After a long winter's break which has lasted on Santorini in some cases since last September or October, everything from restaurants to hotels to tours to flights are all fully operational by the end of April. The increase in visitors from last month is dramatic, and the weather has undergone a similarly radical transformation, with much longer days and much less rain.

Weather

The change from even last month is starkly visible in April's weather. Most notably, the rain which was prevalent for much of March has more than halved (1.2 inches/ 30mm this month), meaning visitors' holidays are mostly dry. And Santorini is mostly sunny, too: average daily hours of sunshine are up to eight, two more than March and twice what January could offer.

But before beach and sun-worshippers get too excited, bear in mind that the seawater has had no chance to warm up in April and you can expect a mere 61°F/16°C for water temperature.

For more on weather this month, see Greece in April: Travel Tips, Weather, & More.

Crowds & Costs

As Santorini returns to a fully-operational travel destination, with all flights running at maximum, and restaurants and hotels reopened, so the crowds return. The good news is that, with the exception of Easter time which can be busy, crowds are not nearly as numerous as they will be in summer, and you should still be able to find places to escape the masses. This month is shoulder season, and so hotels are still not usually charging as much as they will in June through August. 

Where to Go

Santorini's most beautiful beaches are the best places to spend your time. Most of these are on the east side of the island, away from the west coast which forms the caldera. Kamari is a black sand beach with a hotel sitting directly on the sand; other sandy beaches with hotels close by include Perissa and Perivolos beaches. A visit to the striking and aptly named Red Beach, comprised of small red stones and with beautiful crystalline water, is also a great idea.

Either hiking, driving to taking a cruise via the prehistoric city at Akrotiri, hidden away at the southern tip of Santorini, is also a must. These ruins are the site of some of the Bronze Age’s most advanced settlements, which prospered for centuries before being destroyed by a great volcanic eruption in the mid-second millennium BCE. In fact, taking a cruise around the island gives you a good feel for which places you would like to visit further.

Santorini's renowned wineries are fantastic in April, as at other times of the year. When visiting the wineries, go for Aidini, Assyrtiko, and Athiri if you are into whites, and Mandilaria and Mavrotragano if reds are more your thing. One of the best wineries to visit is Santo Wines near Pyrgos.

What to Do

April is a month for the beach—although it might still be a beach walk rather than sun-bathing, as temperatures are not yet that high. This is a good time, while there is still some freshness in the air, for a spot of hiking, such as the walk from Fira to Oia along the cliffs. Or try some water-based activities like sea kayaking, with many routes around the caldera and cliff-flanked coastline possible. A good introduction to the island is also to take a catamaran cruise, on which you will see many of the highlights and discover which you may like to return to.

And if the water is still too cold for swimming, you can at least gaze out over it from a beautiful clifftop restaurant like Lauda in Oia. When searching for your dinner, seek out tomato keftedes, deep-fried tomato balls that encapsulate the essence of the local diet, and the Santorini specialty, spelt pie.

April Events

Feast of St. George April 23. Normally celebrated on April 23 (but on Easter Monday if Easter falls after that date), this Greek Orthodox ceremony is hosted at monasteries, churches, and rural communities—St. George was the patron of shepherds—with feasting and dancing.

Holy Week/Easter Easter is the biggest religious festival of the Greek Orthodox calendar. Everywhere in Greece more or less will have some festival, with lots of feasting and often ending with fireworks. Many shops, and some restaurants, close.

Easter is preceded by Holy Week, and so sometimes much of the merrymaking falls in March should Easter come early, although usually the majority of celebrating normally happens in April. The village of Pyrgos stands out for its Easter atmosphere, with some streets lighted by candles on Good Friday.

More Information

Santorini in March
Santorini in May
Hidden Gems of Santorini
Best Time to Visit Greece
How Many Days Should You Spend on Santorini?