Seasonal Planning for the Santorini Travel
Santorini is one of the Cyclades Islands in Greece and one of Europe's most popular travel destinations. The best time to travel to Santorini depends on what you are looking for, but every season has something amazing to offer. The most popular and warmest time is during summer and between late April and early November. If you want to enjoy swimming in the sea, laying on the beach, and experience the great nightlife, then June-September is the best time to visit. The water temperatures are at their best in August and September.
If you want to enjoy hiking and sightseeing, it is better to travel in spring or during the fall season. The weather is more comfortable for walking around, and you will also avoid a lot of big crowds and long lines. Island hopping is a favorite summer activity with an abundance of tours available. To travel between the islands in a quieter setting and avoid a lot of tourism, consider March-early May or late October and November.
Although traveling to Santorini in winter isn't as popular as other seasons, more people are starting to appreciate the winter charm. It makes for a perfect quiet getaway with still plenty of beautiful scenery. It does get colder with some rain and wind but booking a cozy accommodation makes the whole stay better. The winter is also ideal for exploring, hiking, and sightseeing.
If you want to know how many days you should spend in Santorini, take a look at this article.
Spring / March-May
Spring in Santorini brings beautiful nature with flowers blooming and amazing colors blending with ocean views, The sky is bright, and the weather is pleasant with plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking. It is either about having a quiet vacation or being highly active. The temperatures are around 70-80 °F during the day with slightly cooler evenings.
There are fewer tourists in spring, which makes it an excellent time for a romantic getaway or traveling by yourself. Families who want a quieter time will enjoy the spring in Santorini as well. The hotel rates are lower than in summer, and you will most likely find good deals on flights. It will sometimes feel like you have the island to yourself, which is pretty unusual since Santorini such a popular destination.
Easter gets more busy, mainly with locals, as celebrations are in full swing. Santorini is beautiful during Easter, with thousands of lanterns that light up the towns during the night. One of the best places to be on Good Friday is Pyrgos Village, where fire lights up the rooftops. Pyrgos stands high above the sea, with breathtaking panoramic views of Oia. Another highlight of this holiday is the food. Try the tsourekia—a brioche-like bread with cardamom and mahlab, and the traditional melitini—a sweet-tart made with cheese and honey.
Santorini is famous for its beautiful sunsets so go on a sunset cruise in Oia and take a trip to Imerovigli. Fira is also beautiful in spring, and Firostefani is a village well worth a stop. Enjoy the spectacular views from here with vistas of the Santorini volcano. You can make it a day trip and walk around, have something to eat, and enjoy a private getaway.
Make time to visit a winery. Santorini is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world, and it is worth exploring. Visit the Sigalas Winery that produces some of Greece's best wines. Here, you will have your sommelier to take you on a private tour of the vineyards and show you the ancient koulara technique. The winery has a country feel and is perfect for a whole afternoon.
A highlight in spring is the food. Try the seafood and enjoy the fresh fruit and vegetables that are at their best during this season. If you visit in spring, rent a bike at least for a day or two. It is one of the best ways to truly experience the island and get to see as much as possible. Tours are great as well if you want to learn more about Santorini's history and visit various islands.
Summer / June-August
Summer is the most popular season with the weather getting from warm to hot toward August. It is the best time to visit Santorini if you are looking to enjoy a lot of activities, parties, and cultural events. It is also the most crowded time, particularly in July and August.
If you want to enjoy good weather and still a lot of activities, June is the best time to go. There are fewer tourists in June, and you can enjoy hiking but even swimming since the water is warming up. It is a great time to head to the famous Red Beach during this time.
Tours are abundant in the summer, especially boat tours. There are long lines, but you can escape this with a private tour. Going sailing on a private boat is one of the best things to do in the summertime. Make sure to visit Megalochori, which is a small town that is perfect for a few-hour exploration. Get up early in the morning and head to one of the bakeries to get a traditional greek Saganaki for breakfast. You will find with some of Santorini's leading vineyards here.
Megalochori is a great escape in summer with fewer tourists. Enjoy the craft shops, art galleries, and exhibitions. Attend a pottery workshop and make souvenirs to take home with you. The shops and workshops here have maintained their authentic character and appeal. Mesa Pigadia is another great summer escape, where you can swim and enjoy fresh seafood, cooked in a wood-fired oven.
If you enjoy literature, head to Atlantis Books, the charming book store is located in a basement in Oia and is renowned for its collection of rare first book editions. It was created so that readers and writers could have their haven in a beautiful setting in the Mediterranean.
Take the opportunity to see a movie at an open-air cinema, which is only open in the summer. Head to Kamari Village to get the best experience that has one of the best outdoor cinemas in the world. The setting is beautiful and is perfect for a cozy and romantic evening in Santorini.
In the first week of August, there is also the Megaron Gyzi Festival in Fira with several jazz concerts, classical music, and art exhibitions.
Fall / September-November
Fall is the perfect time in Santorini to enjoy culture, art, and good weather. In September, you can still swim in the sea and enjoy the beaches with temperatures around 76 °F. October is also lovely, with just a couple of degrees less, and November is a bit cooler. Watersports are great to enjoy in September, and you will have an excellent time exploring the island.
The fall is the perfect time to get to know the locals in Greece. After most of the tourists are gone, you will get another sense of Greek hospitality. The towns quiet down, and you can discover the true spirit of the island. The people are friendly and are more than happy to share their traditions with you and let you in on some history and secrets of the island.
Hike to the Skaros Rock. You can walk here from Imerovigli and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the caldera. There is a bit of a trek along a rocky ledge, but it is well worth it. Once you have reached the top, you can climb further up to get an even bigger view of the ocean. There is a beautiful church behind the rock, in the typical white-and-blue Santorini style.
A great way to explore the traditional Santorini is to take a private tour to the settlement od Tholo or Armeni. Enjoy a lovely walk along Armeni Bay in Oia and explore this old port that was once used for building fishing boats. You can also enjoy some delicious wine at a winery, particularly in September. Visit the Boutari Winery that is known for its unique wine production.
It is still an excellent time to head out on the sea and go sailing or enjoy a boat tour. You can head to the Santorini volcano and sail to the White Beach and the Red Beach. Bring some food with you and walk around here, stop to enjoy the views, and have a quiet getaway. Akrotiri is another place to visit in the fall where you can spend and entire day.
Fall brings several events and festivals to the island. It is probably the best time to enjoy cultural and musical events. The Internationa Music Festival takes place in Fira for two weeks in September, and there is a Santorini Jazz Festival as well. Another event is a Greek volcano festival—the Ifestia Festival in September that represents the eruption of Santorini's volcano. Expect a lot of fun with concerts, dance performances, and fireworks during the event.
Rent a bike for a day or two and go on a tour by yourself. You can finish the day by watching the sunset or enjoying a glass of wine at one of the many restaurants.
Winter / December-February
The winter in Santorini can get cold, but it is the perfect time for museums and visiting archeological sites. You will get to experience another side to the Greek island. Because of the continuous beautiful scenery in winter, it is becoming a popular season to visit.
Winter in Santorini is also a great time to meet a lot of locals and get to know them better. It is a great time to get a look into the authentic lives of the Santorinians. Don't be surprised if you get invited to their homes and expect to learn a lot about their lifestyle. It is one of the winter charms the island brings
Since Santorini has many cave houses, there are many places you can stay and get cozy when the weather is gloomy. However, you will usually get to spend a lot of time outdoors as well and watch a beautiful sunset a two. A few days to a week is a reasonable amount of time to spend here in winter.
The best places to visit in winter are Fira and Oia, where you will find many restaurants open. Today, more sites are welcoming travelers due to the increased demand. Other towns tend to more or less close down, but they can still be nice to walk around in.
Head to several museums that are open all year round, including the Museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira and Akrotiri. Another museum worth a visit is The Icons & Relics Collection of Pyrgos. Here, you will find wooden sculptures, metal artworks, and a collection of hagiographies.
Visit one of the 15 wineries, most of them which are open in winter. You can head to Santo Wines or the Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum and learn about the wine history of the island. Since there are not a lot of tourists, you will get a more personal experience and can ask questions directly to the owners. You will also see how the vineyards are kept and taste some great wine.