Santorini Photo Locations – Iconic Places + Beaches

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Dreaming of a romantic trip toΒ Santorini with your camera?

Rugged cliffs rise from the Aegean Sea toward white washed villages perched overlooking a volcanic caldera.

Santorini is the glamourous star of the Greek Islands. It’s iconic, strikingly beautiful and one of the most popular destinations in Europe.

Famed for it’s white buildings and cave hotels, Santorini is where you’ll find honeymooners, cruise trippers and of course photographers hoping to capture those iconic images.

Dazzling with it’s dip into the water, watching the sun set here is an experience you can’t miss when visiting Santorini. Blue domed churches, cave hotels and a landscape like no where else on earth, it’s a place to visit and be wowed.

Below you’ll find an interactive map to the best photography locations on Santorini, then some details on all the spots mentioned along with example images.

Interactive Map: The Best Photography Locations on Santorini Island


Oia

While it’s no doubt the most popular village on the island, Oia has lots of photogenic nooks where you can escape the crowds and capture a unique yet still iconic image.

Firstly, there’s the iconic shot of the blue domed church surrounded by colourful buildings. You’ll find this spot just off the main pathway before Patisserie Medevio (if coming from the bus station or Fira direction), wander down the staircase to find the ideal view looking over the church.

West of the main tourist bustle, you’ll find almost deserted streets even at sunset where you can wander and capture the warm glow against colourful doors and windmills. Head for Lioyerma Lounge Cafe Pool Bar and along the way you’ll find loads to photograph!

Another spot for an alternate angle is the path leading toward Caldera Villas and a small port at the base of the cliffs. Here you’ll be treated to a number of vantage points looking up toward the churches and cave hotels of Oia along with yachts and the deep caldera waters below.

Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.comSantorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Amoudi Bay + Beach

Amoudi Bay, a colourful port, sits beneath Oia and offers a different perspective looking up toward the village above. Brightly coloured wooden boats bob on their moorings and seafood restaurants line the waters edge. It’s also the starting point for a water front path that leads from the restaurants towards Amoudi Beach…Santorini’s Secret Beach where you can swim and look up at the village and cliffs above. There’s a rocky island you can swim over to which is popular for thrill seekers wanting to jump off the little platform next to a church.

Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.comSantorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.comSantorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Skaros Rock, Imerovigli

Skaros was originally one of five fortifed settlements on Santorini but since the early 1800’s it’s remained uninhabited after a series of eruptions. Now you’ll find a church located on the northern (sea side) of the rock and a path that winds to the top where you can capture incredible photos at any time of the day. It’s a striking landscape in front of the quiet village of Imerovigli and well worth the hike up!

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Akrotiri Lighthouse

View the entire caldera from this impressive lookout on the tip of Santorini’s south western point. Located above rugged cliffs from here you can see back towards Oia on the opposite side of the island and watch the sun rise or set…without the crowds! Hire a quad bike or car to get here because it’s a long walk from anything.

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White Beach

The most impressive beach in my opinion, Santorini’s White Beach is a crazy blend of the tropics and history. Each cliff and rock has marks of tide lines and weather waring from years gone by while beneath the surface, glimmering white rocks glow like still teal coloured whales. Located in the cove next to the Red Beach, you can soak up the sun on a rainbow beach tour all day! For the best views of the White Beach hire a kayak or swim out to one of the rocks and look back, the cliffs are epic!

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Akrotiri Cliffs + Caves

On the coast west of the historic Akrotiri you’ll find a plethora of hidden caves and cliffs. Best accessed by kayak you can paddle into deep, narrow caves where you’ll be treated to light streams highlight the intense depth and clarity of the water. Take a waterproof camera to snap split-level photos or capture the volcanic rocks beneath the surface. Read about my kayak adventures of this coast here.

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Cave Hotels

Where else in the world can you photograph a hotel room that’s built like a white cave into the rocks with sea views from their cliff top positions? Santorini is the only name that pops into my head too! You’ll find hundreds of cave hotels located in Fira, Imerovigli and Oia where doors lead into rooms far bigger than they appear from the outside. Keep an eye out for last minute specials and especially in the off-season you’ll manage to grab a great deal for staying in one! I stayed at the Caldera Villas in Oia, our cave suite was huge and we had deck chairs, a pool and breakfast all overlooking the caldera…so perfect.

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Anastasi Church, Imerovigli

Popular with Greek Orthodox weddings, this church in Imerovigli also has one of the best views on the island. Situated in the village of Imerovigli, it looks back toward the luxury hotels of Fira and often has cruise ships anchored nearby. Just beside this church is another popular location, while it’s a smaller church, it offers a panoramic view looking up and down the inner coast of the caldera.

Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Oia Castle

For the iconic sunset shot of Santorini this is your spot. It’s where the sun dips to the sea and you can watch sailing boats head for the horizon. If you’re keen to visit the castle for sunset I suggest getting there at least two hours early, take some snacks and a drink while you soak up the view and capture the changing light. Also grab a spot away from the main castle platform as come sunset it will fill to the brim, a not so pleasant experience to be caught in the middle of! (see photo below)

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Oia’s Back Streets

One street back from the main thoroughfare you’ll find almost 90% less crowds and colourful facades to photograph. Follow the path from the main bus terminal west past restaurants like Candouni and Karma instead of following the path lined with tourist shops toward the views.
It’s quite difficult to get lost in Oia so be sure to venture down as many pathways possible. If you do loose your bearings, head for the sea views and in no time you’ll find everyone else!

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Red Beach

Named Red Beach for good reason, here you’ll find a red beach. Smart arse I know. It’s as stunning as it sounds. Following suit with the rest of the island, the beach is backed by a large red cliff and boulders. Swimming here is like no where else on the island with azure seas sparkling over the mix of red and black volcanic sands.

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Fira to Oia Track

Taking in the three main villages of Santorini and hugging the caldera coastline, this 3-4 hour hike is like a photo lovers candy store. Venture past gorgeous hotel entrances, colourful doors and blue domed churches each offering a different vantage point of the island. Once you hit the track you’ll have uninterrupted caldera views to keep you company, can take a photo stop at the scenic Church of Panagia before arriving in Oia for a well earned Tzatziki and Gyros!

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Hotel Entrances

The luxe hotels have picture perfect entrace gates and doors, just begging to have their photo taken. You’ll find white walls with bold yellow or blue doors, some with ornate detailing, others with the caldera view as their backdrop. Take a wander past The Vasilicos, Dreams Luxury Suites and Chromata between Fira and Imerovigli then Katikies, Caldera Villas and many more in Oia. Pegasus Suites and Spa is a must for photographers looking to capture clean lines blended with jagged white staircases and domed roof tops…it’s all visible from the path. Avoid jumping the fence to stand on the roof tops…there was hotel security close by each time I visited.

Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com santorini-greek-islands-by-the-wandering-lens-07 Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Fira Lookout – Cafe Irini

Fira is one of the three main towns on Santorini. Here you’ll get those iconic shots with cruise ships anchored below the cliffs. It’s the closest white washed village to Ormos where the ferries zip in and out, and also located above the Old Port where boats dock to collect cruise tourists. This means it’s a bit less quaint than Oia or Imerovigli and even has a gondola to take people back down the cliff. That said, it still boasts those impressive views over the caldera and if you’re keen to capture an iconic shot, head for the corner near Cafe Irini where the path turns and you’ll get great views back towards the village and cruise ships below.

Santorini Photo Lookout by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com FiraSantorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Opposite Vallas Cafe – Fira to Imerovigli Walk

Just opposite this little cafe you’ll find an old wooden boat perched on top of a white washed roof. It’s also where there’s a seahorse ornament with the caldera backdrop, a perfect spot to take some iconic shots!

santorini-photo-locations-greek-islands-by-the-wandering-lens-40 Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com


Nikolaou Nomikou

This is the main path through Oia, it’s touristy, crowded but oh so colourful. One of those do it once but then find some other less populated spots. Actually, you’ll no doubt find you have to walk along this path to get anywhere so all I’ll say is be sure to avoid it just before sunset as everyone rushes to the Oia Castle for the best view in town.

Santorini Photo Locations by The Wandering Lens www.thewanderinglens.com

Opposite Vallas Cafe - Fira to Imerovigli Walk Just opposite this little cafe you'll find an old wooden boat perched on top of a white washed roof. It's also where there's a seahorse ornament with the caldera backdrop, a perfect spot to take some iconic shots!


Β Inside the Caldera

Looking up from inside the caldera is a view not to be missed. You’ll most likely get this vantage point when approaching by ferry but it’s worth booking a boat cruise or kayak trip out so you can photograph it slowly as you are taken beneath the mighty cliffs. Most boat cruises will end with sunset, a great chance to photograph the island with changing light falling over it.

Santorini Sailing Day Trip by The Wandering Lens 29 Santorini Sailing Day Trip by The Wandering Lens 05 Santorini Sailing Day Trip by The Wandering Lens 06


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Lisa Michele Burns

Lisa Michele Burns

Photographer at The Wandering Lens
Lisa is the founder and photographer behind The Wandering Lens. As an Australian currently based in France she's never in one place for too long and is always looking for the next destination to photograph whether it be above or below the water. With 10+yrs as a professional photographer, all advice found on this site is from Lisa's personal experience on the road.
Lisa Michele Burns

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29 Comments

  1. jen

    May 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Amazing photography! and the map is really helpful for photographers and just plain tourists alike! I just went through your website and it’s amazing! i’ll be following this site from now on!

    • thewanderinglens

      May 13, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks so much Jen! Will be great to have you along for the adventure…also I’ve just added you to The Wandering Lens’ private FB group πŸ™‚

  2. Sarah Shumate

    May 13, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Your photos are freaking gorgeous, as always! I love the one with the donkey coming up the steps! Too cute! Still mad at myself for not getting a Greek Islands trip in while we were living in Europe. I’ll just have to move back after we’re done with this whole Singapore thing. πŸ˜‰

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 12:27 am

      There’s plenty of time for you to visit a Greek Island! You can do the Singapore to US route via Santorini, I’ll meet you there! πŸ˜‰

  3. Martien Janssen

    May 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Great post, love the map with locations and all info. Stunning images!

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 12:26 am

      Thanks so much Martien! Love your images of the Philippines πŸ™‚

  4. Sara

    May 13, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Your photos are stunning. I loved Oia! I only had a day there as we stopped there on a cruise and I need to go back.

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Thanks Sara! I was the same first time round, barely had 3hrs there but upon return I spent 4 days and it’s so worth the trip back!

  5. Kathi

    May 14, 2017 at 1:03 am

    You make it look so calm and peaceful – I love your photos! I’ve been to Greece before, but not To Santorini. I hope to there one day and do a big island-hopping trip πŸ™‚

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Kathi! This was in May so it was before the summer crowds took over the streets πŸ˜‰

  6. C-Ludik

    May 14, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Lovely photos & wonderful post ! Santorini is on on my bucket list for such a long time :-). I particularly loevthe photo with the donkey coming up the steps… So cute !

  7. Sally

    May 14, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Gorgeous photos!I’ve been to the island a few times, but never knew about the caves under Akrotiri Cliffs- will have to go back! You should add Nea Kameni to the list- the volcano in the center. Very barren & rocky (of course) with cool views of the island!

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 5:42 am

      Thanks Sally! Absolutely, it’s such a spectacular coastline! I’ll have to visit Nea Kameni next time πŸ™‚

  8. Laura

    May 14, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Love the photos! Santorini is still on my list πŸ™‚

  9. Kat | finding Malokoko

    May 14, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Stunning photos! And so helpful with the integrated map. IΒ΄ve never been to Santorini and your post just makes me want to book a plane ticket right now!

  10. Perri

    May 14, 2017 at 5:22 am

    This has to be the most thorough post I’ve ever seen on Greece.. I absolutely can not wait to go and this made it even more real! LOVE

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Wow thanks Perri! So lovely of you to say, definitely try to get there and experience the magic!

  11. Suzana

    May 14, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Love Greece, and I am every year there, the most of the time on Lefkada island, but Santorini and its beautiful white houses with the blue roof is on the top on my list for the next summer.

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 5:44 am

      So lucky Suzana, Lefkada is the island with Shipwreck Beach isn’t it? I’m hoping to go there one day and also Milos looks stunning!

  12. Lindsay | The Anthrotorian Travel Blog

    May 14, 2017 at 6:59 am

    These photos are amazing!! I wish I had this guide when I was in Santorini! (and a professional photographer with me too…)

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 7:05 am

      Thanks Lindsay, I hope you had a great trip all the same πŸ™‚

  13. Sophie β€’ The Wanderful Me

    May 14, 2017 at 7:00 am

    OMG! I was just there. I wish I would have found this post sooner, as I didn’t know where to find the iconic places to take pictures! Welp, looks like I’ll just have to go there again πŸ˜‰ thanks for sharing! Your pictures are amazing.

    • thewanderinglens

      May 14, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Haha it’s always nice to have an excuse to go back again, especially somewhere like Santorini!

  14. Ticket to Adventures / Piia

    May 14, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Absolutely stunning photography! Thank you for sharing this post, it is very helpful as I will be heading to Santorini this summer!

  15. Laura

    May 14, 2017 at 7:30 am

    These photos are incredible!! And the map is a really helpful extra touch, I shall be returning to this post if I ever make it to Santorini πŸ™‚

  16. Catherine - Red Door Ponderings

    May 14, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Great post. Santorini is so beautiful but it can be tricky finding the right spots to take gorgeous photos from. Your photos are lovely.

  17. Anna

    May 15, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Thanks for your tips, I may go to Santorini this Summer, as a fashion and travel blooger I’m always looking for the perfect photo spot ;))

    • thewanderinglens

      May 18, 2017 at 8:01 am

      How exciting! You’ll definitely have too many locations to choose from for fashion images, every building is the perfect backdrop not to mention the sea!

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