One Day in Santorini: The Perfect Itinerary (First Time Visit)


A Day in Santorini: Best things to do + Itinerary + Tips

You’re planning to spend one day in Santorini and you’re looking for the best places to visit?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 1-day itinerary in Santorini.

First, I will give you practical information about how to get to Santorini and transportation on the island. Then, I will give you a detailed itinerary for your day, with all my best tips to make the most of your visit.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities, I will also give you my selection of the best hotels in Santorini depending on your budget and itinerary ideas, in case you plan to continue your trip on other Greek islands.

So, what are the best places to visit in Santorini in a day? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

My best tips to spend 1 day in Santorini

Book your ferry crossing

To go and spend a day in Santorini from another Greek island or Athens, the first thing to do is take the ferry.

Travel times and fares vary depending on the size and therefore the speed of the boat.

I recommend that you book your tickets in advance so that you can choose your schedule. Santorini is one of the most touristic destinations in Greece!

If you want to make the most of your time on the island, try to arrive as soon as possible.

Directly look at the timetables, prices and book your boat trips to Santorini with the green button below:

From the port of Santorini, you will be only about ten kilometres away from the very popular village of Fira, where I propose you start your one-day stay in Santorini.

You can get there by bus, taxi or car. 

mill Santorin

Go to Santorini for 1 day: flight prices

The second way to get to Santorini is by flight, as the island has an international airport.

You can then get to the main villages by bus, taxi or car.

The prices of flights to Santorini vary greatly, it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparison tool, in partnership with Skyscanner. It is the assurance of getting the best price.

Rent a car for 1 day in Santorini?

You don’t necessarily need a car to spend a day in Santorini. As I told you, after arriving at the port or the airport, you just have to take the bus or taxi to get to Fira.

If you follow the route I have prepared for you, you will not need a vehicle.

But if you have already come to Santorini or you don’t want to visit the 2 main villages, it is better to rent a car to avoid wasting time on public transport.

In this case, I recommend you go through the website Cars. It is very convenient to compare the rates of the rental companies present at the airport or the port of Santorini.

Click on the button below to book your rental car and drive around Santorini in 1 day:

One-day stop in Santorini during a cruise

In case you go on a cruise with a one-day stopover in Santorini, the boat will drop you not at the main port, but at the old port of Santorini, which is located at the foot of Fira.

If you wish to visit the island independently and not with the tours offered by the cruise (which are generally quite expensive), you can totally follow the schedule of visits that I propose just after.

You just have to reach the centre of Fira by taking the cable car (easy version!) or the stairs for the more athletic types. You can also climb the steps on donkey-back, but given the way they are treated, I don’t necessarily recommend it.

One Last Tip for a Perfect Day in Santorini

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As Santorini is one of the most touristic places in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in Santorini by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in Santorini.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in Santorini, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

1 day in Santorini: the best itinerary

After these few tips to get to the island, we get to the heart of the matter with my one-day itinerary in Santorini.

I have prepared a tour to visit the most famous places and the most beautiful places that are not to be missed on this splendid day!

So, what are the best things to do in Santorini in 1 day?

A: Visit to Fira

I suggest you start this 1 day tour in Santorini with the island’s capital: Fira.

Whether you arrive by flight or boat, it is the closest village and is the most easily accessible by public transport. But it is especially one of the most beautiful ones!

Located on the edge of the caldera, Fira is nothing less than a postcard decor par excellence: typical white and blue houses, luxury hotels with an infinity pool, cobbled streets and an exceptional view!

I do not recommend a particular route to visit Fira. Walk about freely and enjoy the views. Wherever you go, you will instantly fall under the charm of this magnificent island of the Cyclades!

You will also find a lot of small chic boutiques, ideal for shopping during your day in Santorini.

In Fira, you can also take the cable car that goes down to the small port at the bottom of the village. A round trip costs around €12 and allows you to admire a unique view of the island for a few minutes.

History and archaeology buffs will also find something to keep busy by visiting one of Fira’s 2 museums:

  • The prehistoric Thera museum has the remains discovered on the site of Akrotiri
  • The archaeological museum and its collection of elements from Akrotiri and Ancient Thera
Fira, one of the most beautiful villages to visit in Santorini in 1 day

B: Hiking from Fira to Oia

After discovering Fira, I recommend that you continue this short one-day visit to Santorini with a small walk.

Take the path that runs along the top of the cliff to first reach the village of Firostefani in only 10 minutes on foot and continue the walk to Imerovigli (another 20 minutes).

I would like to warn you that you will probably take a little more time with all the photo stops you are sure to take! In Imerovigli you will find yourself at the highest point of the caldera.

From there, it is possible to walk to Oia, the second splendid must-see village during this 1-day itinerary in Santorini.

This path connecting Fira to Oia is the mythical path of the island. It is known for offering magnificent views and I can assure you that its reputation is well-deserved!

It is approximately 9 km long from Imerovigli and a 2-hour walk will take you to Oia. A little more, if like me, you stop every 10 metres to take a photo…

The path is well marked and accessible but you should take at least a pair of sneakers. Flip-flops or going barefoot are not really recommended! And considering it’s right under the hot sun, bring water and a hat.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you don’t feel like walking or don’t have time, you don’t have to go hiking from Fira to Oia. All you have to do is take the bus or a taxi to get to Oia.

I would advise you to walk a little along the caldera at the end of Fira, towards Firostefani, so as not to miss a few views.

Hiking from Fira to Oia

C: Visit to Oia

If you plan to visit Santorini for one day, you have to go through the village of Oia.

It is the second most famous village on the island!

Just like in Fira, you just have to walk around the alleys to enjoy the view. It also has the white houses, the churches with blue domes and the 5* hotels!

But Oia is, above all, the best place to go to while spending a day in Santorini to admire the sunset.Every evening, hundreds of people come to watch this exceptional and romantic show!

One of the most beautiful spots is found at the ruins of the Byzantine castle. I recommend that you plan to arrive 1-2 hours beforehand to get a good seat.

Many people also choose to book a table in one of the bars with a view of the caldera to enjoy a quieter atmosphere while sipping a good cocktail.

Santorini – The Cyclades

The best organised outings to do when spending 1 day in Santorini

Another alternative to see Santorini in 1 day: choose an organised tour.

This type of outing is very convenient to see a maximum number of things in a short time without having to worry about organising anything. You will benefit from the explanations of a guide who will accompany you all day long and the transport.

I have selected the best trips for you to take in 1 day in Santorini:

1) Bus tour with sunset in Oia.

This guided tour in English includes:

  • Visit to the archaeological site of Akrotiri
  • The village of Emporio
  • Perissa beach
  • The vineyards of Santorini with wine tasting
  • Passing through the island’s highest point
  • Visiting Oia at sunset.

Book this trip in Santorini directly with the button below:

2) A private 6-hour tour of the island’s best places to visit

During this private guided tour (available in English) you can discover all the main tourist attractions of the island. And what’s great is that this 1-day itinerary in Santorini is flexible and customisable!

Other advantage: the shuttle service between the airport or the port to the meeting point with the guide is included. And for those arriving by boat, the guide will wait for you at the top of the Fira cable car.

3) Minibus tour to Oia and Firostefani

This tour is ideal for cruise ship passengers as it only lasts for half a day with departures in the morning or afternoon.

You will go to Oia with your guide and then you will start a minibus tour to enjoy the best views.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If these tours do not suit you, you can find all the best tours and activities to do on the island right here: All tours and activities in Santorini.

Where to stay in Santorini?

If you only have one day to spend in Santorini and you are spending one night on the island before continuing your tour in Greece, I advise you to stay in one of the 2 main villages: Fira or Oia.

This is not necessarily the most economical option, but it is certainly the most practical one to get to the port the next day. And it’s worth it to enjoy a beautiful hotel with a view of the caldera!

One piece of advice: try booking your accommodation in Santorini as early as possible to get the best rate.

Best hotels in Oia

  • Aethrio Hotel: Located in Oia, only a few steps away from the main square. You can rent double rooms, studio flats or apartments with balcony for most of them. The price starts from 160€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the swimming pool, the large rooms, the rooftop to admire the sunset. It’s one of the cheapest places in Oia, and it offers a great value for money!
  • Caldera Premium Villas: Located in the centre of Oia. You will love the troglodyte suites with a breathtaking view of the sea and the caldera, starting from 290€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the design of the rooms, and the location.
  • Theodora Suites Apartment: Located in the heart of the city. Studio flats with small kitchen, fridge, private terrace and hot tub, starting from 350€, breakfast included. What I loved: the hot tubs, the breathtaking view, the kind staff.
  • Andronis Boutique Hotel: 5-star hotel located in Oia. You’ll enjoy large suites with a view of the caldera, private balcony and private hot tub or pool, starting from 800€ with breakfast included. Strong points: the idyllic scenery and the calm. It’s my recommendation for a one-week romantic stay in Greece!
  • Katikies Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World: This luxurious hotel offers rooms and suites with a great view, bathtub and spa. The price starts from 1000€ with breakfast included. What I loved: the pools, the spas, the splendid views and the food! It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay in Santorini!
Katikies Hotel The Leading Hotels of the World
Katikies Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World

Best hotels in Fira

  • Galatia Villas: Located 10 minutes away from Fira’s city centre. The double rooms are quite basic but nice, and the price starts from only 80€ per night. Strong points: the hot tub on the roof, the kind staff, the great value for money for Santorini.
  • Lilium Santorini Villa: Located on the edge of the caldera. These elegant and modern double rooms with sea view are available starting from 315€, breakfast included. What I loved: the pool, the exceptionnal location, the warm and welcoming staff.
  • Cosmopolitan Suites – Small Luxury Hotels of the World: Located in the heart of Fira. You will enjoy lovely rooms with private balcony, decorated in the purest Cycladian style, starting from 550€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the infinity pool over the cliff, and the luxury hotel services. This is the perfect place to stay with your lover in Santorini!
  • Aria Suites: Located in Fira, this high standard hotel offers only 6 suites and luxury villas, fully equipped (you even get a laptop), starting from 700€ per night. What I loved: the magnificent place, the pool and the staff availability. This is a great choice for a luxurious and romantic stay in Fira!
Arias Suites
Arias Suites

Other best places to stay in Santorini island

  • Memories Beach Hotel: Located just accross Monolithos beach. These comfortable modern rooms starts from 65€ per night, with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the calm and the adorable staff.
  • Rose Suites: Located in Vourvoulos, only 4 kilometers away from Fira. Those studio flats and apartments are well equiped and decorated, with a small kitchen and a private terrace. The prices are starting from 75€ per night. What I loved: the pool, the calm, the decoration. The fridge is also full with everything you need for breakfast.This is the best choice in Santorini for its exceptional value for money!
  • Hippocampus Hotel: Located in Kamari, only 50 meters away from the beach. The rooms, with a view on the swimming pool or the garden, are starting from 85€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the ideal location close to the beach, and the really kind staff.
  • Meltemi Village Hotel: Located in Perissa, only 5 minutes away from the Black beach. The rooms and suites with hot tubs are starting from 100€ per night, with the breakfast included. What I loved: the pools, the spa, and the great breakfast. A great choice for a stay on Santorini’s shore!
Meltemi Village Hotel
Meltemi Village Hotel

More things to do and see in Santorini in 1 day

If you prefer to organise your Santorini tour programme in 1 day as you want, you will find plenty of other ideas for things to do in my dedicated article.

Whether you want to take a boat trip, spend time at the beach or discover the other villages of the island, there is something for everyone!

You will find all the details and information by clicking on the following link: The 17 best things to do in Santorini

Where to go after your stay in Santorini?

After deciding to spend 1 day in Santorini, you can choose to discover another island of the Cyclades to continue your trip in Greece.

From Santorini you can easily get to the following islands by ferry:

  • Ios, if you want to enjoy the beaches by day and party at night.
  • Amorgos, ideal for hiking with its many marked trails. All my best tips for visiting the island can be found here: The best things to do in Amorgos
  • Naxos, an island of the Cyclades renowned for its beautiful beaches. Do read my dedicated article: Best things to see in Naxos
  • Mykonos, whose reputation as a festive and trendy island is well established!

I have prepared a description of all the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades in this article: The best things to do in the Cyclades

Voyage Tips - Advice

To give you an idea of how to organise your tour to visit the Cyclades, I recommend you read my other articles:

Rent a boat in Santorini

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your stay in Santorini, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental!

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Santorini? 😊

Map of your 1-day itinerary in Santorini

To help you visualise your itinerary during your day in Santorini, I have created a map for you listing the places you will visit. You can display the map legend by clicking the button on the top left with a small arrow.

You will then be able to view the places names.

Do you need help in organising your 1-day itinerary in Santorini? Feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments section.

Book your trip now and save money!

Greece travel guides

You’re traveling to Greece ? These articles will help you !

Discover all my articles about Greece: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Greece are listed there.

Cyclades (Greek islands)


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Santorini 1 day itinerary
Santorini 1 day itinerary

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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