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.
- Cool Cafes In Santorini To Experience
- 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
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.
- How To Get From Santorini Airport To Oia
- The Best Santorini Villas With Private Pools
- Guide To The Best Areas To Stay In Mykonos
- How To Get From Athens To Mykonos By Ferry & Flight
- Exploring Athens Attractions Part 1
- How To Get Around In Santorini
- Cliff Walk From Oia To Fira
Pin For Later
This is certainly the perfect Santorini itinerary for sure. We have a couple of days on the island and have been trying to put together a list of what to do in Santorini in 3 days while we visit. This definitely covers much of the things we were hoping to do. Just wanted to ask if you know of the best ways to pick which area to stay in Santorini?
Hi Lucy, glad to hear the post is useful for your holiday planning. As far as choosing which area to stay in Santorini, have you checked out my post on where to stay in Santorini? I showcase the various different areas in Santorini as well as well as what is nearby and what type of accommodation you can find there and the budgets too. Hope that helps. Have a great time in Santorini.
Susan - santorini 3 days itinerary
These photos are so gorgeous, now I’m itching to Santorini even more. What would be an affordable way to visit Santorini? I love your Santorini 3 days itinerary but now wondering if we would be able to stretch over five days, as I would be happy to spend a week there
Yes, 3 days in Santorini is great but if you have more then even better. So, yes you can certainly stretch this into more days. That way you can explore the beaches in Santorini, take in the sunset views from Oia as much as you like and explore the Greek food from many of the cool restaurants that come with Caldera views. You can definitely take the itinerary for three perfect days Santorini and turn it into five days. Exploring Santorini is such a treat. You will love it!
Amazing pictures. we spent 5 days in Santorini a couple of years ago. I wish this itinerary was available then. I am doing another couple of days in Santorini in July and have been wondering what to do in Santorini in 2 days. You Santorini itinerary looks amazing. Saving this post for may Santorini planning. Thank you.
Yes you can certainly do plenty with 2 days in Santorini. It’s not a lot but you can maybe do a day in Oia and Fira exploring the towns and the second day you can maybe do a day one at one of the beaches and then in the afternoon for some wine tasting. You can also just take 2 days from the 3 days in Santorini itinerary above.
This is exactly what I needed right now! I will be in Santorini on a trip for just about three days in Santorini and I had little to no idea on what was good to do there! I was in two minds about how many days to spend in Santorini. After reading through this I’ll probably end up following it almost exactly. Thank you!
That’s awesome. So glad you found my Santorini itinerary useful. Have a great time in Santorini!
Photos are amazing especially Oai Port photos. This looks like the perfect way to do Santorini in 3 days. How much time in Santorini does one need. Is 3 days in Santorini enough time to visit such a beautiful island? Also, when is the best time to visit Santorini I had never heard about Santorini earlier but now I want to visit as soon as possible.
Yes, Santorini is such a beautiful island. If you have more time to visit then I would highly recommend doing 1 week in Santorini or even 2 weeks if you can as you can also visit neighbouring islands like Mykonos. Regarding the best time to visit Santorini, I would say just be for summer and end of summer that way you visit Santorini before the summer rush as well as after the summer rush. That way you can also find accommodation before the peak period. You still need to book your hotels in Santorini much earlier. Hope that helps.
A perfect comprehensive guide! Pinned this for when we get our boys to Greece. They love Greek mythology so Greece is on the top of their bucket list! Ideally would love 1 week in Santorini but would gladly use many of the activities you have laid out for the 3 days in Santorini itinerary.
Yes, 1 week in Santorini would be great or 3 days, if you want to combine it with a trip to Mykonos, or even 4 days in Santorini Santorini itinerary supplemented with this itinerary would also be great.
Nina Out and About
Your photos are incredible. They alone make me want to go to Santorini again. What a great way to see Santorini in 3 days. I haven’t been in years, but it might be on my list for the year! How many days in Santorini do you think is sufficient?
Wow. You packed a lot of fun into those 3 days in Santorini. I just love how blue everything is! That water is amazing and looks so refreshing. There are so many things to see in Santorini it seems. Such a great guide on things to do and see in Santorini in such a short time.
Yes, with just 3 days in Santorini, you can see and do so much on the island. We tried to make the most of all the best things to do in Santorini with limited time including making the most of the best part of Santorini to stay.
Such pretty pictures. It is one of my dream destinations. One day I’ll get a chance to click such pics too.
Santorini looks breathtaking! Would love to do 36 hours in Santorini at this rate I would even take one day in Santorini. And you definitely traveled in style 🙂 Thanks for sharing some hotel options. Good to know there are nice options for every budget!
It really is a beautiful island. There are so many options that you can still do Santorini on a budget too.
Zenja | Bearly Here
Uuuuuh, all the blue color in your photos is so delightfully overwhelming! Love it! And Greek food.. Thanks for sharing – never been to Santorini, but now I have a feeling like I have 🙂
Louise - Santorini in 3 days blog
Great informative post! Not only the best things to do in Santorini in 2 days but 3 days! I love Santorini, it’s such a beautiful island! Your pictures are incredible, it’s really got me looking forward to visiting again in May!
Oh my I am super jealous of your Santorini trip in May. Have an amazing time. There are so many things to do in Santorini. Have fun.
Exploring Santorini is definitely on my bucket list, and this is such a great and detailed guide! I will definitely refer to this when I plan my trip in the future. I have also heard so much about the other towns will also be looking into thins to do in Fira Santorini and things to do in Imerovigli as well as things to do in Oia. Really would love to make the most of the island as much as possible when I visit.
Yes definitely visit. Hopefully my itinerary for 3 days in Santorini inspires your visit to explore Santorini.
Wow, you managed to cover so much in just three days! This looks like the perfect Santorini itinerary, covering what to do in Santorini, where to eat, exploring Santorini beaches and more. Santorini is really amazing I hope you visit again and stay even longer. Perhaps add 3 days in Mykonos as well. 🙂
Yes it really is one amazing city. Hopefully will get to revisit again soon.
wow, I’m glad you really spend some time in Santorini, when I was there, I only have 1 whole day to explore the city, I saw what I wanted to see. But didn’t get to try their beach, which is really a must. I flew from Athens, which is really cheap and quick flight.
Wow it looks so fabulous! Great tips on how to plan itinerary for Santorini. I’ve never been anywhere like this but it would be a beautiful spot to visit. Great photos in this article too.
Santorini looks so beautiful. Your pictures are stunning. Looks like you had three perfect days in Santorini. I wonder if this was part of a combined driving itinerary in Santorini? Looks like a very magical place xx
Yes, we did rent a car while exploring Santorini. It was really a perfect 3 days in Santorini.
This is a wonderful itinerary for Santorini. I will definitely use it on my trip there. In my opinion I would really like to hike the Skaros Rock as I am all about nature and hiking. Thanks for sharing!
Amazing post..detailed info.
Recently I visited Santorini and I believe its most romantic destination on the globe
Would love to share my experience
This post was so inspiring!! Me and my husband are going there for our first anniversary this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Where and what catamaran did you book? And if you don’t mind me asking; how much was it? I would love to do this!
Lots of love from Norway!
I have a serious question… how was the treatment for you and your friends considering your skin? I’ve been wanting to travel to Greece however there were a few horror stories I heard of racism. I know racism is everywhere and there’s no escape from it but had you experienced any while visiting whether it be blatant or micro aggressive? Please and thank you!
Hi Leah, other than a mishap with one person at one of the hotels we stayed at in Athens ignoring our table but serving others. Our trip was great. Nothing out of the ordinary when we travelled from Athens to Santorini. Our stay, exploring in Santorini was perfectly fine. While visiting Santorini, the colour of our skin wasn’t even a factor on our minds while exploring, just to give you an idea or how comfortable that part of the trip was. Santorini, as is the rest of Greece, most places that see an influx of people from a variety of places around the world tend to fair better with regards to how they treat people of a different race. We had an amazing time in Santorini and I am sure you will too.