Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and it’s a real dream come true when it comes to photography. Although the island is full of amazing photography spots, it’s not always easy to find the best ones if you don’t know exactly how to get there. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you out!
So if you’re looking for the most instagrammable places in Santorini, you are in the right place! In this article I’m going to share all the best Santorini Instagram spots with their exact locations and useful tips about how to get there and what is the best time to go.
In case you’re visiting Santorini for the first time, you might be interested in reading my Santorini travel guide as well! It was specifically written for first timers and includes all the important information about Santorini you need to know before visiting, like how to get there, how to get around the island, when is the best time to visit and where to stay!
Disclosure: *This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
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Best Santorini Instagram spots in Oia
Sitting in the northwest corner of the island, Oia is the one of the most popular places to visit in Santorini. It’s one of the most prettiest cities in Europe and if you are looking for that postcard perfect view with the white washed cliff-side buildings and the deep blue roofs, that’s the place you need to visit.
Thanks to its popularity, Oia is undoubtedly the most crowded part of Santorini so taking photos there is quite challenging due to the millions of tourists. The best you can do is going there early in the morning when the majority of the tourists are still sleeping.
It’s best to stay at least one night in Oia so you can see a beautiful sunset and use the next morning for photoshoots. We did exactly the same during our 3 days in Santorini so all the below photos were taken during one sunset and one sunrise. I would recommend checking out all the places you want to visit in the morning on the previous evening. This way you will know exactly how to get there and you will not lose any precious time in the morning.
1. The Famous Blue Domes Viewpoint
Let’s start the list of the best Santorini Instagram spots with the most famous viewpoint in Oia! I guess you’ve already seen hundreds of photos of this location, with the beautiful blue domes, the pink church and the shimmering sea.
I hate to break it to you but this viewpoint is technically located on private property so unless you’re staying in a hotel/airbnb in the area, you can’t access this viewpoint. Normally I’m very much against violating private property but this case is a little bit different as basically the whole picturesque part of Oia has been declared as private property.
Advertising the beauty of Santorini everywhere and inviting tourists to visit the island and then close down half of the town and make them pay extra to stay in a fancy hotel if they want to visit the most beautiful part of the island is not really a fair game, at least in my eyes. And it’s not like you would actually enter someone else’s home, the private area is composed of normal streets that you can find everywhere else in Oia.
Anyways, I was pretty disappointed when I found it out, especially that I didn’t know it in advance because almost no one talks about this. Since you have to take literally three steps to reach this viewpoint after crossing the gate and no one seemed to really care, I decided to do it. Judge me as you like but I think it’s really important to stay transparent so you can decide on your own whether you want to do it or not.
How to get there:
Oia is like a real maze so unless you know exactly where you want to go and how to get there, it’s pretty hard to find this viewpoint (at least it was for us). Lucky for you I’m here to help you out!
First of all, turn on the satellite view on Google Maps (it will be super useful for finding the rest of the most instagrammable places in Santorini too) and search for Melenio Cafe. The storefront is located on the main street of Oia so you will easily find it (just check where the red line starts on the below map, that’s the storefront).
If you’re facing the cafe, turn right and take the first street on your left. Start walking down the street and soon you will see a little gate with the sign ‘Private property’ on your left. The gate is open all the time so if you enter it and go down three steps, you will arrive to the viewpoint! Your photographer doesn’t even need to enter the gate to take your photos.
Best time to go:
Although the viewpoint is technically on private property, no one really seemed to care and people usually line up during the day to take a photo with the beautiful view. If you want to avoid the crowds, go there for sunrise when the lighting is the best and be quick with your photos!
What NOT to do:
Whatever you do, please please do not climb onto the church! I’ve seen so many big influencers posting a photo from this location, sitting or standing on the roof. Please don’t follow their stupid example, it’s not okay to do this!
First of all, the blue dome belongs to a church. You’re not climbing on top of the church at your home either, right? Second, there is a sign that forbids it and specifically asks tourists not to do this.
Third, with entering the street you are technically already violating private property but to climb onto the church you would actually need to enter a real private property, not only a closed street. So please just don’t do it, okay?
2. Three Domes of Santorini Viewpoint
The iconic three domes are one of the most well-known landmarks of Oia and naturally this spot is also one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Unfortunately they are located in the private part of Oia so you can only get there if you book a hotel or airbnb in the area, or if you decide to sneak in.
This spot is basically on the other side of the famous blue domes viewpoint (the first Santorini instagram spot on this list). While you only need to go three step further from the gate to reach the first spot, this one is located a bit more deeper so you either have to go through the whole private part or you have to reach it from the other side (I would recommend the latter).
Good news is that this is the last place on this list which is located in a private area so the rest of the Instagram spots in Santorini are all in public areas! Even if you skip these two spots you can still make amazing photos in Santorini but since these two are the most iconic ones, I wanted to include them in the list and tell the truth about them so you can choose whether you want to go there or not.
How to get there:
If you want to avoid going through the whole private part (I would), then you need to get back to Melenio Cafe and start from there again. If you’re facing the cafe, you need to turn left (remember, you went right for the first spot) and then turn right to the first street. This spot is a little bit trickier to find but if you follow the map below I’m sure you will manage it!
Best time to go:
I would recommend to go early in the morning, either before or after to first spot. Remember, this is still a private part of Oia so it’s best to go around sunrise when there are not so many people on the streets to avoid any conflicts. The same rules apply here as well, please do not climb on the churches and be quick with your photos!
3. Blue Dome Photo Spot
If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Oia, you need to check out this spot! On one side you can see the most picturesque part of Oia (the one that is declared as private property) so this is a perfect place for landscape photos and you can also shoot some amazing pictures with the church bells as well. I hope it goes without saying that climbing on the church is a big no-no!
The other side of this spot is often overlooked but it’s also beautiful with the white washed cliff-side houses. If you’re planning to come here in the morning (which I would absolutely recommend), the sun is rising from this direction so you can enjoy the amazing lighting as well.
4. Main Street of Oia
The whole town of Oia looks like a postcard and the main shopping street is not an exception either. Usually the street is swarming with tourists during the day so it’s impossible to get some decent photos but if you can wake up early in the morning you can have the street all to yourself.
The beautiful storefronts, the deep blue doors and the flowering bougainvillea grants an amazing backdrop for every photo. As a bonus, you can also see a blue domed church from the main street! Trust me, it’s definitely worth the early wake up!
5. Blue Dome with Orange Walls
This beautiful blue domed church with the orange walls definitely belongs to the list of the best Santorini Instagram spots! If you’re lucky enough and you’re visiting during the summer, you can even have some beautiful pink bougainvilleas in the picture. We were visiting in the middle of September and although there were still many flowering bougainvilleas in the city, sadly this one was already dead.
This street is located on another part of the city and you will definitely come across with it if you’re going in the direction of Oia Castle. The street is very narrow and it usually gets very crowded during the day so it’s best to come here early in the morning.
6. Kastro Oia Houses
Located only a few minutes from Oia Castle and Ammoudi Bay, the stairway in front of Kastro Oia Houses is also one of the most well-known Instagram spots in Santorini. The orange colored house with the turquoise doors and windows looks super cute and the view is also amazing in the background.
To get the same picture you can see below, you need to stand on the stairs in front of Kastro Oia Houses while your photographer needs to stand further away from you on another stairway (where the guy is standing on the second photo below). If you want to avoid waiting in a line to get your photo, it’s recommended to go there early as well.
7. Oia Castle
Oia Castle is one of the most popular sunset spots in Santorini, based on that I think you can imagine how crowded this place gets around sunset. Now multiply it with three! It is really that crazy! So if you’re planning to shoot there during sunset, you will have a very, very hard time.
If you still want to try, then plan to get there at least 3-4 hours before the sunset to secure your spot and do not move until the sunset is finished. Oh, and expect to share the experience with at least 300 other people in a tiny place.
I’ve seen many overcrowded places during my travels but this one was one of the worsts! Instead of fighting with hundreds of other people during sunset, I recommend to come here early in the morning when there is literally no one around. And don’t worry, I will share another (better) spot for sunset soon!
Although this spot is called Oia Castle, don’t expect a normal castle at this place. Unfortunately it was destroyed in an earthquake and only a part of the old watchtower survived. So there is no castle in reality, just the ruins of the castle but the view is really beautiful from there so it’s absolutely worth visiting. Be prepared that this spot is usually super windy so it won’t be easy to shoot with flowy skirts or dresses.
8. Byzantine Castle Ruins
If you want to see a beautiful sunset without having to fight with the crowds, head over to the Byzantine Castle Ruins instead of going to Oia Castle! It’s practically the same place with the same view but while Oia Castle is located on the top of the hill and it’s always full of people, the Byzantine Castle Ruins are located lower on the hillside and it’s usually pretty empty.
It’s a bit challenging to find this spot if you don’t know where to go exactly because you need to go in a totally different direction than you would go to Oia Castle. If you want to know how to get there, head over to my post about the best sunset spots in Santorini where I shared a detailed guide with pictures and instuctions!
9. Street with Bougainvillea Tree
This is a totally random spot on a not so pretty street but the reason why I wanted to include it in the list of the best Santorini Instagram spots is the flowering bougainvillea tree on the street. You can find many beautiful bougainvillea trees around town but this was by far the prettiest!
We only found it by accident as we were staying nearby in a hotel called Marcos Rooms, which is located a few steps from the tree. The rooms are pretty basic there but if you’re looking for a budget friendly place in the heart of Oia, it’s worth to check it out! Since this street is not so popular, you can go there basically anytime.
Best Santorini Instagram spots in Imerovigli
Sitting on a clifftop overlooking Santorini’s caldera islands, Imerovigli is a charming little town which is often overlooked by tourists. It’s a pity because it’s just as beautiful as Oia or Fira and you can also find many amazing photo spots in Imerovigli as well. On top of that, since it’s not so popular you can easily shoot there during the day too!
Unfortunately we only spent a few hours in Imerovigli so I don’t have too many photos. If you have more time, it’s totally worth spending at least a full day there and I’m sure you will find many more interesting photo spots as well!
10. Anastasi Orthodox Church
The Anastasi Orthodox church is undoubtedly one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini as you can capture two symbols of the island at the same time: the blue domed church and the flowering bougainvillea tree!
In order to capture a similar photo to mine, you need to go to the street above the church (use the satellite view on your phone). You can easily shoot there during the day but of course if you can get there early, the morning lights can be beautiful there as well.
11. Streets of Imerovigli
This is another random location but this is the beauty of Santorini, every corner of the island is so picturesque! I absolutely loved the view from this street and it looks amazing on the photos but of course you don’t need to go to this specific location, you can find many similar streets in Imerovigli as well. Always keep your eyes open to see the beauty that surrounds you!
Best Santorini Instagram spots in Fira
Fira is the capital city of Santorini and it’s one of the liveliest part of the island. The city offers an amazing view on the caldera side and it boosts many great bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels. It’s absolutely worth staying there for a night or two to experience the vibe of the city!
You can find many amazing Instagram spots in Fira but since the city is quite popular, it’s not so easy to shoot there during the day. Early mornings are your best friends there as well! Both the sunrise and the sunset is really beautiful from Fira so it’s worth to time your photos around them.
12. Franco's Bar
Franco’s Bar offers an amazing view over the white washed buildings on the coastline so it definitely deserves a place on the list of the best Santorini Instagram spots. You can visit it practically anytime but the most magical time is undoubtedly around sunset. The city in the warm golden glow looks simply breathtaking!
The only downside of the bar is that it’s quite pricy. Coffees, beers, ciders and wines cost around 6-10 EUR (7-12 USD) while cocktails are between 15-20 EUR (18-24 USD). I know it’s a lot but I think it’s totally worth watching the sunset from there even with prices that high. This is definitely not the place to get drunk but buying one beer wouldn’t break the bank. And it’s so worth it for the view (and the photos)!
13. Church of St. John the Theologian
The Church of St. John the Theologian is quite unique in Santorini as instead of having a deep blue roof, this church is all white. It grants a beautiful backdrop to every photo, especially with the view of the city in the background!
If you want to take a photo without any other people in it then I would recommend going there in the morning when the streets are not crowded yet. Oh and one more thing: try to aim for some colorful clothes because as you can see on the photo below, my light colored floral dress didn’t stand out at all with the all white background.
14. Fira Walls near St. Stylianos Church
If you don’t mind waking up early, taking an early morning walk in Fira will be an unforgettable experience. You can walk all along the walls that run by the coastline from one side of the city to the other and you can get an incredible view of Fira along the way.
The road runs all the way to Oia along the coastline so if you love hiking, you can complete the whole trail. The trail from Fira to Oia is 10 km (6.2 miles) long in total and it can be completed in 2-3 hours.
Don’t worry, even if you’re not much of a hiker you can still find some amazing Instagram spots along the way, close to the city! My favorite one was the staircase above St. Stylianos Church from where you can see the whole city. If you go there in the morning, the lights will be really beautiful as well!
15. Three Bells of Fira
Often referred as the Three Bells of Fira, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church is one of the most iconic places in the city and it has been featured on many postcards. It takes around 15 minutes to reach it from the center of Fira and if you want to take some photos with it, you need to go to the street running behind/above the church.
Due to its location it’s not the easiest place to photograph but if you sit on the wall behind the church you can still take some great Instagram shots. Since your background will be the church and the sea, you can go there practically anytime because no one can really photobomb your pictures.
Best Santorini Instagram spots in Pyrgos
The charming little village of Pyrgos is located in the foothills of Mount Profitis Ilias, 7.5 kilometers (4.6 miles) south of Fira. It’s the largest preserved village on Santorini and it was once the capital of the island.
Pyrgos is often overlooked by tourists and not many people actually make it there so it has a much more relaxed vibe than the northern part of the island. The village looks super picturesque and you can find some of the most amazing Santorini Instagram spots there!
16. Monastery of Profitis Ilias
Situated on the summit of Mount Profitis Ilias, the Monastery of Profitis Ilias is one of the oldest churches on the island. It’s roughly 3 km (1.8 miles) away from the village of Pyrgos and since it’s located on the highest point of the island, it offers a breathtaking view of Santorini.
The monastery itself is really beautiful as well, it has a bell tower and it surrounded by four other churches and chapels. You have many photo options there, you can take a picture with the monastery, with the view, or just with the exterior stone walls and flowers around the monastery, like I did.
17. Saint George Church
Saint George Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Pyrgos. It takes a bit of an uphill walk to reach it from the parking lot but it’s absolutely worth it! It’s located close to Pyrgos Castle so it makes sense to visit both places at the same time.
There is a stairway right in front of the all white church so it’s easy to photograph it. Since Pyrgos is not so touristy, you can go there basically any time of the day!
18. Agios Nikolaos Theotokaki
Agios Nikolaos Theotokaki is another beautiful church in Pyrgos, it looks completely different than Saint George Church. It has a traditional deep blue dome and a tall bell tower which looks really picturesque. You can take an up-close photo with the church but it’s also visible from many other streets so you can easily find some creative angles as well!
19. Pyrgos Castle
Although Pyrgos Castle got seriously damaged in an earthquake in 1956, it’s still worth visiting it, mainly due to its amazing location. Sitting on a hilltop in the cute little village of Pyrgos, the castle offers an insanely beautiful panoramic view of the island and the shimmering sea. Be prepared that it’s usually quite windy so it’s not easy to shoot in flowy dresses!
Best Santorini Instagram spots in Akrotiri
Akrotiri lies in the south-west corner of Santorini. Since it is quite far from the main touristy area it’s not so popular among visitors and only a handful of people go there. The Akrotiri peninsula is famous for the ruins from the Minoan period so if you’re a fan of archeological sites I can totally recommend checking it out!
20. Akrotiri Lighthouse
Akrotiri is quite small and the village itself is not so picturesque but lucky for us there is a pretty lighthouse in the south-west edge of the island. If you’re looking for the most instagrammable places in Santorini (especially during sunset) and you don’t mind driving a little, you definitely need to check it out.
While the view is pretty epic I only recommend going there if you have your own car and you’ve already seen the sunsets in Oia and Fira. Akrotiri is roughly a 50 minute drive from Oia or a 25 minute drive from Fira and you can park your car along the road close to the lighthouse. Since it’s not so popular it’s easy to find a parking spot and the parking is free.
There is a hill behind the lighthouse where you can easily climb up (there are even stairs carved to the hillside) and you can witness the sun setting right behind the lighthouse. The view is pretty magical but since you’re practically standing on a hill at the edge of the island, be prepared for some serious gust of wind.
Map of the best Santorini Instagram spots
I made a custom map for you that contains all the most instagrammable places in Santorini. You can easily open it up on your phone if you click on the bracket in the upper right corner! This way you can always check it during the day to ensure you’re not missing out on anything.
Where to stay in Santorini
The most popular side of Santorini is the western side. This is where you can have amazing views of the caldera and the volcano, not to mention the breathtaking sunset views! All of the luxury hotels are located along the caldera along with great restaurants and clubs, which makes it one of the best places to stay in Santorini.
The best and most popular caldera towns are Oia and Fira. If you are visiting Santorini for the first time, I would recommend to stay in one of these towns! Apart from Oia and Fira, staying at Firostefani and Imerovigli can be a great choice as well.
Below you can find some of the best hotels to stay in Oia and Fira for every budget. Do you prefer staying in Airbnbs rather than hotels? Then you need to check out my post about the best Airbnbs in Santorini!
Where to stay in Oia
Prime Suites offers a collection of individually decorated suites and studios on the top of the cliff, in Oia Village. Guests enjoy stunning sea views from private or shared terraces or balconies, some with hot tubs.
The Laokasti Villas in Oia is a traditionally styled complex consisted of of 17 spacious and comfortable hotel studios, apartments and villas. The complex includes well-designed hotel facilities and offers excellent services.
Where to stay in Fira
Standing majestically on the edge of the cliffs,boasts a restaurant with , and 3 overlooking the , the sea and the famous . All guestrooms have a private balcony or terrace overlooking the sea and the volcano.
Theoxenia enjoys a central location at Fira, in the famous cliffs. Overlooking the volcano or the town, Theoxenia offers free WiFi access throughout the property. Fitted with double glazed windows, all air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a minibar and a satellite TV.
Set in a, just a 10-minute walk from the center of Fira, the Greek-style offers a welcoming lounge, and spacious, air conditioned rooms. The well-furnished guest rooms and studios feature a balcony or offer access to the courtyard.
Santorini is a true paradise for photographers. The deep blue domes, white washed buildings and beautiful pink bougainvilleas grant a perfect backdrop for every photo so it’s practically impossible to take bad photos in Santorini. I hope you liked this guide about the best Santorini Instagram spots and you will be able to shoot some epic photos when visiting Santorini.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great instagrammable spots in Santorini? Let me know in the comments!
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