1. Explore Oia
When you think of Santorini, what comes to mind? If you pictured whitewashed houses with blue shutters, then you must be imagining the beautiful village of Oia. Perched on the northwest edge of the caldera, Oia is a maze of narrow streets, renovated cave houses and small squares. This town used to be a cluster of seamen houses, but now hosts thousands of tourists each year wanting to experience its breathtaking ocean views and take photos of one of the most iconic landscapes in all of Greece.
2. Visit Donkey Brewery
For centuries, the island has been a prominent producer of wine, but with a little entrepreneurial spirit, Donkey Brewery was born. The three brews, Yellow, Red, and Crazy, have caught the attention of local and international beer enthusiasts alike. Donkey beers have now become some of the most sought-after brews in Greece. Stop by the brewery for a quick tour and delicious sampling of Donkey Brewery’s products. We like Crazy Donkey the best!
3. Do an 18-Wine Flight Tasting
Not only is the Santo Winery one of the recommended spots to catch a stunning Santorini sunset, but you can also get a Greek wine education by doing an 18-wine tasting flight. That’s right, eighteen different wines served with cheese and a spectacular view. You will taste everything from a rich Crescendo to an aromatic Rose to a dry Assyrtiko, and so much more.
4. Eat at a Classic Taverna
It’s not every day you find Michelin-star worthy food in a tiny, unassuming village, but we sure did. Head to the traditional village of Pyrgos to dine at one of the island’s premiere restaurants, Selene. Be sure to make your reservation ahead of time so that you don’t miss out on Selene’s scrumptious five-star menu of Mediterranean delights. Top quality ingredients, innovative cooking techniques and elegant presentations make Selene well worth the short drive from Fira. Selene in two words: must try!
If you are looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle of one of the bigger towns, try Taverna Aeolus which you will find by itself on the road to Akrotiri Red Beach and the lighthouse. Looking for something a little closer to town? Stop by Salt & Pepper in Fira for their fried tomato fritters and deliciously fresh Santorini salad.
5. Experience the REAL meaning of dinner with a view
It’s not every day you have the option of dining with arguably one of the best views in the world… So even if you’re on a budget, choose at least one night to splurge a little at one of the many restaurants overlooking the ocean! Time your reservation for sunset and prepare to have your mind (and hopefully tastebuds) blown. The last night we were in Santorini we ate out at Volcano Blue, a reasonably-priced restaurant along the water at Fira with a priceless view. The timing of our meal could not have been more perfect. Not only did we get to watch that fiery red ball descend into the shimmering ocean, we also got to witness a spectacular firework show over the volcano once the sun went down. They must have put on the show just for leaving…
6. Go Sailing!
Santorini’s unique landscape is best appreciated from the water. Split the cost with your travel buddies and hit the waves on a luxury catamaran by Santorini Sailing. A sailing tour will reveal multihued rock formations, stunning private beaches, and incredible views of the whitewashed towns perched high on the caldera. Stop for a swimming break and enjoy the plentiful seafood lunch prepared by the crew. This all-inclusive experience is the ultimate way to experience Santorini!
7. Hike from Fira to Oia
This 9km hike, which connects the towns of Fira and Oia, has been called the most scenic in Santorini. The walk should take about 3 hours to complete, depending on how many pit stops you make along the way. With the path taking you along the picturesque caldera, you will definitely want to take some breaks for photo opps. Be sure to wear proper shoes as the path has some cobbled stones and loose gravel areas. When you arrive in Oia, reward yourself with a nice lunch or cocktail…or both.
8. Get the perfect spot to watch the most famous sunset in the world
So I know it’s an obvious one…. Watching the sunset at Oia is on every ‘top 10 things to do in Santorini’ list and in every destination guide you’ll find. There is a very good reason for this! I don’t need to exaggerate when I say that sunset at Santorini was by far the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen. Ever. There isn’t many crowds that erupt in a round of applause once the sun makes its final descent beneath the ocean. This is one of those pinch-yourself kind of moments, one that you are going to remember for the rest of your life. To make watching the sunset over Oia the BEST experience possible, securing a good spot will make all the difference. My advice? Bring a little picnic, arrive at the very least an hour before sunset, and make your way up to the viewing platform and secure a good seat. Take a million photos, but also don’t forget to take time to really be in the moment, to soak it all in.
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