The Complete Guide to Santorini in 2 Days

In Destinations, Europe, Greece by wanderlost0 Comments

 Spend a couple days exploring the eye-catching architecture, taking in the amazing geological scenery and enjoy the spectacular sunsets in Santorini, Greece. Here is the complete guide to Santorini in 2 days!

Door to SantoriniHike from Fira to Oia

This hike starts from the Theotokopoulou Square and will take you through the extraordinary cities of Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli.  From here, the trail continues across lava rock ending in Oia just in time to catch the world-renowned sunset. This trail will take you along the winding streets of each town and up the volcanic mountain.  Along the way, you will get excellent views of the Caldera. As you make your way into Oia, grab a bite to eat and relax until it’s time to see the sunset! The hike will take about 2 and half hours, longer if you decide to stop in any of the towns along the way. Bring sensible shoes; the trail turns to volcanic rock and can get slippery in flip-flops and sandals.

View From Skaros Rock

View From Skaros Rock

Skaros Rock

This can be included with the hike as you can access it from Imerovigli. Skaros Rock, a former castle fortress during the medieval ages can be accessed through rocky hiking trails.  After a small bouldering section, you reach the top and will have views of the caldera and cities of Santorini. Be careful, on top there are holes that you can easily fall into if you are not paying attention.

Amoudi Bay, Santorini by Trish Hartmann via Flickr

Amoudi Bay, Santorini by Trish Hartmann via Flickr

Amoudi Bay

You can include this in your hike as you access it from the far side of Oia. In addition, it’s great way to fill in some extra time before the sunset. The bay is reachable by a steep descending trail that winds down the cliff.  Along the way, you will pass the donkeys giving rides to those who don’t want to walk down. From the bay, proceed left to find a dirt trail that leads to an awesome swimming bay.  Careful, much of the trail has been washed away and requires a bit of common sense to cross.

Hiking Santorini by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr.

Hiking Santorini by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr.

Santorini Caldera

There are two distinct ways to experience the caldera: one from land and the other by sea. On land, you will get views of the caldera from just about anywhere on the west side of the island.  There are particularly excellent views from just outside Oia. The second option is to experience the caldera by sea, particularly by kayak. This is by no means cheap, but is an extraordinary experience. Notably, this is only recommended for experienced kayakers as the ocean is rough and it is a long journey.

Red Beach by JJmusgrove vie Flickr

Red Beach by JJmusgrove vie Flickr

Santorini Beaches

Santorini has a variety of beaches with most located on the east side of the island. Perissa and Kamari are some of the most popular and an excellent place to spend the day swimming and relaxing. Beach chairs can be obtained for free at any of the local restaurants with any purchase. Some also have Wi-Fi if you need to be connected or are working remotely like I was! One of the more unique beaches to check out is the red sand beach known as Red Beach featuring red and black volcanic pebbles and hot waters. This is also located close to Akrotiri if you decide to make a visit to the Ancient Thera and combine it with an afternoon beach visit.

Photo of Sunset over Oia by Nikola Totuhov via Flickr

Photo of Sunset over Oia by Nikola Totuhov via Flickr

Sunset at Oia

A definite must-see when in Santorini is the gorgeous sunsets. The best place to view these is from Oia as the reflection of the sun on the typical white homes makes for excellent dusk pictures. Other excellent viewing spots can be found in Fira and Firostefani at one of the many cafes and restaurants or along the hiking trail.

Santorini has something for everyone from the adventurous to the laid back.

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