What can I see in Santorini in a 3-day visit?
Three days in Santorini is not enough, but it is all it takes for the visitor to get a great idea of this unique island and… come back. Book Santorini tours and see more places than you would on your own.
Read below which parts of Santorini you should definitely visit during your stay on the island for just a 3-day trip, so be sure to see the most important part of it – though you should not doubt that Santorini still has a lot to offer you!
Fira is the capital of Santorini, located in the middle, in the “eyebrow” of the caldera and attracts not only most of the services but also the visitors.
Throughout the year the small town is bustling with life: Supermarkets, grocery stores, commercial, banking and public services are located around the city’s main square, Theotokopoulos Square, with travel agencies, hotels and rooms to rent, restaurants and bars one can find in almost every alley, especially the caldera.
Museums, churches, monuments, galleries, traditional neighbourhoods where the island’s architecture stands out, are all in abundance … abundance – the same abundance in entertainment choices, as well as restaurants and cafes, many of which look alike Hanging out of the caldera, Fira is claiming the lead in Santorini nightlife, as many bars and clubs run the streets.
In Fira, guests have the opportunity to enjoy another unique experience. From Gialos, the old harbour, where cruise ships anchor when they visit the island, launches a cable car that takes its… enchanted passengers to the top of the caldera. An alternative for those who want to get down to the small harbour, walk among the small shops and taste fresh fish in the taverns, are the 600 stone steps.
If one again does not want to walk the distance himself, he can use the donkeys, the nice animals that have been used for this purpose for many, many years. From Gialos one can also board a boat for a tour of the Volcano, Old and New Kameni and Thirassia, while many admit that no one can conquer the majesty of Santorini unless it overlooks the caldera and the sea.
Oia of Santorini is the most famous settlement of the island, known around the world for its unique sunset, when the sun sinks into the blue sea behind the volcano … It is built on the northernmost part of the caldera and is a traditional settlement, full of sun. , captains’ houses and caverns, bright colours, and the church’s blue domes adorn the image.
It has all the tourist infrastructure of a modern destination, a rich market with shops and public transport that connects it daily with many itineraries, especially during the summer months, to Fira, the capital of the island, about 11 kilometres away. The main street, alongside the caldera, is marble-paved and with its vertical alleys is the “heart” of Oia. The village has been identified with the sunset of Santorini, as they all gather on the terraces and terraces around the castle of Agios Nikolaos to see the so … everyday but at the same time impressive spectacle.
The most famous temple in the village is Panagia Platsani, almost in the centre. The Feast of the Virgin Mary, Agios Nikolaos, the Resurrection, Christ the Heroes are some of the other churches worth seeing. Going down to the sea, on the small islet of Ammoudi is Aghios Nikolaos Peramataris, while near Armeni you can see the white chapel dedicated to Saints Seven.
There is no other island in the world like Santorini, and its uniqueness owes it mainly to the volcano – so it is not meant to visit the island and not see this natural phenomenon up close. It is active, while the Minoan Eruption is considered to be the largest in world history. Since then, the volcano of Santorini has erupted many times over the centuries, constantly changing the image of the island, creating and destroying various small islands on its perimeter.
When the locals say volcano, they mean the small island of Nea Kameni, at the centre of the almost circular perimeter formed by Santorini, Thirasia and Aspronisi. In Nea Kameni, after all, steam can be seen from the bottom of the earth, and just 60 years ago its most recent lands were formed during the eruption of 1950. Next to it, Old Kameni is the island that was formed before from about 2,000 years, during the eruption of 47 AD.
Today, visitors to Santorini have the opportunity not only to overlook the volcano from the caldera cliff or to view it by sea, but also to walk. The boats to the volcano start both from Gialos, the old port of Santorini under Fira, Athinios, the modern port of the island, and also from Ammoudi, the port of Oia.
The first stop is in Nea Kameni followed by Old Kameni, where visitors can dive into the warm waters with the yellowish, sulphur – coloured colour. These trips usually end with a stop in Thirasia, before returning to Santorini.
Prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri
The prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri Santorini is one of the most important archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean and is located in the southeastern part of the island, 15 kilometres from Fira. The part of the city that has come to light dates back to the Late Bronze Age, that is, to the end of the 17th century BC. The findings lead to the conclusion that it was a major centre of the time, a cosmopolitan port with trade relations with mainland Greece, the rest of the Aegean islands, as well as Egypt and Syria.
The definitive end came from the so-called Minoan eruption of the volcano, estimated around 1615 BC, with findings indicating that the inhabitants had been “warned”: No human skeletons were found, few jewels found, and valuable objects found, jars and other useful tools and utensils positioned below the thresholds to protect them.
Today, the visitor that take tours of the archaeological site can see a very representative sample: High-rise buildings, other public and private, with their courtyards fully exposed. Public roads pass between them, and research reveals free spaces that function as squares. Part of the drainage system is also distinctive, with typical Santorini building materials and sophisticated techniques that provide both insulation and anti-seismic protection in such a sensitive area.
The Red Beach of Santorini is famous all over the world, the most popular among the beaches of the island, a true attraction of the special nature of this place. It is located in the southeastern part of Santorini, in the greater area of Akrotiri, about 8 kilometres from Fira.
Red, striking rocks forming steep cliffs, red sand and a deep blue sea, which reflects the bright red as well. A truly “alien” landscape from what scientists may have just encountered on… Mars, the “Red Planet” – again, without the wonderful sea!
On the sand there are umbrellas and sun loungers, almost all along the coast, leaving little free space, while nudity is allowed in Red. Among the bathers who enjoy the sun and the sea, they often pass fruit vendors in their baskets to cool the most… tired.
The beach offers the option of renting a sea bike or canoe, while the rocks that are scattered in the small bay give the opportunity for countless dives in crystal clear, clear waters.
The Castle of Emporio of Santorini is the most well preserved of the other four castles on the island. Located in the centre of the modern settlement, many of its buildings have been restored by its owners and inhabited (though not permanently by most), while many of its churches are still preserved.
Created by the Venetian rulers of Santorini around the 15th century, it is one of the most important sights of Santorini today. Its oldest church is the impressive Panagia Messiani, dedicated to the Annunciation, probably built in the 16th century and featuring an impressive belfry.
Read in detail which parts you should definitely visit during your tour in Santorini for at least a weekend on the island!
Read more about Santorini Tours:
- Santorini Sightseeing Private Tour
- Aspri Ammos Beach Santorini Private Guided Transfers
- Santorini South Part Private Tour
- Santorini Sunset Private Tour
- Athinios Santorini Private Guided Transfers