Santorini was the third stop on our Mediterranean cruise in June 2022 which also visited Dubrovnik, Mykonos, and Split. Famous for its sunset views, all of the villages in Santorini are on top of volcanic cliffs. There is no port for cruise ships to dock, so we were tendered into a small docking spot which has both a walking path which leads up the towns or a gondola that you can take. The walking path also has donkeys which can be ridden up or down.
The docking spot is at the bottom of Fira/Thira, but we elected to take a ferry from there which led to Oia, which is probably the most famous of the towns within Santorini. In retrospect, we probably didn’t need to do this as the two towns are very similar and both offer great daytime views. Oia is known to be the best spot to watch the sunset, but our cruise ship departed before that so we didn’t get a chance to see it. However, the ferry ride over did offer beautiful views. Similar to Mykonos, the towns of Oia and Fira/Thira are mainly just shopping and dining destinations. As a heads up, if you want to take in the views (or take pictures of the views) you’ll be competing with many other photographers, instagrammers, etc.
To be completely honest, I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we ate at. The one I originally had researched was nowhere close to our location by the time we wanted to eat (I blame pregnancy hunger for wanting to eat quickly) and this place had decent reviews when we looked it up. It had wonderful views, (as you can see above) and the food was good although not as good as the food we ate in Mykonos. In Fira/Thira we ate at a gelato place called Lolita’s, and also ate some delicious baklava from a local bakery.
Tips and Tricks
- I don’t recommend taking the donkeys from the dock and I REALLY don’t recommend walking up or down the path. We walked down the path and it was one of my least favorite experiences I have ever had. The path is extremely slippery and the donkeys don’t care if you’re in their way, they will walk right into you. The line for the gondola may seem long, but my family rode it instead of walking and they actually beat us going down because we had to walk so slowly.
- Whichever way you choose, getting down to the dock and riding the tender boats will take a long time, so make sure to plan accordingly so you don’t miss the return time for your cruise ship.