A convenient travel guide featuring the best day tours on Santorini island.
Santorini is one of the best vacation destinations in Greece for good reason. This stunning little island has such a large number of fascinating tourist attractions, that it is honestly hard to ignore as a traveler.
You can find everything in Santorini, from rich historical sights such as the magnificent Akrotiri and the Castle of Oia to those held in high religious regard like the Virgin Mary Catholic Church or Panagia Platsani Church. It boasts some of the most incredible honeymoon accommodation options in the world and millions of people visit yearly to take in the incredible Caldera views.
One of the aspects of Santorini which is most admirable is the fact that the island has held onto its traditions. This makes for interesting exploration, and there are plenty of fun-packed activities and unique experiences to have during your visit.
In this special guide, I have included only the best day trips and tours on the island of Santorini. So buckle up, and get ready to be inspired before your journey to this impressive little Greek island.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
Our Top Three Picks for The Best Santorini Day Tours
In a rush? Want the top 3 unmissable activities that you can book from Santorini in advance? Here they are.
Sail around Santorini's caldera, hike the volcano (optional), and stop at some epic islands for swimming, exploring, and enjoying the hot springs (Thirassia)
Are you looking for an adventurous tour that is worth the arm workout? Look no further than the Santorini Sea Kayaking tour. With spectacular views and a picnic to fill you up this one shouldn't be missed.
If sipping wine and enjoying spectacular views is your kind of thing then the Wine Tasking Tour should be on your list. With 3 wine estates to be visited, you will be sure to have an exceptional day. The best part is you don't need to drive!
10 Best Santorini Day Tours That You Should Book Today
From incredible boat cruises that visit the volcano to wine tasting whilst experiencing amazing views, Santorini offers a range of tours that will leave everyone smiling.
Here are 10 tours worth booking on your next visit to Santorini.
If you are a traveler with adventure in your heart, I would say that the Volcanic Islands Cruise is truly unmissable while in Santorini. This marvelous tour includes a local tour guide, who details every step of the way around the different volcanos present on the island.
As you set sail on your boat ride from the main port at Santorini, you will enjoy both full live commentary and sightseeing until you arrive at the tiny, inhabited island of Nea Kameni, which is home to an active volcano.
Once you arrive at Nea Kameni, it is time to journey to the top of the island's volcano, known as Tholos Naftilos. This is one of Santorini's most iconic attractions, and it is seen as the most spectacular place to visit on the whole island of Nea Kameni!
It is worth mentioning that this volcano is still active. However, the good news is that it hasn't had any volcanic activity in over 70 years, so it is deemed safe.
The hike to the top will typically take slightly less than one hour. This gives you more than enough time to appreciate what the volcano has to offer before you continue the cruise.
The next destinations are Palea Kameni and Therasia which both have exceptional characteristics for a memorable vacation.
Palea Kameni is home to its own natural hot springs which are great for soaking in and relaxing. Therasia features a mountain known as Profitis Ilias Mountain, which offers breathtaking views of the nearby islands.
If you are searching for anything volcano related in Santorini, I would highly recommend going on the Volcanic Islands Cruise!
Santorini is well-known for its dreamy sunsets, and one of the best ways of experiencing them on the island is by taking up a sunset cruise.
This luxury boat tour includes more than enough to indulge the senses, and this goes beyond the fact that local wines and fresh Greek barbeque are served onboard.
The first two stops of this unique Catamaran cruise include two beaches, which are Santorini's famous Red Beach and White Beach.
Red Beach is particularly more significant out of the two, especially considering the fact it is one of few volcanic beaches on the entire island. This has made it one of the most popular places to visit among tourists visiting Santorini as a whole.
After spending your time indulging in food and enjoying what Santorini beach life has to offer, it is time to journey to the final few stops of the boat trip.
The next two stops are both the hot springs and the volcano of Santorini. If you hike to the top of the volcano, you can expect spectacular panoramic views of Santorini which will truly take your breath away, leaving you speechless.
After appreciating a good sunset below the village of Oia, this sunset luxury cruise ends at the cute fishing port of Ammoudi Bay.
Doesn't this sound exciting?
Another ideal cruise option in Santorini is the Premium Catamaran Cruise. This special cruise features a 5-hour boat ride and private tour, allowing you to see everything that the island has to offer in the greatest way possible.
There are multiple reasons why I think this cruise concept is a great idea, and that goes beyond the fact that it offers some terrific barbeque and drinks. This private Santorini boat tour actually offers hotel pickup, which means you can simply wait in your hotel lobby or room until your lift it arrives!
In addition to this, you can swim and snorkel close to the boat all while knowing your safety is in mind.
What else does this premium cruise have to offer?
Well, you can enjoy both Santorini's Red Beach and White Beach before cherishing an evening sunset at Oia Village.
Sounds like a pretty perfect day to me!
Are you a fan of wine tasting?
If so, this must be your lucky day, and this wine-tasting tour is going to please all of your senses!
What is particularly fascinating about this guided wine tour is that it includes multiple visits to different wineries on the island. This certainly creates some contrast, and I would say that it creates a perfectly, well-rounded tour when it comes to wine tasting as a whole.
This tour offers 12 glasses of wine per person from three separate wineries in Santorini. For this reason, you know you are bound to taste something new for your senses.
Local wines are served with even the possibility of sipping on some volcanic wine if it is something you are curious about.
One thing is for sure, you are in for a great time if you love wine!
Although horse riding is a relatively popular activity on Santorini, this horse riding trip definitely stands out from the crowd.
This is particularly because the tour includes a horse riding expert to guide you every hoof of the way.
When beginning this tour, you will journey towards Vlichada Beach, which is one of Santorini's gorgeous black sand beaches. During the trip, your expert guide will teach you the ideal way to ride the horse, making it both a secure and exhilarating experience for those involved.
And that isn't all, you are also free to ask your guide to take as many photos as you want for your Instagram feed.
Do you have free time in Santorini and love riding horses?
This might just be the perfect tour you've been looking for!
If you are considering fishing activities in Santorini, this fishing tour should be at the top of your list.
What makes this fishing experience so diverse, is the fact that you are not only accompanied by a professional ship captain and fisherman, but you can actually fish directly on the boat.
Combining this with the experience of the captain/tour guide, you can confidently know that you are going to all of the right places for fishing on the island!
In addition to all of the above, the fact that you can personalize your entire 5-hour trip really puts it on a whole other level as a fishing experience. It is a known fact that fishing can take time, and it is a sure bet that you will catch something worth waiting for on this trip in the time available.
Once you are done fishing, don't hesitate to do some snorkeling or swimming in the Aegean waters that surround your private boat. This serves as an ideal way to burn off the complimentary snacks offered onboard. Especially considering it is in one of the most stunning oceans on the planet.
When it comes to different tours in Santorini, daily fishing tours certainly provide unforgettable experiences worth betting on.
Sea kayaking is another wonderful activity option for travelers exploring Santorini.
This is for the more adventurous travelers out there, and the fantastic news is that the online ticket prices are surprisingly cheap, being just over $100 at the most.
Once you start the tour, you will be provided with all of the necessary safety gear and snorkeling equipment to get nice and wet. After putting on your life jacket and hopping into your kayak, it is time to cruise around Santorini's south coast.
Kayaking offers a completely different perspective of this Greek island from being on a cruise boat, and you are bound to spot some interesting things that you haven't seen before.
It is worth mentioning twice, that this kayaking tour is for those travelers who adore exploration and adventure. If you think this is you, there is no doubt that you are bound to have an exciting day out on this small group tour.
Is traditional sightseeing something that floats your boat?
If so, the tour company NST Santorini Tours offers an action-packed sightseeing tour for you and your family. What makes this tour special is the fact it combines a wide variety of sights to see, all on the same day.
After booking, the first stop you will visit is an archaeological site known as Excavations of Akrotiri. This is one of the most popular destinations for tours in all of Santorini and is famously known for being covered in volcanic ash during the 16th Century BC.
As you finish exploring these phenomenal ruins with your own personal tour guide, it is time to dive deeper into the history of the island at Emporio Village.
What makes this village an important part of the tour?
Emporio Village is not only the largest village in Santorini, but it contains historically significant attractions such as the medieval castle of Kasteli, and the Tower of Nimborio.
Is there really a better way to learn the history of the island than this?
In addition to all of the above, this large grouped bus tour also includes a trip to Perissa Beach, a Santorini Winery, Profitis IIias which is the island's highest point, and Oia to catch an early evening sunset.
What a combination that is!
For those ATV lovers, this ATV-Quad Tour is sure to be a blast for your friends and family!
There are four areas you will see while on this quad tour. These include:
- Perissa Black Sand Beach
- Castelli of Emporio
- Megalochori - Traditional Village
- Heart of Santorini
Now, if you can imagine getting to and from them on a quad bike, that definitely spices things up!
So whether you are curious about the Castelli of Emporio and its cute little narrow streets, or Megalochori which is one of the island's most picturesque villages, you are bound to see numerous unforgettable sights during this excursion.
As Greece is typically hot, if you are desiring to explore Santorini by bike, I would highly recommend this electric mountain bike tour.
Electric mountain bikes typically require less effort for getting around, which is much needed during a sweltering Greek Spring or Summer.
The fabulous part about this tour is that it features some of the best areas in Santorini as a whole. You really can't get better than Emporio Village, Megalochori Village, and Perivolos Beach to relax. Especially considering both of these villages feature ancient architecture that is still well-kept to this day.
You can expect this tour to take a total of just over 3 hours including stop-offs. Another exciting element of the tour that is included is free wine and food tasting.
Now if that isn't good cycling motivation, I don't know what is!
Looking For A Place To Stay in Santorini?
To make the most of an unforgettable Santorini travel experience, you'll want to stay at one of the beautiful cliff villages of Oia or Fira (Thira). Below I have selected the top three accommodation options for each budget.
1. Divine Cave Experience Luxury
Rated as the best cave hotel experience in Santorini. This adults-only cave hotel is located just north of the exclusive Imerovigli cliffside village and each room comes with its own cave pool with views over the ocean!
2. La Perla Villas and Suites Mid-Range
Arguably the best mid-range option for a memorable and romantic Santorini getaway. These villas and suites are very well located in the beautiful village of Oia, where you can catch unforgettable sunset views over the volcano.
3. Bed Spot Hostel Budget
The best hostel in Santorini. This one is located in the Fira center district and is very popular with backpackers and budget-conscious travelers after all the amenities such as a shared kitchen and a huge outdoor terrace common area.
Plan a Trip to Santorini
Fun, independent travel to Santorini is easy if you have the right tools and plan ahead.
Below are my recommended websites, apps, and travel booking resources that I personally use to plan a trip to Santorini.
Tip: Bookmark these pages for the future.
Flights: Find & compare flight deals to Santorini using Skyscanner. Use the "search by month" feature to discover the cheapest day to fly.
Hostels: When it comes to scoring epic deals on hostels and cheap stays your secret weapon is Hostelworld. If you're traveling to Santorini to meet people, use the “See Who's Going” function.
Travel Insurance: HeyMondo is my top recommendation for travel insurance for Santorini. They've got your back with comprehensive coverage, from unexpected flight hiccups to those "oops" moments. Click the link to get 5% OFF your policy.
Internet & Connectivity: Stay connected as soon as you land in Santorini with Airalo's eSIMS. Download their app and grab an eSIM from the comfort of your own home, even before you set foot on foreign soil. No more frantic searches for local SIM cards when you arrive.
Ferry: Make your trip as smooth as possible by booking a ferry. From my experience Blue Star Ferries are the best to book through. These run from Athens and it is also possible to catch them from surrounding islands such as Naxos, Paros, Ios, and Mykonos.
Never planned independent travel before? Read my comprehensive guide to planning a trip.
FAQs About Santorini Tours
I would personally recommend visiting Santorini for a group tour in the peak season.
This season is highly desirable for most people which is from June to September. You can expect the best weather during this time, and it is even better while on a boat or driving an ATV!
In addition to the above, it will also mean that you are joined by more tourists. This definitely adds to the social experience and makes activities more fun.
This is obviously down to personal preference. However, I think the sea kayaking tour is truly unmissable. The sea kayaking tour mentioned above includes a professional guide offering valuable and useful information, as well as one of the best caldera views in Santorini from the water.
You can't really go wrong with that in my opinion.
The most special thing about Santorini is the fact that it is diverse. You can find different kinds of beaches and sights depending on the area of the island that you are at. For this reason, it is difficult to say that one place is better than another, or more ideal.
However, I do really like the hotel and accommodation in Imerovigli. They are some of the best I've seen on the island.
More Santorini Travel & Adventure Guides
I hope you enjoyed this guide post on the best day tours on the island of Santorini. If you're interested in more Santorini travel guides or where to stay in Santorini feel free to check out all of our others below.