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22 Historic and Unique Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary

Discover unique things to do in Santorini Greece to inspire a 4-day Santorini itinerary. Explore places to visit in Santorini on foot and by car.
Greece is a country on many people's bucket list and planning a Santorini itinerary is the perfect way to make that dream trip a reality. 

Santorini is a Greek Island filled with blue-domed, whitewashed churches; sites that date back to antiquity; amazing food and drink; and great hikes to stay fit despite all that eating. 

Are you looking for a Santorini travel guide ideal for first time visitors? In this post, we'll explore the historic and unique things to do in Santorini. Did you know that the island of Santorini is also called Thira or Thera (Classic Greek). Read on and inspire your own trip to Greece.
Santorini Itinerary: View of Skaros Rock

Getting to Santorini

Most people travel to Santorini by cruise ship or go Greek island hopping by ferry. Santorini is a small crescent-shaped island that was once an active volcanic caldera. 

It takes just 45 minutes to drive from the northern tip in Oia around to the southern tip at Akrotiri Lighthouse (about 25 km end-to-end). 

Its size means that Santorini as a whole and the main town of Fira (also known as Thira or Thera) in particular can feel very crowded very quickly when cruise ships are in port. 

Aerial view of a Greek Island en route to Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular Greek Islands. We purposely tried to avoid the cruise ship crowds and flew into Santorini Airport (JTR). 

We also visited in April during the "shoulder season" which meant that less cruises were scheduled. There was only one ship in port during our 4 day Santorini itinerary. 

Getting to Santorini: Boarding an Aegean Airlines Flight

Fly direct to Santorini from major hubs in Europe like London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, Rome and Athens. The flight from Santorini to Athens only takes about 45 minutes. 

Just enough time for Aegean Airlines to hand out a bottle of water between take off and landing. We flew from Dublin to Santorini via Frankfurt. 

We discovered, to our dismay, that Santorini is extremely windy in April. We got to Frankfurt without any trouble and were sitting in the Lufthansa Lounge when my phone buzzed to say that our flight was delayed... delayed until tomorrow. 

English 300*250

We made the most of it and spent the next 20 hours in Germany. In Europe, you are compensated with both food and accommodation for flight delays even if they are "Acts of God". 

In contrast to the U.S. where people tend to spend long weather delays sleeping on the floor or in an uncomfortable chair at the airport, we were provided a hotel for the night and meal vouchers. 

What to do if your bags are lost en route to Santorini?

Unfortunately, we ran into more bad luck en route from Frankfurt to Santorini. Because I am a Star Alliance Gold member, I was able to check my bags at the First Class counter in Frankfurt. 

We arrived in Santorini a day late and then...sad trombone... the last bags came off the conveyor belt in Santorini and our bags were not among them. 

We had priority tags on the bags, there was no connection, but still, the bags didn't make it. So frustrating! 

What should you do if your bags are lost:

  • Step 1: take a picture of your bags before you leave so that you can describe them in detail. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and we hadn't done that, but as part of our trip retrospective process, we've added this step to our checklist for future trips. 
  • Step 2: file a lost baggage report at the Santorini Airport. 
  • Step 3: register online to check for updates on your bags in real time. 
  • Step 4: Call frequently for updates (we were advised to do this by our hotel). 
  • Step 5: DM Lufthansa's customer service team with context via Twitter. I've found that flagging the issue publicly on social media and then following up directly is often the quickest way to resolve an issue. I alerted customer service about additional details (e.g., that we'd checked in at the First Class counter in Frankfurt) and within a few hours the bags had been located and were scheduled on the next flight.

B&M Clothing Store in Fira on SantoriniLuggage at Santorini Airport

Our bags arrived in Santorini about 24 hours later. Note that Santorini Airport will deliver your bags to you, but only during business hours. 

Our bags arrived around 6 pm on a delayed flight. We could either wait until the next morning for delivery or drive back to the airport ourselves to pick them up. 

We opted to pick the bags up since the airport is only a 10 minute drive from where we were staying in Fira.  

There is a silver lining to this lost luggage story. I had an excuse to go shopping in Santorini. 

A new sun hat plus linen shirt and trousers are something I wouldn't have bought if my bags hadn't been lost. I recommend B and M Fashion Fira for clothes shopping. 

They have a nice selection of local shirts and pants at a reasonable price plus the staff is super friendly! Save your receipts. 

Lufthansa will reimburse "reasonable expenses" due to package delays. I'm happy to say that while it took many weeks and several follow-ups with their customer service team, we were reimbursed for the clothes that we bought. Twitter DM seems to be the best approach to spurring action.

Where to Stay on Your Santorini Itinerary

Views of Oia on a Santorini Itinerary
It's important to consider where you want to stay on your Santorini itinerary. Will you choose one of the major towns? Do you prefer a more secluded resort with sea views?

Santorini Towns to Consider as a Home Base

Our goal was to stay in one of Santorini's key towns. Fira is the largest population center on Santorini with about 15,000 residents. 

This number balloons considerably when you take tourists into account. Fira is also very centrally located. 

On the downside, Fira is also where the cruise ships tender people in. A cable car or donkeys bring people up from the old port. 

If you have a car, you can get to most places of interest in 15 minute hops. 

Oia is idyllic and lovely and is likely the town most closely associated with the Instagrammable views of Santorini. In Oia you'll find bright white buildings clinging to the hill side overlooking Ammoudi Bay with plenty of blue-domed churches to catch your eye. 

Oia is much smaller than Fira with a population of about 1500. Oia is also extremely popular with tourists and gets crowded easily. 

I recommend staying in Fira as a home base and taking walks and drives from there. 
Cruise ship anchored near Santorini

Santorini Hotels

Where should you stay in Fira? We chose Winery Hotel 1870 on Santorini at a cost of about $750 USD for a 5 night stay. 

The hotel is located in a historic winery and the rooms feel like they were carved from the rocks. Enjoy a glass of chilled red wine on arrival and breakfast overlooking the pool. 

There are bout 10 different menus to choose from. Winery Hotel 1870 is centrally located in Fira and is walking distance to the major points of interest in the town although a number of places you'll want to see are at the top of a fairly steep hill. 

Fira is a hilly town!

Room 2 at Winery Hotel 1870 in Fira on SantoriniPool at Winery Hotel 1870 on a Santorini Itinerary

We appreciated that the Winery Hotel 1870 was well insulated from noise because the walls are thick. However, one exception is Suite 2 where we stayed. Suite 1 is a three storey neighboring suite with 4 double bedrooms. 

It was like the occupants of Suite 1 were living with us. Fortunately, earplugs did the trick for a good night's sleep, but this is something to be aware of if you have any choice in the suite you choose.

When to Visit Santorini?

Many tourists visit Santorini during the summer season. We prefer to visit popular destinations at less popular times and we planned our Santorini itinerary for early April to coincide with Easter. 

Pro-tip: Greece celebrates Orthodox Easter which is celebrated on a different day than the non-Orthodox Easter holiday celebrated in many European countries (and around the world). 

Non-Orthodox Easter is a public holiday in many places with many places closed for the holidays. Travel to Santorini like we did around non-Orthodox Easter and everything is open! 

Cliffs and white-washed buildings on Santorini

What's the weather like in Santorini in April? 

We've already seen that it can be very windy and that this has potential repercussions on flights. 

It was pretty chilly in Santorini in April when we visited (definitely jacket weather), but I traveled there for the history, hikes, and wine rather than to sit by the pool so for me April is the perfect time of year to visit. 
I've never visited Greece in the summer, but I think it would be too hot and crowded for my taste. 

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other places to visit during Easter to maximize limited time off while ensuring all the key attractions will be open? You could take an extended trip to Greece including a stop in Nafplio on the Peloponnese and a few days in Athens.

Romania and Cyprus also celebrate Orthodox Easter. Why not:

Driving and Parking in Santorini

I recommend hiring a car to give yourself flexibility on your Santorini itinerary. We really appreciated the freedom that a self-driving adventure affords. 

The major rental car agencies (e.g., Hertz, Sixt) have a presence at Santorini Airport. Get your keys at the rental car desk, walk across the street from the airport entrance, and hop in your car. 

Driving and parking in Fira can be tricky. We did some research on different parking lots in Fira before our trip on Google Maps and decided that Parking Lot #4 would be a good one to aim for. 

We discovered quickly that this was a bad idea. Avoid Parking #4 in Santorini! It's usually full and can be tricky to find (you have to navigate a series of narrow one way streets). 

It's also very tricky to get in and out with room for a single car to pass at the bottleneck at the entrance. We found our one attempt to Park in Lot #4 to be quite harrowing. 

Park by Thira General High School instead for less stress and just a tiny bit longer of a walk (maybe 5 more minutes to the center of Fira). All public parking is free in Santorini.

Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary at a Glance

Now that we've discussed the logistics of getting to Santorini, whether hiring a car makes sense, and where to stay, let's review things to do on Santorini at a glance.
  1. Appreciate Fira Views
  2. Eat Dinner at Kokkalo
  3. Appreciate Santorini History at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera
  4. Hike Fira to Oia
  5. Eat Lunch with a View in Oia
  6. Get a Little Lost in Oia
  7. Photograph an Amazing Santorini Sunset
  8. Grab Dinner at Lucky's
  9. Drink a Glass (or a Bottle!) of Chilled Santorini Wine
  10. Get Your Morning Jolt at Coffee Island Roastery
  11. Drive to Akrotiri Archaeological Site
  12. Check out Santorini's Red Beach
  13. Hike to Akrotiri Lighthouse
  14. Explore Medieval Emporio
  15. Stop for a Snack at Perissa Beach
  16. Taste Santorini Wines
  17. Photograph Megalochori Village
  18. Tour and Taste at the Santorini Wine Museum
  19. Enjoy a Sunset Dinner (the wind is optional)
  20. Seek Out Santorini Doors
  21. Explore Santorini's Pyrgos Village
  22. Make a Cocktail Detour

Map of the Unique Things to Do in Santorini

Click on the image of the map below to open up an interactive version in Google Maps to help you plan your Santorini itinerary.

Unique things to do in Santorini map

Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary in Detail

Now let's explore the things to do on Santorini in more detail to give you a better sense of what to include on your Santorini itinerary.

1. Appreciate Fira Views

Views of Fira on Santorini Greece

One of the most iconic things to do in Santorini is admire the views. Late afternoon in Fira offers the best light. Fira is gorgeous both day and night. 

We appreciated the opportunity to see the town gently illuminated for nighttime views on our walk back to our hotel from dinner. Make sure you have your camera at the ready!

Nighttime views of Fira on Santorini Greece

2. Eat Dinner at Kokkalo

Greek food and drink is just as important as the views in Santorini. We enjoyed dinner at Kokkalo. 

We were served ouzo and snacks in a lovely atmosphere to kick off our dining experience. The starters at Kokkalo in Fira all looked and tasted amazing: fava bean dip with octopus, pork cubes in lemon and oregano, and Santorini tomato fritters really hit the spot. 

We tried Santorini salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, and onions) plus chicken with gruyere cheese washed down with a bottle of local white wine. We were offered a free dessert and Greek dessert wine at Kokkalo. 

The service was a bit rushed (mains came out before we were done with the starters) and dessert was their peace offering. 

We enjoyed the birds nest with a sort of custard and cream. Many restaurants in Santorini focus on the views and less on the food. 

The opposite is true at Kokkalo. The views are just alright, but the food is well-priced and delicious.

Things to do in Fira Santorini: Dinner at KokkaloThings to do in Fira Santorini: Dinner at Kokkalo Restaurant

3. Appreciate Santorini History at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

We started one of our days in Santorini at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Pay 15 EUR for a three site combo ticket. 

Take ~30 minutes to walk through the exhibits. Highlights include highly decorated pottery and surprisingly colorful wall paintings. 

All the artifacts and especially the wall paintings were well preserved because they were all buried in the Minoan Eruption back in 1600 BCE.

Unique things to do on Santorini: wall painting at the Museum of Prehistoric TheraThings to do on a Santorini Itinerary: Check out the colorful pottery at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

4. Hike Fira to Oia

Santorini views from the Fira to Oia walk

The absolute highlight of our Santorini itinerary was the walk from Fira to Oia. We started the Fira to Oia hiking trail at the Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist since we had misread our guidebook. 

We were supposed to start at Candlemas Holy Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral. 

Look back over Fira as you depart for Oia as you begin the caldera hike. Get ready for more than four hours of spectacular walking. 

Bring plenty of water and layers. It was chilly in the wind and warm when the sun came out on uphill climbs. 

Follow the well marked and signposted scenic route toward Imerovigli. You can take an optional detour to Skaros Rock. 

We decided against the detour since it super cold and windy. Plus, we wanted to save our legs to explore Oia. 

How cute is this?! We spotted an adorable kitty snoozing on a motorcycle on the walk from Fira to Oia.

Cat on a motorcycle on the Fira to Oia hikeSkaros Rock viewed from the Fira to Oia walking trailBlue-domed church on the Fira to Oia walk

The Fira to Oia trail will take you through the narrow streets of Imerovigli. Highlights include blue-domed churches that pop against a backdrop of bright yellow gorse. 

We also saw an ancient windmill that is now a unique private accommodation. Make sure to grab a snack or bathroom break in Imerovigli before continuing the hike from Fira to Oia. 

The hike becomes a little more strenuous and you'll be going for a good couple of hours before your next break. Keep your eye on the prize: the views of Oia in the distance.

Views of Oia on the Oia to Fira walk in Santorini

Duck inside Prophet Elias Holy Orthodox Church. Golden paintings and what looks like a confessional grace the interior.

Interior of Prophet Elias Holy Orthodox Church on Santorini

The Fira to Oia hike is billed as "easy". It's definitely not overly strenuous, but make sure to wear sturdy shoes. 

The trail is very steep in certain sections and some of the rocky bits can be slippery. If you don't have great balance, bring hiking poles.

The Fira to Oia trail follows the main road for a short spell. There is a snack bar where the road meets the trail again. Stop for a piece of homemade walnut cake and catcalls from the resident parrot. 

Walnut cake break on the Fira to Oia hikeSnack shack on the hike from Fira to Oia on Santorini

I'll admit, it was definitely tempting to pay 10 EUR to ride a donkey up to The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Holy Chapel. We decided to walk. 

This section of the trail turned out to be pretty steep and rocky. I regretted not taking the donkey about halfway up 😂

Donkeys by the trail from Fira to Oia

We were very excited to see the church come into view. This is the apex of the Fira to Oia walk and the scenery is stunning. 

The light in the afternoon is glorious on the whitewashed building. Keep an eye out for lots of little lizards scurrying about along the trail.

Lizard on the trail from Fira to Oia on Santorini GreeceChurch on the Fira to Oia walk

5. Eat Lunch with a View in Oia

We were very excited when we finally arrived in Oia! We took a break and enjoyed a lunch of salt cod smothered in cherry tomato sauce and tomato balls. 

A double Greek coffee really hit the spot after the 13 km walk from Fira to Oia.

6. Get a Little Lost in Oia

You may be tired after the hike from Fira to Oia, but make the effort to wander a bit in Oia. You won't get too lost if you stick to the streets around the Oia Promenade. 

Keep an eye out for the iconic blue domes that seem to glow in the sun. Wander down the smaller laneways off the main promenade in Oia. You never know what surprises await!

blue-domed church in Oia Santorini

The views from Oia Castle ruins are absolutely stunning. You'll find plenty of whitewashed buildings, sea views, and even a few historic windmills. This is the place to get all your shots for Instagram! 

Historic windmill in Oia Santorini

There is a beautiful church on the main square in Oia that seems to be a central meeting place for locals and tourists alike.

Church and bell tower on the main square in Oia on a Santorini itinerary

We caught the bus from Oia bus station to Fira for just 1.60 EUR for the 20 minute ride. After walking 8 miles to traverse the Fira to Oia Cliff Walk end to end, I don't think I could have done the round trip on foot!

7. Photograph an Amazing Santorini Sunset

Time for an iconic Santorini sunset! Climb to the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist in Fira. The path along the caldera just beyond the church is a great sunset spot. 

Make sure to look back at Fira. The town simply glows in the hour before the sun sets.

Santorini sunsetSunset viewed through a door in Fira on Santorini

On another night, we spotted the famous Santorini sunset through a hotel door.

Watching the sunset can be a really mindful experience if you take your time. We really enjoyed spotting various animals in the sunset clouds. 

We noticed a dog and a seahorse, a swordfish and either a camel or an ostrich. Let your imagination carry you.

Santorini sunset viewed from Fira

For my final Santorini sunset, I got a little higher this time and watched the show just above Volcano on the Rocks on the path between Fira and Firostefani. 

This spot offers amazing views of Skaros Rock! As an aside, Volcano on the Rocks features an open air cinema.

8. Grab Dinner at Lucky's

At least one evening on your Santorini itinerary, go for a no fuss dinner at Lucky's Souvlakis. Two gyros cost 6.10 EUR. We splurged on a 4.50 EUR Blue Monkey beer. Eat at the counter for a great local experience. 

I imagined that the guy who served us (who was smoking a cigarette behind the counter) was Lucky himself. This guy was a very gregarious and cheeky character.

Where to eat in Fira Santorini: Lucky's Souvlakis

9. Drink a Glass (or a Bottle!) of Chilled Santorini Wine

Santorini is home to some of the most unique wines in the world. We toasted our reunion with our bags with a glass of chilled Santorini red wine at our hotel. 

What a great way to end the day! You may not normally think of chilling red wines, but this makes all the different in Santorini. Do it!

10. Get Your Morning Jolt at Coffee Island Roastery

It's clear that wine is one of my favorite things. So is caffeine. We stopped at Coffee Island Roastery in Fira on the way to our car, which you'll recall, was parked by Thira General High School. 

Freshly ground chocolate orange filter coffee paired well with a chocolate orange filled Greek "bagel" next door. The "bagel" was more like a bread donut, but was a decadent treat.

Orange chocolate filled bagel and Coffee Island Coffee Shop in Fira Santorini

11. Drive to Akrotiri Archaeological Site

Stop to enjoy the views on the 15 minute drive from Fira to Akrotiri Archaeological Site. You can see all the way from Fira to Oia. We also spotted plenty of horses and an occasional picturesque church.

Sea views on the drive from Fira to Akrotiri on a Santorini Itinerary

We used the second part of our three site ticket to visit the ruins of Akrotiri. The entire site sits under an ecologically sensitive dome. 

Arrive early, especially if there is a cruise ship in port. We got in around 9:30 am and there were very few people. Follow the arrows and try to imagine life in Ancient Thera.

Unique things to do on Santorini: Akrotiri Archeological Site

We had a hard time imagining what Akrotiri would have looked like before it was covered in volcanic rock and ash. 

Make sure to take time to watch the video recreations of the ancient city to put everything into context.

Unique things to do on Santorini: Vases and other ruins at Akrotiri Archeological Site

Normally parking is free in Santorini, but someone set up pay-for parking across from Akrotiri ruins. Park by the beach instead for free.

12. Check out Santorini's Red Beach

Places to visit on a Santorini Itinerary: Red Beach

Drive less than 5 minutes from the Akrotiri historic site and park near the small white church with blue doors. From here it's less than a 5 minute hike uphill to a viewpoint above the Red Beach.

White church with blue doors on Santorini

13. Hike to Akrotiri Lighthouse

It takes about 15 min to drive from Akrotiri Ruins to Akrotiri Lighthouse. This is a great spot for views of Fira, Oia, and the sea. Some tourists can be tacky. 

I saw someone hide a beer bottle in the bushes and called them on it. Seriously?! Way to litter! They did the walk of shame to retrieve it.

Things to do on Santorini: Visit Akrotiri LighthouseUnique things to do on Santorini: Visit Medieval EmporioVisit the bell tower in Emporio on a Santorini Itinerary

14. Explore Medieval Emporio

Make sure to take a detour inland to Emporio. Emporio really exceeded our expectations. We stopped for a frappe at Zygos Cafe and then toured Medieval Emporio on foot. 

Tiny laneways simply ooze with history. Ogle historic windmills in the distance while photographing whitewashed buildings with pastel doors.

15. Stop for a Snack at Perissa Beach

It's less than a 10 minute drive from Emporio to Perissa Beach, one of Santorini's famous black sand beaches. Dacos (tomato and feta on a crunchy rusk base) and sparkling water with amazing seaside views at the Beach Bar at Perissa Beach were worth the stop. 

You can drive on the road adjacent to the beach, but it's a bit harrowing since the roads are very narrow. Park in town instead and walk for a less stressful experience.

Cafe on Perissa Beach on Santorini GreeceWhat to eat on a Santorini Itinerary: Dacos

16. Taste Santorini Wines

Learn how to cultivate vines on a Santorini itinerary at Argyros Estate

You may be wondering if you should take a wine tour on Santorini. We tasted wines, but decided to do it on our own. We stopped at Argyros Estate for a short tour of the vineyard and wine tasting. 

We opted for the Introduction to Santorini tasting for 15 EUR. Here we learned about various techniques for cultivating the vines to protect the fruit from the difficult growing conditions on Santorini. 

We sampled 3 dry Santorini white wines and 1 vinsanto dessert wine. Make sure you're hungry when you visit Argyros Estate Winery. 

The 15 EUR tour and tasting comes with a generous snack platter. This was great value for money especially compared to the other tastings we did.

Snack platter at Argyros Estate that comes with wine tasting

We spaced out our wine tastings on different days since we were driving. We did the Introduction to Santorini wine tasting at Gavalas Winery which included 4 wines to taste for 15 EUR. 

We had the opportunity to compare a 2019 and 2020 Aidani. The 2020 had a nice acidity that paired well with creamy cheese and crunchy barley rusk. 2019 was our favorite. It was less acidic, salty, and highly mineralic. So unique!

Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary: Taste wine at Gavalas WineryVinsanto barrel at Gavalas Winery on Santorini

Assyrtiko is Santorini's signature varietal. We tried an Assyrtiko blend followed by a summer red wine that was a mix of two red varietals plus a smidge of white. We finished our Gavalas wine tasting with the "King of the Island": vinsanto dessert wine.

Gavalas gave us a quick tour of their 300 year old winery. We saw a Russian oak barrel that is believed to be as old as the vineyard itself!

17. Photograph Megalochori Village

Exit through the passageway at the right of the Gavalas tasting room and you'll find yourself in Megalochori village. Check out the picturesque churches and belfry in Megalochori, a photographer's dream! 

Bell tower in Megalochori on SantoriniInside the church in Megalochori on Santorini Greece

The church attached to the Bell Tower at the entrance to Megalochori is not usually open. When we walked by, we noticed that the door was ajar and we went inside. Wow! Just wow! Such a colorful interior.

18. Tour and Taste at the Santorini Wine Museum

Continuing the wine theme of our Santorini itinerary, we started one of our days on the island at the Santorini Wine Museum which is coincidentally run by the family who owns the hotel where we were staying. 

We booked the Bronze Package which includes museum admission and 4 wines to taste for 15 EUR. You can book your tickets in advance or on the spot. 

Since we were traveling in April before the high season, we just showed up and were easily accommodated.

Unique things to do on Santorini: Visit the Santorini Wine MuseumWine bottles in the tasting room at the Santorini Wine Museum

The Santorini Wine Museum features 24 stations narrated by audio guide. Learn about the history of Santorini, the Koytsouannopoulos family who founded the winery, and the unique characteristics of Santorini wine illustrated with life sized dioramas and family artifacts.

Here are just a few of the many things that I learned at the Santorini Wine Museum:

  1. Santorini vines are not watered. Lava and pumice soil holds moisture from nighttime condensation and humidity and then releases it to the plants when it's needed
  2. Santorini did not have electricity until 1967
  3. When the Koytsouannopoulos brothers moved to Santorini in 1870, they were the only ones who could read or write and would often help the locals with correspondence.

We sampled an Assyrtiko, experimental Orange wine, a Nykteri, and two dessert wines: kamaritis (aged 10 yrs and made using a secret Koytsouannopoulos family recipe) and vinsanto (got its big break in the 19th century as a Russian communion wine and was often traded for wood).

The Santorini Wine Museum may sound super-touristy, but it's a great way to learn about the rich winemaking history on the island.

19. Enjoy a Sunset Dinner (the wind is optional)

One of the best things to do in Santorini is to schedule a sunset dinner. We booked ourselves a table at Onar in Firostefani which is about a 10-15 minute walk from Fira. 

The wind was so fierce on the night of our dinner! We were grateful that we had booked an inside table.

Fish souvlaki at Onar in Firostefani on a Santorini itineraryPork fillet at Onar in Firostefani on a Santorini itinerary

We enjoyed traditional Greek food including a fava falafel starter, pork fillet with peppers, tomato, and celeriac puree, and fish Souvlaki dramatically presented. 

A bottle of Gaia Assyrtiko, and amazing views made for a perfect dinner at Onar!

Sunset viewed from Onar in Firostefani on a Santorini itinerary

I even braved the elements for one final sunset shot at Onar near Firostefani Central Square.

20. Seek Out Santorini Doors

My regular readers know that I am absolutely obsessed with pretty doors around the world (especially the doors of Dublin!) We discovered that Santorini has some amazing doors. 

From Fira to Oia along the coast and inland in Medieval Megalochori and Emporio, you'll fill up the memory card on your mobile phone or camera with Santorini's fabulous doors. 

Go on a door hunting scavenger hunt and make a game of it as a way to explore with an element of purpose and serendipity built in.

Red door in Oia on a Santorini itineraryWooden door in Emporio on a Santorini itineraryBlue door in Megalochori on a Santorini itinerary

21. Explore Santorini's Pyrgos Village

Unique things to do on a Santorini itinerary: Drive to Pyrgos and photograph the church and bell tower

Get off the beaten track a bit on your Santorini itinerary and drive to Pyrgos, the village with the highest elevation on the island (~455 m above sea level). 

Park on the outskirts of town and then climb toward Pyrgos Callisti's Castle for panoramic views. Pyrgos is a warren of narrow Medieval streets. Get lost and find unexpected photo ops in the process.

Eat at Kantouni Restaurant in Pyrgos on a Santorini Itinerary

What a gem! We stumbled upon Kantouni Restaurant in Pyrgos. A Greek salad with mastic and pork kebabs with hot fresh pita really hit the spot. 

We were even treated to an espresso cup of Panna Cotta for dessert. Sit under the trees and appreciate the fresh air and gorgeous surroundings.

What to eat in Santorini: Greek salad with mastic in PyrgosWhat to eat in Santorini: Pork kebabsThings to do in Fira Santorini: Order a cocktail at Barolo Restaurant

22. Make a Cocktail Detour

We made it back to Fira and decided to walk to the bright white Orthodox Church overlooking the caldera: Saint Minas Holy Orthodox Church. 

It was great to see a different side of town. Late afternoon is the perfect time to visit since the white buildings shine in the afternoon sun. 

Since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped for an early evening cocktail at Barolo. My Smoky Cactus was sweetened with prickly pear and flavored with ginger and lychee. The salted rim was the perfect contrast. 

We definitely paid for the view: 18 EUR for my drink overlooking the caldera. That said, I regret nothing! You only live once after all!

Summing Up Our Santorini Itinerary

In summary, there are so many unique things to do in Santorini. I recommend hiring a car to give yourself some flexibility and to get around with ease. 

Pack your Santorini itinerary with a variety of historic sites and plenty of wine tasting. 

Make sure to check when cruise ships will be in port so that you can work around the crowds (e.g., go to some of he less popular places on those days or at least get an early start). 

Consider flying into Santorini during the shoulder season in early April to minimize cruise ship crowds (but beware high winds that may thwart your plans). 

Remember: Santorini is fantastic for photographers so don't forget your camera. 
Blue domes in Oia on a Santorini itinerary

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Things to do on a 4 day Santorini itineraryUnique things to do in Santorini Greece

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 22 Historic and Unique Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary
22 Historic and Unique Things to do on a Santorini Itinerary
Discover unique things to do in Santorini Greece to inspire a 4-day Santorini itinerary. Explore places to visit in Santorini on foot and by car.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog