Santorini is a vibrant island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea that's popular for beachgoers and other holidaymakers. With its volcanic features, white houses and churches, and charming villages and towns, there's something for everyone in Santorini. If you're planning a trip, take a look at the 7 must-visit towns and villages in Santorini to plan your itinerary.
Fira is the gorgeous capital of Santorini and the island's most cosmopolitan area. It's opposite a volcano and 2 volcanic islands, Nea Kameni and Palai Kameni. Fira is ideal for both nature lovers and socialites since it combines stunning scenery with vibrant nightlife and shopping. You can spend your days strolling through scenic alleyways to explore boutiques, shops and cafes before heading out on the town to experience its thrilling nightlife. Plenty of landmarks are found in the area as well, such as the Archaeological Museum of Thira, the Folklore Museum of Emmanuel A. Lignos and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which give you a glimpse into the unique history of the island. The town can be accessed by road or port, but you can also take a scenic cable car ride or a donkey ride.
Known as the 'balcony to the Aegean', Imerovigli is a charming village perched on the top of the caldera cliffs. It not only offers stunning views of the volcano, but also of the blue-green Aegean Sea. One of the most famous attractions in Imerovigli is Skaros, a massive rock that was once one of the 5 fortresses of Santorini and provided security for the island from smugglers and pirates. You'll also find an array of churches throughout the village, such as Panagia Theoskepasti and Agios Nikolaos, which has an ecclesiastical museum with Byzantine artefacts.
Oia is a quaint village that's popular for sunset viewing over the northwest coast. Perched on a caldera slope, the village has an idyllic look with its pastel and white homes and churches leaning on the edge. In the village, the locals watch and celebrate the sunset as a community event. In addition to the sunset, you can also spend some time strolling through the passageways in the village to explore galleries, cafes, restaurants and shops, and there's excellent seafood in the traditional eateries by the bay. Some other spectacular sights in Oia are the Naval Maritime Museum, which holds a collection of naval artefacts of the island, and the Agios Nikolaos Castle, a stunning fortress that offers sweeping views of the bay.
Pyrgos is the highest village in Santorini, giving it excellent vista points to see the rest of the island and the sea. The village itself is magnificent, filled with traditional Cycladic architecture, stone houses and twisting pathways. Throughout the streets, there are boutiques and galleries you can explore, as well as restaurants and taverns. While you're there, be sure to see the Venetian Kasteli, a prominent castle with panoramic views and 3 surrounding churches. If you're on a romantic holiday, Pyrgos has some wonderland wineries that offer tours of the vineyards and information on the product of the famous wines.
Firostefani is the highest point in Fira and provides a unique view of the volcano. The landscape in the village is beautiful, so you could spend your day wandering through the countryside to see the coastal views off of the caldera and waiting for the sun to set. You'll also find traditional restaurants and cafes along the streets, as well as many shops and boutiques. Agios Nikolaos is also close to Firostefani, so you can visit the site and its ecclesiastical and folklore museums.
The seaside village of Kamari is found at the base of the Mesa Vouno Mountain. The village is one of the most modern on the island and is home to the airport and modern shops, bars and restaurants. Despite the array of modern amenities, you could also experience traditional Greek crafts and music at the local shops and bars. One of the biggest draws of the area is Kamari Beach, a blue-flag beach with clean, clear water, black volcanic sand and many beach amenities. This beach is popular for diving and snorkelling to experience the vibrant marine life. Ancient Thira, a fascinating archaeological site, is also found in Kamari.
Akrotiri is a quaint and less-developed village in Santorini on a promontory. It's known for many things, but its Red Beach is one of the biggest attractions. The spectacular beach features red cliffs against deep blue waters for a visual feast, and many people visit just to take photos. You could also see White Beach, a quiet beach surrounded by white rocks and pebbles, which is great for a day in the sun. While you're there, be sure to see the archaeological site of Akrotiri to marvel at Bronze Age furniture, tools and artefacts, and the Castle of Akrotiri, a 13th-century tower with majestic views of the coastline.
Plan your trip
With so many charming towns and villages in Santorini, it's a prime destination for travellers. If you're planning a trip, visit Expedia to explore deals on Santorini holidays and get ready for the time of your life.