When it comes to devastating beauty and dramatic landscapes, the crescent-shaped volcanic island of Santorini reigns supreme. Enchanting in every way, this jewel of the Greek islands is definitely one of the most photogenic places on the planet. Sugar cube houses embellish rugged cliffs, while blue domed churches and fragrant bougainvillea pop with dazzling colour. Iconic whitewashed villages sit high above deep blue waters and multi-coloured beaches fringe the island. A once in a lifetime trip, you’re going to want photographic evidence of the stunning sights and picture-perfect panoramas.
Here’s our definitive top 10 Instagram spots in Santorini – just to make sure you’re the envy of all your followers!
1. Blue domes, Oia
Quite possibly the most iconic shot of the lot – the blue domed beauties of Oia are like every picture-perfect postcard of Santorini you’ve ever seen. Except in real life they’re even dreamier! The early bird catches the worm when it comes to capturing a crowd-free photo, so set your alarm and rise with the sun. It may seem like a tall order when you’re on holiday, but your Instagram feed will thank you later. Not to mention having the whole place to yourself. Watch in awe as the morning light spills over the heavenly hamlet, and don’t forget to peer out from behind the lens too. After all, this is a moment that needs to be cherished.
2. Santorini sunsets
Tried and tested spots for most visitors are quintessential Oia and Imerovigli – and while they’re both undeniably beautiful, they’re the worst kept secrets of the entire island. In low season it’s far less crowded, but in the summer months you may want to steer clear. Rest assured, there’s plenty of other spots to land yourself those bucket list sunset shots.
Head out on a sunset cruise and soak up every second of the glowing golden ball as it disappears into the horizon. If you’re a fan of the higher vantage point, then set up camp just outside Oia. A hillside north of the little town is your best bet to enjoy the stunning sunset without the crowds. Pack a blanket and picnic and you’re set for an evening you’ll never forget. Mother Nature takes this showstopping spectacle to a whole new level, so it’s no surprise then that Santorini sunsets are some of the most sought-after in the world.
3. Bloomin’ beautiful Bougainvillea, Oia
You might have noticed a bit of a theme with locales, but opulent Oia is simply spoilt when it comes to those iconic images we’ve all come to know and love from Santorini. A new picture unfolds around every corner and it’s bona fide Instagram gold! As you stroll through the sun-bathed streets and narrow alleyways, you’ll discover the bright pink bougainvillea that drapes itself beautifully across doorways and across verandas. Bursting with colour against the whitewashed houses, these pretty pink flowers are every bit as swoon worthy as you might imagine.
4. Skaros Rock, near Imerovigli
To give your Instagram followers a break from the jealousy inducing Oia, why not mix things up with the spellbinding Skaros Rock? The rugged rocky headland rises from the sparkling Aegean Sea, where once upon a time a castle proudly sat. Destroyed in an earthquake, now all that’s left is remnants of ruins. Steep steps serpentine from Imerovigli to Skaros, and there’s plenty of pictures to be taken as you stroll there and back. Be sure to hike out onto the rock itself and admire the views of the islands capital city, Fira.
5. Theoskepasti Chapel, Skaros Rock
You’ll find this symbol of Santorini at the lowest point of Skaros Rock, along the trail that begins in Imerovigli and connects Skaros to the village. The winding walkway ends at the enchanting Theoskepasti Chapel, sitting peacefully in front of the glittering sea. Another iconic blue domed beauty, many travellers choose to clamber over the roof and perch themselves by the bells for the best views (and pictures).
6. Amazing Amoudi Bay, below Oia
Work for your photo and walk down the 300 steps to Oia’s majestic marina – Amoudi Bay. The teeny port on the northwest tip is practically perfect in every way. A winning choice for a romantic evening and spot of sunset watching, the deep blue waves lap mesmerisingly against the rocky shore. Set against red and rugged cliffs, little boats dance gently on the water. Pictures taken here are guaranteed to be gorgeous, but nothing can quite capture the seas tranquillity or the bays serenity.
7. Fantiastic Fira
Welcome to Santorini’s capital! Wander through colourful corridors of homes, cafés and souvenir stalls, as well as luxurious, high-end shops. Amidst the colour of the main street, you’ll never be far from the famous whitewashed cave abodes and hotels that photograph so perfectly. It’s literally impossible to take a bad picture anywhere in Fira (or Santorini for that matter), so snap away until your heart’s content. The captivating capital makes a spectacular place to watch a magical Santorini sunset, so pick your perch and enjoy.
For the ultimate life of luxury, find your prefect sunset watching spot at the House of Lillies villa near Fira. Enjoy hours of gazing at the spectacular ‘edge of the world’ views and experience the holiday high-life (literally) at its best!
8. Alluring Akrotiri Lighthouse
One of the oldest lighthouses in all of Greece, you’ll find this vision of loveliness on the western tip of Akrotiri. It’s only a short amble across the cliffs to the little white lighthouse and yet another excellent sunset-watching spot! An idyllic setting, soak up the endless views across the sea-drowned caldera. Miles of wild beauty stretch out either side of the lighthouse, giving budding photographers countless choices when it comes to composition.
9. Red Beach, near Akrotiri
Santorini may not be famed for its beaches like other Greek islands, but its quirky offerings are not to be missed! Red Beach is one of the most impressive and scenic of all thanks to its distinctive tones. Your Instagram followers might think it’s a questionable edit, but in reality the beach really is that colour! Enveloped by steep red hills and stunning scenery, enormous volcanic rock formations sit comfortably in the sea. The contrast of red hues against dramatic turquoise waters show the seductive spectrum of nature’s perfect colour palette.
10. Thirasia Islet
Although not strictly part of Santorini (as we know it), a visit to this picturesque part of the world would be incomplete without a boat trip to the nearby islet of Thirasia. The beautiful bobbing boats along the water are just the beginning, with sleepy little villages and natural wonders peppered all over. Cameras at the ready, this peaceful holiday haven is just as full of character as Santorini itself!