Santorini is a wildly popular tourist destination for families, friends and honeymooners looking for a sunny getaway by the sun, sand and sea. Every year, spots like the Santorini Beach, Santorini Caldera and Mount Akrotiri are flooded with hoards of tourists. While these wildly popular tourist destinations have their allure, and rightly so, many other travellers today are looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience that is unique and authentically Santorini. Should you be one of the adventurous travellers looking for something different, below are 10 of the best non-touristy things to do in Santorini, Greece, that you must check out on your next holiday.
1. Snap a photo of a picturesque hillside village
Oia is a beautiful hillside village overlooking a vast caldera filled with water. One of its key tourist attractions, the Byzantine Castle Ruins, sits right on the edge of a cliff, and it makes for an amazing opportunity to understand Greece’s rich history while snapping a photo for the ‘gram. Oia Castle is also a great place to visit for a great photo. The castle is known for its sunset views, and it is popular among locals looking to snap a gorgeous wedding photo in the glow of the setting sun.
Address: Village on Santorini, Greece
Opening hours: 24hrs
2. Explore the scenic village of Pyrgos
Pyrgos is a tranquil Santorini village filled with old, winding streets, quaint cafes and great views of the nearby ocean. For visitors looking for an authentic local village living experience, Pyrgos is the place to visit. Travellers can spend a lazy afternoon basking in the warm sun in an outdoor cafe, or spend a romantic evening wandering through the streets of Pyrgos, enjoying the setting sun with your partner.
Opening hours: 24hrs
3. Drink the local beer “Donkey”
Never heard about the “Donkey” brand of beer but keen to have a taste? Well, for a full Santorini beer experience, complete with complimentary beer tastings, you should head down to the Santorini Brewing Company for a day trip. There, experts will explain the process of brewing craft beer, after which guests can try beers of a wide variety of interesting names, such as the Red Donkey, the Crazy Donkey and the Lazy Donkey.
Santorini Brewing Company
Address: Mesa Gonia, Santorini 847 00, Greece
Website: Santorini Brewing Company
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 11am - 4pm
Price: 3 USD
4. Enjoy the sunset view from Profitis Ilias hilltop
Profitis Ilias is the highest peak throughout Santorini. On top of Profitis Ilias sits a beautiful monastery dating back to 1711 built for locals to pay homage to the Christian God and to celebrate religious festivals such as Good Friday and Christmas. While on top of the hill, visitors can take a snapshot together with the smooth white domes of the monastery, or enjoy a panoramic view of the entire coastal city of Santorini from on top the highest point of the hill.
Profitis Ilias hilltop
Address: Santorini 847 00, Greece
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: open all day
5. Relish the local fava beans
Santorini fava beans are incorporated in a wide variety of local and fusion dishes, such as dips, pastas and curries. If you are looking for a taste of the famed Santorini fava bean, you can simply head down to any local restaurant, or hop into one of Santorini’s local grocery shops to purchase some fava beans and make a delicious dip for yourself!
Address: Oia 847 02, Greece
Website: Sphinx Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 6pm - 12am
6. Head to the Tomato Industrial Museum
A little-known fact about Santorini is that the coastal city used to be a booming tomato paste manufacturer, and still is today. The Tomato Industrial Museum is a former tomato paste factory turned museum that allows guests to have a first-hand experience on how tomato paste is made while learning more about the industry and Santorini’s love of the fruit from friendly and informative tour guides.
Tomato Industrial Museum
Address: Vlichada 847 00, Greece
Website: Tomato Industrial Museum
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Greek weddings are world renowned for being crazy, extravagant and full of laughter. If you want to get a glimpse into the culture and customs surrounding a traditional Greek wedding, head down to the Greek Wedding Show at The White Door Theatro on your next trip to Santorini! One of the key highlights of the show is the plate breaking ceremony, in which an expert dancer leaps across shards of broken plates with bare feet.
Skip the Line: The White Door Theatro - The Greek Wedding Show Ticket
Duration: 2 hours
8. Taste wine and admire art at Art Space
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Art Space is a gallery of contemporary art built in the caves of a century and a half years old winery. The winery was first built in 1830 and it continues to serve up excellent wine to locals and tourists alike today. A visit to the Art Space will likely excite art lovers and wine aficionados alike, and young children too will enjoy looking at some of the colourful and inventive pieces of contemporary art on display.
Address: Exo Gonia 847 00, Greece
Website: Art Space
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10am - 7pm
9. Go kitesurfing at Monolithos Beach
You might have seen a kitesurfer skimming the surface of a deep blue ocean, being pulled by the force of a parachute-like kite before. At Monolithos Beach, thrill-seekers will get the chance to do just that, while enjoying amazing views of Santorini’s coastline and surrounding islands. For visitors less keen on kitesurfing, there is a wide variety of other things to do at Monolithos Beach too, such as swimming, chilling at a beach bar or surfing.
Address: Monolithos 847 00, Greece
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: Open all day
If you want to experience the thrill of riding on an ATV or All Terrain Vehicle, while exploring Santorini’s hidden coastal caves and traditional villages, you might want to join in on the ATV Santorini tour. This tour takes approximately three hours and includes a free wine tasting at one of Santorini’s best wineries, free transport to and from the hotel and complimentary snacks while on the road.
ATV-Quad Santorini Experience Tour
Lots to do in Santorini
If you are looking for a unique and immersive experience in Santorini, be sure to check out the above 10 best non-touristy things to do in Santorini, Greece, before your next trip. With our list above, you have plenty of options, enough to keep you busy when visiting this gorgeous island.
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