When it comes to Greek islands, Santorini is a must-see. Santorini has stunning villages with majestic views, remarkable local products, impressive history, and beautiful Cycladic architecture. Add the warm and welcoming people to all the above and you will get the perfect getaway destination for couples, friends, solo travelers, and families. This 3-day Santorini guide has been planned to show you the best of the island in just a few days. So, without further delay, let’s start planning your Santorini itinerary!
How to get to Santorini
Are you unsure how to get to Santorini? Flying is the quickest and most convenient choice. Santorini has only one airport, Santorini Internation Airport (JTR), which is located on the island’s eastern side and has recently been upgraded with expanded and modernized facilities. During the summer months, direct flights connect the island with several European cities, and there are many regular direct flights from Athens International Airport all year round (approx. flight time 50min).
It is also possible to travel to Santorini by ferry. Santorini is connected to Athens and other Greek islands by regular ferries. The cost of the ticket and the duration of the trip is determined by the speed of the ferry (the quicker, the more expensive), but it normally takes 5-8 hours from Athens and 2-3 hours from other Cycladic islands to reach the island. Booking your tickets ahead of time is recommended to ensure a seat, as they sell out quickly during peak season.
How to stroll around Santorini
Santorini is a relatively small and easy-to-get-around island, with a total land area of 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Attention! Before arriving on the island, ask your hotel in advance to organize a pick-up service for you. This is the most stress-free option if you want to get to your hotel immediately without wasting any time or money. Renting a car or quad is the easiest way to get around (do not choose this option upon your arrival at the port/airport in case you are full of luggage!), while walking is the best way to explore the beautiful villages. Remember that parking is quite challenging, especially during the high season. As a result, we advise that you get around on foot, by bus or by taxi when needed.
Your first day in Santorini
- How to spend my morning?
So, you made it! You just checked in to your hotel and you are all excited about what this magical island has to offer. Wear something light, grab your hat and sunscreen, and prepare to explore the island’s lovely villages.
Start your day at Akrotiri village. You will have the opportunity to discover two major places of interest, nothing like others. The first is the Red Beach which will positively leave you in awe. The second is the very important prehistoric town of Akrotiri. The lost Atlantis of Plato is believed to be here and guess what? You can walk through it and admire an ancient city of the Bronze age.
After exploring the treasures of Akrotiri you may have a light lunch at a traditional taverna by the sea before heading to Fira. Top food recommendation: “To psaraki” fish tavern. And here comes the stop at the center of the island. Fira is the island’s vibrant capital. As you wander through its narrow streets full of shops and restaurants, you will be greeted by unobstructed panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the Volcano. You can stroll around all the shopping areas and even between villages. Firostefani village is a 15-minute walking distance from Fira. Walk along the designated pedestrian route, which offers spectacular views of the caldera and all the restaurants and hotels that line this area.
*If you are not that much a “history lover” replace Akrotiri with a visit to Kamari Village and swim at its beach! Kamari village is on the south-eastern part of the island, 20 km away from Oia and only 10 km from Fira. The beach is well organized with sunbeds and has crystal clear waters. A Blue Flag award proves that the beach has high-quality services, safety procedures, and excellent water quality.
- How to spend my evening?
The first day in Santorini is slowly coming to an end after a full day of sightseeing. Head back to your hotel to relax and refresh and make your way to Oia. It is a picturesque village that comes to life at sunset and the most idyllic place to end your first day on this remarkable island.
Now you must be very hungry after this long day. Of course, we have you covered again! A breath away from Oia, at the instagrammable village of Finikia, our favorite place, Lefkes Restaurant, is waiting for you! Seat down at its unique and traditional yard, advise the experienced waiters, choose from a menu with the most imaginative plates and get yourself ready for an unforgettable journey of flavors. For the even more “romantic” ones, Imerovigli village can offer you an equal unreal sunset event… Should you wish to combine sunset view and good food, but you want to avoid the hassle and bustle of the crowds, don’t look any further. The White Pearl Cavalieri offers the most idyllic and most importantly secret setting. Enjoy the first-line table at its “Hydria Area”, taste its superb dishes, hold the hand of your partner, and let the fairytale begin…
Your second day in Santorini
I just woke up! What I Shall do? Rise and shine, it is time to greet the sun and enjoy your second day to the fullest.
The second day is all about relaxing by the beach while sipping a refreshing cocktail. The best beaches to do that are Perissa and Perivolos. Both are black sanded and easy to access by bus or rental car while they have a long promenade with shops, restaurants, taverns, and cafe bars where you can relax and enjoy the sea breeze. The beaches are clean and well-organized with deck chairs, umbrellas, and lifeguards. There is a wide range of water sports too for adventure seekers. Mini markets and a variety of other shops with clothing, souvenirs, and other necessities can be found in the villages. As for our favorite spots there, we have to admit that we are huge fans of Forty One beach bar. Have fun!
- What about my second evening?
The evening is approaching and you cannot leave Santorini without experiencing its nightlife. While Fira offers the most nightlife options, Oia has very stylish places for drinks as well. Dress up, wear your best smile, and stroll around the island alleys that are full of life. There are some romantic and idyllic options on the caldera with stunning views and some vivid places in Fira where the party starts after midnight. Choose the right one for you and make the memories of your visit to Santorini last forever. Wanna know our top 5? Check this out!
- Tango Cocktail Bar, Fira
- Koo Club, Fira
- Luno all day Cafe Bar, Oia
- Fino, Oia
- Theros Wave Bar, Vlychada Port
Your third day in Santorini
- This is my last day… Any suggestions?
The very last day calls for an activity. A sailing cruise is unquestionably one of the most enjoyable things to do in Santorini. So, get ready to enjoy 5-6 hours in the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea during the world-famous Santorini sunset or under the morning light. Sail into the magnificent caldera, discover its hidden secrets, swim in the hot springs and other popular beaches, have a delicious meal on board and watch the sun setting into the sea from the deck. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Happiness comes in waves ❤
Do you feel like you want to make the most of your day? Take advantage of your free time before/after the sailing cruise and visit a winery. Santorini produces some of Greece’s most prestigious wines. The island’s natural terroir and climatic conditions resulted in wines full of diverse flavors and aromas. With over 18 wineries on the island, there are plenty of excellent wines to sample. In case two activities in a day feel overwhelming, choose one of the above mentioned and spend the rest of your time lounging at your hotel and visiting a restaurant to try the incredible food that Santorini has to offer.
And voilà! Your 3 days guide at Santorini is totally ready! We hope that our suggestions helped you plan your dream Greek holiday. Have fun and enjoy our beautiful island!