During the cruise we went on (June 2018), we had a day-stop in Santorini (Greece). One of the reasons we chose this specific cruise was stops at magical destinations, such as Santorini.
We had the option of booking tours through the cruise company, but we preferred exploring the destinations on our own – and a good thing we did, since Santorini is just like a postcard and we ended up stopping to take pictures and admire it’s beauty at every step.
General details about Santorini Island
It’s a luxurious island with a breath-taking views and hotels of the highest quality possible. Those looking for an Island to go to for their honeymoon, a romantic vacation or even a bachelorette party – This is the place to visit.
Getting around the island
How to reach the island
The cheapest way is to fly to Athens, then take a shuttle to Santorini. There’s also the possibility of flying directly to Santorini , or a flight with a stop in Athens.
Searching for cheap flights to Santorini
Hotels in Santorini
Since we only got to stay at Santorini for a day (A stop of the cruise), we didn’t get the chance to sleep at the island (Unfortunately). After a short bit of research, I’ve come up with two very highly recommended hotels (There are of course many more excellent lodging possibilities at Santorini). I’ve read these recommendations in an article about blogger’s favourite hotels in Santorini.
Vacationing at Santorini is expensive, but if you want to try and reduce the costs a little bit when it comes to lodging, here’s a post I’ve written with a few money saving tips.
The Esperas Hotel (A 4-star hotel in Oia) with an amazing view and great reviews. Hotel price comparison, reviews of the hotel.
ZuziM Villa in Fira, a super high-class Villa. You can rent it through Airbnb. Link to coupon of 30 euro for first booking and link to opinions regarding the villa.
Our day trip in Santorini- Things to do in Santorini
We docked at the port below Fira city. In order to get up to the city, you can take a cable car or walk up many stairs. There was a relatively long line to the cable car and I thought taking the stairs wouldn’t take very long (Which turned out wrong). We climbed the stairs (You can also ride a donkey up, but I’m not a fan of the idea), anyhow we decided to walk up the stairs at 14:00, at peak temperature.
The climb itself isn’t too hard, but it does take 45-60 minutes and there’s no shade along the way. Long story short, there’s no problem getting up to the city by foot, just make sure you don’t do it in the afternoon heat, and if you do, bring a hat and water (Two things we didn’t have with us). We finished the climb exhausted and needed a few minutes to pull ourselves together afterwards.
We walked around Fira itself, which is beautiful, and the view was breath-taking (At least it was worth the effort).
OMG, this cruise is so awesome. We want to live on this ship. Today we ate breakfast, relaxed in our amazing room, worked out at the gym , spoiled ourselves in the spa, ate a fast lunch, and visited Santorini!!! Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands we have ever seen. We went to the red beach, ate tzaziki and a Greek salad with a breathtaking view, and drank wine in a gorgeous winery. Have you ever been in Santorini? . . #norwegiancruiseline #ncl #bestcruiseever #santorini #santorinigreece #santoriniisland #bestvacation #trvbox #cruisenorwegian
Renting a scooter
At some point, we sat down at a place serving natural juices and I bought a banana, orange and pineapple juice, while Roman had orange juice. We decided to explore Santorini on a scooter, so we asked the employee at the restaurant if she knows where we might rent one – and it turns out her boyfriend works at a scooter rental store. She called him, and 10 minutes later he arrived at the restaurant with the bike.
We rented it for 5 hours for the price of 20 euros (Including insurance), then gassed it up for 6 euros, which lasted us the whole time we were on the scooter. If you’re planning to rent a scooter or car, make sure to have your license on you. Roman has a license for a motorcycle, and honestly you can probably rent one without a license, but I wouldn’t recommend it – If something happens to you, the travel insurance won’t cover it if you don’t own a motorcycle license.
The red beach
After renting the scooter we decided to drive to the red beach, and although it’s not a very fun beach to be at since it’s very rocky, it’s one of the most unique beaches I’ve ever seen and is totally worth the visit. The drive to it was about half an hour (We used google maps to navigate).
We parked the scooter in the parking area, then walked about 10 minutes to the beach itself.
At some point, the red beach appeared in front of us and it was really pretty. We sat on the beach and as usual took many photos, as well as a video. Then, we returned to the scooter. (Small tip: The parking area has a stall for hot/cold beverages and sandwiches).
Restaurant with Greek food and dreamy view
On our way to the red beach we saw a restaurant offering an amazing view and decided we have to stop at it on our way back. While we initially stopped there for the view, we enjoyed the food a lot as well. We ordered classic Greek dishes, Tzatziki with pita bread and a Greek salad. The dishes were very good and went well with the hypnotic view. I don’t know if the main courses are as good, but if you’re on your way to the red beach you should definitely visit for the Tzatziki and Greek salad, and to catch the view.
Atlantida restaurant. (Map)
Winery with high-quality wine and hypnotic view
We went on to Santo wines vineyard. Santorini is known for great wines and has many vineyards. We decided to visit the one with the best view, which turned out to be the most popular vineyard on Santorini.
The place itself is breath-taking and the food and wine are of a really high quality. I highly recommend making a reservation, since while the place may be big, it gets very full, and the best spots are always reserved (Many wine tours go through it). Long story short, reserve a spot and dress elegantly, as the place is quite high-class.
There’s the option of tasting 5 or 10 wines, as well as ordering a bottle, glass or single wine tasting. They have a food menu and cheese plates.
Since we had already been to a restaurant not long beforehand, we decided to try a glass of wine each and snack on some cheese with olives and crackers. Our table wasn’t in a great location, but it wasn’t too bad – The view was still excellent, and the wine was very good.
A tour we hadn’t done, but sounds cool – Santorini wine tour
Santorini has wine tours, in which you visit 3 vineyards, with a private chauffer, at sunset. These tours are about 4-5 hours each, and on account of our lack of time, we didn’t have the option of going on one. However, it sounds like a special experience, especially for wine lovers, link to booking of Santorini vineyards tour. Another option is to visit the vineyards on your own (On our way to the red beach we came across at least four vineyards, the problem is drinking so much wine and driving). Link to book a wine tour.
End of the day
We returned the scooter after exactly five hours. We parked it by the restaurant and gave the helmets and keys to the employee there. The scooter was definitely a good choice, we managed to explore Santorini – but unfortunately didn’t have the time to visit Oia, a city considered one of the most beautiful on Santorini. It is of course also recommended to visit. This time we took the cable car down. It cost 6 euros.