Summer is sizzling in Santorini comes summer. If you’re looking forward to doing plenty of splashing and swimming, you’re headed to the right destination. Summertime is the perfect season for sunbathing and watersports, hosted by the abundance of majestic beaches and seaside resorts. There’s also plenty more to see, if you know where to look. Escape inland and you’re bound for great surprises. What to expect? Here’s our list of some of the best things to do in Santorini in summer.
Summer temperatures in the Greek island of Santorini can range from 27°C in June when the season officially starts to 29°C at its peak. The temperature then eases back to low as it slips to fall. During this three-month stretch, jiving with the rest of the Greek Islands, Santorini’s event calendar fills with cultural events and festivals prepped up to help you celebrate the season´s bloom. Aside from the music and the food, many of the religious events also fall in the summer and this hauls in plenty of locals and tourists to where they are held. So expect a crowd, and never forget to prepare your heat protection and hydration.
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This virgin beach is one of the less explored patches of sand and sea in the island. Compared to the more commercial beaches in Santorini, the Vlychada beach is one less crowded, containing spectacular natural formations along its coast.
The Vlychada is a fishing port, naturally giving off a unique island vibe that is well-loved among those who were lucky enough to stumble upon it. Not so far away, you can find taverns that sell great food for a good lunch.
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Santorini is famous for its beautiful sunsets, great Greek food, and of course, the picture-perfect vistas. At the infamous Ammoudi bay, you can enjoy and do all three. At the Katina or the Dimitris, two of the local favorites, you can sample the best of Santorini cooking, along with a magnificent view of the caldera. It’s the perfect spot for lunches or early dinners where to can witness one of the finest sunsets in the island. Dining at the Ammoudi is definitely one of the best thigns to do in Santorini in summer.
The view is no less magical and one that will surely be memorable.
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How about Santorini at 100m in midair? Talking about an adventurous and romantic possibilities, this outdoor watersports activity is perfect for solo adventurers and couples alike. The adrenaline-rush is perfectly tandemed with an exhilirating view of the island and the raw beauty of the Aegean. There are many resorts that offer specialized services in watersports while some resorts may also have their own crew and equipment. Book ahead.
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Let your tongue travel too! A lot of what a place is about can be found in its local gastronomy and Santorini doesn’t disappoint. As rich as its mineral-rich volcanic soil is the variety of dishes that offer insight into the identity of this island. Greek chefs are always experimenting with local ingredients, bringing uniquely Santorini flavors into the plate.
Must-try delicacies include the white eggplant, puree from fava beans, sun-dried cherry tomatoes, caper, the local salad and the katsouni (a variety of cucumber), among others.
Visit Argo in Fira or Selene in Pyrgos. The Aktaion in Firostefani is a traditional Greek taverna opened almost a century ago. Its great location is only paralleled by its outstanding menu of dishes from local ingredients. Sunset by Paraskevas in Oia is also a great choice.
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A kind of wonderful communal gathering, the Open Air Cinema is Kamari is a splendid way to end your day and perhaps one of the most romantic things to do in Santorini. Projector screens are set outside, all set up to feature the latest popular flick or a classic. This activity is open from May to October, practically during the tourist season.
Visit CineKamari for program information: movie schedule, venue, etc.
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If you’re looking for local connections or simply want to immerse in the local culture, there’s no more efficient and natural way to do so than partying with the local folks of the island. In fact, attending a summer fest party is definitely one of the most adventurous and definitely one of the best things to do in Santorini in summer.
The Jazz Festival in Kamari happens in July and is flocked by international and local performers from all over. The event lasts for three days.
Head to the Santorini Ifaisteia festival in August. This festival includes a services of events that include musical performances, traditional dances, and other culture-related shows, culminating in a lovely pyrotechnic display.
The International Music Festival is also another event to look out for. It happens in early September, spread within two consecutive weeks where you will see spectacular performances from various popular international artists in Fira.
Other events concern local custom which are mostly religious from the Profitis Ilias in July, the Feast of the Saviour"s Metamorphosis and the Feast of the Virgin Mary happening in August.
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If you feel like one beach is not enough to fully experience the Santorini summer vibe, charter a boat and go on your own cruise. Beach hopping via boats is a popular tourist activity in the island. Aside from exploring unexploited islands, you take the liberty to stop and sail whenever you fancy, either to to swim, take some snacks, drink, visit the volcanoes, snorkel, and maybe even scuba dive to your heart’s content.
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If you find that chartering a boat is not within your budget, following the water taxi is a good alternative. From Akrotiri beach, you can hop on and off the water taxi which will take you to various other beaches including the Black beach, the White beach, and the gram-famous Red beach. You can also jump from the boat to take a quick dip.
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Winemaking has a long history in Santorini, dating as far back as the Roman era. The unique taste of the wines in the island is widely influenced by the volcanic soil. This exemplary identity is also the very reason why the wines in Santorini are considered one of the most sought-after not only in the region but all around the world.
If you don’t have much time on the island, visit one of their most famous wineries, Santowines Winery. If you want to hit more wineries in one visit, go to the villages of Pyrgos and Emporeio. Must-try white wine variety is the Assyrtico and Mavrotragano for the red.
You can either go to the wineries yourself or book a wine tour.
Speaking of wineries, drop by the town of Finikia, one of the most scenic communities in the whole island. This hamlet was originally consisted of old wineries that have been converted into multi-colored homes. It’s a great place for sightseeing while getting familiar with local life. Take delightful walks in its cobblestone streets and hit the tavernas for great local delicacies.
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There are various hiking trails in Santorini but perhaps the most traversed one is from Fira to Oia, definitely one of the most scenic things to do in Santorini. The distance of 10km would take you around 3 to 4 hours to complete. It starts from the port of Fira to the rim of the caldera to Oia, passing the sites of Firostefani and Imerovigli. The view of the Aegean azure is splendid.
If you want a hike that is more than just a hike, take the trail of Nea Kameni Volcano & Hot Springs. You will not only be walking but also sailing, and getting up close with the sulphorous vents of Nea Kameni.
If you want to avoid the crowd, a hike to Thirasia, Santorini’s neighboring island, is recommended. There’s a ferry that goes from Oia to Thirasia thrice a day. Once there, hit up the path, which is hard to miss. You will be rewarded by a breathtaking view of the sea on top where a monastery also stands.
Remember, always bring water to keep hydrated. And be sure you are well-supplied during the entire duration of your hike.