Best Day Trips from Santorini – 2024 Santorini Tours Info

A complete guide to the best day trips from Santorini, packed full of cool ideas and useful information! Includes popular Santorini tours like the sunset cruise and volcano trip, as well as how to get to the Greek islands near Santorini such as Crete and Naxos. If you plan to visit Santorini soon, make sure to read this Santorini day trips guide first!

Looking for things to do in Santorini? These Santorini tours ideas are a great place to start!

Santorini Day Trips

If you are staying for more than 2 days in Santorini, you might be interested in taking one or more of the Santorini day tours on offer. This way, you'll get to see the island from a different perspective, and also a little bit more of Greece.

There's a number of Santorini excursions to choose from, including trips to nearby Greek islands, sailing experiences, volcano treks and more. Let's dive right in on what to do in Santorini for a day tour.

Santorini Volcano Tour

The most popular Santorini day trips by far are the volcano boat tours. There's a number available, some of which do vary in what they offer.

The standard package, so to speak, includes a cruise over to the volcano, some time spent walking on the volcano, time at some hot-springs, and then a cruise back to Santorini. Different variations might include a sunset or private yacht.

I've taken the Santorini volcano and hot springs tour, and found it to be quite enjoyable, mainly for the great views of Santorini you can experience from the boat. I've put an option below for the Santorini volcano cruise.

** 1-Day Volcano Boat Tours: Santorini Volcano, Thirassia & Oia Sunset **

Santorini Sunset Cruise

A Santorini sunset cruise is another popular option for people seeking to witness the beautiful Santorini sunset from a different angle. There are half and full day Santorini boat tours available which time their return with the sunset.

Not only do you get that magical moment as the sun slowly disappears, but you also get to spend time sailing around one of the most beautiful islands in Greece! A sunset tour on a luxury catamaran is surely going to be a unique activity you'll remember for a lifetime!

Take a look below, and decide which Santorini sunset boat tour suits you the most.

** Santorini Gems: Sunset Sailing Cruise on a Catamaran **

Santorini Caldera Cruise

The caldera is a stunning feature of the island's landscape, whether enjoying it during a walk from Fira to Oia, or as seen from the sea.

Taking a Santorini caldera cruise lets you see the island from a variety of different angles. It's also a great idea for anyone keen on taking photos and video.

As with a lot of these Santorini boat trips, you can take one which will also include a sunset. There's a number of different caldera cruises available, which you can see below.

** DreamCatcher Sunset Sailing Cruise in the Caldera **

Santorini Sailing Tours

In addition to the cruises already mentioned, there are countless different options for Santorini sailing trips. Some of them circumnavigate the island, others visit remote beaches, and others still head out to the small islands close to Santorini.

Available as group or private tours, a sailing trip is a great choice for people who want a day of fun and relaxation. I've included a few popular Santorini sailing day trips below.

** Santorini Gems: Morning Sailing Cruise on a Catamaran **

** The Santorini Sunset Catamaran Red Cruise **

Santorini Helicopter Tour

A fun way to see the island from the air is on a Santorini helicopter tour. A 20 or 30 minute helicopter flight over Santorini is a great way to view the island from a different perspective, and get some unique photos and video.

Swoop over the caldera, fly above the villages, and check out the beaches below during the flight. A great way to see experience the beauty of this stunning island! More info below.

** Santorini Helicopter Tours **

Day Trips from Santorini to nearby islands

A look at some of the best Santorini excursions, including volcano boat tours, catamaran caldera cruises, and even Santorini helicopter tours!

To be fair, most people normally take a day trip to Santorini from a nearby island than from it. For example, day trips from Crete to Santorini are a lot more popular than the other way around.

The other issue, is that whilst the rest of the Cyclades islands look close to Santorini, the ferry times are not very convenient.

Day trips to Naxos and Paros for example are not really practical for this very reason. Still, it is possible for good planners to arrange independent day trips from Santorini to Folegandros, Sikinos, Anafi, and Ios.

(If you do want to go to Naxos for a couple of days, here's how to get to get the ferry).

Anyone willing to take a private day trip to the Greek islands near Santorini would have better luck, especially if they want to charter their own boats and yachts. Here's a few ideas to get you started.

Santorini Tours to Crete

As mentioned, the day trip is most popular in the reverse direction, and the majority of people would choose to spend a lot longer in Crete than just one day.

The only reason I have included the Santorini to Crete day trip information here, is because a lot of people ask about it!

Still, if you are determined to go ahead come what may, then I can suggest one novel way of attempting it. Take a helicopter transfer! Information about the Santorini to Crete helicopter charter below.

** Round-Trip Helicopter Transfer Between Santorini and Greek Islands **

Santorini to Mykonos Day Trip

Mykonos is another well known Greek island, famous for its party life and jet-set crowd. As a day trip though, is it really worth it?

Perhaps only if you wanted to experience the nightlife without sleeping, and then return in the early hours of the morning!

Seriously though, you can just about make a Santorini to Mykonos Day Trip using the local ferries. You would just need to ask at a travel agent when you are in Santorini for the latest ferry times.

You could also charter a helicopter again, or a yacht. Information on these private charters for the Santorini to Mykonos day trip are below. If you are going to do it, do it right!

** Helicopter Transfer between Mykonos & Santorini **

Santorini to Anafi Day Trip

The small, calm, and very un-touristy island of Anafi is arguably the island that it makes the most sense to visit on Santorini excursions.

As most people concentrate on the ‘big name' islands and tick places off their itinerary though, it gets overlooked. This means it has very few tourists, is unspoiled, and has a touch of the wild side to it.

Of course, Anafi has got all those great aspects you might expect such as sandy beaches and clear warm waters as well!

The ferry from Santorini to Anafi takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, and you arrive in the pretty Anafi port of Agios Nikolaos.

Ferries normally leave Santorini early, meaning you get a full day on the island during a day trip from Santorini. Check local travel agents for ferry times and tickets.

Santorini to Ios Day Trip

Ios developed something of a party reputation in the 90's, something which is is still struggling to shake off to this day.

That's a shame really, because the beaches are some of the best in Greece.

Whilst it certainly appeals more to people of a younger generation, it could be a good choice for people looking for something a little different during a day trip from Santorini.

The ferry journey takes less than an hour from Santorini, but can be relatively expensive when compared to other ferry ticket prices.

Once again, ask for schedules and tickets in Santorini travel agents, but perhaps consider staying a night rather than just a day tour from Santorini.

Santorini to Folegandros Day Trip

Folegandros is mostly visited by Greeks who prefer to stay away from the masses of tourists visiting some of the bigger name islands.

Although it is increasing in popularity, it still retains its beauty. The Chora is regarded as one of the most picturesque in Greece.

The island certainly has an undeveloped feel to it, with many beaches only accessible by boat or down rocky paths. It's also a good destination for hiking.

Folegandros is about 3 hours away from Santorini by ferry. In my opinion, there is enough to do there to warrant at least a one night or two night stay. 

However, if you are limited on time, it is just about possible to take the Santorini to Folegandros day trip using ferries. Ask at travel agents in Fira for schedules and tickets.

Choosing the best time to visit Santorini depends on many factors, such as weather, tourist numbers and hotel prices.

Things to do in Santorini Greece

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Santorini Day Tours

These are some of the questions readers commonly ask when planning which day trips from Santorini island they might like to take:

What islands can you visit from Santorini?

You can visit many of the Cyclades islands of Greece from Santorini, but it is only possible to visit a few of them on a day trip from Santorini that allows both enough time for sightseeing and to return.

Can you do a day trip to Santorini from Mykonos?

It is just about possible to go to Santorini and back on a day trip from Mykonos, but you wouldn't have much time to spend on the island. It would be better to plan to stay at least one night on Santorini to make the trip worthwhile.

How many days should you spend in Santorini?

It's possible to enjoy the main experiences and see the essential highlights of Santorini in 2 full days. Stay a little longer if you think that sounds rushed, but be aware that Santorini doesn't have beaches that are that great if you were looking for beach time.

Which Greek island does day trips to Santorini?

You can make day tours to Santorini from Mykonos, Ios, Paros and Naxos. Keep in mind that depending on the ferry schedule, you may not have much time in Santorini for sightseeing, so the day trip might not be worthwhile.

Where can you go on a day trip from Santorini?

Ideas of day trips from Santorini to other islands include:

  • Ios Island
  • Thirassia Island
  • Nea Kameni
  • Palea Kameni
  • Anafi Island

Santorini Island

However you choose to explore Santorini, you'll find it one of the most amazing places on earth. From red and black beaches to the volcanic hot springs, traditional villages to sunset spots, this beautiful island has something for everyone.

Do you have any other questions about choosing the best tours in Santorini? Do you need any help preparing for your Santorini visit?

Leave a comment below, or send an email over to dave (@) and I'll do my best to answer as quickly as I can!

The best day trips in Santorini, Greece.

Which one is Dave Briggs and which one is the donkey on SchinoussaDave Briggs

Dave is a travel writer living in and writing about Greece. Over the last five years, he's written hundreds of travel blog posts such as this one about day trips from Santorini to help travelers planning their Greek vacations. He hasn't visited every Greek island yet – but rest assured, they are all on his list!

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15 thoughts on “Best Day Trips from Santorini – 2024 Santorini Tours Info”

  1. Hi Dave!
    Your blog is so informative and full of great information. I wonder if you could offer a few suggestions for a 3 month summer trip next year, July, August, Sept.? I know summer is the worst time to travel to Greece with the heat and the crowds but it’s the only time we can get away. I’m looking for sleepy , quiet , less crowded islands where we can rent an AirBb for each month that is on the water, and be able to do day trips if we want to. There are so many choices, I don’t know where to begin. Any direction to start would be appreciated. I have spent the last 3 summers in Croatia do think Greece might be a good alternative.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Jim,

      August is the real problem month as it’s very busy – book that as soon as you can!
      I don’t recommend Airbnb as offering much. You would be better off looking for places through Booking.
      Quiet and sleepy islands in the Cyclades – you could look at Sikinos, Donoussa, and maybe Kimolos.

  2. Hi Dave thanks for this fantastic blog. Im travelling with my husband and 2 kids ages 13 and 16 in July – we will spend some time in Italy then plan on flying from Naples direct to Santorini to avoid having to go through Athens – my daughter is particularly keen on Santorini (i suspect for the insta shots) but many people have told us 6 nights on Santorini is too much – would you agree and if so what would you recommend? In total we are doing 3.5 weeks in italy and greece with only 6-7 nights in greece toward the end of the trip, we dont want to spend it on lengthy ferry trips or to feel like we are rushing around, would just like to see the scenic beaity of Santorini and get in some beach time! Kefalonia looks great but just too inaccessible from Naples and Santorini..I’m also interested in your recomendations for cave accomodation for something a bit different! Thanks in advance, Sue

    • Hi Sue,
      6 nights in Santorini is way too much in my opinion. I’d suggest using 3 nights there max.
      Some people might then suggest going to Mykonos, but I think in your case, Naxos would be the best choice for another island.
      The reason is, that Santorini has below average beaches, but Naxos has some great ones.
      I hope that helps!

    • Hi Judy,
      I’m not sure such a tour exists.
      I know that the ferry takes over three hours, so I’m not sure how viable it would be as a day trip.
      You can check ferry times here to see if you could put something together yourself – Ferryhopper.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Your blog/website is awesome. Thank so much! I have been to Greece but it was many decades ago. I am planning a mother daughter trip with my 18 yearly daughter in July. We arrive in Athens from NY and we are departing Athens 8 days later. My thought is to fly from Athen to Santorini as soon as we arrive, stay there and then head to another island that is different than Santorini, and then finish up in Athens before flying home. We are so excited for it all but I would say we are looking to focus more on the Greek Island life and just do the must seas in Athens. Any suggestions for the second island and for an itinerary in order make the most of our time in Greece?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • Hi Lynn,
      I hope you’re having a great week so far!
      Your mother / daughter trip sounds awesome, and I really hope you enjoy your time in Santorini and the rest of Greece.
      In terms of itineraries, the ‘classic’ itinerary is the Athens – Santorni – Mykonos one. Check out my guide here – Greece 7 day itinerary.
      If you want an (almost overwhelming!!) larger list of itinerary ideas, take a look here – 10 itinerary ideas for Greece.
      My suggestion for you though, would be to have the island of Milos as your third island. The beaches are really nice, and you can do an inceredibly memorable boat tour around the island, as well as a 4WD tour through the interior and to other areas. My guide to Milos is here – Milos Travel Guide.
      BTW – Your though to fly directly to Santorini from Athens on arrival is an excellent one!
      One more thing – Please join our facebook group, as I’m sure the ‘hive mind’ will also love to help with other questions you may have! here’s the group – Real Greek Experiences.

  4. Hi Dave
    My husband and I are planning a trip in June. We want to go To santorini but are planning on seeing Italy as well so we have to split our time accordingly. We will be in santorini 3 full days. I would like to spend time relaxing near warm clear water. Is santorini the place for this? I keep reading the beaches aren’t great but I’m not sure if that just means not great because they don’t have the typical white sand. Is there a day trip you’d suggest? Thanks! Your info is so helpful!

    • Hi Ashley,
      In June the waters will be warm enough to swim.
      I would say that the beaches aren’t the best when compared to other islands though.
      My reasons would be to do with the sane, but also the amount of people and general feel of them.
      I would suggest a sailing day trip that offers plenty of swimming stops perhaps!
      You might also be interested in a more recent guide I just published – 3 days in Santorini.

    • My husband and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in Santorini in July. Where do you suggest a special meal at a restaurant near our hotel in Fira? We have a boat tour planned our first full day. Any suggestions for the next day? We are not beach goers, but don’t want to seeing the beautiful sites Santorini has to offer. Thanks!

      • Hi Julie,
        If you are looking for good food, a restaurant in Santorini that is recommended by pretty much everyone, is Metaxi mas in Exo Gonia, a short taxi ride from Fira. It might lack the ambience of restaurants overlooking the caldera, but the food is great. Or you can try Oinomageiremata Nikolas, one of the oldest restaurants in town. For something with more of an ambience, Argo has great reviews, but I haven’t been there myself.
        I guess you are visiting the volcano on your boat tour? If you are going in the afternoon, bring plenty of sunscreen! For the next day, if you like wine, you could go on one of the wine tours, and you definitely shouldn’t miss the archaeological site of Akrotiri – you can visit both the site and the wineries in the same day. If your hotel has a caldera view, make sure you spend some time on your balcony, watching the sunset. Enjoy your time!

  5. Hi Dave! You have a well thought out and in-depth blog that is realistic, resourceful and help. Congrats! I scoured your blog and have put together a itinerary for travels to Italy and Greece this June. The stops include, Rome, Positiano, Bari, Athens, Santorini and I’d like one more island to visit (Crete, Ikaria, Navagio Beach or Lefkada). I haven’t quite figured out proximity from Bari to Greece or what the first stop from Bari (by ferry assuming) makes more sense. Would you be able to provide detail on which ferry or transportation mode from Italy would work best to Greece and the islands? Thanks!

    • Hi Rene,
      Glad you have found the blog useful so far!
      I’m not sure what ferry company would be the best, but I would suggest getting a ferry to either Igoumenitsa, Patras, or Piraeus (if possible) in Greece.
      I did hear that Bari-Patras is operated by Anek Superfast – so a place to start looking.
      The city of Brindisi in Italy also has many options to choose from.
      You might find that catching a flight into Athens sets you up better and saves some time. Check out the budget airlines such as Ryanair.
      For your extra island – Ikaria is a very interesting choice and I’d love to hear how you get on there!
      For beaches, Lefkada has some very nice ones.

    • Thank you Dave!! I saw pics of Ikaria on Instagram but not much further research on how to get there. Crete seems to be the easier island to visit. I saw day trips from Santorini. I have more research to do and look forward to finalize the trip this week.


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