Events & Activities


Horse Riding in Santorini: Experience Sunsets on Horseback

Imagine a stunning sunset over iconic Santorini’s cliffs. Now imagine one of the most unforgettable experiences in the world from horseback. It’s possible to make even the most memorable moments even more momentous with a horseback tour along the rim, winding down through narrow village streets, exploring the heart of Thira.

Booking a horse riding tour of Santorini is definitely a unique experience to be remembered. For travelers who thrive on journeys beyond the beaten path, the horseback adventures on Santorini are a real differentiator. Local companies offer custom tours on thoroughbreds through the meandering streets of the traditional village of Megalochori, in the cliffs and in the unique landscape of Vlychada. Although the most common horseback riding adventures on Santorini are along a beach (Vlychada), equestrians can choose to gallop along through awe-inspiring gorges or picturesque vineyards, and even to the archaeological site of Akrotiri, among other interesting destinations.

On horseback, visitors get a different viewpoint as they explore the spectacular villages, vineyards, hidden beaches, and as they ride along the caldera while watching the sunset. There are even combo-tours for riding and wine tasting, not to mention custom excursions for either new or experienced riders.

While some might think Santorini via horseback a novel or unrealistic excursion, it’s important to remember the horse in all Greek tradition. Remember Bucephalus, the legendary warhorse of Alexander the Great, as you ride the old dirt roads of Oia or explore the hidden ravines down toward the waiting volcanic beaches. You can also enjoy private horse rides with a romantic dinner along the way. You can even get married on horseback if you envision your Santorini visit as a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ask our guest experience specialists when you stay at Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa to recommend you the riding tour that best decribes your preferenceces and organise it for your and your loved ones.

We urge you to avoid riding donkeys, as the animals are now under governmental protection.

Solidarity Portrayed in Children’s Smiles

The General High-School of Santorini is supported by Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa and the NGO Agoni Grammi Gonimi through the innovative “WeAreTheEnviRonment” Program.

The first year of the innovative environmental program “WeAreTheEnvironment” has successfully been completed proving that the joint private and public initiatives aiming for the common good, can substantially contribute to local communities.

The program “WeAreTheEnvironment” came to life in July 2018 and inaugurated by the award-winning Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa hotel in Santorini, member of Metaxas Group of Companies, and the Greek Non-Profit Organization Agoni Grammi Gonimi.  Based on the pillars of Education and Social Service, the main focus of the Program is to raise awareness of the importance of the environmental protection against the improvident use of plastic. This program also succeeds in bringing entities and companies together, realizing thus the UN’s Seventeenth Sustainable Development Goal on “the partnerships for the common goals”.

Initially, the students of the three High-Schools of Santorini attended a series of environmental workshops under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and with the participation of the environmental organizations “Archipelagos – Institute of Marine Conversation”, “Hellenic Oceanographers Association”, “Aegean Rebreath”, “iSea” and “Greenest”. The second phase of the program included the design of the ecofriendly cloth bag ‘’WaterBag’’, which was distributed at specific selling points and supporters of the program, not only in Santorini island but all over Greece.

In 2018, 300 eco-friendly “WaterBags” bags were sold. The sales revenue supplied the General High-School of Santorini with necessary equipment. Some indicative equipment that students now have at their disposal are air-conditions, sports equipment, projector for presentations, refrigerator as well as equipment for the sports tournament. The donation took place in a gathering at the courtyard of the school in which the Teachers Association of the General High-School, representatives of Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa and the Supporters of the program were present. The genuine advocates of the program, however, were the children smiles and their happily shaped faces.

“We wish to thank everyone that has contributed to this program, so that we can stand here today. We are delighted to embrace environmentally focused actions, while both the students and the Teachers’ Association are delighted with the aims that this program fulfills.”, Mr. Antonis Karamolegos, Manager of General High-School of Santorini stated.

The General Manager of Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, Mr. Manos Borboudakis, addressing to the students, said: “The hope of this beautiful island depends on you, your generation and your willing to make the white the dominant color of your everyday life, by simply doing today your best for a better and sustainable tomorrow. Through this program, we did the least possible aiming to contribute to your environmental education. Besides, in all the hotels of Metaxas Group the support of the local communities, in which we operate, is the basis of our philosophy.”

During the delivery of the donation, Mr. Stefanos Nollas, the President of the N.P.O Agoni Grammi Gonimi, said: “We create solidarity branches through the partnership of the public and private sectors involving schools, shops, wineries, hotels, and consumers across the world. We are greatly joyous for this action. Now, we focus on the environment through our actions. The past generations have created the phenomenon of the tourism bloom in the island of Santorini, the next generations though are called to find solutions for its sustainable development.”

The innovative program “WeAreTheEnvironment” renews its promise and continues its actions the forthcoming year through the sale of the eco-friendly “WaterBag” and new actions.

The selling points and valuable supporters who participated and embraced the Program for 2018 are: the Ammos Stores, the Brusco Restaurant, the Domaine Sigalas, the Estate Argyros, the Mediterranean Dive Club, the Oia Vineyart restaurant, the Poniros Jewellery, the Santorini Arts Factory and the Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos“,  the Santorini Nautical Club, the Santo Wines – Union of Santorini Cooperatives, and the hotels of the Metaxas Group of Companies – Santo Maris Oia in Santorini, Candia Maris and Creta Maris in Crete. The program is also supported by selling points across Greece, such as the Benaki Museum Shops, the Gallerie Marneri in Athens, and the Idea Café and Emporium in Skopelos. Official transport supporter is the Blue Star Ferries.

If you wish to learn more information and support the “WeAreTheEnvironment” program and the “WaterBags”, you can visit the website, follow the WaterBags on Instagram @Water_Bags or just send us an email to

 To download high-resolution photos from the donation event please follow the following link:


Coming Up in a Few Days: “Santorini Experience”, the Ultimate Sports Event in the island

October 5 to 7, Santorini will host one of the most celebrated sports events of the year, the Santorini Experience event for swimmers and runners. The event is organized by the Santorini Municipality, the Municipal Sports Cultural & Environmental Organization in Santorini (DAPPOS) and the Active Media Group under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Hellenic Swimming Federation (KOE). Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa has the ultimate joy to be one of the main official sponsors of the event for the second consecutive year.
Sports enthusiasts and athletes will compete in open water swimming and running races. Olympic and open water world champion Nikos Gemelos selected the swimming route this year. The race starts at the harbor of the volcano and ends at the pier of the old port of Fira. Swimmers will arrive at the starting line by boat and compete on water 2.4 kilometers. This year, the competition has joined the Global Swim Series, which encourages participation in open water swimming all over the world. This year’s event will feature many big names of the Greek National Open Water Swimming Team such as world champions Kelly Araouzou and Antonis Fokaidis, European champion George Arniakos, and Greek champions Dimitris Negris, Stellina Aplanti, Dejan Jovanovic, and Dimitris Manios.

Nikos Polias, former marathon runner, holder of national best performance on the classical route, running coach, manager of All About Running, and technical director of the running section of the event, selected the paths for the joggers. There are three routes: 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers, and 15 kilometers, all with different levels of difficulty, and all following the caldera in the south part of the island, on the usual hike path from Oia to Fira with amazing views.
Competitors will receive their racing kits at the Alafouzos Sports store in Fira. All running races start at the desalination plant in Oia, in Perivolas, next to the Saint Vasileios Church. The location offers beautiful views of the village of Oia – it will make an excellent starting point for the three running races that take place on Saturday, October 6, 2018. There will also be a separate, 1-kilometer children’s race.
The winners will be celebrated in the evening with an artistic program featuring the International Dancing Group of Santorini “Stamatina Xiarchou” & Association of Pontians Eptamyloi Serres “Akrites.” A public concert performed by C: Real in the surrounding area of the Indoor Hall DAPPOS will take place the same evening at eight.
The Santorini Experience is an international, public event that puts world-class athletes alongside amateurs competing in a friendly contest that demonstrates stamina and skill, but also builds community and friendships with like-minded people from around the world.
Registration is open to all, free of charge. You can join Santorini Experience to compete, you can race for fun, or you can attend as a spectator. Anything goes. The purpose of the competition is to encourage fitness while its participants enjoy the beauty of Santorini.

Ifestia Festival 2018 Brings Fireworks and Magic on Santorini

Coming up every third Saturday in September the unique Ifestia Festival celebrates the gigantic volcanic eruption that altered the fates of the entire world in the second millennium BCE. Ifestia Festival 2018 will be a day-long celebration of life and light culminating in a reenactment of the eruption of Minoan Thera in 1600 BC.

What began as fireworks show back in 1991 has grown into one of Santorini’s most popular and spectacular events. This year, as in the past, Ifestia will hold the audience spellbound with a  magical Thera reminiscent spectacle, accompanied by great music and parties.

The fireworks extravaganza turns night into day as explosions reach 90 miles into the night sky over the caldera of Santorini. Organizers expect 2018 to be a repeat of last year when thousands of visitors from around the world planned visits to coincide with the show.

For those who have never witnessed it, Ifestia is not just an ordinary fireworks display, but a light and sound effects extravaganza that is a recreation of the lava flows and explosion that accompanied one of the most significant volcanic events in recorded history.

Amazingly, the locals of Santorini now embrace the power of this legendary volcano rather than fearing its might. This year’s festival will include folkloric events, dances, speeches, and exhibitions that shed light to the island’s distant past, culminating with the Thera explosion reenactment.

Many of the island visitors choose to see the Ifestia Festival from the water, booking boat tours. If that’s your case and you stay at  Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa during the event, we encourage you to get in touch with our Guest Experience Specialists to help you book a tour or assist you in finding the best spot to see the spectacle on land.

Social Responsibility in Action by Santo Maris Oia and Agoni Grammi Gonimi

Innovative environmental program with the participation of the High Schools of Santorini

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa in cooperation with the Greek Non-Profit Organization “Agoni Grammi Gonimi” and in the context of its Social Responsibility program, inaugurates the environmental awareness program “We Are The Environment” with the creation of the eco-friendly “WaterBags”. This innovative program, which is based on the pillars of education and social provision, and consists of two phases, aims to raise awareness regarding the conversation of the natural environment and to bring together the private sector for a common cause.

In the first phase of the program, the students of the three High Schools of Santorini were informed about important environmental issues, with emphasis on the pollution resulting from the excessive use of plastic. The interactive educational workshops took place under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and with the participation of the environmental organizations “Archipelagos – Institute of Marine Conversation”, “Hellenic Oceanographers Association”, “Aegean Rebreath”, “iSea” and “Greenest”.

The completion of the workshops was followed by the production of the “WaterBags”, the cloth eco-bags, which were inspired by the need to prevent our seas’ plastic pollution, and they will be distributed till the beginning of October at specific selling points and supporters of the program. The WaterBags’ sales revenue will fund the three schools that participated in the educational workshops.

The distributing points and supporters who embraced the program are: the Ammos Stores, the Brusco Restaurant, the Domaine Sigalas, the Estate Argyros, the Mediterranean Dive Club, the Oia Vineyart restaurant, the Poniros Jewellery, the Santorini Arts Factory and the Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos”, the Santorini Nautical Club, the Santo Wines – Union of Santorini Cooperatives, and the hotels of the Metaxas Group of Companies – Santo Maris Oia in Santorini, Candia Maris and Creta Maris in Crete. The program is also supported by selling points across Greece, such as the Benaki Museum, the Gallerie Marneri in Athens, and the Idea Café and Emporium in Skopelos. Official transport supporter is the Blue Star Ferries.

If you wish to learn more information and support the “We Are The Environment” program and the “WaterBags”, you can visit the website, follow the WaterBags on Instagram @Water_Bags or just send us an email to

The Wine Tours of Santorini

Santorini is a living vineyard as you will soon discover when you visit our beautiful island. From the many pastimes enjoyed by tourists, wine tours count among the noblest and fascinating.

We have already introduced you to the best boutique wineries of Santorini and you can always ask your Guest Experience team at Santo Maris Oia Resort & Spa to arrange a wine tour of the island you will never forget. We also offer wine tastings at the resort if you don’t have enough time to explore our favorite vineyards during your stay.

When you stay in Oia, the closest boutique wineries to your locations are Domaine Sigalas – which is also one of the most famous Santorini winemakers, not only for their wines, but also for their beautiful setting, and fantastic sunset views – and Vassaltis Vineyards, a new winery, which opened in 2016. Most other wineries are clustered in the south of the island in Megalochori, Pyrgos, and Episkopi.

There are different types of tours available for travelers who appreciate wine, the world’s second most popular alcoholic beverage after beer.

The standard tours usually will take you to three family estates where you can appreciate a selection of artisanal wines paired with local cured meat and cheeses or other bites. A sommelier or the winemaker will explain the wine-making process and introduce you to the particularities of each wine you will consume during the tour.

Connoisseur tours are more in-depth and usually more expensive. They can be either designed to impress or customized to meet the demands of the oenophile who ordered the tour. These may not be limited to visits to local boutique wineries and may include tastings of other Greek and Cycladic wines.

Sunset wine tours are in high demand as they end it a winery with spellbinding views of the celebrated Santorini sunsets. They may include visits to up to three traditional wineries ending in a relaxed sun gazing evening with wine and local food.

Private tours are exclusive and can be customized to the needs of the guests. They can last as long as you want them and can take you up to five wineries. Private winery tours, with tastings, and snacks. A few stops at other attractions in the countryside may be included.

History wine tours are interesting because they combine a wine tour with a stop to a historic site – usually Akrotiri. Due to their complexity, they may last as long as half a day, so be prepared to spend time on the road and to enjoy a truly unique experience.

Wine and food tours are designed to satisfy both the oenophiles and the foodies.

Finally, for island lovers who just cannot find the time for a wine tour, or simply don’t enjoy organized tours so much but still want to learn about the winemaking traditions and winemaking history in Santorini, a visit to the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum can be a rewarding experience. The museum tour ends with wine tasting.

If you visited Santorini and took a wine tour, we would love to hear from you. Use the comments form to send us your thoughts or join the conversation on Facebook where our guests share their most exciting Santorini moments, learn about our new offers, and all the fun you will have when you stay at Santo Maris Oia Resort & Spa.

Where to Find the Best Entertainment in Santorini

Santorini is not known for a choice of entertainment opportunities beyond its lively nightlife. But there are some excellent options for culture buffs who want to experience the island doing something else. The key to navigating the entertainment scene of Santorini is knowing a local, of course. You can ask your concierge at Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa for recommendations when you stay with us too. We’ll know the seasonal programme and we are happy to help. Besides, we have our own highly-acclaimed entertainment offer too, including saxophone, piano, or harp concerts under the skies, dance nights, thematic evenings, and more.

Alios Ilios Restaurant: romantic harp concert under the Oia sunset.

Villaggio 3D Cinema

Villaggio 3D Cinema at the Kamari Shopping Center is the right address for action-packed international blockbusters, but also for Greek movies. Offseason they screen in Greek, but during the summer they also showcase movies in English. Their stage hosts occasional concerts, theater, and other events too. Their current programme is available on their website.

Santorini Arts Factory (SAF)

The Santorini Arts Factory is another destination for entertainment on the island. The have a rich plan of activities, with various workshops for children and adults alike, exhibitions, concerts, sewing workshops, fairytale readings, and much more. This is alsoo the site of the Tomato Industrial Museum, one of Santorini’s must-see attractions.

Entertainment in Santorini: Tomato Industrial Museum

Live music under the full moon every summer

Most of the live events on Santorini are advertised with posters on trees, walls, and light poles. Check them out to find out where the next event takes place. Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, every full moon in the summer is celebrated with a live concert, and no words can quite capture the atmosphere. The breathtaking views of the caldera under the moonlight are the perfect accompaniment to the music. International and Greek artists perform, although, more often, the singers will be Greek.

White Door Theatro Firá

This is one of the most acclaimed entertainment venues of Santorini, famous for its Greek Wedding Show. This is not just a show to watch, but an interactive performance with actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and you. Children are welcome.

White Door Theatro

Atlantis Books in Oia

Atlantis Books is one of the worlds’ most beautiful bookstores, yes, but it is also an entertainment venue. Their summer readings on the balcony are famous among culture buffs, but they also host fancy events, like an annual International Tzatziki Festival, an Arts & Literature Caldera Festival, and even live music (in October, The Steams performed live at the bookstore).

Atlantis Books
Atlantis Books

As you see, although there are not many entertainment opportunities outside of bars, restaurants, and clubs, Santorini still has plenty to offer. Plus, the occasional street performers under the colorful sunsets of Oia will enrich your experience too.