Are you going on a Greek island hopping vacation and you only have 1 day in Santorini? Or maybe you are taking a day trip from Crete to Santorini and want to plan the perfect itinerary so that you make the best out of your time and money?
After spending one full week in Santorini, and after seeing and experiencing most of the things the island has to offer, I came up with this easy and comprehensive one-day itinerary.
I know one day might seem so limited, but I promise you can still see a lot of the most important attractions of the Cycladic island. Sure, spending at least 3 days in Santorini would be much better, but we will have to work with the time we have at hand, right?
By following this itinerary, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful places in Santorini, and get to live some of the most popular experiences.
So, without further ado, let’s get to planning and organizing your trip!
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1 day in Santorini – an easy itinerary!
Before we dive into the itinerary itself, let’s set the grounds with some of the most important things you’ll want to know when traveling to Santorini for the first time.
Where to stay in Santorini
I know that for only one day on the island you might not stay overnight, however, if you do choose to stay one night and leave the next day in the morning you will want to choose the best location.
Read my comprehensive guide for where to stay in Santorini, but I would suggest choosing one of these places in Oia.
By staying in Oia, you will be close to most of the important attractions, and you will be close to your accommodation once the sun sets and you have finished dinner. You will also wake up with a perfect caldera view and enjoy a traditional Greek breakfast with the wide blue in front of your eyes.
How to get around the island
No matter where you arrive in Santorini – by place at the Fira Airport, or by boat/ferry in Ammoudi Bay – there are plenty of options when it comes to getting around the island.
The Ktel public buses link lots of towns around Santorini island, they are affordable and have many options daily. It can be a great way to get around the island, even though you might need to walk a little to get to your final destination since many towns (such as Thira or Oia) don’t allow public transportation in the center area.
You can always choose to rent a car and create your schedule and itinerary as you wish. This way, you will forget all about bus timetables. If you choose to rent a car, Discover Cars is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental.
Another great option is to book a full-day bus tour of the island, with caldera sunset cruise. By booking a group trip you won’t have to worry about anything – the whole day will be planned for you and you will get to cruise along the coast at sunset. See more here!
Your easy Santorini one day itinerary
Proposed itinerary: Akrotiri – Moni Profiti Ilia – Megalochori – Local winery – Thira – Oia
Start your day by going back in time and exploring the archeological site of Akrotiri.
I strongly suggest booking a guided tour, because there are so many interesting facts you will learn from your guide. Going on your own won’t be so interesting, you really need to understand the impressive history of this prehistoric city that was destroyed and yet kept alive by the volcano we now admire so much.
Akrotiri was one of the most important Minoan Bronze Age settlements of Greece, pretty much like Knossos in Eastern Crete.
Walkthrough the ruins of this ancient town and learn about the myth of Atlantis and all about how people lived so many years ago on this charming island.
Moni Profiti Ilia
You don’t have to come here necessarily to see the monastery of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah), it’s ok to come only for the view you get from the highest point on the island.
The monastery dates back to 1711 and is one of the oldest in Santorini, with classic Cycladic architecture.
Additionally, from here you will get to see the whole island 360 degrees from east to west, and from south to north. You will understand that Santorini island is not so big after all.
Address: EO48, Delfi 330 54, Greece
I really loved strolling through the beautiful streets of Megalochori, mostly because it is not such a popular destination, thus you will get the iconic architecture and blue and white combination without the crowds.
Stop for some photos, buy some souvenirs from the small local shops, have a bite at a local taverna – the village is not that big, but it is charming.
Stop at a local winery
If you look on the map you will see there are so many wineries on the island, especially in this area.
It would be a pity not to learn a bit about the process of making wine in Santorini, and without tasting some of the different wines they produce here.
We have been to Santo wineries, the Union of Santorini Cooperatives founded in 1947, where we found an amazing mix between delicious wines and incredible views over the caldera. I really loved the wine from Santorini, mainly because it is strong and sweet as a result of the lack of water, rocky soil, and much sun.
During our visit, we got to walk through the factory, see how wine is made, and taste 5 different wines.
Other wineries to check out:
If you will do a little bit of research, you will find that there are so many options to choose from, and making only one choice could prove to be a bit challenging. If you don’t know where to go, let the specialists choose for you and book a winery tour with wine tasting.
This one particular option will take you to 2 different local wineries, get you trying 8 wines produced here, and drive you to see the sunset in Oia.
You can also tour 3 wineries with a sommelier and learn a whole lot about the art of making wine and tasting it the proper way. See the tour here!
Moving closer towards your final destination of the day, you can choose to stop in Fira or to go all the way to Oia if you don’t have enough time.
Fira is the capital city of Santorini, not as popular as its neighbor to the North, but quite as charming in my opinion.
Explore the narrow streets and shops, and you can also hike from here to Oia.
You’ve made it, your last destination on your one day in Santorini: Oia.
Read here about all the things you can do in Oia, and enjoy the sunset with a delicious Greek dinner!
If you have a little bit more time in the morning, book a photoshoot with a professional photographer and go back home with some unique pictures.
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