Updated: February 19, 2017
Q. What are the best day trips from Santorini?
Tip: Don’t do day trips from Santorini to other islands. Santorini has so much to see and do you’re better to focus on staying and enjoying it. If you really want to see other islands then you’re better off traveling there and spending a few nights rather than wasting your time going there and back on a ferry.
Besides the islands visible in the caldera (like nearby Thirassia and Nea Kameni), Santorini doesn’t have great day trip options. The problem is that to visit an island on a day trip you need to get an early morning ferry from Santorini and a late-day ferry returning to Santorini. Since most ferries are based on other islands (or back in Athens) it’s usually mid-day before they arrive in Santorini. And even when there is an early morning ferry there likely won’t be an evening ferry that would provide you with the time necessary to make the journey worthwhile.
If you really want to make a day trip to another Greek island your best bet is to wait until you’ve arrived in Santorini. Then visit a travel agency and ask about the ferry schedule to and from Santorini’s neighboring islands. If it seems like the amount of time you’ll get on the island is worth the journey then book the ticket. If not, then don’t. Ferry schedules are always changing and rarely are released more than a few weeks in advance. A day trip requires fairly precise timing to pull off so it’s best to wait to arrange until you’re in Greece and can be certain of the schedule. Ferries on these short routes from Santorini will almost never sell out so don’t worry about finding a spot onboard. If the schedule works for a day trip then you’ll have no problem buying tickets.
The most likely candidate for a day trip from Santorini is Ios. It has fantastic beaches and a young and fun party vibe – though the clubbing doesn’t get going until late at night so day-trippers won’t get to partake. With a little luck you could have 6 or 7 hours on the island making the 35 minute boat trip from Santorini worth the effort. Mylopotas Beach (one of the best in Greece) and the Chora (the main town up a steep cliff from the port) are well connected to the harbor by a short bus ride. The ferry from Santorini to Ios is €20 one way.
Naxos and Paros are both (just) possible but even with the best possible ferry connections you’d have little more than 2 or 3 hours to explore the island. Except in rare circumstances a day trip to Mykonos is not possible from Santorini. The journey from Santorini to Mykonos is more than 2 hours and 30 minutes and there are rarely returning boats that make the trip doable in a day.
A day trip from Crete to Santorini is sometimes possible with Hellenic Seaways from Heraklion. But a trip going from Santorini to Crete does not work with the ferry timetable.
Anafi is another island that would seem to allow for a day trip but since ferries run to Santorini in the morning and back to Anafi in the afternoon any visit would require staying a night on Anafi.
What are the best tours in Santorini?
Get Your Guide is the best website for booking tours on Santorini. It’s easy to use and great for booking tickets and tours.
The 11 Best Santorini Tours
- 1. Ocean Voyager Catamaran Sunset Cruise • 5 hours • $109
- 2. Half-Day Small Group and Private Wine Tour • 4 hours • $97
- 3. Santorini Helicopter Flight • 20 minutes • $972/group of 3
- 4. Volcano Adventure with Cruise • 7 hours • $37
- 5. Santorini Cooking Class and Wine-Tasting Tour • 6 hours • $172
- 6. Volcano Island Tour & Oia Sunset Cruise • 8 hours • $80
- 7. Pyrgos, Wine Tasting, and Sunset • 6 hours • $48
- 8. Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise • 4 hours • $91
- 9. Sunset Wine Tour • 4 hours • $109
- 10. Sailing Tour around Santorini with BBQ Lunch • 5 hours • $149
- 11. Highlights of Santorini Photography Tour • 5 hours • $543/group of 2