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It indeed is a challenge to see all of Santorini in just 3 days. But here is an Itinerary that tries to cover as much as possible. When you have so little time in hand choosing the right location to stay, is the most crucial of all decisions. Here is a bit of an explanation on areas of Santorini to help you pick a location that works for you the best.
Santorini is a surreal, gorgeous and charming island which has 3 Major parts:
1: FIRA- very touristy as most visitors prefer staying here. Fira is the largest and by far the busiest part on the island. It is made up of alleys and streets filled with hundreds of tightly packed shops; selling jewellery, clothes, artwork, ceramics, souvenirs, ice-creams and what not. It is the party place of Santorini and people who want lot of action and a busy night-life should look to Fira.
2: IMEROVIGLI- 2kms to the north of Fira and just 10 minutes from Fira. Imerovigli is a beautiful and quiet village. The area has many hotels and typical houses. There are also some nice taverns. It faces the volcano and offers an incredible view of the sunset. Imerovigli has many cobbled streets and blue or white- washed stairs. The village is full of gorgeous houses in blue, white, a dash of cream, yellow and ochre. Its lovely just walking around and letting all the sights sink.
3: OIA- is about 11kms from FIRA. To me Oia is the most beautiful of all the villages that I have seen not only in santorini but all of Greece. Oia is situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular view over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Oia is a traditional village with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas, red flowers, 2 gorgeous windmills and plenty of tourist shops, taverns, cafés etc. Oia also has a small port, Ammoudi, reached by a set of 300 steps leading down. There, small boats can take you opposite, to the island of Thirassia.
ITINERARY for Exploring SANTORINI IN 3 DAYS:
Things to Do- DAY1: Assuming you reach early morning. Check into Hotel & rest a bit, have your breakfast and leave to explore Santorini. Start with IMEROVIGLI. The best way to explore Imerovigli is parking the car at the car park and walking up the cliff. Imerovigli is a typical Santorini village. The area has many hotels and typical houses looking at the volcano and the blue ocean. The village offers an incredible view of the sunset.. There are also some nice taverns There are many cobbled streets and blue or white- washed stairs. The village is full of gorgeous houses in blue, white with just a dash of cream, yellow and ochre. Its lovely just walking around and letting all the sights sink. One can easily spend atleast 2 hours exploring and capturing the sights on lens. Following this choose from one of the many nice cafe/ taverns and have lunch. A must have after lunch is VINSANTO! Its a famous Santorini sweet wine/ liquor and a speciality of Santorini.
THE AFTERNOONS are really hot and everything shuts down, so It is recommended that one reaches back to the hotel and rests or naps for a couple of hours. Plus its Day1 and its better to take it slowly, as the famous Greek saying goes “SIGA, SIGA!”
START YOUR EVENING EARLY by 5:00 p.m. Whether staying at Oia or not- The sunset here is the most gorgeous in the world. So reach Oia by 5:00 p.m. and block the right space for a great view. People really come early and crowd the streets. You can park your car/ bike at The Liyoyerma Car Park- read the sign Kyklos. Now if you reach at 5:00 you can either walk to Ammoundi Bay and watch the sunset from a tavenra or explore Oia by foot and observe one of most beautiful sunsets ever. The sun generally sets by 7:00. You can sit at one of the many walls/ cafes or restaurants at Oia for a gorgeous sunset. Golden sunset villa has a cafe from where you can watch a great sunset. Marizan Caves and Villas too strongly recommended for the most wonderful sunset view. Oia has many restaurants and a dinner here on DAY1 is highly recommended.
Things to Do- DAY2: Start by 10:00 am. Start with PYRGOS VILLAGE. Its very different from the other Santorini Villages. Must see the Kastro when in Pyrgos. 45 minutes is good enough to get a good feel of Pyrgos. From Pyrgos proceed to the MONASTERY OF PROFITIS ILLIAS. From the Monastery go to Meglochori Village and Explore one of the many wineries and take a winery tour.
Next, Head out to the gorgeous Perissa beach. The beach has loads of cobbled stones and almost greyish black sand. There are many taverns and you can spend a couple of hours working on a great tan, swimming or eating and sipping drinks! If Perissa is not of that much appeal to one then one can further go to VLYCHADA VILLAGE- full of some of the best and cheapest tavernas. One can explore the village and have lunch here. Post lunch afternoon nap is a must- at the beach or the hotel. One can spend the rest of the afternoon at Akrotiri- THE RED BEACH.
LEAVE FOR SUNSET AND AN ACTION PACKED NIGHT AT FIRA. More about Clubs:
General Closing Hours for clubs and bars:
Cafes: Between 1.00 & 2.00 a.m
Bars: Between 2.30 & 3.00 a.m.
Clubs: Friday & Saturday - all year round until till the early hours of the morning. Low Season: weekdays 3.00 a.m. High Season - Weekdays 5.30 a.m.
Beach Cafes: Between 1.00 & 2.00 a.m
Beach Bars: Beach Bars fall into 2 categories - 'day club scene' beach bars such as Wet Stories or Chilli Beach Bar close around 9.00 p.m. but this is not engraved in stone.
Evening Beach Bars: (Ethnic, Hook Bar, Mango) stay open until the early hours of the morning.
SOME OF FIRA CLUBS:
• Casablanca Soul- FIRA-24008- Club / Alternative
• Koo Club-FIRA,22025-Pumping Main Stream
• Mamounia Club- FIRA,(+30) 694 541 7871-Greek / Main Stream
• Tithora Club-FIRA, 23519-Rock
• Town Club-FIRA,23675-Greek / Main Stream
• Enigma Club-FIRA,22466-Pumping Main Stream
• Club 33-FIRA,23065-Greek
Things to Do- DAY3: TAKE A DAY CRUISE TO THE NEA KAMENI AND PALEA KAMENI AND THIRRASIA VILLAGE.
There are many boat cruises available. Read TA reviews and ask from destination experts for guidance and book for a day cruise. The cruise takes you to the VOLCANIC ISLANDS of Palea and Nea Kameni and you have to trek a bit to reach the summit. Its totally worth the experience. Do not expect a volcano, all you will get is some sulphuric fumes and really hot steam but the views from the top are totally amazing. Post the volcanic islands the boat generally stops at the warm sulphuric areas and you can dive into the gorgeous Aegean sea and swim for a bit. Post this you will be taken by the boat to THE VILLAGE OF THIRRASIA, explore the village and have lunch there. By late afternoon you will be brought back to Santorini.
YOU CAN REST THE AFTERNOON IN YOUR HOTEL OR JUST ENJOY AND RELAX AT THE KAMARI BEACH.
FOR THE LAST EVENING go back to that part of Santorini that you have loved most and spend the sunset followed by dinner at a place that will make you remember Santorini forever!!