This Santorini itinerary enables you to see the capital town Fira, the world-famous Oia and the black sand beach of Kamari in one day.
If you’re doing a day trip to Santorini from another island, a cruise stop, or you only have limited time to explore this beautiful island, then you may be looking at how much you can fit into visiting Santorini in one day.
Each day trip to Santorini will be slightly different depending on which island you’re coming from due to the differing ferry schedules giving different amounts of time on the island.
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MAP | Santorini, Greece Location
The island of Santorini is located in the Cyclades islands in Greece, close by to the islands of Ios, Sikinos, Folegandros and Amorgos. The island is served by many ferries passing through the Cyclades. Many fast ferries pass by Santorini too such as the high-speed ferry to Crete.
Is a day trip to Santorini worth it?
In my opinion, a day trip to Santorini is definitely worth-it. The island should be high on your European bucket list. If you have more time to spare, then it is worth staying in Santorini even if it’s for a short time.
Make sure that the ferry schedules allow for a good amount of time on the island. You will need at least 5 hours and much more if possible. If you can, arrive in Santorini in the morning and stay all the way until sunset.
Use the search bar below to check if the ferry schedules work during your dates:
A day trip to Santorini can either be done independently by catching buses or arranging your own transfers OR as part of an organised bus tour around the island. Guided trips to Santorini can be booked on Get Your Guide here. This post covers exactly how to do an independent day trip to Santorini.
Morning | Arrive in Santorini and travel to Oia via Fira
When planning your trip to Greece, you can book your ferry tickets online through Ferry Hopper. Ferries to Santorini often get booked up so make sure you book in advance.
If you’re arriving into Santorini by ferry, you’ll arrive at Santorini new port, also known as Athinios port, backed with huge cliffs. Your first stop is Oia, world-famous for its cliffside villas, best in the world sunset.
The cheapest and most efficient way of getting to Oia from Santorini new port is by bus. To do this you’ll have to change buses in Fira, Santorini’s main bus hub.
How to get from Athinos port to Oia
- Take the bus to Fira. Buses are run by KTEL and meet each ferry. The bus will cost 2.30 euro and take 20 minutes. Once you’re in Fira, change buses to get to Oia. Buses from Fira to Oia run every 30 minutes in high season and take 30 minutes to reach Oia. The trip will cost you 1.60 euro. Click here to view bus timetables for your dates.
- To reach Oia fast, you can book a private transfer in advance to save the bus change. Holiday Taxis is a good site to use.
Arriving into Santorini by Cruise Ship | Santorini old port to Fira
If you’re arriving into Santorini on a cruise, you’ll have less distance to travel as the old port (cruise ship port) is in Fira. To reach Fira from Santorini old port you have three options:
- Take the cable car up to Fira. A ticket cost 6 euro each way and more if you plan on bringing luggage. You can check schedules and prices here.
- Walk up the 580 steps from Santorini old port to Fira.
- Take a donkey ride up the steps. A ride will cost around 8 euro.
Oia is located in the far North of the island. It’s the village often pictured in images of Santorini all over the word. The village features picturesque Cycladian style blue domed churches and white stone buildings. Oia hangs off the edge of the island’s caldera, giving fabulous views out to sea ad also making the area a photographers paradise.
Top things to do in Oia, Santorini
Take in the view – The view of Oia’s caldera is the most famous in Greece. You could spend hours taking it in. To reach the view from the bus stop, follow the winding steps and lanes uphill and you’ll come to a shopping street with fabulous caldera views.
See how many blue churches you can find – The blue dome on top of the whitewashed Cycladic churches is something of an icon. Churches make up quite a bit of the postcard shots of Oia. There are so many to be explored both nearby the caldera and deep into the village.
Watch the Sunset – The sunset in Oia is one of the worlds most famous. The views out into the caldera and the way the sun reflects onto the whitewashed buildings is definitely something you’ll remember forever. To do this, you’ll need to stay overnight in Santorini. You can either travel yourself by bus or join an organised sunset tour.
Shop for souvenirs around the winding streets – I always find Greece to be the perfect place to buy souvenirs, from local delicacies of wine, greek herbs and ouzo to homemade pottery and crafts, you’ll definitely find some perfect gifts.
Bus from Oia to Kamari via Fira
To reach Kamari from Oia, first, take the bus back to Fira. The journey will take 30 minutes – with stunning views along the way and cost 1.60 euro. Once in Fira, change buses to Kamari.
Buses from Fira to Kamari often meet the bus coming from Oia. You shouldn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes. The bus from Fira to Kamari takes 20 minutes and cost 1.60.
Once you’ve arrived at Kamari, simply turn left from the bus station and walk down the shopping street. This will take you to the sea.
The star attraction of Kamari is the beautiful black sand beach. The beach is wide and long boasting lots of amenities like water sports, rows of sun loungers and plenty of tavernas.
Top things to do in Kamari, Santorini
Food with a view – The street running alongside Kamari beach is packed with a huge variety of tavernas and cafes. Take your pick and enjoy some excellent local cuisine.
Enjoy some time on Kamari beach – Being a black sand beach, Kamari beach is a somewhat different experience to other beaches in Greece. The beach is formed of volcanic pebbles and backed with high cliffs. Even if you just put out a towel for an hour – it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget.
Take a dip – After all the sightseeing why not cool down with a dip in the sea?
Souvenir shopping – The road from the bus stop to Kamari beachfront is lined with hundreds of souvenir shops. Prices a cheaper than elsewhere in Santorini so grab a bargain!
Bus from Kamari back to Fira | Exploring Fira
The bus from Kamari to Fira will cost 1.60 and take 20 minutes. Fira is the capital of Santorini so there’s plenty to do here. If you’re short on time, an absolute must do is to see the caldera views in Fira old town.
Simply walk all the way uphill and you’ll reach the caldera. I recommend getting an ice-cream to keep you cool and taking in the views. Alternatively, you could grab a bite to eat or a cocktail from one of the cliffside bars.
Bus from Fira back to Santorini new port
Buses from Fira to Santorini port usually meet the ferries. Schedules are released each week and posted on the board at the bus station. The bus will cost 2.30 euro and take 20 minutes. Alternatively, you could book a private transfer from Fira to the new port to meet your ferry.
Once at the port, there’s plenty of snack shops and cafe’s if you have a wait.
Now it’s time to say goodbye to Santorini after a fabulous day trip. Safe travels!
Staying overnight in Santorini | Best places to stay
Our Recommendation: Anessis Apartments, Fira
We chose to stay at the Anessis Apartments for 2 nights as part of our travels around Greece this summer. Anessis is just minutes walk away from Fira’s bus station where buses run all over the island. You can also walk to the centre of Fira within 5-10 minutes for the fantastic caldera views and sunset.
Rooms sleep 2-3 adults + kids depending on the room chosen. The apartments are suitable for most traveller types, especially couples and families. We had a fantastic experience staying with a baby. The triple rooms often come with a lovely ground floor outside area with views across the island and an impressive sunrise in the morning.
Other Things To Do in Santorini
Which island can I take a day trip to Santorini from?
A day trip to Santorini from Ios
Ferries from Santorini to Ios range between 7 and 48 euro one way. Most ferries are run by SEAJETS and DIONISIS SOLOMUS.
Journey times can be as little as 35 minutes or as long as 1 hour, 50 minutes. You’ll most likely end up taking each journey with a different ferry company. View the latest schedules and prices for your dates here.
A day trip to Santorini from Crete
Many tour companies all over Crete offer guided day trips to Santorini on high-speed ferries. You can view the tours available below. Some tours even run from Rethymno and Chania.
For an independent day trip from Crete to Santorini, you’ll most likely need to go from the port of Heraklion. Fast ferries can be as quick as 1 hour, 45 minutes. However, it may be best to stay in Santorini overnight.
Day trip to Santorini from Mykonos
Ferries from Mykonos to Santorini can take as little as 2 hours, 5 minutes with Seajets. Ferries leave for Santorini around 10:00AM.
However, due to the popularity of both islands and the route being one of the most travelled by island hoppers, tickets can be as much as 66 euro each way.
The return ferry schedule times mean you wouldn’t have enough time to explore Santorini on a day trip. You may want to think about staying overnight in Santorini or visiting Santorini as part of an organised tour from Mykonos. You can see the tours available below:
Day trip to Santorini from Naxos
Ferries from Naxos to Santorini can take as little as 1 hour, 30 minutes (42 euro) with seajets or 2 hours, 15 minutes (20 euro) with blue star.
Expect to reach Santorini around 12:15PM. Returning ferries leave around 15:30 so you may want to consider staying overnight in Santorini or visiting as part of an organised tour where you’ll have more time to explore the island.
In high season, more ferries may become available, making it possible to visit Naxos on an independent day trip.
Day trip to Santorini from Paros
Ferris from Santorini to Paros take around 2 hours with Seajets (46 euro) or 3 hours, 15 minutes with blue star (21 euro). Ferry schedules don’t provide enough time to do a 1 day trip to Santorini, although you would have plenty of time if you stayed 1 night in Santorini. Below are a number of organised tours where it would be possible to visit Santorini in one day:
More on Greece:
Are you planning on visiting Santorini in one day? Let us know in the comments below: