Cruise Port Atlas | Santorini (Thira), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Santorini (Thira), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Santorini: Star Clippers, Voyages of Discovery, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Oia, Red Beach, Perissa Beach, Fira, Santorini Archaeological Museum, Profitis Ilias Monastery, Pyrgos, Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Akrotiri

Street in Oia


Ormos Athinios (Port) to Oia - 20 KM, 30 minutes
Fira to Oia - 11 KM, 16 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The village of Oia is one of the most popular attractions in the Aegean because of the dramatic views and whitewashed houses hugging the cliff. The town was destroyed in an earthquake in 1956 and was quickly rebuilt. The small plaster covered buildings are primarily white with blue, pink and coral highlights. They are small homes, churches, shops, inns and restaurants with many outdoor terraces. Many buildings against the cliff are cut into the volcanic rock. There are several rustic windmills that are typical of the Cycladic Islands. There is a small maritime museum in the town. The best time to visit Oia is at sunset. The "roads" are pedestrian walkways. There is a small harbor at the bottom of the cliff below the village.

Cliff-side buildings and Churches   Caldera from the cliff     

Uneven surfaces and hills    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Oia by CruisePortAtlas

The Famous Red Beach

Santorini Beaches

Ormos Athinios (Port) to Red Beach - 11 KM, 17 minutes, plus a steep walk
Fira to Red Beach - 12 KM, 20 minutes, plus a steep walk
Ormos Athinios (Port) to Kamari - 10 KM, 19 minutes
Fira to Kamari - 10 KM, 17 minutes
Ormos Athinios (Port) to Perissa - 11 KM, 20 minutes
Fira to Perissa - 13 KM, 20 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Santorini's beaches dot the outer side of the main island's arc. They are generally crowded during the summer and provide many amenities. The most famous is the Red Beach on the southern coast with its red cliff and red and black sand. Close by is the White Beach with a white cliff. Along the eastern coast are the popular beaches at Perissa, Kamari and Agios Georgios. These beaches offer nearby tavernas and other facilities.

Sun and Water   Volcanic sand and peebles      Dramatic settings  

Strenuous Walking    No Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Red Beach by Inerle



Ormos Athinios (Port) to Fira - 9 KM, 12 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Fira (also spelled Thira) is a large town that is the capital of the island group. Here you will find beautiful Catholic and Orthodox churches, the Museum of Prehistoric Thira with artifacts from Akrotiri, the Archaeological Museum with items from many eras. This is also the place for shopping in Santorini with a wide variety of local handicrafts, agricultural products, and wine from the island vineyards. The better the view, the higher the prices at restaurants, so to save some money you might choose a place a few blocks in from the caldera rim. Getting to the tenders involves getting down the incline to the water one of three ways. You can walk down the steps for free (watch out for donkey droppings). You can ride a donkey for a fee. You can take the cable car down for a few euro.

World-class photo opportunities   Small Museums   Cliffside buildings and churches   Volcanic cliffs  

Steep Roads and some cobbles    Wheelchair Accessible in a few areas

Photo of Fira (Profitis Ilias in background) by CruisePortAtlas

Profitis Ilas Monastery

Profitis Ilias Monastery and Pyrgos

Ormos Athinios (Port) to Monastery - 9 KM, 12 minutes
Fira to Monastery - 9 KM, 15 minutes
Pyrgos to Monastery - 4 KM, 5 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The monastery at the top of Profitis Ilias was built in 1711 near the village of Pyrgos. The monastery has a museum with ecclesiastical items, but the main reason to go there is for the commanding views of the island from an entirely different perspective. The monastery has a fortress-like appearance.

Pyrgos is a small village with many churches and a Venetian fortress. It was once the capital of Santorini and sits on the western slope of Profitis Ilias with a wonderful view of the caldera and volcanic domes.

Highest point on island   Orthodox Monastery   Pictures of entire island  

Strenuous Walking    No Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Profitis Ilias Monastery by CruisePortAtlas

Nea Kameni

Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni

Ferry ride from Fira or Ormos Athinios
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni are two volcanic domes which sit in the middle of the Santorini caldera and occasionally exhibit volcanic activity. Tours are offered to these stark nearly uninhabited islands and often include a visit to the hot springs on Palea Kameni.

Highest point on island   Pictures of entire island  

Strenuous Walking    No Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Caldera and Nea Kameni by CruisePortAtlas

Mural from Akrotiri


Ormos Athinios (Port) to Akrotiri - 9 KM, 12 minutes
Fira to Akrotiri - 10 KM, 16 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The locals believe that Akrotiri is the lost city of Atlantis and certainly the ruins that have been discovered there are impressive. Many of the art works and finest artifacts have been moved to the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, but the multi-story buildings, drainage system and size of this site attest to its importance in the archaic period. In 2006, a portion of the roof that was built over the site collapsed, killing one visitor. The site has recently re-opened after repairs were completed.

Mural from Akrotiri

   Pictures of entire island  

Strenuous Walking    No Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Akrotiri Ruins by F.Eveleens, Photo of Akrotiri Mural (Museum of Prehistoric Thira)

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible