24 hours in|Things to do

24 hours in Santorini

I’ll be honest right now, 24 hours was not enough time for us to explore Santorini as much as we wanted to!

But, we were also visiting the island on a cruise so we didn’t have much say in how much time we had there! Rick and I are already talking about a return trip there and spending a few nights on the island to get the full Santorini experience.

But, we still packed quite a bit in during our day on Santorini! So, here’s how we spent (admittedly less than) a day on the Greek island.

One day on Santorini

Want to watch our video version of this blog? Check out our Santorini travel vlog on YouTube!

Photograph the town of Oia

We opted for a guided tour of Oia before making our way to Fira, near where our ship was anchored.

We had booked the Selfie Tour of the Best of Santorini and while I cringed saying the name, I was really excited for a photography tour of the most photographed spot on Santorini.

To be honest, this was our most disappointing excursion. It was not like it was advertised. They handed out selfie sticks and pointed in two directions for us to go and wished us luck.

What?! That is not what we paid all this money for!

We could have opted for the cheaper “Best of Santorini” tour and gotten the same experience. But, we were going to make the most of it.

Oia is small with narrow alleys and the crowds were ridiculous. We had like an hour at this stop to take pictures and you’re waiting at least 5-10 minutes to get a good spot to get some photos.

Rick and I snapped a few pictures and then gave up battling the people pushing their way to the photo stops.

Wine bar

We opted to go to a wine bar, Alexios, to escape the crowds. Honestly, it was where we got some of the best pictures of our time in Oia – plus wine! 

We’d love to return to Oia but stay at a hotel there to fully enjoy the city and wait for the cruise crowds to head back to the ships, and then enjoy a gorgeous sunset!

After drinking our wine and drinking in the views, it was time to head to Fira. We got back on our bus and drove across the island with our fellow cruise passengers.

Visit Fira

We got there just in time for lunch and found a great spot with great views at The Vine Cocktail and Wine Restaurant.

We started with a meze plate with a variety of hummus, olives, meats and cheeses, and pita, then some grilled octopus, followed by the lamb for me and chicken souvlaki for Rick.

Obviously we were also sampling some white and red Greek wines – while Rick sampled the Greek beers. 

After lunch, it was time for some gelato and then time to make our way back down to the harbor and our tender boat back to the cruise.

The Fira Donkey Trail

We could either take the cable car for six euros per person or we could walk the Donkey Trail or the Karavolades Stairs. We opted to walk.

It was definitely a neat way to get down to the harbor and afforded us great views and some donkey sightings, but do be wary that the steps, more than 575 of them, are worn down and slippery and the trail is steep! And with the donkeys on the trail, it does smell like a farm! Also, there is no real shade on the trail.

I’m glad we took the stairs down as we heard there can be long lines waiting for the cable car, like a one and a half to three hours’ wait. The walk wasn’t that bad and again, offered us a neat perspective as we made our way down to the harbor.

Even with battling the crowds, we definitely want to return to Santorini someday! I’m so glad we got to see it on this trip and now have a better idea of what to expect next time we’re there. 

If you have any hotel recommendations in Oia, please leave your thoughts in the comments below as we know we’ll be revisiting this Greek island again in the future!

Enjoying one hot day on Santorini!
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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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