With just 3 days in Santorini you can really explore the island to the max! A star of the Greek islands and many a postcard. Santorini attracts honeymooners, photographers, girls and boys summer adventures sailing around the Caldera or lounging on the volcanic rich sandy beaches.
With that in mind, my Santorini 3 day itinerary takes you on a journey exploring Oia, Thira, and Imerovigli taking in the white-washed luxury island-living with the pretty blue domes. There is something for all on this little island with some of the most beautiful views over the Caldera I have ever seen.
Santorini is located in the Southern Aegean Sea and is prominent of the islands that form the archipelago of Greek islands. Santorini is often pictured as a coastal heaven with small-whitewashed stones, blue domes, and roofs to blend in with the color of Aegean Sea stretching beyond.
A trip to Greece is incomplete without a visit to this scenic spot. The island is dotted with cliffs and quaint village that transport the visitors to times untouched by the busy life.
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- How To Get To Santorini From Athens
- The Best Areas To Stay In Santorini
- Top Santorini Villas With Infinity Pools
- Cheap Hotels In Santorini With Caldera Views
- 1 Santorini Itinerary At A Glance
- 2 Santorini 3 Day Itinerary
- 3 Staying Santorini Longer Than 3 Days?
- 4 How To Get To Santorini
- 5 Where To Stay In Santorini
Santorini Itinerary At A Glance
- Day 1: Oia & Surrounding Santorini Villages
- Exploring Oia, Fira And Surrounding Villages
- Exploring markets and shops in Oia/Fira
- Cafes and check out sunsets views in Oia
- Dinner and Greek music by the bay
- Day 2 Santorini Sunset Cruise Tour On The Caldera
- Santorini Catamaran Sunset Cruise
- Explore the beaches around Santorini by boat
- Grilled lunch on the catamaran
- Santorini sunset at sea
- Day 3 Explore Santorini Beaches
- Explore Santorini beaches
- Visit black sand beach in Perissa and Kamari Beach(Red)
Santorini 3 Day Itinerary
So without further ado, my 3 day itinerary in Santorini will take you around the island exploring some must-see places in Santorini, from Santorini Beaches, markets, restaurants, hidden gems and of course where to stay in Santorini.
Day 1 In Santorini – Exploring Oia And Fira And Surrounding Villages
Morning 9 – 2pm:
I would reserve day 1 in Santorini to exploring Oia, Firá, and other small towns with their winding steps away from the crowds once you have got a view shots of the blue domes where everyone else is trying to squeeze in a selfie or 10! We all know how long it takes to get that money shot.
You will find that Santorini and the towns like Oia and Amoudi Bay have retained a slice of history. Oia is located at the northwestern edge of Santorini and has some of the most stunning views on the island. Oia port is scenic with some of the finest boats and yachts anchored there.
The Maritime Museum is worth a leisurely stroll before you stop by at one of the many Greek cafes and restaurants. Be sure to try the baked eggplant and various other authentic Greek delicacies while breaking away for a little respite as well as a moment to catch a break and people watch.
You may have heard of the Greek salads, now you can have a real deal. These salads are heavenly and with a sprinkle of olive oil and some fresh vegetables and cheese, these are as good as they can get.
There are so many hidden alleys leading to steps where the crowds disappear. Don’t be afraid to explore. We had ample time to walk around and found ourselves with spots where we didn’t see tourists as they were all busy concentrating on the usual spots with blue domes next to them. There are plenty of spots with great views and little tourist footfall to disturb you. Allow you a little serenity on such a busy island.
Morning Santorini tips: If you are up for it sunrise around the best times to get some cool shots of the Blue Domes.
Afternoon Options 2pm – 7pm
- From Oia to head to Fira. Fira, the capital of Santorini is a must-visit spot if you wish to explore some historic spots. There is a Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which houses items from the excavations from surrounding areas.
- For the more adventurous ones can hike up and visit the Skaros Rock(brown protruding rock in the image below) to get a breathtaking view of the island.
- Head back to Oia and take the cable car or walk down the steps to the bottom of the island to get another view of Santorini and the Caldera across the sea. You can either walk up again(good shoes needed), take the cable car or even one of the donkey rides. These are working donkeys but I would advise you not to get on one if they look severely overworked. Take the cable car instead.
- Watch the Sun the sunset go down. Bear in mind that people flock to the island to catch a glimpse of Santorini sunsets to prepare for a little stamped but if you choose to end your exploring with a hike to Sarkos Rock then you will be rewarded with great sunset views and no crowds. If you chose to head back to Oia for the sunset then prepare for the crowds unless you are staying at a hotel with a Caldera view then you are in for a treat with little crowded fuss.
Evening: 8pm onwards
How does a platter of freshly caught seafood and Greek music sound to finish off day one in Santorini? End the evening with dinner by the bay. If you haven’t had enough of the coastal cliffs and ports by now, then a visit to Ammoudi Bay is a must. This is a popular spot on the island but if too busy bear in mind that there are plenty of other spots to eat on the island with the fresh catch of the day.
Stopping by at some of the other authentic diners for dinner is going to be on the cards with the many spots offering great food and a view to boot. You will find bars and restaurants serving some of the finest food paired with locally grown wines.
Day 2 In Santorini – Santorini Catamaran Sunset Cruise
Day two on the island, you have explored on foot, drank plenty of greek wine, slept it off and now ready for an exciting day to in Santorini to take in the island from a different vantage point. The best way is by booking for the Santorini catamaran sunset cruise. This is simply another must when visiting Santorini, whether doing 2 days in Santorini, 3 days or even 5 or 7 days on the Greek island.
Sailing down the azure blue sea off Santorini is just what the doctor recommends for the die-hard romantics out there. The reason why I also prefer and recommend the catamaran tours is because they are all mainly adults and no children – unless you charter the whole thing as a large group or family.
I have nothing against children, I have plenty of nieces and nephews. Just the thrill of boarding the catamaran sailing boats, yachts, or even catamarans with your love or friends with plenty of wine and adult conversation as you many stops by the many beautiful beaches in Santorini – all with different coloured sand.
The catamarans will have a BBQ and drinks on-board for the guests. This trip will take the travelers to the Cyclades, Oia, and other scenic spots. The trip will also include a guided tour to the volcanic hot springs and rejuvenating mud spa session. A trip back on the Catamaran in the evening with drinks will be all that one needs to unwind as you watch the sun disappear into the horizons behind.
Day 2 tip: Find out when the touring car collects you as you may be able to sneak in a little exploring time in the morning, although if you too my advice on lounging on the bay with plenty of food, wine and conversation then I can understand if you choose to have a lye in before the tour.
Day 3 In Santorini – Exploring The Beaches Of Santorini
So, after spending the first day soaking in the beaches and sailing, the best way to spend day 3 in Santorini will be to go exploring around the land and taking to the beaches for some relaxation.
Stretching out Basking under the Greek Sun with a cold drink is one way to end the time in Santorini. Yes, there are various places worth visiting, and no end to the hectic things to do. With only 3 days in Santorini, the best way to end it is to experience the minerals of the volcanic sand around the island in all their glory.
From black sand, red sand, white sand and the usually coloured sand thrown in. The Kamari beach is a great start for everyone who wishes to have a stunning view of the pristine waters and cliffs. You may have stopped by here when touring the island on the sunset boat tour.
Nearby you also have Perissa beach with its black sand beach. Bear in mind that some of the beaches aren’t serviced beaches, as in there are no loungers or beach, one of these is Red beach as beautiful as it is. My favourite beach was Black sand beach aka Perissa beach. There are restaurants there, there are markets, loungers you can rent.
You can even hire snorkeling and diving gear and go a little adventurous if you cannot wait to explore the Santorini Waters plus that beautiful black sanding between your toes…SOLD!!!…For a detailed guide to Santorini beaches to help you chose s perfect spot to unwind before leaving then check out my guide to the best beaches in Santorini.
Staying Santorini Longer Than 3 Days?
If you are visiting for 4, 5 or even 7 days, then be sure to add a wine-tasting tour to this 3 day itinerary for Santorini. You can add a day wine-tasting the homegrown wine of Santorini right at the wineries nestled at the neighboring hills. These wine-tasting tours are on offer by all the hotels and tour operators at Santorini. They will be driving you to the finest wineries, take you through a trip to the cellars, and show you some of the samples to taste and possibly even buy some to use later.
Overall, the trip to Santorini is one for the bucket list and as some as the island is, there is plenty to do and I really recommend making the time to just lounge on one of the many beautiful beaches and taking in all the beauty this greek island has to offer than trying to see everything in so little time. Definitely one worth coming back to.
How To Get To Santorini
Travelers may take the flight from Athens and reach Santorini’s airport in Fira. Besides this, other charter flights fly to Santorini from time to time during the tourist season. Santorini is also accessible from Piraeus and Crete via ferry. Look out for my detailed post with different ferry services and times.
I have a detailed posted here with details of the ferries and flights from Mykonos. This also includes details of ferry services whether fast or slow service from Mykonos. Also, bear in mind that flights from Mykonos to Santorini also stop in Athens.
Where To Stay In Santorini
I have a guide to hotels in Santorini here which includes budget, mid-range and luxury hotels. If you want to save money then I would highly recommend considering Akrotiri. It’s on the other side of the island. You will have stunning views of the Caldera for a fraction of the price in Oia, Thira.
If you budget is not a problem then hotels in Oia and Thira will have you wanting to grab the nex greek and rushing to the blue-domed churches to marry that sucker you can stay on the island and live happily ever after – That is unless you already brought a husband or boyfriend then, in that case, get him feds so that he can’t complain at how long it will take to get the money shot with some many beautiful angles on over at some of these hotels with a view of the Caldera. Bear in mind that Santorini hotels sell out very quickly so you need to look well in advance when planning your trip.
Hope my Santorini 3 days itinerary inspires your plans for a trip to Santorini, be sure to look out for my Mykonos, Athens and Santorini itinerary soon. Make sure to follow on Bloglovin or subscribe to my newsletter so that new posts hit your inbox.
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