What You Really Need to See in Santorini

Santorini is one of the biggest hot spots for tourism in the world. I was lucky enough to visit while I was on a solo Europe trip and enjoyed every moment of it. When I was researching things to do in Santorini, a lot of the posts were all about Oia and the blue domes. I learned that while those places are a special part of Santorini, there is so much more on the island that is just as striking, if not more.

Map to reference back to when I mention certain places in Santorini.

I stayed in the Santorini Breeze Hostel located right next to Perissa Beach (that’s the bottom right of the island). The hostel was in a great location to explore the part of Santorini that I think is the most magical.

Perissa beach was by far the least populated part of the island and it was amazing. My friends and I laid on the beach most of our days there with no interruptions from anyone else setting up camp next to us or walking up to sell us something. We set up in between two paid beaches that seemed to be abandoned…and we were there during July!

The sand wasn’t really sand, but rather a bunch of tiny pebbles that could brush off easily – you know why this is amazing if you’ve ever been to a sandy beach!

The water was super refreshing – not too cold, not too warm – and we couldn’t help ourselves but to swim around as often as possible.

It was also from this beach area that we were about to rent some snorkels & swim out to some of the surrounding cave areas and explore! There weren’t any colorful reefs, but there were definitely lots of fish and it was really awesome to be able to be out there and see all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

Snorkeling in Perissa Beach

The next spot in Santorini you’ve got to check out is the Red Beach! This beach is much smaller and fills up QUICK, but if you show up early you’ll definitely get a good spot. It’s a little bit of a walk from where you park your car/ATV but as long as you follow the path you’ll turn a corner and see this!

Aerial view of Red Beach

We got there around 8 am and by 10 am the beach was starting to fill up. It’s called the Red Beach because the sand is actually a burnt orangey-red color! It is truly beautiful.

There are two places in Red Beach where you can set yourself up: the sandy beach & the rocky (still sandy) beach. We set up in the smaller rocky part of the beach because we figured less people would venture over there – we were right!

The water was clear as ever and while the rocks in the water made it a bit difficult to walk out (we had to be careful) it would have been a really great place to snorkel!

From our rocky/sandy spot in Red Beach

Because I was only there for about 4 days, we didn’t get to check out the white beach or other secluded spots. If I ever go back, I would be super excited to see more!

Oia is really great for taking trendy / beautiful photos, but don’t get caught up in the crowded city for longer than a few hours! Santorini has so much more to offer than whitewash buildings and 3 blue domes. Check out Perissa Beach – maybe even consider staying there instead of Oia and just spending an afternoon in Oia – I really think you’ll thank yourself later. 🙂


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