Cruising in Greece and the Greek Islands

Santorini - the Greek Islands "belle of the ball"

Santorini is one of the most popular stops on a Mediterranean cruise. Most cruise lines recognise this and offer cruisers a full day on this breathtaking island, usually 8am-6pm. You will probably be keen to stretch your legs and explore all that the island has to offer. It is quite commercial and an expensive island, but you can guarantee an unforgettable day no matter how much you spend. 

The main ferry port Athinios, cannot accommodate large cruise ships, so you may port at the caldera below, and be taken to shore in Skala in smaller boats. The caldera is a fantastic start to your day in itself – 4 miles in diameter, this huge sea-filled crater was left by a volcanic eruption on the island 3,500 years ago. 

Upon arrival in Skala, cruisers will usually head for the breathtaking clifftops of Fira. If you’re keen to shake off you sea legs, you can hike up to the top. Alternatively, the cable car or mule ride may suit the more adventurous. With stunning views of the bay below, this is an excellent way to start your day. Alternatively, you may want to try a few hours sunbathing and swimming. Perissa, four miles East of the village is an excellent spot to see the stunning black sand beaches that the island has to offer. 

If you want a more adventurous excursion, organised boat tours can take you to two uninhabited lava islands in middle of the caldera. Most boats will anchor next to Palea Kemeni island, where you’ll have a chance to swim in the warm green sulphur waters, heated by the hot springs on the seabed. Backed by the idyllic white washed houses of Fira town, this is an excellent way to discover the islands natural wonder. 

Though it is hard to recapture the magic of the island, you may want to purchase a souvenir as a memento of your visit. Santorini is famous for its gold jewellery shops – Oia or Fira are the best places to head, where you’ll find art deco galleries and fine gold shops. You can also find less expensive gift shops lining the cobbled streets, offering ceramics, museum replicas and the usual souvenirs.

If you need help to plan your dream cruise holiday, try the Telegraph website for a full guide to Santorini.