One of my favourite cruise ports is undoubtedly the Greek island of Santorini. The island sits in the caldera of a volcano which is still active today and it responsible for the interesting look of the island. It appears to rise straight out the sea and is incredibly steep. The dark red, almost black, of the rocks give the island a very unique topology and make it an incredibly interesting area to explore.

The island has even been used as a moonscape to film movie it’s that unusual!

Rising Out of The Water!

The sight you first get of the island rising up straight out of the water, with the small white houses perched atop the cliffs is breath taking. Cruise ships cannot go into a port here and so your ship will drop anchor and you will be tendered a short distance to the area at the bottom of the cliffs. At the bottom there are only a few cafés and some tourist shops.

There are only two ways up to the town is by a steep road, and hundreds of steps which you can walk or traverse on a donkey, or you can ride the cable car. The queues for the cable car can be very long first thing in the morning when the ship docks, but if you wait until the rush has died down it isn’t too bad. Obviously this is affected by how many ships are visiting the island that day.

Once you reach the top of the island and the beautiful town of Fira, the best thing to do is to stop and enjoy the stunning views over the caldera. There are a huge number of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy panoramic views with a refreshing drink in hand.

The streets of the main part of the town are free from cars and have some beautiful and interesting shops. The prices in Santorini can be quite expensive, but there are some shops which are very reasonable if you simply look for them.

The Ruins of Akrotiri

In another area of the island you can visit the ruins of Akrotiri, the alleged lost city of Atlantis. When the volcano erupted thousands of years ago it covered an entire city which has only recently been discovered, and is being further excavated all the time.

Visitors can walk through parts of the city which have already been uncovered and see jars, pots, paintings and other interesting artifacts from the city.

The area which has already been excavated is very large, although it is estimated that this is only around 5% of the total area of the city. It’s fascinating to see how advanced their society was at that time and I definitely recommend you to visit the ruins if history is of interest to you.

Thanks Emma