Blue Domes of Santorini: Where to Find & How to Photograph Them

Have you ever dreamed of standing atop the iconic blue domes of Santorini, basking in the warm Mediterranean sun? It’s no wonder that the vibrant colors and romantic atmosphere draw travelers from all over the world.

Although you will find many blue domes churches in Santorini, there are a few iconic ones you can’t miss. In this blog post, we will discuss where exactly you can find these iconic blue domes in Santorini and give some essential tips for capturing breathtaking photos.

Ready your camera, and let’s get started!

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The Most Famous Blue Domes of Santorini

1. Resurrection of the Lord Holy Orthodox Church, Oia

I bet you’ve already seen countless photos of this church, as it is one of the most photographed places in Santorini. This stairway is probably the most famous place in Oia, thanks to the blue domed church and the stunning backdrop. You simply can’t take a bad photo here!

What you might not know is that the church is technically located on private property, and there is a small gate at the beginning of the stairway, which is sometimes closed. Technically you are only allowed to enter if you’re staying at one of the hotels in the area, such as Luxus VIP SuitesCave Suite Oia, and Oia Spirit Boutique Residences.

However, tourists still line up here every single day to make the perfect Instagram photo and I think the locals are pretty used to it by now. After talking with many residents, it seems like they really don’t mind it as long as you’re respectful and you stay on the street.

What you absolutely shouldn’t do is try to take a photo while standing in the churchyard. That’s trespassing, and it is definitely not allowed. You will still see some people doing this but please don’t follow their example.

Since this is one of the most famous blue domes of Santorini, it can get very crowded here. So, if you want to take a photo without anyone else in it, make sure to come early, preferably around sunrise when the crowds are still asleep.

You will still be able to take a photo if you end up visiting during the day, but you might have to stand in line for a while. That said, people are usually very respectful, so if you don’t mind waiting, you will get your turn eventually.

2. Church of Spyridon

The Church of Spyridon is located right next to the Resurrection of the Lord Holy Orthodox Church, and these two are usually referred to as the ‘Three domes of Santorini’.

Although they are right next to each other, the stairway leading down from the previous church is actually a dead end, so if you want to get closer to this church, you have to get back to the main street of Oia and then walk to the other side of the church.

Unfortunately, the Church of Spyridon is also located on private property and it’s usually a bit trickier to get close as the street is sometimes closed down with an iron chain.

However, you can still take a nice photo of the church from a distance, and it’s definitely worth the effort. The view of the three domes together is simply breathtaking!

Other Beautiful Blue Domes of Oia You Should Visit

3. Church of Agios Nikolaos

This beautiful blue-domed church is lesser known than the first two on this list, but it’s still a must-see when visiting Santorini. It’s also located in the southern part of Oia, and it offers a stunning view of the Aegean Sea.

Unlike the other churches, this one is located on public land, so luckily you don’t need any permission to get close or take photos here.

The church itself doesn’t attract the same crowds as the churches of Resurrection of the Lord and Spyridon, but as it’s located on a street leading up to Oia Castle, it can still get busy during the day.

Therefore, if you want to take some stunning photos without any people in them, I suggest you come early in the morning or late at night. As a bonus, there is a gorgeous bougainvillea bush at the end of the street, so if you’re visiting during summertime, you can get a nice framing for your photos.

Girl in a blue floral dress walking down the stairs with a blue dome in front of her in Oia, Santorini

4. Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn

If you’re looking to visit some of the blue domed churches in Santorini, then make sure not to miss out on this place. The Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn was originally found within Oia Castle, however, after the earthquake of 1956, it was relocated to Oia Central Plaza.

With its Cycladic architecture, iconic blue dome, and whitewashed color, it’s no wonder that this church is one of Santorini’s most popular attractions.

The Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn also features an impressive bell tower and the interior is just as beautiful as the exterior, with frescoed ceilings, holy utensils, and a wall of carved statues and icons.

For the best photos, you’ll want to get here relatively early as the central square can get very busy throughout the day. If you have a wide-angle lens, you can experiment with a few different angles, like I did in the below photos.

5. Saint Georgios Oia Holy Orthodox Church

Although with its yellow coloring and blue domes, the Saint Georgios Oia Holy Orthodox Church is not a typical blue-domed church, it’s all the more reason to visit!

Its bright color makes it stand out against the traditional whitewashed buildings in Oia, and the blue domes add an interesting contrast to the yellow walls.

It was almost destroyed in the 1956 earthquake but fortunately, it was saved and restored to its current state. The church is standing in the middle of a square lined with cypress trees and there is a beautiful archway at the entrance of the square, which makes for a great photo spot!

Since it’s a little bit farther out of town compared to the other blue domes of Santorini, it’s a lot less crowded, therefore it’s easier to get a photo without anyone in it.

More Gorgeous Blue Domed Churches in Santorini

6. Church of the Resurrection of the Lord, Imerovigli

If you’re heading to Imerovigli, you can’t miss the Church of the Resurrection of the Lord. It also belongs to one of the most famous blue domes of Santorini and is located on a hilltop in the center of Imerovigli.

The church’s traditional Cycladic architecture is complemented by its bright blue dome, and the bell tower stands out from among the many white-washed buildings.

There are plenty of fantastic angles you can shoot from, but I’d recommend walking along the path above the church. From here, you’ll get stunning photographs of its famous blue dome and the breathtaking scenery behind it.

There is also a huge bougainvillea bush next to the church, which makes a beautiful addition to your photos.

If you want to capture some stunning photos, consider booking a flying dress photoshoot! It’s a unique way to capture the beauty of this incredible church, plus the photographer has access to many great spots you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.

7. Mother of Lord Theoskepasti Holy Orthodox Church, Imerovigli

This is one of the blue domes of Santorini you’ll have to work for, but trust me, it’s completely worth it!

Located on the edge of a cliff just outside of Imerovigli, the Mother of Lord Theoskepasti Holy Orthodox Church is a true hidden gem. It’s not particularly difficult to find but it takes around 20-30 minutes to get there from the center of Imerovigli, which scares off most visitors.

From Imerovigli, you have to follow the trail that leads down to Skaros Rock but instead of climbing up to the rock, you’ll have to stay on the path until you reach the church.

The view from the church is absolutely breathtaking, with a postcard-perfect combination of the blue dome, whitewashed walls, and the bright blue Aegean Sea in the background.

It’s one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Santorini but since it’s isolated and off the beaten path, you won’t find too many people there during the day either. That makes it ideal for capturing some incredible photos of one of the most beautiful blue domed churches in Santorini.

It’s not located within the village center, but you’ll find it down a winding path called the Theoskepasti-Skaros hiking trail. 

8. Eglise Church, Imerovigli 

Eglise Church is one of the lesser-known Santorini churches with blue domes. This makes it the perfect spot to photograph as you won’t have to fight against the crowds and you can take your time to find the best camera settings. 

The church is located in the center of Imerovigli and is one of the most beautiful places you’ll come across during your time in Santorini. Although it’s small, Eglise Church is a great place to visit with its blue dome, charming bell tower, and Cycladic architecture. 

There’s also a quaint courtyard which you can explore and use to get some great angles of the church. 

Just be mindful that Eglise Church is located on the main road, so traffic can get pretty busy! Although this beautiful building isn’t located on a cliffside, it’s still one of the most beautiful churches on the island.

However, its location does mean that you’ll have a peaceful experience here, and you might even get it all to yourself!

9. Three Bells of Fira

Often referred to as the Three Bells of Fira, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church is one of the most iconic places in the capital of Santorini and it has been featured on many postcards.

It takes around 15 minutes to reach it from the center of Fira and I recommend heading to the street that runs behind/above the church. From there, you’ll get some amazing views of the blue dome with the white bell tower, as well as the stunning backdrop of the Aegean Sea.

If you want to avoid the harsh lights, try to visit during the afternoon or around sunset time. The light will be much softer, and you’ll be able to take some great photos.

10. Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior Pyrgos Kallistis

If you want to visit some of the lesser-known but equally charming blue domes of Santorini, then the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior Pyrgos Kallistis is a great place to start.

This church is located in Pyrgos, a traditional village that was once the capital of Santorini. You won’t be next to the cliffside as the village is located inland, but you can shoot with the traditional Cycladic architecture in the background, which makes for some great photos.

The church is easy to find and you can easily spend a few hours exploring the historical buildings in Pyrgos. It’s a great way to experience the authentic side of Santorini and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristic locations.

11. Agia Theodosia, Pyrgos

Agia Theodosia is another picturesque church located in the village of Pyrgos. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior Pyrgos Kallistis so you can combine a visit to the two churches. 

It’s a bit of a climb to reach the church but it’s on the way to Pyrgos Castle, so if you’re planning on visiting the castle, it’s worth making a stop to take some photos of this beautiful blue dome.

As with the previous church, you won’t find any sea views here either. However, if you are willing to climb up to the castle, you can admire this blue dome with the stunning landscape of the countryside and the sea in the background.

12. Panagia ton Eisodion, Megalochori

The village of Megalochori is probably one of the most beautiful traditional villages in Santorini. It’s located around 6 kilometers (4 miles) from Fira and it’s the perfect place to explore and take some great photographs without the crowds.

One of the main attractions here is Panagia ton Eisodion, a blue-domed church located in the center of the village. It’s a small church with a beautiful bell tower, and it’s very photogenic.

We actually stayed in Vedema Resort, which is just a few steps away from the church, and it was the perfect place to get some great shots of the blue dome with the stunning backdrop of the village. If you’re just visiting, you’ll also find some great photo spots near the church.

When you visit Megalochori, make sure you take some time to explore this charming village and try one of the restaurants on the square. It’s a great way to indulge in some of the local flavors while getting a rest from all the sightseeing.

Best Blue Domes of Santorini on the Map

Below you can find a customized map that includes all the best blue domed churches in Santorini mentioned in this article.

If you open up this post on your phone and you click on the bracket in the upper right corner of the map, it will open up in your Google Maps app so you can always have it with you. Super convenient, right?

Planning a trip to Santorini?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Santorini. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

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Other Amazing Destinations in Greece: Athens | Mykonos | Milos | Naxos | Paros

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