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1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

New York City, New...
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1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

Hello,

My wife and I will be coming to Greece for the first time at the end of August/September and I'm planning on going straight to Mykonos for 4 nights, 4 nights Santorini, 5 Nights Milos, 3 nights Athens before returning home.

Do you feel that 4 nights (arrival the first day from Mykonos around 3:00 PM on the Blue Star and departure for Milos at noon on the last day) is enough time to get a good feel for Santorini? Should I try to get in earlier at the expense of an enclosed high speed ferry?

I could leave a day earlier from Mykonos however that would mean only 2 days on that island. I'm curios to see Mykonos for the first time and although we're not in love with the party scene, we're young and not averse to it either for a few days. I've also thought of taking a day away from Milos however due to the ferry schedules that would mean a late arrival almost eliminating the entire day on arrival. Beaches are important and we want to relax on an island that is off the beaten path (at least compared to Mykonos/Santorini).

I'm curious to hear any suggestions from those of you with some more experience.

Thank you

Helsinki, Finland
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1. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

It's a small island and you can cover the main sights in that time, but in all probability you will be left wanting more. Santorini can be highly addictive, although a small minority of visitors are put off by the occasional crowding caused by cruise tourists (which mostly affects Fira village). It depends on what kind of person you are, but I'd say four days will at least give you a fair taste of what Santorini has to offer.

Leeds
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2. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

We stayed for 4 nights last June and felt we had enough time to do what we wanted to do - Ancient Thera, Akrotiri & the walk from Fira to Oia. We have been to Santorini before but haven't done any of those things before and didn't feel rushed in any way.

palm springs
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3. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

4 nights is good for your first visit. You will be able to see everything there is to see, and have plenty of time to gawk at the caldera. Santorini can be hypnotic...so you may not want to leave...but there is always another trip in the future.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

Hey and welcome James V:-) Assuming you'll be landing off the long haul in Athens, great call on heading straight to an isle.. no better place to de-lag and get into zone and saving Athens for your finale with all the walking/climbing this magnificent City requires! While on Mykonos, make sure to get the excursion boat over to the uninhabited isle of Delos.. entire isle is an archaeological marvel;-)

I think you've got a good plan here.. well thought out. and as far as Santorini, 4 nights will certainly give you 3 full days to take a bit of it in;-) Agree with what the good folks here share in that it's hypnotic.. chances are you won't want to leave;-)

FWIW, you are going at about the best time there is.. early Sept doesn't get any better, especially for hitting the beaches with the waters perfect after being sun-kissed all Summer long;-) Have a blast.. and totally EnJOY!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

how about 2 nights in Santorini for someone going there the first time? Would that be enough to see and grasp the whole island?

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6. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

Hi, just got back 2 days ago after 7 weeks abroad which included Santorini.

The Greek part of our trip was originally planned to be: 5n Athens, 5n Santorini, 5n Naxos and 3n Mykonos.

Ended up being 2n Athens, 1n Nafplio (via fast boat to Poros Island then hire car), 2n Athens, 3n Santorini, 2n Ios, 5n Naxos, 3n Mykonos.

Reason being that after 3n on Santorini we had seen every corner of the island (arrived 6am'ish on a Thu and left in arvo on a Sun. This gave us 3 full days plus a morning in effect. We hired a motorbike and zoomed to every corner basically. Even made it to top of the mountain on the bike to some other people's horror.

We enjoyed towns like Ioa and Fira way better early morning and evening after all the cruise ship peeps moved out (no offence to the individuals travelling on cruises - it is just that there are SO MANY people that descend all at once with all these tour guides with their sticks poking up that it totally destroys the ambience of these towns).

Even though we were supposed to stay another 2 nights we took a boat to Ios island instead. BLISS. No cruise ships, no masses descending like ants upon an anthill.

IF we went to Santorini again (sorry Santorini lovers but I agree with whomever once said that if you take away the caldera view all you have is another nice Greek island selling tomato balls) it would be for 2 or 3 nights; whichever option based on arrival and departure timings that would give us basically 2 full days to explore.

Oregon
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7. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

You'd say the same things about Ios if you were there next month when it turns into a 24/7 rave. The reality is that every island has pros and cons.

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8. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

Hi brotherleelove... yep I bet I would! :) The locals were telling us we were in the 'calm before the storm' LOL as 'party central' starts at Ios around 15 June apparently.

We were on Ios in early May which meant that not everything was even open... but enough so that we could hire a car, eat at a variety of restaurants and see the island's charms. One end of the island was still 'shut' perse but we were advised of this and took our own drinks/munchies so it wasn't an issue.

Don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed Santorini - I think perhaps it was like a movie that has been overhyped though for me; the reality was still good but not as great as expected. I have been wanting to get there for over 30 years and so many travel shows and forums always rave about the stunning sunsets, speccy view, and how there is 'nothing in the world like it' that perhaps I had too high expectations for the place. It was lovely but we loved other parts of Greece just as much. :)

Toronto
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9. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

We just left Santorini 2 days ago after 4 days on our first trip there. We both agreed that it was the perfect amount of time. We stayed in Imerovigli which was not busy at all - even though many properties appeared full. The only crowds we saw were in Fira & it was slammed during the day.

Ian

Essex, UK
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10. Re: 1st time in Santorini... are 4 nights enough?

Just got back from Cyclades trip which included 4 nights on Santorini, my third visit (although the first was 33 years ago!).

Still love Oia and stayed 5 minutes walk away which meant reasonable room rates and being able to walk in early morning and after sunset when it was quieter.

Feel though that I won't go back to Santorini again - seems so busy even in early June, Apart from the crowds in the pedestrian areas, the sheer number of quad bikes on the island drove me mad. Then when returning to the peace of the studios, we were buzzed on several days by a small helicopter providing aerial sightseeing trips.

Everyone should go to Santorini at some time, it is so special. But for me, that's it.