When thinking about visiting Santorini, one of the most sought-after destinations not only in Greece but the whole world, deciding on the number of days you should spend on the island is difficult. There is no doubt that when it comes to vacations, the more days the merrier, however, it is understandable that you want to be careful with the way you spend your annual leave; after all what if an impromptu trip comes up?
Additionally, you want to make sure that the days you do spend on your dream destination are packed full of fun, without missing out on any of Santorini’s highlights!
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In an effort to give you as many options as I can and to cater to a wide range of needs and preferences, I have accumulated itineraries for 1, 3, and 5 days in Santorini that will ensure your stay on the island will be memorable!
One day Santorini Itinerary
Santorini - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com
Even if your Santorini experience lasts for a day, you still can make it work and take advantage of the island’s beauty, glamour, and bewitching ambiance to the fullest.
8-10 am: Starting the day as early as possible is key, especially during such a short trip. Wake up and head to a local bakery for a breakfast pastry that will fuel you with all the energy you need for the full day ahead. Svoronos Bakery is one of the most popular on the island and a personal favorite, but rest assured that even if that one’s not easily accessible to you, the smell of freshly-baked goods will lead you to a bakery near your accommodation; the Greek islands -and Greece in general- are full of them!
10-3.00 pm: Following your delicious breakfast, it’s time to hit the road and head towards the star of every summer vacation: the beach! Read our guide on the best beaches in Santorini and make up your mind regarding the beach you want to visit the most, depending on your mood and your traveling company. If you’re visiting Santorini with kids, I’d highly suggest you give Monolithos Beach a go, as it is the beach that sports the most shallow waters and is, therefore, the safest setting for your little ones to play.
If however, you want something more hip and fun, then Perissa Beach is probably the way to go, as its popular beach parties will keep you entertained for hours!
3-6 pm: After your swimming adventure, it’s time to taste some of Santorini’s mouthwatering local dishes and products in one of its beautiful seaside taverns or luxurious restaurants. Roza’s Taverna at Vourboulos, Dimitri’s Taverna at Ammoudi, and Skala Taverna in Oia are my top picks, however, most places on the island will offer you top-quality food; just be careful to look at the prices on the menu, as overpriced food tends to have a bitter aftertaste!
After savoring all that yummy food, walk around the narrow streets of Santorini and explore the tittle shops and boutiques that pop up at every turn. Now is the time to buy souvenirs for your friends and family back home and to indulge in shopping therapy; aren’t vacations supposed to be therapeutic anyway?
6-10 pm: Keeping the best for last, your evening in Santorini will be hard to top off and will, therefore, probably ruin you forever. Join our Santorini Sunset Wine Experience: Wineries Visit & Wine Tasting and get introduced to the one-of-a-kind landscape of the island.
You’ll visit 3 vineyards that will give you insight into the local viticulture, and taste up to 12 different kinds of local, award-winning wines along with platters of local cheeses and snacks, before catching the magnificent sunset of Santorini at an idyllic location right at the edge of Santorini’s caldera. A must experience, especially for couples who are spending their honeymoon in Santorini!
Of course, if you want to leave your day in Santorini in the hands of experts and you’d rather sit back, relax and let someone else do all the planning, a Bespoke Santorini: Private Customized Tour With Driver-guide is exactly what you need. Choose the length of your tour, either pick all the places you want to see, visit, and experience or follow our suggestions, and you’ll have a day full of fascinating sights, relaxation, and luxury.
Go around the picturesque town of Oia, make a stop to enjoy the heart-stopping view from the world-famous ‘caldera’, admire the Blue Dome Church in the neighborhood of ‘Firostefani’, and conclude your customized tour by swimming at the black sand beach of Perissa or indulging in a wine-tasting at a traditional local winery; it’s easy as ABC and the ultimate way to get to know the island as best you can in just a few hours!
3 days Santorini itinerary
Black beach Santorini - credits: elen_studio/Shutterstock.com
Although a day-trip to Santorini is better than nothing, having less than 24 hours to enjoy this fascinating island is not ideal, so If you have 2 extra days to spend, you’re in for an absolute treat!
10-2 pm: Your second day in Santorini will start with a bang, mouthwatering tastes, and delicious smells. Yes, you guessed it right, my suggestion includes starting your day with Semi-private Santorini Walking Food Tour, where not only will you wander around town and make yourself familiar with the region under the guidance of a local guide, but you’ll also get to learn about Santorini’s cuisine, which much like every type of Greek cuisine, is everything everyone raves about and then some.
In 4 hours, you’ll get to make at least 7 food stops, enjoy an olive-oil tasting, sample Santorini's wine, beer, and raki, and admire the areas of Fira and Firostefani.
2-5 pm: Having your belly full of delicacies and having walked around Santorini, you will be worn out and ready for a well-deserved nap. Take advantage of the warm, serene, and relaxing vibe of the island and sleep off your exhaustion as the day is far from over!
6-7 pm: Santorini is a very unique island not only because of its geology but also because of the quality of life it offers to its inhabitants and visitors and the experiences that cannot be found in any other part of the world. With that in mind, the afternoon of your second day on the island will be one of the most memorable of your life if you choose to join the exclusive experience of a Mythical Music Presentation In Santorini.
In this short but sweet 1-hour experience, a music and folk expert will engage in an interactive narration of Greek history and culture in a way you’ve never seen or experienced before, complemented by the sound of fifteen hand-crafted wind and string instruments deeply engraved into the heritage of the island. The unique show also includes a tour around the age-old winery that houses the experience.
8 pm- as long as you can stay awake: Nothing screams summer more than enjoying a cold, refreshing alcoholic drink by the sea while enjoying a stunning sea view before you. For that reason, your evening should be spent in one of the many fabulous bars of the island our guide to Santorini’s nightlife will tell you all about.
After the first drink, the choice is yours: you can call it a day and head to your accommodation for a good night’s sleep or you can explore the local way of partying by choosing to visit a club and dance your night away. You do you!
The third day of your trip will require from you nothing a good mood and a taste for adventure. Enjoy an Amazing Santorini: Private Full-day Tour With Akrotiri Visit & Wine-tasting that will take you comfortably and easily around the best parts of Santorini. This tour will give you insight into the past of the island and the opportunity to taste some of the world-acclaimed indigenous wine while educating you on the vast wine production of the island that has become integrated into its culture.
Trust the hands of the experts who will guide you through this full-day experience and marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Santorini with a head clear of worries and stress. Sounds good, right?
5 days Santorini itinerary
Sunset in Santorini - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com
You’re the best! You managed to book 5 days in Santorini, and trust me when I tell you won’t regret it for a second! Yes, a month is even than 5 days, but still, those 5 days suffice to help you get a real feel of what being a local feels like and what the island life is all about.
10-12 pm: After waking up at your leisure, it’s time to go explore the culture of Santorini more thoroughly by visiting a couple of its museums. Now, before you dismiss this suggestion as boring, yes, it’s not the most wildly fun thing to do but that doesn’t make it any less important! And what’s more, Santorini’s’ museums are rather fun and interesting, appealing to those who are usually mildly allergic to the concept of spending time in a museum.
The Archaeological Museum of Santorini and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are the first two that come to mind as the most important ones, where you’ll find thousand-year-old exhibits from the excavations on the island. The most enthralling museum, in my opinion, is the Folklore Museum that consists of a winery, a library, an art gallery, and a small church.
Of course, the list goes on and on with the Naval Maritime Museum, the Museum Minerals and Fossils, and the Wine Museum, being only some of the available options. Whichever you choose to visit, make sure to explore it thoroughly; have you even been on holiday if you haven’t learned fun facts about your destination so that you can boast about them in front of your friends and family?
If museums are out of the question, maybe our top 10 things to do in Santorini will help you out in deciding your morning activities; to each their own!
12-4 pm: If I were you, I’d make sure to spend as much of my time on the beach as possible; this tan you’ve been lusting after is not gonna develop itself, am I right or am I right? Because the vast majority of Santorini’s beaches are organized and well-equipped with everything you could possibly need, it’s easy for you to spend the better part of your day basking in the sunshine. Even thinking about it makes me jealous!
4-10 pm: Your evening is about to get finger-licking good! Embark on a Santorini Semi-private Cooking Class And Wine Tasting and experience the riches of Santorini’s cuisine first-hand while preparing some local, traditional dishes yourself! To top it all off, enjoy the fruit of your labor complemented by luscious, aromatic wine!
Follow the lead of a local chef, prepare trademark Santorinian dishes, visit two wineries and learn about the different techniques of Santorinian winemaking, taste up to eight local wine varieties, and enjoy a traditional Greek meal in a beautiful setting. What more could you possibly want?
Your fifth and final day in Santorini will find you drenched in comfort and luxury with a Santorini Semi-private Sailing Trip: Day Or Sunset Experience With Meal & Drinks. Opt for the daytime version of the sailing trip and bid the island goodbye in the most majestic wat possible! You can sunbathe, you can swim, you can enjoy a luscious meal and then you’ll be taken back to your accommodation safe and sound.
I left the best for last but that’s the point; with an experience like this stuck in memory, you’ll be booking your tickets back on the plane home!
There it is, full itineraries for 1, 3 or 5 days in Santorini that will help you navigate the island like a pro and will take you to the most beautiful and significant spots of Santorini where you will, taste the cuisine, marvel at the history and enjoy magical sea views. No matter when you choose to visit the island or how many days you’ll spend on it, I guarantee that your Santorini vacations will be a lifetime experience you’ll carry with you for the rest of your lives! I dare you to prove me wrong!