Santorini is one of the most beautiful Greek islands you can visit: offering sights and views like nowhere else, and surrounded by the glistening blue waters of the Aegean Sea. After visiting the island once, you’ll want to return time and time again to this magical island – it never disappoints. It also boasts a fine selection of small and beautiful boutique hotels, offering personal and memorable stays. We think staying boutique is definitely the best way to experience Santorini and to witness the famous Greek hospitality firsthand. Below are some experiences which you simply must try during your stay in Santorini; they are the perfect way to immerse yourself and see the island the way the locals do.
1. Watch the dazzling sunset
After basking in several hours of sunshine during the day, Santorini is also blessed with gorgeous sunsets as night approaches. The view at Oia Castle is perhaps the most famous, though Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli all promise stunning views too. To see the island in its entirety during this magical time of the day, head for a secluded or high-up spot, such as Faros in Akrotiri, or Profitis Ilias, one of the highest spots on the island.
2. Visit the museums
Greece is world-renowned for its varied history, especially its ancient history, familiar with millions all over the world. Santorini honours this with its fascinating museums, which include the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Archaeological Museum. Bronze pottery, golden statues and more feature in the displays at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, taking visitors back to the island’s origins and the discoveries made during the excavations in Akrotiri. Meanwhile, the Archaeological Museum chronicles the period from the Archaic to the Roman era using a series of precious sculptures and inscriptions.
3. Wander through Akrotiri
In Akrotiri, you can well and truly take a step back in time as you wander the streets, as it transports you back to 17th century BC when a prehistoric civilisation of some 30,000 people established this almighty town which still stands strong today. Visitors will be enchanted by the striking architecture, ranging from open squares to elegant mansions.
4. Enjoy a unique dinner on the rim of a caldera
Santorini is famous for its caldera; large volcanic craters which have created some of the most beautiful spots in the world. Carefully lit to make the most of the dramatic atmosphere and breath-taking views, being here is only enhanced by also having an enjoyable evening meal as you slowly take in the spectacular sight.
5. Scuba dive into the depths
The island has been long established as a popular destination for scuba diving, and once you’re under the water, it’s easy to see why. As you dive into the water’s depths, you’ll discover volcanic stones and the seemingly bottomless depths of the caldera.
6. Visit Emporio village
Located at the heart of the island, with the beautiful beaches of Perivolos and Perissa situated nearby, Emporio is the best-preserved example of a castle city on Santorini. Not only is it home to grand castles but also beautiful churches with tall steeples. The church of Panagia Mesiani is the island’s second most important church. Dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, one of the church’s best features is a lovely wooden temple.
7. Sample the local cuisine
The Greek cuisine is world famous, but Santorini’s take on things adds a new dimension to some much-loved classics. Santorini is home to a number of renowned chefs, while the island even has its own wine accompaniment, Santorini, an assyrtiko wine with a distinctive taste.