The island of Santorini is undeniably the most attractive of all Greek islands and the whole country. Everyone certainly knows the view with white houses with blue roofs, against the turquoise sea. It is Santorini, considered one of the most romantic places on earth.
Very often chosen not only for marriage, but also as a destination for honeymoons. The biggest magnet here are the amazing views that this island is famous for. However, there are still a few attractions that are definitely worth seeing.
The island of Santorini belongs to the Cyclades archipelago and is located exactly between Athens and Crete. It is a volcanic island, shaped like a crescent, which owes its landscape, as well as vegetation or architecture to its origin.
The volcano that erupted over 3,600 years ago has permanently left its mark on it, creating unforgettable landscapes that are a lure for tourists. And what other attractions await Santorini, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world?
Tourist attractions on Santorini
The biggest tourist attraction on Santorini are undoubtedly the local views. Not only photographers from around the world come here for these postcard landscapes, but also ordinary travelers tempted with photos from travel catalogs. The best views here offer three places, which in themselves are of course a great attraction for tourists.
The town of Oia
The number one among picturesque places in Santorini is the town of Oia. It is considered to be the most beautiful on the whole island and it is here that attract crowds of tourists, which is particularly noticeable in the season. All this to take a picture against the setting sun, which is very often the main destination of travel to Santorini.
See on the map where the town of Oia is located:
Oia is a very photogenic place, located on the slope of the caldera, where white buildings reign on the top of 70-meter cliffs. Narrow, atmospheric streets with winding stairs are only an addition to this somewhat fairy-tale scenery.
Oie is famous not only for exclusive hotel facilities, integrated into the local architecture, but also for the multitude of small galleries where you can buy local art. The town has amazing views of the Palia volcano and Nea Kameni.
However, it is the sunset that attracts the largest crowds here. Orange-red sun rays reflecting on white houses create an unforgettable view. You just have to take the right place in advance, because tourists can even camp two hours earlier, at the best viewpoints. One of them is the ruins of the local castle, from which there is a perfect panorama of the town and the setting sun.
Fira is another extremely attractive place on Santorini. It is the capital and also the largest town on the island. Another built on a high cliff with amazing views. In addition to white houses with blue roofs, there are plenty of taverns and restaurants as well as luxury shops. In the season, the capital is heavily crowded, mainly due to large cruise ships, reaching the shore of the old port.
In the town itself, you can visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, or the Megaro Gyzi Museum, where the exhibits mainly relate to the history of the entire island. You can see, for example, photographs of Santorini from the 1956 earthquake.
In Fira, it is also worth visiting the local churches, of which there are several, for example – Agios Minas, the monastery Panagia ton Dominikanidon, or the cathedral of St. John the Baptist. An interesting place is also the old port to which you can take the cable car, or simply go down the path full of stone stairs.
On the way back you can also use the services of local donkeys, although this attraction is strongly discouraged for the sake of the animals.
The third, least known picturesque place is the village of Imerovigli. There are definitely fewer tourists here, and the views are equally beautiful. The village is located between Fira and Oia, on the very edge of the cliff.
Like the aforementioned spots, it also has typical white buildings, characteristic of Santorini. Among all the local churches, the Anastasis Church with its typical navy blue dome on the roof is noteworthy.
What else is worth visiting and seeing in Santorini?
Although Santorini is not particularly famous for its beaches, the local ones can still make an impression. What makes them stand out from other Greek beaches is their color. On Santorini you can find white, black and red beach.
Black, volcanic sand can be seen here on the beaches of the resort of Perissa or Kamari. In contrast, white stones cover the beach of Lefki Ammos, which is additionally surrounded by bright high cliffs. However, the most famous is Kokkini Ammos, or the red beach. It is surrounded by brown-red cliffs that steeply fall onto a narrow strip of sand (or rather gravel and small stones). Kokkini Ammos beach can be very crowded during the season.
On Santorini, it’s also worth going to one of the vineyards.
The island is famous for its wines, which have been produced here for centuries. Their specific taste comes from the peculiar conditions in which the vine is grown. The volcanic ground is full of minerals, and in addition to protect plants from the wind, it binds right next to the soil, in the shape of baskets. In Santorini, you must try two types of wine – dry white Assyrtiko and sweet Vin Santo. A visit to one of the vineyards is paid and costs about 5 euros per person, including tasting and sightseeing.
That’s it when it comes to wines from Santorini and what else is worth visiting here?
Akrotiri lighthouse on Santorini
As for the viewpoints on Santorini, one of them is definitely the lighthouse in Akrotiri. Located at the southwestern tip of the island. In itself, it is not particularly interesting, but it is from this place that you can enjoy the famous sunset, without the crowds that gather in Oia, for example. It is also worth remembering that the lighthouse cannot be visited from the inside.
Profitis Ilias viewpoint
The second such panoramic point on the island is Mount Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah). It is the highest peak of Santorini with a height of 567 meters above sea level. Its name comes from the monastery of the Prophet Elijah, which is located at the very top. The building dates from 1712 and is inhabited by monks to this day. The monastery can be visited from April to October, except on Sundays. From the very top there is a view of the entire island. However, it should be remembered that this is the highest point on Santorini and for this reason even in summer, the wind may blow a little. At the top, in addition to the monastery, there is also a military base and broadcasting antennas.
This is not the end of exploring the island of Santorini. We told you about tourist attractions and now a few words about monuments.
Sights of Santorini
There are not many sights on Santorini to explore. One of the major historical attractions are the ruins of the prehistoric town of Akrotiri. It was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC. Like the Italian Pompeii, the preserved ruins are in quite good condition. However, no human remains were found here, which means that the local population managed to escape from the catastrophe. In Akrotiri, you can admire the colorful frescoes depicting the daily lives of local residents, as well as fragments of the streets of this Minoan town. The whole archaeological site is located under a roof.
Another interesting historical place on Santorini are the ruins of ancient Thira, located on the top of the Mesa Vouno mountain. You can get here by car, but there are not many parking spaces upstairs, and the road leading here is narrow and winding. You can also climb one of the trails leading from Perissa or Kamari. Climbing takes about 45 minutes, and the hardships of our trip compensate the views from the summit.
On site you can see the remains of monuments from different periods, including the agora, gymnasium, theater, temples and the remains of houses and defensive walls.
Town of Pyrgos
It is also worth visiting Pyrgos, the former capital of the island (until 1800). Currently, it has only 500 inhabitants. The town is located on the top of a hill, from where there are also panoramic views of the entire island. Here, too, white buildings dominate, centered mainly around the remains of a Venetian castle. There are several churches in Pyrgos, but the most interesting is the church of Saint Theotokaki, which dates from the tenth century. At one time, one could admire the Holy Icon inside it, but unfortunately it was stolen in 1983.
Interesting places on Santorini
During your holidays in Santorini, you can also go to the nearby islands. Caldera cruises (a sunken volcano crater flooded by the sea) are a great opportunity to admire the island from a sea perspective. However, the surrounding islets, formed after the collapse of the volcano are worth visiting.
The first is Nea Kameni, a small island where you can walk around the volcano crater, which was active until recently (the last activity was recorded in 1950). The smoke that emanates from it and the specific smell of sulfur will definitely be remembered for a long time after such a trip.
The second is Palia Kameni, located in the middle of the Santorini caldera. This island, in turn, is famous for its hot springs, which, however, need to be reached by boat. Bathing in water at a temperature of over 30 degrees, full of sulfur compounds, has a positive effect on our skin. However, ladies should watch their clothes, because sulfur likes to discolor clothes.
Thirasia is the third and probably the most attractive island. This in turn is normally inhabited, but commercial tourism has not arrived here yet. Thirasia is famous for its untouched nature, colorful houses and the picturesque panorama of Santorini.
Learn more at Santorini website. Let us know what attractions you liked most while spending your holidays on the island of Santorini.