Experience the ultimate romantic getaway in the Greek Islands with a Santorini honeymoon. This picturesque island is renowned for its mesmerising sunsets, pristine beaches, and delectable culinary delights. Begin your journey of love in this enchanting destination and make unforgettable memories that will be cherished for a lifetime with our romantic getaway or honeymoon guide to Santorini.
Arriving in Santorini by boat, a bewitching panorama of powder-dusted cornices between sea and sky, veiled in romance and escapism, slowly reveals itself. Clusters of sugarcoated cave houses almost tumble down the lava-encrusted cliffs to greet you.
Arriving by air is equally enchanting, as this crescent moon-shaped isle arcs around its 400 metre-deep cobalt caldera. This ancient chasm swallowed the sea when the island’s core collapsed after the colossal volcanic explosion of 1660 BC.
Lose yourselves in the labyrinthine lanes of Santorini’s cliff-top villages; Fira is for the courting, Oia is for the proposing, and Imerovigli is for the honeymooning. Find hand-painted cushions, bags and clothing at Aegean Designs in Firostefani. Get sparkly on Ypapantis Street in Fira’s gold quarter. And fall for Oia, the sexy supermodel of Greek island architecture, tiered with curves, clefts and cleavages. Stroll her marble laneways at sunset, when they become bathed in molten gold.
The three-hour cliff-top walk that etches the caldera rim between Fira and Oia is secluded and fragrant. Along this inspiring passageway, above a bathtub of cruise ships, pass other hand-in-hand lovers, locals carrying baskets of freshly-picked tomatoes, and tiny chapels peeping down the sheer, pumice-stone cliffs.
Traditional wooden ships sail you to the islet of Nea Kameni. On this active volcano, layered with time, tread the rubbly paths around sulphur-emitting craters. At the 127 metre-high summit, spread your rug-for-two on the thermal ground, and absorb neighbouring Palea Kamini, Thirassia and dazzling Santorini.
The Best Time to Visit Santorini
The best time to visit Santorini depends on your preferences. If you want to avoid the crowds and are okay with cooler temperatures, consider visiting from November to March. Although some tourist facilities may be closed during this time, you’ll experience the island’s more authentic and peaceful side. However, if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere with plenty of beach time and nightlife, plan your trip for late June to early September. Remember that this is peak season so prices may be higher, and accommodations may be limited. The famous sunsets in Santorini are stunning year-round but exceptionally breathtaking during the shoulder seasons when the skies are clearer.
Romantic Things to Do in Santorini on Your Honeymoon
COCKTAILS, COFFEES AND CANOODLES
At barrel-vaulted Meteor Cocktail Café in Oia, chink your umbrella-garlanded glasses. Sip espresso martinis in this pint-sized, once-upon-a-time art gallery, beneath lampshades crafted by famed Athens glassblower, Nikos Troulinos. Original paintings grace the pastel pink, blue and lemon watercolour interiors, while bougainvillea dresses the red ochre walls of the outdoor terrace, as atmospheric jazz drifts through the balmy breeze.
Also caldera-clasping is Palia Kameni Bar in Fira, with its overhanging balcony 220 metres above the Aegean. Choose cocktails from wooden menus as the salty air dances around ornate wrought-iron balustrades. The cobbled floor and terracotta statue of a Greek goddess make this miniature bar impossibly romantic.
At Korfos Bay, on the islet of Thirassia (population just 300), Windmill Café serves homemade baklava and traditional briki coffee beneath its picture-postcard sails. If you survive a briki coffee’s intense flavour, remember to pour the sediments into your saucer. Tasseography (fortune-telling) is a Greek tradition with briki grounds.
Related Article: The Ultimate Honeymoon Guide to Mykonos
Santorini’s fertile volcanic soil harvests unrivalled fava beans, capers, baby tomatoes and white eggplant. Sample it all at Mama Thira Taverna, elevated above Firostefani’s laneways. Toast your partner with “Yamas!” as you complement your meze with Santorini’s sweet Vinsanto wine. The taverna’s dollhouse-like windows, in azure and white, perfectly capture the unforgettable sunset.
For discerning tastebuds seeking fine fish roe, head to 1800 Restaurant in Oia. This restored 19th-century mansion belonged to the famous ship-owner Captain Sarris. Dine alongside original walnut sofas, a bedframe and chest belonging to the captain, and lithographs from the period. Or feast upstairs on the intimate jasmine-festooned roof terrace
Join the artists and poets at Ancient Thira, built upon the lofty slopes of the 380 metre-high Mesa Vouno. Inhabited during the 9th century BC, Ancient Thira was excavated only in 1902, and is known as ‘the Pompeii of the Aegean’. Meander through this mountainous town’s stone-paved paths, alongside crumbled Byzantine churches, roman baths, temples, private residences and a sea-facing amphitheatre. Find the tree-shaded bench and ponder the Minoan civilisation that was extinguished by the 1660 BC explosion.
For sea, salt and sulphur, board the luxurious Ocean Voyager 74. Sail the length of Santorini before swimming off Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach). On-board chefs prepare a succulent barbecue when mooring in the sheltered cove off Aspri Paralia (White Beach). Your next port of call is the hot springs by the islet of Palea Kameni. Smooch in its healing lime-green mineral waters by a miniature whitewashed chapel as mountain goats gaze down from precipitous peaks. The final showdown catches Santorini’s Helios sinking into the Aegean.With camera in one hand and champagne glass in the other, work out for yourself if this is (as is believed) the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
The Best Romantic Accommodations for Your Honeymoon in Santorini
CAVE HOUSE SNUGGLES AT PEGASUS SUITES
The island’s highest village, at 300 metres, is Imerovigli, known as ‘the balcony of Santorini’. Retreat to the exquisite hideaways at romantic Pegasus Suites. Each is uniquely designed, with private terrace and caldera- viewing Jacuzzi, and features dream-inducing circular beds on stone bases. The onsite spa offers chocolate oil massages and reflexology with honey, so prepare – you might may wake up in this fairytale island looking just like Aphrodite and Adonis!
A regular fixture on the Conde Nast Hot Lists (USA & UK) the stylish adults-only Perivolas is poised cliffside in Oia. Originally designed as a family home, the property still carries a plush ‘private residence’ feel–although the Perivolas Infinity Pool has an international flavour, having graced many a magazine cover with its magnificent panoramic views. Try the Perivolas Suite, a romantic hideaway with curved whitewashed walls, dashes of vivid mauve and pink, your own private swimming pool, and a bathroom with private steam room. Ideal for honeymooners or lovestruck travellers. Rates include full buffet breakfast.
For a romantic getaway in Santorini, look no further than Nous in the village of Mesaria. This hotel offers a perfect balance of seclusion and adventure, with unique architecture and design that blends seamlessly into the lush landscape. With private pools, Jacuzzis, gardens, and a meditative fire pit, relaxation and well-being are at the forefront of your stay. The hotel’s 121 spacious rooms and bungalows are set in extensive private gardens, with many featuring their own pools. The colour palette and layout take inspiration from Santorini’s famous beaches and ancient villages, while materials and artworks pay homage to the island’s heritage. Book an east-facing bungalow or pool suite for the best views to catch the stunning sunrise. And make sure to take advantage of the hotel’s spa, which is dedicated to the Greek principle of Ef Zin for ultimate rejuvenation.
Ikes Traditional Houses
A boutique hotel with a charming range of luxury accommodation, Ikies is Santorini sublime, located in the picturesque village of Oia. The Winemaker’s House features a truly secluded terrace with uninterrupted, cinematic views of the Aegean. The private hot-tub with its spacious deck and the terrace futon offer endless hours of outdoors relaxation and romance. As part of this honeymoon suite experience, champagne breakfast is offered on the private terrace every morning, as well as evening cocktails.
HOW TO GET TO SANTORINI
Santorini is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea in Greece. To get there, the most convenient option is to fly from Athens, which has direct flights from the USA, UK, and Canada. The airport code for Athens International Airport is ATH, while the code for Santorini Airport is JTR.
Ferries are also available to connect Santorini with other islands in Greece.SeaJets provides daily ferries and speedboats to commute between Santorini and Mykonos. Minoan Lines offers daily ferries from Heraklion Port to travel to Santorini from Crete and vice versa. Blue Star Ferries also offers daily ferries to help you reach Santorini from Paros or Naxos and vice versa. Hellenic Seaways and SeaJets provide daily ferries with high-speed boats to commute between Santorini and Ios. Check Ferry timetables.
Bus services are generally good on the islands, though many visitors choose to hire a car.
CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATE: Greece uses the Euro. Travellers cheques in Euros are accepted in most island banks, but there can sometimes be a hefty administration fee per cheque (so buy cheques in large denominations). ATMs are located on most islands, but enquire about overseas transaction charges with your bank before leaving.
Related: Discover more incredibly romantic Greece destinations for two with these Unforgettable Romantic Holiday Ideas for Greece