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Santorini, Greece Itinerary: Activities with 2-3 Days

With 2-3 days on Santorini, here is what I recommend! This is based on my girls trip here; arguably the best vacation of my life. This Santorini, Greece itinerary has a great overview for first timers!

Don’t skip my FULL GREECE ITINERARY that goes with this post!

Places you’ll see on my Santorini itinerary:

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DAY 1- Arrive to Fira, Santorini

We arrived to Fira on the “Highspeed 7” ferry with Hellenic Seaways. However you arrive, an affordable option for lodging in Santorini is to start in Fira!
When you arrive at the port in Fira, take a shuttle up the mountain and into town. Go to your hotel, and explore the area! With every corner looking like a postcard with all its cliff-side panoramas and stunning views, how could you not?
Fira, Santorini, Greece itinerary, Loizos Stylish Residence
View from the park near our hotel!
Our first stop was the Karavolades stairs that lead from Fira town to the water. There are donkeys everywhere, and avoiding the poop while trying not to get run over by rogue donkeys is actually pretty challenging! You could walk it, but most people take the cable car back up.
You can then explore the cobbled streets of Fira, and your hotel pool! There are several small parks with spectacular vistas. Then you can begin the ever-struggled hunt for a decent place to eat dinner.
Luckily, we found a great spot with perfect views for our first legendary “Santorini Sunset“!

Lodging: Loizos Stylish ResidenceAn affordable place- The pool was cold, but facilities and location are great!

Day 2: Fira ⇒ Oía, Santorini

For our second day on Santorini, we left Fira to check out the famous town of Oia (pronounced ee-ahh). We took an 8am local bus (30 minutes), and arrived to surprisingly empty streets!
Taking advantage of this, we headed straight down the long stairs (about 300 steps) towards Amoudi Bay.
Oia,  Amoudi Bay, Santorini Greece itinerary
View on the way to Amoudi Bay
This is a popular swimming hole, but it didn’t ever feel overly crowded with tourists. I heard about it thanks to my obsession with the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie, so yes… this is the same place the girls go jumping off the rocks!
Upon reaching the bottom of the bay, take a left, and walk along the rocks and cliff edges. You will follow a little trail to an area where you can set up towels, change, and go swimming near a tiny rock island known as Agios Nickolaus.
There we swam, snorkeled, and enjoyed one of the most beautiful views of my life! Some people swim out to the island to jump off the rock, but I had a hard time getting up there as the rocks were so slick.
After enjoying the beautiful day, we paid a man 5 euros for a donkey ride back up the mountain. It wasn’t as glamorous as I’d always envisioned. I can’t say I recommend Santorini donkey rides, as they don’t seem to be very well hydrated, and were left out in the sun with no domes oia. how to find blue domes oia. santorini activities. santorini greece itinerary.
Back in Oia, we began the hunt for the iconic blue-domed churches. We used a helpful Santorini blog post to help us find it- and got some great photos!
NOTE: Remember to be respectful of the properties and their owners. Do not climb on domes or roofs without permission! Don’t be “that bad instagrammer“! When you are ready to leave Oia, take the public bus back to your hotel in Thira .

Lodging: Loizos Stylish Residence

Day 3: Oía, Santorini

Today, leave your hotel in Fira, and take the local bus to Oia again. Walk along the “Golden Road”, enjoying clifftop views, until you arrive at your new hotel. We spent a few hours at the hotel pool, and in our “cave-style” room.
For this day, I highly recommend doing a 5-6 hour “Oia Sunset Tour” (this is the Santorini boat tour we went on). It was one of my favorite things we did in all of Greece!
On this type of tour, you will be picked up by staff, and driven down to Amoudi Bay. Boarding your yacht, you’ll usually be offered unlimited wine and great music. They will also let you try some ouzo!
The yachts have about 30 people on them, but ours did not feel overly crowded. During your time on the boat you stop at:
  • Nea Kameni Volcanic Hot Springs
  • Red Sand Beach
  • White Sand Beach
In between stops, you can lay out on the rope bedding over the water, while the crew cooks up a delicious dinner. We did some snorkeling, and the evening ended with an unforgettable view of the sunset from the water in Amoudi Bay.

Lodging: Anemomilos HotelFamily run place with a beautiful pool. Our room was a private cave-style house with personal balcony- we loved it!

More Santorini Activities to Add In:

  • Rent an ATV for the day and explore the island in a unique way! I highly suggest this if you have time!
  • If you’re a history lover, visit the excavation and archaeological site of Akrotiri (famed to be the true inspiration behind the lost city of Atlantis!). 
  • Visit the Akrotiri lighthouse for an epic sunset view!
  • Stop at “Ancient Thira” archaeological site for views from high up!
  • If you’re the active type, hike up the side of the Nea Kameni volcano! There is a 1.6 mile loop with fantastic views!


Common Questions: 

*How many days in Santorini is best? You could easily stay a whole week, or a whole month, and still find things to do and see. I think for typical visitors though, 2 to 3 days should be good!
*What are good accommodation options in Fira? For the budget minded, I’d use and then filter by “review score and price”. You can also find some more unique Fira stays on AirBNB or VRBO too.
*What are good accommodation options in Oia? This is where the more expensive and elaborate resorts are, and it will be tougher to located good budget finds. However, it’s worth checking on!
*What are some fun activities in Santorini? Check the list above! If nothing there piques your interest though, I suggest browsing for unique Santorini day trips or tours on Viator and also Get Your Guide.

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Things to do with 3-5 days in Santorini including Oia and Fira. This is the perfect Santorini, Greece itinerary for first time visitors, and those on a budget!

1 Comment

  • Reply Stress-Saving Travel Tips for Santorini Greece for First-Timers March 23, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    […] want to stay a minimum of three days in Santorini to make sure you see some ruins, watch a sunset, enjoy the beaches, and check out other cool things […]

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