If Casanova had been immortal, perhaps he would be living in Santorini today. Santorini is an island famous for its breathtaking views of golden evening light cast on whitewashed, blue-topped houses. The small, crescent-shaped island hugs a volcanic caldera that you can visit. North of Crete, and almost equidistant between the Greek and Turkey coastlines, Santorini is THE place to go in the Mediterranean to woo your lovely lady or treat your man.
1. Watch an Oia sunset at Ambrosia restaurant
If you have ever seen a postcard of Santorini at sunset, it was probably of Oia. This city is world famous for its whitewashed cube-shaped buildings, painted gold by the setting sun, capped with blue domes and built on the northwestern cliffs of the island. And there are few better places to enjoy the setting sun than Ambrosia. Enjoy traditional Mediterranean meat dishes, seafood, pasta, salads, and vegetarian specialties with an unimpeded view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Address: Cliffside Terrace at Village Center, Oia Santorini 847 02, Greece
2. Windmill Villas
I know staying in a windmill may not seem like your cup of tea, but hear me out! This windmill is like no other. The Windmill Villas are set in an exclusive three-story windmill, equipped with a pool, panoramic sea views, private terrace, garden, and an array of rooms. The villas have the charm of a time bygone, with the luxury and elegance of modern style. So waste no time, book a stay and collect your complimentary wine and fruit, upon arrival.
Price: 250 - 350 USD, per night for 2 adults
Number of Guests: Up to 6 guests
3. Have a sunset dinner overlooking Nea Kameni at Naoussa in Fira
If you want to find an authentic Greek restaurant in Fira, the type that serves more locals than tourists, with a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea and Nea Kameni, then there are few better places to go than Naoussa. Munch on some complimentary dip and pita bread while you soak in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The yummy tomato balls are recommended!
Address: Fira Santorini, Next to the Central Orthodox Cathedral of Fira Town, Mitropoleos, Fira Town Santorini 847 00, Greece
4. Take a cable car ride up or down the cliffs of Fira
The fastest and delightfully scenic way from Fira down to the Old Port, a hub for sea travel around the island, including to Nea Kameni, is by cable car. For about 7 USD, you can climb in the cable car which will move almost vertically up and down the cliff. It is a pleasant and smooth experience. Of note: Out of the consideration of the donkeys kept in poor conditions at Fira, it is recommended that you use the cable cars, instead of them.
Santorini Cable Car
Address: Thera 847 00, Greece
Website: Santorini Cable Car
5. Go to Nea Kameni: A volcanic island
After hopping off the cable car, take a skip over to the Old Port and book one of the dozen daily passages to the island of Nea Kameni, a short boat ride away. The island was formed over the past two millennia by repeated eruptions of lava and ash. It is a protected scientific site, filled with sulfur vents and red soil. Imagine Mars with Mediterranean shrubs.
Website: Nea Kameni
6. Volcanic hot springs
The next time you are at a party with fellow travelers and someone brags about the time they went to the hot baths of Budapest, then rest assured, you can one-up them! You went to hot springs heated by a volcano in the Mediterranean Sea. The hot springs are offered as part of an excursion sold at the Old Port. And while you are at the Hot Springs, you might as well enjoy the volcano mud baths, too!
Volcano and Hot Springs
Website: Volcano and Hot Springs
7. Wander hand-in-hand on the southern peninsula to the Akrotiri Lighthouse
It’s easy to lose the rustic beauty of the Mediterranean landscape while in Oia or Fira. So slip away from the bustle, lose your tourist hustle, and take the hand of your partner as you walk on the quiet, peaceful southern peninsula, toward the Akrotiri Lighthouse. If done during the middle of the day, I recommend a hat and plenty of water. Once there, enjoy the old beauty of the lighthouse and atop its perch, witness the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea.
Address: Unnamed Rd Santorini 847 00
Website: Akrotiri Lighthouse
8. Take a swim at the Red Beach
If you are intrepid enough to hike down the steep (but manageable) red cliff overlooking it, then at its base you will find a remarkable beach of red sand, as if from the scenes of a sci-fi film, set on Mars. Red Beach is a great place to sunbathe and a place that you and your partner can tell friends back home about. You may want to take a jar and fill it with some sand, then go to Black Beach and do the same!
Address: Grecia, Thira
9. Ooze in a volcano-side mud bath
There’s nothing quite like having hot mud ooze around your body. Venture on out to the center of the caldera and you’ll actually find volcano hot springs. In the sea, in a shallow cove you’ll find the luxurious mud baths!
Volcano-side mud baths
Address: In the caldera
10. Alas, head toward the vineyards for wine tasting at Santorini Wine Adventure Tour
Did you know Santorini is one of the oldest wine regions in Europe? Well it is, and Santorini Wine Adventure Tours is a great place to not just learn about the vineyards of Santorini but also taste the vineyards of Santorini. Decked with delectable wines, these vineyards are a treat for any wine lover.
Santorini Wine Adventure Tour
Address: Santorini Wine Adventure Tours Messaria P.O Box 1564, 84700 Santorini, Greece
Website: Santorini Wine Adventure Tour
Get a great angular shot of the famous Blue Domed Buildings
If you want a perfect shot of the famous blue domes in Santorini, make your way to the Church of Panagia and from the church, the famous blue-domed scenery can be found a few steps away. You will go through narrow alleys and yellow-colored buildings, walk through them until you see Bulgari Alexandros signboard then walk some more until you see a pathway that leads to a viewing terrace of the Mediterranean waters. Many tourists often explore this part of Santorini on their own as the terrace view near the church will get you a great scenic view and angle of the Blue Domed Buildings everyone in Greece on Instagram keeps posting.
Blue Domed Buildings
Address: Church of Panagia, Oia 847 02, Greece
Website: Blue Domed Buildings
Price: free entry
Sunbake at the black sand beaches
There’s a lot of beaches in Santorini and it’s no doubt many tourists and travelers will make their way to them at some point in their Greecian trip. For something a little more different from another white sand beach, make your way to black sand volcanic beaches like Perivolos Beach. Located on the southeast coast of the island, just 3 km (1.86 mi) from Perissa Beach. It’s covered in black lava sand with accessible beach equipment at your disposal, from beach loungers, showers, lifeguards, and other facilities for scuba diving and windsurfing to name a few. For those who wish to experience the beach nightlife, there’s also a couple of beach bars that let guests use their swimming pools while capping off the night with their best selling cocktail drinks.
Sunbake at the Black Sand Beaches
Address:Perivolos 847 03, Greece
Website: Perivolos Black Sand Beach
Opening hours: 24/7, Sun-Mon
Price: free entry
Try out your haggling skills while souvenir Shopping
No trip is complete without going souvenir shopping and when in Santorini, it’s hard to stay away. There’s a lot of interesting finds and amusing trinkets to get your friends and family back home, from authentic first edition books, vintage comic books, hand-drawn postcards, to handmade jewelry, local art, artisanal and homemade Greek products like chutney or olive oils, indeed, there’s a ton to take home with you. Some popular stores to check out include Speira, Secret Room, and Thiras Art Gallery.
Address: Santorini, Greece
Opening hours: hours may vary
The sands of Santorini are waiting
If you are interested in the beauty of the Mediterranean climate, volcanoes, windmills, mud baths and hot springs, or world famous sunsets, book a flight, because Santorini has them all. It is the land of black sand, red sand, and regular sand. It is the volcanic land of golden sunsets. If you are traveling in Europe, or just pondering the remote possibility of traveling, you do not want to pass this destination up.
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