Santorini Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)




Cable Car pictureMany leading tourist attractions on Santorini tend to be based around the main beaches and resorts, being particularly concentrated within Fira and Oia. The island's proud capital of Fira is really where it all happens and the town is very much central to the action, with attractions include cable car rides, guided tours and boat excursions.

The local winemaking industry on the island of Santorini has long been flourishing, with a number of large vineyards scattered around the villages. Other appealing tourist attractions are to be found within Santorini's villages, such as Akrotiri, Kamari, Megalochori, Mesaria, Perissa and Pyrgos.


Further photo of the coastal Cable Car attraction

Cable Car


Address: Fira, Santorini, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 22860 22977
Apart from the beautiful sandy beaches, one of the most popular and appealing tourist attractions on Santorini are the cable car rides in Fira. Founded in 1979, the cable cars connect the elevated capital of Fira with the nearby port below, which is often referred to as Fira Skala. On a busy day, more than 1,000 people are transported onboard the cable car rides and treated to some extraordinary bay views during the brief three-minute journey. If you wish to travel this route on land, you may prefer to take a leisurely donkey ride, which costs only slightly more.
Open hours: daily, April - 06:30 to 21:00, May, September and October - 06:30 to 22:00; June to August - 06:30 to 23:00; November to March - 07:30 to 18:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children, extra charge for luggage

Image of street in central Fira

Fira / Guided Tours


Address: Fira, Santorini, Greece, GR
The very heart of Fira is denoted by its square, the Plateia Theotokopoulou, which can become a little crowded at times. Many attractions reside within Fira itself, namely shops, bars and restaurants, although there are also a number of excellent museums, close to both the bus station and also the cable car station. A number of different companies operate guided tours of Santorini from here, including a very popular bus and boat tour, which lasts from between four and eight hours, and takes in the main sights around Thirasia, the island of Nea Kameni, the hot springs of Palia Kameni, and also the village of Oia.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: charge

View of boat tours of the island's coastline

Cruises


Various boat excursions and cruises depart from the shore, offering one of the best ways to relax and sightsee. As you head away from the island, a cruise will allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and scale of the various beaches and resorts. Especially close by are the attractions on the neighbouring island of Thirasia, which was once actually separated from Santorini, during a major volcanic eruption some 2,200 years ago. Half-day boat excursions / mini-cruises are also available for the smaller islets of both Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni, departing from the Fira Skala port.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Admission: charge, discounts available

Picture taken in the village of Oia

Island Villages and Resorts


Away from the hustle and bustle of Fira, there are many beautiful and appealing villages scattered all over the island of Santorini, each of which offer their own set of attractions. The most popular of these include:

  • Akrotiri (Upper Thira) - home to an impressive archaeological, with excavations revealing remains from a Bronze Age settlement
  • Kamari - one of the island's best developed resorts, with a lengthy beach made up of dark sand, some attractive limestone cliffs, a large shopping centre and an open-air theatre known as the 'Cinema Kamari'
  • Megalochori - a very traditional village steeped in Greek character and containing a number of pretty whitewashed churches
  • Mesaria - situated within the very centre of Santorini and known for its daily market and Argiros Estate
  • Monolithos - with a very family-orientated beach, highly suitable for children, since the water here is quite shallow and calm
  • Oia (Pano Meria) - enjoying a really charming setting and famous for its awesome sunsets, which have to be seen to be believed. The streets of Oia are lined with trendy boutiques and jewellers
  • Perissa - featuring some popular beaches with good facilities, and a number of highly recommended seafood restaurants / tavernas
  • Pyrgos - the highest point on the whole of Santorini, with a magnificent monastery and so interesting historical attractions
  • Vlichada - a small village featuring a very attractive beach

Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: charge

Photo of the Santo Winery

Wineries


The winemakers attribute the success of their vineyards to the well-drained and distinctive volcanic soil in which they grow their 'Assyrtiko' grape vines, training them into unusual basket shapes to protect the hanging grapes from strong winds. Tourists often find that a bottle of authentic Santorini wine makes a very good holiday souvenir, or if you would like to learn more about the island's various winemaking attractions, a number of wineries are happy to see visitors and may even let you sample some of their produce. Always popular is the Volcan Wines Museum and Winery in Vothonas, the Argiros Estate and the Roussos Winery close to Kamari, the Hatzidakis Winery in Pyrgos, and also Santo Wines in Kolonos.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Admission: charge






Santorini

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