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3 Spots Off the Beaten Path in Santorini, Greece

There is no denying Santorini, Greece is stunning. We spent 6 days on this lovely island, enjoying some of the most touristy spots. Then it got to the point that we needed to explore spots off the beaten path of Santorini, away from cruise ship crowds in Oia and Fira.

The sights are incredible, the idyllic white mountainside homes are just as picturesque as you see in travel magazines, Instagram, and even on the big screen (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, as reference). The sunsets are magical and the sunrises are worth the early rise – and that’s saying a lot because we’re not morning people.

We fondly remember all of this from our visit. In the same token, we also recall the surge of crowds in the afternoons in Oia and Firá that pushed us to find quieter, and less explored parts of the island. We found a few spots off the beaten path that are worth visiting and sharing with you.

featured blog image | off the beaten path in santorini

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Off the Beaten Path in Santorini, Greece

White mountainside homes looking over the caldera of Santorini, Greece

Hubby and I visited Santorini for a week and stayed in Oia. Which meant, we had the time to explore outside of Oia and Fira. We rented a car for part of the time and set out to explore.

Our local hostess, born and raised in Santorini, was a wealth of knowledge and insisted we venture outside of the tourist areas. I wish I had written down every single one of her recommendations to share with you. However, the following three spots were our favorites. 

The Good Heart Santorini

Produce market in Santorini Greece

This Tasty Itinerary was quite the find. It’s a produce market and a tavern. By now, it’s probably gained popularity, but we will never forget the warm welcome by the owner and the full tray of samples given to us the second we stepped into the shop.

a tray with samplings of tasty local treats in Santorini Greece

The majority of the fixings were homemade with local produce. We purchased all sorts of goodies to take back home: fig jam, Santorini tomato paste (prepared with local Santorini tomatoes), olives… etc.

As a matter of fact, this past Christmas my sister-in-law served the tomato paste we had given her as part of an antipasto and it tasted better than we remembered it being.

If you are a foodie, and you love to try local goods, stop by and have a taste. You won’t regret it.

Tasty itinerary Tip: Say YES to the Fig jam and tomato paste.

The Good Heart | Greece, Akrotiri 847 00, Greece (Google Map It) | Website

Red Beach

Red lava rock formations surrounding a bay of blue water in Red Beach Santorini Greece

Ever imagine what it may be like to step foot onto Mars? Mars with a large body of water, that is.

This is quite possibly one of the most unique beaches I’ve ever been to… so far. It is spectacular with its large red lava rock formations and rocky terrain. The clear cerulean water in contrast to it is simply breathtaking. Definitely, plan to take a dip here.

When we went in October, it wasn’t too busy, but expect it to be in the summertime. This can be a huge tourist spot, but not everyone that visits the island will venture off the beaten path in Santorini, Greece to see it.

Red Beach | Google Map It | Tripadvisor

Tour Option: Sailing Cruise in Santorini to Red Beach and Akrotiri with a BBQ [Book Here]

Wine Tasting at Art Space

At Art Space you’ll find an ancient winery and an art gallery in the same space. Plus, a free wine tasting!

At the Art Space not only do they provide samples of their wines, but they also educate you on their process as they give you a tour of their old winery. The old winery, a cave carved out of pumice rocks, has been turned into a beautiful art space displaying an array of art from international artists.

We enjoyed the wine immensely. The art was worth the visit, too. Delicious wine, plus great art… you can’t go wrong.

Tip: We absolutely loved their Vinsanto (a dessert wine). I highly recommend taking a bottle back home with you. We did, and it didn’t last long.

Art Space | Έξω Γωνιά 847 00, Greece (Google Map It) | Website

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Other Unique Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

1. Take a Cooking Class

During this trip, you will fall in love with Greek cuisine. Why not take a cooking class and learn how to make an authentic Greek dish. Return home with a new recipe to cook for your friends and family the next time you throw a dinner party. If anything, go for the food and wine! That’s enough of a reason for me.

2. Tour the Volcano

This is technically an off-the-beath path Santorini adventure, but only because you need to take a boat there. Otherwise, it’s a popular thing to do. We did a volcano tour when visited, it was cool and interesting. When will you ever tour a volcano? Remember to wear sneakers and be ready for a bit of a hike.

3. Food Tour on an Electric Bike

Take a tour of Santorini on a bike while making stops for Greek meze (bites). And, the bike is electric! The tour takes place in the lovely coastal village of Perissa in Santorini. You will have amazing views of the caldera during the tour and eat yummy Greekbites, drink local wine and coffee.

I needed this electric bike in Palma de Mallorca.

4. Hike the Best Trail in Santorini

Book a guide to hike the trail that takes you through the most incredible views of the caldera. Start in Fira, walk through Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia all while you learn about the history of the island. It’s one of the most popular hikes and definitely worth going with a guide that knows all the hidden pathways of the island they love.

5. Staying a Villa? Hire a Private Chef

As you know, I’m all about the food when I travel. Hiring a local private chef to cook us an authentic meal is a luxury I dream of and would absolutely take advantage of if we are staying in the right location, i.e., it must have a kitchen.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a chef cook a romantic meal for you and your significant other? Perhaps a nice family dinner where you don’t have to worry about going out and finding a restaurant that will seat you all? This is a great vacation indulgence that you will always remember because great food equals great memories.


I’d love to hear if you have any other spots in Santorini to share with us, leave them in the comments.


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Unique Things to do in Santorini, Greece

Keri

Sunday 16th of December 2018

I love finding quieter places when I travel! Going off the beaten path is a must for frequent travelers who get tired of touristy spots. I will definitely be keeping this post in mind for when I make it to Greece.

Kathy

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Kerry - I don't know how I missed replying to your comment. Yes! I love seeking out quieter spot. Love the touristy spots because I mean, they are touristy for a reason and part of the destinations history. Sometimes you gotta work around those busy times to explore the less unknown parts. Red Beach is busy during the summer time, but still it was a unique site to visit. Hope you get to visit Santorini soon!

Life Travel Soul

Saturday 22nd of September 2018

I'm glad you wrote this Kathy. Santorini is numero uno in our bucket list. I love reading about the different places we could visit over there someday........

Kathy

Wednesday 3rd of October 2018

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I hope you get to go to Santorini soon. I never thought I'd ever get there and somehow we made it happen. I pinched myself a lot to make sure it wasn't a dream. If you need any other recommendations, let me know. :)

Peanuts and Cacahuetes

Wednesday 12th of September 2018

I've been to Greece but not to Santorini (YET). I've just added it to my list though héhé Thank you for sharing these "secret" spots! I love to try local food, so I would definitely need to go check the product market! The red beach also looks awesome! I will keep this one in mind as well!! Thank you for sharing!

Kathy

Thursday 13th of September 2018

The Good Heart was one of my favorite finds. You'll love Santorini. It really is a beautiful island.

Katie Osborn

Wednesday 15th of August 2018

I love this post! Greece has never been a place I've ever thought I'd want to go to but reading this has made me rethink! The produce market sounds heavenly and Red Beach looks like such a beautiful spot. Thanks for sharing!

Kathy

Wednesday 15th of August 2018

The Greek Islands are so amazing. If you have the opportunity to go some day, go. You will not be disappointed.

Kat

Thursday 9th of August 2018

Wow, Santorini sounds just amazing and your photos are absolutely stunning! I would totally love to stop by the produce market you mentioned. I am looking for a place to visit this October and would definitely consider Santorini. Do you think it would be worth the visit even off-season?

Kathy

Thursday 9th of August 2018

I would recommend going off-season in October, that's when we went. Towards the end of October, I believe shops, restaurants and some hotels begin to shut down for the lull. It's a beautiful island. A week was a little too long for us, unless you are looking to sit around a pool at your hotel to relax for some days. Santorini is definitely worth a visit, at least once in your life. There area many islands you can take the ferry to from Santorini, so island hopping is another option. We headed to Naxos and it wasn't as crowded as Santorini in October. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you do get to try the Good Heart and bring back some goodies with you. =)