3 Spots Off the Beaten Path in Santorini, Greece

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Are you looking for spots off the beaten path in Santorini?

Santorini, Greece, is undeniably stunning. We spent six days exploring popular and hidden gems away from the crowds. The picturesque white mountainside homes, famous from travel magazines and Instagram, are as captivating in reality. The magical sunsets and worth-it sunrises made early mornings enjoyable, even for non-morning people.

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This post was originally written and posted in 2018.

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Fond memories of our visit include the vibrant scenes in Oia and Fira, but the afternoon crowds prompted us to discover quieter, less-explored parts of the island. We’ve uncovered some hidden gems worth sharing.

A Few Spots Off the Beaten Path in Santorini

White mountainside homes looking over the caldera of Santorini, GreecePin

uring our week-long visit to Santorini, my husband and I stayed in Oia, allowing us to explore beyond the popular Oia and Fira. Renting a car, we embarked on adventures guided by our local hostess, a Santorini native with a wealth of knowledge. Though I couldn’t note her recommendations, here are our top three favorite off-the-beaten-path spots.

The Good Heart Santorini

Website | Greece, Akrotiri 847 00, Greece | Google Map It

We stumbled upon this hidden gem, originally a local market and now a thriving tavern. While it may have gained popularity, the owner’s warm welcome and a tray of delightful samples remain etched in our memories. The homemade, locally sourced goodies, including fig jam and Santorini tomato paste, were irresistible.

We brought back a variety of treats, and the tomato paste, showcased during a Christmas feast, exceeded our fond recollections.

For fellow foodies, visiting to savor these local delights is a must – you won’t be disappointed.

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

Red Beach

Google Map It

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

Ever imagined setting foot on Mars, complete with a vast body of water? One of the most unique beaches I’ve experienced mirrors this otherworldly setting. The large red lava rock formations and rocky terrain create a spectacular backdrop, while the clear cerulean water is breathtaking. It’s a perfect spot for a refreshing dip.

We visited in October, avoiding the crowds, but be prepared for a busier summer scene. At the same time, it can be a tourist hotspot; not everyone exploring Santorini ventures off the beaten path to discover this gem.

Tour Idea
Sailing Cruise in Santorini to Red Beach and Akrotiri with a BBQ [book here]

Wine Tasting at Art Space

Website | Έξω Γωνιά 847 00, Greece | Google Map It

Art Space offers a unique blend of an ancient winery and an art gallery under one roof, topped with a complimentary wine tasting! Explore their old winery, a cave carved out of pumice rocks, while sampling their wines and learning about the winemaking process.

The space was transformed into a beautiful art gallery featuring works from international artists. The delightful wine and captivating art make it a unique experience.

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.

Other Wine Tour Ideas
Experience Santorini Wine Tasting Small Group Tour [book here]

Where did we stay in Santorini?

Ifestio Villas Oia

We stayed in a beautiful villa in Oia overlooking the caldera at Ifestio Villas Oia.

The views were spectacular and unlike anything we ever experienced. The host and owner of the villas is a local who goes above and beyond to make sure you are enjoying your stay on the island she loves. We highly recommend it.

You can find many wonderful hotels and B&B stays in Oia. We would also recommend looking for hotels in the neighboring town of Imerovigli, which is just as beautiful and quieter.

Other Unique Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

1. Take a Cooking Class

Fall in love with Greek cuisine on this trip! Consider taking a cooking class to master an authentic Greek dish. Imagine returning home with a new recipe to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party. If anything, the allure of Greek food and wine alone is reason enough for me.

[book here]

2. Volcano & Hot Springs Tour

Embark on a unique off-the-beaten-path Santorini adventure accessible only by boat. Join a volcano tour for a cool and exciting experience—you don’t get to tour a volcano daily! Remember to wear sneakers, as there’s a bit of hiking involved. Don’t forget your swimsuit for the relaxing hot springs portion of the journey.

[book here]

3. Eat and Walk Food Tour

Make your trip extra special with a small-group walking food tour in the charming village of Firostefani in Santorini. Delight in scenic views as you savor local favorites like Greek coffee, olives, souvlaki, loukoumades, and more. A food tour is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culinary delights while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

[book here]

4. Hike the Best Trail in Santorini

Opt for a guided hike offering breathtaking views of the caldera, starting in Fira and concluding in Oia. This popular trek becomes even more memorable with a knowledgeable guide familiar with all the hidden pathways of the island. Explore the stunning landscapes of Santorini while gaining insights from a local guide who loves and knows the island well.

[book here]


Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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  1. That red beach has my name all over it! I can’t remember if we stayed in Fira or Oia, but it was the less popular one. We found a winery on the top of the cliffs. It was sheer heaven! Love finding great little markets too. Love these pics!

    1. Was it Imerovigli? Everyone told us the next time we return we should stay in the town next to Oia…. Imerovigli. We did visit there and it was so beautiful, peaceful and no crowds.

  2. Love the look of all of those places. You just can’t beat local knowledge, particularly when travelling in high season and trying to get off the beaten path. The local specialities sound amazing (fig jam ?)! There’s so much depth to the Greek Islands and once you have a car it’s easy to explore those hidden places where an authentic way of life continues. Really enjoyed your post!

    1. The funny this is that we were there in October, apparently the low season, but it didn’t feel that way sometimes. I do not want to imagine what it is like during the high season, haha. Lot’s to do in Santorini though. We had a great time. Hope you get to go someday soon!

  3. I can’t wait to go here one day!! It was nice being transported there while reading. ? I want to go to that shop and buy some tasty treats! I also want that wine!!
    Great post! Glad you shared it. ?

    1. It’s a beautiful island. I hope you get to visit in the future. Thanks for commenting and I apologize for the delayed response. =)

  4. 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?

    1. 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. =)

      1. What about the volcano? Someone told my husband to take the tour ? Does it worth it ? We are going to Santorini in July



        1. We took a sailing tour that took us to the volcano. We had a great time on the ship, and the hike to the volcano was interesting. It was a great experience. Would I go to the volcano again, probably not. Would I take the tour to enjoy the sail, yes. It all depends on what you’re looking forward to.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  7. 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.

    1. 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!