From boat trips and wine tours, to exploring the natural volcanic landscapes, this 4-day Santorini itinerary packs in the highlights.
If you’re planning your first trip to Santorini, no doubt you have lots of questions. One of the most important being… how long should you spend on the island. To be honest, I get asked this a lot, which prompted me to write this post.
While it’ll depend on what kind of traveller you are, personally, I’d recommend spending a minimum of 4 days in Santorini. This will give you enough time to explore the old port area, jump on a couple of full-day activities and excursions, and check out some of the best restaurants on the island.
In this 4-day Santorini itinerary, I’ll share a little bit of everything. If you’re an active, adventurous sort, there’s something for you. If you love relaxation and luxury, there’s plenty for you too!
From catamaran cruises and wine tasting, to lazy beach days, beautiful views and architecture, this long weekend in Santorini makes for the perfect summer holiday.
Ready to plan your trip? Let’s dive in and find out how to experience Santorini in 4 days!
How To Spend 4 Days In Santorini
In this 4-day Santorini itinerary, I’m going to share my favourite destinations to visit and a few travel tips so you can make the most of your Greek island adventure. You’ll need to tailor the itinerary according to where you stay and the length of your trip.
As a quick aside, if you’re still looking for accommodation, I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite luxury hotels in Santorini for you to choose from. Ready to mix and match this long weekend in Santorini itinerary to suit your needs and timeframe?
For your first day in Santorini, I’d recommend a self-guided walking tour of beautiful Fira, the capital of Santorini.
Home to the historic Old Port, some of the best restaurants on the island, and amazing cultural sights like the Prehistoric Museum of Thera and the famous blue-domed church, The Three Bells of Thera, this is an amazing place to explore.
One of the best ways to see Fira and enhance your Santorini experience is by jumping on the town’s cable car. Not only does this connect the historic harbour area with the town, but it also offers spectacular views over the water.
No trip to Greece would be complete without an amazing food experience or two. This food tour in Fira is ideal for foodies who want an authentic travel experience. You’ll get the chance to eat at local places that are off-the-beaten path and learn more about the island’s amazing food history and culture.
I always recommend doing a tour like this on your first day, as often the local tour guide will be able to give you some top tips for where to eat on the rest of your trip.
It’s day 2 of your 4 day Santorini itinerary, and it’s time to hop on the water and head off on a beautiful boat trip.
This cruise is one of my top picks as it takes you around the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. This spectacular island is full of black sand beaches and geothermal hot springs. It’s also a National Geological Park, so if you’re interested in natural sciences, geography, or amazing rocks, you are going to be in your element (pardon the pun!) If you’re feeling energetic, I’d recommend hiking up one of the volcanic trails. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views back across to the main island.
So, you’ll cruise on the open water, work on your tan, and maybe cool off in the crystal clear waters, before enjoying a soak in some natural hot springs. After spending the first day of your Santorini adventure exploring Fira by foot, trust me, it’s going to feel amazing to rest your tired muscles in those hot springs!
As this is a full-day trip, you’ll also get the chance to explore beautiful towns like Thirassia and Oia. The town of Oia is famed for its blue-domed churches and vibrant sunsets. It’s the postcard view of Santorini and an absolute must-visit destination.
I think this is such a wonderful way to spend your second day in Santorini. You’ll get to experience a great mix of relaxation, sailing, cultural sites and Instagram-worthy views. What’s not to love about that?
Ready for a tipple or two? I couldn’t write a travel guide about Santorini without including a wine tour! The vines and winemaking culture in Santorini is one of the oldest in the entire world, so by now, they definitely know what they’re doing!
I’d recommend allowing around half a day to visit a local vineyard or two for a wine-tasting experience. There are some great guided tours such as this one which will transport you to a selection of Santorini’s wineries. Let’s face it, no one wants to miss out on the vino by being the designated driver, so this is a great way to do things!
Plus, booking a tour means that all of the wine tastings are organised for you. A lot of the vineyards require advance bookings for tastings, so if you’re on a group tour, it’ll all be set up in advance. The only decision you have to make is… red or white?! Tricky, eh?
The wine culture is so prevalent in Santorini that there’s even a museum dedicated to wine. On this tour, not only do you get three vineyard visits and tastings but you’ll also get to visit the Kotsoyannoploulos Wine Museum. it covers over 3,500 years of winemaking heritage on the Greek island and is a must-visit for any wine lover.
You’ve already packed a lot into your time on the island, so for your final day, it’s time to chill out and relax. You’ve definitely earned it!
You might think that all the Greek islands offer beautiful white sand and turquoise sea. Well, some of the most intriguing spots in Santorini are the island’s unique black sand beaches. The most popular include Columbo Beach, Pernissa Beach and Kamari Beach. They get their unique colouring from the volcanic soil and make for a wondrous sight.
Bring your towel, go for a dip in the warm waters, and make sure to take tons of photos of this natural wonderland. It’s something that you won’t find on many other islands in Greece, so make the most of it.
For something even more unique, you could visit Santorini’s red sand beach! Imaginatively named Red Beach in English (!) or Kokkini Paralia in Greek, the red colouring seeps into the sand from the rocks and red hills all around. Honestly, you won’t believe your eyes!
After some beach time, it’s time to gear up for a special last night on the island. As well as having one of the best black sand beaches in Santorini, Kamari is also home to the island’s open-air cinema. This is open during the spring and summer months.
You’ll feel like you’ve turned back time as you enter this place! With a beautiful and very well-stocked bar area at the back and tiered outdoor seating leading down to the giant screen, it’s a wonderful place to enjoy a movie accompanied by a glass of Santorini vino. It almost feels like you’re watching a film in a Greek amphitheatre!
All of the films are in English with Greek subtitles, so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier. They normally announce their program of films in the spring, so if you’re keen to visit, keep checking the website. This is such a special and memorable way to round off your time in Santorini.
Where to stay in Santorini
There are plenty of amazing hotels on this island. If you’re struggling to choose, here are a few of my favourite hotels in Santorini.
Astra Suites offers a selection of standard and luxury suites and villas, for guests to choose from – although the so-called standard suites are anything but ordinary!
The stylish and romantic villas have private swimming pools, outdoor Jacuzzis, fully equipped gyms and a personal butler service to cater to your every wish. One of the highlights? Spending a dreamy evening stargazing 300m above the Aegean Sea from the hotel’s cliffside infinity pool!
One of the best hotels Santorini has to offer, Katikies 5-star hotel has not one, not two, but three incredible infinity pools. The hotel’s restaurant overlooks the Aegean Sea, allowing you to enjoy gourmet fine dining and traditional Santorini wine under the stars.
Carved into the cliffside on the north-western tip of Santorini, Canaves Oia offers a selection of luxury hotel rooms, suites, and villas with breath-taking views of the Aegean Sea. There’s a top spa on site too, just to add to your relaxing holiday!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my 4-day Santorini itinerary. I think it offers a varied mix of activities, with plenty of relaxation thrown in too.
If you’re still deciding where to stay, don’t miss my guide to the best hotels in Santorini. From epic infinity pools to private suites, there are so many stunning spots to choose from!
If you’re looking for more inspiration for your time in Greece don’t miss my Greece travel blogs, which include these posts:
- 9 Best Greek Islands For Couples To Visit
- The Ultimate 7-Day Greece Itinerary: Athens, Greek Island Hopping & More
- What To Wear In Greece For Women And Men: Greece Packing List
- The Best Honeymoon Hotels In Mykonos
- The Best Honeymoon Hotels in Santorini
- How To Spend The Ultimate Weekend In Athens
- 15 Amazing Things To Do In Tinos, Greece
- 9 Best Luxury And Boutique Hotels In Crete, Greece
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