Sightseeing and Insider’s Info
Our concierge will help you decide which of the island’s top destinations are worth visiting depending on the days you have at your disposal and your special interests.
- Pyrgos: A picturesque village boasting some fine old houses, the remains of a Venetian castle on the hilltop and several Byzantine churches is definitely worth a visit in order to experience the island’s famous architecture.
- Oia: The village of Oia is internationally renowned for the sunsets best viewed from its castle. However, you should avoid the overcrowded castle during high season and instead opt for a stroll through its picturesque alleys, lined with beautiful boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
- Late lunch or early dinner at Ammoudi: A simple meal with fresh local ingredients next to fishing boats will mesmerise you with its couleur local and charming ambiance.
The island’s top beaches
- Perissa: One of the most popular beaches on the island. The unique black lava sand and clear deep blue waters are the main attraction, as well as a big selection of water sports.
- Perivolos: Black sand beach with a lot of tavernas and beach bars. Sport facilities are also available.
- Vlyhada: This beach is a perfect spot for those wishing to avoid the crowds. A long black beach fringed with yellow cliffs weathered into bizarre formations.
- Kamari: 14km long beach, the island’s most popular beach.
- Red beach: Soaring red lava cliffs drop right down to the black sandy shore and into the clear blue sea making for a majestic setting that will leave you spellbound. A breathtaking setting for a swim!
- White beach: Though only accessible by boat, you should not miss the opportunity to experience its incredible beauty from up close!
Art & Culture
Santorini is an island with a great history that is wonderfully exhibited in its museums and archaeological sites. You must not miss out on the following:
- Akrotiri Excavations: Located at the southern end of Santorini, the ancient excavation site of Akrotiri is a must-see as it is the best preserved of all the prehistoric settlements discovered in the Aegean. Archaeologists have unearthed a major prehistoric town buried by a volcanic eruption where they discovered multi-storey houses decorated with wonderful frescoes featuring a great collection of ceramics and other findings, linking this site to the contemporaneous civilisations of Crete, Greece, Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant and Egypt.
- Ancient Thera: The second important period in the history of Santorini is linked to the city of Ancient Thera; this unique location on the top of Messa Vouno Mountain, between Kamari and Perissa, offers sweeping views of the South-eastern Aegean from a height of 369 metres. Excavations have brought the ruins of a town to light, which bore evidence of settlement as early as the 9th century BC.
- Museum of Pre-historic Thera, Fira: The most exciting holding of this new museum is the collection of wall paintings from ancient Akrotiri, which were recently returned to Santorini from their previous home at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Two of these are currently on display, along with many findings from Akrotiri and objects imported from Crete and the North-eastern Aegean Islands.
- Santozeum - The wall paintings of Akrotiri, Fira: This exhibition features copies of the wall paintings from ancient Akrotiri, created using a sophisticated technique of three-dimensional photographic reproduction that closely approximates the originals. Housed within a recently refurbished residence by Greek architect Constantinos Decavallas, this museum is an exhibit space that unites family heritage and involvement in the artistic traditions of the island, with a vision to create a cultural movement that exposes artists to the island and commissions new works inspired by Santorini.