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How to spend 24 hours in Santorini on a Greece yacht charter

By Katia Damborsky   Last Updated: 31 March 2023

While on a crewed yacht charter in Greece, take the opportunity to explore the jewel of the Cyclades Island chain: the island of Santorini.

The best yacht charter itineraries around Greece will include the sun-soaked island of Santorini, whose whitewashed streets and blue-domed buildings have become a cultural shorthand for the wider country.

But with so much else to fit in, you may find yourself with limited time to explore Santorini. 

To help you plan your whirlwind tour of the island on a yacht charter vacation, take a look at our complete guide on how to spend a day in Santorini. 

Arriving in Santorini and getting around the island

Boats docked in Santorini's blue waters

The marinas in Santorini don’t cater to yachts measuring over 25m, so you will have to anchor off shore and take a tender in. Luckily, there are plenty of landing stages around the island for you to disembark from.

Getting around the island is straightforward, as it doesn’t usually take longer than forty minutes to get anywhere in Santorini.

Taxis are available across the island, but you are advised to hire a car to increase the flexibility of your visit. Premium, chauffeured services are available to ensure a smooth and seamless experience.

Explore the streets of Oia

Flower covered walls in Oia, Santorini
Street in Oia, GreeceHillside view of colorful houses in Oia, Santorini

This volcanic island is invariably busy with travellers from across the globe; so wake early and head ashore as soon as possible.  

Your first port of call will be Oia.

There is a landing stage here that allows you to take a tender into shore. As you approach, you will be blown away by the sight of craggy red bluffs and the iconic white buildings of Oia carved into the cliff-face. 

If you follow the path to your right along the bay, you will come across a flight of steps that snakes up through the hills to the heart of Oia. 

Blue domes in Santorini, Greece

Be sure to walk to the Three Bells of Fira, which guarantees the most spectacular views over the rich blue dome and three bronze bells of a small chapel, with the dazzling Aegean sea as a backdrop.

With your appetite whetted, head to one of Oia’s many bakeries to sample steaming hot coffee served the Greek way, with plenty of sugar and boiled milk.

Accompany your coffee with a fresh bougasta, a popular breakfast treat made from flaky pastry filled with custard and dusted with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.

Experience a culture trip at Akrotiri

Pottery in Akrotiri Greece
Hillside view of Akrotiri greeceAncient ruins in Greece

Drive down to the northern portion of the island, which should take under forty minutes. These incredibly-preserved Greek ruins are worth the drive, as they act like a portal into the Bronze Age era of ancient Greece.

Once an outpost of the Minoan empire, Akrotori was a town that was destroyed in 1500 BC by a powerful volcanic eruption. The town was coated under a thick blanket of volcanic ash, which has kept it perfectly preserved over the years. 

Now partially excavated, visitors can walk through the streets of the destroyed town and see the remains of homes, art works, ceramic jugs and other Amphorae. On the hills close to the ruins of the town, the famous green and white lighthouse stands proud on the mountain peaks.

Take a dip at White Beach

Just next to Akrotiri is a handful of colourfully-named beaches; Red Beach, Black Beach and White Beach. Each features a unique shade of sand and stones which is influenced by the mineral-rich waters and volcanic activity of the island. 

White Beach is the cove around the corner from Red Beach, and is only accessible via boat or by walking through Red Beach; if your charter yacht is in the area, you would be advised to embark and cruise around to White Beach for the most straightforward access. 

Drop anchor and dive in, as the beach itself is best viewed from the sea. Many say White Beach is deceptively named, as the sand is actually black in most places. However, the cliffs and rocks circling the bay are stark white, giving the beach a breathtaking contrast.

Below the surface of the sea, the waters are thriving with marine life.  Several huge limestone rocks rise up from the crystal-clear sea, creating small pools and lagoons that are great for exploring.

Dine and unwind at Bellonias Villas

After a dose of history and a refreshing swim, you will no doubt be ready for something to eat. Make a beeline for Bellonias Villas, a trendy hotel on the eastern part of the island with access to a beach club, spa facilities and the world-class Elia Restaurant.

Diners should try fresh steamed mussels infused with lemon zest and ginger with a side of grilled octopus. Each meal is a superbly-prepared take on classic Greek cuisine, created with locally-sourced ingredients and fresh herbs and spices.

After your meal, set up shop on Kamari beach, with its finely-milled black sand and prime waterfront setting. Bellonias Villas offers an array of sunloungers and gazebos for you to choose from. Sip a zingy cocktail and enjoy some down time before starting the next leg of your adventure.

Discover Ancient Thera

Ancient thera ruins greece
Ancient ruins of Thera in GreeceRuins of Ancient Thera santorini

At 360 high, Messavouno mountain towers over Bellonias Villas. In a ridge of the mountain lies Ancient Thera, an antique city that traces its origins back to the 9th century BC.

Take a hike up the hill, and explore what remains of this fascinating slice of Greek history. Throughout Thera, you will be able to see homes, walls and buildings of cultural significance to the civilization which inhabited this hilltop town thousands of years ago.

Among the highlights of Thera, you will be able to see a theatre which could once seat up to 1500 spectators and the collonaded walkway of the basilica. 

Sample fine Greek wine at Santo Winery

This elegant winery sits in the hills of Ormos Anthiniois and boasts some show-stopping views over the caldera. Here, you will be able to taste a huge selection of wines from across the island and beyond. 

Everyone’s palates will be satisfied here, with wines including crisp whites, decadent deserts and rare bottles that are perfectly enjoyed with some nibbles, while hearing about the history and background of each signature blend. 

There are plenty of sparkling options to choose from as well, which make the perfect way to round off the day before dinner.

Admire a Santorini Sunset at FlyAway Creative

View of FlyAway creative in Santorini
FlyAway Creative restaurant

Set amid infinity pools with a backdrop of the glistening Aegean, FlyAway Creative is both a sensational gourmet dining experience in an unbeatable location. 

During the evening, the mouthwatering cuisine is enlivened the show-stopping spectacle of the setting sun. Enjoy a punchy cocktail as you watch the sky turn peachy pink and gentle lilac, before sitting down to begin your meal below the starry sky.  A professional sommelier is on hand to advise you about which of the restaurant's wines best complement your meal, and the service is well-known for being discreet, yet attentive.

FlyAway Creative makes the perfect way to round off your day exploring Santorini, before heading back to your yacht with memories to last a lifetime.

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