9 Easy Steps to Planning a Trip to Santorini (2024)

Step 2: Choose Where in Santorini to Visit

The next step is to plan where to visit in Santorini. Remember, this island is only 76 square kilometers (29 sq mi), so if you want to explore, you can do so, no matter where you stay!

I’ll touch more on finding places for accommodation in Step 6 below. But, here is an overview of the areas you can visit in Santorini. You’ll also see a useful map below that I made to help you orientate yourself.

Areas to visit in santoriniAreas to visit in santorini
Areas to visit in Santorini

Oia

If you’ve seen any photos of the sunset in Santorini, it’s probably from Oia. This picturesque white-domed village holds the position as the most visited spot to watch the sunset in Greece. Each evening, thousands of people flock to the streets and their hotel infinity pools to watch the famous sunset.

Some of the best things to do in Oia include watching the sunset, exploring Oia Castle, and seeing Ammoudi Bay (I ate the most delicious grilled octopus here). There are plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants to check out during your stay in Oia.

Imerovigli

If you’re looking to enjoy a romantic and tranquil holiday in Santorini, then Imerovigli is the best place to stay. Known as “the balcony to the Aegean”, Imerovigli is situated 300 meters above sea level, boasting stunning views of the Caldera and the Aegean Sea.

Some of the best things to do in this village include hiking Skaros Rock, walking the path to Fira, and visiting the many churches.

Fira

Located directly across from the famous Caldera volcano, Fira is the capital of Santorini and a great place to stay for first-timers. Fira is known for its nightlife, shopping, and beautiful, colored streets. Whether it’s from your Fira hotel room or a street, no matter where you look in Fira, you’ll be blown away by the views.

Some of the best things to do in Fira include watching the sunset, walking to the Old Port, visiting the different churches, and hiking along the Caldera.

Kamari

Located on the southeastern coast of Santorini is Kamari, a charming seaside village worth staying in if you want to be right on the beach. Kamari is also home to the Santorini airport, making it an easy journey to get to.

The most popular attraction is one of Santorini’s famous black sand beaches; Kamari Beach. This beach boasts crystal-clear water and umbrellas so you can spend your day soaking up the sun. Or, discover the underwater world by taking part in scuba diving or snorkeling lessons.

Perissa

Another option for a beach holiday is Perissa, which is located south of Kamari. Perissa is famous for its beach, which boasts black sand and dark blue waters. Much like Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach is organized with umbrellas, beach bars, and lifeguards.

There is also a water park, diving centers, and watersports to make the most of your time by the sea. In the evening, you can choose from a range of tavernas, restaurants, and bars to explore.

Akrotiri

Located on the southwest of the island is Akrotiri, a village that isn’t as popular or developed as many other towns on the island. However, it’s still worth a visit! Due to its location, Akrotiri boasts stunning views of the Caldera and jaw-dropping sunsets.

Akrotiri has two beaches, Red Beach and White Beach, which are both vastly different from other beaches on the island. The main village is home to the Castle of Akrotiri (one of the five fortified settlements of Santorini), Akrotiri Lighthouse, restaurants, and bars.

Perivolos

If you’re heading to Santorini with the intention of drinking all day and partying all night, then Perivolos is the place to be.

Located on the southeast coast of the island, Perivolos is home to the liveliest beach bars on the island JoJo Beach Bar being a favorite. Here you can relax by the many swimming pools, and dance the night away to the music from the DJs.

Top Tip: Last June whilst visiting Santorini I hired an ATV and this allowed me to reach locations such as Skaros Rock early in the morning for photographs before the crowds. Having the ATV allowed me to pack as many activities as possible into one day. Remember to always wear a helmet and drive responsibly.