Unique things to do in Santorini
Book unforgettable activities hosted by locals on Airbnb.
Travel like a local
It’s nearly impossible to ignore the romance of Santorini. While this Greek island is a top honeymoon destination, stroll the charming villages such as Oia and it’s hard not to be in a good mood as locals and lovestruck couples chatter over morning espressos and pancakes made from scratch. While boat tours, wine tastings, and shopping are top things to do in Santorini, one of the most unique activities that connects you to the locals: watching a sunset. Explore the secrets and hidden treasures of this whitewashed paradise with Airbnb Experiences.
Sip your way through local vineyards
Most popular in Santorini
All activities near Santorini
Your guide to Santorini
Where do locals hang out in Santorini?
Santorini is in many ways what you imagine — cliffside villas topped with blue domes overlooking the Aegean Sea — but it’s also a laid-back island with year-round residents. Locals live, work, and play in villages such as Oia, situated on the northwestern tip of the island, but many live in the quieter (and equally beautiful) Pyrgos, Messaria, Emporio, Vothonas, and Katherados to escape the crowds. Here are some ways to get off the tourist track and enjoy Santorini like a local.
Visit the museums
Locals do love their beach days here, but another way to beat the heat is enjoying local museums including the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Archaeological Museum in Fira. Neolithic pottery, early Cycladic marble figurines, and plant fossils are among the artifacts excavated on the island that are now on display in the cool caverns of these museums.
Enjoy the tavernas
Yes, have the meal with the seaside views, but also be sure to try the family-run tavernas across the island. Fresh, seasonal ingredients and grandma’s recipes are on the menus in villages like Akrotiri, where you can still get beautiful water and sunset views in a quieter setting.
Where are the most unique things to do in Santorini?
Cook with locals
Whether you’d like a private chef to visit your Airbnb for a special dinner menu, or you want to learn to make your own souvlaki, a cooking experience is a great way to connect with locals over the shared love of Mediterranean cuisine.
Attend a Greek Wedding Show
The family-friendly live performance is a fun way to learn the Greek traditions of the wedding among other local customs. Drink wine and laugh as talented performers walk over broken plates, sing, dance, and show you what a big fat Greek wedding is really all about.
Tour the wineries and the brewery
Join locals for a day of wine tastings and a stop at Santorini’s beloved brewery. You will learn about specific conditions required for growing the grapes on volcanic soil and discover unique ways of winemaking.
This archeological site predates Italy’s Pompeii. It’s a place to admire the ingenuity of the Minoans of the Bronze Age, who built elaborate two- and three-story homes with heating systems, indoor toilets, and other modern-day amenities. A catastrophic volcanic eruption buried the civilization in ash, leaving ancient Thera (or what is now Santorini) for centuries. Today, you can visit the site’s ruins and grab a bite in the nearby village of the same name.
What are the best local beaches in Santorini?
While revelers love to take off to Mykonos by private boat or ferry, and Santorini’s Red Beach is as beautiful and unique as you may have heard, there’s plenty of quieter coves to discover for swims, lounging, and water activities. Here are just some of the local favorites.
This practically hidden pebble beach, near the village of Akrotiri, includes a cave you can swim in for postcard-perfect waters. Visit a local taverna for fresh seafood for lunch, and stay for the sunset if you have time. (It’s also near White Beach and Red Beach for those who want to do some beach hopping.)
This family-friendly beach can be found on the eastern coast of Santorini. Go kitesurfing, lounge on day beds, and play around in the black sands.
Even locals enjoy this beach resort, which has been awarded a Blue Flag for its eco-friendly practices. Snorkeling, sailing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing are all water sports you can enjoy here at the base of Mesa Vouno Mountain.
For those who travel to Mykonos, this uncrowded beach is known for its windsurfing. It’s about 7 miles from Mykonos Old Town.