The Cycladic island of Santorini attracts millions of visitors each year. It is exceptionally beautiful, with a unique, volcanic landscape, blue-domed churches, and gleaming white villages.
The beaches are fantastic, providing lots of opportunities for sunbathing, while the sunsets are spectacular and utterly romantic!
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If this is your first time visiting, then you might be wondering what to do in Santorini in 2 days. So we’ve put together this useful guide to help!
Read on to discover the best things to do and see each morning, afternoon, and evening of your visit.
We’ve also recommended a few great places to eat and stay, making sure you get the most out of your wonderful 2 days in Santorini.
On the first day of your weekend in Santorini you’ll hike the popular route from Fira to Oia, visit the island’s breweries and wineries, then relax on the black volcanic sand at Kamari Beach.
There’s a reason that the hike from Fira to Oia is so popular, and that’s because it takes in most of the most stunning beauty spots on the island!
Covering around 9 km, the route passes by everything from pretty white villages to rugged shorelines with crashing waves. You’ll find yourself stopping to take photos almost constantly!
You can, of course, hike the route in reverse if you prefer. But given the fact that it can get very hot – and the route from Fira to Oia is largely downhill – you’ll see why everyone does it this way!
Before you set off, take time to appreciate Fira, Santorini’s capital. A maze of winding, cobbled alleys, gorgeous white-washed houses, and fantastic views of the caldera, it really has to be one of the best spots on the island.
After a hearty breakfast in one of the local cafes, head to the Atlantis Hotel, the official starting point.
Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and have plenty of water. The hike can take up to 5 hours and the path is a mixture of dirt trails and paved roads, with little shade.
Head north to Imerovigli, then continue to walk with the water always to your left (so you know you’re heading in the right direction!).
Enjoy the lofty views from Firostefani and visit the blue-domed Anastasi Church in Imerovigli as you make your way to the best part of the hike – the descent into Oia.
By this time you’ll be more than ready for lunch, so walk the 300 steps that take you down from Oia to Ammoudi Bay.
This tiny fishing port located below the town is home to the Ammoudi Fish Tavern, a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Aegean.
Here you can listen to the lapping of the waves as you tuck into anything from mussels and crab to mackerel and crayfish, all served with locally grown vegetables.
Santorini is famous for its wineries (and don’t worry, you’ll be visiting those later), but first we recommend paying a visit to the Santorini Brewing Company.
This is the only microbrewery on the island and currently makes 5 different craft beers.
It’s free to visit and the owners are happy to show you around. You might even get to enjoy a free taste of their brews!
After that, it’s time to visit the wineries – and for a small island, Santorini has a LOT of them.
You have a couple of options here. If you’d like to see a few wineries, book a tour like this one, which includes 3 different wineries, with tasting.
Alternatively, you might like to spend more time at one location, in which case we’d recommend Santo wines.
This winery has some of the best volcanic views on the island. It sometimes has live music and also offers food.
You can book a tour and learn more about the traditional methods of cultivation that the owners are committed to preserving.
Be sure to check out the Vinsanto – their signature wine – and sample the Mavrotragano and Aidani, other grape varieties local to the island.
There is a shop where you can buy your favorite wine to take home.
To wrap up the afternoon, head to Kamari Beach for a spot of sunbathing.
There are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas, plus lots of shops and tavernas to visit as the sun goes down.
A unique – and fun – way to spend your first evening in Santorini is at the open-air cinema in Kamari Village.
Known as one of the top 10 outdoor cinemas in the world, it can seat around 100 people and serves wine, beer, Greek food, and even cocktails!
Movies are in English, with Greek subtitles. Doors open at 8.30 pm but be sure to arrive early – it’s first come, first served.
On the second of your two days in Santorini you’ll hike to the top of its dormant volcano, take a rest on another magnificent beach, then spend the afternoon at Akrotiri, also known as the ‘Greek Pompeii’.
Visiting the island’s volcano is a ‘must do’ when spending 2 days in Santorini. It’s actually located off-shore on the uninhabited islet of Nea Kameni, which was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1573
It is easily reached by boat from Fira and there are numerous tours to take you there, running all day and into the evening too.
Depending on the one you choose you may even get to feel the exceptionally warm water at the edges of the geothermal points that heat the ocean. It’s quite incredible to note the contrast in temperature!
The relatively easy climb up the volcano’s sides is a memorable experience. The ground beneath you is warm to the touch and you can see smoke rising through the cracks in the rocks.
Once you reach the top, the sweeping views are pretty amazing!
After visiting the volcano, almost all tours will take you to the neighboring island of Palea Kameni. Because of all the volcanic activity underground, the temperature of the water here stays at a constant 86ºF to 95ºF (30°C to 35°C).
The sulfuric, hot spring waters – tinted with orange – bubble up into a shallow cove just off the islet’s coast. Be sure to take a dip and experience them for yourself – they are said to be good for your skin and joints.
After taking a boat back to the mainland, head down to Red Beach, close to Akrotiri. This is a unique beach that you really can’t miss, with red volcanic sands surrounded by high cliffs. Indeed, on arrival you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed on Mars!
It does get pretty crowded, so be prepared to battle for a sunbed. But the warm waters are great for snorkeling and you’ll come away with some excellent photos!
Your final stop this afternoon is at Ancient Akrotiri, Santorini’s most important archaeological site.
Here you can see the bronze age Minoan settlement that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1627 BC. This eruption was one of the largest in the world and created a 100-meter tsunami.
Volcanic ash covered the site until 1860, when it was discovered by workers quarrying for ash to use in the construction of the Suez Canal.
The ash covering the settlement actually helped preserve many of the frescoes and objects.
The site is now covered with a large building, with a walkway around it that allows you to view the ancient remains. It is quite fascinating to see where the inhabitants of the settlement would have been working and living just before the eruption.
Akrotiri also has its own lighthouse, known as ‘Faros’ by the locals.
Although white, it takes on many hues at dusk, making it a popular and beautiful spot to watch the setting sun.
Why not see a different side to Santorini on your final evening and go to watch the fabulous ‘Greek Wedding Show’ from the White Door Theatro company.
Rather than a dry performance on stage, this is described as ‘interactive entertainment’.
It’s all in English and takes place in a courtyard that has been designed to look like a 1940s Greek wedding party.
You – the audience – are the invited guests, entertained for the evening with plenty of singing, dancing, and the smashing of plates!
Unlimited wine is provided and you are invited to participate in the singing and dancing as much as you like!
There is also a finger buffet (although this is quite limited, so be sure to have your main meal before you go).
This popular show is lots of fun and also gives you an interesting little insight into Greek culture.
Are 2 Days In Santorini Enough?
You can see plenty of Santorini’s main attractions in 2 days and get a great overview of what life on the island is like.
Because time is short, we’d strongly recommend renting a car or scooter for your stay. This will give you the freedom to move around the island without relying on public transport.
Do remember that this itinerary for a weekend in Santorini requires two full days.
If you arrive late on your first day – or leave early on your last – then consider adding an extra night to your stay.
Where To Stay In Santorini
Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Santorini, with a suggestion to suit every budget!
Best Budget Accommodation
Costa Marina Villas is a quaint guesthouse located just 200 yards from the central square of Fira.
Despite its central location, it is in a quiet area surrounded by greenery.
Built and furnished in traditional style, the property is within easy walking distance of the bus station.
Each spacious, air-conditioned room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a hairdryer, a fridge, and a kettle.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
The villa complex of Chez Sophie is located just 100 yards from Kamari Beach. Every room has a verandah overlooking either the sea or the mountain and some rooms have hot tubs.
Several tavernas and restaurants are located within easy walking distance, and the complex has its own outdoor swimming pool and bar. A delicious fresh breakfast is served daily.
Best Luxury Accommodation
If you are looking for the ultimate indulgence for your two days in Santorini then book a room at the 5-star Katikies Garden Santorini – The Leading Hotels Of The World.
Located 450 yards from the Archaeological Museum of Thera and close to the central bus station, it has its own on-site restaurant. A choice of either à la carte or American breakfast is offered each morning.
Every air-conditioned room has a terrace, flat-screen TV, mini bar, coffee machine, bathrobes, and an iPod docking station.
Final Thoughts On Two Days In Santorini
Once you’ve spent two days in Santorini you’ll understand why it is one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
Whether you’re looking for delicious traditional cuisine, picture-perfect scenery, or fascinating ancient ruins, you’ll find them on this uniquely beautiful island.
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