The idyllic Greek island of Santorini is packed from shore to shore with sights and experiences, from ancient archaeological sites and active volcanoes to gorgeous beaches and charming tavernas. With two days on the island, seeing as much as possible requires some strategic planning. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours on Santorini.
Day 1: History and Scenery
Morning: Start your day with a trip down to Akrotiri, Santorini’s most important historical site. An ancient town stood here until it was buried during a volcanic eruption in 1613 BC; archaeologists unearthed it in the 1960s. Afterwards, enjoy some beach time at Red Beach, named for its red volcanic sand and rocks.
Afternoon: Break for lunch en route to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. This 18th-century monastery sits on the highest point of the island and looks very much like a fortress, with white, imposing exteriors. Afterwards, stop by one of the local wineries to try some of the island’s local wines.
Night: Watching the sunset over the Aegean Sea is a must-do for any visitor to Santorini, and the best place to do it is in the town of Oia, known for its fantastic views. After nightfall, pop into one of the many quaint local tavernas for a bite to eat before calling it a night.
Day 2: Local Culture and a Volcano Trip
Morning: Spend today really immersing yourself in local culture. Perhaps this means participating in a cooking class, which not only gives you the skills necessary to make Greek food at home, but also allows you to interact with local people while enjoying delicious specialties and local wine for lunch.
Afternoon: Hop aboard a tour boat (or charter a catamaran of your own) and set sail for the Santorini volcano, just off the western coast of the island. Most trips stop at the still-steaming volcano before continuing on to a local hot springs that flows right out into the sea, and some include food and drink.
Night: A good way to wrap up your 2-day trip to the island is by taking in a dinner show at a traditional tavern. You can expect more local specialties as well as plenty of revelry in the form of traditional music and folk dancing.