6 Adventurous Things To Do In Santorini
I’ve somehow had the opportunity to visit Santorini twice in the past 3 years and let me tell you, it was just as breathtaking the second time. While Santorini is famed for its charm, cycladic architecture and sunsets, there is plenty of adventure to be found on the island, too.
You can rent an ATV (quad bike) for around €50 or less for the day, and it is the best way to get around the island in my opinion. They seat two people, you can store your things in the little glove box, take them pretty much anywhere and parking is way easier than with a car.
I stayed in Perissa beach at the south end of the island and rented from Mark’s Bikes. The staff was professional and showed us how to operate the bike and off we went! We rode around all day on 1 tank of gas.
Hike from Fira To Oia
Confession, the first time I visited Santorini, it was the last stop of a month long backpacking trip, I was coming in from Mykonos (enough said), and suffering from exhaustion. I slept my first day there and only had 24 hours to explore. Thank goodness we got the aforementioned ATV and did a lot in one day, but it was devastating and so unlike me to be in bed in Santorini! Anyway, a girl staying in our hostel told us about the hike from Fira to Oia and I was SO upset I hadn’t done my research to know about it before visiting. When I came back with my yoga retreat group, it was #1 on my bucket list!
The hike is about 10k, and takes you from village to village and through dramatic caldera views. Check out this detailed guide by Santorini Dave for where to start the hike in Fira and different landmarks and points of interest along the way.
Start early as the sun gets hot, bring a change of clothes, freshen up and spend the day exploring Oia after.
Jump in Amoudi Bay
Amoudi Bay is down the cliff from Oia and is a definite highlight for adventure seekers in Santorini. Swim out to the rock platform and jump off for a fun thrill, or swim in the clear bay water.
Amoudi Bay is filled with restaurants (mostly seafood), and it is popular to ride donkeys down the steps from Oia to Amoudi Bay and back up. You can make the judgement call for yourself once there, but the animals do not seem happy to be making the trek multiple times in the heat, so I highly suggest challenging yourself to walk if it’s something you want to see. You can take a cab back up!
Perissa Black Sand Beach
Perissa is easily one of my favorite things about Santorini. I stayed in this area both times as it is much more affordable than Oia or Fira and it has a relaxed, sleepy island vibe. Plus the black sand is a reminder of the volcanic origin of the island, and its energy can be felt along this long stretch of beach.
You can walk the strip for cute restaurants and authentic shops, and be sure to stop at Tranquilo to get a healthy snack and lounge in one of their hammocks! Perissa is also known for day parties and eclectic DJ sets. I stayed at the Greek Goddess House in Perissa, and Zoe, the owner is an awesome resource for all things Perissa Beach, and Santorini. She’s quite the fun character :)
Akrotiri and Red Beach
Akrotiri is the westernmost part of the island and home to Ancient Thera (the prehistoric city), one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece, and Red Beach, which is - you guessed it - red.
Ancient Thera has an impressive excavation site that you can visit for €12. The city was covered in volcanic ash until it was discovered in the 18th century. I enjoy nerding out on this kind of thing, and if you do too I’d say it’s worth spending an hour of your day learning about where you are!
The village of Akrotiri is nearby the excavation site and has many family-run restaurants and a very authentic, country feel that you don’t get anywhere else on the island.
You can trek down to Red Beach from the village. The walk is not too difficult, but it is rocky once you get down there, so up to you if that is comfortable to set up for a beach day or not. The bright red cliffs are breathtaking, though!
Last but not least, I recommend a visit down to the lighthouse for sunset. It’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever watched it go down!
Oia is the main village in Santorini, and you definitely need to spend at least a full day wandering the cobblestone streets, eating, shopping, tavern crawling and taking endless photos of the white buildings and blue roofs.
You will also want to secure a spot for sunset here early one night, as the crowds line up. Feeling the city go from day to night is pure magic, and not to be missed in your Santorini itinerary!