5 luxury experiences not to miss in Santorini

The stunning island of Santorini sits in a water filled caldera of a volcano, surrounded by dazzling Aegean waters. The small island has long charmed visitors with its sugar cube houses, sunny climate and out of this world sunsets. Its volcanic past has shaped its history and even inspired rumours that the island is the lost land of Atlantis.

Here are some unforgettable things to do in Santorini for that perfect luxury getaway.

Hike the Fira to Oia clifftop trail

Oia and Fira are two of the most popular towns in Santorini. Their views, bustling atmosphere and sugar cube houses make them a hugely popular choice. The hike is approximately 9km long and takes around 3 hours (depending on your pace and how many photo’s you take). The trail passes by pretty towns, picturesque villages and jaw-dropping views of the Santorini Caldera. Starting in Fira the trail passes through to the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli before reaching Oia (preferably in time for sunset!). In the summer months, it can get very hot so best to start the hike early morning and make sure to bring lots of water.

Have dinner with a view

Picture yourself clinking wine glasses and indulging in the refreshing tastes of Greek cuisine as the Aegean Sea glistens in the background. Dinner with a view in Santorini is a truly memorable experience. Santorini’s unique climate and volcanic soil has inspired innovative farming methods and produced an array of delicious dishes and cuisines to try. Some local dishes to try include fava bean puree, tomato keftedes (fritters), fried cheese in filo pastry and Greek salad (with a Santorini twist of capers and sun dried tomatoes).

Catch a famous Santorini sunset

When gazing over the caldera during sunset, wine glass in hand, you’ll immediately see why Santorini is so special. Mesmerising, romantic and colourful, Santorini sunsets are amongst the most beautiful in the world. Although Oia has the most iconic sunset view point it can get crowded (particularly the byzantine church view point), there are several places across the island where the sunsets are just as impressive. Try booking a table at a restaurant with a view or staying in hotels overlooking the Caldera so you have your own little space to watch the sunset.

Try the local wines

Considering its dry and harsh climate, Santorini actually has a flourishing wine industry. Wine has been harvested in Santorini for thousands of years and now produces some of the best in the Mediterranean. A mix of dry conditions, volcanic soil and unique harvesting methods creates a wine with a complex and unique character. The vine itself grows round in to a basket shape rather than up on traditional trellises and the grapes are dried in the sun after harvest to condense the sugars. To learn about Santorini wine (and taste some for yourself) there are several vineyards across the island offering tours and tastings. Whether that’s a sunset vineyard tour, traditional tasting or a trip to the wine museum, it’s the perfect dose of luxury to add to your trip.

Jump on a caldera cruise

For that extra special romantic moment or simply an unforgettable day out, boat trips and boat tours run several times a day. This could be a late evening sunset tour with a meal and bubbles on board or a day time adventure taking in the local surroundings. On top of stunning views and refreshing dips in Aegean waters, boat trips whisk you to areas of interest such as the healing mud baths, hot springs and surrounding volcanic islands. These cruises are certainly an unforgettable way to explore the beautiful coastline of Santorini.

Nick Munday is Managing Director at Classic Collection Holidays.

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Comments (7)

  1. Justin says:

    I have my trip planned for October, looking forward to the relaxation.
    The food looks great, how was your experience with the food?

  2. Priti says:

    Ahhh Santorini is still on my list. Headed to Chania recently – That was amazing. Hope you had a wicked time!

  3. Diane G says:

    I visited Santorini on my honeymoon, but it was a cruise stop so we were sadly only there for one day. One day is definitely not enough in my opinion, so I would love the opportunity to go back and explore outside the main port. I have heard so many wonderful things about Oia, but I would stop for so many photographs I’d definitely need a lot of time!

  4. Jess says:

    Oh wow that clifftop trail looks stunning, I can image the great sense of achievement you’d feel once getting to the end – that view must be fantastic. I love trails that pass through towns, it’s always good to be able to stop and shop for a little bit in the middle of a hike!! Also, early morning hikes are actually the best kind

  5. Carol says:

    My husband and I visited Santorini about 3 years ago. We had so much fun. Definitely rent a quad or motorcycle to explore the island at your leisure. Jetsking on the non cauldron side was so much fun. And I got flashbacks of our favourite restaurant, Dimitris Ammoudi, when you mentioned sunsets. It’s in Ammoudi Bay in Oia. I still dream of the marinated sardines and olives, grilled feta, and tomato fritters. If you’re lucky you’ll get seated at one of the tables that is a foot away from the sea. I’d go back in a flash if I could. Maybe one day :)

  6. Carol says:

    And get run into by a mule, still have the hematoma 2+ years later

  7. Caroline Bartlett says:

    We’re hoping to get to Santorini in June or early July this year. We’ve had some disasters in the past on our travels, missing out on key sights and experiences. I’ve learnt my lesson over the years and now spend time researching the destination and planning what we are going to do. This type of post is very helpful. I wouldn’t have missed the wine and sunsets but I might have overlooked the cliff top trail.

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