Europe Greece

Things To Do in Santorini, Greece – Oia, Fira, Red Beach, Akrotiri

Santorini had been on my bucket list for a while, so it feels damn good to finally check it off!

With the goal of reducing expenses, I was initially unsure if I were going to visit the Greek Islands. But after some consideration I realized I HAD to even if I were to shell out a few more bucks. I decided to choose Santorini as well as Naxos, an island recommended by my friend.

A Summary of Things to Do in Santorini

Since I wanted to give you a day-to-day look at what I did in Santorini, I will list this quick guide first and share my journal entries afterwards:

Here is what I did:

  • Swam at the hotel pool
  • Explored Fira from early morning to late at night
  • Experienced Oia’s sunset (sort of)
  • Visited the archaeological ruins at Akrotiri
  • Sunbathed on the Red Beach at Akrotiri

What I also wish I did:

  • Ride a boat and jump into the hot springs

What I initially wanted to do and later realized it was not a good idea:

  • Ride a donkey – learned more about the animal cruelty behind it and realized it was a bad idea
  • Cliff diving – I’m super lame and decided I was too scared to do it

Now for the in-depth summary of my 3 nights in Santorini!

Day 1

I got off the ferry at around 6:30 AM.

greek islands ferries

If you think you’re going to arrive and see the gorgeous view right away, you’re mistaken!


What it looks like once you get off the ferry

The ferry was supposed to arrive at the port around 5:45 AM but the ferry was significantly delayed. Without any decent sleep, I was exhausted and ready for an afternoon nap. It was a struggle getting to Hotel Palladion, and of course check-in didn’t start until around noon…so we had to walk around Fira first.

hotel palladion

Hotel Palladion

When I arrived in the city, it didn’t overwhelm me like I had hoped. I was hoping to stare at the iconic white buildings with blue roofs in awe. But maybe it didn’t overwhelm me because 1. the morning weather was still foggy and made the landscape look less “saturated” in color, and 2. Fira is the city center, but the famous landscape Santorini is known for is in Oia.

fira santorini

Fira in Santorini

Okay, now that I look at this picture and recollect, Fira was quite beautiful as well. I think my expectations were too high.

I headed back to the hotel to rest. The hotel owners allowed us to check-in earlier at 10 AM because they felt bad for us! After a nap, and a quick swim in the pool:

hotel palladion santorini pool

we headed to Oia to check out the views.


Oia was gorgeous.

But I finally understood the meaning of “too many tourists”. When you’re trying to enjoy the moment, people are moving around every second trying to get their photos in. Oia was essentially a photoshoot setting, and apparently everyone was a model. I can’t complain though – the views were one of a kind, and I definitely got my photography game on as well!


The pink ninja that wanted to get in the pic

We counted down until the Oia sunset, which according to Google was expected to happen at 8:40 PM.

We literally found a spot that wasn’t too crowded and waited for 1 hour.


We were met with donkeys that decided to poop very close to us. Yes, it smelled.

The sunset ended up being quite anticlimactic because it was eaten by the clouds! I was disappointed, but oh well.

After eating at a nice restaurant in Oia, we went back to our hotel to sleep. We were debating about tackling the nightlife but ended up too exhausted to pursue it. Instead, my flatmate and I sang to Disney music all night before sleeping! Don’t judge.

Day 2

After waking up around noon (again don’t judge), we headed to Akrotiri, home of the Akrotiri Archaeological site and the Red Beach.

Akrotiri Archaeological Site

The archaeological site was 12 Euros for visitors and 6 Euros for students. If you’re an EU student you can go for free!

Archaeological ruins akrotiri

The site was actually more impressive than I had imagined, and I’m glad I went. The settlement was from the Minoan Bronze Age and was unfortunately destroyed by a volcanic eruption.

akrotiri santorini

akrotiri santorini

Red Beach

Killing two birds with one stone, we set off to the Red Beach which was in the same area. I was extremely impressed by the view:

red beach santorini IMG_1218

The trek getting to the actual beach was more difficult than I had imagined. It was quite steep, and some parts didn’t have ropes to make sure you didn’t fall off the cliff. But don’t worry I’m just a pansy – it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound.



Random doors on the beach

Nightlife – Murphy’s, Koo Club, The Highlander

We ended up going bar hopping afterwards despite our fatigue. To be honest, I don’t remember some of the names of the clubs we went to, but I’ve listed the ones I can recall in the subheader 🙂

santorini nights

At Murphys Bar

Day 3

I was supposed to leave on day 3. I ended up almost losing my wallet and missing the last ferry to Naxos. You can read about it in the link…but I basically didn’t do anything but check out the sunset from Fira. And I must say, I’m happy I did it:

santorini sunset


Was Santorini everything I had imagined?

Yes, and no!

To be honest, Santorini was awesome, but not “epically” awesome if you know what I mean. With the crazy images on Google search, I think my expectations were a bit too high. Oia and Fira aren’t places you can really get lost in because they are a bit small and excessively crowded by tourists. I think that really hindered my ability to enjoy my surroundings. That’s just my opinion, though. Let me know what you think about Santorini in the comments!

what to do in santorini

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