As the most famous and one of the best Greek Islands to visit, the list of things to do in Santorini is a long one. To experience the best, here’s where to find the best restaurants, beach bars and adventures according to the editors of Condé Nast Traveller

  • THE MAIN STREET IN EMPORIO, SANTORINIBEACHESMonolithos and Kamari are known as some of the best beaches in Santorini, but the satellite islands of Thirassia, Palea (old) and Nea (new) Kameni, reached by ferry from Fira, Firostefani and other resorts, are superior. CABLE-CARAlthough Fira’s town centre is dire, there is one reason why you absolutely must visit Santorini’s capital: the breathtaking cable-car ride down to the old port. The cable car soars off the edge of the volcano and floats down 300 metres, past extraordinary solidified lava flows and rock formations. It is one of the wildest white-knuckle rides in Europe.BOAT TRIPSThose who fly in and miss the dramatic entrance by sea can still experience it by getting out on the water. Sunset Oia Sailing Cruises will leave Vlychada and get to Oia to catch the sunset, with time for swimming from the boat and lunch.YIORGOS KORDAKIS
  • AKROTIRIDon’t miss Akrotiri, probably the most important archaeological site in the Cyclades. The city was one of the Aegean Sea’s most significant before earthquakes and a volcanic eruption destroyed it in the 17th century BC. The volcanic material preserved the buildings and their content, just like at Pompeii. FIRAFira has even more designer outlets than Mykonos Town and there are a fair number of cool bar/restaurants and nightclubs here, too. NEA KAMENINea Kameni island, in the middle of the flooded caldera, is one of the most violent volcanoes on the planet; it is also, of course, one of the contested sites for the lost city of Atlantis. The eruption that destroyed most of Santorini 3,600 years ago produced tsunamis that reached as far as Turkeyand probably wiped out maritime Minoan civilisation. The new craters that appeared in the following centuries are currently snoozing, although they are under constant surveillance by scientists at Fira’s volcanology institute. Tour the volcano by boat, or go for a walk around the crater to see it up close. OIASantorini’s star – its most attractive village, Oia, is the ultimate Greek Island village – all white houses and domed churches tumbling over the lip of the caldera. The town must be one of the most magnificent hotel settings on Earth, with its converted peasant houses on the very edge of the crater and spectacular sunsets that draw coach parties from across the island.YIORGOS KORDAKIS
  • THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SANTORINITHE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SANTORINISELENESophisticated Selene is part of the scene in Pyrgos, with its fresh ingredients such as octopus and tomatoes; the offshoot, Selene Meze and Bar, is more casual. In season, try sea urchin and artichoke salad and choose at least one dish that includes the local wild capers. Greek favourites – rabbit, quail, kid and lamb – all find their way onto the menu, though the brodedo (a fish stew) should not be missed. Yogurt or ice cream with honey makes a perfect finish.Address: Selene, Fira, 847 00, Greece
    • Telephone: +30 2286 022249
      Websiteselene.grOia VineyartAndreas Markozanes, part Ethiopian and part Greek, grew up in Finikia near Oia thinking of Santorini as ‘a rock that made money’. But through travel, he increasingly came to value the traditions of hospitality that are stitched through the island’s history, the rootedness that village life had given him growing up, and the wonder of its wine and agriculture. He wanted to bring all these things together in a restaurant, Oia Vineyart, which he started with his brother and a few friends. A food shop, gallery and restaurant are spread over a former wine store on one of Oia’s lanes. Upstairs is a furnished room where artists can stay and be fed while they work – as long as they leave one painting behind. They live what they preach about connectedness here.Address: Oia Vineyart, Oia 847 02, Greece
      Telephone: +30 2286 072046
  • Seaside by NotosThis restaurant and beach bar on bustling Perivolos beach wouldn’t look out of place in Ibiza, with its Moët and oyster bar in the black sand. Waitresses in cut-offs deliver elaborate fruit platters and Champagne cocktails to the cabanas; in the airy restaurant, the volume is loud and the focus is on Med-Asian seafood. Address: Seaside by Notos, Perivolos, Thira 847 03, Santorini, Greece
    • Telephone: +30 22860 82801
      Prices: About £75 for two BotargoAt the pinnacle of Pyrgos, Santorini’s prettiest village, is a medieval fortress where people flock to Franco’s, a classic spot for operatic sundowners. Now there’s another reason to venture up the meandering alleys. In a 19th-century mansion, Botargo has original frescoes on the ceiling, modern arton the walls, Cole Porter on the stereo, and white linen tables scattered across the candlelit square, balcony and roof terrace. The team have triumphed with the Mediterranean menu: marinated octopus with fava bean, marjoram oil and pickled carrots, John Dory with beetroot cream and fennel sauce, and a sensational chocolate cake with hazelnuts and sea salt. Address: Botargo, Pyrgos, Thira 847 00, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 30070
      Prices: About £95 for twoOvac
      One of the loveliest hotels on Mykonos, Cavo Tagoo opened an offshoot on Santorini last year – a ritzy little number with 11 rooms poised on the caldera. But the accommodation is almost an afterthought: the star attraction is the clubby poolside restaurant, Ovac, where a glamorous crowd gather at night for the island’s best sushi and cocktails (my favourite, the Aegean Julep, is a refreshing blend of gin, cucumber, ginger, lemon and green-apple liqueur topped with Aegean tonic). At first, the GrecoAsianmenu is confusing. You’re not sure whether to order king-crab tacos or halloumi saganaki. Whichever direction you take, you can’t go wrong. Spanakopita gyoza, sea-bass nigiri with sriracha, lobster and black-truffle giouvetsi are outstanding. Even a simple dish of broccolini charred on the wood-fired grill is heaven. But none of it comes cheap. 
      Address: Ovac, Imerovigli, Thira 847 00, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 28900
      Prices: About £125 for twoANA LUI
  • To PsarakiIt’s not new or fancy, but this jaunty tavern overlooking Vlichada’s fishing port serves some of the best (and most honestly priced) seafood on the entire island. Alongside whole grilled fish, order sea-urchin salad, sardines stuffed with fresh herbs, and for pudding, pears poached in local Assyrtiko wine. Be sure to call ahead to book a table overlooking the harbour. While you’re there, check out Santorini Arts Factory, an old tomato-canning plant that’s been converted into a museum, gallery and café, with a funky shop selling ceramics, totes and sarongs by Greek designers. Address: To Psaraki, Vlichada Marina, Vlichada 847 00, Greece
    • Telephone: +30 22860 82783
      Prices: About £65 for two AgazeNew this year, this yellow and blue bistro just outside Pyrgos is a cheery pit stop for excellent coffee or brunch. Pick up beautifully packaged sandwiches for a picnic and some of the herbal tea blends as souvenirs. Address: Agaze, Pirgos, Thira, Cyclades, Pirgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece
      Telephone: +30 2286 031003
      Prices: About £60 for twoANA LUI
  • Catch RestaurantCatch serves up sizzling Santorini produce such as fresh sea bass carpaccio and slow-cooked meat (we recommend the Blossom cocktail and the grouper fricassee), and the best seats in the house provide the sunset views the island is so famous for – without the bus-loads of tourists. Address: Catch Restaurant, Konstantinou Paleologou, Oía 847 02, Santorini, Greece
    • Telephone: +30 2286 072063
      Of the half-dozen fish tavernas packed along the waterfront at Ammoudi, this has the freshest fish and friendliest service.Address: Dimitris, 1, Oia, Ormos Ammoudiou 847 02, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 71606
      This 80-year-old taverna is a quaint spot to try traditional, reasonably priced dishes such as fava with capers, mackerel fritters and white-aubergine pie.Address: Aktaion, Firostefani, Santorini 847 00, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 22336
      Like its 200-year-old premises, this restaurant has stood the test of time: after two decades, it is still the top spot in town for dinner. Address: 1800, Oia 847 02, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 71485
      Websiteoia-1800.comNECTAR & AMBROSIA
      Modern Mediterranean food and warm service is a winning combination at Tony and Antonio’s place (they also run the 1864 Sea Captain’s House hotelin Oia). Try baked feta in black sesame and honey crust.Address: Nectar & Ambrosia, Oia, Santorini 847 02, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 71504
      Websiterestaurant-ambrosia.comFRANCO’S CAFEFranco Colombo has forsaken his legendary bar in Fira for a refined setting beside the fortress of Pyrgos. Top-notch cappuccinos and Bellinis. Address: Franco’s Cafe, Pirgos Kallistis 847 00, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 22860 24428 BEST BEACH BARS IN SANTORINIANA LUI
  • Theros Wave BarSantorini’s volcanic beaches look extraordinary, but they aren’t actually great for a cooling dip. The sea can be murky and the natural drama diluted by the thrum of basslines and jet skis. Vlychada is the polar opposite – it’s like swimming on the moon. And finding this mellow hangout on the beach is half the fun; navigating the dirt track through wind-sculpted rocks is like careening through a scene from Star Wars. Reggae floats across the terrace down to sunbeds shaded with thatched umbrellas. Get the party started with Palomas (mezcal, agave syrup and grapefruit soda). Address: Theros Wave Bar, Vlyhada, Thira 847 00, Greece
    • Telephone: +30 22861 12015
      Websitetheroswavebar.grKatharos LoungeOnly a few minutes from Oia, on a narrow deck wedged into a ravine and overlooking a secret beach, is the perfect post-swim hideout. It’s the creation of Bronte Oh and Vasilis Kavallierakis. Oh’s vegetarian menu is bright and beautiful: a rainbow of beetroot, orange, rocket and feta, griddled cauliflower with salsa verde, and smoked aubergine speckled with pomegranates. It’s easy to linger long past sunset drinking Crazy Donkey IPA (brewed locally), especially if some musicians show up – maybe a jazz trio, or a Syrian playing the oud. Address: Katharos Lounge, Oia 847 02, Santorini, Greece
      Telephone: +30 6970966754 LUI
  • Yalos Exo Yalos roughly translates as ‘the outback beach’. Beside a huddle of tumbledown fishermen’s shacks and a marina bobbing with wooden boats, it feels deliciously out of sync with frenetically popular beaches such as Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari. Between sandstone cliffs and crashing waves (the beach catches the north wind), Yalos is a converted boatshed with a laid-back, surf’s-up vibe. After dark, there are bonfires in the shadows, tables in the sand, and garlands of lanterns twinkling between the canvas sails overhead. Order the catch of the day three ways: sashimi, ceviche and simply grilled. Address: Yalos, Exo Gialos Beach, Fira, Santorini, PO 84700