5 of the Best Tours in Santorini for an Authentic & Unique Experience

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Land, sea, sky… you are spoiled for choice when choosing things to do in Santorini. But some experiences stand out from the crowd. Here are the best Santorini tours if you’re looking for the most memorable ways to spend your time on the sparkling jewel of Greece.

 

1. Learn the secrets of Santorini’s cuisine from a local chef with a Santorini cooking class 

What can you take away from Santorini that lasts longer than a souvenir? Greek cooking skills! After sampling local wine at two wineries, learn from a local chef what makes a Greek salad truly authentic or how to perfectly caramelize pork at your next dinner party.

With a small cooking class size, you can ask the questions you’ve always wondered and get personalized advice on how to master Santorini’s local cuisine.

 

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2. Access the best beaches and swim spots on a Santorini c
atamaran tour

A boat is your gateway to some of the best gems in Santorini that aren’t accessible by foot or car. With a professional skipper and crew on board, it’s even more hassle-free.

Hop aboard your Santorini catamaran tour and cruise to the isolated volcanic islands for a swimming opportunity in its sulfurous warm springs. Sail towards the Red Beach of Santorini to take in its fiery geological formations. On the way there, explore the depths below your boat with a spot of snorkeling in the crystal-clear sapphire waters.

Santorini tip: For a true bucket list experience, swim over the volcanic crater and enjoy the healing power from the natural warm springs.

To enjoy your catamaran tour at Santorini’s most special time of day, why not book it at sunset? The image of the vibrant sunset colors reflecting off the calm sea will be one of the fondest memories you take home.

 

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3. Sample the local types of wine with a Santorini wine tour

If you enjoy a learning and sampling new types of wine served alongside local snacks, a Santorini wine tour will take your appreciation to the next level. Take time to leisurely explore three of the local wineries, explore their cellars, and sample up to 12 different glasses of volcanic wines produced by the local types of grape cultivated only in Santorini.

Planning tip: For a perfect end to a day, upgrade to an evening wine tour for incredible sunset views at the hilltop Venetsanos Winery. With great wine, delicious local tapas, and a sublime sunset, you’ll indulge in a spectacular combination of aromas, tastes, and views.

 

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4. See Santorini from the sky with a Santorini Helicopter tour

A tour of Santorini shows you the island’s most beautiful hidden gems and secret corners. By seeing it with a local guide, you gain a perspective you might miss on your own. There are so many Santorini tours you can choose from, but for a one-off experience, what could be more memorable than a helicopter tour?

Seeing Santorini by helicopter is more accessible than you might think, and it’s one of the most memorable honeymoon, birthday, or celebration gifts you could plan in Santorini. Let your pilot point out the key sights as you take in a panorama you can’t get on the ground.

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5. Hire a personal driver-guide and see the island at your own pace on a Santorini private tour

The best way to explore the island’s hidden gems is with a private custom tour of Santorini

With our private tour of Santorini you will explore Santorini with a personal chauffeur-guide and you will have the opportunity to customize your own itinerary, explore as you wish, and see the highlights of the island, from stunning natural wonders to idyllic towns.

Go back in time at the Minoan ruins at Akrotiri, one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean.

You also can’t miss Oia, pronounced Ia, the most famous of all villages of Santorini. It’s known for its quiet life, fantastic sunsets, and those picture-perfect whitewashed buildings.

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For the perfect way to end your Santorini island tour, kick off your shoes and lounge on a black sand beach for some pure relaxation. Or, ask your driver-guide to show you one more secret treasure of Santorini off the beaten track.


 

Whether you’re spending a couple of vacation days in Santorini or travelling on a cruise ship or flying in from Athens, there are so many experiences to make your visit memorable. If you’d like more personalized advice on the best Santorini tours for you, we’d be happy to help.

Why a catamaran tour is a must-do for your trip to Santorini

 

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There are so many incredible things to do in Santorini, but one of the most unique and special experiences must be a catamaran tour. Step aboard your deluxe boat and savor the time to kick back, soak in the sun, and gaze across the sparkling turquoise sea.

 

1. Get panoramic views of Santorini

Take in the Caldera cliffs from the best vantage point: your luxury catamaran. Picture-perfect Santorini is known for captivating its admirers with its cliffs, unique beaches, and gleaming white houses topped with striking blue roofs. Lie back and take it in. Remember, you’re on island time.

As you get further out to sea, a whole new world opens up. A Santorini catamaran tour is your gateway to the famous volcano, hot springs and the stunning views across the clear water. Seeing the island from the sea brings a whole new dimension to your trip.

 

2. Bathe in the crystal-clear sapphire waters and hot springs

For an essential Santorini experience, head to the volcano’s warm springs and swim over the volcanic crater. Let these ancient, naturally-healing waters soothe your body and soul and emerge from the water revitalized.

Make sure your catamaran cruise heads towards the south of the island to the more isolated (and peaceful)  Mesa Pigadia & White Beach. Take your pick between swimming, a spot of sunbathing or snorkeling to explore the hidden underwater caves.

You also can’t miss the famous Red Beach, talked about for its incredible volcanic geological formations and rich earthy color (the clue is in the name!)

Santorini catamaran cruise

3. Set your own agenda

If you’re looking for a romantic experience in Santorini to share with a special someone, a private Catamaran tour is truly it. Take in the Aegean landscape, enjoy the sun’s rays on your deluxe vessel, and make memories while sampling some local wine.

Or, choose a small group Catamaran tour and meet some new people while maintaining a small group experience. For a day trip to remember, opt for a stress-free five-hour cruise around the island for a well-deserved day of relaxation and awe-inspiring views.

Booking tip: For the most stunning time of day, opt for a sunset Catamaran tour of Santorini and see the sky painted with the most enchanting orange hues.

 

4. Your catamaran tour is a time for luxury

One of the best reasons to book a Santorini catamaran tour is, of course, to treat yourself. Organize your cruise and look forward to soaking in the Greek sun and diving into the blue sea as you count down the days to your vacation. Book your tour for midday and have an authentic local meal on board your catamaran after a leisurely morning at your hotel.

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As you cruise, enjoy a full Greek meal prepared on board including light fried fish fillets, grilled chicken fillets, Greek salad, fresh bread, traditional and unique appetizers, topped off with a glass of Santorini wine, beer or a soda. Enjoy the serenity of several hours without any pressure or expectations – other than relaxation – as you lounge on board. A perfect day!


Are you looking for other ideas of unique things to do in Santorini? Get a taste of local grapes on a wine tasting tour, or master the local cuisine with an authentic Greek cooking class. For a real bucket list experience, take your trip to new heights with a helicopter tour of the island.

Read more about Santorini helicopter

Why a day trip to Santorini is worth it (and how to spend your time)

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Santorini is one of the Aegean’s most famous treasures, and it’s adored for good reason. But how much can you really see in a day? While a longer stay is best, a day trip to Santorini is still absolutely worth it.

 

Even if you are yet to step foot on the island, you will instantly recognize the striking color palette of Santorini.

There’s the astonishing white of the traditional houses under the Greek sun. The pink-purple explosion of bougainvillaea against their walls, blooming from the first warm days of spring until late fall. And the blues, of course. Arrive in Santorini and take in the three dark blue domes of Oia’s iconic church, the vibrant turquoise window shutters and doors, and the crystal-clear sea.

Needless to say, the island is a photographer’s paradise. To best enjoy it during a Santorini day trip, here are some of our top recommendations.

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Soak in the colors, views and atmosphere of the island with a private tour

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Santorini is on a private custom tour. With a driver-guide, you can start spending your precious time on the island navigating and on logistics; simply sit back and enjoy an experience tailored to you and your schedule.

After an easy pick-up, perhaps straight from the airport, let your guide take you to Santorini’s most famous village, Oia. Take in the iconic white houses, the bougainvillea, and the blue-domed church. It’s a spell-binding experience, no matter how long you spend here. For your next stop, let your guide show you some of Santorini’s better-kept secrets off the beaten track.

 

Get a real taste of Santorini

You can make the most of lunchtime in Santorini by settling down at one of the island’s many excellent local restaurants, but why not upgrade your dining experience to something more unique?

Book a cooking class for your Santorini day trip and get a taste of the island that goes beyond the pretty postcards. It’s the perfect way to learn how to recreate Santorini in your kitchen at home and the ideal romantic activity to share with a loved one. With a warm welcome from the local chef, you’re sure to experience the hospitality of the Santorini people.

 

Santorini small group cooking class

 

If you’re more interested in the local wine that’s served with the food, how about touring some of Santorini’s vineyards and sampling a glass or two? A vineyard tour is the best way to learn more about the island’s unique wine production, as characterized by its volcanic soil. It’s also a welcome way to slow down, breathe in, and open up your senses to Santorini.

To combine more sightseeing with your wine tasting, venture to the Akrotiri archaeological site for a variety-packed six-hour tour for wine connoisseurs and history buffs. After taking in the awe-inspiring ancient ruins, you’ll visit three vineyards and sample up to twelve varieties of Santorini wine, including nykteri and assyrtiko.

 

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See the island from a unique perspective

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a helicopter tour of Santorini will be one memory you’ll never forget. It’s one of the best ways to combine luxury, a little bit of adrenaline, and spectacular views during your day trip to Santorini.

Everything you’ve heard about the fascinating history of the island will make sense as you soar above it, taking in the half-submerged caldera and the Nea Kameni volcano from a bird’s eye view. Next to Santorini you’ll also see Therasia, the sleepy island that was once united with it before the ancient eruption.

To enjoy Santorini under the best light (and for the best photos!), we’d recommend booking a helicopter tour for late afternoon, perhaps after a leisurely morning wandering Oia or other famous sites.

 

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With Santorini’s huge diversity of things to do, you can easily tailor your day trip to Santorini to your travel style and interest in the island, whether that’s relaxation, great food and wine, sightseeing, or new experiences.

It’s always better to spend more than just one day here, but if you’re restricted on time, you have so much to choose from. Talk to us and we’ll be happy to give you personalized recommendations for your time in Santorini. And you can always come back for more!

How to plan a Santorini helicopter tour for the experience of a lifetime

Santorini helicopter tours

 

You can experience Santorini by boat, on a wine tour, on with your personal chauffeur-guide showing you around the island… but what about from the sky? A private helicopter flight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With its unique geology and landmarks, Santorini is surely one of the best places for it.

 

On your Santorini helicopter tour, soar above one of the world’s most famous islands and take it all in from a bird’s eye perspective. Enjoy the dramatic boundaries between the spectacular cliffs, the white, black, and fiery red beaches, and the twinkling emerald sea beyond.

As soon as you lift off into the skies, you’ll be blessed with incredible views of dramatic scenery that’s been formed over thousands of years, set alongside Santorini’s picture-perfect sugar-white villages.

 

Santorini helicopter flight

 

It’s worth choosing a Santorini helicopter tour that lets you glide over the uninhabited island of Nea Kameni, known by locals as the Santorini volcano. After its last small eruption in 1950, it has some of the youngest land in the eastern Mediterranean. Seeing the volcano is a must when in Santorini… and all the better if you can enjoy it by helicopter!

As you fly over the Red Beach near the important archaeological site of Akrotiri, you’ll get to see even more of the island’s awe-inspiring geology. Let your pilot tell you about the caldera cliffs: the edges of the half-submerged volcano from thousands of years ago. For the most complete big-picture view of the island’s past and formation, it has to be from above.

 

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On a 30-minute Santorini helicopter tour, you’ll have time to hover over the vineyards where fertile volcanic ground produces the authentic local wines you can sample when back on the ground. On this flight you’ll also get a closer look at the jewel of Santorini: the iconic village of Oia with its pristine white-washed houses and blue three-domed church.

As the helicopter reaches the west of the island, take in the luxurious traditional mansions of Megalochori, famed for its wealthy history of exporting the Vinsanto wine that the island still produces.

When you touch down, you’ll have seen the best of Santorini from the most memorable vantage point– the beautiful Greek sky.

 

Santorini helicopter tour

Your questions, answered

What are the main sights you’d recommend seeing on a Santorini helicopter tour?

For the most iconic views of Santorini, choose a flight over Oia, the vineyards, and the volcanic islands. We also recommend seeing the Red Beach and Nea Kameni (Santorini volcano), especially if you’d like to imagine the volcanic story of the island from above.

You can also choose to glide over Therasia, the sleepy island that was once united with Santorini before the volcanic eruption. With Nea Kameni between the two, you can imagine what the island might have looked like in ancient times. You can see all of these landmarks of Santorini on this 30-minute helicopter flight.

 

How long does the helicopter tour last?

Standard flights are 20 and 30 minutes, but get in touch about our custom helicopter tours if you’d like more flexibility. We also offer helicopter transfers between Santorini and other Greek islands, including Mykonos, if you want to travel in style during your trip to Greece.

 

How many people does the helicopter seat?

Our helicopters seat five people plus the pilot.

 

What’s the price of a Santorini helicopter tour?

You can check the live availability and pricing of our Santorini flights here.

 

What do I need to bring?

Just you, your camera, and excitement. We look forward to sharing the best of Santorini with you from the skies!

Plan a Santorini sunset cruise for breathtaking views without the crowds

 

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Santorini is known for its spectacular sunsets. When evening comes, many people catch the views from Oia, the famous village with picturesque houses stacked dramatically on the cliffs. But to escape the crowds, head out for a sunset cruise and enjoy the evening with a glass of local wine  or Greek beer in hand.

 

A catamaran cruise is worthwhile at any time of day – you’re able to lie back, cash in on some well-earned relaxation, and watch the world go by, taking breaks to enjoy a swim or snorkel around the boat.

By booking a private cruise, you have your own deluxe catamaran to see the sights from and can choose the stop-offs, maybe calling at Santorini’s red, black, and white beaches for a spot of on-land sunbathing and exploration. If you want a more social experience, book a small group catmaran tour and enjoy the views and a great itinerary with new friends while maintaining space to relax.

 

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Santorini sunset cruises depart at 2:30 pm, allowing for a half-day trip that’s incredible even without the sunset added on top.

On your catamaran, grab a snorkel and fins and head out to explore the Aegean sea, perhaps seeing some fish or an underwater cove as you kick through the transparent waters. As you pass the Nea Kameni volcano, why not dip into the relaxing hot springs to experience Santorini’s natural wonders up close? With your on-board crew at hand, you’ll have plenty of options for photos of your time spent cruising around Santorini.

 

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If you’re not a strong swimmer or prefer to stay on board instead of swimming, that’s no problem – the dreamy scenery is more than enough to keep you entertained.

Another advantage of a Santorini sunset cruise? Sampling some local delicacies! Enjoy a glass of Santorini wine from the unique volcanic vineyards on the island, or choose a Greek beer or soda.

As the sun starts to sink in the sky, you can tuck into a full Greek meal served on board. With fresh light fried fish fillets, grilled chicken fillets, grilled shrimps, Greek salads, fresh bread and appetizers you’ll want to ask the recipe for these authentic dishes.

 

Santorini catamaran cruise with buffet

 

From a catamaran, you can enjoy every stage of the Santorini sunset while avoiding the crowds that tend to go to Oia and other popular spots. Watch the sun gradually move closer to the Aegean sea and colors start to spread across the sky, illuminating the caldera. If there are cloud formations, the views can be even more unique and memorable.

The best part of sunsets in Santorini? It’s often when the sun has already set and the residual glow paints the white canvas of Santorini with warm hues of pink, orange, yellow and red.

 

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Bring your camera, or take in the views with your own two eyes for an HD memory of your Santorini sunset.

For a longer route, you can also opt for views of the sunset under the cliffs of Oia from the picturesque old port of Ammoudi Bay. If you’re interested in the story of the croissant-shaped isle, hear about Santorini and its landmarks from your crew. They will be happy to point out the little-known facts about Santorini’s ancient past and its one-of-a-kind geology.

 

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A catamaran cruise is something you will always remember your trip to Santorini by. But one thing that will make it even more unforgettable? Planning your cruise for sunset.


For another recommendation of where to see the sunset in Santorini, how about a half-day sunset wine tasting, capping off the day with a tasting at Venetsanos Winery on the caldera cliffs? We hope you have several exceptional sunsets during your time in Santorini!