Things to do in Santorini that Aren’t the Beach

Things to do in Santorini

Though it may be a relatively small island, Santorini is known for having an astounding variety of beaches. Whether you’re looking for a big and well-developed resort-style beach or something more wild and secluded, you can find whatever you’re after here. That’s why thousands of tourists come every year to enjoy the crystal clear waters and the incredible scenery of this Greek island.

But maybe you’re not a big fan of the beach. Or maybe you are, but after a few days lying out in the sun are curious about what else the island might have to offer. Well, you’re in luck. As blessed as Santorini is with some of the world’s best beaches, it has more going for it than just sand and waves.

Drop off your bags at a Santorini luggage storage and get acquainted with the other side of this unforgettable island. You’ll be glad you took the time to see the other side of Santorini.

Step Back in Time at Akrotiri

One of the most popular tourist destinations on the island is undoubtedly the archaeological site at Akrotiri. This is a Bronze Age settlement that was buried by a volcanic eruption around 1627 BC. The site was only rediscovered in the late 20th century and has since been excavated to reveal an incredible wealth of well-preserved buildings, artworks, and everyday objects.

A visit to Akrotiri is like stepping back in time. You can wander through the streets and get a real sense of what life was like here over 3,000 years ago. It’s an incredible place to learn about Santorini’s history and see some of the island’s most important archaeological finds. 

It’s almost like a Greek answer to Pompeii, but the civilization it reveals is far older than the Romans. And strolling the ancient streets and learning more about this vanished world is the perfect complement to a lazy day spent on the beach.

Explore Thirassia

Santorini may be the most popular island in the Cyclades, but it’s not the only one worth visiting. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, take a short boat ride over to Thirassia. This is a small and low-key island that feels a world away from Santorini’s tourist hot spots.

There are only a handful of villages on Thirassia, so it’s easy to explore the entire island in just a day or two. Start in the capital, Manolas, and make your way up to the highest point on the island, Mesa Vouno. From here, you’ll have incredible views out over Santorini and the rest of the Cyclades islands.

Explore Ancient Thera

Santorini may be best known for its beaches, but it’s also home to a wealth of archaeological sites. One of the most important is Ancient Thera, which was once one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the Aegean.

The city was destroyed by a massive earthquake around 1500 BC, but many of its buildings and artifacts have been well-preserved. You can explore the ruins of temples, homes, and public baths, and get a real sense of what life was like here thousands of years ago.

Ancient Thera is an incredible place to learn about Greek history and see some of the island’s most important archaeological finds. It’s also worth visiting for the stunning views out over Santorini and the Aegean Sea.

Take a Wine Tour

Santorini is home to some of the best wineries in Greece, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a wine tour. There are plenty of ways to explore the island’s wine scene, from organized tours to private tastings.

If you’re looking to learn more about Santorini’s wines, there are several excellent wineries that offer tours and tastings. You can learn about the history of viticulture on the island and taste some of its most famous wines, like Assyrtiko and Vinsanto.

A wine tour is a great way to spend a day if you’re interested in learning more about Santorini’s rich viticultural heritage. And, of course, it’s also an excellent excuse to drink some of the island’s excellent wine!

See the sunset in Oia

Santorini is renowned for its stunning sunsets, and there’s no better place to watch them than in the village of Oia. This is one of the most popular sunset spots on the island, so it can get quite crowded in the evening. But it’s well worth braving the crowds to see the sun sink into the Aegean Sea.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes with great sunset views in Oia, so you can enjoy a drink or bite to eat while you watch the show. And if you want to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of vantage points away from the busiest streets where you can enjoy an uninterrupted view.

Whatever spot you choose to watch the sunset, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. Santorini’s sunsets are truly some of the most beautiful in the world.

Visit the Volcano at Palaia Kameni

Santorini is a volcanic island, and its history of eruptions has shaped both its landscape and its people. If you’re interested in learning more about the island’s volcanic past, head to Palaia Kameni, a small island off the coast of Santorini.

Palaia Kameni is home to a dormant volcano, and you can hike to the crater to get a closer look. There are also some great beaches here, where you can relax in the warm waters or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding.

A trip to Palaia Kameni is a great way to learn about Santorini’s volcanic history and see some of its most dramatic scenery. Not to mention, it’s also a lot of fun!

Soak in the Hot Springs at Thermisia

Thermisia is a small island off the coast of Santorini, and it’s home to some of the best hot springs in Greece. The springs are said to have therapeutic properties, and they’re a popular spot for both locals and visitors.

There are several different pools to choose from, all with different temperatures and views. You can soak in the hot springs surrounded by stunning scenery or relax in a pool with a view of the Aegean Sea.


As spectacular as Santorini’s beaches are, there’s much more to this incredible island than that. Step away from the beach for a day or two, and you’ll find lots to keep you occupied on this Aegean island, no matter how you like to spend your time.

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