Santorini Boat Tours

Updated: February 14, 2018

  • My favorite tours in Santorini are the boat tours of the volcano. A must!
  • All boat tours have great views of the caldera cliffs but can be different from each other in important ways.
  • The options include: hike the volcano; swim in the hot springs (you can always stay on the boat if you wish); visit Thirassia and explore its villages; stop at Red Beach and White Beach to swim and snorkel; eat lunch/dinner on board; and watch the sunset below Oia.
  • is the best way to book tours on Santorini.
Santorini caldera tour from Fira.

A boat tour of the caldera is just stunningly awesome. There’s no way you should visit Santorini and not do a boat tour.

The Best Boat Tours of the Caldera & Volcano in Santorini

All boat tours below provide meals onboard and have hotel pickup and drop off (which doesn’t sound like a big deal when you’re booking but makes the day so much easier and hassle free when the time arrives).

  • Sunset Catamaran Sailing Cruise in Caldera (5 Hours) – Awesome cruise around the volcano, staring up at the cliffs of the caldera. You stop at a few beaches for swimming and snorkeling, then swim in the hot springs near the volcano, eat a huge dinner, and finally see the sunset from the cliffs below Oia. Lots of fun!
    Sunset boat cruise of caldera and volcano in Oia, Santorini.
  • Semi-Private Luxury Catamaran Day Cruise (5 Hours) – The most luxurious boat tour with the best food and smallest group. Staff are super friendly and you can’t go more than 5 minutes without someone asking if you want another beer or glass of wine. But it’s far from a drinking cruise – the emphasis is on swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the top of the catamaran. You’ll visit a few beaches and the hot springs and have plenty of time to explore the sights of the caldera. (I did this boat tour last summer and it was awesome.)
    Santorini volcano and caldera boat tour.
  • Volcano Boat Cruise (6 Hours) – Much less expensive and with a larger boat and group of people but still very fun. This tour is almost the opposite of the Sunset Catamaran Cruise. You get the volcano, hot springs (with swimming), and a visit to Thirassia island – but no beaches or going outside the caldera, and no sunset. This is the cheapest boat tour of the caldera.
    Best boat tours in Santorini.

See Also

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16 Questions and Comments

  1. Milos Day Trip

    We will be in Santorini for 3 days after ferries from Athens-Mykonos then Mykonos-Santorini. We were thinking of taking the ferry to Milos for a day trip. Is it reasonable to do in a day or will we be ferried out?
    Thanks for your insight, love reading all of your suggestions.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      Not worth it. If you want to visit Milos stay at least 2 nights and 1 full day.

  2. Santorini Boat Tours in May

    Hi Dave,
    I’m planning a honeymoon in Greece this upcoming May and your site has been an amazing resource – thanks! Quick question: Is May too early for the boat tours that have swimming? Thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      Yes, they’ll be running in May (usually start in April) and you’ll be able to swim. But water can still be a bit chilly. And note, hot springs are not “hot” just warm.

  3. Santorini Boat Tours

    Hi there, I love to read and follow all of your posts so thank you for always having the most up to date information! We will be in Santorini in July and I would like to do a catamaran tour of the island and go into caves and see some of the hidden gems of Santorini. Is there a tour or boat that would do that?
    Also, is there a boat that will take you to Mykonos for a day and back to Santorini?
    Thank you,

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      I don’t know of any boat tours that take in caves. And don’t know of any Santorini to Mykonos tours either. There are much better islands to visit on a day tour from Santorini. Ios for beaches, Naxos for inland sightseeing. (That said, I typically don’t recommend doing a day trip from Santorini as time is much better spent on Santorini than on a boat. If you do want to see another island then stay a night or two to see it best.)

  4. Tour of Santorini Beaches

    I am looking for a beach hopping trip in Santorini to visit the Black Beach, Red Beach, White beach etc. tour starts at 4PM or 5PM. How much for 2 people?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      For these beaches best to do it yourself with this boat from Akrotiri. It will be 10€ per person round trip. Can also take a different boat back to Kamari (if you were taking the bus, if you’ve got your own car then you’ll need to return to Akrotiri). Last boat is about 6:30pm (but double check) so you won’t have a lot of time.

  5. Best Boat Tour in Santorini

    Hi Dave – Awesome site. Just became a patron!

    Trying to select the right boat tour for my husband and I (going in a few weeks!). They all seem great so it’s hard to select. What are the key differences between these three tours:

    Semi-Private Luxury Catamaran Day Cruise
    5-Hour Small Group Catamaran Cruise
    Sunset Catamaran Sailing Cruise in Caldera

    In particular, trying to understand if it’s worth paying the premium for the semi-private luxury catamaran day cruise.

    Many thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      The single biggest difference is whether the tour goes through the day or in the late afternoon (and gets the sunset). The 5-hour small group tour is cheaper than the other two but will have a few more people on the boat and the food served is not quite as robust as for the semi-private and sunset catamaran cruises. More appetizers than the full meal you get on the other two. Fewer drinks are served as well. All 3 are great and you’ll love whatever you choose. My advice is to first decide whether you want the sunset or more sun/swimming.

  6. Private Boat Tour of Caldera and Volcano

    Would like to do a private boat tour of caldera. It’s our honeymoon and want a super special day out on the water with food, wine, swimming, snorkeling, and the hot springs. Maybe take in the sunset too, but as you say, it’s a choice between more swimming/sunshine and sunset/evening so not sure what we’ll decide. What’s the best tour to book for our needs?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      The Private Half-Day Catamaran Cruise of Santorini is simply awesome. It is expensive but I’m sure you’re expecting that already. There’s a morning departure (for lots of swimming and sunshine) and an afternoon departure (for the sunset – but still plenty of time to swim too). Food is top notch. If it’s within your budget this is the one you want. (If you do the sunset tour bring a change of clothes so you can change out of your wet swimming stuff and enjoy the sunset without a chill.)

  7. Self Guided Tour of Volcano in Santorini


    We are visiting Santorini in the next few weeks. Is there a ferry that 2 people can take on their own and explore the volcano/hot springs, or is it only by tour? Please let me know! Much appreciated.
    Gabriel M

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      There are no ferries to the volcano or hot springs. You have to do a tour or a chartered/private tour. There are small boats that do regular routes to the neighboring island of Thirassia (that forms the western side of the caldera) but this isn’t the volcano.

  8. Best Sunset Cruise in Santorini

    We are looking for the best sunset tour around Santorini. Our only concern is that we also want lots of swimming. If we do the sunset tour will we have enough time to swim?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      Not sure what you mean by “enough” but you’ll certainly get a good stretch of time to swim. It won’t be 10 minutes and let’s go. More like 2 to 3 hours.

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