Greece is well known for its incredibly gorgeous islands, one of the most popular of which is Santorini. The island provides incredible views of the Aegean Sea from virtually any spot and remains small enough that people can explore the whole space in the span of a day. In fact, visitors need only about 45 minutes to travel from one end of the island to the other. Santorini boasts an amazing array of churches and a distinctive architecture of white-washed buildings and strikingly blue shutters. Despite its size, the number of fun activities in Santorini is overwhelming, so individuals need to carefully plan their stay.
Some of the most exciting things to do on the island include the following:
Sunbathe on Red Beach.
Perhaps the most famous stretch of sand in Santorini is Red Beach, known for the volcanic appearance of the rock surrounding it and its crimson sand. To get to the beach, individuals need to climb up a mountainside and then descend back down to the sand. Visitors can rent umbrellas and chairs directly on the beach if they do not want to transport their own. The waters here are quite refreshing for when sunbathers need a break from the Mediterranean heat. The beach is usually fairly busy due to its popularity, so individuals should expect some crowds there.
Cliff jump at Amoudi Bay.
Those looking for adventure should take a side trip to Amoudi Bay, where people can jump from the top of a cliff into the clear Mediterranean waters. Individuals who are more safety-minded, however, can simply climb into the water from the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. Stairs make it easy for visitors to make repeat jumps and practice their diving. To get to the large boulder meant for jumping, people will need to walk along the cliff face for a small distance, but the diving location will be very obvious. Many visitors also choose to spend some time sunbathing along the rocks of Amoudi Bay.
Take a sunset wine tour.
Two of the things that Santorini has become most known for are its breathtaking views of the sunset and its numerous wonderful wineries. Visitors can experience both of these during a sunset wine tour. The tour includes stops at three traditional wineries and samplings of more than a dozen wines. The very last stop is timed so that visitors will have a perfect view of the sun setting into the blue waters while they enjoy their final tastes of local wines.
Explore what may have been Atlantis.
Many historians have assumed that Santorini was actually the home of the legendary city Atlantis. More than two millennia ago, a volcanic eruption caused the middle of the island to sink into the sea, resulting in the stunning cliffs that visitors admire today. Individuals who want to learn more about ancient life on the island and catch a glimpse of what may have been the famed Atlantis can visit Akrotiri Archaeological Site. Here, visitors can explore firsthand some of the remnants of ancient settlements on Santorini.
Hike up Santorini Volcano.
Santorini Volcano is considered active, but it is currently dormant, which means that it is safe to hike up to the top. To get to the volcano, visitors will need to find a boat to take them to Nea Kameni Island. Hikers will see a very unique landscape while following the path to the top. For this trip, people should also pack their bathing suits. Many of the boats will stop between the two islands so that people can take a dip at geothermal points, where the water is heated by the volcanic action below. The difference in temperature is quite dramatic.
Walk around Fira.
The capital city of Santorini is Fira. Because the island itself is quite small, this city is likewise tiny, but it has some charming cobbled streets and truly beautiful churches. Plus, visitors here will find many picturesque vantage points for taking photographs of the water and other parts of the island. One of the biggest attractions in Fira, especially for history buffs, is the Archaeological Museum of Thera, which explores the heritage of the land and its native inhabitants. The name Thera refers to the larger island that existed before the eruption that created Santorini.
Rent four-wheelers for the day.
A popular way of exploring the island is on a four-wheeler. With these vehicles, individuals can explore the entire island in a matter of hours and make time to stop at several different beaches. Many people choose to do this early in their stay so that they can get a feel for the whole island without waiting for public transportation. The cost for a 24-hour rental is only about 25 euros, making it a cost-effective means of seeing the island. Plus, each vehicle can fit two people, as well as their belongings in a locked storage area. Rental shops provide basic instructions and helmets.