Cultural Experience | Santorini

5 Santorini Must Dos

How to ensure you see everything this stunning Greek island has to offer

When one says Greece, one invariably thinks of Santorini. With its global reputation for sun, sand, and breathtaking vistas, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular of the Greek islands. After visiting the island myself, I walked away feeling like there are several highlights that should absolutely not be missed.

Rent quads– Apart from hiring a car, the only other way to get to places on the island is by the bus. While this is sufficient in getting you from A to B, it isn’t nearly as  fun. If you go off the main street of Fira, you can find places that will rent quads for about 15 euros for the day for double quads, which means if you’re not comfortable with driving one yourself, you can ride as a passenger, whose only responsibility is to take sweet snapchats.

Hike from Santorini to Oia– As an alternative to both the bus and the quads, you can choose to walk between these two villages. This 3 hour walk takes you along the ridge of the island and offers beautiful views of the caldera, which formed after a volcanic eruption hit the island many years ago. Aside from these natural views, you’ll also get beautiful views of Oia and Santorini, as well as the little villages that dot the path between the two. To avoid dehydration from the hot afternoon sun, start the walk early in the morning and spend the day shopping in Oia, or do it later in the afternoon and catch the stunning sunsets that Santorini is so famous for.


Go wine tasting– Speaking of sunsets, there isn’t a much better way to enjoy it than with one (or several) glasses of wine. One of the best-kept secrets of Santorini is Santos Wines, which serves up delicious glasses of their wine alongside a beautiful panoramic view of the sunset, courtesy of their killer location on the side of a hill. Take some friends and split the 12 wine flight, which gives you a good taster of Santos’ wines, along with some light snacks to eat in between. To get here, simply catch the bus that services Perissa, and tell the driver you are going to Santos wines, where he’ll be more than happy to stop to let you off at.


Eat gyros– This is the best thing to come out of Greece since the olympics. They’re sold everywhere on the island, and many people make it their mission to try to seek out the best. My opinion? They’re all good. Filled with chicken, pork, or lamb, and topped with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, onion, and french fries, you could never go wrong choosing one of these. Plus, they’re priced anywhere from 2.40-3.50 euro, making them a very economically efficient way of feeding yourself.

Visit the beaches– Since Fira is set so high on the cliffs of the island, there aren’t any beaches in the immediate vicinity. However, this should not keep you from seeking them out. There are many beaches scattered along the coastline, but my 2 favourites were Perissa and Red Beach. Perissa is a black sand beach with stunningly clear waters which are great for swimming in. If you plan on visiting this one (accessible via bus), make sure you have shoes for the sand, as a black sand beach gets very hot. Obviously. Secondly, since the sand is so hot, consider renting a sun bed for the day for 4 euros. Meanwhile Red Beach, located near the town of Akrotiri, is worth a stop to see the cool volcanic landscapes but not as nice to swim in. Consider stopping here for an hour or two to stroll along the water and look at the topography, but the water is murky and full of seaweed right where the waves break so swimming here is not recommended. Unless you’re into that.

Whether you hit all of these or only some of them, keep in mind that Santorini is a beautiful island with a ton to offer. Take some time to explore the island and uncover some of your own favourite gems.


Kearan Meagher

University of Calgary | 9 stories

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