Santorini is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited. It is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen and there was nothing I didn’t love about it -great food, gorgeous views, incredible cliffside architecture, friendly people, and of course those stunning Oia sunsets. Santorini is one of those places everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Here are 6 things you must do if you visit Santorini.
Trek up to Wine Bar To Kafenio
Hidden on the top of Thira is wine bar To Kafenio. This gorgeous outdoor restaurant and bar overlooks Santorini providing stunning views and great local wines. It’s a bit of a hidden gem and it takes a trek to walk up seemingly endless stairs, but it’s entirely worth it. Once you’re sipping that local vino and overlooking one of the most stunning views you’ve ever seen, you’ll forget about the hike in a heartbeat.
Do a Day Excursion
A day excursion on a traditional Greek ship is a must if you visit Santorini. This was probably one of my favorite excursions of all time. We booked through Dakoutros Bros J.V., leaving from Thira port. The boats are traditional Greek wooden ships or as we called them (much to the owners amusement)”pirate ships.” There are several companies that do these excursions, but we think we found the best one as they gave out free drinks and played great music. The ship also had a full bar with food and drinks. We did the all-day excursion leaving at 11:45am and arriving back to Fira port at 5:30pm, which included a full tour of Caldera, a hike up the (active) Nea Kamani volcano , swimming at the Hot Springs, and stops in Thirassia and Oia.
Bring sunscreen, trainers (no sandals!) and plenty of water for the volcano hike. It’s hot, there’s no shade and it’s quite a trek to the top. You’ll make stops to swim in the hot springs and to eat lunch on Thirassia where you’ll find killer gyros from Tony’s. The last stop is Oia where you can stay and watch the sunset and take a bus back to your hotel or take the boat back to Fira port if you don’t want to stay. Keep in mind both Oia and Fira ports require a cable car (Fira) or walking/taking a donkey 500 steps to get to. In Oia your only option is walking or a donkey! Multiple stop excursions start at 23 euro and you can get more info at Santorini-excursions.com.
Take the Shuttle To Surrounding Towns
Getting from town to town in Santorini is actually pretty easy thanks to their shuttle buses. They run throughout the day until nearly midnight to each town and are quite inexpensive, usually around 4 euro roundtrip. You can view the full Santorini bus schedule here.
Watch the Sunset in Oia
Seeing the sun set in Oia is a quintessential, requisite Santorini experience. Hundreds of people gather around Oia each evening to watch the famous sunset. It’s stunningly beautiful and you will get some of the most incredible pictures you’ve ever taken. If you want to make it extra romantic, book a dinner reservation at any of the numerous cliffside restaurants to watch the sunset while wining and dining.
Experience a Legit Frappe
You’ve not had a frappe until you’ve had a Greek frappe. These people invented the wheel for frappes and you will not believe how creamy, thick and delicious they are. Do not leave Santorini without gorging on frappes.
This goes without saying, but the food is absolutely delicious in Santorini. Tons of fresh seafood (as you can imagine), gelato, and traditional Greek fare will have you stuffed to the brim, and I can promise you, it will be totally worth it! EAT EVERYTHING. This is not the time for your paleo diet, okay?