With its iconic whitewashed houses perched on a caldera cliff facing exquisitely clear ocean waters of the Aegean Sea, Santorini is home to mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets. With its rugged landscapes of black and red beaches, dramatic views, cosmopolitan style, luxury hotels, and to top it off, a massive (active) volcano, it comes as no surprise that Santorini is one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in the world. Santorini, the gem of the Greek Isles is also becoming a growing “wedding destination” for couples all over the world. This scenic destination offers you many dreamy experiences that will guarantee an unforgettable honeymoon, and here are the Top 25 Things to do on your Santorini Honeymoon. First, do watch our Santorini vlog sharing our very own journey in Santorini – please subscribe if you want us to create more of such videos!
25 Dreamy Things to do on your Santorini Honeymoon
1. Experience Greek luxury at the Athina Luxury Suites
During our visit to Santorini, we had the pleasure of staying at a tranquil sanctuary in one of the most sought-after locations in Fira. Perched on the caldera cliffs, each suite at Athina Luxury Suites opens up to a breathtaking view overlooking the volcano. This picturesque view of the sparkling Aegean sea and Santorini volcano gets even more remarkable during sunrise and sunset hours.
Despite its quiet and tranquil ambience that wraps around you, Athina Luxury Suites is just minutes away from the town of Fira. It places you only steps away from decadent restaurants and the cosmopolitan style of Santorini, allowing you to savour the best of Fira. Designed for couples who appreciate refined luxury and minimalist aesthetics, each suite is accompanied with fine amenities from Hermes Paris, and bath towels and linens by Guy Laroche, giving you the true comfort you deserve. At Athina Luxury Suites, you can immerse yourself in a relaxing honeymoon escape.
Read our full review of Athina Luxury Suites (coming soon) >
2. Jump off into the crystal clear Mediterranean waters at Amoudi Bay in Oia
Swim in the clear Mediterranean waters at Amoudi Bay. Cliff-diving here is absolutely thrilling and you are guaranteed of the maximum experience here. This spot, though quite hidden, will be worth it once you reach. At Amoudi Bay you also get incredible seafood at several alfresco restaurants, so it will be a delight after a long day.
How to get there: Head to Oia town. Amoudi Bay is at the furthest point of the town. Click here for map.
3. Catch the breathtaking sunset
The breathtaking sunset at Oia is indisputably one of the best we’ve seen. It was one of those moments that felt like pure magic. There are a few good viewing points in Oia to catch the sunset, one of which is Byzantine castle ruins of Oia, which overlooks Amoudi Bay. From Amoudi Bay, you can climb ~300 steps and get to the top in about 15-20 minutes. Another famous spot is near the blue domed churches in Oia.
Do arrive early to book a spot, for it is an understatement to say there are many people who are going to be vying for that perfect postcard shot. It will be very, very crowded! We were there in October (low season), the sunset was around 5:30 pm and by 5 pm those spots were filled with people. Definitely, do snap some photographs, but what I love most is packing a light picnic and soak in the moment of simply admiring the sun’s warm glow as it retreats into the ocean. Alternatively, you can get a good view over dinner at restaurants – Volcano Blue or Dimitris Taverna. Click here for the sunrise and sunset timings in Greece. For more sunset viewing spots, Girl vs Globe published a useful article on the best sunset spots in Santorini here.
4. Snap the best photographs on your scenic hike from Fira to Oia
The 10km hike from Fira to Oia takes about 4 hours and features a scenic walk by the cliff, with gorgeous views of the caldera and shining blue ocean waters. It also presents many photo opportunities of Fira and Oia towns and is a great way to bond with your partner. This well-known hiking trail is pretty straightforward and there are signs marking the directions, which makes it relatively easy to follow. Walking the entire hike can be quite a stretch, so be sure to bring sufficient water, and have some snacks packed with you.
The terrain does have slight inclines and down slopes. Not every path is well tiled, so be sure to wear proper sports or hiking shoes – one portion of the hike was a pebble and rocky trail. During our hike, we stopped by the three bells of Fira, and also Skaros Rock (1-hour walk from Fira) – the stairs down to Skaros Rock is next to Blue Note restaurant. The hike also allows you to see the four most important villages of the island. We were in Santorini in October which was the low season, so hardly any restaurants or stores were open once we left Fira town – we made the mistake of not packing lunch with us, so be sure to do so. Also, start hiking from Fira before noon and you will arrive in Oia just before sunset. Click here for more tips from Santorini Dave. There are buses that go to and fro from Fira to Oia (and other towns) every 30 minutes, so you can take a bus back after your hike. The bus journey is about 20-30 minutes. Click here for the bus schedule.
5. Get to the top of Skaros Rock at Imerovigli
This rocky headland protrudes out to the azure blue Aegean Sea and is connected to the village of Imerovigli by a well-defined trail. The walk to Skaros Rock from Imerovigli takes about 15 minutes via the steps, and you can spend about 20 minutes circling around the rock. If you are more of a daredevil, take the short but steep climb up to the top of the rock, where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view. Be careful though, some of the rocks are unsteady so be sure to grab onto steady surfaces as you make your climb. A fun fact is that Skaros used to be the capital of Santorini until the 18th Century, but later on Fira became the capital due to its close proximity and easy accessibility to the sea.
6. Admire the breathtaking view from Ancient Thira
Ancient Thera is an antique city on the ride of the steep 30-meters high Messa Vouno mountain on Santorini. Named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, it was inhabited from 9th Century BCE until 726 CE. Filled with old mosaic houses and even an old Agora, get ready for a lot of wind and a spectacular view. Standing at the top of the mountain, you are literally on the top of the world as you overlook Perissa and Kamari Beach.
Open daily except for Mondays (from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm), it costs €4 to enter (~S$6.40) this archeological site. Dedicate about an hour to touring the ruins. We rode an ATV up to the Ancient Thera, which we rented for a full day for€35 (€45 includes full insurance). Alternatively, you can take a round trip bus ride (€10) that is scheduled every hour by Ancient Thera Tours.
7. Sunbake on the black sand beaches of Perissa and Kamari
After visiting Ancient Thera and soaking up the spectacular views from above, we headed down the mountain to the black sand beaches of Kamari. Perissa Beach is on the other side and is about 30 minutes away from Kamari Beach. Here, sunbathing is extremely popular on the sparkling black beach. For non-sunbathers, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the street for you to indulge in the ultimate alfresco beachside experience. During summer, grab a gelato as you explore the streets.
During our visit, we went to Navy’s restaurant which despite the low season had plenty of visitors. We tried their Carbonara (€9) and Special Burger (€9) which was delicious. They also offer lounge chairs under thatched umbrellas on the beach for you when you visit their restaurant.
8. Visit a lighthouse at Akrotiri (and watch the incredible sunset)
Another famous sunset viewing spot in Santorini is the Akrotiri lighthouse. Constructed back in 1982, it is also known simply as “Faros”, and is a spot that presents many photo opportunities for you. The sunset viewed from the stone wall around its courtyard is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. The lighthouse is currently used by the Greek navy so you are not able to enter it, but feast your eyes on the scenic beauty it gives. Also, stop by a traditional Greek tavern on the way to Faros for a bite.
9. Explore Santorini on an ATV from just 25 Euros/day (~S$40)
One of our best experiences in Santorini was riding an ATV throughout the island. It gives you so much flexibility as you can roam freely around the island without restriction. You do not even need a route in mind for there are signs around the island and you can stop wherever and whenever you wish, for parking is easily available. It is definitely more run than riding a car, though if you want to, a car rental price is around the same pricing.
We rented our ATV from Moto Denis via our hotel Athina Luxury Suites for €35 euros, a 300cc model, excluding fuel. €12 of fuel lasted us 1 and a half days of site seeing, and we drove from Fira to Oia and back, with many stops in between. We upgraded to ‘full insurance’ for another €10, that covers any damages up to €100. We loved the ATV so much we ended up extending it for another 4 hours the following day, with a top-up of€10. After reading online reviews that some vendors may not be as trustworthy, we figured it would be better to rent via the hotel.
Alternatively, you can rent ATVs and book tours from Santorini Best Tours by Omega Travel, which has a 5-star rating on Tripadvisor.
10. Visit an active volcano on a boat tour of the caldera
Santorini’s wild scenery and unique landscape are thanks to volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago, more specifically about 3,600 years BP during the Minoan Eruption, one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. As a result of multiple submarine eruptions, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, two small islands of black lava, were formed at the center of the caldera. Though considered active, it is mostly dormant, and therefore many tourists make it a point to visit. Walk on the solid black lava side of the steaming volcano and soak in the incredible scenery.
How to get there: Take a boat trip from the bustling port of Fira
and jump off the boat to wade in hot springs
After visiting the volcano, most boat rides will take you to the hot springs located nearby. The water temperature here ranges from 30 to 35 degrees Celcius as it mixes continuously with the normal sea currents. Containing sulphur, soaking in the waters here is said to be good for the skin, warms you up and also soothes your senses. Fair warning though, do not wear your best as the waters can leave a pungent smell of sulphur on your attire.
11. Ride a cable car up Fira for just 4 Euros (~S$6)
When arriving at Old Port, you can take a cable car ride up to Fira town. Cable cars arrive every 20 minutes and give you a spectacular view of the Caldera. In just 3 minutes, you will reach the top! An alternative is the infamous donkey rides, which were provided by locals before the cable car was up. However, many reviews advise against the donkey ride and opting for the cable car instead – for a smoother experience and to discourage animal cruelty.
12. Be mesmerized by the wonders of a Red Beach
Arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini, this red beach located just down the Akrotiri ruins, is a true beauty. Backed up by massive red cliffs, the rusty colours of the sand gives a mesmerizing contrast with the clear blue waters of the sea. The beach is relatively small and can get pretty crowded especially during high season, so you can choose to admire the unique landscape from the headland, which is about 2-minutes from the parking space. The trail to the red beach is a little tricky and takes about 5-10 minutes. Be sure to watch out for falling rocks here.
13. Go back in time at Akrotiri archeological site
Ancient Akrotiri is the village left behind after the devastating volcanic eruption. Get ready to be blown away by the island’s fascinating history here, as you get rare glimpses into urban life in the Minoan period. It’s elaborate architecture and vivid frescoes demonstrate the high level of culture on ancient Santorini. It will take at least 2 hours to visit the site.
14. Get to stay in a windmill
For your honeymoon, go for a unique experience and stay in one of the most picturesque Santorini hotels in Oia – Golden Sunset Villas. Carved into the steep side of the cliff, it overlooking the marvelous caldera and sunset. The best part is, you get to stay in a traditional windmill! It can accommodate 2-4 persons, making it suitable for families too!
15. Visit the countryside’s farmlands and wineries
For a romantic spin to your honeymoon, head South to explore the beautiful Santorini countryside, away from crowds of tourists. Sign up for a wine tour and get ready to taste distinctive fine wines. The predominant grape, Assyrtiko, produces superb dry and dessert Appellation wines. Click here for the best wineries in Santorini.
and sample 18 types of wines at one go
Head to Santo Winery for their 18-wine flight tasting, paired with cheese and a spectacular view. Opened since 1992, this winery has paired technological advancement in harmony with their traditional methods. Receiving over 80,000 visitors yearly, you can visit the winery on a guided tour which showcases the process of vinification and aging of wines. Following the tour, head to the wine car to taste special award-winning wines, and delight in the enriching and rich flavours. At Santo Winery, they have a charming terrace and a room (120 pax capacity) that can host weddings and private events. Be sure to try their assortment of Vinsanto, a sweet dessert wine.
16. Catch a flick in an open-air cinema
Catch a movie under the stars at The Kamari Open Air Cinema. Delightful cocktails and popcorn await you. Find their shows here.
How to get there: Main Road, Kamari, Santorini Greece
17. Sail the high seas
Experience high life on the seas with a sailing tour by Santorini Sailing. Go “Pirates of the Carribean” and reveal rock formations, chance upon stunning beaches, and soak up incredible views of whitewashed towns perched up high on the caldera.
18. Swim in the waters of Kamari and end off with a food feast
Kamari is situated 10km southeast of Fira, the island’s capital. The black sand beach is gorgeous and the water sports here are aplenty. Take a nice walk along the waterfront and discover delightful local eats in the restaurants. Stop by To Pinakio, the top rated restaurant in Kamari on Tripadvisor.
19. Swim for free at the Lioyerma Pool
If you are staying in Oia, head over to Lioyerma for a refreshing swim. It’s technically free, and you only need to buy a drink or some food to use it. It offers a great spot to watch the sunset too!
20. Get scoopfuls of homemade heaven at Lolita’s Gelato
Located in Oia, near the bus station you will find a gem serving you scoopfuls of freshly made gelato. A must-have to tide through any hot day. Unique flavours await, such as rosewater, red pepper. Be sure to try to classics blueberry or pistachio. A small cup is €2 and you can enjoy 2 delicious and creamy flavours. A medium goes for €4 and large goes for €6. Near the bus station is also a stall selling freshly grilled corn. Also, try the Moukassa at the cafe right next to the bus station – it is super delicious.
21. Fulfill all sweet tooth cravings with the best Baklava in town
Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo held together with honey or syrup and filled with chopped nuts, and is usually served up during special occasions like weddings because it takes a lot of time to prepare. This pastry is made almost everywhere in Greece, but what makes it special in Santorini is the pistachios that go in them that are grown right on the island. Lotza in Oia is said to have the best baklava. It has the ability to turn any day around. Don’t miss this.
22. Snack on the best Gyro at Lucky’s Souvlakis
Gyro is a classic (and very affordable) sandwich in Greece that many locals and travelers swear by. Similar to kebab, what’s different is that it is made using toasted pita bread instead of a flour wrap. Wrapping up lamb, pork or beef, the salad dressing and garnishes tops it off. At Lucky’s Souvlakis in Fira town, you can dig into a gyro pito for just €2.50. If you prefer a plated version, you can opt for the gyro portion (€7.50) which is good for two. Accompany your gyro with a refreshing cup of draft beer, at a price that compares to a soft drink. A 300ml is €3.40 and a 500ml is €4.
Another deli that serves up great gyros is Souvlakis Gyros Pita (~€2.60) at Good Mood Food, as well as yummy vegetarian falafels (~€2.50).
23. Quench your thirst with donkey beer
Donkey beer is not for the donkeys to drink. At Donkey brewery, you get the best brews you can find. Try the 3 brews which have caught the attention of all local and international beer enthusiasts – yellow, red and crazy. These beers are also available at the supermarkets and stores.
24. Eat Michelin-worthy food in a tiny, unassuming village
Judging by the undying queue at Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice at Chinatown, we all know Singaporeans are crazy over Michelin goodness. Selene, a restaurant in Pyrgos serves up scrumptious Mediterranean delights, made from top quality ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. Served with elegant presentations, this restaurant is a must-visit. Be sure to make your reservation ahead of time!
25. Scout for the best view of Santorini
It’s hard to miss Santorini’s beauty whichever spot you are in, but the fun lies in hunting out the best views. Walk up the meandering lanes of Pygros (15 minutes south of Fira) and you will find yourself with a marvelous view of the island. There you will also find a church and a castle.
How to get to Santorini from Singapore
Greece may sound like a distance away, but trust us when we tell you its worth every minute of the journey. In fact, Scoot has just released direct flights to Athens, the capital of Greece, with flights scheduled every Tuesday and Friday. Now you can fly to Greece at just a fraction of the price, in just 11 hours! Introductory prices feature a fly fare of just S$334, which is incredibly affordable as flights to Europe with full-fledged airlines is at least double of that.
Though I was initially nervous about taking a budget flight for an 11-hour long flight, the flight experience was surprisingly very comfortable. We will be reviewing our flight experience with Scoot, please stay tuned for it!
My round trip to Athens was less than S$700, which is comparably much cheaper than full-fledged airlines. Book from now to 25 March 2018 to enjoy the promotional rates.
From Athens, take a 45-minute domestic flight by Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, both run by the same company. It is the quickest way to get there. Alternatively, you can take a ferry which takes about 8 hours. Our flight from Athens to Santorini in late October cost about S$200 per pax.
Our full review of flying with Scoot to Athens is coming soon, stay tuned!
Best time to visit Santorini
The best time to visit Santorini would be late April to May (spring) and September to October (fall). During these periods, the weather is warmer and crowds are few. The peak season is from June to August during summer, and prices skyrocket during this period. May is the month when you will see tourists picking up on the island.
Our visit to Santorini was in late October. There were hardly any tourists during the day, with the exception of sunset hours. Though a notable trade-off is as winter approaches, temperatures start to fall and swimming at the beaches is not a good idea (unless you love cold very much). Do note that the October ushers in the low season and many hotels start to close.
Where to stay in Santorini
The towns of Fira, Oia, Imerovigli (where Skaros Rock is), and Firostafani are located along the caldera cliff and are great places to stay. These 4 towns enjoy dramatic views of the volcano, the caldera, and the blue Aegean Sea. During our visit, we stayed at Fira town and visited the others.
Each town presents its own style, though we really enjoyed staying at Fira, for it had great nightlife, shopping options, cheaper food, and was less crowded in comparison to Oia, but still had a good buzz to it. Fira is also closer to the airport (10 minutes away) and port (15 minutes), and it is also more central and easier to explore the Southern parts of Santorini (plus beach towns), which explains why it is the capital of Santorini. Imerovigli is popular among honeymooners for its quiet ambience. Oia does have a romantic flair to it and is filled with many designer shops and exciting finds around the corners.
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