Santorini has long been regarded as a popular cruise destination. As you step off your ship onto the idyllic village of Thira, it’s easy to see why. Bustling from May-October, yet sleepy in the winter months, the Greek island of Santorini has everything to offer the cruiser wishing to make perfect holiday memories. Most cruise lines recognise the popularity of this destination, and offer full day excursions from 8am – 6pm.
Cruise ships will usually disembark in the caldera, below the main port of Athinios. The main port cannot accommodate larger ships, so passengers are brought to shore in Skala in smaller ships. The caldera – four miles in diameter and the result of a volcanic explosion 3,500 years ago is a natural wonder in itself and a wonderful way to start your shore excursion.
Upon arrival in Skala, cruisers can venture to the clifftop town of Thira. This can be accessed by cable car, hiking, or, for the more adventurous, a mule ride. When you’ve reached the town, you’ll probably be ready for a rest, as you shake off the cruise ship and adjust to the island. What better way to catch your breath, than to view the bay from the vantage point on Thira, where you can see the Kamenes – two jet black islets left by the volcano?
As you will usually only have a day on this stunning island, you may be keen to explore all that Santorini has to offer, and to sample authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Selene is a more upmarket restaurant, overlooking the caldera from its open top terraces. Expect to find a unique take on Greek cuisine, with such mouth watering delights as octopus carpaccio and homemade noodles with cuttlefish ink.
However you choose to spend your time in Santorini, whether you are keen to take in as much as possible, or gently absorb the local island life at your own pace, the island will not disappoint.