The ultimate guide to elope in Santorini
TIPS. VENUES & LOCATION IDEAS
for an adventure elopement in Santorini
Amongst Greece’s many incredible landmarks, beaches, and islands, Santorini is the country’s most notable, and most visited, island. One look at the white sand beaches and the charming white washed houses that sit on cliffs overlooking the sea, and it’s easy to see why visiting Santorini is on so many bucket lists, and why so many couples are drawn here for their elopement!
A Santorini elopement is perfect for those who want to combine relaxation with excitement, luxury with adventure, and incredible natural beauty with stunning architecture. Keep reading this guide, and you’ll be ready to plan your own Santorini elopement in no time!
Let’s dive in…
Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime
Hey there, I’m Amber! I’m your elopement photographer and planner – your one-stop-shop for absolutely everything you need for a magical, incredible elopement day.
I offer all-inclusive elopement packages for couples who want to relax and let me handle absolutely everything, as well as options for couples who like a little bit of DIY! I’ll find the perfect place for you to exchange vows, recommend vendors, help you figure out travel and lodging, make a timeline, and more – personalizing each part of your elopement day to perfectly suit the two of you. And of course, I’ll be there to take the photos and document this once in a lifetime adventure.
You aren’t like every other couple, and your wedding day shouldn’t be either! I’ll help you craft a day that’s true to you, authentic, and real, allowing you to immerse yourselves in the experience as you say your “I dos.”
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
What is an elopement?
Google the definition of “elopement” and you’ll get a lot of results… most of which are completely wrong. Sure, eloping used to mean “running away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent,” (thanks, Merriam Webster), but not anymore!
Eloping is no longer something scandalous, secretive, or shameful. It’s about reclaiming your wedding day, letting go of the stress, pressure, and expectations that come with the traditional wedding industry, and making sure that your wedding is a reflection of you, your relationship, and your marriage.
Why Elope in Santorini?
Turquoise water, dormant volcanoes, oceanside cliffs, breathtaking sunsets… what other reason do you need to elope in Santorini!? The island has no shortage of incredible landscapes to explore, and so many unique ways to explore them! You can go on horseback, by boat, or hike to see everything that Santorini has to offer.
From street gyros to fine dining seafood, Santorini is a food lover’s paradise. The island’s indigenous fruits and vegetables paired with wine and refreshing cocktails will make your mouth water!
While your elopement is all about adventure, there’s nothing like having a home base to return to after a day of exploring. Santorini is known for its luxury resorts, but even the more modest accommodations often feature views of the ocean. Your Santorni elopement will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for more adventures!
How to Legally Elope in Santorini
To ensure that your marriage is legal, you’ll need to brush up on the paperwork and local marriage laws. But don’t worry, I have all the important stuff right here!
You do not have to be a local to elope in Santorni, but getting all of the proper paperwork can take as long as several weeks. Here is the paperwork you’ll need to obtain for your ceremony:
- A valid passport
- A birth certificate with the Apostille stamp certifying the copy
- An official Apostille translated into Greek, which can be certified by a lawyer, a foreign ministry’s translation department, a certified translator or the Greek consulate from your home country
- Proof of freedom to marry, or affidavit of marriage, notarised
- A decree of absolution of your previous marriage, if applicable
- A copy of the local newspaper where your intent to marry was published
That last one is unique – in Greece, you need to state your intent to get married in the local newspaper, or at the town hall. After that, you’ll be able to apply for a marriage license. The entire process costs an average of 307 euros, or 363 USD.
For couples from the US:
In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Santorini.
How to Get to Santorini for Your Elopement
This is a place where myths are woven into the fabric of the day, and the glow of the sunset seems to hold the secrets of ancient times. Traveling to this enchanting island is the beginning of an adventure, a story that you’ll tell for years to come, with each tale wrapped in the magic of the journey.
Get to Santorini by Plane
Your flight to Santorini is more than just a journey; it’s a transition to a world where time moves at the pace of the waves. Landing at Santorini (Thira) National Airport, the gateway from the skies, brings you directly into the heart of this dreamy landscape. With connections from major cities in Europe, especially during the summer, the island is just a flight away from turning your dreams into reality. Imagine gazing out of the airplane window, the Aegean Sea sprawling endlessly below, dotted with islands that tell tales as old as time. The descent into Santorini is a breathtaking prelude to your adventure, offering a bird’s-eye view of the caldera, a sublime sight that captures the essence of this unique destination.
Get to Santorini by Ferry
For those who yearn for the romance of the sea, reaching Santorini by ferry is an odyssey that connects you to the rhythm of the Aegean. Departing from Piraeus or Rafina in Athens, your voyage across the blue expanse is a journey back in time, a slow unveiling of the island’s dramatic beauty as it rises from the horizon. The ferry ride, lasting anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending on the service you choose, offers moments of contemplation and anticipation. Standing on the deck, feeling the sea breeze, you’re following the wake of ancient mariners, approaching an island that has seduced travelers for millennia. And when Santorini appears, it’s as if the island emerges from the myths themselves, inviting you to step into a world where every sunset paints the sky with the palette of dreams.
Getting Around Santorini During Your Elopement
Navigating the serpentine paths and sun-kissed streets of Santorini is an adventure in itself, a chance to discover the hidden nooks and panoramic vistas that make the island a mosaic of unforgettable experiences. The allure of freedom calls many to explore on four wheels, with ATVs and car rentals offering a personal key to the island’s treasures. Riding an ATV, with the wind as your companion, is an exhilarating way to weave through the narrow roads, uncovering secluded spots and breathtaking views at your own rhythm. The island feels different from the saddle of an ATV; more vibrant, more alive, as if you’re riding through a living postcard.
However, with the charm of mobility comes the challenge of parking, a rare gem in the bustling villages and popular spots like Oia and Fira. The narrow streets, designed long before the era of vehicles, whisper tales of a simpler time, making the quest for parking a part of your Santorini saga. Car rentals offer comfort and the luxury of air conditioning, a haven from the midday sun, but they too dance the delicate ballet of finding a spot amidst the labyrinthine streets and limited spaces. This dance, though, is a small price for the autonomy to explore Santorini’s far-reaching corners, from the ancient ruins of Akrotiri to the tranquil beaches of the island’s south. Embrace this part of the adventure with a spirit of patience and flexibility, knowing that each turn, each little detour in search of parking, is a step further into the heart of Santorini’s enchanting story.
Did you know?
As your Santorini elopement guide and photographer, I offer complimentary transportation, freeing you to fully revel in your special day while I smoothly handle the logistics. Dive into your adventure worry-free, immersed in love and the beauty around us.
Lodging for Your Elopement in Santorini
Choosing where to rest your head in this slice of paradise can be as important as the adventures you embark on by day. Here are the three best types of accommodation that promise not just a place to stay, but a sanctuary to enhance your Santorini experience:
Nestled in the heart of Santorini’s cliffside, cave hotels offer a unique and intimate lodging experience. These traditional dwellings, carved into the volcanic rock, blend historical charm with modern luxury. Imagine waking up in a softly lit room, with walls that curve around you like a hug from the island itself. Many have terraces that offer spectacular views of the Aegean Sea, perfect for those contemplative moments at dusk or dawn, where the sky is a canvas of colors.
For those seeking privacy with a touch of opulence, Santorini’s luxury villas are unmatched. These secluded havens come with their own private pools or jacuzzis, offering breathtaking views of the caldera or the sparkling sea below. It’s a place where time slows down, allowing you to savor every moment of togetherness, whether it’s a quiet morning breakfast with a view or a dip under the stars, wrapped in the warm night air of the island.
Santorini’s boutique hotels are jewels scattered across the island, each with its own character and charm. They offer a personalized experience, often centered around the breathtaking vistas that Santorini is famed for. From infinity pools that blend into the horizon to intimate dining experiences under a canopy of stars, these hotels are about capturing the essence of the island – its unspoken promise of romance, adventure, and stories waiting to be discovered.
Did you know?
When you book your elopement experience with me, I’ll give you access to my concierge service and recommend incredible hotels and talented local vendors.
Where to Elope in Santorini
How do you even begin to narrow down one spot to say your vows in Santorini? Everywhere you look there’s beautiful beaches, captivating cliffs, and so much to see! Here are a few great spots for a Santorini elopement to get you inspired.
Amoudi Bay is a neighborhood in Santorini whose port is known for the scenery that surrounds it. Imagine getting married on the beach, surrounded by red cliffs, the iconic whitewashed buildings, and the clear blue water of the Aegean Sea. After your ceremony, you can even go cliff diving!
Fira to Oia
This hike is six miles each way, and passes through four towns! Along the way, you’ll have sweeping views of the ocean, as well as of the picturesque towns. This hike is a popular place to catch the sunset, but make sure to leave early! There are tons of places you’ll want to stop along the way.
Named after the dramatic red sand cliffs that tower over this beach, it’s a gorgeous place to tie the knot. The stark contrast between the bright blue water, vibrant red cliffs, and dark sand is without a doubt a beautiful backdrop for your elopement photos!
Santorini’s oldest volcano, Palea Kameni, can be reached by boat, but you’ll have to swim to get to the hot springs! For the adventurous couple, jumping into the sea and paddling to get to warm water is a once in a lifetime experience.
Skaros rock is a unique rocky formation formed by ruins and volcanic eruptions. This former site of a castle protrudes over the sea, offering a beautiful spot for couples to elope. Getting here requires a bit of a hike, so bring your hiking boots!
Did you know?
There is so much more in Santorini than Thira and Oia When you choose to book your elopement with me, I will provide you with a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that perfectly align with your preferences. Allow me to lead you to the hidden treasures of Santorini, far from the usual tourist spots.
When to Elope in Santorini
Santorini’s weather rarely dips below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), so this island paradise is a wonderful getaway any time of year.
Winter in Santorini tends to be very rainy, but on the plus side, tourism drops significantly and hotel prices are low! If you don’t mind the rain, winter may be the perfect time to elope and avoid the crowds.
SPRING AND FALL
The best time for a Santorini elopement is spring or fall – temperatures are warm but not hot, and it is much less crowded than summertime.
Summer is Santorini’s busiest season. Tons of tourists flock to the island, so if you’re hoping for more privacy while you say your vows, opt for spring or fall. But, for those who love to swim, summer temperatures are much more ideal!
Example budget of an elopement in Santorini
When it comes to elopement budgets, I understand the challenges of providing a precise estimate for vendors outside of my own expertise. The cost can greatly vary depending on your chosen destination and the quality of vendors you desire.
Elopement expenses are significantly influenced by factors like your chosen location. Rather than providing generic budget estimates for vendors I don’t work with, I recommend exploring my elopement packages. They include all-inclusive options, giving you a clearer view of your budget and costs.
Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Santorini
Oh, the adventures that await you in Santorini are as boundless as the azure skies that blanket this island of dreams. Here, every path leads to discovery, every turn reveals a new story, and the vibrancy of life is celebrated in the most unique ways. Let’s dive into five awesome, fun, and adventurous activities that will make your Santorini experience unforgettable:
Volcanic Hike and Hot Springs Dip
Embark on a journey to the heart of Santorini’s birthplace—the caldera. Hike the moon-like surface of the active volcano, Nea Kameni, feeling the whispers of the earth beneath your feet. Then, take a leap into the therapeutic waters of the nearby hot springs, a natural spa crafted by the hands of Poseidon himself. It’s an adventure that marries the thrill of exploration with the ancient healing of the Aegean.
Sunset Sailing Odyssey
Board a traditional Greek sailing boat and set sail into the golden hour. Glide across the sapphire waters, past the iconic red and white beaches, to a secluded spot under the Oia cliffs. As the sun dips into the sea, painting the sky with hues of fire and passion, you’ll toast to the adventure of life, surrounded by the majesty of the Aegean Sea. It’s not just a sail; it’s a voyage into the heart of Santorini’s magic.
Gastronomic Village Exploration
Santorini is a mosaic of quaint villages, each holding its own culinary treasures. Embark on a gastronomic exploration, from the sun-drenched tomatoes of the plains to the crisp wines of the volcanic vineyards. Visit a traditional taverna hidden in the winding alleys of Pyrgos, where dishes tell the tales of generations. It’s a journey not just of taste but of connection to the soul of the island.
Ancient Akrotiri Discovery
Step back in time with a visit to Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement preserved in volcanic ash. Wander through the ancient streets, stand in homes adorned with frescoes, and marvel at the advanced civilization that once thrived here. It’s an adventure into the past, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who once called Santorini home, a testament to the enduring spirit of human creativity and resilience.
Art and Craft Workshops
Dive into the vibrant art scene of Santorini by participating in a local workshop. Whether it’s pottery making with clay from the earth or painting inspired by the island’s legendary sunsets, you’ll not only create your own masterpiece but also weave a piece of your soul into the tapestry of Santorini’s artistic legacy. It’s an adventure in creativity, celebrating the beauty of the island through your own expression.
What To Wear When Eloping In Santorini
While you can get away with cute-but-uncomfortable attire on a wedding day, elopements require much more moving around!
Santorini is pretty warm year round, though winter can be a little chillier. I recommend wearing a lightweight dress – fabrics like chiffon and tulle are perfect and won’t be too hot. A lightweight, flowy dress will be perfect for a casual beach elopement! Make sure you’re able to sit down and walk around comfortably.
If you’re planning on hiking, make sure to bring comfortable hiking boots! For elopements on the beach, opt for comfortable but lightweight footwear (or maybe go barefoot) – heels and sand definitely don’t go together! If you buy new shoes for the occasion, make sure to break them in before the big day! There’s nothing worse than gorgeous new shoes that give you blisters five minutes in.
Layers are great for eloping in Santorini. Mornings and evenings might get chilly, but during the day you’ll want to lose a few. A dress shirt and pants are perfect, with a jacket or tux to go on top!
Typical food and dishes from Santorini
You might want to integrate into your elopement day
Tomatokeftedes (Santorini Tomato Fritters)
These are not just any tomato fritters; they are a love letter to the cherry tomatoes that thrive in Santorini’s unique volcanic earth. Blended with herbs, onions, and the perfect mix of spices, then fried to golden perfection, Tomatokeftedes are a crisp, flavorful explosion with each bite. They embody the sun-kissed, vibrant spirit of the island on a plate. Pair them with a chilled glass of Assyrtiko, a crisp white wine native to Santorini, for a symphony of flavors.
Fava Me Koukia (Santorini Split Peas)
This creamy, comforting dish is the heart of Santorini’s culinary tradition. Made from yellow split peas grown exclusively on the island, it’s a simple yet profoundly flavorful puree, often topped with capers, diced onions, and a generous drizzle of local olive oil. The earthy, rich taste of the fava, combined with the sharpness of the capers and the sweetness of the onions, creates a harmonious dish that speaks of centuries of agricultural tradition and the islanders’ deep connection to their land.
Melitinia (Sweet Cheese Pastries)
Dive into the sweeter side of Santorini with Melitinia, delicate pastries filled with a sweetened cheese mixture seasoned with mastic and vanilla. Traditionally made for Greek Orthodox Easter, these treats are a celebration of flavor and texture, soft on the inside with a slightly crisp exterior. Tasting Melitinia is like biting into a piece of Santorini’s heritage, a blend of the simple and the divine, much like the island itself.
Elope in Santorini – Your Checklist
Think about where you’d like to go
It can be hard to decide on just one spot to say your vows when Santorini offers so many beautiful places! My advice is to start by thinking about what kind of scenery you’d like to see. Beaches? Volcanos? Do you want to hike, or would you rather step out of your villa and into an incredible view?
As an elopement photographer, a big part of my job is to help couples find the perfect place to say their vows. As a travel planner, I’m ready to go with all the best secret spots! Once you’ve decided to elope in Santorini, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.
Pick a date
After you research the weather in Santorini and figure out time off from work, it’s time to choose your elopement date!
Find more information about travel visas and wedding documentation
Luckily, you will not need a visa to elope in Santorini (unless you stay longer than 90 days), so all you have to do is make sure your passports are up to date!
Book your flights and accommodation
Check out Airbnbs, hotels, and resorts in Santorini and figure out where you’d like to stay! I recommend booking flights and accommodation early, so that you find a spot close to your elopement location, and so that you get the best prices!
Book your vendors
Reach out to your favorite elopement vendors as soon as possible! Their schedules fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate to inquire!
Live your dream elopement
Relax, and spend the day adventuring and exploring around Santorini with your love!
DOES SANTORINI SOUND LIKE YOUR DREAM?
How to plan your peaceful elopement in SANTORINI with me
Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!
Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.
Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Santorini? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!