How to Spend 48 Hours in Santorini

Sunset in Imerovigli | © Randy Connolly / Flickr
Sunset in Imerovigli | © Randy Connolly / Flickr

Can you spend 48 hours in Santorini and truly experience it? Of course, you can. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend away, or simply cannot squeeze in any more days for your island-hopping trip, with smart planning, you can see and taste the beauty of Santorini in under three days. Here is how to spend 48 hours on this picturesque island.

Day 1

10:00 AM

After settling in your hotel and renting your vehicle, head to Ancient Akrotiri, one of the most important archaeological sites on the island. A massive volcanic eruption destroyed the city of Akrotiri, covering it with a layer of ash in 1627 BC. Discovered by chance in the middle of the 19th century, excavations took place in 1967, which unearthed pottery and precious artefacts but no human remains. Visit the site and take a look at what life might have been like centuries before.

12:30 PM

It’s time to grab some lunch. A great option close by is the taverna Spilia tou Nikola (The Cave of Nikolas), where you can enjoy delicious moussaka and fresh fish. The taverna even has a balcony on the sea, offering stunning views over the water.

Spilia tou Nikola, Akrotiri Beach, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 082303

1:30 PM

After your meal, you may need to relax a bit. Why not lie down on the Red Beach, close to Akrotiri. The beach, with its red volcanic sand, is perfect for a quick (or long) swim. While it can get crowded during high season, it is definitely worth a visit, as the setting is quite spectacular.

Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

3:00 PM

Now that you have had some rest, climb the Profitis Ilias mountain and visit the monastery of the same name, dating from the 18th century. The monastery is home to an important collection of books and manuscripts of the ancient times. To get there, head to Pyrgos, a beautiful little village. Once you are there, enjoy the panoramic views over the island.

Profitis Ilias, Santorini, Greece

5:00 PM

Now it is time for you to taste some Santorini wines. Argyros Estate, in Episkopi, produces quality Santorini white wines. Try the Assyrtiko, made from the local grape variety, along with the Aidani and the Vinsanto, which are both equally good.

Argyros Estate, Episkopi Gonias, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 031489

7:00 PM

After a full day of sightseeing, you must, undoubtedly, be famished. For a taste of Santorinian cuisine, Metaxi Mas in Exo Gonia is a must-try. With a focus on Cretan and Santorinian food, the taverna serves delicious recipes made with fresh ingredients.

Metaxi Mas, Exo Gonia, Santorini, Greece, + 30 22860 31323

9:00 PM

End the day in Fira, the main town, and because it’s your first day in Santorini, be sure to have a nightcap with a view over the caldera. For a beautiful vista, head to PK Cocktail Bar, where you can sip a selection of unique cocktails while enjoying the scenery.

PK Cocktail Bar, Ipapantis, Fira, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 022430

Day 2

11:00 AM

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, head to the old port of Fira for a half-day boat trip to visit the volcano and its hot springs. This outing is your chance to see Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni, two islands formed by volcanic eruptions.

2:00 PM

After this refreshing boat trip, you might want to grab a bite to eat. For a tasty meal, head to Kapari, a taverna known for its traditional cuisine. Recommended dishes include the roast lamb and the grilled octopus.

Kapari, 25is Martiou, Fira, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 027086

3:00 PM

Now that you have some sustenance, why not hike your way from Fira to Oia? This three-hour hike is easily manageable, taking you through small villages and rewarding you with stunning views over the caldera. Just make sure to bring some water and sunblock with you.

6:30-7:00 PM

Now that you’ve reached Oia, head straight to Sun Spirit, a cute little bar in an excellent location for taking in breathtaking sunset views. You can book a table in advance, or you can just sit at the bar. The bartender is very friendly, and you still get to enjoy the show.

Sun Spirit, Oia, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 071655

8:00 PM

After the sunset, wander around the streets of this picture-perfect town. You will quickly see why Oia is considered one of the jewels of Santorini. For dinner, drop by Karma restaurant. While it doesn’t have a caldera view, the little restaurant does have a lovely courtyard and a menu with delicious options.

Karma, Oia, Santorini, Greece, +30 2286 071404