I didn’t think much could top our amazing day wandering the streets of Oia. But then we set sail again, this time on a Santorini sunset cruise.
Not on our cruise ship though, but rather a traditional Greek shipping vessel, carrying us across the caldera to hike the volcano that made Santorini the unique geological setting it is today. My mom was less than enthusiastic about this tour when I first brought up the idea. “Volcanos are kind of boring” she argued, though I’m pretty sure the citizens of Pompeii weren’t exactly having a yawn-fest back in the day.
Being an outdoorsy kind of gal (not), I took the tour leader up on their suggestion to wear “sensible walking shoes.” Which I interpreted as flip-flops. This turned out to be not my brightest idea of all times, but the hike was still do-able. And I was still able to feel mildly athletically superior to someone when one or two had to turn back to the boat. While the volcano was
kind of boring visually monotonous, it provided some great views (all the way to our ship!) and a fun setting to hear more from our bubbly guide about the history of her home. You really are standing in the spot that started it all.
You’re also really, really hot, as all that black soot does a great job reflecting the already beating sun. Luckily our next stop was to jump into that beautiful blue water. While this stop was marketed as a “hot spring” we were relieved to find it was really more of a “warm spring.” We had oodles of fun jumping off the high deck on the boat and feeling the temperatures change as we swam back and forth to the boat.
My mom is such a good sport. She had forgotten her bathing suit bottoms on the cruise ship, but never one to stand on the sidelines, she jumped right in, pants and all.
We then docked outside Therasia, the remote island opposite Thera in the Santorini island group. Its number of inhabitants has dwindled to less than 100, most of whom are what our guide called “Jedi fisherman” and “master tomato growers.” I’d love to visit this island on my next visit to Greece, and walk the streets of a place untouched by mass tourism. But on this trip we simply swam from the beautiful shores and admired the view while sipping ouzo and snacking on Greek dishes.
After this came the best part of the evening. Santorini takes its sunsets seriously, with Oia’s tavernas and balconies being the most popular viewpoint. Though ss you an imagine, in peak tourist season things can get a bit crowded and we were perfectly happy to view the descent into nightfall with the company of a few other sailboats still pottering around the caldera. I apologize in advance for the amount of photos that follow. They could be pared down no more.
my mom, still smiling in her still wet pants
As the sun was dipping below the horizon, we got another treat: a private saxophone concert. Amazingly, this was far less cheesy than it sounds. Well, somewhat less.
If you happened to be around both my boyfriend and a computer sometime in late 2010, there’s a good chance he forced you into watching a certain Youtube video while alternating between unstoppable laughter and gasping for air. Having been innocent bystander to this many times, you can imagine how hard I had to work to hold in laughter when he sax player on board started in on it.
Soon it was time to head back to our other boat, and sail away into the night. But until next time, Santorini certainly has a piece of my heart.
To see the rest of my Santorini photos on Flickr, click here.
This post was sponsored.
Oh, yeah, swimming in long pants, that was fun.
Thank God I bought Ray Bans later in the trip, my sunglasses are NOT flattering.
I wear ray bans in basically all my photos… I really hope they don’t go out of fashion or I’m going to be a sad girl someday!
I’ve heard the sunsets there are extraordinary! LOVE your pics!!!
Thanks Andi! I think Greece would suit you… get your bum over there!
What an amazing trip. Beautiful photos. Officially jealous.
Everything looks so gorgeous! It’s awesome that you got to jump off the boat into the hot spring!
Basically any tour than involved jumping off things I’m ALL about.
Gorgeous photos. I wear flip flops everywhere too. They are sensible, right?
I can’t think of a better footwear! Here in Thailand many of my friends go barefoot and I’m considered quite posh for wearing them. Funny how perspective changes things!
Hey there! I am traveling to Santorini in September and was just wondering which boat tour you went on to see the volcano/sunset? If you still remember I’d love the name as well as any other restaurant/secret things to do recommendations 🙂
Hi Lindsay, unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the exact tour operator, we just walked into town and into a random tour agent and booked one! I don’t think there is much difference between the ones on offer, if that’s any consolation. And we were only there for a day, so unfortunately not enough time to uncover any super secret hidden gems! We just loved walking/driving around, soaking up the atmosphere 🙂 I’m definitely hoping to return one day!
did this SAME EXACT volcano/hot springs/sunset tour with a private sax player on my honeymoon this past June. haven’t blogged about it yet tho, am still 3 years behind on my travels, haha.
I always regret not having documentation of the trips I did before I started my blog! I started blogging early so there aren’t too many, but still…
Hi Alex! Looks like one amazing cruise! You took lovely photos too! I would have loved to do one as well but I was told it’s already off season once I get to Santorini </3
Thanks Catherine! That’s a shame. We were very lucky on with weather on this trip!
From sunrise till sunset, Santorini have given you all the fun and excitement you need. The sea breeze and the sunset are very amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing this. This is great!
Glad you enjoyed, Mark! Thanks for commenting!
We’ve been to Santorini last year and we loved it. Unfortunately we didn’t do the volcano tour and now I see we missed out quite a lot. It doesnt’ look boring (sorry, monotonous 🙂 )on pictures at all.
What did you think of Santorini’s sunsets? We thought they could easily match up with sunsets on other Greek islands. The way that setting sun reflect on Oia is kind of magical though.
I wasn’t really into the crowds at Oia! Much preferred the view from other parts of the island, where I had it to myself 🙂 Santorini is magical… I’ve loved returning there again and again!
It looks like a sunset cruise would be amazing! I went to Santorini last year and only watched the sunset from Fira and Oia, both of which are amazing!
Really, you can’t go wrong as long as you’re on Santorini and you’re watching a sunset 🙂
Hi Alex! Thanks for your Santorini post. I will be there on Oct. 5, 2016 (with Holland America cruise) and will only have 9 hours in port. What do you recommend as a must see. We pull up anchor at 5p.m.
Hey Greg! I guess that depends on your interests. When I visited Santorini on a cruise my mom and I rented a car and went to Oia and some of the black sand beaches and then went on a sunset cruise (we didn’t leave till 10pm). If you’re into watersports you can go diving, if you love wine you can tour the island wineries, and if you’re a beach bum you can just head to a gorgeous one! So much to do, really depends on what you’re most excited by 🙂