I might have told in my earlier posts that large cruise ships only tenders in Santorini as the port is naturally less agreeable to having ships docking by its side. That said, one needs to be well aware that taking a tender boat and coming to Fira might take a while if you are an independent cruise ship traveler. This is because the initial tenders are reserved for those who have purchased the excursions.
Nonetheless, that should be the least of anyone’s concern as Santorini is a small island and the few important sightseeing activities you have chosen for yourself can be easily done before your cruise leaves for the day!
Read on how we did our DIY Santorini Shore Excursion –
The cruise’s tender boat will bring you to the Tender Port of the island.
Just above the tender port is Fira and you can reach Fira by either the following –
- Taking the Cable Car upwards (EUR 5 one way) or by…
- Climbing substantial flights of stairs to the top or…
- Taking donkeys which are Santorini modes of transport to reach Fira!
An important point to note is that the donkeys will also take the same stairs as the tourists who are hiking up (so just be careful to be not kicked by any angry donkey…).
Cable Car and Donkeys
Both will cost you EUR 5 one way. I would prefer the Cable Car for my personal reasons.
There will be a very long queue to get to the Cable Car – BUT – don’t get intimidated by it as the line moves at a decent pace, not too slow of course! You may spend about 30 to max 40 minutes to get a seat in the cable car on a busy day and that is OKAY! There are two cable cars – One that takes you up and one that gets you down and it will take a little more than a minute to reach up to Fira. This is just a fraction of what you might take if you were to hike or take a donkey!
What do you do once you are up at Fira?
Well you could do a few things like,
- Just shop and have a drink and do nothing… or…
- Hire a taxi to take you around the island… or…
- Rent a quad bike/Cycle and be on your own… or…
- Take a Bus and get outside Fira! Just get to the main road and walk to your right for about 200 meters. Then take a left towards the bus station. Please ask any of the local shop owners where the bus station is, just in case you feel unsure. From here, you can take busses to Oia, or to any of the Beaches or practically anywhere in the island because this is supposedly the main Bus station of the island. Do check out my reasons for Bus travel in Santorini –
You will have ample modes of transport to the nearby towns and beaches from Fira. You may also hire a Quad-Bike/ATV at Fira and be on your own or go to Santo Wines for Wine Tasting. There are also many organizers who arrange cycling tours for those feeling sporty!
Fira is the commercial capital of Santorini. It is less picturesque but things are cheaper than Oia. Sluggish cruisers who just want to get out of the cruise for a short while could hang around at the Fira square. It will still end up being a striking experience!
There are several things you can do in Santorini as a Cruise Ship passenger. Do read my ideas to spend your time in Santorini –