Complete the perfect vacation in Santorini by taking a memorable boat trip around the island. Here's my guide to the best boat tours in Santorini.
Santorini Boat Trips
There are many Santorini boat tours on offer, and the choice can be quite overwhelming, especially to a first-time visitor or someone who hasn’t got much time for research.
Don't worry – I'm here to help!
What to see on a sailing cruise in Santorini
Most boat tours in Santorini include a few popular landmarks. I’ve listed them below, to make things easier for you.
- The famous uninhabited volcanic islands of Nea Kameni. This is the small island where you can walk up to the volcano crater, and experience the otherworldly volcanic landscape. Not all tours include Nea Kameni, so if you want to hike the volcano, make sure you pick the right tour. Note – while the hike to the volcano is really fantastic, some people might prefer to avoid it in high season, as it can get uncomfortably hot.
- The thermal springs at the uninhabited island of Palea Kameni. On Palea Kameni, you can go for a relaxing swim near the thermal springs. Most tours include this stop. Note – you can even swim in winter, as the water is warm.
- The inhabited island of Thirassia. This small island was once part of Santorini, but was separated after the volcano exploded. On some of the Santorini boat trips listed below, you will have plenty of time to explore Thirassia, go for a relaxing swim or just enjoy a Greek meal.
- The Red Beach and White Beach. These picturesque spots are popular for swimming and snorkeling and are included in most boat trips. Most boats will provide snorkeling equipment, and some will even provide towels, but it’s best to ask in advance.
- Caldera / The islet of Aspronissi. Some cruises go all the way to the small island of Aspronissi, inside the Caldera. This is a great option if you are into photography, as you can see Santorini and the volcanic islands from a few different and unique angles.
Boat Tours in Santorini
Most of the tours listed below provide a full meal on board, while others allow free time for a meal on the island.
There are daytime tours, sunset tours, and full-day sailing cruises. The Santorini boat tours depart from the ports of Athinios, Blychada Marina or Ammoudi, and they include transportation from your accommodation for free or, in a couple of cases, for a small surcharge.
Below, we have selected some of the best boat tours on Santorini. There will definitely be at least one tour that you will fit your preferences!
1. Santorini Volcano Islands, Thirassia & Oia sunset boat tour
Full day boat tour with sunset (9 hours)
On this full-day boat tour departing from Athinios port, you will discover the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirassia.
There will be stops to swim and have lunch. In the evening, the boat route will take you below Oia village, the most famous sunset spot in Santorini.
2. Santorini Volcano and Thirassia sunset boat tour with meal
Sunset tour with meal (6 hours)
In this tour, you will visit the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, where you can hike up to the volcano and swim in the hot springs. This tour includes an on-board meal near Thirassia Island, and sunset views from the boat.
3. Red Beach, White Beach and thermal springs cruise, with meal
Daytime or sunset tour (5 hours)
These half-day boat tours focus on swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. They stop at the Red Beach and the White Beach, where you can swim and snorkel.
The last stop is at the hot springs of Palea Kameni, where you can swim and relax in the thermal waters. All the tours below include a freshly prepared meal on board.
4. Red Beach, White Beach and Caldera tours
Morning or evening tour (5 hours)
These tours will take you to several places where you can swim, and also cruise within the Santorini Caldera. The itineraries include famous spots close to the Caldera, such as the Venetian Lighthouse.
In each of these tours, the boat will first head to the Red Beach and White Beach, where there will be ample time for swimming and snorkeling in secluded bays, as well as a meal prepared on board.
Later on, the boat will reach Aspronissi island right in the middle of the caldera, as well as the two volcanic islands of Nea and Palea Kameni. You can then enjoy the lovely views of the Aegean.
5. A Fishing trip in Santorini
Morning or sunset tour (5 hours)
For something different, you can choose to go on a fishing trip on Santorini, on a traditional wooden fishing boat!
During this trip, you will be taken to the best fishing areas on Santorini, and you will be shown various traditional Greek fishing techniques.
Later, you will enjoy a fresh fish lunch, which you can help prepare if you wish! There will also be opportunities to swim and snorkel.
6. Santorini private Catamaran tours
If you are celebrating a special occasion, or simply want your own private catamaran cruise, there are a number of companies that offer private boat tours in Santorini.
Those trips all include a meal, and follow the popular Red Beach – White Beach – hot springs itinerary, with several stops on the way.
7. Santorini Luxurious Private Cruise on a Motor Yacht, including meal
Morning or evening tour (5 hours)
If you want to experience something unique, you can choose a private tour on a Motor Yacht. On this cruise, you will be taken to most of the places listed above – the Red Beach, the White Beach, the hot springs, and Thirassia island. A delicious meal with wine, beers, and dessert is served on board.
Have you taken a boat tour in Santorini that you really liked and was not mentioned in this article? Let me know and I can add it on to the list!
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