When you think of Greece, it’s impossible not to imagine the whitewashed houses and blue waters of Santorini. A volcano shaped the incredible landscape of this island more than 3,000 years ago, and now it’s one of the hottest destinations in Greece.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 7 best landmarks in Santorini. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about one of the most beautiful Greek islands, and hopefully we’ll help you plan your holiday and really make the most of it!When traveling with a large group friends, it’s best to stay in affordable Airbnb Santorini villas.
So, let’s check out the 7 coolest landmarks in Santorini…
Thíra is the capital of Santorini, and the whitewashed houses are something that you’ll recognise from a picture postcard. It’s not just the whitewashed houses that will have you (and your camera mesmerised) but the blue domes of the churches too. Thíra, also known as Fíra, can be reached in a number of ways. You can walk almost 600 steps from the port of Skala, or you can take a cable car. There’s also the opportunity to take a donkey but do keep in mind that a human and their luggage is quite heavy!
If you want to stay somewhere on Santorini, Thíra is your best bet. It’s where the most hotels are located, and there are a number of great restaurants and shops that will keep you entertained too! As well as the main part of Thíra, there’s an archaeological area home to Byzantine, Roman, and Hellenistic Temple. There are also archaeological and pre-historic museums which will teach you the history of the area, dating back to well before Christ was born!
There’s a scenic trail that stretches between Oia and Thíra. Since Santorini is relatively small, if you’re visiting for a few days or more, you shouldn’t miss this off your itinerary. Like the buildings in Thíra, Oia’s have been converted into gorgeous boutique hotels, restaurants, and shops. Although it’s another of the island’s hottest tourist spots, staying here will set you a little more than Thíra!
However, should you stay in one of the pretty boutique hotels here, there’s a very real chance you’ll be able to take advantage of features like infinity pools! Oia is three hours along the hiking trail from Thíra. If you’re looking for a more relaxed journey, it’s possible to take a bus. However, the journey along the caldera cliffs really shouldn’t be missed unless you absolutely have to!
Santorini’s beaches are a little different to the dream of white sand and azure waters. Yes, you do get the beautiful warm waters for taking a dip, but there’s a bit of a difference when it comes to the sand. It’s black! On the southeast corner of the island, you’ll find Perissa, one of the most incredible and enchanting beaches you can imagine.
The six kilometre stretch of sand between Perissa and the village of Perivolos is probably the top beach in Santorini. If you want sun, sea, and sand it’s the perfect spot. However, if you’re looking for a little more adrenaline, there are some water sports too. For food and drink, you can take advantage of plenty of cafes and tavernas. The beach is about 12km from capital Thíra.
One of the most incredible archaeological sites not only on Santorini, but the entirety of Greece, you can’t miss Akrotíri off your itinerary. The ancient city of Akrotíri can be found southwest of capital Thíra, and was covered in ash and lava from the volcanic eruption in about 1600BC. Visitors who have been to this site often compare it to Pompeii.
It’s beautifully preserved and you’ll be able to see that Santorini prospered from shipping and trading before the unfortunate events of the volcano. The site boasts examples of pottery, buildings, and even drainage systems. Pretty impressive considering that the sites are more than 3,500 years old!
Perissa Beach is undoubtedly one of the top sights on Santorini. However, if for some reason a black sand beach doesn’t appeal to you, the island has other options. Just a hop, skip, and a jump on a path from the Akrotíri site, you’ll find the gorgeous Red Beach. It’s a very small beach, so if you want the best spot on the sand, you’ll have to get there early in the morning. The early start is worth it for a swim in the warm waters and a spot for your towel.
If you don’t fancy taking the rocky path down, you can catch a boat to Red Beach from Perissa or Kamari too!
The Caldera is one of the most amazing natural attractions in the entire Mediterranean. More than 3,600 years ago, this was ripped apart and filled with seawater. There’s no risk of the caldera bursting open again, however it does still see volcanic activity. The Kaiméni Islets in the centre are still home to volcanic activity, and it’s possible to visit the hot springs.
In fact, the hot springs are one of the most popular options to visit on a day trip of the Caldera. And you’ll get amazing views of Thíra and Oia!
Is a trip anywhere complete without visiting its highest peak? It probably is to be honest, but that shouldn’t put you off scaling all 584 metres of Santorini’s ProfítisIlías. As well as panoramic views, an 18th century monastery is open to the public. The church is a great place to visit to learn more about the history and culture of the island, with archives, the kitchen, and the library being cool places to check out.
Now that you know all about the 7 coolest landmarks in Santorini…
You’ll probably want to be booking your holiday quite soon! If that’s the case, check out Iconic Santorini, where you’ll find the best luxury hotels on your trip. Iconic Santorini will lend you a hand in booking your dream holiday!