What to do in Santorini – The ultimate bucket list crafted by locals
When it comes to Greek islands, Santorini needs little to no introduction.
Blue domes, breathtaking views, and the iconic sunset that millions of visitors clap for every year have turned Greece’s idyllic island into one of the world’s most popular destinations.
But, apart from the obvious sunset-watching, what are the best things to do in Santorini, really?
Serious in our quest to discover the top things to do in Santorini, we’ve crafted this guide that we hope you’ll find useful.
We’ve added the best tours, attractions, and things you must absolutely not miss while you’re here, so you know what to do in Santorini from the get-go.
Whether you’re here for 1 day, 2 or more and regardless of who you’re travelling with, be it your SO, family, or yourself, there is a Santorini itinerary that will sweep you off your feet.
Ready to dive in?
Best things to do in Santorini for couples
We’ll play the odds here and start by exploring what to do in Santorini, Greece in case you’re travelling with your significant other.
Here are our top recommendations for some unforgettably romantic Santorini holidays:
Watch the sunset: A true must-do in Santorini
First things first: no Santorini stay would be complete without it, and you know it. Visiting the island and not watching the sunset at least once seems impossible.
Head over to the cliff-top town of Oia rather early since the narrow streets start to get crowded as time passes. Find a sweet spot and relax as the sun sets over caldera, creating the most exquisite color palette you’ve laid eyes upon – one of the best things to do in Santorini for sure!
What else is there to do in Oia, Santorini, to combine with the view of the sunset?
Enjoy a glass of Vinsanto wine, take photos of the emblematic blue domes, walk the narrow streets to buy jewelry or visit the quirky “Atlantis Books” bursting with books from all over the world!
Apart from Oia, which is undoubtedly the most popular village to watch the sunset from, there are other places as well, offering jaw-dropping views and less crowded corners.
Skaros rock, Fira, Imerovigli, the Akrotiri lighthouse, Firostefani, or even during a cruise, there are many places in Santorini you can visit to watch the sunset from and the view will leave you speechless!
Further reading: Where to stay in Santorini – Every part of the island, explained!
Try a catamaran cruise
Now that we mentioned the cruise, we think it’s worth saying a few more things about it. It is, after all, one of the best things to do in Santorini!
A catamaran cruise around the island is one of the top things you can try, especially if you’re here for your honeymoon. The cruise is dreamy, and you can book it around sunset for an extra touch of romance.
What is there to do in Santorini if not to enjoy the calm sea at dusk?
There are so many different day cruises to choose from, for different budgets: private or semi-private, with an open bar or not, offering a Greek meal or BBQ, lasting from a few hours to a whole day.
Wondering what not to miss in Santorini? A catamaran cruise goes definitely on that list!
Enjoy a picnic al fresco
Exclusive secret locations, delicious local delicacies, and the opportunity to take the best photos for your social media – what’s not to like?
A picnic is the perfect activity for couples who enjoy slow living and romantic getaways – trust a professional team to take care of the details and treat yourselves to a unique evening, away from the crowds.
This is also the perfect opportunity to surprise your girlfriend or spouse or even propose! If you’re visiting the island during the peak summer season of July and August and looking for things to do in Santorini that would allow for a little extra privacy, this is for you!
Still wondering what to see in Santorini? Book a full day tour
Already have a list of things to do in Santorini but struggling with organizing or making the time?
Book a full-day Santorini private tour and explore the island at your own pace.
Many couples wonder what to do on Santorini, but you don’t have to be one of them: you can either customize the tour according to your preferences, or trust your local driver/guide to show you only the best of what the island has to offer, all carefully designed and organized.
From the capital of Fira to the most photographed village of Oia, and from the traditional village of Megalochori to Emporeio, this Santorini itinerary is to die for: visit the lighthouse at Akrotiri, the Red Beach, the restaurants of Perissa and top off the excursion with wine tasting at a local winery.
This is the ultimate way to experience Santorini’s best-kept secrets like a local!
What to do in Santorini if you’re traveling with family
Although Santorini has made a name for itself as one of the world’s most romantic holiday destinations, that doesn’t mean it’s unsuitable for families.
Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth, since this Greek island is considered a family-friendly destination and there is a plethora of things to do in Santorini with your family and kids. Here is a list with the absolute musts:
What if we told you there is a way to enjoy Santorini off-the-beaten-path?
Horse riding is the way to go, and we guarantee that the whole experience will make your jaw drop.
Whether you’ve got years of experience in horseback riding or simply want to explore the wild beauty of Santorini’s virgin nature, horse riding is a one-of-a-kind activity and one of the best things to do in Santorini, especially with kids. Give it a try!
Lost Atlantis museum
Did you know that many people believe Santorini is the original Atlantis, lost due to the volcanic eruption? Whether you believe this or not, the Lost Atlantis experience at Megalochori is one definitely worth having!
Embark on a journey full of History, Mythology, Philosophy and even Geology and prepare to be amazed.
Interactive videos, innovative technologies, and a 9D experience that will make you feel like travelling in time with augmented reality is definitely worth its spot on your Santorini Greece itinerary.
And who knows? Maybe you or your kids will end up believing Santorini is indeed the lost Atlantis!
Greek wedding show
Are you ready for the ultimate Greek experience? Trust us, it doesn’t get any “Greeker” than that!
Rated as the #1 live show on the island, the Papadopoulos wedding is a must-see in Santorini.
What’s in it for you? Travel back in time to the 1940s, enjoy an interactive experience full of dancing, break plates to celebrate, meet the Papadopoulos family in their original 19th century home, have fun with local appetizers and unlimited wine and enjoy your night at a typical Cycladic patio.
An absolute must-do that adults and children will appreciate!
Travelling with kids overseas can be daunting: new flavors, new places, new people can make even the most experienced traveler feel overwhelmed.
If you’re looking for things to do in Santorini that will make your family vacation more relaxed, then a half-day Santorini tour is all you need.
Luxury cars, Wi-Fi and A/C in the vehicle, car seats for children of all ages, phone chargers, local snacks and refreshments included – what’s not to like?
A Santorini “must-see” half-day tour is the perfect way to explore the island together with your kids from the comfort of your backseat, without worrying about the heat, being on time, getting lost or not knowing what to do next.
Trust the JoyVan’s experienced drivers to show you the best things to do in Santorini or let us know what your preferences are and we’ll tailor the trip to your needs.
Things to do in Santorini if you’re a solo traveler
Exploring the world on your own terms? Santorini is an extremely safe destination for solo travelers – men and women alike – and there are so many things to do in Santorini on your own, no matter your budget. Here are our favorites:
Visiting the Santorini clifftop villages, full of whitewashed houses, blue domes and colorful lights is an experience on its own – imagine admiring this view from above!
This is what you get when you book a Santorini helicopter ride and fly over one of the most beautiful destinations around the globe.
Take the Caldera tour, combine it with a South Coast tour or fly over the whole island and witness the island’s natural beauty in the most unexpected way.
Not only is this one of the best things to do in Santorini, but an unforgettable experience through and through.
If you want to live a local when you visit a new place, then you already know that gastronomy is the fastest way to do it!
Take a break from swimming & sightseeing and try a hands-on cooking class led by professionals.
Stop wondering what to do in Santorini and sign up for a cooking class today: a great way to meet new people while discovering classic Greek dishes, learning expert tips and techniques, and enjoying what you’ve created, accompanied by a glass of local wine.
A photography tour is a rather unique way to explore the island and one of our favorite things to do on Santorini.
The outcome is just breathtaking: you, a bold dress, wind through your hair, and Santorini in the background make this a superlative experience that is worth every penny.
We recommend this activity to solo travelers, couples, and families and we think it’s one of the best things to offer as a gift or surprise in Santorini!
What to do in Santorini for a day
In case you’re island-hopping or you simply don’t have the time to stay here for longer, wondering what to do in Santorini for a day can be challenging.
Many visitors also get to Santorini as part of their Mediterranean cruise, meaning they have a very limited time to explore the idyllic corners of the island.
So, can you do Santorini in a day and, if yes, what are some of the best things to do in Santorini if you’re only here for 24 hours or less?
First off, although we believe you need more time to truly grasp the beauty of Santorini, one day here can be enough. A classic must-do in this case is the Santorini wine tour! And trust us, you definitely have the time for a little wine-tasting, even if you’re here for a short period of time.
Book a wine tour with JoyVan and explore 3 different estates: Koutsogianopoulos, Argyros, and Venetsanos! Try the best local wines and learn about Santorini’s wine history.
No Santorini itinerary can miss this!
What to do in Santorini in 2 days
Here for the weekend and wondering what to do in Santorini in 2 days? You are on an island after all, so reconnecting with the water is our top recommendation!
Your Santorini 2-day itinerary should definitely include scuba diving or at least a jet ski ride to the volcano!
Fun activities for everyone, that will make you see the island from a different perspective and make you fall in love with the Aegean Sea!
Try these activities and stop doubting what to see in Santorini in 2 days!
What to do in Santorini in 3 days
Feeling more athletic or adventurous? Here’s what to do in Santorini in 3 days!
First off, this is your opportunity to try some watersports: jet ski, flyboard, paddle, jet boating, sea kayak, windsurf and more are waiting for you and are definitely worth their spot on your Santorini 3-day itinerary.
If you’re more of a land person than sea, then a 4×4 offroad jeep safari may be just the thing for you: this is actually a unique way to experience Santorini off the beaten track and increase your adrenaline levels in the process!
The best tip we have for you, though, is prebooking your Santorini transfers. This will save you so much time, not just between the airport or port and your Airbnb or hotel, but also between attractions, different villages and activities.
If you ask us, this is the best thing to do in Santorini: make sure your transfers are all set before starting your trip and save a great deal of time: no worrying, no hassle, no last-minute high prices!
What to do in Santorini in 4 days or more
If there’s room in your Santorini Greece itinerary, then a hiking tour is a must.
One of the top things to do in Santorini according to a plethora of locals and tourists alike is to hike along the caldera between Oia and Fira.
The view is mesmerizing and the hike not so difficult – you’ll get some topnotch photos along the way, too!
So, if you’re wondering what to do in Santorini in 4 days or more, then hiking is definitely worth it. This way you can even avoid the hustle and bustle, and enjoy some privacy and quiet time walking through ancient paths and picturesque cobblestone alleys.
If that’s not on your list, we don’t know what is!
That’s it! This is what to do in Santorini to get the most out of your trip!
We hope you’ve found this guide useful and now you know what not to miss in Santorini no matter how long you’ll be staying or who you’re travelling with.
Truth is, there are so many things to do in Santorini, that we are certain there’s an activity just for you!
Get in touch if you need more details, and the experienced staff of JoyVan would be happy to assist you and recommend the best things to do in Santorini, especially for you!