The ultimate guide to elope in Santorini – tips and 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!
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) 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!
4) 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!
5) 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.
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!
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.
6) How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Santorini?
Travel to and from Santorini: $1.200
Five nights in high-end accommodation: $1.800
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Private chef or full board: $2.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $4.000
Suit and accessories: $1.000
Total for a high-end elopement in Santorini: $19.000
Travel to and from Santorini: $1.200
Five nights in an Airbnb: $600
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $2.000
Suit and accessories: $400
Total for a budget elopement in Santorini: $12.600
Avoid the stress, family drama and financial chaos that comes with traditional weddings. Surrender to a “just us” adventure elopement instead.
Hi! I’m Amber, your elopement photographer, planner and guide.
Together we plan your dream elopement itinerary in Santorini over 1, 3, 7 or 12 days.
Let’s plan your adventure elopement in Santorini
7) What to Wear
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.
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!
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.
8) Elope in Santorini – Your Checklist
Choose a Location
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!
Learn About Travel Visas
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 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!
Elope in Your Dream Location!
Relax, and spend the day adventuring and exploring around Santorini with your love!
Interested in adventuring with me as your Santorini elopement photographer?
Fill out the form to get started!
12) Elopement Galleries
- Marine & Etienne – An overnight post-wedding session near Lyon
- Kristina & Tyler – A chateau Challain elopement followed by a 10-days honeymoon in France and Italy
- Imogen & Paul – An overnight mountain elopement near Switzerland
- Elodie & Dean – A post-wedding session in Scotland
- Laura & Ben – A forest elopement in the Highlands
- Misha & Chris – A 5-days elopement in the Japanese forests
How I Can Help Plan Your Peaceful Elopement in Santorini
Schedule a Consultation
I hate sales calls, and I’m sure they aren’t your favorite thing either. That’s not what this is – instead I’ll get to know you, what your vision is, and how we can make your Santorini elopement absolutely perfect.
Book your date
One contract, one deposit, and you’re set! After you decide on a date, I’ll send those over to you, and then we’re ready to roll!
I’ll plan your dream elopement
From vendor recommendations to building a timeline, I’m here to help with every part of your elopement day, beginning to end! We’ll work together to plan your unique day.
Live your adventure
Woohoo!! Time to tie the knot and marry the love of your life in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Relive this day forever
After you get your photos back, you get to relive every amazing moment of the day – forever!
Let’s plan your peaceful elopement
Where you can be you. Feel. Breathe in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket list dream.
Need more inspiration for your elopement?
Check out this brand new article about the best places to elope IN THE WORLD
Have I won you over with Santorini yet?
Santorini is such an amazing destination for an adventure elopement!
As an elopement photographer and guide, I offer a range of option that all include planning and photography, from 5 hours all the way to your ultimate 14-day elopement and honeymoon gateway in Santorini. As part of my photography service, I will help you choose and plan the perfect elopement day(s) from crafting the whole day program to helping you choose amazing vendors!
Contact me now to get started!