One thing became clear while exploring Greece on my fourth trip around the country: this Mediterranean gem seems more captivating by the minute.
Each time I visit Greece, it’s a different experience. You can pick your adventure on every island, from romantic getaways to heart-pounding adventures.
Santorini is a place that I keep returning to over and again. There were amazing sights at every turn on a self-guided ATV ride around the island. Oia was my favorite because of its “straight-out-of-a-postcard” beauty. This corner of Santorini was the location of many of my favorite photos.
Before you go
The island is a maze of narrow streets and winding alleyways, which presents a challenge, especially in Oia. As stairway after step appears, it can quickly get very hot. After a long hike you may reach a dead-end, or private property.
Keep it cool, both literally and figuratively. You can take breaks in the shade, so bring a hat and lots of water.
It is important to remember that Santorini does not serve as a vacation destination, but is a permanent home for many people.
Avoid being intrusive and don’t walk on rooftops or other places not designated as public walkways. You can damage old architectural treasures by walking over roofs, even if they are technically part of a public area like a church or hotel.
Start early in the morning to avoid crowds and get access to the best spots. Without the need for photo bombers, you will enjoy the stunning views that you have been longing for.
You can still get the iconic sunset shots, but be prepared. These sunset photos were taken while I was elbow-to-elbow with other shutterbugs. Book well in advance to secure a table at a restaurant that boasts a spectacular view.
Get creative! You won’t find the best photos online if you copy them.
These are little nooks that you find while you’re just walking around. Follow the road. The island will feel like a paradise once you leave the main roads. You can find more deserted treasures by heading to Imerovigli.
Castle of Oia
This panoramic 360-degree view overlooks the sea from the ruins of a medieval castle.
These Byzantine Ruins, also known as Fort Londsa and Oia Castle were home to the Argyri clan under Venetian rule.
This landmark is very popular at sunset when the music starts and people arrive. Be prepared for crowds and take the time to see the windmills from a little further back.
This castle is more than a beautiful spot. It also has an interesting history. It was used as a watchtower during Medieval times to defend the island against pirates.
You will find the most stunning views of Greece from this spot, which overlooks a rainbow of buildings to the west of Oia. You can easily recognize Santorini’s iconic Amoudi Bay from the steps that lead down to the cliff.
In summer, sunsets set around 8:30. You can beat the crowds by arriving at 6 pm. The crowds will quickly disappear after sunset and you can enjoy a spectacular evening view.
Take the main road to Oia Cliffside to the west to get to Oia Cliffside. There will be a path that leads to the bay. Continue on your descent, but make sure to stop at the bottom so you can enjoy the perfect view from up high.
Kastro Oia Houses
These are some of the most important lessons I have learned over years of solo traveling and trying to get great photos.
One of the most famous views in Greece is Anastasis Church’s iconic blue domes.
Two entrances will be visible as you approach the church. The private side is on the right. You’ll see a line to the left of the entrance. To cut down on your work time, arrive as early as you can in the morning.
Andronis Boutique Hotel
Their seaside caves were so beautiful that I returned for another stay. This spot offers a breathtaking view you don’t even have to leave your bed for.
Perissa Black Sand Beach
This beach is a unique spot for photos because of the black volcanic sand. You can either pack for a day at the beach or simply stop by to take a photo and have lunch.
Water shoes are a must for this camera. It’s hot here! It can burn your feet quickly in the summer.
The Church Bells of Fira Town
For couples, hiking between Fira & Oia is a romantic option. This is the best example of Greek architecture.
It can be difficult to photograph bells properly, so remember that!
A 5-minute drive from the Three Bells is an area that allows you to hike up to Skaros Rock. Although we didn’t do this, you could start from here before going to the Three Bells.
This stunning beauty was a highlight of my ATV trip around Santorini. Your photos will have a magical effect thanks to the lush merlot landscape.
Another highlight of my ATV trip was Megalochori, a small Greek village.
You’ll see churches such as Agios Nikolaos, carved into the rock. The Heart of Santorini is a small, heart-shaped hole in a stone that provides a breathtaking view. It is located only a few steps from the church.
You can visit the area known as the “Heart of Santorini” here. It is a small, heart-shaped hole in the caldera that allows you to see the ocean.
For more inspiration, check out my 20 Photos to Inspire you to Visit Santorini.