Any trip to Greece is incomplete without Santorini in the itinerary. The cubiform houses painted white, sparkling in the sun and clinging to the cliff above a submerged volcanic crater, overlooking the cerulean Aegean Sea, give the city a magical perspective. However, there are myriad attractions close to the city that you can explore to make a few days spent in Santorini even more productive. Santorini is surrounded by quite a few beautiful towns and cities, all of which can be easily visited on a day trip. Big cities like Athens, picturesque islands like Mykonos, Crete and Anafi, and more such mesmerizing destinations, each with its own uniqueness, beckon to you. Here’s a list of the top day trips from Santorini, Greece.
This quaint little island was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Today it is famous for the wine it produces - Thirassia wine. While you travel to Thirassia by boat from Santorini, you can enjoy a panoramic view, which looks like a painted landscape. The beautiful island seems to be set in a fairytale - small villages, lush green vineyards and a lovely churchyard. The island is so tiny that it can all be explored on foot and the locals may also invite you to share a meal of the delectable Thirassia wine and traditional Greek cuisine with them. You can spend a relaxed day on the beach, sunbathing or swimming.
Thirassia Island Small Group Tour with Lunch from Santorini
Duration: 5 hours
This short trip of the unexplored village Oia and archaeological site Akrotiri is a must if you are in Santorini. The Oia Village is unique, with a multitude of astonishingly beautiful white houses built into the side of the hill, presenting a sharp contrast to the blue sea. It has a Naval Maritime Museum, which celebrates the heroics of sailors and also houses models of ships used in the old times. You can walk to the ancient castle of Agios Nikolaos, which offers spectacular sunset views in the backdrop of the sea. Akrotiri presents the remains of an ancient town, shrouded in mystery. Once a busy city full of life, believed to be the cradle of modern plumbing systems, it was wiped out by a volcanic eruption. Visit the site to see remains of the frescoes preserved under the ash and many artworks from prehistoric times.
Explore Akrotiri and Oia Private Tour
Duration: 4 hours
The Ios or Nio island is a tiny island located between Naxos and Santorini. This small island in the Aegean sea has a number of beaches, some accessible by car, some only by boat. The journey via ferry takes a little over an hour. The beaches on the island have earned a reputation for being eco-friendly. This picture-postcard island is relatively quiet, and presents a charming harbour, with a chapel dating back to the 17th century. The massive historic amphitheatre, Odysseas Elytis, is situated here.
Private Island hopping from Santorini with a Ferretti 62 to Ios island
Duration: 10 hours
Situated in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, Anafi is a small island, as yet untouched by commercialisation and preserves its old-world charm. Not frequented by too many tourists, the island presents a serene ambience. Like its neighbours, it has a steep cliff and a volcanic landscape. It has a single village and hence the whole island can be explored on foot. Located on the east of the island, the Zoodchou Pigis Monastery is a charming shrine constructed in honour of the Virgin Mary. The two things you can enjoy on this island are a hike or camping by the sea. As souvenirs, you can take back a few handmade articles which the locals sell.
It is the largest of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean sea and the most fertile – the cheese and Kitron from the island are extremely popular. The capital of the island has quite a cosmopolitan feel with the mini-markets and stalls. The most popular tourist destination on this island is Portara, a door-like structure constructed in the 6th century BC. You can indulge in some adventure sports here like windsurfing and kitesurfing. The island is also dotted by a few Venetian mansions. A lesser-known highlight of the island is the Kastro Castle, built in the 13th century, which now serves as an archaeological museum.
Bus Tour Around the island
Duration: 8 hours
The capital of Greece can be visited as a day trip from Santorini by air, car, bus and ferry. Athens doesn’t need much of an introduction - it was the epicentre of the great Greek civilization. All the monuments and structures were so well built by the ancient Greeks that structures dating as far back as the 5th century BC are still visible in the city. The most notable ones are the Acropolis, a hilltop temple which is still intact, and the ruins of the magnificent Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom Athena, after whom the city is named. Several museums preserve historic artefacts from ancient times. You could also visit the Ancient Agora and Roman Agora, which served as marketplaces in the 1st century BC, but now only the ruins are left.
Athens: Highlights and Hidden Gems Small Group Tour & Picnic
Duration: 4 hour
The largest island in Greece is also renowned as the birthplace of Lord Zeus from Greek mythology. It has a surprising terrain with beaches and the mountains both adorning it. The tallest of these, Mt Ida, houses the mythical birthplace of Zeus - Ideon Cave. The island is a treasure of artefacts from different periods and ancient civilizations and all of these have been well preserved. There is a small settlement of Knossos, built during the Bronze Age and the capital of the island, Heraklion, has a treasure trove of Minoan artefacts.
Knossos palace & Archaeological museum of Heraklion (Shared Tour)
Duration: 6 hours
Celebrated as the party capital of the Cyclades, the beaches are famous for having DJ nights and exciting parties. It is one of the most visited Aegean islands. There are quite a few restaurants all over town which present the best fine dining experiences in town. You can take a walk through the island, enjoying the streets lined with bougainvilleas on both sides, and the picturesque churches and bustling markets. Windmills dating back to the 16th century can be found here. You can also enjoy an attractive view of Little Venice from this island.
Half-Day Small-Group Guided Tour of Mykonos
Duration: 4 hours
The tiny island offering the most spectacular sunsets of the Cyclades is the best-kept secret of Greece. It is just an hour away from Santorini by boat and will give you a feel of peaceful, old-world charm. The highlights of the island are the lip-smacking delicacies served at the local restaurants and the crystal-blue water at the beaches, which are all dotted with untouched and hidden coves. When you walk through the streets, you will be struck by the tiny white houses with blue doors and decorated with bougainvillea plants. Though there is a bus to take you around the island, it is better to explore the beauty on foot.
Enjoy the sunny weather of Greece and explore the beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea
Santorini is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Greece, but that makes it crowded during peak tourist seasons. In case you feel the need to get away from the constant bustle and be at a more secluded place, you can enjoy the lovely landscapes, authentic Greek cuisine and peaceful time on the beaches of the islands mentioned here. Not just seclusion, you can also enjoy a vibrant nightlife partying in Mykonos if that is what you want. Take your pick and spend a day on any of the exotic islands of the Aegean by hopping on a day trip from Santorini, Greece.
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