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.
1. 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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7.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.
8. 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.
9. Get to stay in a windmill
For your honeymoon, go for a unique experience and stay in one of the most picturesque Santorini windmills. Carved into the steep side of the cliff, it overlooking the marvelous caldera and sunset. It can accommodate 2-4 persons, making it suitable for families too!
10. 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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Eat Michelin-worthy food in a tiny, unassuming village
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! Santorini is a great gastronomic destination. Restaurants suchs as Selene, 1800, Kapari and many other offer an excellent level of gastronomy inspired by Mediterranean cuisine & ingredients.