What to see in Santorini. Sightseeing in Santorini

What to see in Santorini

Santorini is a unique Greek island of volcanic origin, incredibly beautiful and romantic. It attracts tourists with its narrow cozy streets, lots of small whitewashed houses with blue windows and doors and the azure color of the sea water. Quite often visitors to Greece, vacationing on the mainland or Crete, book a day trip to Santorini, but to really get a feel for this unique place, you need to devote at least half a week to it.

Historical Sights

History buffs will always find something to see on the island, as Santorini is considered part of the sunken beauty of Atlantis – and this is evidenced by the many historical monuments.

Santorini Island, GreeceSantorini Island, GreeceSantorini Island, Greece

The ancient city of Fira stands on a great hill, with a stunning view of the surrounding countryside. Fragments of stonework dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. have been preserved here, and numerous buildings point to the large size of the city. In ancient Fira one can see the ruins of residential buildings and temples, the ancient theater and market square, and in the center of the modern city it is worth visiting the Museum of Prehistoric Fira with exhibits that complement the views of the ancient settlement.

The Archaeological Reserve of Akrotiri is located 2 km from the town of the same name. When the excavations began here in 1967, scientists immediately dubbed it the “Minoan Pompeii”. In the process, archaeologists found in this area a large ancient city with houses of several floors, decorated with beautiful frescoes and sculptures.

The mansion of George Emmanuel Argyros is an important architectural monument of Santorini, a true work of art of the neoclassical era. Built by George Argyros in the mid-19th century the house was badly damaged during the earthquake of 1956, but today the villa has been almost completely restored. The interior decoration is of particular value: antique Western European furniture, decorative decorations and icons, beautiful paintings and handmade kitchen utensils.

Antique TheraAkrotiri Archaeological ReserveGeorge Emmanuel Argyros's Mansion

Agiu Mina Church is a snow-white cathedral with a bright blue roof, located high on a cliff. This world-famous symbol of the island was built in the 17th century, and now the temple not only welcomes visitors, but also decorates many Greek postcards.

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The monastery of Elijah the Prophet is situated at 550 meters above sea level on the top of the mountain and from here you have a beautiful view of the surrounding area. In 1711 it was built by monks from Pirgos. Today the monastery has a rich collection of icons and church relics, and in the library of the temple there is a large collection of ancient manuscripts. During Turkish rule there was an underground school in which one could learn his native Greek.

The church of Panagia Episkopi is one of the oldest orthodox churches in Greece. The temple, located on a hill near the settlement of Pyrgos, was built in the 11th century. The church has a large collection of ancient frescoes and icons, the most famous of which is considered to be the miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Glikophiloussa” (XI century).

The Church of Agiu MinaElijah the Prophet MonasteryChurch of Panagia Episkopi

Interesting places

Ancient Iya is a picturesque town with a fabulous view of the bay. In this place, traffic is completely forbidden, and the houses huddle on the rocks like small bird’s nests. On the main street of the town you can find small souvenir shops with handicrafts or exhibitions of paintings, but most tourists come here to admire the incredibly beautiful sunset.

From a distance, the old port seems completely unsuited to the marina. However, it perfectly fulfills its function and serves to send the tourists to the neighboring islets of Nea Kameni and Tirasia. Its location at the foot of a submerged volcano forces people arriving on the island to climb a staircase 300 meters high. For those who can not overcome this difficult path, caring Greeks launched a cable car, which can be used to admire the magnificent sea views and openwork white stone city of Fira. A trip to the island of Nea Kameni is considered one of the most interesting excursions in Santorini and is a journey through the still hot earth to the crater of the volcano, where you can see the jets of hydrogen sulfide breaking through the rock. The island of Paleo Kameni is worth a trip to take curative mud baths.

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Ancient IaOld PortThe Island of Nea Kameni

The Balcony of Santorini is the name of an unusual rock that survived even the earthquake, and, at the same time, the most romantic place of the island. Many lovers choose it for their wedding ceremony, which looks especially stunning against the background of the setting sun. The rock is located in the picturesque village of Imerovigli and is one of the highest points on the island.

Santo Wines . Quite often excursions to Santorini include a visit to one of the largest wineries on the island. Founded back in 1947 “Santo Wines” willingly acquaints visitors with all the stages of production of the hop beverage and offers visitors to taste its products.

The Wine Museum, founded in 1870 by two brothers, is located not far from the resort of Camari and it also offers tastings of the most important wine varieties. Moreover, a guide will tell you the whole history of wine making on the island and visit the wine bottle cave, which is three hundred meters deep.

The Balcony of SantoriniWine MuseumMaritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is located in a mansion in Fira that once belonged to the Birbili family. Here you can see models and sketches of ships, special equipment, see the personal belongings of sailors, their old photographs and historical documents.

Unusual beaches

Santorini was formed on the site of an extinct volcano, subsequently flooded by the sea and now one of its “highlights” are beaches with an unusual color of sand.

Kamari beach is one of the longest on the island, attracting tourists with its black volcanic sand and crystal clear water.

The beach of Perissa is famous for its unique combination of the bright blue of the Aegean Sea and the black coastal strip. All this natural splendor complements the landscape of Mount Mesa Vouno, at the foot of which the beach is located. The coastal strip of one of the most popular resorts on the island is a succession of stores, cafes and hotels.

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Kamari BeachPerissa BeachRed beach Akrotiri

The red beach of Akrotiri is studded with brick-colored mineral crumbs, the source of which is a break in the rock. Paradise place looks especially picturesque from the sea, but you can not call it secluded – too many people want to admire the unique coast.

The white beach of Akrioti is quite secluded and quiet, because to travelers the shoreline, studded with plain white sand, may seem trivial. However, for Santorini, white sand is a rarity. Another attraction is the Faros lighthouse, which is a short distance from the beach and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

Vlihada beach is located near the village of Perivolos, in the southernmost part of Santorini. Everything here resembles a Martian landscape – the bizarrely shaped rocks, the coastline and the sand and pebble beach.

White beach AkrotiriVlychada BeachSantorini Island, Greece

You can get to Santorini by speedboat from the port of Heraklion (Crete), spending about two hours one way and 55 euros. A similar journey by ferry will be longer (6 hours), but will cost half as much. The average cost of a day trip to Santorini from Crete is about 200 euros.

Remember, whatever the cost of a trip to this fabulous island, it will be more than offset by the new experience of natural beauty and historical heritage of Greece.

What to see in Santorini. Sightseeing in Santorini

The site was founded in the late 1960’s. The ruins date back to the 16th century B.C. The site, now Akrotiri, was an outpost of the Minoan civilization and was destroyed in a volcanic eruption (it happened in 1627 B.C.).

Prehistoric Museum of Fira

Once in a paradise of romance and beauty, few people want to wander through museums. The museum of Fira is worth the breaking point. A huge number of archaeological finds from around the island are on display here — particularly from the incredibly well-preserved Minoan Akrotiri and from neighboring Potamos.

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Nea Kameni

Nea Kameni is a small uninhabited volcanic islet that lies inside the crescent that forms the submerged caldera of Santorini. Nea Kameni and the neighboring tiny island of Palea Kameni have formed over the past couple of millennia.

Church of Panagia Episkopi

This Byzantine church, built according to the inscription on it, was built by order of Emperor Alexios I Comneos at the end of the 11th century on the site of a previous three-aisled early Byzantine basilica. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Orthodox Church had diocesan status until 1207.

Santorini is the great wonder of the world, and its very landscape and landscapes, uncreated and man-made, can already be considered quite a sight. To immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this island, you don’t have to wander around with a guidebook, looking for the “right” place. The Caldera and its cities are the first point of the program for any hunter of impressions (for some who come to Santorini just for a day, it turns out to be the last one).

Another attraction is the island’s legendary sunsets. During the season, a huge number of tourists come to admire them. Fira and Oe are the most crowded places, followed by Imerovigli and Firostefani. Places in cafes with terraces with a view – although they are many – have to be taken away with a fight. And the price of a glass of wine or a cup of coffee in such places is at least a couple of times higher.

It makes sense to go to Pyrgos, which is still less visited by tourists than any other place on the island.

If you have enough time and have already seen the sunset, it’s time to go outside the cities. The countryside of Santorini is very pretty. It makes sense to go to Pyrgos, which is still the least visited of all the other places on the island. It is also interesting to see the cave houses (both abandoned and inhabited). And, of course, it is worth to visit Akrotiri: firstly, for the unique archaeological site, where the remains of centuries-old culture, buried under a layer of ash, are perfectly preserved. Second, for the Faros lighthouse nearby, which stands on a rocky cliff and is very photogenic.

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In Akrotiri you can indeed see beautifully preserved buildings, but the artifacts found here by archaeologists (and there are many, and they are extremely interesting) are mainly in the Museum of Prehistoric Times of Fira.


Santorini is not a place for a purely beach holiday, but why not lie on the sand for a couple of hours if possible? Especially since the island has enough of it and all possible colors. The most popular black volcanic beaches are in Kamari and Perissa. Some people like more the Red Beach: it is not only the sand, but also the bright color of the surrounding cliffs, rich in iron. It is harder to get here, but such a beach is a much rarer experience. There is also a White Beach in Santorini, but it can only be accessed by sea: by boat from Red Beach or from Akrotiri. White Beach is very small and there is no pier, so you have to jump into the water from the boat. In Vlihada there is a nudist beach (it takes half of the public beach). Amoudi is not quite a beach (it’s not sandy), but it’s a very nice cove, perfect for swimming.


Another themed attraction in Santorini is visiting wineries. They make quality and quite special wine here, so it might be interesting. The largest is the Vulcan winery and wine museum. Others open to the public are Argyros and Roussos in Mesa Gonia, Butari and Antonios winery in Megalohori and Hatzidakis winery in Pyrgos.

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