• Where to Stay in Santorini
• Best Hotels in Santorini
• Best Cheap Hotels in Santorini
• Best Hotel Infinity Pools in Santorini
• Best Villas in Santorini
• Best Restaurants in Santorini
• Best Tours in Santorini
• Best Wine Tours in Santorini
• Best Boat Tours in Santorini
• Best Beaches in Santorini
When to Visit Santorini – The Basics
- Best Time to Visit Santorini: April to Early November.
- Best Time for Good Weather: May to October has lots of sunny weather. July and August are the hottest months.
- Best Time for Honeymoons: June and September.
- Best Time for Saving Money: March, April, May, October, and November have reduced hotel prices. December, January, February have extremely reduced hotel prices (if the hotel is open).
- Santorini beaches and swimming are best from June to September.
- Santorini sightseeing is best from March to June and September to November.
- High season in Santorini runs from late June until early September. Book hotels far in advance for these months.
- Santorini in Winter: December, January, and February are becoming much more popular with tourists. More hotels and restaurants are staying open every year to serve the growing number of winter visitors. Santorini has a year-round population of 15,000 so there’s always plenty of local life to keep things interesting. (Unlike Mykonos which is too quiet for most visitors to enjoy during the winter months.)
- The best Santorini hotels should be booked 6 to 9 months in advance. Less epensive Santorini hotels can be booked 4 to 6 months in advance. There aren’t a lot of Good Hotels for Families in Santorini so they should be reserved as early as possible.
When Is The Best Time to Visit Santorini?
The best time to visit Santorini is between late April and early November when the weather is warm and there is little rain. For hot weather, nightlife, swimming, and sunbathing visit in June, July, August, or September. For comfortable sightseeing and moderate temperatures, March to May or October to early December are best.
- Best Time for a Beach Holiday: The warmest weather in Santorini is between June and September when it’s sunny, hot, and the water is perfect for swimming at Santorini’s best beaches. Water temperature heats throughout the summer months and is warmest in August and September. Swimming in early May and late October is usually possible but can’t be guaranteed.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: If you’re visiting Santorini for the sightseeing, views, wineries, and food then you don’t need hot temperatures just warm pleasant weather. So the months of late March, April, May, October, and November are great times for exploring the island. The weather is still warm by northern European standards though there can be some rain and warmer clothing should be packed.
- Best Time for Greek Island Hopping: Santorini has a much longer travel season than the other Greek islands (because there’s more than just beaches here). That makes visiting in the quieter months (March, April, early May, late October, and November) a great option. But be aware that nearby islands such as Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros will be very quiet during these months so if you’re interested in seeing a few other islands it’s best to come between mid-May and mid-October. Athens is a large city and great for visiting year-round.
- Best Time for a Santorini Cruise: I do not recommend any Santorini Cruises (much better to visit on your own).
- Best Time for Saving Money: Hotels are much cheaper in the low season (November to March) and shoulder season (April, May, and October) than in the summer months. Transportation, food, and tour prices tend not to vary much by season. If you want good weather but cheap hotels then late May, early June, late September, or early October are great times. There are no guarantees but the first three weeks of October can often surprise visitors with great weather.
- Santorini in Winter: Winter travel on Santorini is getting more popular every year. If you visit Santorini in December, January, or February you’ll likely find moderate weather (compared to winter in Northern Europe) with some rain, and skies alternating between cloudy and clear. Santorini winter weather is often perfect for walking, photographing, sightseeing, and exploring. Many people love visiting in the quieter months when you feel like you have the caldera and sunset views all to yourself. Do pack some warmer clothes (pants, sweater, and rain jacket) but don’t be surprised if you’re wearing shorts for a few of your days here. In 2021-2022 it’s expected that almost 150 hotels will be open year-round (there were only 20 or 30 open for the winter just 3 or 4 years ago). Plenty of restaurants are now open in the main towns of Fira and Oia and even a few bars (but no clubs, they close in October or early November). Winter weather does seem warmer and sunnier than it did 10 years ago, but still, be prepared for a bit of anything. (It does even snow in Santorini. About once per decade, there will be a little snow accumulation – usually in January or February.)
- Best Time for Tours: The boat tours of the caldera and the Santorini jet ski tours are best from late May to late September. Most other tours can be done year-round though some wine tours and many private tours will not be available from December to March.
Santorini Travel Seasons
- High Season (late June to early September): Hot, sunny weather with lots of people – but never so many that it’s unenjoyable. Prices are at their peak. Seawater at its warmest and best for swimming. Ferries and flights run with the greatest frequency. If you’re in Greece for the nightlife then this is the time to visit.
- Shoulder Season (May and June, September and October): Great weather. Sunny and warm but not blazingly hot like the summer. Tourists are many but it’s never crowded. Everything is open and ferries are running nearly all of their routes. The sea might not be warm enough for swimming in May and October.
- Low Season (November to April): Santorini is getting increasingly popular in the winter months. It can be a great time to see the sights and save money but weather-wise be prepared for anything. This is winter and that means grey skies, cool weather, and some rain are possible on any day. Many hotels and restaurants are closed but more are staying open each year as winter travel increases. Fira is the most practical place to stay in the off-season as it has the most open. Ferries and flights have limited schedules though there’ll be at least one ferry a day and several flights going to and from Athens.
Santorini Weather by Month
The best beach weather on Santorini is from June to September. July and August are the busiest months when hotels are full and restaurants are crowded. If you’re more interested in sightseeing, hiking, and great views then March, April, May, October, and November are great months to visit.
- Santorini in January (10% Crowded): Damp, cold, and windy (by Santorini standards). January is the rainiest month and one of the coldest. The island is quiet with few tourists but local life hums along at a friendly pace. Many restaurants and hotels are closed but you will always be able to find something open in Oia and Fira. The beach towns are completely shut down. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Rainfall: 42mm.)
- Santorini in February (10% Crowded): Much like January. February is Santorini’s coldest month. There is a little less rain than December and January (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Rainfall: 35mm.)
- Santorini in March (30% Crowded): A noticeable change occurs in March from the previous 3 months. There is less rain, more sun, and warmer temperatures. This can be a nice time to visit for hikers and sightseers but visitors should pack for some rain and cool nights. By the end of March, most hotels and restaurants are open. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Rainfall: 32mm.)
- Santorini in April (40% Crowded): A great month for hiking, sightseeing, and touring the wineries. On warm years it’s possible to have a few beach days at the end of the month. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Rainfall: 12mm.)
- Santorini in May (60% Crowded): There’s a big difference between early May (when cool overcast days can still be common) and late May (when the days are consistently sunny and warm). May is the month when the beach towns dust off the cobwebs and open for business. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Rainfall: 7mm.)
- Santorini in June (75% Crowded): June is a hot sunny month and the start of beach season when tourists arrive in large numbers. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Rainfall: 0.3mm.)
- July Weather on Santorini (95% Crowded): Hot and sunny. Along with August July is the busiest month on Santorini. Book rooms at least 3 months in advance for July visits – 6 months in advance for luxury hotels. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Rainfall: 0.9mm.)
- Santorini in August (100% Crowded): Hot and sunny with occasional strong winds (called the Meltemi) that can cancel ferries and catamarans. Book rooms at least 3 months in advance for August visits – 6 months in advance for luxury hotels. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Rainfall: 0.4mm.)
- Santorini in September (80% Crowded): Hot and sunny but cooling a little from August. The weather is similar to June but the water temperature is warmer as it heats over the summer months. Winds have died down. September is the best month to visit Santorini. Hotels are still very busy and can be fully booked months in advance. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Rainfall: 6mm.)
- Santorini in October (60% Crowded): October is much like May but the weather is moving in the opposite direction. There is often a large difference between early October (when days can be hot and sunny) and late October – when you can have some cool cloudy days and visits to the beach seem a distant memory. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Rainfall: 18mm.)
- Santorini in November (40% Crowded): The cool and cloudy days of winter arrive in November. Early November can still get warm days when a visit to the beach could be possible. Most luxury hotels are closed by late November. Oia and Fira stay moderately active until the final cruise ship of the season makes its visit (usually in late November). (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Rainfall: 44mm.)
- Santorini in December (20% Crowded): Be prepared for cool, cloudy, and rainy, though there are often stretches of clear skies and sunny days. Fira is the hub of most activity during the winter as most other towns are shut down. Oia will have several hotels and at least a few restaurants and markets open. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Rainfall: 46mm.)
Santorini Holiday Planning
When to Book Santorini Hotels?
Santorini hotels get booked very early. The very best hotels can be fully booked 4 to 6 months in advance. Reserve the hotels listed below especially early – and doubly so if visiting in July, August, or early September. Read the fine print for each hotel, but most hotels on Booking.com have free cancelation.
• Grace Santorini – Imerovigli
• Katikies Hotel – Oia
• Canaves Suites – Oia
• Astra Suites – Imerovigli
• Perivolas – Oia
• Tsitouras Collection – Firostefani
• San Antonio – Imerovigli
• Aenaon Villas – Imerovigli
• Art Maisons Oia Castle Hotel – Oia
• Chromata – Imerovigli
• Cosmopolitan Suites – Fira
• Mystique – Oia
• Cavo Tagoo – Imerovigli
• Aria Suites & Villas – Fira
How many days should you spend in Santorini?
You need 3 days minimum to explore the island, see the top attractions, do a wine or boat tour, experience the sunset from a couple of different locations, and try some of the island’s great restaurants. You could easily fill 7 days with long walks, swimming and sunbathing, and more tours, restaurants, nightlife, and dancing. If you have more than a week in Greece then I’d encourage you to spend 5 to 7 days on Santorini and then travel to a different island. You’d likely experience more by seeing Naxos, Paros, Ios, Mykonos, Crete, or Rhodes than staying in Santorini for a second week.
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