Santorini Travel Guide

Greece  #1 in Best Places to Visit in October
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Courtesy of Artie Photography (Artie Ng)/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Santorini

If you have extra time, Fira to Oia Hike is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Santorini
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    #1 in Santorini
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Santorini's volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the more unique beaches in the Greek Isles, and Kamari is no exception. Sitting about 4 miles southeast of Fira on the island's east coast, this stretch of black sand is one of the largest in Santorini. The beach is backed by the town of its namesake, a popular resort area where you'll find numerous hotels, restaurants, beachside bars and shops. On the beach, visitors can take advantage of the available lounge chairs and umbrellas.

    Travelers enjoyed the clear blue waters of Kamari and suggested planting your feet towards the southern portion of the shore. That's because the views of the imposing Mesa Vouno hill, where you can find Ancient Thira, makes for a picture-perfect Greek beach setting. No matter where you decide to kick back on Kamari Beach, travelers strongly suggest bringing protective footwear. The sand and pebbly terrain can get quite hot with the sun beating down on it, especially after a couple hours, so bring sandals if you're hoping to spend the day on the beach. Some visitors even suggested bringing water shoes, commenting that the underwater terrain at the shore quickly goes from sand to slippery solid rock. 

  • #2
    Amoudi Bay
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    #2 in Santorini
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For beautiful views of the caldera, descend the 300 steps from the northern city of Oia to the charming port of Amoudi Bay. Surrounded by striking red cliffs and dotted with white-washed buildings typical to Santorini, this little village features several quaint tavernas serving up the catch of the day. Aside from digging in the bounty of the sea, visitors can enjoy some swimming here, though the beach is rocky so you should bring appropriate footwear, especially if you plan on cliff diving (a popular activity in Amoudi Bay). On the small island of Saint Nicholas, seen from Amoudi Bay's beach, visitors can climb up stairs from the water onto the small, rocky island and jump from a designated point.

    Travelers admit there isn't a whole lot to do in Amoudi Bay, but the quality of the bay more than makes up for the quantity of activities it offers. Visitors were dazzled by the beauty of Amoudi Bay and said merely dining alfresco was all they needed to soak up the site. Most strongly suggested to plan a trip in the late afternoon, as a sunset from Amoudi is a site to behold. 

  • #3
    Fira to Oia Hike
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    #3 in Santorini
    Hiking, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The best way to take in Santorini is to walk, and there is no better route than the one from Fira to Oia. This hike is 6 miles one-way and passes through four towns, including Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. It's important to know that there is no marked trail or pathway for this hike (aside from a couple signs, according to recent travelers), but a matter of following the roads closest to the caldera. Along the way, travelers will find numerous sites worth stopping for, in addition to spectacular ocean views and picturesque towns. One of these is  Skaros Rock. Today, this headland is a popular vantage point for watching sunsets, but in yesteryears it housed a castle that served as the prime meeting place for Christians during the 1800s. There's also numerous churches dotted throughout, including the blue-domed St. Gerasimos Church, which offers excellent views of the volcano. Once you hit Oia, you'll find Byzantine castle ruins open for exploration.

    Recent visitors say the best time to start this trek is in the morning, as there is no shade and the afternoon sun may be too much for some. Travelers also said there are rocky elevation changes throughout, so plan to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Many reviewers said they completed the hike in three hours or less, but also noted completion time all depends on a traveler's level of fitness as well as how often they stop. And with all the photogenic spots along the trail, be prepared to stop a lot. Even though the hike is considered moderate and time consuming, travelers agreed that this is the best way to experience Santorini's natural beauty.

  • #6
    Red Beach
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    #6 in Santorini
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    It's important to know that since 2013, Red Beach has been on watch for landslides and vulnerable parts of the beach are sanctioned by rope for visitors not to enter. If you're uncomfortable visiting this attraction, but still want to get an eyeful of red cliffs, visit Amoudi Bay.

    Located less than a mile southwest of Ancient Akrotiri, this beach earns its name from its towering red cliffs and dark sand. Travelers say the scenery is stunning – be sure to bring a camera to take photos of the stark contrast between the brick red cliffs and the aquamarine water. While the water may look tempting to dip your toes in, travelers strongly suggest choosing a different shoreline as the site of your beach day. Some even suggest skipping this spot entirely for a number of reasons. Travelers have said that there is no paved path to get to the beach. Visitors must park at a parking lot nearby then traverse a rocky pathway to the beach. Some said they didn't know how rugged the path would be prior to visiting and had great trouble making it to the beach without sneakers. Travelers were also keen to point out that the beach is small and unless you get there early or are traveling in the offseason, it can get very crowded very quickly. What's more, the rough, rocky sand made it hard for a lot of visitors to really kick back and relax. On the other hand, those who did enjoy their experience at Red Beach suggested hiking to the beach (with the proper footwear) to get a look at its incredibly unique geography and leave it at that. 

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