Hello my friends! In this article, I will share my experience of traveling to Santorini in 2 days. I will write down all the things you need to know and prepare before going to Santorini that including: Which area you should stay in Santorini? Where to go and play? How to getting around?… And some pocket tips I had for 2 days of exploring on the island of Santorini. So, what to do in Santorini in 2 days on the paradise island of Greece? Let’s check it out our suggested Santorini itinerary 2 days on how to spend 2 days in Santorini (2 days itinerary in Santorini Greece, Santorini travel itinerary 2 days, Santorini budget itinerary) on a budget to find out the answer!
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Santorini blog: Santorini overview
Santorini Island is a small island with an area only 73km² in the southern Aegean Sea, located 200km from the Southeast of Greece and is the remnant of a crater. This paradise island is famous for its colors of WHITE and BLUE and is also the color of the national flag of Greece.
Santorini Island looks like a C-shape with Nea Kameni volcano in center, divided into 4 areas: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. In which, Oia village at the top of the letter C, also is the most beautiful spot sunset.
The best time to visit Santorini is from June to September. This is the peak tourist season, so the hotels in Santorini will be very quickly run out of room, so you should book early at least 2 months in advance.
In addition, you can go in the end of April, May or October which is the mid tourist season, less tourists but the weather is still nice and less cold. In my opinion, visit in June is the most beautiful. The weather is not cold during the day, and tourists are not too crowded as in July.
Santorini itinerary 2 days: How to get to Santorini island?
To get to Santorini Island there are 2 ways: By sea and by air
From Athens you can take a ferry to Santorini
Some ferry companies such as Blue Star Ferries, SeaJets, Hellenic Seaways. You can check the ferry ticket price and departure time at the Letsferry website.
There are 2 types of ferry: Slow ferry Blue Star Ferries (duration: 8 hours) and fast ferry SeaJets (duration: 5 hours).
From Athens you can flying to Santorini in 45 minutes by some airlines such as RyanAir, Olympic Air, Aegean Air ….
In addition, you can fly directly from some major cities in Europe to Santorini such as from Venice (I fly from Venice by Volotea Air), Rome, Milan …
2 days in Santorini (2 days itinerary in Santorini Greece): Where to stay in Santorini?
Well! This is a question that I had to search very carefully before coming to Santorini. Most visitors talk about staying in Oia or in Fira for its center location. However, the problem is that Oia is too expensive because it has the most beautiful view, and Fira village located in the center that convenient for playing and not having nice views. But coming to Santorini is because of its beautiful view (to check-in and take virtual living photos, haha) and going to watch the sunset is the main purpose rather than playing and exploring is just a side.
So, where to stay when traveling to Santorini to have a beautiful view without having to spend too much money for hotels/guesthouses?! I have compiled a lot of experience from the people living in Santorini and will answer this question below.
Almost visitors traveling to Santorini will stay in hotels or guesthouses in the following areas: Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostafani villages. These are the most beautiful and convenient areas on Santorini Island due to its location lying along the western cliff of the island, overlooking the Nea Kameni volcano.
Oia and Imerovigli are the areas with the most beautiful view and also the most romantic places on Santorini Island. In addition, in Imerovigli also has the famous and highest rated restaurants in Santorini. And of course, here are 2 places with the highest room rates in Santorini.
The room rates in Oia with the cheapest sea view is about $300, the rest is almost $400 or more. Airbnb in Oia, renting a whole separate apartment, is about $220 – $350 close to the cliffs overlooking the sea, extremely beautiful view even cheaper than the hotel. However, Airbnb will run out of room very soon. Sometimes you have to book half a year in advance to have a nice room but depend your lucky.
I highly recommend: Residence Suites (Agoda.com or Booking.com) or Finesse Suites (Agoda.com or Booking.com) (private house, located on the main road in Oia, USD300/night/2 persons), Manos Small World Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com).
If you come to Santorini to watch the sunset, Oia and Imerovigli are the two most ideal places. While Oia is the most beautiful but also the most crowded place, in Imerovigli you can leisurely lean on the couch to sip a glass of wine and relax to watch the sunrise. No need to worry about finding a beautiful spot to watch the sunset like in Oia.
If you stay more than 1 night in Santorini, I recommend the first night you should stay in Oia to watch the sunset, and the second night, stay in the hotel in Imerovigli to watch the sunset with a completely relaxing calm space and still beautiful view as the same as Oia. Imerovigli is also an ideal place for couples who want a romantic space.
Hotel room rates in Imerovigli (Agoda.com or Booking.com) are slightly cheaper than Oia. From about $100 – $300 for a night in the hotel next to the cliff overlooking the Nea Kameni volcano and/or with the view to Oia village. The more expensive the more beautiful view :P. For Airbnb in Imerovigli, the price for a private apartment ranges from $100 – $250/night. As I observed, looking for, any apartment with the rented price from $130 and more has extremely beautiful view including Nea Kameni volcano and sunset view of Oia village.
For those who are love shopping, clubbing and night activities, Fira Village (Agoda.com or Booking.com) is your ideal place. However, in Fira the view is still considered acceptable but cannot be compared to Oia and Imerovigli. And even some hotels/guesthouses do not have beautiful views towards Nea Kameni volcano or sunset view. So the room rates here are much cheaper than in Oia and Imerovigli.
For those who travel on a budget, Firostefani (Agoda.com or Booking.com) is an area has the cheapest hotel room rates. The hotel price in Firostafani is the cheapest compares to the above areas and still has views towards the volcano. Firostafani is only a 10-minute walk from the central village of Fira and it is not as crowded and noisy as in Fira.
Kamari is an areas with the most beautiful beaches in Santorini for those who enjoy swimming and sun bathing. However, you will not have a volcano view or beautiful sunset view. Moreover, as a resident of Santorini said, it is not advisable to go to Santorini just because of the beach here. It doesn’t have long white sand beaches with clear blue water.
So, which hotel I stayed?
Haha, I wonder if you can guess it after reading “Where to stay in Santorini” or not? I decided to rent an Airbnb apartment in Imerovigli after searching and summarizing the above experience.
It must be said that I was extremely lucky when booked this beautiful apartment with beautiful views just 6 weeks before the departure date to Europe for only $167/night for 2 people. Too bargain! When I was searching, most of the beautiful apartments were fully booked until the end of the summer, fortunately this apartment was available one night right on the day I went to Santorini. Right now, when I was checking the apartment I rented, it was run out of room until June 2021.
My Airbnb apartment is located in the heart of Imerovigli with lots of famous and romantic restaurants around. The apartment is located right on the cliff overlooking the Nea Kameni volcano and facing the right side is the Oia village, so you can watch the beautiful sunset.
In addition, the apartment is only a 3-minute walk from the bus station, so it is quite convenient to travel from Imerovigli to Oia or Fira village. You can also walk from Imerovigli to Fira village in about 15-20 minutes, this is the path with the most beautiful and romantic view of Santorini. Do not miss it!
From the airport, I took a bus to the village of Fira, at the bus station Fira, you take the bus to Oia village and tell the assistant driver to get off at Imerovigli bus stop. You do not have to worry because there will be a lot of tourists get off at this point, Imerovigli has only 1 bus stop and the assistant driver will shout the next stop to ask if any guests want to get off.
From Imerovigli to Oia by bus is also very fast (15-20 minutes). Imerovigli is located between Fira and Oia villages with beautiful views comparable to Oia and the price is much cheaper.
2 days in Santorini itinerary: Getting around Santorini
When traveling in Santorini, you can travel around the island by means of transportation such as: bus, ATV rental, motorbike rental (scooters) or car rental. Also you can take a taxi with a high price.
There is a minus point that buses in Santorini are quite disorder and not organized. I feel it looks like riding bus in Vietnam. And because the bus is very crowded, guests will be crammed, so passengers customers must stand along the aisle between two rows of seats. Bus ticket price: €1.80/person.
>> Check the timetable of bus here.
But as I observed, the bus here is not really punctual. And you should ask if the bus goes to point A or point B or not because there are no signs on the bus. Even, I found the bus driver assistant here is a bit rude.
Well, there is an interesting thing in common that the bus here is very often forced to stop on the road by the police because it often carries too many allowed-passengers. Same as the bus in Vietnam! On a bus from Oia back to Imerovigli, after watching the sunset, my bus, which was carrying too many people, was caught by the police and forced to pay a fine then release. Some buses departed before and they turned off the lights just in time and the police could not see the number of people on the bus, so they passed through the police station without problem, LOL.
The road from the airport to Fira or from Fira to Imerovigli is not too dangerous. But the road from Imerovigli to Oia is … oh my god … one side is a vertical cliff, but the road is small and winding like the Hai Van pass in Vietnam, zigzag with many bends. The bus was overcrowded with tourists and run very fast. No different in Fast and Furious movie, I want to lose heart out. So even though the scene is beautiful, the fear also accounts for more than half of the emotion, LOL.
In general, the bus is only suitable for young people. But if you go with a large family, or have children or the elderly, I recommend choosing the second option below.
The second option to travel around Santorini island is to rent a motorbike, an ATV or a car. I see a large number of rental shops in Fira, Oia, Imerovigli… generally throughout the island. So, you don’t have to worry about finding it at all.
Scooters rental price ranges from €15 – €35/day depending on type. I see they have all kinds of means such as PIAGGIO, Vespa, Liberty, Honda SH, Honda Vision… ATV rental from €18 – €38/day depending on type. And renting a private car is from €30- €80 depending on the type (for example if you want to a luxury Mini Cooper, the rental price ranges €60 – €80/day, carrying 4 people).
Note: When renting a means in Santorini you have to an INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE. In fact, some rental shops will rent it out if you deposit your passport or credit card. However, if anything happens, you will be in trouble with the traffic police here. And in particular, your insurance (included when you rent a means) will no longer take effect because you were driving illegal. Therefore, you will have to pay for all the costs of damage to the car you rent. Oh, only God knows how much this cost will up!
You should remember you are staying in a foreign country, and do not fully understand the rules and laws of this country. So “Dont be a may be” when you travel abroad. Safety first!
Alternatively, you can rent a private car for transfer or pick up/drop off at the airport provided by the hotel or Airbnb. Just ask them to book for you. On the last day in Santorini, I asked the Airbnb owner to book a private car to get to the airport for €25 from Imerovigli. OMG! The driver dressed politely as an officer, and he drove the black Mercedes. Wow, the two of us kept gazing at each other excitedly.
Santorini itinerary 2 days: What to do in Santorini in 2 days?
If you have only 2 days and 1 night in Santorini, you can follow my Santorini itinerary 2 days to enjoy the beauty of Santorini without being rushed.
At 8am after landing at Santorini airport, I took a bus to Imerovigli. Around 9:30 AM, Yannis – the assistant of Airbnb that I rented was waiting at the bus stop to pick me up to the apartment and bring my luggage to the storage room. The check-in time at 2 PM.
Yannis also guided to us where to go, restaurants to try and what to do in 2 days and 1 night here.
Hiking trail next to the cliffs from Imerovigli to Oia (15 – 20 minutes).
Yannis said that this is the road with the best view in Santorini you definitely must go through. Just hiking along this road with one side of the cliff overlooking the sea and the volcano Nea Kameni. On this way, you will pass many hotels, pure white apartments decorated in Santorini style. There are also souvenir shops, local brands, Post office …