Santorini to us is heaven. It’s one of those places that lives up to the hype and you will be happy to know that it looks exactly the way it does in the postcards. Previously we have told you about the top things to do in Santorini, but what if your time is limited and you can only see the best of the best while still getting the full experience of what life is like on this beautiful Greek Island? To help you out here is our suggested itinerary if you have three days in Santorini, Greece.
Ferries and airplanes from Athens, as well as those from the other Cycladic Islands, arrive on the island regularly. From Santorini, Athens is 4.5 hours away by fast catamaran or 30 minutes by airplane. There is a small but frequently used airport (JTR) located on the island near the town of Kamari, and most ferries arrive in the new Athinios port.
The best times to visit Santorini are between April and May and also between September and October. The weather is milder than it is in the high summer and the island is less crowded, yet it does not see the inclement conditions that are frequent in winter months. Santorini is well serviced by public buses, and transport from place to place island wide is only a few euros per trip. Cars, scooters and ATVs can all be rented by those visiting the island, but drivers should exercise great caution when driving on the winding, narrow roads.
Get started in Fira with an early morning tour of the volcanic islands and the hot springs in the middle of the caldera. There are a variety of tours available in different styles and price ranges, but those simply wanting a boat ride out to the caldera islands can easily find it. On tours, visiting the nearby island of Thirasia is often an option. There are several good hiking trails located there, and the views from the mountaintop are excellent. Be sure to stop by Captain John’s and sample the grilled swordfish.
Upon returning to Fira, one should check out the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which is located only a short walk from the main square and features a variety of ancient Minoan artworks that have been recovered from the nearby village of Akrotiri. Next, have dinner at the superior Apion restaurant, which not only has great views of the sunset but also provides excellent service and tasty cuisine. Making dinner reservations in advance is recommended as there are only a few tables. After supper, catch some sleep at the lovely Costa Marina Villas. Be sure to ask for the seaside rooms as they often come with a view.
After having breakfast, prepare to hike from Fira to Oia. Finding the trail is easy enough as it is clearly marked, but those making the trek should be sure to take water and wear decent hiking shoes. The route takes about two hours and provides good photographic opportunities the entire way, but it’s not a suitable choice for those with vertigo or those with health conditions. These people should take the bus or a taxi to Oia instead.
When in Oia, take time to explore the nearby Amoudi Bay. There are a great many tavernas by the shore selling delicious fresh fish and seafood. Swimming here during the busier months, such as July and August, might be out of the question, but getting a bite of dinner while watching the boats come in and out of the harbor is a magnificent idea. Those who want to stay at the beach should bring towels to sit on as the shore is comprised of volcanic rocks.
On returning to Oia, be sure to check out some of the local businesses. Epilekton is a lovely gift shop where travelers can pick out some nice souvenirs for themselves and their families. Another nice place to purchase remembrances in town is Aquamarine Jewelry, which has pretty handmade earrings, rings, and necklaces for sale.
Quit shopping in time to catch the spectacular sunsets that make Santorini so unforgettable. One excellent way to view the sunset is from Katharos Lounge, which also offers light and tasty Greek cuisine. It is located in the Katharos Beach area of Oia. After sunset, one can either then take the bus or a taxi back to Fira.
Until recently Akrotiri was buried under a mound of volcanic ash and then was closed to the public for several years after an unfortunate accident happened at the site in 2005. This interesting place is now open to the public and is good for a leisurely Sunday morning stroll. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. between April 1 and October 31. Admission is 5 euros and taking the guided tour is the recommended way to see the site.
Next, one should stop by the La Ponta-Venetian Tower. This tower is part of a 13th-century Venetian castle that now showcases a variety of traditional musical instruments. Daily demonstrations of these instruments are provided for visitors. Guests can get a quick bite to eat in the on-site café, where proceeds go to fund the renovations, before heading to the nearby Red or White Beaches.
The brightly lit White Beach can be accessed on foot from the Red Beach, where parking is available. The waters at the White Beach are deep and there are no lifeguards, so it is probably not suitable for children. By contrast, the Red Beach is easier to access but still requires a hike from the parking lot down a narrow trail. It is made up of volcanic pebbles so be sure to bring a towel to sit upon. These beaches are not as nice as some of the others on the island for swimming, but they do have impressive scenery. After spending some time at either beach, or both, travelers should pack their bags and prepare for their departure. We hope you enjoyed your three Days in Santorini, Greece.
Have we missed anything from our Three Days in Santorini, Greece? Did you love it?