Where To Visit
Head to Santorini’s capital for some of the best restaurants, hotels and shops. Its caldera side has great ocean and volcano views, as well as a selection of interesting museums, galleries and archaeological sites. Skaros Rock (a collection of ancient ruins) is a must-see, as is the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Old Port. It’s only accessibly by cable car but it’s well worth the journey for caldera cliff views and the small tavernas.
The most exclusive area at the northern tip of the island, Oia is a small village home to most of Santorini’s top hotels. With its white-washed buildings and blue-top churches, you’ll struggle to find a more beautiful spot on the island. Walk around the main pedestrianised street before stopping for at one of the restaurants – Armeni is renowned for its fresh seafood.
Firostefani is just a ten-minute walk from Fira, offering another perspective of Santorini’s volcano. Hotels here are known for having infinity pools and restaurants which look out over the sea, and the village looks particularly beautiful at night. For respite from Fira’s bustling streets, enjoy relaxed cocktails at one of the many bars.
Perivolos has one of the biggest beach resorts in Santorini so feels a little more up-tempo than its neighbouring villages. Head to one of the beach bars for all-day drinks, before hitting a beach club to soak up some chilled poolside tunes – Chilli Bar has a lively atmosphere.
Located to the north, this small village is perched high on a cliff, offering beautiful ocean views and vistas of the surrounding area. Hike the Ekklisia Theoskepasti trail, which passes Skaros Rock and the blue-domed Theoskepasti Church, both of which look magical at sunset.
Where To Stay
Andronis Arcadia, Oia
One of Oia’s top hotels, Andronis Arcadia has everything you need for a truly blissful holiday, from a luxury spa where you can relax with wellness treatments, to a stunning infinity pool with Aegean views. Couples will love the secluded, ultra-luxury suites and villas, while families will appreciate the space and kids’ activities like cooking lessons, tennis, hiking trails and yoga – the hotel is one of the few in Oia to welcome families. Book a Sunset Suite to enjoy your own private pool or opt for a spacious villa if you’re travelling with kids. Here, the food is a particular highlight – generous breakfasts are served in the hotel's Pacman restaurant (think pastries, fruit platters and plenty of hot options) or can be brought to your room, while lunch is best enjoyed poolside – be sure to try the shrimp tempura and sushi rolls. For a special evening, enjoy dinner at Opson restaurant for an impressive eight- or ten-course tasting menu inspired by Ancient Greek cuisine.
Suites from £425 per night.
Vora Hotel, Imerovigli
Vora is a beautiful micro hotel with three villas carved into Imerovigli’s cliffs. An ideal choice for a secluded stay, guests can relax in villas with volcano views, each of which has chic, pared-back interiors and infinity pools. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace each morning and make use of the private chefs and bartenders, or book bespoke island excursions, like yacht trips and private dinners.
Rooms from £512 per night.
Easily one of the most luxurious hotels in Santorini, Mystique is a great spot for a romantic holiday for two. Set within the cliffs, there are eight types of suite, some of which feature indoor jacuzzi bathtubs while others have their own fitness suite or plunge pool. If you want to go all out, book the Mystery Villa for two, complete with spacious living area, terrace and private pool. Guests can relax at Elios Spa, enjoy drinks in the secret wine cave, and dine at the restaurant Lure, headed up by chef Olivier Campanha. The lobster risotto is delicious and their margaritas are some of the best we've tried. A stunning choice all round.
Rooms from £450 per night.
For your own slice of secluded paradise, journey to the south-eastern corner of the island to stay at Istoria. This romantic hotel has an outdoor pool, a canopy-covered restaurant and a relaxing spa where you can indulge in body wraps, facials and massages. Sitting right on Perivolos beach, you’ll discover a 3km stretch of volcanic black sand that meets dark blue water. Rooms are simple but chic, with the entire hotel embodying a calming, relaxed atmosphere to make you feel right at home.
Rooms from £284 per night.
Orabel Suites, Perivolos
One of the most affordable options on this list, Orabel Suites offers great value in the lively area of Perivolos. Overlooking the beach, the adult-only hotel offers poolside service – think sushi and cocktails while you float – and few sundowner drinks at the Lounge Bar. Suites have modern en-suite bathrooms, private verandas with jacuzzi pools and kitchenettes.
Rooms from £135 per night.
If you’d rather stay in a luxury five-star resort, Katikes is built into Oia’s cliffs. Expect contemporary décor with chic furnishings, and bright and airy rooms – the Senior Suite is a good option if you want a living area where you can watch the sunset. Order a bottle of champagne at the Seltz bar before enjoying a special dinner at Mikrasia restaurant. There’s also an on-site spa in a hidden cave as well as an excellent concierge service that can arrange excursions, private dinners and airport transfers.
Rooms from £375 per night.
Where To Eat & Drink
Armenia serves freshly caught seafood daily from its surrounding waters. Diners can enjoy their meal by the water, before relaxing on one of the restaurant’s sunbeds by the sea. Start with tzatziki, smoked mackerel and grilled octopus, before tucking into grilled lobster, calamari, and fresh sardines.
Yalos Beach Club, Fira
Easily the best beach club in Fira, Yalos serves traditional Mediterranean dishes like grilled fish, sharing salads and fresh dips. Guests can enjoy a sitdown meal in the restaurant, or snack on light bites and cocktails in the lounge or on the beach. Check out Yalos’s cool Gypsy Van for boho-chic clothing and accessories, and book a yoga or sound healing session on the beach.
Bookmark Selene for a special occasion dinner. The restaurant has been one of Santorini’s most popular for nearly four decades, and is the place to enjoy fine dining from Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini (one of Greece’s top names). Menu highlights include red mullet with pistachios, nduja spaghetti with sea urchins, swordfish carpaccio, and olive oil cake.
For something a little more relaxed, head to Meltini for tapas with a view. There’s a laidback vibe in which you can enjoy wine or cocktails with meze dishes like grilled octopus, hummus with flatbreads and an extensive selection of olives and cheeses. Ask to sit outside if you go for dinner.
If you don’t stay at Andronis Arcadia, at least check out its restaurant, Pacman. Complete with boho chic vibes, diners can choose from sushi platters and traditional Greek dishes, like smoked aubergine dip, lamb chops, tuna loin carpaccio, deep fried feta, and generous Greek salads. The homemade sorbets are not to be missed.
Lure By Olivier Campanha, Oia
Head chef Olivier Campanha has created an interesting, flavoursome menu at Mystique hotel. The food is delicious, but the setting is the star of the show – the seating overlooks the sea with soft lights in the evenings for romantic meals. Order a few starters to share (like avocado tartare and langoustine dip) before enjoying fresh fish or grilled meats. There’s also an extensive wine menu.
PK Cocktail Bar, Fira
This cocktail bar comes into its own at night, when live musicians set the tone with saxophone sessions and dancing. Order a bottle of wine for the table or ask the mixologists to create a special cocktail just for you.
Theros Wave Bar, Vlychada
Voted one of the best beach bars in the Med, Theros is beneath the cliffs at Vlichada, a small village with a beautiful black pebble beach. Resident DJs serve up everything from chilled house to Afrobeats, while the restaurant delivers crowd-pleasing Greek dishes, champagne and cocktails. Head here for brunch or visit later in the day to enjoy one of the legendary parties which run until November.
What To Do
Sunset Watching In Oia
It’s hard to miss Santorini’s beautiful sunsets, but for one of the best vantage points, head to Oia. The castle is the most popular spot (expect to wait in line at the top to take a picture) but the Byzantine castle ruins are quieter and offer an equally good view.
Many of Santorini’s most beautiful beaches and coves are only accessible by boat. Booking a catamaran trip is a great way to explore them. Choose from five-hour day or sunset trips, both of which include hotel pick-up, towels, snorkelling equipment, and a Greek buffet with local wines and soft drinks.
Located in Fira, White Beach is one of Santorini’s most scenic. Soak up the last of the autumn sun on the pebbles, take a dip in the sea, or hire a local boat to explore the surrounding waters.
Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of the most recognisable landmarks on Santorini. Skip the crowds at sunset and head there during the day to see the building in all its splendour.
Horse Riding On The Beach
Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy this group tour from Viator. You’ll head to the black sands in Vlichada to ride along the beach on horseback. All equipment is provided.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice and entry requirements to Greece before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information