Planning a destination wedding can seem overwhelming, but I promise it’s more rewarding and more memorable than a traditional wedding!
If you’re an adventurous couple looking for an unforgettable wedding, and if you’re wondering how to get married in Santorini, Greece, then this guide is for you!
I’m Tylee, a Destination Wedding & Elopement Photographer, and I’m here to make it even easier for you to plan your dream day in an amazing destination! Explore the best Santorini wedding venues, travel tips, transportation information, places to stay, and more in my guide below.
Santorini has its own airport (JTR), however you’ll need to connect in an airport that offers flights into Santorini.
If you’re flying internationally, London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam have the most connecting flights to Santorini. However my personal favorite way to get to Santorini is to fly into Athens, Greece (ATH) because of the countless options there are for connecting flights to Santorini.
If you opt to fly into Athens, Olympic Airways and Aegean Airways are the main airlines that offer frequent trips to Santorini National Airport. Ryanair is another cost efficient option for hopping over from Athens to the island, and I’ve had great experiences with their airline.
Otherwise, once you get to the mainland of Greece you have the option to take a ferry to Santorini instead of a plane. Fly into the Athens airport (ATH) and take a direct ferry from the Port of Piraeus (just outside of Athens) to the island of Santorini. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the port, or ahead of time online. This can be a fun way to get to Santorini while taking in some amazing scenery if you aren’t in a rush!! I highly recommend the Blue Star Ferry line, it is more of a cruise ship with several levels of lounges, cafeterias, restaurants, and bars to make the sail super quick and enjoyable. Ferry tickets range from $38-$60.
Once you’ve made it to the island, whether you land in the airport or you take the ferry into the sea port, there are a surplus of taxis available at your disposal to get you to your hotel. Santorini also has a bus line that runs every hour in high season if you’re looking for a more cost efficient mode of transportation.
If you will be renting a car for the duration of your stay, you can arrange to have a rental car waiting for you at the airport. However, if you are staying in one of the main cities in Santorini (such as Oia, Fira, Pyrgos, Imerovigli) most attractions, restaurants, and shops will be within walking distance of your hotel and there won’t be much need for a rental car. In all of my trips to Santorini, I have never gotten a rental car. Instead, I’ve taxied to my hotel upon arriving on the island, and then I’ve walked the majority of my time and occasionally rented a scooter/vespa for the days when I wanted to explore other parts of the island.
My personal recommendations are to stay in either Oia or Fira, this is where you’ll find the most livelihood on the island.
Oia is one of the most photographed cities in Santorini and known for its incredible sunsets. With hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops, there is so much to do and see here, making it my personal favorite place to stay on the island.
Fira is another great option filled with restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars. Fira is the place to be if you’re wanting more wild nightlife and clubbing.
If you’re wanting a quiet, remote, resort-like stay you can look into staying in Perissa, Kamari, or Pyrgos.
For lodging, I have had amazing experiences with both AirBNB’s and local hotels/villas.
Here are a few options in a variety of price ranges.
Villa Illias $$
Note: If you’re traveling on a budget, I’d highly recommend finding a cost friendly AirBNB that has a kitchenette/stove/microwave/mini fridge/etc. Having the ability to cook some of your own meals as opposed to having to go out for every meal will save you lots in the long run!
Despite the small size of the island, Santorini contains many amazing wedding venues! There are spaces for large parties of up to 200 guests, and also remote locations for quiet, intimate ceremonies.
There’s something for every bride, and I’ll list a few of my favorite Santorini wedding venues here:
Dana Villas is great for either a small wedding of 20-30 guests, or a private intimate elopement for just the two of you. With caldera views and amazing sunsets, this spot is priceless and timeless.
For panoramic views of the entire island and larger weddings of up to 120 guests, Santo Winery is the perfect spot.
This is the place to throw a party! With multiple pools, bars, and the capacity to host any type of band/DJ/live entertainment, Rocabella is the set up for a wild wedding celebration. Invite up to 200 guests and enjoy caldera views and the best party of your life.
Their iconic veranda and twinkle lights sets the mood for a romantic wedding with anywhere from 50-150 guests. La Maltese also includes great options for their brides, including a DJ, open bar, buffet menu, and more, making this an easy one-stop-shop for destination wedding planning.
This private estate comes with incredible views of the caldera, indoor and outdoor space options, complimentary use of the bridal suite, and more. If your wedding will have less than 160 guests and if you’re planning to invite children (children are complimentary!) then this is the place for you.
For an intimate wedding with breathtaking sunsets & romantic twinkle lights, Canaves has the best private view of the caldera for you & up to 30 guests.
With amazing caldera views, indoor & outdoor venue options, and delicious dinner menus for you and your guests, La Ciel is an excellent all-inclusive option for elegant weddings.
This whitewashed chapel hosts traditional, classic weddings for up to 50 guests. Located on the caldera, you’ll catch an unforgettable sunset after you share your vows.
Want more? view more santorini wedding venues here.
Due to how popular Santorini is for destination weddings and elopements, there are several different Santorini wedding planners available for you to work with on the island. To name a few whose work I absolutely love; Wedding Tales Santorini, Julia and Evita, The Stars Inside, and Think Happy Events.
DISCLAIMER: If you want to cut costs and plan it on your own, let me give you a little pep talk: you’ve got this!!!!!
Most venues have their own venue coordinator or on-site event planner who will be able to assist you with the whole process. Especially if you are planning a small wedding with just a few guests, or an intimate elopement for just you & your fiancé, there might not be a need to invest in a wedding coordinator.
Additionally, certain photographers (myself included!) assist you with the wedding planning process. So if you find the right photographer to capture your day, and if you select a venue with an on-site coordinator, you’ll be more than set!
Just know that hiring a wedding planner is not necessary, just a personal preference, and if your goal is to go it on your own, you’ve freaking got this!
The best time to get married in Santorini is between late April and late October. High season for tourists runs from June through September, so if you’re wanting to avoid massive crowds aim to have your wedding in April, May, or October. In fact, many hotels and venues run at a discounted rate for the months of March, April, May, October, November. So if you’re looking to save a few dollars as well as avoid the rush, these months would be the best time to go!
April/May/June/September/October are the most mild, temperate months with temps in the high 60’s/low 70’s (Farenheit), and July/August are the hottest months with average temperatures of 84 degrees. Keep this in mind if you are the kind of person who doesn’t do well with heat and/or cold temps.
Lastly, finding a photographer to capture your destination wedding in Santorini can be tricky. You can either opt for a Greek wedding photographer who is based in the region you are getting married, or you can opt to bring along a destination wedding photographer from another location. Here are the pro’s and con’s to each option…
There are several wedding photographers on the island, and the benefit of hiring them is that they have the ‘home court advantage.’ They know the lay of the land, where the best photo ops are, and they ultimately are comfortable shooting Santorini weddings because it’s all they do. A potential disadvantage is that these photographers capture hundreds of Santorini weddings per year. Since all they do is shoot weddings in Santorini, usually several per week and occasionally several per day, you might not get the personal connection and undivided attention that you deserve. Finally, cultural and language barriers are another thing to keep in mind when working with Santorini photographers.
Your other option is to find a destination wedding photographer and have them travel to Santorini with you to capture your wedding. The benefit of this is that you have their undivided attention. They are traveling to Italy to capture your wedding alone, so you’ll be getting their full effort, develop a deeper connection with them, and most likely receive a quicker return of your images. Plus, you won’t be navigating cultural and language differences if you hire a destination wedding photographer from your home country/state. The disadvantage to this: you might have added expenses covering the photographer’s travel fees.
There are clear pro’s and con’s to each option, but what’s most important is that you choose a photographer who you get along with. You are sharing the most special day of your life with this person, and so it’s of the utmost importance that you feel comfortable with them and have personalities that vibe well together.
If your dream is to get married in Santorini…you’ve got this, and I guarantee you won’t regret it!!!