If you’re in Santorini, make sure to go on a boat tour before leaving. It offers a unique view of the caldera and the charming villages atop it. You’ll also have the chance to swim in the crystal-clear waters of popular beaches like Red Beach and White Beach, as well as in the therapeutic hot springs of the volcano. No matter which boat tour you choose, you’ll get a close-up view of the volcano. Some even let you walk on it!
Additionally, certain boat tours have onboard barbeque meals, unlimited local wine and beer, and specialty cocktails. Sunset tours are also available for those interested in viewing the Santorini sunset from the boat. If you’re celebrating a special occasion with your significant other on your honeymoon, with a group of friends looking for a unique party experience, or with your family, a private boat tour is the perfect choice.
Below is a list of the top boat tours that have been selected by the local travel experts. Book now at GetYourGuide.com for a memorable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!
1. Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit
Take a sailing trip from Athinios Port to visit small islands that have volcanoes, hot springs, and traditional villages. You’ll have some free time to explore each island and enjoy the beautiful scenery and charming atmosphere of the Greek countryside.
You can embark from Athinios Port and have access to live commentary on your journey. The first destination is Nea Kameni, where you can take a path to the active volcano’s crater and have free time to explore the island. After that, you will head to Palea Kameni, where you can swim in the volcanic hot springs.
After returning to the boat, take a brief sail to Thirassia. Once there, you will have some time to explore the delightful village. Next, travel to Manolas, which can be reached by climbing winding stairs or by taking a donkey ride up to the village.
You can choose to extend your tour in Oia to enjoy the stunning panoramic views and watch the sunset. If you decide to do this, you will be taken to Oia after the boat ride. Remember to meet your bus at the meeting point 15 minutes after sunset.
Experience a luxurious catamaran tour of the Santorini caldera with a traditional meal and refreshing drinks from the open bar. Choose to sail in the morning or at sunset with a maximum of 20 guests. Enjoy a hassle-free experience as you’ll be picked up from your hotel and taken directly to the port. During the cruise, take advantage of the half-hour snorkeling opportunity off the coast of Red Beach and 1.5 hours to snorkel in the sea caves of White Beach. Additionally, you can bathe in the lagoon’s hot springs and snorkel in clear waters.
Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch or dinner on board with a variety of local Santorini delicacies to choose from. The menu features both meat and vegetarian options, including barbecue skewers, dolmadakia (rice-stuffed vine leaves), Greek salad, and more.
After your meal, relax with a cocktail and music on board. Stay hydrated with unlimited drinks such as local white wine, Greek beer, and soft drinks.
After passing Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni, two islands without inhabitants, you will see other sights like Aspronisi Island and the Akrotiri lighthouse. Then the cruise will sail into the caldera under the town of Fira and past the old port.
If you select the late afternoon option, the cruise will stop below the village of Oia. There, you will witness a stunning sunset, painting the sky with vibrant and pastel colors. This magnificent view is sure to be the highlight of your unforgettable cruise experience.
After your Santorini excursion is over, your minibus driver will drop you off conveniently at your hotel for a relaxing end to your day. This cruise is also ideal if you have only one day in Santorini.
3. Private Catamaran Cruise with BBQ Meal and Drinks
Take a private cruise to explore the stunning volcanic scenery of Santorini’s caldera with the help of your personal captain. You can customize your tour route to match your interests, whether you prefer a daytime or sunset experience. Begin your journey from Ammoudi Bay on your private catamaran and sail towards the charming island of Thirassia, which is perfect for swimming and enjoying the picturesque view of Manolas village, where traditional living still exists.
Experience the power of the volcano and admire the stunning white cliffs of Aspronissi while heading to a hot spring. Discover hidden caves and coasts that can only be reached by boat while sailing past White Beach, Mesa Pigadia, and Red Beach.
Sail past Fira Old Port, located beneath impressive cliffs that offer great photo opportunities. Next, indulge in a BBQ meal of fresh, grilled Greek delicacies paired with Santorinian wine. Finally, as you head back to Ammoudi Bay, celebrate your journey at a shaded table on the sun deck.
Here’s the meal menu with vegetarian and vegan options available upon request:
– Traditional Greek mezedes, which include tzatziki, dolmadakia, Greek salad, pita bread, and seafood pasta
– BBQ main course with a choice of chicken fillet or pork chops
– Open bar serving Santorinian wine, Greek ouzo, beer, juice, and water
To start your journey, take the bus from your hotel to the port of Athinios. From there, board the boat and head to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Follow a bumpy trail to see the active volcano crater. Afterward, continue to the island of Palea Kameni. The boat will take you within 50 meters of the thermal springs, where you can swim, splash, or relax in the green sulfurous water.
Explore Thirasia Island, which was once part of Santorini before a volcanic eruption. You can swim, eat, or visit the old village of Manola with its unique spiral staircases and charming houses on the beach. Make sure to find a spot to enjoy a snack or take a dip in the water.
After leaving Thirasia Island, King Thiras will sail by Oia on the way to Athinios Port, providing beautiful views of the cliffs and scenery. Following the sail, a bus will transport you to Oia Village to watch the sunset. The tour will conclude 30 minutes after sunset, at which point you will meet at the pickup point in Oia to board the bus and return to the starting point.
Join a professional fisherman on a private boat trip in the Aegean Sea. Explore Santorini’s secluded beaches and swim in crystal-clear waters. You can also go snorkeling with the equipment provided to discover the island’s amazing underwater activity.
You will have the opportunity to learn about the variety of fish species in the area from your guide while also discovering the history and culture of the island. You can make as many stops as necessary until you catch as many fish as desired.
After catching your wares, sit down to a delicious seafood lunch made from your catch of the day served with Greek salad, fresh tomatoes, tzatziki, and meatballs and washed down with your choice of drink.
I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
It is advisable to bring along bathing suits, flat shoes, and a change of clothes. You should also apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn, but reapplication may not be necessary after 5pm as the sun’s strength decreases. As the temperature drops after sunset, you may feel a bit cold and so carrying a pashmina or light jacket is recommended as a precaution.
Most boat tours of the Caldera include a visit to the Nea Kameni National Geological Park and a hike up the island’s volcano. As part of the tour, you will also get a chance to swim in the Hot Springs. Be sure to book your tour to experience all of these activities.
Most boat tours of the Caldera include swimming in the Hot Springs as part of their itinerary. By booking a tour to Nea Kameni, you can also visit the Nea Kameni National Geological Park, hike the volcano of the island, and take a break for a swim.
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