How to use a few hours in Santorini

Do you have time before taking a ferry or a flight in Santorini? Here’s some ideas of how to use your time while waiting in Santorini.

What to do during a short Santorini stopover

Ways to fill some time in Santorini before a ferry or flight

Are you arriving in Santorini by ferry only to catch another one out again, and have some extra time on the island? For that matter, are you arriving by plane in Santorini, and have some time to fill before taking a ferry from Santorini to another island?

No matter what the reason you might only have a handful of hours to wait in Santorini, it can be awkward knowing how to fill your time.


Sure, it’s easy to just chill out at the Santorini ferry port or airport with a Greek coffee, but you might have that niggling feeling that it is time wasted. 

Santorini Stopover Ideas

Perhaps you should simply take a taxi tour of the island in the time you have. Here’s a recommended one: Sightseeing Ride in Santorini.

It does take care of a lot of things – You get a ride from and to the Santorini ferry port or airport. You have somewhere to put your luggage (in the trunk!), and you can even build aspects of the trip to suit the time you have and what you want to see in Santorini.

Santorini Airport Taxis

Issues you might face when planning what to do with just a few hours in Santorini

Don’t fancy the sightseeing ride or want to go it alone? There’s a few issues you will want to keep in mind so you know what to expect. You’ll need to factor all these considerations in when planning how to spend a short amount of time in Santorini.

Taxis: You should know that Santorini is a small island, and there are only a limited number of taxis. This makes them both expensive and hard to get between the months of May and October. You might be thinking Uber. Think again! There are no private drivers in Santorini or Greece. They are all officially registered taxis drivers. So, while Uber might work, don’t expect it to be quick or cheap.

Buses: All bus journeys start and end in Fira. This means that if you wanted to take a bus from Santorini ferry port to Oia, you would first take a bus from the ferry port to Fira, and then another bus from Fira to Oia. This is very time consuming, which is not what you need if you only have 4 or 5 hours to fill.

Traffic: Just getting out of Santorini ferry port and up to the main road, even in a pre-arranged taxi can take a half hour. After you’ve finished sightseeing in Santorini, you’ll also need to allow a lot more time than you might think to get back to the ferry port or airport.

Tours: Most tours of Santorini are designed to leave at set times. It’s not likely that your layover time in Santorini will coincide with the group tours, so you need to get a private tour or as mentioned the sightseeing Santorini ride.


So, all said and done, if you want to fill in a few hours before a flight or ferry from Santorini, I think a sightseeing ride is the way forward. No, it’s not cheap, but you do get to see a little of Santorini as opposed to spending time waiting in a cafe!


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

Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Greece for the last five years. In addition to this guide on what to do with a short stopover in Santorini, he's written hundreds of Greece travel tips and insights in his guides and blog. He has a somewhat ambitious goal of visiting every Greek island (there's over 200!) and writing about them all.

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