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How to Spend 3 Days in Santorini

How to Spend 3 Days in Santorini

Three days on Santorini make it possible to really get a feel for the idyllic Greek island’s sights, beaches, culture, and people. Plus you’ll have time left over to do an all-day scenic hike or to get out onto the waters of the Aegean Sea and visit nearby Thirassia. Here are a few ways to fill 72 hours on Santorini. 

Day 1: Beaches, Views, and Archaeology

Spend your first day in Santorini hitting up the highlights of the island. One of the most important attractions is the archeological site of Akrotiri, a Minoan town that was covered during a volcanic eruption around 1613 BC and unearthed by archaeologists in the 1960s. While in the area, make sure to check out some of the gorgeous beaches. White Beach (Aspri Paralia) can be quickly accessed by boat from Akrotiri; driving there takes about 20 minutes due to the tall surrounding cliffs. If you are short on time, head straight to Red Beach, which gets its name from the red volcanic sand and stones that pepper its shores. Other points of interest include the Monastery of Profitis Ilias and Kasteli Castle in the ridiculously picturesque village of Pyrgos—both the monastery and the castle offer great views out over the island.

Day 2: Cultural Highlights

Devote day two in Santorini to cultural experiences, but not before sailing out to visit the Santorini caldera, a stretch of leftover erupted volcano that’s now an islet. Most visitors take small-group tours out to the island, and the boat usually waits while travelers hike up to the top of the volcano (which, incidentally, is still steaming after all these years) for photos. Pack a swimsuit, as tours tend to also go to the nearby hot springs where you can hop in for a dip; many include food and drink, too. Other options for your second day include taking a cooking class, in which you savor local dishes and wines, or checking out a local winery for a tour and tasting. Come evening, journey to Oia to catch one of Santorini’s famous sunsets or consider attending a dinner show—most involve live music and folk dancing accompanied by buffet or coursed meals.

Day 3: Hiking or Sailing Adventure

Spend your final day on Santorini exploring a bit with a full-day activity. Options include hiking from the town of Fira all the way up to Oia on a scenic 6.75-mile (11-kilometer) trail that connects the two destinations, passing by attractions such as the 17th-century Byzantine Monastery of St. Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos) along the way. Alternatively, take a day trip to the nearby island of Thirassia, a beautiful little getaway to the west of Santorini with a population of only about 200 people. This lovely island is easiest to get to using private excursions or boat charters, as ferry schedules can be unreliable, though note that many of the trips that come here stop at the Santorini volcano en route.

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13 Tours and Activities | All Santorini Tours

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Semi Private Standard | Santorini Catamaran Cruise with Greek buffet and drinks

Semi Private Standard | Santorini Catamaran Cruise with Greek buffet and drinks

star-5
Experience the coastline of Santorini from the water during this 5-hour catamaran cruise. Choose between daytime and sunset bookings, both allow you to travel with an intimate group of 20 or fewer fellow passengers. Snorkel equipment is available for stops along the route, and you'll dine on snacks, drinks, and a full barbecue meal.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$114.77
From
$114.77
Taking safety measures

Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks

Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks

star-5
Experience Santorini’s beauty, hot springs and beaches on a catamaran cruise. Select a daytime or sunset cruise, and sail around the island and caldera (flooded volcanic crater) on a deluxe catamaran. Stop to bathe in the Nea Kameni springs; swim, snorkel or unwind at beaches; and enjoy unlimited Santorini wine and Greek beer, plus a Greek meal prepared on board. On the evening cruise, be treated to awe-inspiring sunset views. A cruise is essential when you visit Santorini, and with numbers limited to 18, this offers a small-group experience.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$151.02
Price varies by group size
From
$151.02
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Santorini Day Tour with Sunset in Oia

Santorini Day Tour with Sunset in Oia

star-4.5
Enjoy a day of discovery on Santorini island on this tour from Fira. With an itinerary that covers all the must-see sights, the tour lets you find your own favorite spots on the island. Visit the volcanic Red Beach, Akrotiri Archaeological Site, a winery, the Prophet Elias Monastery, and then finish on a high note as you watch the sun slip into the sea from Oia village. A tasting of Santorini’s distinctive wine is included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.41
From
$60.41

Small-Group Santorini Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour

Small-Group Santorini Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour

star-5
Sip on Santorini wine during this small-group tour of the island and two or three of its wine estates (depending on selected option). As you explore, learn about wine production in the area, and hear about the local varietals such as assyrtiko. Explore a vineyard with a guide and walk around wine cellars. If you want to make the tour extra-special, upgrade to enjoy an evening excursion. The option includes a visit to a hilltop winery, local tapas, and sunset views to complement your wine. Numbers are limited to eight people.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.98
From
$144.98
Taking safety measures

Santorini Private Sightseeing Tour

Santorini Private Sightseeing Tour

star-5
See the attractions of Santorini on a private sightseeing tour with a driver-guide who introduces you to the island's natural, cultural, and culinary delights. You can visit locations like hillside villages and volcanic beaches, or customize your itinerary to check out specific places that interest you. Any food, drinks, activities, and entrance fees are at your own expense.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$312.25
Price varies by group size
From
$312.25
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Custom Tour: Santorini in a Day

Private Custom Tour: Santorini in a Day

star-5
Explore beautiful Santorini the way you wish on this private tour. Traveling by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, make the most of the custom itinerary and let your guide know what you want to see and do. Perhaps visit highlights such as the village of Oia, famous for its stupendous sunsets; the Minoan ruins at Akrotiri, a traditional winery, or simply relax on a black sand beach. Choose from a half- or full-day tour and ssk your guide for insider tips on off-the-beaten-track gems.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$241.63
Price varies by group size
From
$241.63
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Romantic Sunset Catamaran Caldera Cruise incl. Meal & Drinks

Romantic Sunset Catamaran Caldera Cruise incl. Meal & Drinks

star-4.5
Get views of Santorini from aboard a catamaran during this boat excursion. Sip unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks while taking in glimpses of the island's beaches and volcanic landscape. Make stops at the White Beach, soak in some local hot springs, go snorkeling, and watch the sun dip below the horizon in Oia. Barbecue meal and hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.81
From
$120.81
Taking safety measures

Santorini Small-Group Cooking Class and Wine Tasting

Santorini Small-Group Cooking Class and Wine Tasting

star-5
Santorini wine and food — all in one half-day tour. After sampling local wine at two Santorini wineries, you’ll meet a local chef for a Greek cooking class. Prepare classics such as an authentic Greek salad and caramelized pork, and learn about Santorini’s cuisine as you cook. This small-group tour runs with just eight people for a personalized experience.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$205.38
Price varies by group size
From
$205.38
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise Including Nea Kameni Visit

Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise Including Nea Kameni Visit

star-4
Experience Santorini’s scenery, hot springs, and beaches on a cruise with onboard dinner and glass of wine included. After pickup from your hotel, settle onto your cruise boat, and sail around the caldera and island’s shores. Along the way, bathe in the Nea Kamini hot springs; explore the beaches; and savor a delicious 2-course Greek dinner while floating on the water as the sun sets.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$134.10
From
$134.10
Taking safety measures

Santorini Volcano Cruise Including Hot Springs, Thirasia and Optional Oia Sunset

Santorini Volcano Cruise Including Hot Springs, Thirasia and Optional Oia Sunset

star-3
Sail across Santorini’s beautiful ‘caldera’ (flooded crater) and visit the islands of Nea Kameni and Thirasia on this half-day cruise. Board a sightseeing boat at Athinios port, and admire Santorini’s cliffs and sugar-cube towns as you cruise to Nea Kameni. Enjoy free time to walk around its volcanic crater, bathe in the warm springs, and then cruise to peaceful Thirasia. Explore and have lunch here at leisure before cruising back to Santorini. Upgrade to stop off at Oia to witness its famously stunning views of the sunset over the caldera.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.31
From
$70.31
Taking safety measures

Traditional Greek Night live Music & Dinner Show in Santorini

Traditional Greek Night live Music & Dinner Show in Santorini

star-4.5
Be entertained by live music and dance during this 3-hour Greek dinner show. Spend your evening on Santorini at a bustling taverna where you’re served a buffet dinner of mouthwatering Greek cuisine accompanied by unlimited wine. Enjoy a buffet dinner and sink your teeth into local specialties like pork and chicken souvlaki, Santorini tomato fritters with tzatziki and stuffed vine leaves. Then sing along and tap your feet while you watch classic dances performed to traditional music. Opa!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.90
From
$40.90

Early Season Experience: 3-hours Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs Trip

Early Season Experience: 3-hours Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs Trip

star-3.5
Explore the volcano that created Santorini’s unique shape on this half-day trip that will have back in time for a sunset dinner. After departing by boat from the old port of Fira, you’ll head to the harbor of Erinia where you’ll have time to hike to active volcanoes craters. Then take a dip in the natural hot springs at Palea Kameni island. Hotel pickup and drop-off makes for a seamless experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.19
From
$88.19
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Santorini Caldera Fira to Oia Hike

Small-Group Santorini Caldera Fira to Oia Hike

star-5
Take a closer look at Santorini's famous caldera with this half-day hiking tour that takes you from the traditional whitewashed houses of Fira to the famous clifftop mansions of Oia. With a guide and small group, trek past traditional villages, cave houses, and spectacular lookout points, seeing spots that most visitors miss and learning about the island's explosive volcanic history along the way. Includes pickup at your hotel or the cruise port and snacks to keep you energized.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.19
From
$88.19
Taking safety measures