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


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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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