Santorini in January : What to Expect

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

santorini in january

Santorini in January is a great greek island to visit, but things are quite different on the island as January is considered winter in Santorini (or low season). Here is everything you need to know if you are looking to visit Santorini in January.

If you are planning to visit Santorini island in Greece in January, you should know that this is considered the “low” season and along with February, this is considered the coldest month on the island. The weather in January in Santorini can usually be anything between 0-15 degrees Celsius, and it can be cold, wet, rainy and windy. January is the month when the seasonal businesses in Santorini are mostly closed, so you need to be aware of that.



There are still many things to do and see but swimming in the sea or your private pool and sunbathing won’t be one of these.

January in Santorini is probably the coldest and wettest month of the island (along with February and March) and it’s definitely not a hot month. Unfortunately, you are not going to get summer weather in January and you won’t be able to enjoy the awesome beaches in Santorini, as it would probably be too cold for most of the people.

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A picture of the famous Tranquilo Beach Bar in Perissa in January: Closed

The island won’t feel crowded in January and it’s probably one of the quietest months of the year. All beachside areas will be closed in January, as May is the month they are opening for business.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still going to be some life in Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari but it’s going to feel very deserted compared to June, July or August.

Some of the restaurants will be open in January in Perissa, but none of the famous beach clubs will be open.

I always feel though, that a visit to a Santorini beach is still worthwhile as walking on the beach can always be very relaxing and refreshing.

Where to Stay in Santorini
Santorini in April
Best Hotels in Oia
Best Hotels in Fira

I will put it this way: if August is 120% busy for Santorini, then January is about 5% busy.

This is how Santorini feels every month; this is not official statistics but more like my personal view statistics after having lived on the island for more than 20 years and experiencing firsthand the crowds and the… tranquillity

Keep reading…


  • MOST businesses, restaurants, hotels, bars and shops will be CLOSED in January in Santorini but not in Fira (the capital town of the island)

  • January is considered the LOW SEASON” for Santorini and one of the quietest months of the year. This is very good if you are looking for lower prices on hotels and accommodation as generally, it’s cheaper than the summer months.

  • The weather in January in Santorini can be cold, wet and windy but also sunny and relatively warm. You would definitely need a heavy jacket even during the day and nights can be cold and humid, especially if it gets windy. Do not pack swimsuits if you are planning to visit Santorini in January! (what is wrong with you??)

  • The seawater will be cold (at least for most people) and swimming in the sea won’t be possible. If it’s windy, it can even be dangerous! No one will stop you from swimming if you feel brave enough though…

  • Because it’s low season yet and most businesses will not be open, I strongly suggest you stay in Fira as it’s the capital of the island with the most open shops and restaurants throughout the year.
  • Most of the restaurants in Santorini will be closed in January but Fira will still have many restaurants to feed you. Oia on the other hand will probably have only fewer option for food open. is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Athens, Santorini , Mykonos & Crete (more than Airbnb!)

Ferryhopper is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Santorini, Mykonos , Crete & all greek islands

Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Tours in Athens and the greek islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete etc)

Rentalcars is the easiest way to rent a car or a quad for Greece with thousands of available options

Expedia has all the available flights to and from the greek islands

How is the weather in Santorini in January ?

January in Santorini is cold and relatively wet. The temperature can be anything between 0-20 degrees Celsius (or 40-60 Fahrenheit) but it can feel cold, especially during the night because of the chilling and humid wind.

January weather in Santorini is usually predictable and you will most likely get some rain but you will also get some (strangely) sunny days.

The average temperature in Santorini in January is about 12 degrees Celsius or about 50 Fahrenheit, and it will mostly be windy and cold

Santorini in January gets the most amount of rain in the year (along with December)

During the day, you will definitely need a heavy jacket (especially if it’s cloudy), so no t-shirts or shorts, unfortunately… If it’s sunny though, you may be able to wear a t-shirt during the day (#climatechange).☀️

January in Greece (and in Europe) is considered winter and not summer but the weather is still better than in the major European capitals (Paris, London etc). It’s still the Meditteranean after all!

Where to stay in Santorini in January?

January is the low season on the island and since most of the businesses will be closed, your options are limited.

If you are visiting Santorini in January, I highly recommend you stay in Fira, which is the liveliest town on the island, any time of the year, as it’s the capital.

oia crowded sunset
Don’t worry about the sunset crowds in Oia in January; you won’t find any of these but it may feel slightly busier than usual during sunset time. It’s still Santorini !

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy any of the famous Santorini beaches in January as the sea water is too cold at that time and there is literally no life around. All the beach clubs and most of the hotels and restaurants will be closed during January in Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos which are the most famous beaches on the island.

where to stay in santorini
Unfortunately, staying close to. a beach (such as Kamari or Perissa) is not a recommended option in January as most beaches will feel deserted without any businesses open; the seawater would probably be too cold for most people to enjoy, too.

That doesn’t mean though that you cannot visit the beaches at all as they are fantastic anyways.

See also: The 25 Best Restaurants of Santorini

Here are some handy tips to have in mind when looking for a hotel in Santorini in January (and not only):

For views to the volcano and the caldera: Fira (best place to stay in January), FirostefaniImerovigliOia

For being close to all the bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and the buzz: Fira (it’s the capital of the island and the town with the most grocery stores, shops and nightclubs open in January), Oia (very quiet in January)

For equally beautiful sunsets and views to the caldera and the volcano (without thousands of tourists): Imerovigli and Firostefani (best for the summer months)

For being closer to the famous black beach (like a 5-mins walk close…) and the best beach bars of the island: Perissa or Perivolos (no famous caldera and volcano views though and also not good for the low seasons as most of the hotels and businesses are closed)

For being closer to the other black beach with lots of restaurants and amenities: Kamari (no famous caldera and volcano views though)

For being close to the famous Red Beach but still have views to the caldera: Akrotiri (but it’s a 20-30 mins drive from Fira-capital – avoid it in January)

For being closer to most of the Santorini wineries (and you don’t care about the famous volcano/caldera views): Pyrgos (most of the wineries are closed in the winter except Santo Winery)

For having the best private pools and jacuzzis with caldera views in Santorini: Imerovigli or Firostefani.

santorini fira winter
Even the streets at (usually buzzing) Fira will feel empty during January

What do I need to pack for a trip to Santorini in January ?

Forget about: swimsuits, bikinis, monokinis, Borat-kinis, speedos, Hawaiian flowery shirts, normal t-shirts, shorts, etc. You need to pack heavy and light winter clothes. You need your jackets, your sweaters and your trousers. You need your sweatpants for those hiking tours and your comfy jeans. No summer clothes at all…

santorini may
You won’t need any summer clothes in Santorini in January. Get prepared for winter.

Is January a good time to visit Santorini?

January is still a great time to visit Santorini (as it’s every month in my opinion) but it’s not the best month if you are looking for summer weather and beach life because it’s….the winter.

If you are looking to get budget accommodation and cheaper hotels then this is a great option, as prices tend to be relatively lower during the low season (but you get fewer hotels to choose from though).

The seawater is cold in January and all beach clubs in Santorini are closed during this month.

The black beaches of Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari will feel empty and deserted that month.

See Also: Best Beaches in Santorini you MUST visit (even if you don’t swim)

Can You Swim in Santorini in January?

Unfortunately, not. You won’t be able to swim in the seawater in January in Santorini and most beach businesses, shops, bars, restaurants, tavernas, beach clubs and hotels at the famous seaside towns of Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos will be closed. They usually open in early May and close at the end of October.

perissa beach winter
Most businesses, restaurants and beach clubs in January are closed (this is Perissa Beach)

January is definitely the heart of the winter in Santorini.

What things you can do in Santorini in January ?

Obviously, you cannot do everything you’d do during May, June, July, August, September or October as most businesses, tour operators and hotels WILL BE CLOSED. However, there are still lots of things to do on the island (and that’s the great thing about Santorini in general)

What are the flights to Santorini in January?

For January, here are the companies with direct flights to Santorini usually (these change every year so please double-check before booking anything):

Aegean Airlines

Olympic Air


Sky Express


Astra Airlines









Thomas Cook

Norwegian Airlines

(unfortunately, there are no direct flights from outside Europe to Santorini in January…you have to get off at Athens and then take another plane or ferry to Santorini)

January is usually the month when the flight operators may not operate any flights at all and your only option would be to travel through Athens. There are also no flights between Mykonos and Santorini during January.

What are the ferries to Santorini in January?

Read my super-detailed guide for all the ferries in Santorini here:

How To Get From Athens to Santorini

But you can also check the best website for ferries in Greece directly: Ferryhopper


January in Santorini is still a great time to visit the island, but you won’t be able to swim in the sea or enjoy the famous beach life of the island as it’s the heart of the low season (or the winter). The amazing volcano views and incredible landscape will still be there and available for you to enjoy but the island will feel very quiet and relaxed. You can still do things in January, such as hiking the path from Fira to Oia or even visiting the amazing Museums of the island. You will still be able to visit 1 or 2 wineries (Santowines is open throughout the year). In regards to accommodation, you must stay in Fira as it is the capital town and the place with the most open businesses and life during the winter.

Photo of author
Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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