What do you picture when thinking of things to do in Santorini? Before visiting this idyllic Greek island, I had assumed that all it had to offer were cave hotels, infinity pools and blue-domed churches. This was incredibly narrow-minded of me. On visiting Santorini I found some of the best seafood of my life, wonderful hiking trails and ancient Greek ruins – all based around a submerged, active volcanic crater.
Therefore, from the luxury resorts through to the traditional Greek villages, I think it’s fair to say that there really is something for everyone on this stunning island. As such, I have put together a suggested three-night itinerary that (I believe) balances authentic island activities along with opulent experiences. Read on to discover more! And add another day (or days!) to your holiday for pool time if you’re an avid sun-worshipper – or if you simply just need a long, restful break!
SANTORINI ITINERARY – DAY 1 AM
Wake up (at a reasonably early time) to beautiful views of the Aegean Sea from your suite in Oia at Andronis Arcadia and have a light breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. Grab some swimming stuff and make your way into the centre of Oia, a five-minute walk from Andronis Arcadia. Explore the beautiful streets of Oia and grab some photos of those blue-domed churches.
Head in the direction of Oia Castle and carefully descend the long and winding 300-step staircase towards Ammoudi Bay. Bear left, past the row of fish taverns, and scale the rocky cliff face until you see a number of people (uncomfortably) sunbathing on the rocks, opposite a small island in the middle of the sea (Saint Nicholas Island). Have a dip in the sea here and enjoy a completely different perspective of the caldera. Additionally, if you’re braver than me, then Saint Nicholas Island has a platform from which you can jump into the clear blue water.
SANTORINI ITINERARY – DAY 1 PM
Return to the fish taverns and eat the freshest fish lunch at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna. We were able to sample a number of fish dishes with the restaurant’s well-priced mixed grill for two.
With a full stomach, make your way back to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging poolside. Get ready for the evening and arrive at Oia Castle at least 15 minutes before sunset to get a good spot to watch the sun go down next to the iconic Oia windmills. Finish your evening with snacks and drinks at Marykay’s Hassapiko Bar until late.
SANTORINI ITINERARY – DAY 2
Enjoy a lazy start to the day with breakfast at the hotel and some relaxation time. Use this time to arrange with the hotel staff to hire a car on Day 3 (approximately £50GBP for the day) and consider having a light lunch of sushi by the pool.
In advance of your visit to the island, book a half-day Standard Sunset Cruise through Volcano Yachting. A minibus will pick you up around midday to take you to the catamaran. This boat trip takes you to a number of beautiful spots along the coastline, including opportunities for snorkelling at Red Beach and White Beach and a dip in the slightly less inviting waters of the Volcanic Hot Springs. The boat trip has an open bar (offering local wines and beers) and the crew make a wonderful traditional dinner to be eaten while watching the sun set into the ocean. The homemade tzatziki and Greek salad were incredible!
SANTORINI ITINERARY – DAY 3
Hungrily gobble down an early breakfast before picking up your hire car. Start your day of touring the island by first driving down to visit one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece, the Akrotiri Lighthouse, before visiting the remains of the ancient city of Akrotiri. Drive up to explore the traditional village of Megalochori for a Greek mezze feast at Avlogyros Tavern.
Drive to Thira, the capital of Santorini, and have a wander around the town before heading over to the upmarket village of Imerovigli. Proceed to spend the afternoon at Imerovigli, appreciating the sweeping caldera views by hiking to the summit of Skaros Rock.
Head back to the hotel for a quick shower, before taking the car out again for a sunset dinner at Cavo Tagoo’s Ovac Mediterranean restaurant. Return your hire car to the hotel and finish your evening with cocktails at Andronis Arcadia’s Pacman Bar.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my top 10 things to do in Rhodes.