Santorini is a Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea and it is infinitely famous for its beautiful white and blue towns perched on clifftops and for its incredible sunsets. The island is extremely popular amongst tourists from all over the world and as a result can become incredibly busy. However, once you go there, you understand why.
The charm of the typical white buildings, the blue dome churches, the steep car-free villages, and the backdrop of the Aegean Sea make Santorini an unforgettable destination. It’s no wonder that Santorini is on everyone’s European bucket list.
With a few villages on the island and consistently great weather, Santorini is the perfect Europe getaway location to take incredible photos and videos. The blue and white backdrop looks stunning in every photo and with the villages being small and walkable, creating content and visiting several different Santorini Instagram photo spots is very easily doable in a short amount of time.
This blog post reveals the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini, how to get to each place, and what time of day is best to take photos there for optimal lighting and minimal crowds.
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How to Get Around Santorini
Santorini is a relatively small island and has 3 major and well-known villages: the capital Fira, the arguably most famous village Oia, and the smaller but just as cute Imerovigli. These typical Santorini villages are very compact and small which makes getting around by foot extremely easy. Some parts of are also car-free which means if you want to explore the typical old town, you will need to park your car and set off on foot.
There are a few different options to get around between the villages and between the most instagrammable places in Santorini.
Our favorite option is renting a car. It gives you the flexibility to go wherever you like and whenever you like and it makes your trip much easier if you are looking to carry several outfits with you for photoshoots around the island. We rented a car with Kronos Rent A Car which we picked up at the ferry port and were extremely happy with our rental. It allowed us to get around the island super quick and visit the most instagrammable places in Santorini in no time.
We recommend you reserve your car in advance as there are limited car rental options on the island, and once they are all spoken for, you are out of luck.
Another way to get around the island to get to all of the Santorini Instagram spots is by bus. Santorini has a well connected and reliable public transport system which can get you to all the major villages. The longest bus routes are about 30 minutes and the buses run from around 7am to 10pm.
Bus tickets are between EUR 1.80 and EUR 2.50 depending on where you are going, and can be purchased from the driver. Make sure you bring enough cash as cards are not accepted.
Make sure you check the bus schedule in advance and note that public transport can get quite full during high season and you may have to wait a bus or two until there is enough space for you to get on. This would definitely be the cheapest option to travel between the most instagrammable places in Santorini but it might be quite time consuming.
If you don’t feel like renting a car or taking public transport, you can also take a taxi to get around. There is no Uber of Lyft in Santorini and all taxis on the island are grey Mercedes. Fira is the taxi hub on the island and if you are looking to get one, you need to call +30 22860 22555. Taxis shouldn’t be more than EUR 25 and you should always ask and agree on the fare before you get in.
Where to Stay in Santorini
Santorini has an incredible number of gorgeous hotels with personal pools, stunning ocean views, and incredibly cute rooms. There are so many options which make it difficult to decide where to stay in Santorini. These typical Santorini hotels come at a price point, rates for a room in either of Oia, Imerovigli, or Fira start at $200 per night and can get very expensive very quickly.
We put together our favorite low to high range AirBnBs to help you find the right fit for your Santorini vacation and a base to visit the most instagrammable places in Santorini.
Map of Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini
Finding these most instagrammable places in Santorini is relatively easy once you’re in each village, but finding the right angle might be a bit trickier. You can use the below map to help you figure out where exactly each spot is and create your own photoshoot itinerary.
A little trick when using the map is to switch it to Satellite view. Because Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli have car-free city centers and are only accessible by foot, there are no roads showing on Google Maps. The best way to orient yourself is by switching the map to Satellite view so that you can see the tiny streets and stairs and easily navigate to the most instagrammable places in Santorini.
Photo Etiquette in Santorini
Santorini is one of the most popular photo locations in Europe because of its gorgeous cities and dramatic ocean backdrop. Walking around Oia or Imerovigli, almost every corner is instagrammable. It is important to remember to stay respectful when taking photos around town and hitting the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Many places have private property signs, specific “do not climb” warnings, or even fences to keep people out. Make sure you respect other people’s property when taking photos here.
Keep in mind that Santorini is an incredibly popular travel destination and there are likely going to be a lot of content creators at the same place at the same time, trying to get that perfect shot. Be mindful of other creators and be patient. It’s best to be at your favorite Santorini photo spots early to make sure you have enough time to get the photo you are envisioning.
Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini
There are so many great Santorini Instagram spots and many of them are located in Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. We put together the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini and are also sharing instagrammable places outside the cities which you may not have seen before.
Best Photo Spots and Sunset Spots in Oia
Many of the most instagrammable places in Santorini are actually situated in Oia. They are relatively close together and easily reachable by foot. If you are getting around the island by car, arriving earlier in the day should guarantee a free parking spot. But even if you arrive later, you should be able to find free parking on Monastiri or you can find a spot in the nearby parking lot.
It’s only a few minutes walk from the parking lot to the city center and you can start exploring the most instagrammable places in Santorini.
Classic Greek Church
Santorini is famous for its cute churches and the typical church bells. Finding a church top that is easy to photograph without climbing on any rooftops is relatively difficult though.
When walking through Oia, we stumbled upon a classical Greek church with typical church bells that is easy to access and even easier to photograph. It is located right next to a playground and you can easily walk right up to it and take a typical Santorini-style church photo.
The best time of the day to take photos here is really any time you are in the area. Since this church is free standing, you won’t have to think about shadows from surrounding buildings.
Location on Google Maps: Classic Greek Church
Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views
Another location to capture the typical Santorini church bells with the ocean backdrop is further into the city center, close to the two blue dome churches. It is only a few steps down from the main shopping street in Oia and provides all the typical Santorini church vibes. This Santorini church doesn’t feature the famous blue dome but the original bells against the stunning ocean and volcanic backdrop makes for one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini.
This spot is very easily accessible and would be perfect to photograph after you have been to the Santorini blue dome church.
The best time of the day to take photos here is early in the morning. This spot will be completely lit by the sun and can cause harsh shadows if you go too late in the day. In the evening, the sun sets behind the hill, leaving this place completely in the shadows.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views
Typical White Santorini House with Ocean Views
Right next to these typical church bells is another perfect Instagram spot which is going to sweep your followers off their feet. The typical white Santorini house paired with the endless ocean views is such a great way of sharing the Santorini vibes. Finding a free-standing house in Oia is quite a challenge, as most buildings are so close to each other. There is no better Santorini Instagram spot than this one to show off the unique architecture style on the island.
Similar to the Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views Instagram spot, the best time to come here to take photos is in the morning to avoid harsh shadows. If you stop by later in the morning, you might have to take photos directly into the sun.
Location on Google Maps: Typical White Santorini House with Ocean Views
Santorini Pink Church
Possibly the most famous Instagram spot and one of the top most instagrammable places in Santorini is the view of the blue dome church next to the pink church against the backdrop of the deep blue ocean. It is not just quintessentially Santorini, it is also incredibly stunning in person. It is no wonder that this is one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini as the architecture of the churches is just breathtaking.
Getting to this spot is a bit controversial as this exact spot is on a private road. If you are staying at a hotel nearby, you will need to pass this road but for non-guests, it is technically private. That being said, when we were there, there were a few locals going about their day and nobody seemed to mind us taking a photo.
If you are planning to take a picture here, PLEASE be respectful! Know what pose and angle you want before walking down the stairs so you can snap your photo quickly. Also, and this should go without saying, do not climb onto the rooftop of the church! We see so many photos on Instagram with people climbing on the rooftop here even though it is explicitly forbidden.
The best time of day to take photos here is early in the morning. Once the sun rises, part of the church will be in the sun, whereas the stairs will be in the shade, making it more difficult to edit the photo. If you come here right at sunrise, you should be able to get even lighting and there will also be fewer people waiting in line to take a photo.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Pink Church
Santorini Blue Dome Church
Another incredibly famous spot and one of everyone's favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Blue Dome Church. Having the two blue domes standing high in the middle of the white city center is a beautiful sight and so typical of Santorini, you can’t possibly pass it up.
Getting to this location can be a bit controversial depending on the direction you are coming from. If you walk west from the Santorini Pink Church and walk down the hill and then follow the road east and make your way up the hill on the other side of the blue dome church, you won’t pass any private road signs and are able to access this famous spot without issues.
Only when walking further up to the main road, you’ll notice a sign saying the road you were previously on was private.
The best time in the day to take photos here is also in the morning as the sunlight will hit this part of Oia in the morning.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Blue Dome Church
Pink Kastro Houses
Another one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Pink Kastro Houses. This Instagram spot is known for the pink/orange houses in the middle of the otherwise completely white Oia, and it is just as beautiful as you see in all the photos.
Finding this spot is relatively easy, but getting your desired photo might take some patience, depending on what time of the day you are here. The most popular angle to take this photo is for the subject to walk down the stairs and for the photographer to stand on a street a bit higher up to capture the entire Pink Kastro houses.
Given the distance between the subject and the photographer, it might be a bit tricky to get a photo without other people in it and will require some patience.
As is true in most cases, taking a photo here without the crowds is best early in the morning, however, the Pink Kastro Houses will be in the shade at that time. We shot our photos here at 6pm, about an hour before sunset. The lighting was beautiful but the streets started to get very busy as people were starting to line up to see the sunset.
Santorini Sunset and Oia Windmills
Probably the one photo Oia is most famous for and easily one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Santorini sunset behind the windmills. Oia is known for its incredible sunsets and the hype is very real. If you are trying to catch the sunset here and get a good Instagram spot, make sure you are here at least an hour prior to sunset. We got to our at around 6pm – more than an hour prior to the famous Santorini sunset - and we were not the first ones waiting here.
That being said, getting a Santorini sunset photo here with the windmills, the white buildings, and the orange glow from the sun is everything it is made out to be.
The best time of the day to take photos here is the golden hour in the evening which will create beautiful pink skies and the perfect image of the sun setting behind the city.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Sunset and Oia Windmills
Best Photo Spots in Imerovigli
Imerovigli is a very charming little town between Oia and Fira. It’s not as famous as Oia but it is arguably even more beautiful and definitely less busy than Oia. We found some of the most instagrammable places in Santorini here. Kyle and I loved it here so much, we spent two days here taking photos and getting lost in the streets.
Similar to Oia, the city center of Imerovigli is a car-free zone and you will need to navigate the cute streets by foot. If you are getting to Imerovigli by car, you can park it in the parking lot here or on the street right in front of the parking lot here.
Imerovigli Blue Dome Church (Anastasi Church)
Possibly one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the blue dome church in Imerovigli. The way the city is laid out, you can get a beautiful close-up photo with this gorgeous church from the street above and you are also able to capture the flowering bougainvillea tree. Because Imerovigli is not as popular as Oia, you should be able to have this Instagram spot all to yourself regardless of the time of day you are here.
The best time to take photos really depends on what lighting you prefer. The church will be beautifully lit in the morning light as the sun will come over the mountain around 9/10am. If you are looking to capture the evening sun, note that you may be taking photos directly into the sun.
Location on Google Maps: Imerovigli Blue Dome Church (Anastasi Church)
Flowering Bougainvillea Tree (Cute Pink Tree)
If you are looking to get a beautiful Instagram photo with a flowering bougainvillea tree, this is the perfect Santorini Instagram spot for you. The pink flowers are incredibly vibrant and are a great way of sharing the vacation in Santorini feeling.
The best time of the day to take photos here is in the early evening so that you have the sun behind the photographer, rather than behind the subject.
Location on Google Maps: Imerovigli Flowering Bougainvillea Tree
Santorini Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli
Another iconic Instagram spot in Santorini is the church bell tower in Imerovigli. It is one of the biggest bell towers we have seen on the island and incredibly easy to access which makes it a perfect photo spot. Being situated behind the blue dome church, you won’t be able to capture the bell tower from the top of the hill, but you can capture it nicely when standing right in front of the gates leading to the church.
The best time to take photos at the church bell tower is early in the afternoon when you have the sun behind the photographer’s back. You may also be able to capture some great photos in the morning but would be shooting directly into the sun.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli
Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli
There is no visiting Santorini without taking a photo standing on a curved white Santorini rooftop. These white rooftops are some of the most instagrammable places in Santorini. However, since these buildings are private property, finding a place where you can do so without breaking the rules is a bit difficult.
You probably wonder by now if there is a way to take a photo on one of the iconic Santorini rooftops and the good news is there is! Imerovigli is the best place on the island to get a photo with a Santorini rooftop, without spending the night at a hotel that allows rooftop photoshoots.
We were in Imerovigli with a local who was pointing out the best Santorini Instagram spots and accessible rooftops to us. We are excited to share this spot with you as it is one of our favorites. The rooftop is located right in front of a restaurant. There were no warning signs there when we were there with our local guide, and nobody seemed to mind us taking photos on the rooftop which makes it one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini!
The best time to take a photo on this rooftop is any time throughout the day. In the morning starting at 9am/10am, the rooftop will be in full sun with the sun being on the left side when you face the ocean. As the sun sets on the right, you can get some gorgeous sun flare photos later in the evening, depending on which direction the photographer takes the photo from.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli
Best Photo Spots Around the Island
There is more to Santorini than the beautiful white towns and you can find some incredible Instagram spots all over the island. Some of the less photographed but just as breathtaking views are in the capital Fira, at the lighthouse, the red beach, or the monastery which is also the highest point on the island.
Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns in Fira / Thera
Fira or as it is spelled in Greek, Thera, is the capital of Santorini, the biggest city on Santorini, and by far the best city when it comes to shopping. While Fira is famous for its great shopping and dining opportunities, it is not as well known for having the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Part of the reason is because it can get very busy and taking photos here is generally a bit more difficult. However, the city is just as beautiful as Oia and Imerovigli and spending a few hours here taking pictures is a must.
Getting to Fira is relatively easy by car and by public transport. If you are driving with your rental car, you can park your car outside the city here which is only a short walk to the historic city center.
One of the most instagrammable places in Fira is the Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns. The monastery itself is incredibly beautiful and just out front is a cute walkway with an arch, making it a top edition to the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini.
The best time of the day to take photos here depends on how you want to avoid the shadows. Given that this location is next to some high walls, you might have a lot of shadows in your photos. If you are looking to avoid them at all cost, I recommend going in the early morning. We took photos here in the early afternoon and were able to edit out the harshness of the shadows.
Location on Google Maps: Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns
Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias
Up on the highest point on Santorini 1,860 feet (567 meters) above sea level is the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. It is one of the oldest Monasteries on Santorini and was built in 1711. The Monastery itself is incredibly beautiful and features the typical Santorini curved rooftop, but what you also come up here for is the incredible view. The elevation allows you to see the entire Santorini caldera and the main cities on the island.
The best way to get here is by car as there is no public transportation, but you might be able to book a bus tour that will take you there. Parking is available almost anywhere on the street.
You can take photos here any time of the day as you are on the highest point on the island and won’t have anything blocking the sun. However, sunset photos from here would be phenomenal as you can see the sun set behind the entire caldera.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias
Santorini Lighthouse (Akrotiri Lighthouse)
The Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on Santorini ad was built in 1892. Situated on the most western point of the island, the Lighthouse is a great place to see the caldera and get a view of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. The lighthouse itself is incredibly cute and the views from here are even more beautiful. However, taking photos can be a bit challenging as it is incredibly windy here. So windy, that I would recommend you wear tight fitting clothes as my skirt almost blew away!
Getting to the lighthouse is very easy by car. There is no public transportation to get here but you might be able to book a bus tour that stops at the Akrotiri Lighthouse.
Any time of the day is great to take photos here as there are no immediate surrounding hills that would cause shadows in your photos. Capturing the sunset from here would be stunning.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Lighthouse (Akrotiri Lighthouse)
Santorini Red Beach
While Santorini is not famous for its beaches, you can still enjoy going for a swim in the Aegean Sea and snap some instagrammable beach photos here. One of the most unique beaches on the island is the Red Beach. Contrary to what you might think, it is not called red beach because of the sand but because of the surrounding red rocks.
The red beach might not be one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini that you had in mind but the red rocks and red and black sand against the deep blue ocean blue can make for incredible Instagram photos.
You can easily get to the red beach by car and park your car in the nearby parking lot. From there, it’s a 5-10 minute walk to get to the actual beach. Make sure you wear shoes you are comfortable walking over rocks with as the trail to the beach is pretty rocky.
The best time to take photos here is in the early morning. If you come here right around sunrise, the beach will be completely in the shadow and you will struggle to get the vibrant colors you are looking for. As the beach gets pretty busy, being here in the morning and taking photos right when the sun hits the beach is likely the best plan.
Location on Google Maps: Santorini Red Beach
Edit Your Santorini Instagram Photos with The Next Trip Santorini Mobile Lightroom Presets
Spending time in Santorini and taking photos here has been a dream and what I love even more is being able to share my favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini with you! If you have already been to Santorini, you probably have thousands of photos from here (just like we do) and would like to edit them to bring out the vibrant blues and turquoise, the sharp white, and the pink from the blooming bougainvillea trees.
I put together a collection of Santorini Mykonos mobile presets specifically to help you edit your beautiful Santorini mobile photos. These presets are specifically created for mobile photos taken in Santorini and will turn the blues into vibrant blue and turquoise hues, reduce the harsh shadows you might have from taking photos around lunch time, and bring out the magical sunset colors from Oia.
You can get the collection of 3 Lightroom Santorini Mykonos mobile presets here and create the perfect photos from your favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini!
What are Your Favorite Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini?
Have you been to Santorini and are we missing anything on this list? If so what are the most instagrammable places in Santorini in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below. I loved Santorini and would be incredibly happy to go back and find some of your suggestions around the island.
Make sure you pin this post to your Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini Pinterest board for when you plan your next trip to Santorini!
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