Santorini sunset - a no-miss experience no matter how many days in Santorini you are
Santorini sunset - a no-miss experience no matter how many days in Santorini you are

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is known for its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque villages. The famous island has plenty to offer whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler. But the question that often arises is: How many days in Santorini are enough to explore its wonders? 

The answer varies depending on your preferences and interests. To help you create a tailor-made itinerary based on your unique needs, we have put together some suggestions for the ideal length of stay and activities to do during your Santorini trip.


An overview of how many days in Santorini are enough

Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a nature lover, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Santorini has something for everyone. But the activities you can do depend heavily on your available time and preferences.

  • A half-day trip is sufficient if you want to see the volcanoes and take the renowned Oia sunset shot.
  • On the other hand, four days and three nights in Santorini are usually enough time to gain a good sense of the island, particularly if this is your first visit. Visiting vineyards, exploring all the charming towns, and relaxing on the beach are among the best things to do.

  • And if you want to tour Santorini’s ancient sites and museums, you’ll need an additional day or two. So, make sure you map down the sights you want to see and the activities you wish to experience to guide you in deciding how many days to stay in Santorini.


One day in Santorini

Do you crave to see all the important highlights on the island in such a short amount of time? No worries, we got you!

If you are spending one day in Santorini from a cruise ship, we highly recommend you book a guided tour, such as the First Impressions Santorini day tour. This way you’ll be able to uncover awe-inspiring gems in a total of 4 to 5 hours with the help of a local expert.


Panoramic view of the Santorini caldera and the whitewashed houses that are perched on its cliffs

Image source


Enjoy spectacular panoramic views and take phenomenal photos from Mt. Profitis Ilias, the highest point on Santorini. Stroll around Megalochori, a lovely hamlet known for its neoclassical architecture, magnificent houses, and laid-back way of life! Finally, be astonished by the Caldera cliffs and the brue-domed churches that adorn Oia village.

Before the sun descends, you can opt for a wine-tasting tour to sample the famous local wines in any of the award-winning wineries on the island! Another great alternative for your evening is to indulge in a Santorini sunset cruise. From sailing past volcanic beaches and hot springs to savoring a delightful meal onboard while admiring the world-renowned sunset, it’s a unique experience you should not skip! 


Santorini wine tasting


Two days in Santorini

48 hours is a decent timeframe to explore more of the island’s beauty! Apart from the ones we referred to above, here are a few more activities to consider for your short but sweet 2-day stay:

  1. Stroll the charming streets of Oia, where refined art galleries, cute little shops and cascading bougainvillea create a picturesque setting.
  2. Be fascinated by the allure of the lesser-known villages, such as Pyrgos, Imerovigli and Emporio.
  3. Explore the bustling capital of Santorini, Fira. With restaurants boasting sunset views to lively bars, its vibrant ambiance doesn’t go unnoticed.
  4. Relax and unwind by the azure waters that grace Santorini’s shoreline. After all, a swimming break at any of the volcanic beaches is a must to recharge from your island adventures.
  5. Visit the 3500-year-old ancient settlement of Akrotiri to get a glimpse into the daily life of the once-flourishing Minoan civilization that was destroyed after the massive volcanic eruption.


Akrotiri ancient settlement


Three to four days in Santorini

If you can spare three to four days, rest assured because Santorini has plenty to offer. In fact, if you’re visiting for the first time, we recommend you stay for a minimum of 3 nights so you can make the most of your trip.

Explore the picturesque town of Oia and visit the ancient city of Akrotiri, which dates back to the Minoan era. Before the sun goes down, take a Santorini catamaran sunset cruise around its iconic caldera to witness the most majestic sunset of the world unfold before your eyes.


A catamaran sailing in turquoise water with volcanic cliffs on the background


Slow down the pace and immerse yourself in the island’s culture and beauty. Take a hike along the caldera from Fira to Oia and enjoy the stunning views of the sea and the white-washed houses perched on the cliffs. 

You can also visit Red Beach and Black Beach, two of the island’s most famous beaches, and relax under the sun. For an authentic experience, try the local cuisine and savor the flavors of fresh seafood, Greek salads, and moussaka. For more inspiration, you can check out our absolute 3-day Santorini itinerary.


Five to seven days in Santorini

If you have around a week to spend on the island, you can delve deeper into its hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions.

  • Take a Thirassia day trip from Santorini, where you can hike, swim, and enjoy a delicious meal at a traditional taverna.

  • Visit the medieval village of Pyrgos, the abandoned village of Mesa Gonia, and the Akrotiri Lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the island.

  • For a more adventurous experience, book a scuba diving or snorkeling tour and explore the island’s underwater world.

  • Consider visiting one or more of the Santorini museums available to uncover the rich history that adds to the island’s charm.
  • If you’re a beach life fan, staying in Santorini for at least 5 days is a must. This will give you ample time to view the island’s sights and rest on the beach.

Can you tour all the beaches in Santorini in five days? Certainly not, as there are many. Furthermore, keep in mind that although Santorini boasts unusual beaches with red or black sand, there are no bays with golden sand. 


Vlychada beach Santorini


More than seven days in Santorini

If you’re lucky enough to have more than a week in Santorini, you can combine relaxation with exploration and create your own itinerary. 

Take a private Santorini cooking class and learn how to make traditional Greek dishes. Alternatively, go horseback riding in the countryside or book a yoga retreat and practice mindfulness in the island’s serene environment. 

You can also rent a car or a scooter and explore the island’s lesser-known beaches, villages, and wineries at your own pace.


Where can I stay in Santorini?

The most lavish accommodations, frequently with private pools or hot tubs, can be found at Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia. Fira and Oia are busier, with Fira holding the majority of Santorini’s nightlife.

Budget travelers and those who value beach time often stay on Santorini’s east shore. Beach destinations such as Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos have a wide range of hotels, rooms to rent, and hundreds of tavernas and cafés.

The wonderful benefit of visiting Santorini for a few days, possibly as part of an island hopping vacation, is that it is a ‘try before you buy’ offer. You will surely return, full of memories of that bite-size excursion to paradise.


View from Oia


So how many days do you need in Santorini?

The ideal length of stay in Santorini depends on your preferences and interests. 

Creating a tailored itinerary based on your unique preferences allows you to make the most of your trip and cherish unforgettable memories!

Trust us to create the perfect trip for you on our fantastic island easily and at great prices!

Tell us how you want to spend your time in Santorini, and we’ll work with you to create unique, tailor-made Santorini private tours! 

Check out our Santorini Tailor-made tours and prepare for an experience of a lifetime.


FAQs about Santorini

Is 2 days enough in Santorini?

You can visit most of Santorini’s highlights within 48 hours. Yet, you need to meticulously plan your itinerary so that no hour goes underutilized. To make the most of your short stay, it’s great to divide your activities into morning, afternoon and evening ones!

Which is better: Mykonos or Santorini?

Both Mykonos and Santorini are equally enchanting. Yet, the one you’re going to like the most depends on your unique preferences. If you love romantic vibes and breathtaking views, Santorini is your go-to island. On the other hand, if you love cosmopolitan parties and sandy beaches, Mykonos is the one that will better align with your tastes.

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