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  • A Cruising Couple | August 28, 2015 3:21 PM ET

    The Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Things To Do In Santorini

    The Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Things To Do In Santorini

    TravelPulse file photo. All other photos by A Cruising Couple.

    On an island that is practically overrun by tourism, it may seem impossible to find anything that is truly off-the-beaten-path in Santorini. But while the legendary towns of Oia and Fira are packed with so many tourists it makes you feel like you're in Times Square, the entire island isn't this way. Here are a few tucked away places in Santorini we recommend to escape the crowds.

    Hiking Skaros Rock


    The small peninsula of Skaros Rock that pokes out into the Aegean Sea offers fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding caldera. If you circle around the 20-meter Skaros Rock, it is even possible to climb and get a complete 360-degree view of your surroundings. Further on beyond the rock, there is a beautiful lone church built in typical white-and-blue Santorini style.


    We passed only a handful of other trekkers and had the church entirely to ourselves, a welcome relief after jostling and shuffling through the crowds in Oia during high season. The most direct way to hike Skaros Rock begins in Imerovigli. Navigate your way through the maze of hotels until you reach the dirt path that leads to the peninsula. The hike is not exceptionally long, although there are a lot of stairs, and a water bottle is a must.




    This town in the center of the island is built with the iconic Greek architecture we've come to know and love. Pyrgos is built on a hill and offers great views stretching out over the east side of Santorini. Grab a coffee or lunch at one of the cafes by the road before heading up to the old portion of town. There are multiple churches here, one of which is free to enter and admire. It's not an unknown tourist attraction, but it certainly doesn't get nearly as many visitors as most other Santorini hot spots.

    Vlichada Beach


    We found Red Beach and Black Beach to be quite crowded and stressful. Waiting in line to walk to the beach to then be packed like sardines on the sand? No thanks. Vlichada beach, on the other hand, is set beside stunning cliffs and had plenty of room for lounging.

    After you've soaked up plenty of sun, take a walk to the nearby fishing port or check out the old Tomato Factory responsible for producing the infamous Santorini cherry tomatoes.

    The Faros Lighthouse

    On the far side of the island is the Lighthouse of Faros. The drive to get to the lighthouse is worth it alone for the beautiful views looking back across the caldera. This is also a picturesque location to watch the sunset. Bring a bottle of Santorini wine and some olives to enjoy a romantic evening with your special someone.


    Gastronomy Santorini

    Gastronomy Santorini

    One of our favorite experiences in Santorini was the wining and dining. There are multiple wineries across the island and even a brewery where you can hop in for a tasting. But the highlight of our gastronomy adventure was our five-course dinner with Gastronomy Tours Santorini at Above Blue Suites in Imerovigli. Not only was the food a delicious mix of classic Greek cuisine, but the view is second to none.

    Sunset in Imerovigli

    Santorini Sunset Greece

    Imerovigli attracts primarily high-end travelers and, for some reason, remains a secret to those staying in Oia or Fira. However, we are confident that the sunsets in Imerovigli are better than Oia. We've done them both and while Oia, is the closest town to the setting sun, the panoramic views of the caldera stretching out before you in Imerovigli are astounding.

    Santorini Sunset Greece

    It is worth noting that to reach these places it is best to rent your own transportation. Scooters and quads are plentiful, easy to rent and powerful enough to get you anywhere you want to go on in Santorini.

    Have you been to Santorini? Did you visit any of these off-the-beaten-path places?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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