Day 1 in Santorini
Welcome to Santorini! Arrive at the port in Santorini and proceed to your hotel. Should you desire, we offer private transfers where a representative will meet you at the port and transfer you to your hotel. (Click on Hotel Transportation in the Booking Process). Once you arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do.
Spend your first day getting acquainted with the island by exploring some of the towns. While it’s certainly easy to get around the island on your own, there are plenty of tours for travelers with limited time. Thera, or Fira, the main town, lies on the curve of the caldera, facing west. The ferries arrive into the port that lies south of the main town. Its picturesque whitewashed buildings cling to the sides of the cliffs.
We highly recommend you start your afternoon by taking the foot path hike from Fira to Oia, the views, the landscapes, the peacefulness, you`ll be so glad you took the stroll along the caldera. The walk takes about three hours, but the views are 100 percent worth it! Be sure to take some water with you. Alternatively you could take the bus to Oia instead!
Beginning at Fira, take the pedestrian path along the caldera (crater) rim, climbing past the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist to the villages of Firostephani and Imerovigli. Stop in Imerovigli, a typical village, to admire the gorgeous houses in blue, white, cream, yellow and ochre. Enjoy lunch in one of the many tavernas followed by vinsanto, a famous sweet wine/liquor that is a specialty of Santorini. Time (and energy) permitting, you may want to hike down to Skaros, a rocky promontory jutting into the sea below Imerovigli. This tiny spot was once home to the island`s administrative offices. The trail descends steeply and wraps around the promontory, finally reaching a small chapel with a panoramic view of the caldera and the glassy black volcanic cliffs.
From Imerovigli, continue north, until you reach a dirt path along the caldera rim that parallels the road. The trail leaves the vicinity of the road as you ascend, returning to the road in the valleys. The descent into Oia eventually leads to the main pedestrian street in town. The sunset here is one of the most gorgeous in the world, don`t miss it! Explore Oia by foot, including the Church of Panagia, a beautiful Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the Naval Museum, then head down to Ammoudi, Oia`s port, huddled between the cliffs and the sea, hundreds of feet below the village. We recommend a causal dinner here before heading back to your hotel!
Day 2 in Santorini
After a good night`s rest, head out to explore the town of Pyrgos, one of the least visited towns on the island. It lies inland, about 4 miles from Therea, and is a classic example of defensive medieval architecture. The Venetian fortress above town affords great views of the surrounding countryside. While here, make sure to visit Kastro (fortess), a 13th century Venetian castle, before heading to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias, one of the two highest points of Santorini, where you will enjoy amazing views over the island.
From here, continue on to the charming and authentic village of Megalochori. In the center of the village, there are various taverns, restaurants offering the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing lunch. This is a great spot to enjoy a relaxing lunch. After lunch we recommend you explore one of the beautiful wineries in the area by taking a wine tour. Santorini wines are some of the best in Greece, and sampling them is a must do while on the island!
If time allows, spend the rest of your afternoon soaking up the sun at Vlychada Beach or Paralia Kokkini (Red Beach) along the southern coast.
This evening, head back to Fira for mezedes (appetizers) and ouzo on the caldera; then it's time for a night on the town - Santorini style! Koo is the biggest (and most well known) disco and promises an all night party, but there are plenty of options to choose from so go ahead and have some fun!
Day 3 in Santorini
Whether or not you partied the night away, today is all about rest and relaxation! Head to one of the beaches: Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos are the most popular (and crowded), but offer the most in restaurants, shops and beach bars. You can also find watersports like windsurfing, jet skiing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Perissa even has a waterpark! And more adventurous types may enjoy the hike from Kamari to the site of Ancient Thira, where you will find a mixture of Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins.
Spend the morning and early afternoon sunbathing, shopping and sipping cocktails along the coast before returning to Fira where you may want to do a bit more shopping or visit the Museum of Pre-Historic Thira, which has a captivating collection of frescos and artifacts unearthed from the site at Akrotiri.
Take it easy this evening - go back to your favorite place on Santorini for a casual sunset dinner and drinks. Stroll the winding streets. Make your last night in Santorini a memorable one!
Additional Days in Santorini
Should you be able to spend additional days in Santorini then be sure to venture offshore to the surrounding islands. These islets in the caldera are part of the magnificence of Santorini's seascape, reminders of the larger island that existed before the volcano left the modern day crescent in the sea. Take a day cruise to Thirassia, a small island located west across the caldera from Santorini. Here you can explore the village and have lunch. The excursion usually includes the volcanic islands of Palea Kameni (Old Burnt) and Nea Kameni (New Burnt).
Additionally, you may choose to get off the beaten track and visit more of Santorini's beaches and villages. As you explore, watch for the cave houses carved into solidified volcanic ash. At the south end of the island, on the road to Perissa, is the handsome old village of Emborio with its towers and a marble statue of the muse Polyhymnia in the cemetery. Another thing you may notice is that in many fields, you'll see what look like large brown wreaths of intertwined sticks placed on the ground. What you're looking at are vineyards. Locals twist the grape vines in such a manner, encircling the grapes to protect them from the island's fierce winds.
And speaking of vineyards, don't miss the opportunity to explore Santorini's wineries. The vineyards of Megalochori and Pyrgos produce volcanic wines such as dry white Assyrtikos and sweet, amber colored Vinsanto. Boutari is the island's largest winery, and Greece's best known wine exporter. A variety of tours are offered at their location in Megalochori. If you want to sample other local wines, stop by the underground Volcan Wine Museum just outside Fira, on the road to Kamari. The museum, located in subterranean caves and tunnels, has an audio tour and demonstrations of the wine making process. It hosts a Greek Night every week, featuring dinner and belly dancers, which is popular with visitors.
Your Last Day in Santorini
Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.