Ultimate Santorini Itinerary: How to Spend 5 Days in Santorini

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Are you planning to spend 5 days in Santorini (or more)? This Santorini itinerary covers all bases of how to plan the epic trip, including what to do, where to stay, and more!

SANTORINI QUICK REFERENCE
Last-minute planning? You can see our top travel recommendations for Santorini right here:

Where to stay in Santorini: On the Cliff Suites (Luxury), Tataki Hotel (Mid-range), Antonia Hotel (budget), Casa Santantonio (affordable luxury Airbnb on Santorini).

Top-rated Santorini tours and excursions:

Taking a ferry from the mainland to Santorini? Be sure to book your ferry with Direct Ferries, our trusted partner for sea travel in Greece.

Needing a lift from the airport to your hotel? We recommend Welcome Pickups, a transfer service we swear by in Greece!

Need insurance for Greece? Be sure to check Greece travel insurance rates and coverage with our recommended provider, SafetyWing.

Renting a car in Santorini? You can get great options and the best rates here with Rentalcars.com.

3 Essential Things to Pack for Greece: Plug adapter (if coming from the US or a country that does not use a European plug), Sea bands motion sickness and seasickness bands (so essential if you’re taking a ferry to the islands!), and a Greece Lonely Planet guidebook.

5 Days in Santorini Itinerary

Santorini is a very beautiful island in Greece. It’s a very popular destination and is famous because of the amazing views and lovely sunsets. There is so much to see and to do on Santorini and therefore, it should be high on your bucket list!  It truly is one of the best places to visit in Greece!

This is a 5 days itinerary for Santorini and here you will find out where to stay, which things you should do, where to have dinner, and some other important things to know before traveling to Santorini!

Why Visit Santorini?

Santorini is a very beautiful island that you should really see! There are so many reasons to go to this idyllic place. One of the most important reasons is that there are magnificent viewpoints.

You will be amazed by the beautiful white houses, blue domes, and water. Moreover, Santorini is very famous for its gorgeous sunsets. The sunsets are so spectacular that people even applaud when they happen!

READ MORE:  Amazing things to do in Santorini in winter

There are many cute little towns in Santorini to explore and the weather in summer is perfect. Those who love luxury hotels will enjoy Santorini a lot, but you’ll also find some more affordable places to stay.

There are also many beautiful photo spots in Santorini. Furthermore, Santorini is also very photogenic. In short, there are plenty of reasons to visit this lovely island in Greece!

Blue domes are a must-see on a Santorini itinerary
Santorini itinerary

What to Know Before Traveling to Santorini

The official name of Santorini is Thira. The island is located in the southern Aegean Sea and it is part of the Cyclades Islands.

Furthermore, the size of Santorini is about 73 m² and the island has several lovely towns. The most popular and photographed town is Oia, but the other towns are great to visit as well, such as Fira, Imerovigli, and Firostefani.

Santorini can be crowded, just as imagined.  If you’re not going for strictly a beach vacation and want to experience the island less-crowded, opt for visiting Santorini in winter or in the shoulder season.

This Itinerary for Santorini

This itinerary for Santorini will ensure that you will make the most out of your trip to Santorini! It is for a period of five days because that is enough to see the most beautiful parts of Santorini and also do a fun day trip if you’re up for exploring somewhere new. 

Here is the breakdown of this 5 days in Santorini itinerary:

Day 1: See Oia
Day 2: Go to Fira
Day 3: Explore the waters of Santorini
Day 4: Learn about the history of Santorini and head to the beach
Day 5 (optional): Visit another gorgeous island- Paros

At the end, we also give some suggestions for things to do beyond five days if you have more time on Santorini or want some alternative options for the suggestions we have made.

Day 1: See Oia

Oia is one of the most beautiful places in Santorini and starting your trip on the island here is amazing.

Oia in Santorini Greece
Oia

Morning

Depending on where you stay, you can start the day by hiking to Oia. Hiking between Fira and Oia is a very popular activity, but if you stay in Imerovigli, you can also hike to Oia.

Hiking in Santorini early in the morning is really one of the most magical things to do. It’s best to start hiking early in the morning because then it’s cooler outside, making the hike far more comfortable.

If you’re on time to see the sunrise, you will also really enjoy the experience. If you stay in Oia, then you’re already there which is great. In that case, you can start hiking to Fira on day three.

Once you arrive in Oia, there are several amazing things you should see. First, you should visit the main street. This is a long street with lots of lovely shops.

You will immediately notice that there are many cats and colorful flowers around the main road. Furthermore, you can walk on all the sideways and stumble upon the beautiful viewpoints and the famous blue domes.

Path close to the main street in Oia, Santorini

Afternoon

After that, it would be a great idea to have lunch. Pelekanos is a restaurant in Oia where you can have great Greek food and from there you also have a jaw-dropping view of Oia.

After having lunch, you can go to Oia Castle. Oia Castle is one of the best viewpoints of Santorini. It used to be a castle to protect the city against pirates and you can still see some of the remains nowadays. It’s a very impressive piece of history, but most important are the amazing views there.

View from Oia Castle in Santorini
View from Oia Castle in Santorini

When you admired the beautiful views of Oia Castle, you can go to the windmills in Oia. You will already see these windmills when you’re at Oia Castle.

The windmills are very typical for the Cyclades Islands and it’s definitely a must-see when you’re visiting Santorini!

Evening

After seeing the gorgeous windmills, you can go to Amoudi Bay. Amoudi Bay is a very beautiful bay that’s only a short walk from Oia.

There are stairs leading to Amoudi Bay and one very fun thing about that is that there are numbers on the stairs so you know how many steps there are till you arrive there!

Even though Amoudi Bay is only a short walk from Oia, it looks totally different and that makes it unique. The water is really blue and picturesque there.

When you arrive at Amoudi Bay, you can have dinner there at one of the restaurants next to the water. It’s really one of the most romantic places to have dinner in Santorini!

Amoudi Bay in Santorini Greece
Amoudi Bay in Santorini Greece

Also, if you still have enough time, you should definitely head back to the town for the most beautiful sunset. Oia Castle is the most popular place in Santorini to watch the sunset and it’s definitely very magical.

Where to Stay in Oia

Oia is the most photogenic place on the island where you will find many luxury hotels with private pools. If you really want to have that Santorini experience that you see in all the photos, then you should stay here.

The views from the hotels here are amazing and you will stay very close to the most important sights. However, it can be quite expensive.

You can also stay in a hotel that’s less luxurious in Oia. The advantage of that is that it will save you lots of money and you’re still very close to the most famous sights. But, that’s still more expensive than other places on the island.

Kastro Oia Houses in Santorini
Kastro Oia Houses in Santorini

Hotels in Oia

There are many amazing places to stay in Oia and here are some of our top favorites in the picturesque Santorini destination:

» Luxury:  La Perla Villas and Suites – Adults OnlyCharisma Suites  |  The Saint Hotel
» Mid-range:  Theodora Suites Kaleidoscope Caves Houses  |  Aethrio Hotel
» Budget:  Oias Sunset  |  Pelagos Hotel

Airbnbs in Oia

Staying at an Airbnb in Oia is a fantastic option for those looking for luxury at a more affordable price and a private holiday.  Here are some fantastic Oia Airbnbs to consider:

Day 2: Go to Fira

Morning

If you’re staying in Oia or Imerovigli, you can start your day by hiking to Fira.

When you arrive in Fira, or when you’re already staying there, you can start exploring the idyllic main town of Santorini.

Fira looks different from Oia, and it’s very fun to see another part of Santorini. You can go to several shops in Fira and after that, you should really see the old port of Fira!

It’s a very cute and photogenic port and it’s great to walk around a bit in that area.

Afternoon

After you saw the beautiful port, it’s time to have lunch! The port is a great place to have lunch and you can go to Lombranos. This place offers delicious Greek food. Furthermore, the restaurant wants you to feel the Greek hospitality, so that’s great!

Book a Santorini wine tasting: Santorini 4-hour small-group wine tasting tour

Starting in the afternoon, you can do a sunset wine tour. During this tour, you will visit some traditional wineries and taste a lot of different types of wine.

Furthermore, you will learn a lot about the wine culture of the island and at the end of the day, you can enjoy a beautiful Santorinian sunset.

Evening

After that, you can have dinner in Fira. A great place for dinner is MeRaKi. It’s a cute restaurant in Fira with a lovely terrace and good food.

Where to Stay in Fira

Another great place to stay in Santorini is Fira. Fira is the main town of Santorini and the huge advantage of staying here is that it is more affordable than Oia.

Furthermore, it’s closer to the ferry and airport, which can also be really convenient. Besides that, Fira is also a very beautiful city that you should explore anyway!

There are many lovely restaurants in this town and some large shops are located here as well. Fira is also the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the island by public transport.

From Fira, buses depart to many parts of the islands.

Hotels in Fira

You will find a vast variety of options for accommodation in Fira and here are some top picks for all budgets to make your Santorini vacation amazing.

» Luxury:  Aressana Spa Hotel & Suites  |  Aroma Suites  |  Volcano View by Caldera Collection
» Mid-range:  Loizos Stylish Residences  |  The Last Sunbeam
» Budget:  Hotel Leta  |  Hotel Thira

Airbnbs in Fira

Another option of where to stay in Fira is renting a Fira Airbnb.  There are many Airbnbs in Fira that will give you anonymity and a private, relaxing environment to enjoy your 5 days in Santorini.  Here are some of our top picks:

Day 3: Explore the Waters

Morning and Afternoon

One of the best ways to experience Santorini is by doing a boat tour and you can do such a tour on the third day! There are several companies offering such a tour and they all have almost the same schedule.

You start the day at the old port of Santorini in Fira. From there you will board the boat and the journey starts. The first stop on the tour is the volcano, which you will reach within 30 minutes.

Once there, you will get time to explore the volcano either on your own or with a guide. The next stop on the boat tour is a visit to the Hot Springs on the island of Palea Kameni, which is amazing!

Book your volcanic island cruise: Volcanic islands cruise with hot springs visit

The water is really warm and contains many minerals that are good for your skin. Continuing the trip, you will go to the island of Thirassia!

This is a very lovely island that is much less touristic than the main island and contains traditional Greek villages. This is also the perfect place to have lunch and discover the very tasty and authentic Santorinian food.

The tour will end at the old port of Fira again.  Click here to check rates and availability.

Evening

After that, you can go to Imerovigli and explore that town as well. You will find beautiful typical Santorinian domes and houses there and there are lots of great viewpoints.

It’s also very nice to have dinner in Imerovigli. One of the best restaurants there is Kapari Wine Restaurant. There, you can have dinner on their amazing terrace with comfortable seats and gorgeous views.

Day 4: Learn about Santorini History and Go to the Beach

Morning

This day starts with a trip to Akrotiri, which used to be an important town and port in the Aegean Sea thousands of years ago. However, it got covered by volcanic ash more than 3500 years ago. Just like Pompeii or Herculaneum in Italy.

Book Your Akrotiri tour here:  1.5-Hour Private Tour in Akrotiri Prehistoric City

Nowadays, you can walk among many interesting ruins that were preserved really well, due to the ash on top of it. You can easily reach the site by rental car, but there are great connections with public buses from Fira as well!  Click here to check tour rates and availability.

Afternoon

After spending the morning learning new things about history and culture, it is time for the beach and this area is one of the best places to do that as there are beaches very close by. These beaches are both known for their beauty.

One of the best beaches in Santorini, and the first beach you should go to, is Red Beach. This is a beautiful beach with red sand that is surrounded by red cliffs, all created by the volcano.

It is truly amazing to see! Also, the beach is accessible by foot from Akrotiri or you can get there by car or use the public buses on the island.

Another beautiful beach that is near and worth visiting this afternoon is White Beach. It is a spectacular beach to see, with amazing white cliffs and white pebbles.

Also, it is a great place for snorkeling. It is not that easy to reach, but the best way to get here is by taking a boat from Red Beach.

Evening

On your way back to your accommodation, you are most likely to pass by Fira, especially when you are going by bus, so this is a great place to have dinner.

Alternatively, if you want to see the beautiful sunset of Oia one last time before you leave the island, you can go there again!

Day 5 (Optional): Go to Another Island – Paros

A very fun thing to do when you’re in Santorini is to do a day trip to Paros, another gorgeous Greek Island! Paros is also part of the Cyclades Islands and you can go there by ferry from Santorini.

Paros has some very cute towns that are amazing to explore. The main port of Paros is located in Parikia, which is a fantastic place to see.

From there, you can go to other parts of the island by bus. You can also rent a car or a scooter. Furthermore, traveling by taxi is possible as well.

One of the towns that you should really see in Paros is Lefkes. There, you will find many cute typical Greek houses. In Lefkes, there are also cobblestoned streets, and most of the time you’ll find lots of flowers there as well.

After that, you can go to Naoussa. Naoussa has a very nice port with charming boats to see. There are also some beautiful and colorful houses to admire. This is also one of the best places to have dinner because there are many restaurants with very good food located next to the port. 

Another reason to do this day trip is that there are great free things to do in Paros.

Not keen to visit another island? Opt for this amazing Santorini jet ski excursion instead. It will take you to the volcano and you’ll have a chance to snorkel and swim along the way!

Santorini Travel Tips

How to Get to Santorini

You can either travel to Santorini by plane or by ferry.

Arriving by Plane

Santorini International Airport is where many international flights go to. Therefore, most of the time you can directly go to Santorini by plane without having to transfer.

Book a Welcome Pickups transfer:  Get from Santorini Airport to your hotel the easy way!

When you arrive at the airport, you can travel by bus to your accommodation. Besides that, you can also travel by taxi or rent a car at the airport.

Arriving by Ferry

Another way to get to Santorini is by ferry. You can take the ferry to Santorini from several places in Greece, both from the mainland as well as from other islands, like Crete.

Therefore, you can first go to Athens and then travel to Santorini, but you can also go island hopping and start your journey on another island, such as Mykonos.

Book your Ferry to Santorini:  Ferries to Santorini from Athens, Mykonos, and beyond!

When you travel to Santorini by ferry, you will arrive at Athinios Port. This port is also called Thira Port or the New Port. Once you arrive there, there are buses that can transport you to Fira, which is the main town of Santorini.

It takes twenty minutes to get to Fira and from there, you can travel by bus to other parts of the island. Besides that, you can also travel by taxi or rent a car at Athinios Port.

Views from 5 days in Santorini
5 days in Santorini guide

Getting Around on Santorini

There are several ways to get around in Santorini. You can travel by bus on Santorini and this is a very affordable option.

There isn’t a bus in every place in Santorini, but if you want to go to the most popular places, such as Oia, then the bus is fine.

Book your Santorini transfer:  Go anywhere on Santorini for as low as $15!

You can also rent a car. If you want to explore many places on the island, then that is the easiest option. It’s also a possibility to take a taxi.

Furthermore, there are some other vehicles you can rent, such as a motorbike. Besides that, hiking in Santorini is a very popular activity and a great way to get around.

Alternatively, if you’re seeking a transfer service to take you affordably from one point on the island to another, this is a highly-recommend transfer service that will do just that!

Best Time to Visit Santorini

The best time to visit Santorini truly depends on what you’re wanting to do there.  If you want the usual experience of others and don’t mind crowds, definitely opt for a summer trip to Santorini.

However, if crowds bother you but you still want beaches and tour options, look to book your Santorini trip in should season such as April, May, September, and October.

If you want very few crowds and don’t mind cooler temperatures, visiting Santorini during winter is most definitely a fantastic option!  But, do beware, tours can be limited and the beaches are usually closed or too cold to visit.

Best Santorini Tours

One of the best ways to get around Santorini is by tour.  Especially if you’re not keen on driving the island.  These are some of the most popular tours in Santorini that you may want to consider for your trip.

Do note that they can book up quite fast- so plan ahead!

Volcanic islands cruise with hot springs visit (bestseller!)
Santorini catamaran red cruise with meal and drinks (bestseller!)
Morning or sunset cruise around Santorini with drinks (Get Your Guide original)
Jet-ski safari from Perivolos to see the volcano and more (bestseller!)
Santorini 5-hour small group catamaran cruise
Traditional Santorini sightseeing bus tour with Oia sunset  (bestseller)
Santorini 4 hour small group wine tasting

Where to Stay in Santorini

Top-Rated Hotels in Santorini

There are several fantastic places to stay in Santorini and we detailed some of the specific ones based on location throughout this Santorini itinerary.

However, here is a quick recap of our top picks:

Luxury:  La Perla Villas and Suites – Adults Only (5-star luxury in Oia), Charisma Suites (4-star luxury in Oia), The Saint Hotel (5-star luxury in Oia), Aressana Spa Hotel & Suites (4-star in Fira), Aroma Suites (4-star in Fira), Volcano View by Caldera Collection (5-star luxury in Fira)

Mid-range:  Theodora Suites (3-stars in Oia),  Kaleidoscope Caves Houses (unique place in Oia), Loizos Stylish Residences (3-star in Fira), The Last Sunbeam (3-star in Fira),

Budget:  Oias Sunset (2-star in Oia), Pelagos Hotel (2-star in Oia), Hotel Leta (budget accommodation in Fira), Hotel Thira (budget accommodation in Fira)

Unique & Best-Rated Airbnbs in Santorini

Another popular option for Santorini accommodation is to rent an Airbnb there.  There are many fantastic Airbnbs in Santorini but we are only listing top-rated ones or unique stays!

Here are our Santorini Airbnb picks for your trip (Oia and Fira options):

We hope that this Santorini itinerary gives you helpful tips for what to do in Santorini in 5 days (or more!).  Please let us know if you have additional questions.

AUTHOR BIO:

Dymphe is the creator of Dymabroad and a travel influencer and blogger. She wants to inspire others to find magnificent places around the world and she wants to help them to get the most out of their journeys!  You can follow her at Dymabroad, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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Perfect Santorini Itinerary: How to Spend 5 Days in Santorini - this itinerary for Santorini will tell you exactly how to spend your time on the gorgeous Greek Island, including what to do and where to stay | Santorini Greece | Places to visit in Greece | Santorini photography | Instagrammable places in Santorini | Things to do in Santorini | Hiking in Santorini | Santorini Beaches | Santorini Boat Trips | Oia Sunsets | Things to do in Oia | Visit Santorini | Travel to Santorini

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