I would just like to make a few point on this topic which usually pops up as a question from people looking to visit Greece and Santorini.
So, what island is the best to go after visiting Santorini?
I guess you are doing your research for your upcoming trip to Greece and you have limited down the places of interest to the famous greek itinerary: Athens, Santorini and Mykonos , right?
After visiting Santorini (and if you haven’t visited Athens on which you only need 48 hours in my opinion) you have plenty of islands to choose from but you have to pick the right ones…
After Santorini, you cannot visit Crete unless you have more than 1 week more to spend in Greece. Crete is a massive island and it’s not worth 1-2 days visit. You won’t even get a glimpse of the island… In fact, Crete doesn’t even feel like an island and it feels more like mainland Greece once you are there.
After Santorini, visit an island with easy access with a ferry. If you are flying to Santorini from abroad then you must be able to get back to Santorini within a few hours ferry.
After Santorini, (and if you only have 2-3 days left in your trip) you cannot visit other famous islands such Corfu, Kefalonia, Rhodes or Zante. These are on the other sides of Greece and you have to go through Athens to reach them by plane. Doable but you will waste too much time and money in transport.
So, I strongly suggest visiting either Mykonos, Milos, Ios, Paros or Naxos after visiting Santorini. These are all islands within a few hours ferry from Santorini and though they might look similar to Santorini, each one has its unique characteristics and beauty.
And always remember It’s better to spend your time on a beach rather than in a ferry, at a port, at an airport or in a bus while in Greece…