Ah, Santorini. Just reading that word probably brought thoughts of pristine beaches, delightful whitewashed buildings, fiery sunsets, and fabulous Instagram posts to your mind. With over 500,000 tourists visiting this small Greek island every year, it's probably one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. But are there enough things to do in Santorini in March, and is it a good time to visit?
You may assume that the best time to discover the island is during the warmer summer months of June-August. And sure, the temperatures are quite a bit warmer in those months. But wouldn't you rather head off to this gorgeous island in the off-season, when you're less likely to share it with crowds of other tourists?
March is actually one of the best times to head to Santorini. The average temperature is going to be around 16°C max, with potential rain and cold nights, so be prepared for that. However, there is going to be more sun, less rain, and more fun times in March than in earlier months, and you won't have to deal with the crowds of the hot season!
Below, we're giving you some insights into the most exciting things to do in Santorini in March. Read on and start planning out all of those amazing experiences and photo opportunities!
1. Go on one of the best wine tours of your life
This is one thing you absolutely HAVE to do in Santorini. Going on one of the island's many wine tours is the perfect way to experience the Santorini wine culture. After a couple of hours, you might find yourself tired from taking in all the architecture and history and just want to relax with a glass of wine (or two, or three!). Wine tours will take you to a number of wineries around the island, give you a glimpse of the local wine production, and let you sample a few of these delicious homegrown vintages.
This little paradise island has been producing wine for over 3,000 years and counts over 40 native varieties of grapes to make wine from. This means that you're unlikely to be disappointed when taking a wine tour here. Whether you’re more of a red, white, or rosé enthusiast, there’s bound to be a wine to your taste in Santorini!
Check out these top-rated Santorini wine tours that operate in March! You can't go wrong with one of these popular handpicked options. Choose the right fit for you based on the duration, group size, and type of experience you're looking for.
Some tours such as the excellent Tour of 3 Wineries with a Sommelier adopt a more informative approach, taking you though several vineyards and wineries to detail the local wine-making process - perfect for wine connoisseurs! Meanwhile, others offer a more relaxed experience, emphasizing the tasting part and letting you sample more wines - a good bet for more casual wine drinkers.
Unsure which tour to pick? ForTravelista highly recommends this 4-Hour Small Group Wine Tasting Tour with a local wine expert. It will give you a complete introduction to the local production, topped with a tasting of 12 different wines in an incredible setting. Tried and tested by our team, it's our favorite for value and quality. Note: spaces are limited and the tour tends to sell out fast, so make sure to book it ahead of time.
Looking for a more adventurous alternative? The fun Sunset and Wine Tasting Tour by Electric Bike is the ideal way to work in a little exercise between all the wine & cheese tasting and sunset gazing.
Book one of our recommended wine tours below:
Pro tip: Have a glass of wine while watching the sun go down at sunset from any number of spots on the island. Many people say that Santorini sunsets are among the most beautiful in the world! So make sure not to miss out on them and enjoy them in style.
2. Take a hike from Fira to Oia
Besides wine tours, this is another must-do in Santorini: hiking the coastal path from the capital, Fira, to Oia at the north end of the island. It's one of the most exciting things to do in Santorini in March, and it will reward you with stunning views of the island's unique geographical setting and landscapes.
If you're a fast hiker and don't take too many pictures, the hike is likely to take you around two to three hours. However, if you're going to stop and get your camera out often to capture the spectacular views, it will probably take closer to three to five hours.
You'll be starting the trek in Fira and walking through both small towns and more rural areas, giving you a diverse range of views. It's great for anybody on your trip - just don't forget to wear some running or hiking shoes. You don't want the rest of your trip ruined by blisters!
Our suggestion: How about doing this hike slightly differently? This brilliant night hike, wine tasting, and Greek dinner tour combines many of Santorini's highlights. You'll be hiking the Fira-Oia trail with no other people around. You'll also have a chance to watch the sunset from a prime vantage point, before indulging in some wine tasting and a traditional Greek dinner. We can't imagine a more peaceful and enjoyable way to spend an evening in Santorini!
3. Do something crazy and go on a helicopter tour
You only live once, so why not go all in and make your stay in Santorini truly memorable? This helicopter tour above Santorini and the surrounding islands offers an absolutely unforgettable experience. Depending on your time and budget, you can choose a flight time between 20 minutes and 1.5 hour. It will give you a bird's eye view of this stunning island and your Instagram is going to thank you for that!
Plus, this is one of the better choices for this time of year. In March, the weather is still a bit chilly, even though spring-time weather is just around the corner and temperatures start getting milder. In a helicopter, you'll be able to enjoy fantastic views without having to deal with the slight cool.
4. Head to the volcano in the middle of the island
Fun fact! Santorini is actually the only inhabited volcano cauldron, or "caldera," in the whole world. This means that all of the island's inhabitants live on the edge of a still-active volcano that last erupted back in the 1950s. For this reason, a volcano tour here is a one-of-a-kind adventure and one of the most exciting things to do in Santorini in March.
Taking a volcano tour is the best way to learn about the process of volcanic eruptions on the island and how it has affected Santorini's geography and culture. In fact, the volcano is the reason Santorini's cliffs are so colorful, with dashes of chocolate brown, yellow, and white painting the rocks.
Plus, when you get to the middle of the caldera, you can hop into a number of hot springs that are powered by the lava underneath. This is an especially good idea if you're feeling a little too cold to go swim in the March ocean water.
Our top volcano tour pick: We had an absolute blast on the ultimate Caldera Panoramic Winter Cruise! This 5-hour sailing tour on a beautiful catamaran is designed to make the most of Santorini's exceptional features even in the colder season. You will explore the volcano and the hot springs, as well as the Red Beach, White Beach, and Black Mountain. Moreover, you'll have a chance to capture the best shots of Oia from the water and to admire the magnificent winter sunset.
The tour conveniently includes pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation, a delicious lunch, and even towels and blankets to keep you warm.
5. Explore the countryside in a rented car
Have you ever dreamed of renting a car and driving through the Santorini countryside with the wind in your hair and not a care in the world? No? Just me? Well, maybe you can start sharing this dream too because renting a car and exploring the countryside outside of the main areas of the island is one of the most exciting things to do in Santorini in March.
You would be surprised how many people stay in the touristic parts of the island and don't explore the wonderful countryside. Even though the island is pretty small and you can see the ocean wherever you go, there's a lot of farmland in the southern part of the island. As a bonus, you might just find a couple of wineries to hit up along the way.
Having your own mode of transportation during your stay will also make you more independent and allow you to take in the diversity of the island. From the pretty towns of Oia and Fira in the north to the beaches of Perissa or Kamari in the South, you'll be free to explore a lot more. And importantly, you'll be able to do it at your own pace and in the warm comfort of your car!
Where to book your rental car: After using it several times for both short-term rentals and longer road trips, I trust and recommend Discover Cars. This user-friendly comparison platform has become my go-to for finding and booking car rentals in Greece (and in most other countries!). It offers the best and most reliable selection of vehicles for all types of budgets, as well as an easy booking and rental process. Discover Cars conveniently provides three pick-up and drop-off locations on Santorini, including at the airport, at the ferry port, and downtown.
6. Have the most amazing dinner with a view
How could you go to Santorini without gorging on some classic Greek cuisine? For many travelers, one of the big draws to Greece is the country's tasty Mediterranean recipes.
Santorini is no exception. The island is full of opportunities to sample traditional Greek fare and local specialties. And better yet, you can fill your belly while also feasting your eyes on some of the most amazing views out there.
In the evening, head over to Mezzo restaurant. Sit down, order yourself a glass of wine and some mezze starters, and watch an awe-inspiring show unfold as the sun goes down.
This restaurant is a favorite of many visitors to Santorini, so you're sure not to be disappointed. There are plenty of other restaurants to check out too. Do your research and find your own favorites, but make sure the view is breathtaking!
Insider's tip: For a special dining experience, find your way to one of the little fish taverns hidden away in Ammoudi Bay. The walk down and back up to Oia may be a little effort, but trust us, it's worth it. Enjoying fresh seafood right by the water to the sound of the lapping waves is by far one of our favorite things to do in Santorini in March (and year round)!
7. Grab some dessert after dinner
We hope you've left some room for dessert! What's a trip to a Greek island without trying some classic baklava and other famous Greek desserts? Baklava, a flaky and sweet treat enjoyed as a delicacy around the world, is usually served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream that will rock your world. Head over to Lotza in Oia to try some of the best baklava to ever enter your mouth.
And if you're craving even more sweets after your baklava (can you ever have too much?), head over to Cafe Hausbrandt for some of the best gelato in all of Santorini. We don't have to tell anyone how much you're eating on vacation!
9. Check out the Akrotiri Archaeological Site
Relive history by visiting the Akrotiri Archaeological Site. This once-buried prehistoric settlement from the Minoan Bronze Age has recently undergone broad excavation work.
Explore the squares and streets of this ancient city that was once home to 30,000 people and is nicknamed the "Pompeii of the Aegean." The ash from the volcanic eruption that covered it in the 17th century protected many fine frescoes, artworks, and objects. As a result, it is one of the most significant archaeological sites of the Aegean and certainly deserves a stop.
Tips: From November 1st to March 31st, entrance is free on the first Sunday of the month. Between these months, the site closes early at 3:30 pm every day, so time your visit accordingly.
If you're a history lover and want to really immerse yourself in the fascinating time-capsule that is Akrotiri, we highly recommend this private guided tour with hotel pick-up. Your knowledgeable and entertaining guide Georgia will truly transport you back in time!
10. Delight in the views from the Akrotiri Lighthouse
Located in the Southern part of the island, the Akrotiri Lighthouse is another place you must check out if you are looking for things to do in March. You can easily combine a stop here with your visit of the archaeological site.
The lighthouse itself isn’t the attraction, but the sprawling views from the top are just breathtaking. It's one of the most spectacular, yet surprisingly quiet, lookout points on the entire island. Make sure to hike around the rocks to find the best angles for some amazing photos!
11. Take a cable car ride
In order to get to the Old Port from Fira, you have the options of riding a poor donkey, doing it on foot, or - our favorite way - taking the cable car. The scenic ride lasts only 3 minutes and saves you a lot of time and effort for just 5 euros. And of course, it's a pretty fun attraction in itself!
When you step out of the cable car, you will find many restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies that will give you countless ideas of other things to do in Santorini in March.
12. Stay in a windmill. Yes, you read that right!
One of the coolest hotels in all of Santorini is the Windmill Villas. Prepare to be wowed by this one! It doesn't get much more impressive than these old windmills converted into outstanding accommodation.
From your perched location, you'll be able to enjoy sweeping views of the island, the ocean, and the caldera right from your bed. Or alternatively, from your private terrace, complete with your very own pool, jacuzzi, and flower garden. In fact, you could even host a party to view the sunset if you have more friends staying close by!
However, the catch is that there are only three of these luxury windmill villas in all of Santorini. So you've got be prepared to get one while they're available. But the good news is that you're heading off in March, which means there are less tourists who might fight you over these prized lodgings.
Plan your trip to enjoy all the exciting things to do in Santorini in March
Ready to head to Santorini? Here are our top tips and resources to help you plan a successful trip to the island:
Getting to Santorini
There are two main ways to reach Santorini: by ferry from Athens or from one of the other Greek islands, or on a flight to Santorini airport. If you opt for the sea route, we recommend booking your ferry crossing in advance through Ferries in Greece. It's the most complete search and booking platform we've found for ferry trips to the Greek islands. Conveniently, it lists all departures from every company that goes to Santorini.
Read more: How to get from Athens to Santorini
Book your ferry:
Accommodation in Santorini
If you don't manage or don't have the budget to book yourself into the Windmill Villas, don't worry! Santorini has one of the highest concentrations of exciting places to stay on the planet. From luxury cave villas carved into the cliffs in the style of traditional Oia dwellings, like the exceptional Demeter Cave Villa, to affordable serviced apartments with views like Alonia Studios, there's something for everyone. Browse all your options here.
Granted, this is not the most exciting part of travel planning. But we've heard too many horror stories to ever travel abroad without reliable travel medical coverage. We use SafetyWing, a flexible and affordable provider that can protect you against mishaps from just $1.32 per day. If you ask us, it's a steal to be able to enjoy your holiday with greater peace of mind!
If you're looking for more extensive coverage that also protects you against theft of your electronics and belongings and covers you for all types of sports and activities, World Nomads is a pricier but more comprehensive option used by many global travelers.
More of our favorite activities to do on Santorini:
Did you enjoy reading about all of these fantastic things to do in Santorini in March? I certainly hope you did because Santorini is one of the most incredible places in the world. Sure, there are tons of tourists and it may seem cliché to go there, but it's definitely worth it. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on the above tips and share this article on your social networks!
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