Santorini is one of the most popular islands globally and a must-visit destination in Greece. There are many things to do in Santorini, from visiting the famous black beaches to admiring the views from Oia and Fira. If you want to see more than one island on your trip to Greece, why not go on a day trip from Santorini. From a day trip to a nearby city to exploring ancient Greek ruins and visiting some of the best beaches in Greece, here are the best day trips from Santorini, Greece.
Heraklion is the largest city in Crete and is perfect for a day trip from Santorini. Crete is located south of Santorini and doable as a day trip if you catch the highspeed Seajets boats which take around 2 hours, 35 minutes. The main attraction of Heraklion is the Palace of Knossos, one of the most famous ruins in Greece. To see the city in a day, buy a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. Knossos is located slightly out of Heraklion, but the hop-on-hop-off bus stops there.
If you have time, visit some of the nearby beaches. Crete has some of the best beaches in Greece. There are also day tours of Crete available where you can take in more of the island and see the cities of Rethymno and Chania. Crete is a vast island, and you’ll only be able to see a snapshot in a day. Why not book a city break to Heraklion and have a base to explore the island or hire a car and go on a road trip across Crete after visiting Santorini!
The Heraklion Port Area
Check out: Tips for road trip with kids
Folegandros is a must-visit island, not far off the coast of Santorini. The rugged volcanic island is hilly and unique from the other Cycladic islands. During peak season, you’ll be able to book a return to Folegandros so you can make a day trip. If not, find a guided tour where you can take in the main sights of Folegandros in one day.
Visit the Greek Orthodox church of Panagia Folegandros, where you can see amazing views across the island. Make sure you pay a visit to Chora, where you can try delicious local delicacies and admire the bougainvillea. Folegandros has some fantastic beaches to explore too. Visit Agios Georgios Beach, Agali and Vardia. Don’t miss the stunning village of Ano Mera, where time has stopped.
The island of Ios is the perfect day trip from Santorini – just 45 minutes by highspeed ferry. As you arrive in Ios, you’ll be greeted with a picturesque beach at the port. If you stay around the port area, you can visit the church and dine in one of the many eateries overlooking the beach. To get to Ios Chora (the capital), either hop on the bus for a short ride or walk up the old donkey trail steps. In Chora, you can climb right to the top for views towards Sikinos Island and across Ios.
Chora has picturesque, Cycladic streets, which are great to get lost in and see where you end up. Myopotos Beach is also well worth a visit. Stay on the same bus from the port (or hop back on it). Myopotos is one of the best beaches in Greece. To see the more wild side of Ios, book a guided tour where you can take in historical sights and see the rolling landscapes.
Myopotos Beach, Ios
Although Mykonos is slightly further away from Santorini than other day trip options, a day trip to Mykonos is one of the most popular day trips from Santorini. Mykonos and Santorini are the most well-known islands in the Cyclades, so why not see both in one trip? Once in Mykonos, the Seabus will take you to the heart of Mykonos Town, where you can explore the winding streets and take in the views from the picturesque Mykonos Windmills and ‘Little Venice’. If you’re lucky, you might even see Pedro the Pelican, the mascot of Mykonos, who can be found wandering around the Cycladic Streets.
Short tours of Mykonos are available to book where you can take in the main sights and be dropped back at the town. You could also arrange a guided day tour from Santorini. Elsewhere in Mykonos, make sure you visit Elia Beach, one of the best beaches in the world, and Kavouraki Beach. If you’re planning a beach day, be prepared to pay. Sunbeds range from 50-150 euro a set.
Little Venice, Mykonos Town
Delos is an uninhabited island full of ancient history that lies just off the coast of Mykonos. Visit the Sacred Precinct, the sacred lake, and the archaeological museum. Boats to Delos run from Mykonos Town Harbour, or you can book yourself on a day trip from Mykonos. Some tours even run from Santorini and take all the stress from planning your trip. You may even get to visit Mykonos as part of the same-day trip.
Amorgos is a stunning island, a world away from the tourist crowds in Santorini. To see Amorgos in one day, book a ferry from Santorini to Katapola. If you book a ferry to Angeli, you can do the trip the other way round. Stroll around Katapola, visit the bakery, and try some fresh seafood in one of the many tavernas. A small boat runs to a nearby beach where you can relax for a few hours with crystal clear waters and soft white sand.
Once back in Katapola, hop on the bus to Chora, the capital of Amorgos – a stunning hillside village. Admire the views and explore the winding Cycladic streets. Make sure you visit the main square where you’ll find a church and plenty of eateries. Hop back on the bus for a long drive (around an hour) to the coastal village of Angeli. Have some beach time or explore the shops before catching a ferry from Angeli to Santorini. A day trip to Amorgos requires careful planning with bus times and ferry times and is best made during high season when there are more ferries and busses.
Approaching Katapola by Ferry
The Beach nearby Katapola and the boat that takes you there
Sylvie is a family travel blogger who tries to travel as much as she can with her daughter both closer to home in Cornwall and further afield. She blogs about her travels at travelswitheden.blog as well as writing in-depth guides to European Cities at europeancitieswithkids.com
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Greece is on my bucket list and I am planning to visit it after travel ban will open. This is very beautifully written. Thanks for helping the travelers like me.