Santorini is like, really really pretty. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been in fact. Immediately upon arrival, one asks "how do they keep the buildings so white?" (they're washed pretty much all day). It is pristine and alluring to say the least, and one of the only places made more charming by the human touches.
Although dormant, the island is an active volcano, which is evident in the vibrant colors of the beaches - red, black and white. There is honestly not a bad view on the island. It is long and narrow, and the roads wind up and down the caldera from village to village.
Getting Around Santorini
I'd recommend renting an ATV quad or motorbike to get around the island. As long as you're careful, we've found it to be a safe and efficient way to see the island. You can get them for less than 40 Euro a day, and zip from destination to destination without having to worry much about parking. It's good fun as well!
The main town is Fira, and basically to get anywhere on the island, you'll be directed through here. I use Fira & Thira interchangeably because you'll see both. It's the same place.
It's cute. Spend an afternoon taking in the shops and many nice vantage points. Check out Volkan on the Rocks Cafe and Cinema.
You'll also want to spend some time in Oia, the other prominent village located on the north end of the island, and home to the famous Santorini sunset.
Perissa is one of my favorite spots on the island. It's home to the alluring black sand beach and dramatic cliffs. It's located on the south east side of the island, away from all the crowds and crazy high prices. I've stayed in Perissa twice and really enjoy how laid back it is. Take the ATV to the crowds, and stay here.
Best Adventures on Santorini
Hike Fira to Oia
Our must do on Santorini is the caldera trek from Fira to Oia. It's 10k (6.5 miles) and you hop from one village to the next, and up and down the windy roads. Start early in the day; it gets hot out and you'll definitely get in a good sweat. You'll likely be walking with other groups who are doing the same thing, and locals are helpful if you need reassurance that you're going the right way.
Bring a swimsuit and a change of clothes, and when you get to OIa head to Ammoudi Bay for a swim, and if you're feeling adventurous, swim out to the rock point and jump in from 20 meters high!
Santorini is famous for dry white wines. Their vines grow straight out of the ground, which is really interesting to see as you explore the island. You can find a tour or see if a local or your Air B&B host can recommend their favorite for a tasting!
Be sure to hop over to the far east part of the island for some pretty cool ruins from the Minoan era. You can also go check out the archaeological site which we found pretty interesting. The Red Beach is over in this area, and a neat lighthouse! Worth the drive out there.
Guide to Santorini's Beaches
The best beach hands down is Perissa. It's chill and has a local feel. Plenty of good restaurants and cafes, and not very crowded.
Our second choice is Red Beach in Akrotiri. It's rocky- not very comfortable to lay on and you'll need to hike down to it. Great place for a swim though, and you'll likely be hot checking out the rest of the Akrotiri area!
Healthy Restaurants in Santorini
Passaggio has one of the healthiest menus in OIa, and is pretty off the beaten path. You can get juices, smoothies, coffees, and they have a full menu with light bites to share, which I always love doing!
Tranquilo in Perissa is a great choice for a tranquilo afternoon! Straight forward menu with healthy comforts.
Sunset Ammoudi was my favorite restaurant. We all shared apps like salads, seafoods, etc, and then got pasta as well! Awesome view, and you can be outside covered away from the sun.
Overall, absolutely love Santorini. I've been twice, and I'd go back again and spend a week or so just taking in the luxury of Greek living. Have any more tips to add? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!