At a glance
Catch the sunset from one of Oia’s cliff-top tavernas
Clip-clop up to ancient Thira on a donkey
Take time out on Kamari Beach
Destinations in Santorini
Top things to See and Do in Santorini
Think of Santorini’s dramatic coast as a throwback to epic beginnings. When an eruption sank the island's centre, it left a crescent of rugged cliffs on black-sand beaches. East coast hotspots have the lion’s share of shores, while clifftop Thira makes up for a lack of sand with ocean views.
The big beach
Kamari is a five-kilometre Blue Flag award-winning beach of volcanic sand and pebbles. Bars and restaurants pour cold drinks against a mountainous backdrop, and the catch of the day's served right on the sand. Keep your flip-flops handy, as the black stuff can be hot on your toes.
The secret beach
A short stroll from Oia village leads to a little gem hidden by craggy cliffs. Katharos beach is a great place to escape the crowds, and this secluded spot's speckled with black and grey pebbles in signature Santorini style. The view from the clifftop restaurant is also well worth a gander.
Snap up some souvenirs in Kamari or Perissa, where the beachfront shops are packed with local arts, crafts and traditional knick-knacks. They’re also a safe bet for holiday goodies like beach bags and sun hats. For a true Santorini takeaway, grab a volcanic pumice stone or two to keep your post-holiday skin soft.
With its views inspiring countless artists over the years, Oia is the go-to for island art. Trawl the charming galleries for that special piece to hang over your mantel. If you're after something more traditional and tasty to take home, pay a visit to Canava Roussos Winery – they'll sort you out with some vintage Greek vino.
Looking to splash out on a wearable memento from your Santorini holiday? There are no prizes for guessing what the speciality is on Thira's Gold Street. Browse the Byzantine bling and select something glittery for your jewellery collection.
When golden hour rolls around, soak up a spectacular sunset in Oia. Grab a picnic and squeeze in next to the locals lining the cliffside, or book a table at an ocean-facing restaurant for some more elbow room. If you're feeling flashy, cruise out onto the sea for views of the coast on one side and the setting sun on the other.
As the sun sinks down, head up to Thira for a night on the tiles in the town's drinking and dancing dens. Sip cocktails out on a breezy taverna terrace, or seek out live music hidden among the winding streets. For beachside boogying, Kamari and Perissa are set up with DJs after dark.
What do you get when you fry up dollops of chopped tomato, onion, herbs and flour until golden? Delicious tomatokeftedes – also known as tomato balls or tomato pancakes – that’s what.
Santorini is fertile land for fava beans, which are whipped up into this luscious dip that you can spread on just about anything. Pro tip: add a dash of zingy lemon juice.
A treasure hunt for this rarely spotted local goat's cheese is well worth it. Soft and mild, it’s great in a tomato salad or alongside grilled vegetables.
Sweet bites for a sweet life – that’s the motto of this honey and almond combo. You’ll usually find it at weddings, where it's thought to bring marital luck to newlyweds.
Santorini’s rich volcanic soil is perfect grape-growing terrain, and there’s no shortage of local vintages. Red, sweet and memorable, Vinsanto is rightly popular. Raise a glass with the locals and say yamas – that's cheers in Greek.