Santorini has always been very high on my bucket list – yet it took me basically forever to finally visit.  Santorini…was absolute perfection! It left me speechless. I stayed 6 days/5 nights on the island, but today I want to share a Santorini itinerary for 3 days. 

I believe that 3 days in Santorini is a good amount of time on this picturesque Greek island in the Aegean Sea – known for its stunning sunsets, white-washed buildings adorned with blue domes, and crystal-clear waters.   

I was skeptical if Santorini could actually live up to its hype – the pictures seemed too appealing and Oia just appeared unrealistically gorgeous. But after finally visiting, I don’t think my wildest dreams would have prepared me for how beautiful it is in real life!

 And if you want to find out about the best places to visit and top things to do in Santorini in 3 days, you will find out as I happily share my tips with you.

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If you are here to find out about the best activities if you visit Santorini in 3 days, read on as I will share my tips for your itinerary: what to do and see plus travel tips.


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3 days in Santorini, things to do and see, Arzo Travels

How to Get Around Santorini

Here are my thoughts on the best ways to get around Santorini.

For independence, you will need to rent a (small) car or ATV (quad bike), both of which are pretty popular among visitors. 

If you want to rent a car, then check out this site – it finds the best deal for your rental car in Santorini.

I, however, solely used public transportation and was absolutely fine with it. I used the bus every day. Tickets start from about 2€ and provide excellent value for money. You buy the ticket once you are on the bus. Cash only.

From Santorini Airport, a bus gets you to the main town/village centers (which, in my case, was in Fira). There is a central stop in each village, which means you might have to walk for a few minutes to your accommodation (for me, this was a 5-minute walk). But personally, I would rather walk than worry about finding a parking space.

Besides that, I walked a lot. I spent 5 days in/on Santorini and probably walked around 10-20 kilometers (6-12 miles) each day. If you want to explore Santorini on foot, wear comfy shoes because there is a lot of uphill and downhill walking, and there are some cobblestone streets.

Where to Stay in Santorini

If you’re looking for something luxurious and indulgent, there are several 5-star resorts located on the island with stunning views of the ocean and caldera. Some of these resorts even have access to private beaches, infinity pools, and private hot tubs. 

Oia is quite remarkable, but accommodations here are pretty expensive. For luxury accommodation, Oia is the perfect place to stay. Charisma Suites seems like the perfect choice for anyone who wants to splurge. Check out prices here.

If you are looking for a quieter place, consider staying in Pyrgos. It is a beautiful gem that is getting more popular but is less crowded yet a charming village. Boutique Hotel Anagennisis is a 4-star hotel that seems a good place to stay – a decent boutique hotel that is quite unique. Check out the rates here.

For those looking for something even more affordable, there are plenty of hostels, guesthouses, and apartments located throughout the island. These accommodations offer basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and housekeeping services. 

Fira is the busiest village and it is very easy to get around from there.  If you plan to use public transportation, it is the best place to stay as there are many bus connections. You can find budget hotels in Fira, like the Bedspot Hostel in Fira, which is close to the main bus station and the city center. It is not the cheapest hostel but probably the best. I stayed there and had a good experience, so I suggest booking your stay here if you are on a budget.

Santorini, Arzo Travels


Of course, it really depends on the time of your arrival and on the village you choose to stay in. I stayed in Fira and had 6 days in Santorini. You can use this Santorini itinerary regardless of where you stay, but you might have to tweak it so that it is perfect for you, too.


If you stay in Fira, perfect. If you stay in another village (even Oia), I recommend taking a bus in the morning to Fira and then following this itinerary for the first day. If you arrive during the day, feel free to swap the days.

Hiking From Fira to Oia

This day is dedicated to the most famous hike on the island – from Fira to Oia. The hiking trail from Fira to Oia is under 11 km (6.5 miles) and you will pass several other cute villages before arriving in the most beautiful village of Oia.

These will be the main stops along the way:


The hike took me almost a full day as I stopped many times, had lunch along the way, enjoyed the cute villages I came across, and took trillions of pictures. I walked more than 20 km that day because I did a few detours. However, it could be done in 2-3 hours if you wanted and just rush.

  • Along your hike, you might come across people offering donkey rides. Please, do not support this. You directly support animal abuse. 
  • Security: Santorini felt super safe but I had one very unpleasant encounter. On my hike, a guy who offered donkey rides left his work and followed me for some time. He would not leave me alone until I started screaming loudly. If you are a solo female traveler, be aware! It was after passing the villages and before the uphill hike close to Oia – keep that in mind.

Fira & Firostefan

I started in Fira but it was not the main stop that day. It is best to start the hike here – I got an idea and saw some of the main places of Fira already on this day. With 3 days in Santorini, spend an afternoon/evening here on day 2 or 3. 


Fira, the capital of Santorini, is a picturesque and vibrant town located on the edge of an impressive caldera. With whitewashed buildings stacked atop each other and terracotta roofs dotting the landscape, it’s no wonder Fira has become one of the most popular destinations in Greece.

I loved the stunning views of the volcano and the surrounding islands, while the cobblestone streets are filled with shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Fira is also home to several churches and monasteries, as well as its own Archaeological Museum.

Whether strolling through the cobblestone alleyways or enjoying a sunset view from the edge of the caldera, I truly enjoyed Fira.

However, though I did not spend much time in Fira on my first day, I got a glimpse of the village before continuing my walk to Firostefani.  

Sunsets in Santorini Arzo Travels

Best things to do in Santorini, Greece with Arzo Travels


I did not even really realize I was in another village as Firostefani starts right after Fira.

Firostefani is a charming village located just north of Fira, with picturesque blue-domed churches and traditional white-washed buildings. The village also offers incredible views of the Aegean Sea and the island of Thirasia. While in Firostefani, I explored its many shops, cafes, restaurants, and churches for an hour or so.

The footpaths between the two towns/villages are paved, and it is an easy walk. While this is also a beautiful place, there is not much to do and see, so I recommend not spending too much time here.

I slowly walked towards one of the most beautiful villages on Santorini – Imergovli.


Imergovli is stunning and one of my favorite places in all of Santorini.

It is a picturesque village located on the highest point of Santorini’s caldera. With its traditional white-washed buildings, several churches, and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder why Imerovigli is a must-see on any Santorini itinerary.

Beautiful places in Santorni in 3 days Arzo Travels

Santorini Arzo Travels

Santorini hike, Greece with Arzo Travels

Beautiful places in Santorni alog a hike in 3 days Arzo Travels

Skaros Rock

Imerovigli is home to the famous Skaros Rock, a mountain of cliffs situated between two bays. 

It offers stunning views of the surrounding islands and sea. It’ll give your body some exercise – an invigorating 60-90 minute walk. I admit, I did not do the walk there. I was intrigued but rather wanted to get to Oia and it was too hot to hike to Skaros Rock. So, this is an extra for your Santorini itinerary but probably not a must if you ask me. 

If the rock isn’t appealing to you and you want to save up that energy for something else… Continue your hike to Oia instead!

Hike Fira Oia Arzo Travels

Then I hiked from Fira to Oia and was in for a treat! Sure, it’s not all sunshine – some parts seem a bit dull (that might be an unpopular opinion).

After leaving all the villages and Skaros Rock, it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. But I persevered on my adventure and experienced enchanting villages along the way. 

Hiking in Santorini with Arzo Travels

Hiking From Fira to Oia Arzo Travels


Oia is absolutely breathtaking! This is especially true because I hiked and did not arrive at the bus station – see the prettiest buildings were when I hiked into Oia, in my opinion.


Oia Santorini Arzo Travels

3 days in Santorini with Arzo Travels

Oia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santorini. Located on the northwest tip of the island, it offers breathtaking views of the Caldera with its whitewashed homes and churches dotting the cliffside.

The village is well known for its beautiful sunsets from the edge of the caldera or along its cobbled pathways. Oia also boasts various restaurants, cafes, hotels, and shops.

I took my time to admire its iconic blue-domed churches which have become synonymous with Santorini. With its stunning views and romantic atmosphere, Oia is certainly a must-see for any Santorini itinerary.

For the sunset, I, like most other people, headed to Oia Castle. Unfortunately, this is the place where almost everyone is headed. It gets very crowded and busy. 

If you want to have dinner with an ocean view, you should hurry as the restaurants fill up quickly.

Sunset in Santorini Arzo Travels

Ammoudi Bay in Oia

Ammoudi Bay is a small port located 200 steps below Oia. It is a cool spot for swimming and relaxing on the beach with a stunning view of the Aegean Sea and is popular because of its many seafood restaurants. Though it looks beautiful, I wasn’t the biggest fan for several reasons.

Ammoudi bay Santorini Arzo Travels

Please only go down it if you have the energy to go all steps up again.

You could use donkeys and horses to get up/down. I watched how the people treated their animals. Those animals are being tied up, not able to move in the hot sun unless they carry around (heavy) people. So, by riding donkeys or horses in Santorini, you support animal abuse!

If you are tired and know you cannot walk up and down yourself, skip Ammoudi Bay.

Oia is so picturesque and charming, that I would have loved to explore every nook and cranny! Even though it’s small in size, I could have easily spent hours strolling down cobbled lanes admiring its beauty.

I treated myself to the perfect end-of-day treat in Oia – indulging in some dinner in one of the restaurants but you can also get cozy with your snacks on a bench while taking in the breathtaking sunset!

This is how I define a busy but perfect day in Santorini.


Get ready for another gorgeous day of non-traditional Santorini adventures and visit one of the most charming villages in Santorini.


It is time to explore the beautiful yet very underrated village of Pyrgos, which is inland of Santorini. 

Pyrgos is a gorgeous village I consider another highlight of my 3-day Santorini itinerary. It’s a peaceful spot with a traditional atmosphere. One of the highlights of Pyrgos is its impressive castle, which was built in the 16th century and offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.

I wandered through its narrow cobblestone streets, took in some local culture at the museums and churches, and enjoyed a bite to eat at one of the few restaurants and cafes.

  • Pyrgos is about 5 km from Fira.
  • You can get there by bus or car (or just walking).
  • I took the bus and got dropped off at the “main square,“ and from there, I walked around Pyrgos

What to buy in Pyrgos in Santorini, Greece with Arzo Travels

I explored the few streets and their pretty buildings and if you have to do some souvenir shopping, do it here. It seemed to me, that prices are lower and since they have fewer tourists here, you can support the local shop owners here.

There are not many streets, and if you are a “fast walker,“ you will see everything in an hour. It took me about 1-2 hours, so take your time. Walk every street and take it easy for the day. 

Pyrgos in Santorini, Greece with Arzo Travels

Also, I had lunch here before I went to spend the afternoon at the beach. Which one? Well, you can choose between several.

Perissa Beach

I feel like Santorini isn’t the best place for a beach vacation in Greece. There are definitely better options. But after 1,5 busy days in Santorini, I was happy to find somewhere to relax and maybe even swim in the ocean. 

Fira to Oia Santorini Arzo Travels

This is why I suggest an afternoon at Perissa Beach.

Perissa Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Santorini, located on the southeastern side of the island. It’s known for its crystal clear waters, black beaches, and stunning views of the nearby cliffs.

During the summer months, it’s always packed with locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine, swimming, and soaking up the amazing views.

And though there are better beaches on Greek islands, there are not many black beaches outside of Santorini, so I enjoyed checking out Perissa Beach.

You can rent sunbeds or lay on your own towel, this is a great time to rest and swim. Besides the black beach, you’ll also find many restaurants, bars, and little shops lined up, as well as a big church – just next to the beach. 

Perissa church Santorini Arzo Travels
Church in Perissa


If you have 3 days in Santorini, I suggest doing a volcano tour, which is a popular excursion in Santorini. On this tour, you’ll get to explore some of the island’s most amazing attractions and get a close-up view of its volcanic beauty.

Volcano Tour

I booked a volcano tour at the last minute and then did not receive my confirmation on time, so I was not picked up and I could not join the tour (but the company refunded me without problems). However, if I could turn back the hands of time, I would have booked earlier and made sure I joined a volcano tour.

Some very affordable volcano tours include a cruise to the volcanic islands. Depending on the tour, you can also swim in hot springs and see an active volcano.


For the afternoon, I suggest spending your time in Fira. It is much bigger than Oia and has a town rather than a village feel. 

The main attraction in Fira is the breathtaking views of the caldera, especially from the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral. I loved the spectacular views of the caldera and the volcano from there, as well as watching cruise ships making their way to the island.

It was the perfect spot for an incredible photo opportunity and one of the best places to watch the sunset.

Santorini with Arzo Travels

It does get busy in the afternoons, so do not expect tranquility, but rather a lively and busy atmosphere.  There are several beautiful churches to see and many shops, cute streets, bars, and restaurants.

The prettiest restaurant in Fira is surely Kaliya – though it turned out that the flowers were fake. I still liked the look of it and I could not get enough of the small side streets of Fira.

Beautiful restaurant in Fira Arzo Travels

After all the walking on Santorini, I also went to a fish spa and got a different kind of pedicure. As someone who is scared of fish, I admire my own courage whenever I have a fish spa.

So, what is a fish spa, and why have it in Santorini?

A fish spa is a type of spa treatment where tiny fish nibble away at your feet. This experience has become quite popular in recent years. During the spa treatment, you’ll put your feet into a tank of water and the fish will begin to nibble away at your skin.

This process is said to remove dead skin cells from your feet, leaving them feeling soft and smooth. 

Well, it is not a must-do Santorini activity, but after all the walking and hiking, you surely deserve it.

Fira FIsh Spa Santorini Arzo Travels

The sunset in Fira is, if you ask me, as beautiful as in Oia. I got to watch several sunsets from here, and my favorite spot was at Keti Hotel – away from the crowds.

Once the sun sets and it gets dark, I suggest enjoying night views close to the cable car station in Fira.

Fira Santorini sunset, Greece with Arzo Travels

Fira Santorini at night, Greece with Arzo Travels


Santorini was like a dream come true, and if you do not have the crowds (so avoid the busy summer months), I am sure you will enjoy it, too. I had an amazing time in/at/on Santorini.

In hindsight, I think 3 days is a good amount of time to spend in Santorini. Many people come and see Santorini in a few hours – you can get an idea of what the island is about. However, to see it without the crowds (and without the stress), you should stay three days in Santorini.

You can see some hidden gems like Pyrgos and also do some tours. This Santorini itinerary for 3 days will allow you to see some of the best the island has to offer. 

  • Check out more gorgeous places to visit in Greece.

Stay safe!


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