When we think of a dream vacation in Greece, we imagine white-washed buildings with blue roofs, endless turquoise waters and magnificent sunsets – nothing screams out more Santorini than this. Santorini, Greece’s most spectacular island, invites you to explore the narrow alleys, astonishing scenery and centuries-old culture in this spectacular 3 day Santorini itinerary.
This magnificent Aegean treasure has the fuel to reignite the wonder of childhood in adults. From romantic getaways, to family-oriented trips, to relaxing vacations with friends, Santorini is an ideal holiday option.
Nevertheless, the real beauty of Santorini expands much further than the well-known tourist bubble. Hence, since you plan to visit this pearl of the Aegean, pack your bags and let’s travel to Santorini for 3 days. This 3 Day Itinerary for Santorini is tailored made to meet the preferences of the most demanding travelers and to satisfy various tastes.
Three days in Santorini is enough time to enjoy the island’s archeological sites, mesmerizing streets and beaches and participate in many interactive tours and activities. Follow our Santorini itinerary to realize how extraordinary this Greek island can be and be prepared to have an unforgettable experience. Wave good-bye to your friends at home, because it’s time to go!
❕❗️ Are you coming to Santorini and you're not sure about where to stay? Check out our guide on where to stay in Santorini and learn about the pros and cons of each area. Choose the village that best suits your needs and have the time of your life in one of the most famous islands in the wolrd.
How to reach Santorini
Before we dive into all the fun things to do in Santorini in 3 days, lets get transportation out of the way! You can reach Santorini either by ferry or by plane. The closest port on mainland Greece to get to Santorini is in Athens. You can read insider tips such as how to how to purchase tickets, how often ferries go to Santorini and more. For a quick route to Santorini you can take a 45 minute plane ride from Athens International Airport. For information on schedules, tickets, and more, click our Getting from Athens to Santorini by airplane guide. Finally, check out our getting around Santorini guide to find out which means of transportation suites you best! With our useful and informative guides, you will become an expert at getting around Santorini during your stay. We are good to go! Now back to the itinerary!
Day 1 of 3 Day Santorini Itinerary:
Santorini is calling and I must go!
How to spend your mornings in Santorini
Who’s ready for some traditional Greek breakfast to kickstart your 3 day itinerary in Santorini? After you set foot on this heavenly island and leave your accommodation, you will need a bite or two of local Santorini breakfast in order to start your Greek holiday in a proper way. This 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini could not have a better start from a wide choice of delicious pastries and unique tastes that can only be found on the island of Santorini.
If you ask locals what to do in Santorini during morning hours, they will tell you to indulge in divine bites of spanakopita. Spanakopita is a generous piece of handmade pastry made of crispy golden phyllo layers with comforting filling of creamy feta cheese and other herbs. This authentic savory pie is rich in flavor and it perfectly matches with a cup of traditional Greek yogurt. A definition of healthy and nutritious breakfast, isn’t it?
For more recommendations on what to eat in Santorini, check out our Santorini Food Guide. Even though it could seem a mainstream breakfast, trust us when we say, there is no better place to eat this delicious pastry than in Santorini! Sit in small local bakeries and load batteries for a long and extremely productive day that is ahead of us!
The first day of this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini involves discovering the island’s capital – Fira. An ideal blend of natural beauty, charming social life and distinctive night scene is what makes Fira so divine. Laying on the curve of the caldera while facing the west, provides Fira ravishing views that will leave you speechless. Astonishing white-washed houses, narrow alleys adorned by various important cultural and historical monuments will make you feel like you have fallen into a fairytale.
Experience the harmony while strolling through streets full of small local shops selling souvenirs where you can buy a meaningful present to your beloved ones back at home. Don’t hesitate to sit in one of the quirky cafes and enjoy a cup of flavoursome and strong traditional Greek coffee. Sitting in a cafeteria clinging on the cliffs will enhance the local character and allow you to soak the beauty of magnificent views. Don’t presume that in Fira the only thing you can do is admire its beauty because the list of all the things to do in Santorini’s capital is quite long. So, since Fira has an abundance of incredible things to do, here are the top suggestions you could consider doing during your visit:
Go down to the Old Port and catch the cable car
How does covering 587 stairs sound like? Adventurous, right? One of the main things to do in Sanotrini’s main city is walking down from the top of the island to the Old Port that is nestled exactly between the Aegean sea and great Santorini cliffs. These impressive stairs will promise you an enjoyable way of observing impressive nature while simultaneously benefiting your health. You will be stunned by the peaceful surroundings and serene pace of living. In case you are not a fitness fanatic, enter the cable car that will take you back all the way up to Fira! Besides being entertaining experience, the cable cars enable great views of the endless Aegean sea.
Archaeological Museum of Thira & Museum of Prehistoric Thera
One cannot go to Fira and not visit (these) unique cultural settlements of Archaeological Museum of Thira and Museum of Prehistoric Thira. If you seek to learn everything about Santorini’s rich history full of unbelievable stories, visit these two museums. Travel back to an array of eras and imagine how life used to be back then. The extensive multitude of relics will amaze you and enable a great escape spot from crowded streets. Timetable and ticket prices of these museums in Santorini are available on the above-mentioned museum links.
Visit many art galleries in Fira
In case you favour art and creative exhibitions, Fira is the place. Wander through the small alleys and dedicate a minute or two to appreciate and admire various master pieces of local artists that soaked the inspiration from Santorini itself. Galleries Art Space and MATI Art Gallery will amaze every visitor with their impressive artworks and unique experiences that provide and are considered as one of the must things to do in Santorini.
Grab a local treat
As food is the fuel we need, how about increasing your sugar by enjoying mouthwatering bites of local desserts that originate from Santorini? Enter some of the local bakeries and ask for a slice of heaven called “melithana”. This toothsome soft cookie which main ingredient is sweet cheese is going to surprise you! The jewel-like tartlet requires a special technique and sensitivity in order to be correctly hand pinched. The origin of the word melithana derives from the ancient Greeek word that means ‘sweet as honey’, so be prepared to lick your fingers and indulge in tasty flavours.
Afternoon Hours in Santorini
Enjoy the local food of Santorini
One cannot simply experience a true taste of Greece without having lunch in a local family-owned taverna facing the sea. The choice of restaurants is endless and depending on your diet and preferences, you will decide where to sit. What we can promise is that all of them serve fresh meals made from local ingredients! From organic vegetables, to freshly caught fish to meat being prepared with care will make a combination of perfect flavors. Check out our recent blog 10 Greek Foods You Must Try in Santorini and learn what dishes are going to adorn your plate during your lunch in Santorini. Be aware that these foods originate from Santorini and some of them, including white eggplant (Yes, that exists), can only be found on the premises of this magical island. However, since the only thing we like better than talking about food is eating, let’s order!
If you ask the locals what to do in Santorini during your first day of visit, they will tell you to have a late lunch or early dinner during sunset hours. Besides combining tasty flavors that will turn the lunch into an orchestra, the impeccable views will make a difference. Santorini views. Ahh… the scene where the sun is kissing the endless Aegean while the entire sky gets the orange shade is going to make you bristle. This unforgettable sunset will be the highlight of the first day of this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorni.
Experience wine tasting in Santorini
Did you know that Santorini is regarded as the cradle of some of the best wines in Greece? One cannot simply go to Greece without trying one of its main treasures – wine. Santorini has been producing extra quality wine for centuries now and the secret is in the soil. So, wine lovers participate in the Wine Tasting and Winery Tour in Santorini to understand why its unique climate helps create incomparable wines!
Find the wine you prefer the most through tasting different wine types and enjoying breathtaking views. Do not miss an opportunity to taste the most famous Santorini wine – Assyrtiko. What we can reveal now is that out of a catastrophe came life. The devastation that occurred after a horrific volcanic eruption in 1630 BC destroyed the entire island of Santorini – except the Assyrtiko wine. This volcanic soil is the reason why locals swear in the island’s unique land but are extremely rich in minerals. Are you ready to become a wine sommelier? Remember that a good day starts with coffee, and ends with wine.
Evening Hours in Santorini
Nightlife in Santorini
Those who thought that Santorini is only alive during the day and has no night life thought wrong. Since no one was counting sips during the wine tasting tour, why not continue at that tempo?
One of the best things to do in Santorini’s capital during the night hours is to mingle with locals and choose among a wide range of entertaining options regarding your preferences. If you are a real dancing queen, don’t hesitate to show your moves in Santorini’s night clubs such as Koo Club or Enigma Club. However, if you prefer to have a more chill night with a smoother atmosphere, relax listening to jazz music and enjoy a glass of homemade signature cocktails. Whatever you choose, the fun is guaranteed!
Day 2 of 3 Day Santorini Itinerary:
Oh Santorini… Am I Dreaming? Someone pinch me!
Morning Hours: Wake up at 07:00 am!
Rise and shine travellers! Don’t put that grumpy face on because Santorini is waiting! On today’s breakfast menu is either savory or sweet bougatsa! Or both, since calories don’t count during holidays. Rush in the bakery nearby and order a freshly baked bougatsa with cheese or cream. This mouth-licking pastry is made of the most creamy cheese or sweet custard encased with golden-brown phyllo. Yummy! Both options perfectly accompany a glass of an iconic freddo cappuccino or freddo espresso. Feel the tranquility of the island before the cruises arrive, enjoy your coffee and soak in the rare beauty of Santorini’s mornings. If you ask almost anyone what to do in Santorini during early mornings, the answer would be exactly this.
Hike the Santorini Caldera
Time to take a hike along the Santorini caldera! In case you are looking for a unique way to experience Santorini vibes then, pack your favorite hiking shoes! Take a break from wandering through the island’s bustle and discover most of Santorini through its ancient paths and rocky landscape.
One of the best things to do in Santorini is to walk along the great 300 meters high caldera. The globally known caldera, shimmering pastel in the dusk light, is a real jewel of Santorini and one of the reasons why this island is so spectacular. A well-known Santorini Caldera hike from Fira to Oia is a real must-do hike that lasts from 2 to 5 hours depending on your pace and how many photos you are going to make! We assume a lot.
It’s easy and non-technical trek but keep in mind that depending on when you visit the island, Santorinian days can be quite hot! The total amount of Santorini Caldera hiking trail from Fira to Oia is 6.5 miles or roughly 10.5 km. At the end of this walking adventure you will be tired but be aware that the best views come after the hardest climbs. Every covered step is going to be worth it, because the legendary scenery will shape unforgettable memories.
Along numerous churches, astonishing nature and iconic white-washed buildings, you will also pass next to Imerovigli village, the former capital of Santorini. The village is known for offering a spot for admiring mesmerizing sunsets which is known among locals as “balcony to the Aegean”.
However, in case you would feel more secure to have an experienced and professional guide leading you through the ancient paths of the caldera feel free to participate in Santorini Caldera Hiking Tour. It is advisable by many to experience a guided tour and learn all the interesting stories and myths about the landmarks you pass next to.
Breath in the Greek culture and local traditions and explore the incredible streets and corners of Oia village and Caldera. Admire the mesmerizing natural environment and be ready to let the blue and white cave houses beautify your Instagram feed! Don’t worry, this Santorini Caldera hiking tour is perfectly suitable for all types of fitness readiness. Remember that in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. After a day’s walk, you will realize that everything has twice its usual value and that Santorini’s beauty goes much deeper than the attractive surface. It’s culture, history and way of life is what keeps the island the most iconic in the world. Lace-up your shoes folks and let’s go!
Visit Oia, Santorini
Continuing our 3 day itinerary in Santorini is a visit to the picturesque village of Oia. When we think of Santorini the first picture is white-washed houses with light blue roofs, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Oia. Exploring the alleys of Oia is a priority among all the things to do in Santorini in 3 days. The striking village is home to countless luxurious hospitality settlements and spell-binding views that are going to blow your mind away.
Take your time to investigate every corner of this magical place because each street has a story for herself. This charming and bustling village is full of surprises including various galleries, ruins that tell a story and old churches with blue roofs that are synonymous with Santorini. Don’t be surprised by friendly locals that are smiling and greeting tourists – feel free to wave back.
Regardless of it being the main tourist attraction, Oia is still more calm than Fira. It is not arguable that Oia is the most instagrammable destination in Greece and maybe in Europe. So take out your phones and cameras and make your followers go crazy.
Insider tip – consider taking a remarkable photo near the three-dome church.
Besides its gorgeous architecture and culture, some of the top things to do in Oia is if you have some free time is to visit these two significant sights:
The Castle of Agios Nikolaos
Dating back in the 15th century when Oia was the “kastelia” of the island, still lays the castle of Agios Nikolaos. Beautiful castle got its name after a church carved in a rock, committed to Agios Nikolaos. Nowadays, this place is considered as the best spot in Oia to praise the magnificent views of the Aegean sea and cherish astonishing romantic sunsets.
In case you are a book lover wondering what to do in Oia then this is going to be a heaven on Earth for you. Many consider visiting this magical bookshop as one of the crucial things to do in Santorini. The outside quirky Hobbit-hole appearance and the cozy atmosphere inside lead Atlantis to become the most inspiring bookstore in the world according to National Geographic. By having an extensive collection of books in more than 6 languages, Atlantis is inviting you to come by and take a look.
Have lunch at Amoudi Bay
Oia is adorned with countless narrow alleys and staircases that provoke a feeling that they could lead anywhere your imagination wants to go. One of those stairs leads to peaceful Amoudi Bay. Only 300 stairs and roughly 15 minutes away from the magnificent Oia, hides an idyllic cove with crystal turquoise sea and amazing family owned restaurants serving Greek specialties. Surrounded by massive red cliffs dotted with white pearls represented by symbolic white-washed buildings of Oia. Enjoy a freshly caught meal and listen to the waves while nibbling the fira or tzatziki appetizers from small plates.
Insiders tip – if you are an adrenaline junkie then cliff jumping belongs to the list of the top things to do in Oia, Santorini in 3 days. Only 5-10 minutes away from Amoudi Bay is the cliff jumping spot where you can practice your jumping skills. Let’s see who can dive the best! Besides the jumping, this area has some of the most beautiful swimming places in the entire island. Relax and have a dip in natural rock pools.
Join a Catamaran Cruise in Santorini
The land was created to provide a place for boats to visit – so pack your things and spend a luxurious day cruising through the shores of Santorini. Join our Semi Private Catamaran Cruise in Santorini tour and experience a day filled with tranquility of the Greek nature and one-of-a-kind beauty of the local tradition. Allow this semi-private catamaran to lead you through hidden caves and impressive volcano rock creations.
Swimming in the turquoise sea of the Aegean while jumping from the exclusive Santorini catamaran cruise and soaking the beauty of Santorini’s shore is really an opportunity that should not be missed. Besides having fun through swimming or snorkeling, be prepared for a therapeutic swim in the hot springs – Yes! You read well! On top of it all, imagine the following scene: enjoying traditional Greek dinner on a wooden boat and admiring the world’s most famous sunset – Sunset of Oia. The epic shades of gold and rose will leave you speechless. A dream that will become reality. Nothing more needs to be said except that it’s out there on the sea that you are really yourself.
Day 3 of 3 Day Santorini Itinerary:
The Hardest Goodbye…
The church of Koimisi Tis Theotokou is famous for its three bells and is one of the island’s landmarks.When you think of what to do in Santorini during your last day of the trip, countless options come to mind. Depending on your travel style and preferences you can choose to have a more peaceful day and wander around the magical winding alleyways and observe the handmade pottery in souvenir shops or you can plan an adventurous day decorated with various activities and landmarks. The third day of this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini will give you a wide choice of potential interactive tours and attractive places to consider. Oh, we almost forgot… KALIMERA FOLKS! Santorini is waiting.
A quick travel to ancient Greece
Heyya explorers! Who’s ready to travel back in time? Fasten your seat belts because we are heading to 1646 BC. The Archaeological Bus Tour to Akrotiri Excavations and the Red Beach is a heavenly adventure for true history aficionados. One of the most important things to do in Santorini is to learn the history about one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece – Akrotiri.
Santorini, being the most magical Greek island correspondingly has an extraordinary history that leads to it being a real-life fairytale. Investigate remarkable ruins and stroll through the halls of fabulous excavation sites in Akrotiri Museum Tour. Allow the professional guide to lead you through the principal historical and cultural landmarks of Santorini including Megalochori village. Of course, it would not be a perfect Santorini tour without visiting the beach for a quick dip and some zen time. Remember that history never really says goodbye. it is always there waiting to be rediscovered. If you decide to explore on your own, ticket cost amounts 12 euros and during winter (from November 1 to March 31) museum is open from 8am to 3pm, while during summer (from April 4 to October 31) you can visit it from 8am to 8pm everyday except Monday.
Insider’s tip: Did you know that Santorini used to be a huge island and homeland to the flourishing Minoan city of Akrotiri before a horrific volcanic eruption that destroyed the island and split it into parts?
Try water sports in Santorini
Who’s ready to boost their adrenaline? If you are seeking to bustle your adrenaline or feel the thrill then Jet Ski Safari at Santorini is a perfect activity for you! It’s time to observe mesmerizing Santorini from a different perspective and feel the breeze in your hair. Get on a jet ski and take a unique chance to explore the hidden treasures and be surprised with serene untouched nature. Turn your minds off and drive to places only accessible only via the sea. Besides ridding the calm waves of the Aegean, you can enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the pristine blue waters.
Have you ever seen a sad person on a jet ski? No, because you can’t be sad chasing the waves. It’s needless to mention to take your cameras and make amazing pictures.
Happiness is a day at the beach
In case you desire to spend a day filled with relaxation and vitamin D, then one of the best things to do in Santorini is to visit its phenomenal beaches. From rocky surfaces to long sandy beaches, Santorini offers a wide choice to choose from. In order to avoid going to a beach that doesn’t suit your preferences, we are here to help you decide! Because hey, that’s what we are here for!
Life takes us down to various paths, but our favorite ones lead to the beach. Santorini is full of diverse beaches that promise an incomparable atmosphere and lifelong memories. A day at the beach is never lost time. When the warm grains of sand touch your hearts, you will know you are at the right place. Hence, some of the beaches you could put on your list of “fun things to do in Santorini” during your last day include Kamari beach, Perivolos beach, Vlychada beach and many more. Besides these well organized beaches, you can enjoy a day near the sea at some of the one-of-a-kind getaways that cannot be found anywhere in the world except in Santorini. Three most famous beaches, that are on the lists of many guides describing what to do in Santorini are:
Located near the Akrotiri village and 12 km away from Fira hides a pure masterpiece of nature, the Red Beach. Known for its titular red-hued sand and steep red cliffs, Red Beach is a real escape from reality. You will be compelled by the reddish grandeur that will make you want to stay forever. Escape and sit quietly on this spectacular beach and get a glance of how paradise looks like. The dominance of red color enhances the captivating and wild scenery of the beach which attracts many tourists to admire the beach and take exceptional pictures for their Instagram feed. The Red beach can be accessed by boats from Akrotiri port, Kamari or Perissa or by bus/car that requires additional couple of minutes walking downhill. Be aware that this unique beach has extremely narrow and rocky surface made of larger pedals. It is semi-organized with sets of umbrellas and bathing-beds. However, we advise you to purchase all you need in local shops or canteens that can be found on the top of the path.
As its name suggests, the spectacle your eyes are going to witness includes the small volcanic beach surrounded by massive white tower-rocks that form a small sheltered bay. Marvellous! If we followed our hearts it would lead us to this beach. The crystal clear water will make you wanna snorkel and discover the sea world of underwater caves and crevices. Due to its location, 14 km away from Fira, the White Beach is never crowded which promise a day full of peace and relaxation. It can be accessed by boat from the Red Beach or by foot through narrow paths (recommended only to real adventurers). Choose some of the seabeds and absorb the potent power of the Aegean to inspire your thoughts to travel wherever they desire. Sea stirs the heart and brings an eternal joy in your soul. Relax!
Unlike the aforementioned beaches with rocky surface, the Black Beach, or Perissa beach, is regarded to have the best sand and swimming spot in Santorini. The lava black sand and dark blue sea color reflecting the small black pebbles is really an extraordinary scene. This extremely long beach, distanced 13km away from Fira, is easily accessible by bus. Since Perissa beach is very famous among tourists, it has an abundance of all beach amenities. Besides swimming and sun-bathing, you can enhance your adrenaline by participating in various water sports and beach sports with other tourists! Numerous cafes and tavernas will be at your service all the time because we know how tiring can the sun be.
Fishing in Santorini
For those who enjoy interactive tourism and adore fishing, Sunset Fishing Tour in Santorini will be a memorable experience. This fishing tour in Santorini is all about meeting, tasting, creating and feeling.
Hop on a 16-meter boat and explore the Santorini gems including the magical Red Beach. Besides snorkeling, swimming and sightseeing, witness how fishermen take out various fish with 800 meters fishing net from the turquoise open Mediterranean Sea! Fascinating, right. Show your fishing skills and prove that sharing the fun of fishing turns strangers into friends in a few hours.
And of course the views of the unavoidable Santorini sunset will follow you as you sail towards the open sea. Watch how the light blue sky slowly gets adorned with pinkish and orange shades. This fishing tour really belongs to one-of-a-kind things to do in Santorini! We promise a miraculous experience, lifelong memories and incredible pictures! Have fun and may the fish be with you!
Dinner with a view
We believe that all agree that there is no better way to end the last night of this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini than with a wonderful dinner with a legendary view. Since the fondest memories are made gathered around the table, there is no better dinner spot than facing the endless Aegean Sea under the sky full of shining stars.
Choose among countless restaurants and tavernas that satisfy your needs and indulge in delicious meals. A flavorsome dinner and a glass of Greek wine will make you forget all the problems back at home and give you strength to face them. Just like the island itself, the unique food scene of Santorini will inspire you to enjoy the bites of the dishes that can be only found there. We would consider this as only one of the reasons why to come back to breathtaking Santorini.
What we can say after this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini is that those who did not have a chance to visit this miraculous destination, the world still feels like an undrawn map.
We truly hope that this 3 Day Itinerary in Santorini will help you organize and plan your days on this sensational island. Please feel free to comment your thoughts and give any additional suggestions of what are the best things to do in Santorini in 3 days. We are at your disposal in case you need any further information. Now, let’s pack our stuff, because as we said, Santorini is waiting! Until next time, Grekaddicts!