issues with the pesky mosquitoes or other bugs? Thank you! Your photos just made us so excited.

    • Reply
      Alex
      September 12, 2014 at 9:05 am

      You guys will have a great trip! I think it’s hard to find standout restaurant recommendations because every single one is fresh and delicious :)

      We didn’t have any issues with mosquitos or other insects (we were there in May). As far as other recommendations, we loved taking the hike from Imerovigli to Oia. It was only a few hours and had the most stunning views. We also enjoyed watching the sunset from Skaros rock in Imerovigli.

      Have fun!

      • Reply
        Jeni
        September 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

        Thank you! We’ll definitely watch the sunset from Skaros rock. The hike was already on our list. We can’t wait. Also glad I found your blog because Italy is up next for us (next summer with my mom) so your Italy posts will be helpful after our Greece trip. And of course your recipes! We eat mostly vegetarian so we’ll be giving your recipes a try as well. Many blessings to you guys! – Jen

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow! You have taken such beautiful pictures!! I am so happy I came across your blog…and this post. I am headed to Greece in two weeks and am currently working out what I hope to do and see. This town looks amazing and quaint…will definitely have to add it to my list :)! Thanks again!!

    • Reply
      Alex
      September 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Thanks! I hope you have a great trip :)

  • Reply
    Ayesha Cheema
    May 6, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I love Fage yogurt but since I haven’t been to Greece, I couldn’t really compare the Fage here to the one over there – I’m sure it tastes better over there just like Nutella does in Italy :)
    Love Santorini! On bucket list <3

  • Reply
    Peter
    June 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Hi Sonja I am Greek also living in the states. Gorgeous pictures and vacation on this paradise island on Earth you guys went . I think I have bought that yogurt here in Chicago area from somewhere so it is availble if you really like it.

  • Reply
    Stella
    June 26, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Looks too good to be true … Santorini is just breathtaking and your blog made it look more awesome.

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