The best of Santorini Shore Excursion 7-H is a private and personal tour just for you and your party! Discover the most intimate and personal Santorini in this journey through the highlights of the island that shaped the most unique landscapes. This is a fantastic choice for those who really want to explore Santorini in a day and experience the main highlights. It is a great opportunity for you to specifically customize your private shore excursion with the help of your local expert tour driver to take you to certain places within the Santorini area.
No matter where you arrive in Santorini, we will pick you up at your cruise ship tender spot in private transport to take the private tour that you would expect in order to optimize your time and take advantage of the needs you have. Be sure you will be back at the place you need to be in time!
With this private shore excursion of the best of Santorini thanks to our specialized guides, you will be able to comprehend Santorini’s architectonic legacy and its history. In order to provide a complete picture of Santorini, we designed the following route.
Highlights of The best of Santorini Shore Excursion 7-H
- Admire Oia the most visited village in Santorini
- Visit the monastery of Prophet Ilias, on Santorini’s highest mountain
- Discover Pyrgos a whitewashed village, on the top of the mountain
- Explore the stunning volcanic beaches of Kamari, Perivolos, and Perissa
- See the world-famous and Instagram-worthy Blue Dome Church
- Appreciate the beautiful views of Santorini and the caldera from the famous Oia
- Visit the capital of Santorini, Fira
- Visit The Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri excavations, and the red beach nearby
- Admire the volcanic black beaches of the island
The best of Santorini Shore Excursion 7-H starts from the cable car of Fira, then the bus picks us up after 5 minutes of walking (the traditional alleys are not accessible by car).
Below you will find our Santorini shore excursion generally follows a standard itinerary but as this is a private tour, you can tailor the trip itinerary to suit your needs.
The tour begins with a journey to Oia, where you can take in the scenic views of nearby islands and the Aegean Sea. Oia is the most visited village in Santorini and the second largest after Fira, the island’s capital town. Oia lies in the northern part of the caldera, situated above an impressive cliff overlooking the volcano and the island of Thirassia.
Oia has become globally famous for its authentic Cycladic beauty, whitewashed houses, labyrinth-like alleys, and amazing hotels, even though the number one thing Oia is renowned for is its magical sunset. Hundreds of people gather every evening to watch the sun setting above the Aegean Sea and capture the most beautiful sunset in Greece.
Once you reach the top of the hill where Oia is located, you can marvel at the view of the caldera before exploring the narrow streets with whitewashed buildings. The village of Oia is certainly the most picturesque village in Santorini. Some may even claim it is the prettiest one in Greece!
Afterward, we’ll continue along to the village of Imerovigli, where a rock named Skaros served as a lookout for pirates. Next, you can get your postcard-perfect photo of the Blue Dome Church in Firostefani.
From there, you make your way up Santorini’s tallest mountain to the Prophet Ilias monastery which sits 2,000 feet above sea level. Before you enter the Greek Christian monastery, take a moment to appreciate the vistas around you, especially below where Santorini meets the deep blue sea.
Next, you can visit the old capital of Santorini, Pyrgos, and walk along the narrow streets until you reach the Venetian castle. Hilltop Pyrgos Kallistis sits in the Mount Profitis Ilias foothills and offers a 360-degree view of the mainland, the volcano, and the sea. Pyrgos comprises the highest-located settlement of Santorini surrounded by vineyards producing renowned Assyrtiko white wines. Its steep, medieval alleys are home to wine bars and tavernas, galleries, and boutiques. Many consider it the hidden gem of Santorini since it has managed to distance itself from radical tourism development.
Kamari is a cosmopolitan beach resort on the southeast of Santorini, awarded with the Blue Flag. The long stretch of beach lies under the impressive mountain of Mesa Vouno with deep blue water, the black volcanic sand. The beach is organized, with sun beds, umbrellas, water sports, and diving. Rich in cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, and famous lively nightlife.
Perivolos Black Sand Beach
Perivilos Beach is a famous location for receptions and the most cosmopolitan and lively beach resort in Santorini that hums with activity. Located on the southeast coast of the island, 3 kilometers away from Perissa.
The charming and intimate lifestyle beach of Perivolas is the ultimate in the relaxed and elegant simplicity of island living. Combining breathtaking views with the luxury of absolute tranquility, warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, and an inspiring land and seascape.
Here you can enjoy the stunning black beach of Perivolos along the southern coast. While you’re there, your driver/guide can provide recommendations for the best restaurants for you to have an optional lunch while you take in the views. The beach has got deep sparkling waters and is covered in black lava sand, which is typical in Santorini beaches. It is a long, well-organized beach with a plethora of facilities!
The Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri was one of the most important Minoan urban centers and ports in the Aegean Sea when it was covered by volcanic ash in the 17th century BC. Although the earliest evidence of habitation dates to the Late Neolithic times (around 6,000 years ago), it was not until the Late Bronze Age (circa 4,000 years ago) that Akrotiri developed into one of the main urban centers and ports in the Aegean Sea. The town of Santorini was covered in ash following a volcanic eruption on the island, preservation of the settlement is exceptional, making this one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece.
Today the site of Akrotiri is covered by a bioclimatic roof and walkways suspended above the archaeological remains, which allows visitors to walk among the two and three-story buildings. So, if you would like to visit the Archaeological excavations of Akrotiri, a separate license from the state tour guide for Akrotiri will be required. This must be added to your reservation by an additional supplement, plus the additional supplement for the entrance tickets.
After the end of your visit to the Akrotiri archaeological site and excavations, your private Santorini shore excursion continues to the picturesque capital of Santorini, Fira.
Fira – the capital of Santorini
Lastly, you will visit Fira! Here you will have free time to enjoy the breathtaking view of the caldera and the volcano while having a refreshment, coffee, a beer, or lunch till the time comes to walk to the cable car for your departure! Fira is the beautiful capital of the island and the biggest and most cosmopolitan settlement of Santorini.
Fira is a combination of natural beauty, social life, nightlife, and shopping, where you can feel the liveliness of the island and where all the action takes place. What makes it so ravishing is the Caldera view that leaves visitors speechless any time of the day. A walk to the scenic alleys during the daytime will fill you with harmony, while at night you can find yourself in the middle of a big party.
There is a wealth of restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs where you can relax and enjoy the tremendous view, and have fun. It actually owns the greatest dining out and entertainment selection on the island and the largest shopping center, too. Moreover, there are many clothes shops, gift shops, souvenir shops, supermarkets, and other facilities for every need.
After the end of your visit to Fira town, your private Santorini shore excursion ends just by walking to the cable car and admiring the wonderful view of the caldera.
- Summer is the driest time but storms can occur year-round. April to October is the best season period to visit. July and August is the best time for partying.
- Most people visit Santorini during the popular summer high season, but you’ll enjoy the island no matter when you go. From May till August, everything’s open and heaving with holidaymakers. Special events like concerts and exhibitions appeal to the masses. However the months before and after are also rewarding as beaches and tavernas are less thronged yet everything is open and the weather and water temps are lovely.
- The best time to relax, and visit Santorini is from September to October and April to May when the weather is warm and the crowds are scarce. April and late in October, some businesses may be closed. Like all of the Cyclades, Santorini welcomes the most visitors during the summer, so you’ll need to make your reservations months in advance if you plan on visiting anytime from June through August.
- Try winter, when room rates tend to plummet. Keep in mind that this season’s average highs only reach the 50s (not good for sunbathing) and the region sees plenty of precipitation. However, all that rain does make for a very flowery (and warm) spring season. Crowds will be at a low in the spring as well, though tourists will begin invading the islands come May.
- Away from the touristy months from May to October, religious feast days dominate island life with families enjoying day-long outings and festivities.
Below find the key events to pick the perfect time to visit Santorini.
- January: Feast of Agios Vasilios, Epiphany.
- February: Carnival is celebrated in Kathara Deftera (the date varies according to when Orthodox Easter Sunday falls).
- March: Independence Day.
- April: Greek Orthodox Easter.
- May: May Day, the Feast day of Agia Theodosia.
- June: Feast of St John the Baptist.
- July: Santorini Jazz Festival, Feast day of Agioi Anargyroi.
- August: Megaron Gyzi Festival, Ifestia Festival, Feast of the Assumption.
- September: International Music Festival.
- October: Feast day of Agios Averkios.
- November: Feast day of Agios Minas.
- December: Christmas
- Transfer offered; Travelers pick up/drop off is offered.
- Pick up from; We will pick you up from any Villa, hotel, suite, or apartment in Santorini island, Santorini’s port, and the yacht marina at the pier!
- Info needed; When booking, make sure to include the name and address of your accommodation or the name of the cruise line and the cruise ship!
- Pick-up time; We propose to pick you up at 08:00 am in order to avoid traffic and crowds! (but as it is a private tour, you can start any time you want)!
- Drop off; We will drop you off at the same place we have picked you up or at any hotel, address of your accommodation, or yacht and cruise ship.
Information Specially For Cruise Passengers
Bring comfortable and suitable footwear, a camera as there is plenty of photo opportunities, Euro for souvenirs, sunscreen, water, and a printout of your voucher.
Let’s see where the cruise ships dock. Most of the cruise ships are not able to dock at the port because Santorini has no deep water dock. Cruise ships float around using their thrusters to remain in place, close to the center of the extinct volcano.
The cruise port of Santorini is also known as the port of Skala, or old port. It was the first port of the island, before the construction of the ferry port. The cruise port is located beneath Fira, one of the largest villages of Thira and the capital of the island.
Where cruise ships usually dock at the same time.
Passengers have tendered ashore via local boats. Passengers who have signed up for the organized ship excursions are tendered ashore to the new ferry port of Athinios, where the large tourist buses are parked. Independent cruise travelers are tendered to the old port below Fira.
However, on the return way to the cruise ship, everyone leaves from the old port at Fira by the same tenders. (All cruise ship’s shore excursions drop everyone off in Fira.)
Options to reach Fira (the capital) from the port.
From the old port, where the boats shuttle the passengers, you can either use the cable car to reach the town of Fira, which will take no more than 5 minutes, or you can ride a donkey, which climbs up a small path on the cliff to Fira.
However, the last option will last longer, and we recommend you take the cable car as there is a great concern for the welfare of the donkeys which are mainly used by tourists.
If you are spending extra time in the town of Fira after the shore excursion, it will be your responsibility to get to your tender on time, please be aware the cable cars can get very busy and there could potentially be a long queue especially if there is more than one cruise ship docking
How to recognize your driver/guide.
At the exit of the cable, your driver/guide will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name written on it, in order to escort you to your vehicle as there is no car access for a few meters.
- Tour time is based on arrival.
- Your tour timing and details are based on when your ship arrives in port and may differ from other cruise itineraries times. Upon booking, details of tour timing and representative pick-up or meeting locations will be provided.
So, bring your camera with you … We’ll bring a good mood!
What is Included
- A professional driver with good knowledge of Santorini island
- Transport by air-conditioned vehicle appropriate for the size of your group
- Flexible pick-up time on request
- Fira town Pick-up & drop-off outside the cable car station for cruise travelers
- Free Pick-up & drop-off as close as possible to your accommodation in Santorini
- First-class transport: By Mercedes E-Class or similar; Mercedes minivan or Mercedes minibus according to the size of your party. All new models come with a full leather interior and A/C.
- The private tour is 100% exclusive for your party
What is Excluded
- Entrance fees to the archaeological sites and museums
- Wine tasting fee (wine tours)
- Cable car tickets (€6 per person) for cruise ship travelers per person per way, and it is payable on the day in cash.
- Gratuities/Tips are not included and are not compulsory, however, if you had an exceptional experience this is your way of saying thank you, you did a fantastic job.
- Food and beverage
- Official licensed tour guide for guiding inside the archeological sites. Available on request with a surcharge.
- A travel escort to walk you through the alleys of Fira and Oia. Available on request with a surcharge.
- Your private chauffeur/escort will discuss a program best suited to your interest and mobile abilities.
- Private tour – Shore Excursion
- Duration: 7-hours
- Activity level: Moderate
- Departures: Daily
- Due to the high complexity and uncertainty of contemporary transportation, as well as unexpected situations, the planned itinerary can change at any moment and our choices may be affected by any social, economic, or environmental phenomena!
- Fira Town, as well as most of the island’s villages, is a hilltop town that consists of mostly pedestrian streets. Many of these “streets” are nothing more than wide sidewalks of smooth stones pushed into cement which makes for a bumpy surface. There are considerable steps involved as well. Tour is not wheelchair accessible. Return to the ship’s tender pier is via cable car. (Not included).
- Depending on traffic on the day of your tour, the order you see the sites may vary from the tour description order.
- The tour duration does not include the time required to tender ashore from your ship.
- This tour is only for adults ages 18 and over. Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent who assumes full responsibility during the tour.
Santorini Tours Greece is proud to be the first in the industry to offer Guaranteed Departures. A guaranteed departure means; There is no minimum number of bookings required for a trip to run and that the tour will definitely operate on the day it is scheduled and will not be canceled. All guaranteed departures will run except in the event of a natural disaster or another similarly disruptive event that is beyond our control. Our current collection of tours can take you to exciting places in Athens and around the world.
How will we use the information you will give us about yourself?
Passenger Detail; We need basic contact details so we can send appropriate booking information to you as well as make sure the supplier can contact you should they need to.
Flight Details; We will need to know your exact travel details so they can track flight time as well as make sure they get you to and from your destination with no delay.
Accommodation Details; We need to know your pick-up and drop-off address to ensure the right price and that we know exactly where to meet you or take you.
Payment Details; We will pass your payment details to our secure payment provider, but we do not see or store any of these details on our website payment details.
- Dress: religious and memorial sites: shoulders and knee must be covered.
- Confirmation will be received at the time of booking.
- A voucher will be emailed to you with our contact numbers and all the necessary information for your tour.
This is your ticket and proof of purchase. On the day of the tour please present a paper voucher in order to redeem your tour/activity.
Persons with Disabilities
- Due to uneven surfaces, certain sites are not recommended for persons with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair. Most of Santorini Town’s (Chora) commercial center is either flat or has cobblestone, flagstone-paved streets, and lanes with slight inclines, though there are some lanes that have steps. Note though, the center is surrounded by hills, some of which are steep, but you could easily avoid those and still have plenty to see on flatter terrain.
- In all cases, we recommend comfortable flat-soled walking shoes, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- For guests who are full-time wheelchair users, a ramp vehicle will be needed. Guests may remain in their wheelchairs or scooters for the duration of the excursion. Wheelchair or scooter dimensions are required in order to confirm the correct vehicle!
- Wheelchair or small scooter folding type only. (Please note that disabled passengers must be able to board the vehicle independently or with the assistance of those in their party.)
- Although there is minimal walking on this tour, guests must be able to get in and out of the vehicle. This tour is not wheelchair accessible but can accept walkers and canes.
Holidays in Greece
- January 1: closed
- January 6: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- Shrove Monday: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- March 25: closed
- Good Friday: 12:00 PM – 03:00 PM
- Holy Saturday: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- Easter Sunday: closed
- Easter Monday: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- May 1: closed
- Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- 15 August 15: 08:30 AM – 03:00 PM
- October 28: 08:30 AM- 03:00 PM
- December 25 & 26: closed
- Sedans; Within 24 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 24 hrs, a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- Minivan; Within 48 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 36 hrs, a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- Minibus 10-20 seats; Within 96 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 96 hrs, a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- Excursions canceled by us or because of FORCE MAJEURE will be fully refunded
- For all vehicles; No show means, no refund
- Especially for cruise travelers: Even if the ship docks and for any reason, the captain or the cruise company decides not to disembark, the full payment will be refunded.