The Perfect 3 Day Santorini Itinerary

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If you are planning a trip to Santorini for a short break, this is a perfect 3 day Santorini itinerary travel guide that will help you plan the perfect trip.

It includes the best things to do in Santorini, the two must-visit destinations of Oia and Fira, and a one-day road trip itinerary so you can visit the highlights of Santorini island. This itinerary also includes our tried and tested travel tips for Santorini.

Greece Travel Blog_Perfect 3 Day Itinierary In Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular – and most scenic – Greek islands to visit. Known for its dramatic coastal landscapes, sheer caldera, and amazing Aegean Sea views, Santorini also offers charming, laid-back traditional Cycladic towns and villages to explore.

In addition, you can visit 3,000-year-old historical sites, go wine tasting in a cave, shop for art in a local gallery, and dine on some of the best Greek food you will ever taste.

Let’s get into how to spend 3 days in Santorini!

Day 1 In Santorini – Oia With Caldera Views

Oia is an unmissable destination on a Santorini itinerary. The charming village is packed with character and provides the incredible views the island of Santorini is famous for. It sits on the northeast of the island, overlooking the caldera and Armenis Bay.

Brunch At Karma

Start your day on the island with a tasty Cycladic brunch at Karma. This cute restaurant sits on a quiet side street and serves a wide choice of healthy dishes in its gorgeous courtyard garden.

Take A Stroll In Oia

Explore the charming village of Oia in Santorini, Greece with our 3 Day Santorini Itinerary.

The best way to explore Oia is on foot. It is made for wandering and offers a photo opportunity around every corner.

Visit the Church of Panagia Akathistos (also known as the Church of Panagia Platsani) on Oia’s main square. This distinctive church has five domes (including a classic blue dome) and a pyramid-shaped bell tower with six bells. It is one of the most famous churches on the island.

Take a stroll along the marble-lined promenade to see one of the most photographed locations on the island, the two blue-domed churches of the Church of Anastasi and the Church of St. Spirydon. This is, justifiably, one of the most popular locations on the island, so visit as early as you can to avoid the crowds.

Don’t miss one of the most iconic features of Santorini, the sail-clad windmills in Oia. The windmills are no longer working, and you cannot see inside, but they make an atmospheric photo backdrop.

Oia is a good place for shopping and to pick up locally-made souvenirs. For an extra special souvenir, why not take part in the famous flying dress photo shoot? The contrasting colors and backdrop of the caldera will create photos to treasure forever.

Visit The Maritime Museum

Take a break from the sun with a visit to the small but fascinating Maritime Museum. Exhibits include sailing equipment, navigation instruments, sailor uniforms, and wooden figureheads. It is an exciting glimpse into the importance of maritime trade in Santorini’s history.

The museum is open every day except Tuesday.

Castle Of Oia

The ruins of the 15th-century Venetian Castle of Oia are one of the most popular locations on Santorini to watch a sunset over the Aegean. Also called the Castle of Agios Nikolaos, this spot boasts spectacular views of the caldera.

If you want a quieter spot to watch the famous Santorini sunset, take a stroll up the hill just outside town. The views are just as good, and you will avoid the crowds.

Ammoudi Bay

Scuba Dive - Ammoudi Bay Santorini Greece

Spend the afternoon in picturesque Ammoudi Bay, which can be accessed by descending 278 steps from Oia. The multi-colored buildings set against an azure sea and red beach rocks create a striking landscape.

After the exerting descent, indulge in ice cream at Cool Cave before spending a couple of hours swimming and sunbathing on the small but beautiful sandy beach.

Grab dinner at one of the seafood restaurants in the bay and, if you have time, watch the sunset to end your first day before climbing the steps back to Oia.

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Day 2 In Santorini – Fira

Spend the second day of your 3 day Santorini itinerary in the island’s capital city – Fira.

Oia To Fira Hike

3 Day Santorini Itinerary: Greece, Santorini

Walk off breakfast with a 10-kilometer hike from Oia to Fira, the capital of Santorini. Set off early in summer to avoid soaring midday temperatures, and bring plenty of water and sunscreen as there isn’t any shade along the route.

The hilly coastal trail is scenic and well-signposted. It varies between paved roads and dirt tracks, and the entire route will take around 2-3 hours, depending on how many stops you make. You will pass Imerovigli and Firostefani along the way.

As the path is rocky in places, suitable gripping footwear is a must.

Wander Around Fira

3-Day Santorini Itinerary: Explore the breathtaking beauty of a church on a hill overlooking the sea.

Like Oia, Fira is small, so it’s ideal to explore on foot. It sits on top of a cliff which, at its highest point, is 300 meters above sea level. The caldera views from Fira are amazing.

Visit the 19th-century Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and the colorful 18th-century Catholic Church of Saint Stylianso. Walk along the promenade or cool down with a drink in one of the many restaurants that offer a caldera view.

Visit The Museum Of Prehistoric Thera

Escape the midday heat and learn about the history of Santorini at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. It has an extensive and varied collection of prehistoric artifacts ranging from fossils to jewelry and clay pots to fine art frescoes.

Allow around 1 – 2 hours for your visit. The museum is cheap to enter and is open everyday (except Tuesday) until 3 pm.

Santos Winery

3 Day Santorini Itinerary: Explore the stunning island of Santorini, Greece. Visit iconic blue-domed churches, swim in crystal clear waters and immerse yourself in the rich history and Santos Winery

Santorini has lots of great wineries to choose from (and wine tours), but we recommend visiting Santos Winery, 4 kilometers south of Fira.

You can skip a wine tasting tour and instead head here to get a very affordable wine tasting package, which includes an informative tour of the four-floor winery, several different wine varieties to taste, plus an array of traditional snacks such as home-baked bread, Santorini-grown tomatoes, and various tasty dips.

If time allows, stay for dinner and enjoy Santo’s excellent food, accompanied by an incredible sunset view, before catching a bus or taxi back from Fira to Oia.

Day 3 In Santorini – Rent A Car For A Road Trip

If you have your own car, add a day-long road trip to your Santorini itinerary. You will get to see and visit quieter parts of the island that most tourists to Santorini never reach.


A cobbled street in a white building with blue shutters, part of a 3 Day Santorini Itinerary.

Pyrgos (or Pyrgos Kallistis) is 3 kilometers from Fira. It is a quaint, unspoiled village and a great place to stop for a break.

The 13th-century village is the highest village on the island. It is a maze of narrow lanes and whitewashed Cycladic houses adorned with vivid pink bougainvillea.

Grab a coffee or lunch at Franco’s Cafe, which has elevated views of the village from its terrace, before heading uphill to explore Pyrgos Kasteli, the best preserved of the five Venetian castles on Santorini.


Recovered ancient buildings in prehistoric town of Akrotiri, one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. An archaeological site of Akrotiri in Santorini, Greece

Akrotiri, to the southwest of Santorini, is 15 kilometers from Fira. Most people visit the village to see the nearby remains of the prehistoric Minoan city of Akrotiri, which is one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Europe.

The ancient city was hidden from sight under a thick layer of ash after a volcanic eruption in the 16th century B.C. When the site was excavated in the 1960s, archaeologists discovered that the ash had remarkably preserved the ruins underneath.

Today, you can see three-story buildings, drainage systems, and road layouts, but the site is best known for its colorful and detailed Minoan frescoes.

Once you have paid to enter Akrotiri, it is worth paying the extra charge for a guided tour of this famous Santorini spot. You will learn and understand so much more about the site and its people than if you walk around on your own.

Relax At Kamari Beach

Best beaches in Santorini - Kamari beach at dawn
Kamari Beach

Kamari is a black-sand and pebble beach sitting at the foot of Mesa Vuono mountain in southeast Santorini.

It’s a large, family-friendly beach lined with beach clubs and tavernas. There are umbrellas and beds for hire, and the sea is clear and generally calm, so this is a great place to relax for a couple of hours.

You can also take a water taxi or walk to neighboring Perissa Beach.

Santorini Wine Museum

Whether you drink wine or not, the Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum is worth visiting to find out how Santorini’s most famous export is produced.

The museum is housed in a 300-meter-long cave, 8 meters underground, so that it will be a welcome break from the heat. Using an audio guide, you will tour the exhibits and dioramas to learn how grapes were grown, harvested, and processed to make Santorini wine in the past as well as in the present day.

The tour ends with tastings of four different types of wine. You can also pre-book more extensive wine-tasting packages if you wish.

3 Days In Santorini Itinerary

Santorini honeymoon guide

Getting Around Santorini

Renting a car in Santorini is the easiest and fastest way to explore the island. Santorini is small, so you will be able to visit a lot of locations in a short time if you have your own vehicle.

Driving in Santorini is straightforward, but book your rental car well in advance of your trip, as there is a limited number of rental cars available on the island.

Santorini also has an efficient, affordable, and reliable bus network run by KETL. Routes include all the main tourist destinations plus the port and airport.

Buses run every day, starting around 6 -7 am and running until around 10 pm. You will also find several night buses on the most popular routes. Buses are a cheap option for budget or solo travelers, and you can use them to explore all over the island.

Taxis in Santorini are expensive, so they should only be used if you cannot catch a bus. Unfortunately, at present, Uber is only available as UberTaxi, which is basically the same as standard taxis.

Areas To Stay In Santorini

Most people stay in Oia and Fira, as these two locations offer some of the most spectacular views on the island. Both are small enough to explore comfortably on foot. If you are a budget-conscious traveler, you will find cheaper accommodation in Fira with the best bargains available in the off-peak winter or autumn season.

We stayed at Virginia’s Cave Villas in Oia. It offers stylish, authentic cave rooms with jaw-dropping views. In Fira, we stayed at Lemon Suites. It has a convenient central location and is packed with character.

How To Get To Santorini

During the summer months (usually from May – October), you can get direct flights to Santorini from most European countries. In off-peak months, you will have to change planes or modes of transport in Athens.

There are direct ferries to Santorini all year round from Athens and neighboring Naxos and Paros. The ferry from Athens to Santorini takes between 5 – 6 hours.

Days In Santorini Tips FAQs 


Is 3 days enough time to visit Santorini?

Yes. I recommend at least 3 days in Santorini. Three days is sufficient time to explore both the main tourist areas and more off-the-beaten-track locations. To fully explore within this timeframe, we recommend hiring a car to get the most out of your trip to Santorini.

How much money do you need for 3 days in Santorini?

This depends on what level of accommodation you choose, how many meals you eat out per day, and how many attractions you wish to visit.

Europe is not a cheap destination, and Santorini is not a cheap location within Europe! On average, you should budget around €175 per person per day. Therefore, a 3 day trip would cost €525 per person.

You can save money by visiting in the off-season, by choosing cheaper accommodation, or by hiring your own car or using buses. One of the biggest savings you can make is to pick up your own groceries for breakfast or lunch.

Is everything walkable in Santorini?

When you are in towns or villages in Santorini, everything is walkable; for example, Oia is only 2 kilometers long. However, if you have mobility issues, you may find numerous steps and uphill and downhill slopes in Oia and Fira challenging.

You can also walk between some locations (such as Fira and Oia), but the island as a whole is not walkable unless you are spending much longer than three days on it.

What is the best month to go to Santorini?

The ‘best’ month depends on what you want to get out of your trip. If you want endless sunshine, high temperatures, and local festivals, visit in the peak season months of July and August.

If you prefer cooler but pleasantly warm days with fewer crowds of people, visit in the shoulder season months of May or October.

Three Days In Santorini Wrap-Up

Santorini is an idyllic Cycladic island that offers incredible views, fantastic food, and pretty beaches. You can also visit ancient sites, learn about Santorini’s prehistoric history, attend a vibrant festival, or enjoy a scenic, deserted hiking trail.

Many people visit Santorini for just one day, but to fully appreciate everything that this island gem has to offer, we recommend staying for at least 3 days.

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