- My favorite tours in Santorini are the boat tours of the volcano. A must!
- Don’t worry too much about which tour you book – they’re all good. Emphasis should be on getting something booked in advance before they sell out.
- There are no ferries to the volcano. The only way to do a volcano tour is to do a boat tour. You can not access the volcano unless you’re part of an organized (private or group) tour.
- All boat tours have great views of the caldera cliffs.
- Cruise 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 or dinner on board; and watch the sunset below Oia.
- GetYourGuide.com is the best way to book tours in Santorini.
The 5 Best Boat Tours 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). Also, all tours enter the caldera, sail to or near the volcano, and have plenty of swimming and snorkeling. Food on the tours ranges from surprisingly good to great. And the boats are very generous with their alcohol – after every tour, I ask myself how they make money when they’re so lavish with the food and drink.
Wonderful private cruise of the caldera (but very expensive). Great food and plenty of flexibility on what to see and where to sail. Ideal for a luxury honeymoon cruise or a small group (up to 6 people). The day-tour departs at 10:00am, the sunset-tour departs at 3:00pm. Be prepared to be insanely pampered.
Sunset Cruise (3:15pm departure) or Day Cruise (10:15am departure). 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 lunch or dinner, and finally see the sunset from the cliffs below Oia (for the sunset cruise). Lots of fun!
Wonderful day tour with great food and a friendly staff (3:30pm departure). 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.)
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.
This tour is very well done and lots of fun. Boat around the Santorini waters on a local fishing boat. Fresh seafood lunch or dinner served on board (eat what you catch and empty from the nets). The daytime tour is best for families and serious fishermen. The sunset tour is best for couples.