Santorini Itinerary: A Perfect Guide to Unforgettable Island Adventures

Melina Thalassinou
Table of Content
Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • In a well-designed Santorini itinerary for 2-3 days, you can explore the main attractions, such as the settlements of Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli, as well as the archaeological site of Akrotiri
  • If you experience Santorini's beaches by sunbathing and swimming, you may want 4-5 to fully enjoy the island's beach culture and soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere.
  • If you're interested in exploring the island's archaeological sites, museums, and traditional villages, consider adding an extra day or two to your itinerary.
  • Ultimately, the duration of your stay in Santorini depends on your personal preferences and the pace at which you prefer to travel.

kamari beach Zocchi Roberto shutterstockKamari Beach - credits: Zocchi Roberto/Shutterstock.com

When thinking about visiting Santorini, one of the most sought-after destinations not only in Greece but the whole world for romantic vacations, 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 to visit Santorini are packed full of fun without missing out on any of Santorini’s highlights!

In an effort to give you as many options as we can and to cater to a wide range of needs and preferences, we have accumulated Santorini itineraries for 1, 3, and 5 days in Santorini that will ensure your stay on the island will be memorable!

In case you are looking to book a boat tour or just a half-day or full-day Santorini tour, please check out our Santorini experiences page.

A Santorini itinerary without boat tours is like a visit to Athens, without walking up the Acropolis!

One-Day Santorini Itinerary

island of santorini Andrew Mayovskyy shutterstock copy copySantorini - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

Even if your Santorini experience lasts for a day and you don't stay at one of the gorgeous hotels in Imerovigli or the Santorini hotels with caldera views, you still can make it work.

You will take advantage of the island’s beauty, glamour, and bewitching ambiance to the fullest.

You might not have time to experience all of the best things to do in Santorini when you arrive from Athens to Santorini, but 'some' is better than 'none'!

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.

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!

akrotiri church santorini Mariia Boiko shutterstockAkrotiri Church, Santorini - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

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.

Bespoke Santorini: Private Customized Tour With Driver-Guide

If, however, you want something more hip and fun, then Perissa Beach is probably the way to go.

Its popular beach parties will keep you entertained for hours; not to mention that some of the best Santorini beach hotels are located in the area!

Enjoying the magnificent Santorini view from the hot tub of your luxury hotels is a transcending experience!

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 Bay, 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 little 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?

loal wine in Santorini Songquan Deng shutterstockWine in Santorini - credits: Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

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 views of Santorini at an idyllic location right at the edge of Santorini’s caldera.

A must an 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, and ake a stop to enjoy the heart-stopping view from the world-famous ‘caldera,’ admire the Blue Dome Church in the neighborhood of ‘Firostefani.’ 

Then, conclude your customized tour by swimming at the black sand beach of Perissa or indulging in a wine-tasting at a traditional local winery.

Black sand beaches in Santorini are an absolute must!

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-Day Santorini Itinerary

black beach santorini elen studio shutterstock copyBlack 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.

Therefore, if you have 2 extra days to spend, making a total of 3 days in Santorini, you’re in for an absolute treat!

These three days in Santorini will be a dream come true!

Day 2

Akrotiri lihthouse santorini cge2010 shutterstockAkrotiri Lighthouse - credits: cge2010/Shutterstock.com

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 a Semi-private Santorini Walking Food Tour.

There, 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.

Much like every type of Greek cuisine, Santorini's food 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.

It allows for 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 free for you to do as you wish, and explore the many beauties of the island.

If you haven't arranged private transportation for yourselves, you can get a rental car and drive around Santorini so you get an overview of its magnificence.

Consider a swim to the volcanic hot springs or the Red Beach before continuing your day.

8 pm- as long as you can stay awake: Nothing screams summer more than enjoying a cold, refreshing alcoholic drink by the Aegean Sea while enjoying a stunning sea view before you.

For that reason, your evening should be spent in one of the many fabulous bars on the island that our guide to Santorini’s nightlife will tell you all about it.

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!

Day 3

catamaran in the red beach in Santorini dancar shutterstockCatamaran in Santorini - credits: dancar/Shutterstock.com

The third day of your trip will require from you nothing but 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 wine tour will give you insight into the past of the island and the opportunity to taste some of the world-acclaimed indigenous wine.

At the same time, it will educate 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-Day Santorini Itinerary

sunset in santorini Georgios Tsichlis shutterstock copy copy copySunset in Santorini - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

You’re the best! You managed to book 5 days in Santorini, and trust me when we tell you you won’t regret it for a second!

Yes, a month is obviously better 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 island life is all about.

Day 4

island santoriniSantorini view - credits: Pixabay.com

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, which consists of a winery, a library, an art gallery, and a small church.

The latter is not as impresivve as the blue-domed churches scattered around the island, but it is still a one worth visiting.

Santorini Sunset Wine Experience: Wineries Visit & Wine Tasting

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 ever 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 things to do in Santorini will help you out in deciding your morning activities; to each their own!

santorini golden hourSantorini during golden hour - credits: Pixabay.com

12-4 pm: If we 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. Not to mention that cocktails in the beach bars of the Greek islands taste so much better than anywhere else!

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 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? 

Day 5 

santorini churchSantorini's blue-domed churches - credits: Pixabay.com

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 sunset cruise and bid the island goodbye in the most majestic way possible!

You can sunbathe, swim, enjoy a luscious meal that will include a famous Greek salad, 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! 

Final Thoughts on A Santorini Itinerary

santorini viewSantorini's aesthetic - credits: Pixabay.com

There it is,a full 1, 3, or 5 days in Santorini itinerary that will help you navigate the Greek island like a pro.

It 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 Santorini views.

Of course, if you want to consider indulging in day trips from Santorini to nearby islands or other Cycladic islands and explore Santorini on your terms, you need to add at least a couple of days to your itinerary.

This is the only way for you not to be rushed and enjoy a relaxing time on the volcanic island of whitewashed houses, black sand beaches, and blue dome churches.

No matter when you choose to visit the small island or how many days you’ll spend on it, we guarantee that your Santorini vacations or Santorini elopement will be a lifetime experience you’ll carry with you for the rest of your lives!

We dare you to prove us wrong! 

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best places to visit in Santorini?

When is the best time to visit Santorini?

How do I get around Santorini?

What are the best beaches in Santorini?

What is the famous Santorini sunset experience, and where should I watch it?

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