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Sailing Experiences in Santorini

Embark on an exciting cruise in Santorini to explore its impressive volcano and the deep sea while enjoying beautiful views and the magical Aegean sunset

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

10 min read

Sailing Experiences in Santorini

Enjoying the views from Santorini | ©Theodoros Katis

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is one of the most beautiful and popular islands of Greece. A place blessed by nature with turquoise waters and imposing cliffs over which hang picturesque villages that represents like no other the beauty of the legendary Greek Islands.

Contemplating from the sea the wonderful views of the Cyclades archipelago is a unique experience that every traveler should add to their travel log. Want to know how to take a Santorini cruise? Read on!

1. Santorini cruise options

2. Dinner and sunset cruise around Santorini and trip to Nea Kameni

Santorini at sunset
Santorini at sunset

Watching the Santorini sunset is one of the most fascinating experiences you can live in Greece. It is said that this is the most beautiful sunset in the Aegean Sea and this statement repeated by so many travelers who have had the opportunity to witness it in person is a powerful siren song for so many others who dream of seeing it with their own eyes.

There are many ways to enjoy this magical moment during a vacation in the Greek Islands, but nothing compares to the possibility of doing it while sailing around the caldera and the coasts of the island aboard a beautiful boat.

What will you do during the excursion?

With this 6-hour Santorini cruise you will have the opportunity to explore this jewel of the Cyclades archipelago not only by sea but also by land.

Accompanied by a guide, you will disembark with your group on the volcanic islet of Nea Kameni for a walk, enjoy the scenery from a different point of view and take pictures of the beautiful contrast between the turquoise blue water and the dark volcanic cliffs.

However, those who prefer may also choose to immerse themselves in the thermal waters of the volcano's caldera, which are said to have therapeutic properties for health.

Then, back on the ship, it will sail around Thirasia Island to enjoy the views of the rocky coastline and around mid-afternoon, it will anchor for you to have a delicious Greek 2-course dinner and a glass of wine while you enjoy the last lights of the day over the Aegean.

Watching the sunset over the caldera of Santorini's volcano is a fantastic experience and truly lives up to its fame. For me, it is an indelible memory to watch how the sun hides on the horizon little by little, with a beautiful glow of orange and pinkish colors mixed with the blue of the sky and the sea. I fully recommend it!

Useful information

  • The Santorini cruise lasts 6 hours
  • Optional visit to Nea Kameni with a local guide or a bath in the thermal waters of the islet
  • Includes a glass of wine and dinner at sunset
  • Transfer to and from the hotel in an air-conditioned bus

3. Santorini volcano and hot springs cruise from the ancient port of Fira

The coast of Santorini
The coast of Santorini

Another of the activities to do in Santorini that I highly recommend during your vacation is to board a traditional sailing boat to sail around the caldera off the coast of Santorini for 3 hours and discover the spectacular postcard views that dot the coastline of the Cyclades archipelago.

What will you see on the tour?

Santorini is the quintessential Greek island. Contemplating from the sea its silhouette of cliffs and peaks dotted with whitewashed houses with their iconic blue roofs is a marvel. The tour starts at the old port of Fira, where you will board a wooden boat to enjoy the beautiful views of this corner of the Aegean.

But the real highlight of this Santorini volcano cruise is visiting the famous islet of Nea Kameni. Adrenaline rushes as you climb to the top of this active volcano to see its crater and walk around it accompanied by a guide, who will explain all about the history and geology of the archipelago.

I'm not kidding: you will feel the natural tension that fills the air of this place. It is not every day that one gets to see so closely the supervolcano that caused some of the most violent eruptions of antiquity and destroyed the Minoan civilization. There are even researchers who say that this volcano caused the disappearance of the mythical Atlantis.

The good news is that after the tour of the volcano of Santorini you will return to the boat to sail to the islet of Palea Kameni, where you can relax for a while swimming in the hot springs created by its caldera. They are said to have medicinal properties.

Finally, the boat will return to the old harbor of Fira. You can take the opportunity to take the last pictures of the excursion or enjoy the view on the deck while having a drink. It is the perfect finishing touch to a day full of emotions.

Useful information

  • The Santorini volcano and hot springs cruise lasts 3 hours
  • 90-minute visit to the volcano of Nea Kameni with guide (entrance fee of € 2.5 not included)
  • 45-minute bath in the thermal waters of Palea Kameni
  • English-speaking guide

4. Sailing catamaran cruise in Santorini with barbecue and sunset drinks

Sailing in Santorini
Sailing in Santorini

Watching the sunset on the island of Santorini is the reason why travelers from all over the world head for the Cyclades archipelago.

It is said that this is the most beautiful sunset in the Aegean and the truth is that seeing how the sky is tinged with pinkish and orange tones while the sun goes out and hides little by little in the horizon of the sea is a magical and unique experience.

The sunsets on this island have something special that cannot be described in words. You just have to see it with your own eyes!

This is why you should check out this 5-hour sailing catamaran cruise in Santorini, where you will not only have the opportunity to watch the sunset from the deck of a beautiful boat but also bring out your adventurous side to explore the depths of the blue sea after enjoying a barbecue on board.

What will you see on the tour?

The activity starts at 2:30 p.m. at Ammoudi harbor in Oia, when you board the catamaran to sail around Santorini while taking in the spectacular volcanic landscape with traditional blue-domed whitewashed houses hanging from the cliffs.

On the way to the Santorini volcano you can take some fantastic souvenir pictures of the excursion while tasting a glass of Santorini's Nychtery white wine, a highly appreciated local variety produced on the island.

The first stop of the excursion is near the cliffs of the caldera and the volcano. Here you can take the first dip of the day in the Santorini hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties. You can also take a mud bath as did the ancient Greeks who praised its beneficial effects for the skin and to relieve body aches and pains such as arthritis.

Back on the catamaran you will continue the ride along the coast towards the historic Santorini Lighthouse and pass in front of Indian Rock, a peculiar rock formation to which some people attribute a certain resemblance to the profile of an Indian native.

Santorini is known for the chromatic variety of its beaches, which are very photogenic because of the contrast between the turquoise waters of the sea and the black, white, or reddish rocks of the landscape. Precisely, the next stop of the cruise is two white and red sand beaches where you can dive into the sea to snorkel and swim among the fish, an incredible experience!

During this excursion, you will also enjoy a barbecue with an open bar of drinks on the boat enlivened with music before watching the breathtaking sunset between the village of Oia and the island of Thirassia.

Useful information

  • The Santorini cruise lasts 5 hours
  • Barbecue with unlimited drinks
  • Snorkeling equipment and life jacket included
  • Transfer of travelers to/from hotel

5. Luxury sailing catamaran cruise in Santorini with BBQ and drinks

Views of Santorini from Oia
Views of Santorini from Oia

This cruise along the coast of Santorini will show you why this island is one of the treasures of the Mediterranean in a VIP experience, that is, aboard a modern and luxurious catamaran equipped with comfortable seats to contemplate the wonderful views of this corner of the Cyclades archipelago.

What will you see on this tour?

The activity starts early, at 10:15 a.m., when you set sail from the port of Amoudi for a long walk along the coast of Santorini basking in the sun and enjoying the magnificent views of this typically Mediterranean landscape.

Relax on the catamaran nets while you feel the sea breeze and take some pictures of the natural beauty of this unique volcanic archipelago as well as the historic Santorini Lighthouse and Indian Rock, a peculiar rock that has been attributed some resemblance to the profile of an Indian native.

From there the ship will head to the caldera of the Santorini volcano where you can immerse yourself in its therapeutic thermal waters, which are believed to have beneficial health properties. In addition, during the cruise, you will visit lavish white and red beaches where you can snorkel and take a refreshing swim in the Aegean.

Finally, this cruise includes a fantastic Greek-style barbecue with open bar (soft drinks, Santorini white wine, or beer). As the catamaran has free Wi-Fi you will be able to immediately upload videos and photos of the excursion and barbecue to your socials.

Useful information

  • Luxury cruise in Santorini for 5 hours
  • Greek-style barbecue on board with unlimited drinks
  • Snorkel equipment, towels, and lifejacket included
  • Transfer to and from the hotel

6. Half-day catamaran cruise around Santorini

Sailing in Santorini by catamaran
Sailing in Santorini by catamaran

Santorini is one of the most photographed places on the planet. This volcanic island dotted with beautiful villages of white houses and blue roofs hanging from the cliffs is the coveted goal of any self-respecting Instagrammer.

A natural spectacle that every traveler should know once in life. To contemplate its beauty in all its splendor I recommend you to take a half day catamaran cruise in Santorini.

What will you see on this tour?

This 5 hour excursion will take you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean that are only accessible by boat, such as the famous red and white beaches. Here you will have time to take some of the coolest pictures of your trip to Greece. In addition, you will be able to swim and snorkel in a unique natural environment full of reefs and colorful fish.

On the way back, you will sail along the coastline of Santorini, full of hidden coves, passing by Akrotiri Lighthouse (one of the oldest in the country) and Indian Rock (a rock to which many travelers find some similarity with the profile of an Indian native).

Before reaching the port, there will be time for another stop at Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, two beautiful islands of volcanic origin famous for their hot springs. In this natural spa you can take a dip, relax under the Mediterranean sun, and dive exploring the seabed.

In the meantime, the boat crew will prepare a Greek-style lunch accompanied by white wine and soft drinks. Vegetarian options are available, and you can select this menu when booking.

Useful information

  • Catamaran cruise in Santorini for 5 hours
  • Greek-style buffet with local wines and soft drinks on board
  • Snorkel equipment, towels, and lifejacket included
  • Transfer to and from the hotel by air-conditioned minibus

7. What you should know about boat trips in Santorini

Chapuzon in Santorini
Chapuzon in Santorini

How does the reservation work?

When you confirm your reservation, you will receive an email with all the information you have provided. Check that everything is correct and save it somewhere safe to show it to the boat staff on the day of the experience.

What should I take on a boat trip?

  • For a cruise in Santorini I advise you to bring sunglasses, a hat, a towel, dry clothes, a light jacket, and sunscreen.
  • These excursions make a stop at a beach and with the good weather on the island you will feel like sunbathing and diving into the water, so don't forget your towel, swimsuit, and flip-flops.
  • And speaking of swimsuits: while bathing in the sulfur-rich hot springs you may get a little mud-stained, so I recommend that you wear a swimsuit that you don't mind getting dirty.

What happens if the weather is bad?

All the activities I have told you about only take place in good weather conditions. In case of bad weather conditions on the day of the boat trip, the experience may be canceled and you will be offered to reschedule the experience or receive a full refund of the amount paid.

Can I cancel the excursion?

Yes, if you want a full refund for your Santorini cruise you will have to cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the activity.

8. Other experiences you may like in Santorini...

Santorini
Santorini

Besides taking a boat trip around Santorini, there are many more things to do on the island to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.

If you are thinking of taking a trip to Santorini and want to discover its must-see places, don't miss this guide with everything you can see and do in Santorini.