Santorini, also known as Thira, is a world-famous volcanic island situated in the most southern part of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea, in Greece. Santorini is the most luxurious island in Greece and also one of the top offbeat destinations in Europe. Once ruined by a 16th-century volcanic activity, this crescent-shaped island was reborn as a gorgeous creation of nature with gorgeous beaches, stunning views, authentic cuisine, spectacular scenery, thriving nightlife, and excellent wines. Lined up with unique beaches in exotic colors of black, red, and white volcanic sand, Santorini is growing as a popular “Wedding Destination” in Greece as well as in the world. If you want to visit this picturesque island and lose yourself in the dreamy alleyways twining through the fairytale villages of Santorini as part of the Europe tour package, then check our list of top places in Santorini to plan your itinerary around.
Located right on the rim of the famous Caldera, Fira, the capital city of Santorini, is a must-visit place in Santorini as it boasts one of the most magnificent locations of all the towns and villages on the island. The city of Fira is made up of whitewashed cubic houses and terraces, winding lanes, little squares, and blue-domed churches. The city’s white sugar-cube-shaped buildings offer incredible views of the shoreline and the Aegean Sea, especially at sunset when the entire town is bathed in golden light. Don’t forget to visit the Archaeological Museum of Thera for a little glimpse into the heritage and past of Santorini, among the best European destinations for Indians. Besides, Santorini is also known for its nightlife with elite restaurants, happening bars, and boutique hotels.
Located on the northern tip of Santorini, Oia is arguably one of the most stunning villages on the island that offers luxurious resorts and cave hotels that have tourists flocking to it. This whitewashed village is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Caldera and boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Chic hotels, interesting waterfront eateries serving delicious seafood, premium boutiques, and quirky handicraft outlets make this village the most popular place to visit in Santorini. The iconic white-painted houses of the Cyclades, the blue domed churches, the windmills, everything that is often seen as a symbol of Santorini, can be found in Oia. The best time to visit Oia is late afternoon or early evening when the sun casts a beautiful golden light over the village and this is when the village comes alive with locals and tourists alike, who come to enjoy the stunning views and take pictures.
Caldera is a sea-filled volcanic crater that was formed by the massive volcanic explosion that blew the center out of the island about 3600 years. Santorini is one of the top places to visit in Greece. It is home to two Kaimeni islets with hot springs and gas emissions. Various agencies offer one-day excursions of the caldera by boat, including time to bathe in the hot springs and then have lunch on Thirassia, a tiny island on the west side of the Caldera offering amazing views back to Santorini across the water. The place is frequented by thousands of visitors every year to spend a memorable holiday in the picturesque villages of Caldera with splendid views as part of Greece Tour.
Lies between the villages of Perissa and Perivolos, Perissa Beach is one of the most popular beaches and among the top Santorini tourist places. With a six-kilometer-long stretch, the beach has black volcanic sand, deep blue color crystal water. This amazing beach is fully organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, restaurants, nightclubs, lifeguards and has received the Blue Flag Award. Also, the beach has water sports facilities, diving centers, a water park, and a beach volley ball area that draws a large number of visitors, especially beach lovers and adventure buffs. Apart, don’t forget to visit one of the largest and most beautiful Orthodox churches of Santorini located nearby.
The former capital of Santorini, Pyrgos is the largest preserved village and among the top places to visit in Santorini. Located at the center of the island, this village is made up of whitewashed Cycladic cottages built around the ruins of a medieval hilltop castle. To cater the upmarket tourism, Pyrgos has opened several small, chic restaurants and boutique hotels since 2004. The main highlights of the village are Neoclassical architecture, ruins of the ancient fortress, picturesque churches, panoramic views of the entire island, and romantic promenades. Since the village is free of crowd, it is the perfect place for a tranquil holiday with your family or loved ones.
Ammoudi Bay is a beautiful small harbor at the base of the cliffs rising to the town of Oia in Santorini. Descend the 240 steps down from Oia, this picture-perfect 19th-century harbor is known for its quaint Greek tavernas, isolated coves, and the many rocks around. It is considered to be the most romantic spot on the island for those who want to go for candlelight dinners or date nights. The bay is also a great spot for seafood lovers as the restaurants here serve up some of the freshest seafood on the island. And if you are in Fira, you can easily catch a boat and enjoy a day trip to this picturesque spot.
Akrotiri Archaeological Site
Known as the ‘Minoan Pompeii’, Akrotiri was a Cycladic Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini. It was buried below lava following the 16th-century BC volcanic explosion that created the Caldera. Reopened to public in 2012, the ruins of the archaeological site offers visitors a unique glimpse of what life in Santorini was like during the Bronze Age. Visitors can walk on the pathways through the debris of the town to see remains of multi-level buildings, pottery, and drainage systems that lures thousands of tourists all-round the year as part of Santorini Tour Packages.
Located near Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Red Beach is one of the unique and most stunning places to visit in Santorini. Famed for its titular red-hued sand, it is considered one of the most spectacular beaches in Greece. Made of bright red sand composed of pulverized volcanic rock, it is a great spot for soaking up the sun, clicking photographs that break social media platforms, and snorkeling to witness the abundant marine life. Since, the area is prone to landslides, some parts of the beach have been cut off from the public access. If you are planning to visit the place in summer, make sure to book a prime spot to enjoy the stunning views of the red cliff against the blue waters.
Lying in the northwest of Nea Kameni, Therasia is a beautiful island in the volcanic island group of Santorini in the Greek Cyclades. Formed in recent centuries due to volcanic activity, it is one of the most unspoiled places in Santorini dotted with the multihued houses boasting gardens in full bloom and the riveting splendor of the churches. Famed as Santorini’s balcony, the chapel of Prophet Elias with its highest point offer splendid views of the Caldera. In addition, the captivating geological formations and black beach of Korfos add more charm to this island. Filled with volcanic pebbles and sand with crystal clear water, the beach in the island lures a large number of tourists. Apart, one can also enjoy sunbathing and tasty seafood in the restaurant-shacks on the beach.
Nea Kameni is a barren island and one of the interesting places to visit in Santorini. The locals refer this island as the volcano because the formation of the island began no earlier than 450 years ago. The uninhabited island of Nea Kameni forms part of Santorini’s archipelago caldera and is referred to as the youngest land in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The island is known for the largest crater called, Daphne. This place is visited by a popular day trip from Fira or Athinios ports on Santorini for its stunning views of neighboring islands and the steep walking paths through Nea Kameni Volcanic Park. Also, many sulfurous hot springs are found just off the shoreline.
Ancient Thira is one of the popular historical sites located on the east Prophet Elias Mountain and separating the coastal villages of Perissa and Kamari. It is the second most important archaeological site in Santorini and among the top places to visit in Santorini. Dates back to 9th century, one can witness the ruins of Hellenistic temples and foundations of Roman and early Byzantine buildings. While strolling through ruins, you can also spot religious sites, old administrative buildings, a theater, and a gym for military trainees. In addition, you can also find a great collection of clay figurines, statues, pots, statues, and artefacts at the Archaeological Museum of Fira.