Please sign in to post.

Suggestions for 6 days in Santorini / Greece

We are flying in to Santorini on Sunday, Oct. 15. We need to be in Salzburg, Austria on the following Sunday, Oct 22nd.
How many days should we stay on Santorini? We love small, quaint towns and enjoy hiking and sight seeing. I originally thought we could squeeze in another island, but not sure that's realistic. I would love your thoughts on this!!

Posted by
2450 posts

Linda, in June I spent three nights on Santorini, then three nights on Naxos, and enjoyed them both. They are very different, including especially that Santorini has a very active cruise port (not sure how active in October), while Naxos has no cruise port, just ferries. The ferry in between the two islands is just 2 to 3 hours, so certainly you could split the time if you chose to. I also enjoy small towns and villages, and visited some on both islands. On Santorini, one day I took at very good bus tour which included the Akrotiri ruins site, some beach stops, a winery with tasting and views, and a final stop at Oia for sunset. One stop was the beautiful very small town of Megalochori, which I enjoyed so much that I returned the next day by public bus. I spent a couple hours wandering the town, had a delicious lunch, one of my most memorable meals in Greece, and then went on to the nearby larger town of Pyrgos for another couple of hours. Great day. On Naxos, where the main town is a lot of fun with many great restaurants and shops, plus an interesting old town, old castle, port area and nearby beaches. I arranged for a guide with a car to spend a day taking me around the rural part of the island, including some very enjoyable small towns and villages, old churches and monasteries, marble quarries, crafts people, etc. Another great day. I don't know your plans for moving on to Salzburg, but obviously you would need to mesh your last day(s) into those travel plans, without cutting things to close. Personally, unless you want to stay and relax at a nice hotel with a real swimming pool, I think Santorini could get a little old after six or seven days.

Posted by
3219 posts

Larry is right, Santorini & Naxos is a great combination. And if you love "small quaint towns" and hiking , Santorini is not where you should spend the majority of your time. Even in October, during the Weekday, the island is plagued by invasion of the Mega-Cruise ships that dump 3,000 passengers at a time to cram the tiny lanes of the 2 main towns ... and the few towns outside of these are decidedly not quaint. In most places, even the waiters are non-Greek; mainl Balkan. I guess you have booked without reading.

Naxos is just the opposite, because it's a fertile island with large permanent population, not that dependent on tourism, and the harbor doesn't accommodate cruise ships and the airport too small for jumbo jets... thus there are no "packs" of tour groups to fend off. In addition, if you take the 1500 (3:pm) Blue Star ferry -- large modern vessel with big decks for sunning -- you can enjoy a 2+ hour "mini-cruise". After your stay, you can book a 45-minute flight back tothe Athens area (but i URGE you to book this ASAP, because flights are few & planes are smaller so these flights fill up FAST!). NAXOS is where you'll find fascinating hikes -- check this website . Larry enjoyed hiring a car/driver for a full-day tour of the island's dramatic landscapes, mountain villages, and notable hilltop ruins.... but you need not have a car/driver. There's a very enjoyable day excursion you can book at any harborside agency that does the same thing for about €20 per.

Since you'll be travelling outside of the high season, I recommend you book a room at St. George beach, directly adjacent to NAXOS TOWN, for the twin advantage of a sea view PLUS an easy stroll to the town's restaurants & attractions -- this SKymap makes the location very clear visually - In the port town, things will still be lively, and cafes busy -- it's just that the folks at the next table may be Naxians enjoying dinner out, not just the usual Santorini mix of honeymooners & cruise crowds. Here are excellent photos of a frequen contributor "Stanbr" of Naxos highlights:
Trip around Naxos -
Naxos Town -
Mountain villages -

Posted by
2202 posts

Janet--what is the tour your speak of on Naxos for 20 Euros?

And Linda, we are going to both Santorini and Naxos next May. I originally found Naxos on the internet because I was looking for a convenient island from Santorini that would have the beaches that everyone associated with Greece. Then I learned how much there was to do on Naxos and now we will be spending more time on Naxos than Santorini.


Posted by
3219 posts

There are a number of travel/ticket agencies on the harborside crescent of Naxos -- there are tours of varying lengths -- this is a typical all-day one, for €25 == ... (price has gone up since 5 yrs ago). The ZAS tour company right by the town pier also has typically offered a similar one. It takes you to the chief landmarks ... to 3-4 villages up in the hills ... and by around 1 or 2 pm gets to the very TOP of the islnd Apollon for a lunch (and swimming) break -- in October the water will still be nice &warm ... after a final ruin (a huuuge statue), the bus returns to Naxos Town by the little-seen VERY scenic road down the west coast. You meet quite a variety of visitors on these tours, not big groups, mainly independent travelers like yourself. If you have a short time on Naxos and don't want to do a lot of driving, this is great.... especially since some of the dramatic inland scenery -- cliffs, valleys, vistas of sea, mountains of marble (!), you wouldn't be able to appreciate if you're the driver, negotiating the hairpin turns!