Santorini is the most iconic Greek island, full stop. Many, if not all, first-time travelers to Greece have this volcanic marvel on their must-see list, which comes with the usual pros and cons. Yes, it's an amazing place with views you'll never forget. And yes, it'll likely be crowded. That's why we recommend planning carefully so you'll experience the best of Santorini while avoiding the pitfalls that come with any major tourist attraction.

Most first-time visitors to Greece will want to visit Santorini, and rightly so. To experience Santorini in all its glory, our Greece specialists work with travelers to create the perfect balance between seeing the highlights (which are great but tend to be crowded) and lesser-known but equally amazing experiences that showcase the more authentic sides of this amazing Greek island, shaped like a crescent due to a massive volcanic eruption around 1600 BCE. 

Santorini is famous for its sunset views, which are indeed out of this world. Due to its popularity, especially in Oia village with its quintessential whitewashed houses, you will likely have to share this experience with many others. Luckily Santorini has many sides, and the curious traveler can experience this Greek island beyond its Oia sunset. We recommend spending at least three nights, ideally four, so you'll have ample time to explore this wonderful island. Read on for the best authentic things to do in Santorini. 

Santorini Highlights Tour & Wine Tasting

Vineyards of Santorini
Vineyards of Santorini

Despite its small size (10 miles north to south), Santorini has rugged nature and many signs of ancient Greek culture. On this tour, you'll leave the busy hotspots of the island to experience the vineyards in the countryside, visit Prophet Elias Monastery at Santorini's highest point and the medieval village and castle in Pyrgos. Finish the day with a wine tasting experience with unparalleled views of the Aegean Sea. If you have only one day on Santorini (though we hope you'll have a few more), this is the activity we recommend. Read more

Catamaran Cruise in the Caldera Lagoon

Catamaran cruise in Santorini
Travelers enjoying the Aegean Sea on a catamaran

Experiencing Santorini's iconic caldera from the water provides the best perspective on its amazing geological history. On top of that, visiting hidden beaches, taking a dip in the Aegean Sea, relaxing in natural hot springs, and finishing with a freshly prepared Greek BBQ makes for an unforgettable morning with family or friends. Read more

Akrotiri Lighthouse Sunset Tour

Santorini Sunset
Santorini sunset

Discover one of Santorini's iconic sunset spots, but with fewer crowds than on other Santorini hotspots. You'll head to Akrotiri Lighthouse with your guide, who will collect you and drive out to the rugged point, sharing some of Santorini's history and the importance of Greek lighthouses along the way. Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of the country's first, and some call it the most beautiful in the Cyclades. Read more

Waterless Farming: An Insider's Food & Wine Tour

Santorini Local & Fresh Ingredients
Santorini local ingredients

Experience the authentic side of Santorini that most visitors are (un)blissfully unaware of. You'll visit a historic village, two wineries, and an organic farm. Along the way, learn about the island's ancient history of winemaking and traditional culinary delights. Santorini's produce is well-known to food connoisseurs worldwide, largely thanks to the island's waterless (anhydrous) farming. This agricultural method gives the food a unique and flavorful taste. Here, you'll learn how to prepare traditional seasonal dishes and enjoy a dinner of local products. Read more

Santorini Beach Day

Red Beach in Santorini
Red Beach in Santorini

Santorini's volcanic soils have gifted the island beaches of incredibly colorful variety, forming picture-perfect contrasts to the deep-blue sea and white-washed villages.

Our favorites include Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach & Perivolos Beach, Red Beach, and Monolithos Beach. Your specialist will gladly help you set up the logistics to visit one or more of these amazing beaches. Read more

Akrotiri & Museums of Thera

The Archeological Site of Akrotiri
The Archeological Site of Akrotiri

Discover one of the Aegean Sea's most significant prehistoric settlements on a private guided tour to Akrotiri and the Museums of Thera. This archaeological site features an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash for thousands of years. You'll visit two museums, both offering various prehistoric and perfectly preserved artifacts. Read more

Fitting Santorini into your Greece itinerary

Most travelers combine Santorini with other Greek islands as well as Athens. If you have 2 weeks, this relaxed trip combining several islands might be the perfect plan for you. If you need to fit your trip into a shorter timeframe, here are great ideas for Santorini itineraries from 3 to 10 days

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include Santorini: