Explore With This Santorini Itinerary

By claudioramalho •  Updated: 04/27/24 •  20 min read



Com as suas paisagens vulcânicas e belas aldeias caiadas de branco, há muito para explorar em Santorini. Passe três dias perfeitos em Santorini com este roteiro detalhado e descubra o verdadeiro encanto da ilha. 

Numa ilha de apenas 29 milhas quadradas, há muito para ver em Santorini. 

O apelo da ilha não é nenhuma surpresa – este dramático conjunto de terras exibe pores do sol deslumbrantes, aldeias perfeitas para cartões postais e explora alguns dos locais antigos mais importantes da Grécia. Claro, Santorini é linda, mas também é uma ilha animada com uma personalidade distinta e um charme que você não encontrará em nenhum outro lugar – mesmo nas outras Cíclades. 

Julianna em Oia

Vou ser sincero com você: Santorini não é segredo e você pode esperar que alguns dos lugares mais conhecidos, como Oia, estejam lotados durante os meses de pico, mas saiba onde procurar e esta ilha ainda está cheia de surpresas tranquilas. 

That’s where this itinerary comes in. I spent a chunk of time in Santorini last year researching a series of articles. I booked tours, drove and hiked around every nook, consulted with locals and read almost endless guides so I could get to the nitty gritty of what you should do – and what you should skip – on this gorgeous island.

You need to know where to go, how to plan your trip, and create an action plan for fitting everything in. I got you. Here’s all you need to know about visiting Santorini in 3 days.

Santorini Itinerary

Day 1: Explore the Southern Coast

Vistas de AkrotiriVistas de Akrotiri

I’m going to kick off your Santorini itinerary by visiting the villages, beaches and landmarks in the south. Together, we’re going to tick off some straight-up breathtaking views and try some delicious cuisine. Let’s go!

Explore an Ancient Castle in Emporio Village

There’s a lot more to Santorini than its famous coastal shores. Emporio Village is one of the places you may not have heard of that you absolutely need to explore on your trip. Kicking off your time in Santorini with the island’s largest village is the perfect way to experience “old” Santorini.

The ancient village is overlooked by a restored Venetian castle dating back to the 15th century. Walk around the castle and marvel at its high walls and earthy tones contrasting with its white-washed houses. You can stroll around the castle’s grounds, which is a maze of staircases, tunnels, and mysterious buildings. Do this.

Head a little further north to see the ruined Tower of Nimborio. It’s another Venetian architectural marvel on the outskirts of town that served as a defence against pirates. Legend has it the tower was once accessible by a tunnel from the Kastilo. We’ll just have to use our imaginations as it’s no longer open.

Hike to Akrotiri Lighthouse

Vistas do farolVistas do farol
The views from the lighthouse

Now it’s time to head to the coast. Akrotiri Lighthouse is located on the very Southwestern Corner of the island, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The local host at my accommodation in Oia recommended that I put it at the top of my list for my time on the island, thanks to its expansive views and I’m passing that knowledge on to you.

The lighthouse is one of the oldest anywhere in Greece, with a history going back to the late 19th century. It’s been operating consistently for decades, with a brief hiatus during WWII. It’s a pretty lighthouse that’s very photogenic, but the views out to the sea are extraordinary.

Reaching Akrotiri Lighthouse is pretty straightforward. You can park near the lighthouse (though that lot is quite small) or hike in from the spaces further away.

Top Tip

Move this to the end of the day to watch the sunset. It’s a fantastic alternative to Oia, and far less crowded.

Learn About Ancient Santorini at Akrotiri

Antigo local de AkrotiriAntigo local de Akrotiri

Akrotiri is one of two important ancient sites on Santorini (don’t worry, we’re going to head to the second tomorrow) – but what is it exactly? This covered ancient archaeological site contains an excavation of a preserved Bronze Age settlement.

Legends are plentiful, and intrigue is endless (some people think the village could tell us secrets about Atlantis). While that might be a little far-fetched, we do know that in its heyday, it held a web of narrow alleys and 4-story buildings with incredible views.

Vasos e paredes no antigo localVasos e paredes no antigo local

Interesting as the site is, the way it was destroyed is one of the darkest moments in Santorini’s history – when a giant volcanic eruption (reportedly four times the size of Krakatoa) destroyed the island and levelled the village. The ash preserved the village in such pristine condition that people call it the 2nd Pompeii.

I recommend spending at least a few hours here as it’s a fascinating site that allows you to learn about Cycladic and Minoan cultures.

Spend Time on the Red Beach

Praia Vermelha SantoriniPraia Vermelha Santorini

Red Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini. There’s no secret as to where it gets its name from, this small cove is framed by red rock so bright it almost doesn’t look real.

It’s a great place to photograph, and you can chill out on a small stretch of the cove. But beware, there have been plenty of reports of falling rocks at Red Beach, so please take care if you do decide to sunbathe there.

You can swim at the beach, but the footing is pretty rocky. You’ll want to wear proper footwear when you make your way from the shores to the cove.

The drive from Akrotiri only takes about 20 minutes, and there’s parking steps from the beach.

Kayak to White Beach (Aspri Paralia)

Praia BrancaPraia Branca

Though it’s not *quite* the Caribbean, the beaches in Santorini are well worth a visit. Which is the best? Do yourself a favour and head to White Beach after you visit Red Beach on your Santorini itinerary.

The towering white lava rocks and crystal clear waters make this a perfect place to explore the Aegean Sea. There’s great snorkelling where you can see fascinating rock formations above and below the water.

Getting here is a bit tricky. You can hike in from Red Beach, but it’s a tough path. I recommend arriving by boat as it’s is a lot more fun.

You can take a water taxi from Akrotiri by walking down to the pier or book a guided tour on a kayak (I like the latter because you go at your own pace).

Enjoy Dinner at Theros Wave Bar

You’ve definitely worked up quite the appetite on today’s adventure. No worries – I’ve got the perfect place for you – Theros Wave Bar is a cool place for sundowners and dinner. This really was one of my favourite spots on the island – another local recommendation that was miraculously relatively quiet when other locations were heaving.

It’s in a really remote location on Eros Beach, and I can’t lie, it’s kinda hard to find. You’ll likely get a bit lost (don’t worry, everyone does). Once you find this hidden gem, settle down, knowing that you’ve arrived at one of the best beach bars in the Mediterranean (trust me, the awards to back that statement up).

Barra Onda TherosBarra Onda Theros

It’s not cheap: great things on Santorini rarely are. But the €17 cocktails and €25 mains are so worth it. The food is stellar, and the sunset views provide the perfect scenery.

You can’t really go wrong with the menu here: I opted for the fish ceviche with a strawberry and tomato sauce and chicken salad, while J went for the grilled pork chop. It was all fantastic. Pair your food with a cheeky cocktail and you have all the makings of a perfect evening.

Day 2: Central Santorini

Now that you’ve settled in, it’s time to start exploring up the coast of Santorini. Start the day at the beach before checking out more beaches, ancient villages and tucking into some of the best food on the island.

Start Your Day on the Beach in Perissa

Praia de PerissaPraia de Perissa

Perissa is a chilled out coastal village in Southeastern Santorini. It’s also home to one of the biggest beach resorts and the famous black sands of Paralia Perivolos, which is where you’re going to kick off the day.

Start on Perivolos Beach before heading up to the picture-perfect Perissa Beach. This is your best bet if you want a “beach” holiday in Santorini. The golden sands are fine and soft, and a tidy row of beach chairs and umbrellas is basically perfect.

The Beach Bar at Perissa opens early at 9 am. Start your day with a hearty breakfast and a cocktail if you want. The food is simple but tasty, with reliable options like pita with tzatziki and perfectly grilled meat skewers.

Visit Ancient Thera

Remember how I told you we were going to head to the other important ancient site in Santorini? Thera is that site. Ancient Thera is one of the best-known historical sites on the island and, although it was founded in 1,000 BC, it actually housed residents as recently as the 13th century.

Thera was at its most influential state in the Ptolemaic period, in which it was an important part of the empire and a member of the Islander’s League, which helped defend the Cycladic Islands.

Long-time readers will know that I’m obsessed with Ancient Egypt, so to see remnants of the same period that birthed stunning locations like Philae Temple when Egypt was essentially under Greek rule, here in Santorini was really exciting.

Esculturas em estilo egípcioEsculturas em estilo egípcio

Walking around the complex, you can see beautifully preserved landmarks like the Temple of Artemidoros, a 3rd-century BC landmark that the Ptolemaic admiral helped build.

Another highlight is the Basilike Stoa, where you can see ancient Greek (Doric) columns from the 1st century BC. There are also Roman baths and the marble and stone Temple of Dionysos.

Passe algum tempo caminhando pelo campus para conhecer a história dos sítios arqueológicos mais notáveis ​​de toda a Grécia.

Vagueie pelas ruas tranquilas de Pyrgos


Pyrgos é uma cidade encantadora que é o lugar perfeito para ficar se você quiser evitar a agitação de Oia.

Antigamente era a capital de Santorini durante a era bizantina e é uma cidade absolutamente encantadora. Você precisa caminhar pela estrada principal e, ao fazer isso, poderá encontrar algumas joias escondidas.

Pyrgos é bastante pequeno, o que o torna uma pausa bem-vinda em locais mais movimentados como Thira e Oia. É o lugar perfeito para passear pelas ruas e absorver o clima descontraído e a arquitetura antiga da cidade.

Antiga igreja em PyrgosAntiga igreja em Pyrgos

Comece pela Santa Igreja Ortodoxa da Assunção da Virgem Maria, um belo edifício com seus 5 sinos exclusivos no topo. 

Logo atrás da catedral fica um dos cinco castelos venezianos, pelos quais é uma alegria passear. O castelo do século XVI tem escadarias em caracol que levam a vistas deslumbrantes da cidade e do Mar Egeu. 

Melhor dica

Preste atenção aos edifícios ao redor do castelo, incluindo o Koimisis de Theotokou, do século X, e as impressionantes cúpulas brancas e azuis de Agia Theodosia.

Almoce no Brusco Wine Coffee Deli 

Brusco Vinho Café DeliBrusco Vinho Café Deli

Depois de passear por Pyrgos, caminhe até Brusco Wine Coffee Deli para desfrutar de um almoço fantástico. 

Peça um prato santoriniano com linguiça, queijo feta, pasta de tomate e uma bela variedade de especialidades locais, desde azeitonas até folhas de alcaparras. Confie em mim. Por apenas 18€, é comida suficiente para pelo menos duas pessoas.

Prato SantorinianoPrato Santoriniano

A área externa é adorável, com uma varanda de pedra e madeira com flores e arbustos ao redor da fachada. Fica no coração da vila, por isso é um lugar perfeito para ver o mundo passar. 

Pegue uma ou duas taças de vinho e veja por que este é um dos melhores lugares para comer (e observar as pessoas) em Santorini.

Melhor dica

Alternativamente, você pode guardar Pyrgos para mais tarde e comer no Penelope, que é um dos meus lugares favoritos para jantar em Santorini.

Prova de Vinhos nas Vinhas da Ilha

Agora que você já está com as boas energias fluindo no almoço, não há melhor maneira de aproveitar uma tarde em Santorini do que experimentando os vinhos locais. A vinificação é uma tradição de longa data em Santorini, com vinhas que os especialistas especulam poderem ter 400 anos.

Você estará perto de alguns dos melhores vinhedos da ilha, que poderá visitar por conta própria ou em um passeio organizado com a Santorini Wine Adventures.

Visitei alguns vinhedos na minha última viagem e os vinhos eram fantásticos. 

Então, qual você deve escolher? Comece na vinícola Estate Argyros, a leste da cidade. O espaço ensolarado e arejado inclui um passeio pelas vinhas e degustação de vinhos. O vinsanto foi fantástico e combinou perfeitamente com os queijos e carnes locais.

Em seguida, siga em direção ao litoral e conheça a Vinícola Venetsanos. A vinha histórica produz vinhos desde 1947 e tem algumas das vistas mais pitorescas da Caldeira que você poderia sonhar.

Se você tiver tempo para provar os vinhos indígenas da Vinícola Gavalas, recomendo fortemente também.

Dinner at Taverna Tzanakis in Megalochori

It’s been a full day, so it’s time to mellow out in Megalochori. The beautiful hillside town features colourful buildings contrasting the white Cycladic architecture.

Taverna Tzanakis invites you inside, off the narrow streets through a stone arch, into a buzzing dining room. The smells of slow-cooked meats and Greek spices permeate the air.

The local favourite serves up homegrown veg and meat from their farm. Expect lamb, fava beans, tomatoes, and other local Santorini staples served up quickly in a comfortable dining room.

It’s a lovely way to end your day before you get ready to explore Oia and northern Santorini on your last day.

Day 3: Northern Santorini

Alright, alright – I know you’ve been waiting to go to Santorini’s best-known spots, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do today. Head to Northern Santorini to see the famous churches and sunset views in Fira and Oia.

Sunrise at the Three Bells of Fira

Fira, Santorini’s capital, is a close contender with Oia as the island’s best-known spots. Be sure you make it to the hillside village perched on the rim of the crater, which has guaranteed spectacular Caldera views.

Although you should spend time in Fira itself, you have to see the Three Bells of Fira – the Insta-famous church that launched a thousand camera clicks. It’ll be busy no matter when you go, but showing up early ensures you’ll have the best chance at beating the crowds.

Hike up the short trail behind the church, and you can capture the bright copula and triangle of golden church bells with the Caldera and blue waters framing the photo perfectly.

Pop Into the Archaeological Museum of Santorini

If you want to learn more about local history, Fira is home to some of the best attractions on your Santorini travel itinerary.

The Archaeological Museum of Santorini is a long-running museum, which first opened in 1902. The devastating earthquake of 1956 actually destroyed the building, but a new location opened in 1960.

The museum hosts numerous artefacts from excavations at Thira and Akrotiri dating back from Cycladic to Roman times. There’s a large number of relics from the Hellenistic Period, including pottery and statues dating back to 323 BC.


It’s relatively small, and you can enter for around €3 on any day except Tuesdays during the peak tourism season.

Enjoy Epic Views From Skaros Rock at Imerovigli

When you’re planning what to do in Santorini over 3 days, Imerovigli needs to be at the top of your list. Why? It’s one of the most beautiful villages in Santorini.

It truly is spectacularly photogenic and features the highest point of the Caldera’s edge. The views from the top don’t disappoint.

After you visit the 17th-century Agios Georgios Church nearby, walk out on the trail to the ancient fortress high above the Aegean Sea.

When you’re staring down from 20 metres up, it’s little surprise this was a lookout point where locals protected the village from pirates.

Top Tip

Bring a good pair of hiking boots. The footing can be a bit sketchy on this 30-minute hike.

Climb up to the Castle of Oia

Castelo de OiaCastelo de Oia

Often considered the most historical landmark in Oia, the Castle of Oia (Castle of Saint Nikolas) is also one of the most popular sunset viewpoints on the island.

The 15th-century Venetian castle sits on one of the highest points in Oia, with unspoiled views of the Caldera and the Aegean Sea.

The fortress stands proudly near the white-washed houses, evoking a sense of history you can literally feel when you walk past the volcanic stone walls.

You won’t be alone if you head here for sunset, but there’s a reason for the crowds. The views are outstanding. If you can score a spot on the watchtower, you’ll have unspoiled views of the sun dipping below the cove and Caldera.

Top Tip

You’ll need to get to the castle around 1.5 hours before sunset to get a good spot outside of low season.

Visit the Blue Domed Church

Igreja com cúpula azul ao nascer do solIgreja com cúpula azul ao nascer do sol

You’ve seen the photo before. A church with bleach-white walls and a bright blue cupola standing proudly against a contrasting backdrop of the deep blue Aegean Sea and nearly fluorescent blue skies. This is the Blue Domed Church of Oia.

In actuality, it’s a pair of churches, St. Anastasi and St. Spyridon. And they’re perfect.

Hiking up the unnamed streets to catch a view is a must when you’re in Santorini, so bring your best camera (and dress).

Sunsets up here are magical, but if you arrive early in the afternoon, you can beat the crowds and (hopefully) arrive before it gets too windy.

Happy Hour at Oia Vineyart

Vinícola OiaVinícola Oia

Many of Oia’s best restaurants are very busy and a bit pricey. Oia Vineyart  is the exception to that rule.

Head to the wine bar, come restaurant for happy hour, and you’ll enjoy some of the tastiest wine in the village with live music to match.

I was treated to friendly service and excellent local wines and cheese. The latter of which was only €28 for a sampling board from around the Cyclades.

It’s not cheap, but the wine selection was excellent, and the friendly staff made us feel right at home.

Top Tip

Ask to try a pour of Athiri, a crisp, citrus-forward white wine you’ll see on wine lists around the island.

Take Photos at the Windmill of Oia

O moinho de ventoO moinho de vento

Another iconic Oia photograph you need to capture when you visit Santorini is the Windmill of Oia.

Located west of the Blue Domed Church of Santorini, the old wooden windmill is worth the walk over to see. Though this windmill is from the 17th century, locals used the machines to process flour and grains as far back as the 14th century.

It’s a popular location for photos, so you’ll need patience to get the right shot, but it’s worth the wait. Standing in front of the white-washed windmill with its giant wooden blades adds a particularly Cycladian touch to your Greek holiday photo set.

Sunset Dinner at Lauda Restaurant

What better way to finish your 3 days in Santorini itinerary than to eat at one of the most iconic spots in all of Greece.

Lauda Restaurant was the first restaurant in Oia when it opened in the seventies, and it’s by no means old news. The sparkling dining room looks out to some of the most prized views of the Aegean Sea and backs up the ambiance with some excellent local cuisine.

You can order a la carte or choose a 6-course meal. The latter is a bit lavish at €200 per person with wine pairing at an additional €145, but it is a fantastic way to wrap up your holiday in style.

We tried the lamb and fava beans, which were both decadent and delicious. Trust me. Order the lamb and thank me later.

Top Tip

Making a reservation for a late dinner is one of the best ways to see the sunset in Oia.

Have More Time? Add These To Your Itinerary

Head Down to Ammoudi Bay

Just below the cliffside village of Oia is the beautiful, laid-back Ammouldi Bay. Walk down the 600 steps (really) and discover one of the more photogenic areas in Santorini.

If you can head there early, you’ll likely beat the crowds. Cruise ships drop off passengers here often, so be ready for elbow-to-elbow traffic later in the day.

On a sunny day, you’ll see the crystal-clear waters rolling up on the rocky shores, begging you to hop into the Aegean Sea. There are also a few great restaurants in the harbour, including the popular Ammoudi Fish Tavern.

After you snap some photos of the towering red rocks with Oia’s white and blue buildings, take a short boat ride to Armeni Restaurant and try some of the freshest seafood on the island.

Take a Boat Trip to Thirasia

Island-hopping is brilliant in the Cyclades (there are over 200 total). So, catching a €1 ferry from Athinios or Ammoudi Bay to Thirasia is a great way to explore a popular option.

First a little history. Years ago, Thirasia and Aspronisi emerged after a catastrophic volcano and formed the famous Caldera around Santorini. It’s been a small slice of historic Cyclades ever since.

Thirasia is a tiny island at just 3.5 sq miles, but offers up great views of Santorini just 20 minutes from the port.

How can you find the best views? Hike up to Manolas for scenic vistas and a beautiful Cycladian village to explore.

Handy Tips for Planning Your Santorini Trip

Pôr do sol em OiaPôr do sol em Oia

Top Tips

  • Opt to stay outside of Oia for lower hotel rates and far smaller crowds. Pyrgos is a great option.
  • Show up to lookout points at least 90 minutes before the sunset in Oia to get a good spot.
  • Akrotiri Lighthouse is a brilliant alternative to sunsets in Oia.
  • You can also find my favourite viewpoint in Oia here.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat during the hot afternoons.
  • Dress in layers. Evenings get cool and windy in Santorini.
  • If you don’t think 3 days in Santorini is enough, there are enough things to do that you can make your trip longer and run out of new things to check out.

What to Pack

Getting Around

Santorini is easy to reach by ferry or plane. Once you’ve landed, hire a car to drive from place to place.

Você pode optar por táxis e ônibus de Fira para a maioria das principais atrações da ilha se preferir não dirigir, mas será caro e você precisará providenciar o traslado com antecedência. O Uber opera na ilha, mas não há toneladas de carros.

Dicas rápidas

Aeroporto Internacional de Santorini (Thira) (JTR)

Pôr do sol em Oia, Praia Branca, Akrotiri, Antiga Thera, Três Sinos de Fira

Armenaki em Oia

Dica principal: Embora Oia seja uma visita obrigatória, recomendo ficar em outra área, como Pyrgos.

  • Moeda : Euro (€)
  • Fuso horário: Horário Padrão da Europa Oriental (GMT +2). Horário de verão de março a outubro (GMT+3).
  • Orçamento: Alto

Leia mais guias das Cíclades e Santorini

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