If there’s only one island you visit in Greece, Santorini should definitely be it. It’s honestly as dreamy as it looks, and there’s definitely a reason it’s considered one of the most beautiful, romantic, and breathtaking places on earth. Every corner you turn is more picturesque than the last and that makes the little island a photographer’s dream!
Santorini is definitely popular and it’s getting more and more popular every year, so much so that they’re limiting the number of tourists allowed on the island each year. So in order to avoid the crazy crowds, wake up with the sunrise and get an early start exploring the city of Oia. Not only will you get the best photos, but you’ll also get to experience the city all to yourself. It’s a magical and peaceful experience to just sit and watch the boats float on the perfectly still ocean and listen to the birds chirp as the morning light spills over the white houses and blue domes.
From the sweeping ocean views to iconic Greek architecture, Santorini is full of the most amazing places and insane views. Basically no matter where you go, you’ll want to have your camera out and ready to snap a picture, but here is our list of most Instagrammable spots on the island:
Passaggio: The coffee shop in Oia is seriously a little work of Instagram art. If you walk too fast, you’ll probably miss it. It’s right at the corner as you walk from Fira into Oia. Grab a smoothie and a treat after you snap your shot.
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Blue Domes: This is obviously probably the most iconic photo spot on Santorini and for good reason. The iconic blue domes are so stunning that you absolutely can’t miss seeing them for yourself. We woke up every morning and walked to them, because they’re just so beautiful and the view with the caldera and the boats in the ocean is really breathtaking. To get there, walk down the main street of Oia and when you get to the Bulgari store, turn left right before the store down a small pathway, and when you get to the fork in the road, turn right and you’ll see the epic view. Wake up early to avoid the crowds of tourists and cruise ship travelers and take in the view all to yourself.
Oia Bell Tower: Just on the other side of the famous blue domes is the most beautiful bell tower. From one side of the cobblestone street, you get an amazing view of the curved roof of the church and the two bells with all the boats out on the water in the background. On the other side, you can see an epic, sweeping view of the perfectly white cliffside hotels and cliff dropping off into the ocean. This is also the best place to watch the sunrise, because the sun rises from directly behind the city and gives everything this soft yellow and orange glow.
Windmills: The iconic windmills are so amazing and honestly beautiful from any angle. If you want to get the shot from close up, head toward Cavana View House or Golden Sunset Villas, and if you want the classic postcard shot with both windmills and the ocean, go to the Castle of Agios Nikolaos. The castle is also the most popular place to watch the sunset. It’s absolutely worth going to for sunset one night (I mean, it’s popular for a reason), but be sure to get there at least an hour before sunset if you want to actually be able to see the sunset. It gets really, really crowded really quickly. When you’re ready for a more secluded and peaceful sunset experience, head to the next spot.
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Our Favorite Sunset Spot: Last year, we asked a local where the best place to watch the sunset was, because, like I said, the castle gets REAL crowded, which is honestly pretty annoying and not our idea of an enjoyable way to watch the sunset. He directed us to this spot, and it really is so amazing. You might even run into a bride and groom getting their pictures taken here, which in my opinion means it’s definitely the right spot to be at. If it’s good enough for wedding photos, then it’s good enough for me, haha. It’s definitely where you want to be, because not only is the view is amazing, but you can also actually enjoy it without the massive crowds of people around. So basically, it’s the best spot to watch the sunset, haha.
To get to this spot, go right past Ikies Houses and in front of the giant water sanitation units. If you walk down towards Captain John Traditional Houses in Oia, there will be a small dirt path that you can take out to a cliff that juts out into the water. That cliff has the most amazing view of the entire city, and you can watch the sunset behind the city. The sunsets in Santorini are beyond beautiful and getting to experience the sunset in a more secluded and peaceful setting is not only super romantic but also definitely unforgettable.
Sunset Sailing Cruise: We love the sunset sailing cruises in Oia, because you get to watch the sunset and see the island from a whole new perspective! They also take you to the hot springs and around the volcano and other tiny islands that make up the caldera. The coast line is absolutely amazing and seeing all of the houses and hotels just sitting on top of the cliffs from the ocean is the most amazing sight. There’s nothing like the deep blue water in Santorini and sailing around the caldera gives you an entirely different perspective of both the size of the island and what it looks like from below. The sunset out on the water is breath taking. Not only can you actually see the sun set all the way down and below the horizon line, but it’s also a lot more peaceful and quiet out on the water, so you can just enjoy the view while being gently rocked by the boat. We sailed with Sunset Sailing Oia and had an amazing experience.
Cliffside Hotel: Part of what makes Santorini so unique is all of the cliffside hotels with incredible views. The cliff side hotels are definitely a bit of a splurge, but when you’re in a place as beautiful as Santorini, you’ll want to be taking in the views all the time, so if there’s one place you’re going to splurge on a hotel, I’d suggest doing it in Santorini. We stayed at Ikies Hotel and it was absolutely amazing! It’s a luxury boutique hotel with the most beautiful sweeping views of Oia and it’s so close to our very favorite spot to watch the sunset! It’s a quick walk, probably about 5 minutes, into the main Oia center, and the staff is super helpful and accommodating.
Each of the rooms are set up in a way that there are individual terraces for each house, which makes it so you you have complete privacy and the perfect spot to eat breakfast with a view. We stayed in the Collector’s House, which has two bedrooms, a steam room, and the most amazing indoor/outdoor hot tub with the most jaw dropping view of the entire city. We sat in the hot tub every second we had a chance. The design of the hotel is amazing and set up as different homes, so each room is uniquely decorated and designed with beautiful Greek touches and finishes. There’s also a pool that hangs on the edge of the cliff and overlooks the ocean. Ikies Hotel is the perfect romantic getaway if you’re looking for a spot to really unwind, relax and just enjoy the views of Santorini. Thanks Ikies Hotel for the most amazing stay!
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Where to Eat:
No Instagram post is complete without a foodstagram, so here are some of our favorite spots to eat on the island: Lolitas for Gelato, Pitagyros for Gyros and Kebabs and Baklava, and Falafel Land for the best falafel wraps on the island! Also, get a side of fries, because they’re SO. GOOD. Also, because they’re fries.
Looking for more things to do in Santorini? Check out our Santorini Travel Guide!