There's more than just the spectacular caldera and sunset views to keep visitors busy on Santorini. Head out to visit impressive ancient sites, black-sand beaches, wineries (and a brewery) or take a boat tour to an active volcanic island in the caldera.
Santorini's best beaches are on the east and south coasts. Sunbeds, beach bars and water sports operators are here to serve.
The long stretch of black sand, pebbles and pumice stones at Perissa, Perivolos and Agios Georgios is backed by bars, tavernas, hotels and shops and remains fairly relaxed.
Red (Kokkini) Beach, near Ancient Akrotiri in the south, has impressive red cliffs. Caïques from Akrotiri Beach can take you there and on to White (Aspri) and Black (Mesa Pigadia) Beaches for about €5 return.
Vlihada, also on the south coast, has a beach backed by weirdly eroded cliffs as well as tavernas; it also has a photogenic fishing harbour.
Kamari is Santorini’s best-developed resort, with a long beach of black sand. The beachfront road is dense with restaurants and bars, and things get extremely busy in high season. Boats connect Kamari with Perissa in summer.
Note: at times, Santorini’s black-sand beaches become so hot that a sunlounge or mat is essential.
Santorini’s most lauded wines are the crisp dry whites, as well as the amber-coloured, unfortified dessert wine known as Vinsanto. Both are made from the indigenous grape variety, assyrtiko.
Most local vineyards host tastings (usually for a small charge), and some offer food, with scenery and local produce combining to great effect.
It’s easy to explore with your own transport, but there are plenty of companies that can take you touring: Santorini Wine Adventure and Santorini Wine Tour are two of many operators, with knowledgeable guides and tours that blend food, wine, scenery and history.