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Santorini, Greece // What To Do, See, and Eat

santorini greece what to do see and eat

In June, we met up with friends in Santorini, Greece and oh what a place! Santorini has been on my bucket list as long as I can remember, so getting to experience this beautiful part of Earth was so special.

Santorini, in general, is very expensive. I recommend visiting during off season in either May or September/October. You'll still have warm weather but you'll miss the crowds and hotels will be more affordable.

If you're looking for an affordable hotel in Oia (the most popular part of Santorini), I highly recommend the hotel we stayed at. The basic rooms are inexpensive. We splurged on their largest room, the Junior Suite, and it was spectacular! There was a private pool on the terrace. Talk about affordable luxury.

You can read my full review of this hotel here.

best santorini hotel with a view oia

THINGS TO DO

When in Greece, a half day catamaran trip is a must! The 5 hour trip will sail through the Caldera (the mouth of the volcano that collapsed after an eruption and flooded causing a sort of bay) and visit landmarks like White Beach and Red Beach. Traditional Greek cuisine will be cooked on board and served on the deck of the catamaran. After lunch, you'll get to snorkel and swim in the Caldera.
The local Santorini wine and beer flow freely while you soak up the sun on the front or top deck.
You can book a private cruise for 1-20 guests or join in on a semi-private cruise with 20-30 other vacationers.
Since we were traveling with friends, we booked the private half day cruise and, to this day, this experience is my most favorite travel memory. I can't explain how magical it was!

PRIVATE CRUISE

There are two cruise options - daytime or sunset. We booked the sunset cruise, which was from about 3pm to 8pm. The daytime cruise left around 10am. In my opinion, the sunset cruise was perfect because we had the best of both worlds. We got to spend time in the sun but then got to experience an unbelievable sunset on the ride back to port.
best boat cruise santorini
best day trip santorini greece
Authentic Greek cuisine cooked onboard by the captain while we swam in the Aegean.

DETAILS

  • Prices range from about 1600-1700 USD for a private half day rental
  • Hotel pickup and return included
  • Complimentary drinks (wine, sodas, beer, water)
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Lunch included
  • Beach towels included
  • Restrooms / changing room on board
  • Gratuities not included. We tipped 20%. Our captain and skipper were exceptional!
  • This was a five star experience!

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SEMI-PRIVATE CRUISE

If you want to save some money but still experience a trip through the Caldera, join 20-30 other travelers on the same cruise for a fraction of the cost. All of the above is included - you'll just have more people on board. It's a good opportunity to make friends!

DETAILS

  • Prices are about 110 USD per person.
  • Hotel pickup and return included
  • Complimentary drinks (wine, sodas, beer, water)
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Lunch included
  • Beach towels included
  • Restrooms / changing room on board
  • Gratuities not included. 

 WINE TASTING

If you love wine as much as I do, you'll want to spend a half day visiting Santorini wineries and sipping the goods.

With a maximum of eight people, this semi-private wine tour is a deal. 

best santorini wine tour

best santorini wine tour

things to do in santorini

DETAILS

  • Prices are about 138 USD per person
  • Two times to choose from - 10am or 12pm
  • 4.5-hour Santorini wine tour, led by a wine-expert guide
  • Visit three wineries and enjoy a cellar tour of each as you learn about their wine
  • Walk around a volcanic vineyard and uncover the unique viticulture of Santorini
  • Sample up to 12 different wines 
  • Local cheese and snacks alongside wine-tastings
  • Mineral water alongside wine-tastings
  • Hotel / Airbnb pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by air-conditioned modern Mercedes-Benz minivan
  • Gratuities not included. We tipped 20%
  • You can book this tour here


RESTAURANTS WITH A VIEW

This first restaurant is right off the main pedestrian path, but you'd miss it you weren't looking for it. 

218 CAFE RESTAURANT

You won't find much here for traditional Greek food but you'll certainly enjoy the view. Be sure to ask for a table on the top floor for the best seat in the house. No reservation is required during the day and main dishes range from 12-20 USD.

oia restaurant with a view

santorini restaurants with a view

SUNSET IN AMMOUDI

This restaurant requires a hike down the steep mountain stairs but, don't worry, it's a scenic and enjoyable walk. Like I said, though, it is steep at times so if you're not comfortable with stairs, you might want to call a cab to drive you down. You'll definitely want to arrange a cab to bring you back to your hotel after dinner as the journey uphill requires at least a thousand stairs. Yes, that many.

The food was delicious and the sunset was worth the walk down the mountain. You will need to make a reservation at this restaurant. You can book a table on their website.

Main dishes range from 15-30 USD, though there were much more expensive options like steak and lobster for 95 USD.

best oia restaurants

restaurants with a view oia

 LYCABETTUS

Now this restaurant had the most jaw dropping views of the Caldera but you're going to pay for it. Santorini does not have a Michelin starred restaurant but this is your best bet for getting a luxurious dining experience. We chose to do the 9 course discovery menu with wine pairings included. The price was 300 USD per person, however, they do offer an a la carte menu where you can pick and choose between 1-3 courses at a more affordable price. The food was elegantly presented and very good. Overall, I definitely recommend eating here for the view and luxurious experience but order a la carte to save some dough. You can view the menu here. They can accommodate for gluten and dairy allergies.

You'll need to make a reservation.

michelin star restaurant santorini best sunset view in santorini

Something we noticed about the food in Santorini was that hummus wasn't on the menu at any restaurant we went to. They served something similar called Greek Fava. It was delicious, so order up!

FIND MORE THINGS TO DO IN SANTORINI


best tour santorini
 
best cooking class santorini

 

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a question, ask me in the comments below.

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