To truly appreciate the surrounding countryside, take a hike. One of the most popular routes takes you from the cultural hub of Fira to the pretty cliff-face village of Oia in the north.
Fira is home to the beautiful 19th-century Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, and its rolling arches and imposing bell tower are well worth a visit. But be sure to mix up these well-trodden tracks by going south and inland to the quieter, traditional villages such as Emporio. It’s refreshingly off the usual tourist radar with its tangle of cobbled alleyways to get lost in.
Another spot that feels more like a cool Cycladic retreat than sun-seeker hub is the medieval town of Pyrgos. Built on a hill at Santorini’s highest point, it was the capital of the island until 1800.
Or wiend your way north of Fira through vineyards to places like Imerovigli. A rough path from here leads to Skaros Rock, positioned on the small peninsula jutting out into the Aegean Sea. If you’re happy with lots of steps to the top, you’ll be treated to a stunning 360-degree view of the caldera.