“It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.” – Henry Miller
Best things to do in Santorini to live a local
“Santorini is a miracle of nature. The whole island used to be a volcano and what someone can see nowadays has taken thousands of years and volcanic activity to be formed. Living on an island has a quite different vibe than living in a big city. Being surrounded by sea makes people more outgoing and lighthearted.” – Spyros
Whitewashed buildings and windmills cascading down the sheer cliffsides, surrounded by blue skies and even bluer waters, is an absolutely unforgettable view! ✨ Formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, unique energy is almost tangible from within the ground as you explore this incredible destination in the middle of the glittering Aegean Sea. From panoramic views of the caldera to celebrating the vibrant Greek culture, we’ve compiled the top things to do during your visit to the island of Santorini. 🌋
Photo: Spyros in Santorini for Flytographer. Rebecca and their partner celebrate their honeymoon in Santorini with a couple photo shoot at Imerovigli Village.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. George and their partner celebrate their engagement with a surprise proposal photoshoot in Oia Village.
What are the best places to eat in Santorini?
- Oia Vineyart. “A whimsical place to taste local delicacies and to drink some of the most amazing wines of the world, produced on the island. Live music events, great vibes, beautiful outdoor space and situated at the less touristic side of Oia.” The staff will guide you to pure bliss, in the form of the perfect glass of Santorini wine to pair with your meal. – Spyros
- Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna. Nestled among the red rocks along the waters of Ammoudi Bay and directly under the sky-high village of Oia lies this local, no-frills taverna. With one of the best views of the sunset and tables right along the water, this restaurant feels intimate and authentic despite its proximity to the bustling, touristy center.
- Katharos Lounge – This vegan and vegetarian-friendly spot offers stunning sunset views in Oia, but its off-the-beaten-path location still makes it feel like a hidden gem, even in one of the busiest villages in the world.
- Avocado. Where the staff is as wonderful as the food, this local restaurant serves up “a magical journey of flavours.” Located in the town of Imerovigli, which is set atop the highest cliff on Santorini, you can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner before exploring the town for beautiful views.
- Roka. While we love dinner with a view, it pays to stray off the beaten path! Hidden in a charming courtyard and away from the busiest streets of Oia, this local taverna can only be found if you know where to look. With a simple but delicious menu, you’ll feel invited to sit and relax with a glass of local Vinsanto wine.
Honourable mentions: Cava Alta, Remvi, Taverna Geromanolis, Lotza, Lolita’s Gelato
Photo: Spyros in Santorini for Flytographer. Adora and their partner capture memories together in Santorini with a couple photoshoot in Oia Village.
Photo: Spyros in Santorini for Flytographer. Kerry and their family capture memories together in Santorini with a family photoshoot at Pyrgos Village.
Photo: Spyros in Santorini for Flytographer. Bianca and their partner celebrate their honeymoon in Santorini with a couple photoshoot in Oia Village.
What are the best places to go for drinks in Santorini?
- The Old Barbershop Cafe. “An off-the-beaten-path place to enjoy an early morning coffee surrounded by buildings that used to be part of the old Venetian castle.” – Spyros
- Santo Wines. The volcanic soil of Santorini includes lava, volcanic ash and pumice stone, which creates a unique composition for growing crops. Everything, from the planting, to the growing, to the harvesting, is a unique process in this harsh landscape and yields a delicious array of wines. A wine-tasting is a must to discover your favourite Santorini wine.
- Santorini Hassapiko. This funky bar serves up exciting cocktails, and a lively crowd can be found dancing and drinking here long after dusk. Housed in a former butchery, this spot is the place to be for enjoying an evening with the locals.
- Theros Wave Bar. Are cocktails by the ocean calling your name? This beach club feels like an exotic getaway, hidden among the cliffs of Eros Beach, and has been voted one of the best beach bars in the Mediterranean. You can even go on a canoe ride or treat yourself to a massage!
- Kira Thira Jazz Bar. Drinks with a view are understandably popular (who doesn’t want to have a glass of wine with a view of the ocean? 🌊🍷), but we love this small, dark bar with a fantastic atmosphere, music and cocktail selection. Cozy up for a romantic evening of jazz music with a speakeasy vibe.
Honourable mentions: Erotokritos, Tango Bar
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Dipa and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Santorini with a couple photoshoot in Imerovigli & Firostefani.
Photo: Flytographer in Santorini. Jessica and their family capture memories together on a girls trip to Santorini with a family photoshoot at Fira Village.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Brandon and their partner celebrate their engagement with a surprise proposal photoshoot in Santorini.
What are the best things to do in Santorini?
“Emporeio, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Finikia and Akrotiri are villages where still a lot of locals live. Any visit to these places can be a connection to the local culture. Speak with locals, listen to their stories and try the local food. Wine making, of course, is a great part of the local culture and any wine tour can be a great window to Santorini’s authentic identity. It’s difficult to find the local culture across the caldera which has been radically developed for tourist purposes in the last decades.” – Spyros
With the explosion in popularity over the past years, it would be easy to miss out on making an authentic connection with the local Greek culture and history that runs deeper than Instagrammable streets and sunsets. Here are our favourite must-do’s beyond the popular classics:
- Village of Megalochori. “Megalochori is a hidden gem that you must explore! One of the most authentic, quietest & picturesque villages on Santorini. Spend an afternoon getting lost through a maze of narrow streets littered with traditional sugar cube houses and iconic blue dome churches. Make sure to bring your camera & your appetite because this village also houses some of my favourite tavernas!” – Kimon
- The Heart of Santorini. “A short distance away you will want to head to the “Heart of Santorini” to see a remarkable sunset in an off-the-beaten-path location ☀️ You’ll probably see me there with a makeshift picnic & a glass of wine in a paper cup!” This naturally carved hole in a rock formation is a quick, 10-minute hike with a rewarding and unique view of the entire caldera. – Kimon
- Archaeological Museum of Thera. “A must-see for anyone that happens to visit Santorini. It is a city that used to be buried under the volcanic ashes for thousands of years and a beautiful monument of the Greek history.” – Spyros
- Symposion by La Ponta “Symposion by La Ponta in Megalochori is also a great place that promotes the musical culture of Greece.” Symposion comes from the Greek word sympinein: ‘to drink together.’ This cultural center housed in a winery is dedicated to preserving and celebrating Greece’s cultural heritage. – Spyros
- Perissa Beach – While we typically think of powder-white sand when we think of beaches, Perissa Beach is one of the best beaches with one notable difference — black sand! Lounge under an umbrella with a view of the sparkling blue waters. With plenty of amenities, as well as a variety of bars and restaurants, you could easily spend a full day here in the Greek sunshine.
Honourable mentions: Santorini Sailing sunset cruise & catamaran boat tour, Kamari Beach, Santorini Hot Springs, half-day trip to Thirassia, Museum of Prehistoric Thera to discover Ancient Thera, sightseeing day tour
Travel Tip Feature: What is your best tip for Santorini?
“Atlantis bookstore! I’ve been following this bookstore for a few years, they have such a unique and cool story. Abby always tries to find hidden gem book stores everywhere we go and she was really excited about being able to go to Atlantis. Amoudi Bay was one of our favorite spots, jumping off the rock, eating at Dimitris where Andrew Zimmern did, was a blast. Pro tip, Oia is super busy, prepare yourself if you’re traveling in the summer months.” – Connor (photographed above)
Read more Santorini Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Evan and their family capture memories in Santorini with a family photoshoot in Imerovigli Village.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Ayezza and their partner capture memories together in Santorini with a couple photoshoot at Oia Village.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Jana captures memories on a solo adventure to Santorini with a Modern Headshot photoshoot in Oia Village.
Where do the locals go shopping in Santorini?
- Top Side of the World. “A place full of treasures and invaluable items to purchase. This gallery with antiques — and not only — could be a collector’s paradise!” – Spyros
- Atlantis Books. While this bookstore has become one of the most coveted destinations in the world for book lovers, a stroll through the marble streets of Oia isn’t complete without popping into this charming shop filled floor to ceiling with books. In our opinion, a vacation isn’t complete without a good book!
- Mnemossyne Gallery. From the minimalist to the vibrant, jewelry is the perfect way to “wear” your trip. These pieces are all hand-made in Greece by local artists and sold in the heart of Oia.
- Speira. This open-air concept store sells a variety of art, clothing, accessories and more, all made by Hellenic designers. Its bustling, market vibe creates a fun and unique shopping experience with a view and a breeze.
- Earth and Water. “Earth and Water in Megalochori is a pottery studio, the first one of the island after thousands of years without one on the island.” The beautifully crafted pottery made by this husband and wife duo are inspired by the “abundant light and mysteries of Santorini’s past.” With both contemporary and traditional pieces available, their work is coveted by locals and visitors alike.They even offer pottery classes and workshops! – Spyros
Honourable mentions: Crossroads Antiques, Epilekton, Thiras Art Gallery
Photo: Spyros in Santorini for Flytographer. Tess and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Santorini with a couple photoshoot at Oia Village.
Photo: Kimon in Santorini for Flytographer. Ashley captures memories on a solo adventure to Santorini with a Modern Headshot photoshoot in Pyrgos Village.
Photo: Flytographer in Santorini. Joel and their partner celebrate their honeymoon in Santorini with a couple photoshoot at Imerovigli Village.
Best places to take photos in Santorini
“Santorini is well known for its picturesque whitewashed Cycladic villages. Everyone flocks to the popular cliff-hugging hotspots suspended over the caldera. But my favourite route is a bit of a hidden gem and it is still mostly untouched by tourists. Pyrgos Village has all the authentic charm of a traditional Greek island with hamlets that lead to hilltop churches with the classic blue domes and iconic white homes. It is my favourite because this hill-top sanctuary is the highest village on the island that offers sweeping views, majestic sunsets and is surrounded by vineyards.” – Kimon
“I would say [my favourite place to take photos are] Imerovigli and Skaros Rock; they offer a great view towards the Aegean Sea and the caldera part of the island. Especially Skaros — it has such a primordial landscape, it’s like travelling back in time when walking around the rock.” – Spyros
- Oia Village
- Imerovigli Village
- Fira Village
- Pyrgos Village
- Imerovigli to Fira
- Imerovigli & Firostefani
View all 6 expertly-curated Flytographer routes through Santorini.
Capturing memories in Santorini
Blue domes sprinkled among the whitewashed houses are an iconic view in many of the Cyclades, from Ios to Mykonos, but standing along the edge of the caldera with a view of the sunset is uniquely Santorini. To capture the magic of these volcanic islands, book a Flytographer shoot and meet our amazing local photographers ready to document the wonder of it all. 📸