It’s impossible to have a bad trip to the magical island of Santorini.
Even if all you do is sit cliffside and soak in the views, you’ll have an amazing trip. Just being there, Santorini is breathtaking and will most certainly capture your heart. (You can find out why it’s my favorite place in the world here).
That said, there is plenty to do in Santorini. Here are some ways to make any trip to Santorini unforgettable.
Sunset Sailing Trip
If you are in Santorini for at least one night, you must book a sunset sailing cruise. Nothing beats seeing the island from the water and experiencing the sunset from the middle of the Aegean Sea. You’ll also get the chance to swim in the hot springs when the boat goes by the caldera (volcano). When we went it was May and the water was cold, so my husband and I were the only passengers brave enough to jump in - but it was worth it! Our cruise was five hours long and included dinner & drinks. We went with Santorini Sailing based out of Fira and had an amazing experience.
Hiking from Fira to Oia
There is a breathtaking 7-mile trail that goes from Fira (where cruise ships dock) through Imerovigli (where I stayed) to Oia. The trail winds and climbs from town to town, at the very top of the cliffs, overlooking the caldera and sea. The entire walk takes about three hours at a leisurely pace. I strongly recommend spending at least an hour walking part of the trail as you’ll enjoy the most beautiful scenery of any walk of your life! Beware that what goes down must go up – the trail is not flat!
Dining in Ammoudi Bay
Ammoudi Bay is a fishing village that sits down below the famous town of Oia, right on the water’s edge, unlike most of Santorini's villages which are perched at the top of the cliffs. My favorite meal of the trip was eating fresh fish and sharing a house carafe of wine for lunch at Dimitris Taverna in Ammoudi Bay. It’s gorgeous, and you can eat right on the water, close enough to feel an occasional ocean spray. If you have the desire to experience an iconic donkey ride in Santorini, you can ride one from Ammoudi Bay up to Oia, saving yourself the taxing hike back up.
Renting a car to explore the island
Santorini is a small island, so renting a car, scooter, or ATV will allow you to explore the entire island in a day. We rented a car for one day, which ended up a wise choice as it drizzled the entire day. Careful on those cliffs! If you’re adventurous and don’t mind the chance of getting wet, a scooter or ATV might be more exciting. You can spend the day visiting the different towns, seeing the red rock beach, and tasting wine at all the vineyards. You may also find hidden gems that you might not see in guidebooks. We ended up visiting a food store on the side of the road selling fresh feta and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. They gave us a delicious tasting and told us stories about living on the island – such a fun experience that we would have otherwise missed!
Sunset Dinner in Oia
No trip to Santorini is complete without a sunset dinner in Oia. While there are places to view the sunset all over the island and from the water, the experience in Oia is one of kind. There is a reason that people say the sunset from Oia is the most beautiful in the world. I recommend making a dinner reservation far in advance in order to secure a prime viewing table. We chose to eat at Ochre Wine Bistro on the last night of our trip and it was the perfect ending to our honeymoon!