When you talk about the Greek islands, most people have the same image in mind. Whitewashed cliff-top buildings with blue-domed churches. And of course the amazing sunsets. In other words, they think of Thira, or rather Santorini. A fantastic and super romantic cruise port that you should definitely visit once in your life. We’ve picked seven places to get the perfect postcard photos to share with your friends and family. Share these iconic locations on Instagram and Facebook and make lasting and lifelong memories of the beautiful Greek island of Santorini.
The eternal beauty of Santorini Greece attracts many cruise ships every year and it is no wonder that the island is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The rugged cliffs, the wild volcanic landscape, the wild nature, and the beautiful beaches, but of course the iconic cobbled streets are unforgettable. This in combination with the rich history and traditions makes Santorini the pearl of Greece.
Santorini got its current crescent shape around 1650 BC. There was a serious volcanic eruption. In ancient times the shape of the island was round and in fact, a myth says that Santorini miraculously emerged from the sea. However, due to the intense volcanic eruption of 1650 BC, about half of the island disappeared. It also covered the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri in the south of the island with ash. It also caused high waves that even reached the northern coasts of Crete. The Minoan cities were even destroyed, including the famous Knossos Palace.
Today, half of Santorini’s caldera is underwater. This makes it the only sunken caldera in the world. The volcano of Santorini is still active and over the centuries many eruptions have occurred. The last time was in 1956 when small volcanic islands emerged from the bottom of the caldera. In one of these eruptions, the island of Nea Kameni popped up, directly opposite the caldera villages. We visited this volcano island by sailing boat excursion but you can also go there by jet ski. It is a must-see in Santorini. You will literally get hot!
The most special and striking thing about Santorini is the architecture of the villages. These are built on and on the edge of the caldera. These picturesque villages are distinguished by their whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, beautiful churches, and above all, the breathtaking view from the caldera, on the Aegean Sea.
You arrive at the capital Thira. From your tender, you arrive at the bottom of the caldera and you can go up via the cable car or via a long winding road. The caldera stretches all the way toward Oia on the other tip of the cliff. The cable car costs €6 one way per person.
From Oia, you will enjoy the most romantic sunset of your life, with the orange sun sinking into the sea. This special atmosphere has made Santorini a popular wedding and honeymoon destination at the same time. You will probably come across a bridal couple being photographed. As you can see on the picture left the path to the top i
The beauty of Santorini has inspired many writers and artists over time. Filmmakers also regularly choose this island to shoot their films.
Many people also find connections between the island of Santorini and Atlantis. Although today this theory is believed to be a myth. As well as walking through the caldera villages, the beautiful beaches on the south side of the island are also worth a visit, including Red Beach, Kamari, and Perissa, which have developed into great seaside resorts.
But to really show that you have been to this beautiful island, you naturally want to capture it in your photos. To be able to enjoy it at home again, but also to show family and friends where you have been and how beautiful it is.
7 most beautiful places on Santorini for your perfect picture
On top of the list! The idyllic artists’ village of Oia is located high on the cliff. It’s a maze of winding, narrow streets lined with quaint shops and cafes, all carved into the high walls of the caldera. When you sail towards the island on your tender you will see it on the far left tip of the island.
Here you will find the most famous blue-domed churches of Santorini, Agios Spyridonas, and Anastasios. And this is the place for your magical sunset photo. You’ll want to be here well before dusk when the city takes on a party atmosphere in anticipation of the glorious golden rays.
Take a taxi, scooter, or boat to Oia or, like us, walk the approximately 9 kilometers along the narrow streets of the Caldera to this pretty town. The road there is already special. You pass through some very nice small villages, but also through somewhat rougher nature. It is sometimes a bit of climbing, especially when it is hot. However, it is really a must as far as we are concerned.
Halfway Imerovigli and Thira you will find a fantastic little restaurant terrace with the best view on your ship. This restaurant is in the village of Firostefani and is called Volcan on the Rocks. It has the best lunch and very nice wines. We enjoyed this place a couple of times during our visits and since then we must go back there every time we are on this island.
Oia Castle overlooks the city above Amoudi Bay. It is definitely the best place to catch the sunset. For an equally mesmerizing view, head out to the balconies of countless tavernas and cafes, or simply stroll down just about any street that heads towards the sea. Make sure you are in time for a nice spot on a terrace, order a nice glass of wine, look your partner in the eye in love and enjoy this unforgettable moment.
2- Fira (also called Thera or Thira)
Your ship’s tender will bring you ashore at the foot of the cliff below Fira. This is also the car-free capital of the island. There is a cable car at the bottom of the cliff that brings you up the cliff. Another option is the winding road of almost 600 steps up (and down!) which of course can also be taken on foot. There are also donkeys waiting for you but I have to say that I find it a sad sight to see those poor animals toil.
The town is bigger and livelier than Oia, yet just as charming. After the climb or cable car up you can take a beautiful selfie at the top of the stairs. You can see your cruise ship bobbing on you very far below. Enjoy all the nice shops of Fira and wander through the many winding streets and alleys and stop for coffee or Greek ouzo on a terrace.
Then follow the cliff path just outside town to Agios Theodori Church for a photo op of the famous Three Bells of Fira, with the church’s blue dome and the dazzling sea as a backdrop.
The village of Imerovigli is also known as the ‘balcony to the Aegean Sea’. It sits at the top of the caldera cliffs nearly 300 meters above the sea. Such a vantage point offers some of the most spectacular panoramas of Santorini. It is also a bit quieter than nearby Oia.
Ancients watched for pirates from a medieval fortress that once stood on the Skaros rock. Today, photographers capture the alien sunset. A path leads to the chapel of Panagia Theoskepasti, built into the cliff below Skaros with equally beautiful views. We once let ourselves be tempted to walk to this cute church. It doesn’t seem that far to walk from the top of the Caldera. I have to say we turned around halfway through. It really is a huge walk and a steep climb. Look before you leap!
4- Amoudi Bay
This bay can be seen from the town of Oia. Follow the stairs of about 200 steps down from Oia to this pretty port full of excellent seafood restaurants and lively bars. It is another favorite place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. It is not without reason that the popular dinner cruises depart from here. Find a table by the water’s edge and listen to the lapping waves as you take in the striking views of colorful fishing boats, whitewashed houses, and Oia’s windmill. All this against the red volcanic cliffs and the azure blue sea. This will always remain in your mind… and of course in your photo!
The village of Perissa is hidden behind the mountain Mesa Vounio on the Perissa Bay along the southeast coast of the Greek volcano island. It is the second most important seaside resort in Santorini after Kamari.
The coastal town is 13 kilometers from the capital Fira. The sandy beach of the holiday destination is long, quite wide, and dark in color. Adjacent is the smaller resort of Perivolos. They merge into each other with the hamlet of Agios Georgios further on.
Perissa is best known for its beautiful black sand beach. Enjoy a few hours at the beach on one of the sunbeds with umbrellas. And snap a few photos of the sand before walking up the mountainside on the old footpath. At the top, you will discover the 8th-century ruins of ancient Thera along with mesmerizing views.
Don’t feel like clambering and climbing again? Then stroll through the main square of the village. Here you can admire the Church of the Holy Cross – one of the largest churches in Santorini. A stunner with a blue dome.
6- Red Beach Akrotiri
While we’re on the subject of the beach. This place is best known for its incredibly well-preserved Bronze Age ruins. It is not for nothing considered by many to be the Minoan Pompeii. Yet the village also lays claim to one of Santorini’s most enchanting natural wonders: Red Beach.
This crescent-shaped stretch of pebble sand is sheltered by towering, red volcanic cliffs. The reflection in the clear blue water is simply fascinating.
Red Beach is small and can get quite crowded. So you may want to take your photos from above – or from below, with an underwater camera. Snorkelers swear by the many fascinating rock formations and marine life. So bring flippers and a snorkel!
The lively inland village of Emporio is located at the foot of Mount Profitis Ilias. The restored 15th-century Venetian castle and Nimborio tower ruin overlook it. Throughout the charming medieval alleys, you will find whitewashed Orthodox churches with blue domes and ornate bell towers. In addition to luxury bakeries, wine bars, and tavernas with terraces, you will find simple guesthouses and boutique hotels, sometimes located in traditional cave houses.
Visitors going to Perissa Beach often pass by this cute little town. A place that contributes to the peaceful, authentic atmosphere. You will find fantastic photo opportunities in almost every alley. Traditional Cycladic houses, blue-domed churches, curio shops, and family-run cafes.
Many buildings have been restored, including the 15th-century Venetian castle and fortified tower. Be sure to take a photo of the small church of Ágios Nikólaos Margaritis. You will find it at the entrance of Emporio and it is made entirely of marble. Are you lucky that your ship has a late departure or do you even have an overnight? Another great place to watch the sunset is the Gavrilos Hills just above the village. Here, the remains of eight old windmills amplify the enchantment.
While you are in Emporio, make sure to try a Greek coffee.
Santorini is all you ever hoped for. Romance and the vision of Greece you will remember. From the moment your cruise ship sails into the bay, you will be impressed by this special phenomenon. And on top of the rim of what was once a volcano, you’ll be awed by miles of the most beautiful view. Sunsets from a book.
In addition to taking beautiful pictures, the island is also special to visit. For more information about the funniest and best things to do on Santoni, read our Blog Things To Do in Santorini which is coming soon!
In addition, the island is wonderful for just shopping or walking more actively over the edge of the caldera from one picturesque village to another. One day in port is certainly not enough. Especially because it can get quite busy on the island when several and large cruise ships dock. When these have left in the early evening, there is a serene peace and quiet on the island. This means that you will definitely want to come back for a longer period of time to this beautiful island of Santorini.
But in the meantime, you have captured beautiful memories with these 7 Perfect Picture Spots in Santorini or you can already make the home front jealous.