Santorini is such a picture perfect island! Everywhere you go on the island looks like it’s straight out of a postcard. The pure-white cave architecture lined along the cliff with the blue domes is just gorgeous! You can’t blame everyone for making it one of the most visited islands in the world. What most people miss when they visit is to take a ride on a catamaran around the island. Sailing through Santorini is one of the most beautiful things we have experienced! The view from below is something that you can’t describe and there is so much more to Santorini than the white villas and sunsets. We booked a tour with Sunset Oia Sailing for a day trip on the sea, and they couldn’t have taken better care of us as we sailed through Santorini.
The tour begins with a shuttle that picks you up close to your hotel and drops you off at Amoudi Bay, where you prepare to board the boat. Each boat has a maximum of 20 people, but there were probably 8 boats that were getting ready to go out to sea, so there were a lot of people waiting to board their boat.As we awaited the arrival of the catamaran in Amoudi Bay, we couldnt help but get giddy. When we saw the boat out on the water, we knew it was going to be a great day! We were on the Lagoon 560 day tour, which is a beautiful double decker catamaran, with 14 other people on our boat. Once on deck, we were given a safety overview and we were on our way. We’ve done lots of boat rides throughout our travels and we were super impressed with how organized and efficient Sunset Oia was with preparing everyone for their boats.
Pulling away from Amoudi Bay was one of the best views, as you can see Santorini’s infamous white village of Oia, from below. Our first stop was at the volcano, in the middle of the island, that includes a hot spring. The boat stayed here for 30 minutes of swimming, where we could swim to the hot springs. As the water in May isn’t too warm yet, not many people were eager to get in the water, but I dug deep and jumped in- and it was freezing! But once you swim to the hot springs, it gets warmer.
From there we headed to the south of the island, around the bend to White Beach. Called White Beach because of the white cliffs that contrast with the mix of black sand, pumice stones, and grey pebbles. It is quite a contrast of the neighboring Red Beach. We anchored in front of White Beach for an hour, while we ate lunch and had time to swim and snorkel. The crew cooked up a delicious lunch for us! If you know us, you know we love good food! Lunch included shrimp, pasta, chicken and/or pork skewers, traditional greek Ntolmadakia (stuffed wine leaves), bread, and of course a traditional greek salad. There was a ton of food and it was all delicious! We couldn’t help but stuff our faces with all the food!
From there, we headed to Red Beach for snorkeling, while the water was a little too cold to snorkel, we could see lots of fish just from the boat. Seeing the beaches from the water was gorgeous. It was really interesting to see the changes in the cliff-side colors. Red Beach is, of course, named accurately due to red cliffs from previous volcanic activity. While I’m sure it’s beautiful to physically be on Red Beach, we thought it was better to see it from afar, as you can appreciate the drastic colors and cliffs a bit more. Our deckhand actually told us it can be pretty dangerous on red beach due to persistent rocks falling. There are many warning signs on the way down to the beach, but many people ignore it just to see the infamous Red Beach.
The crew finished us off with delicious baklava, a traditional Greek dessert and we knew this was the end of our cruise. We had such a great time, we were sad to leave. We docked at the opposite side of the island, and then they transported us back to our hotels by a shuttle.
All Sunset Oia tours last 5 hours and the cost for semi-private tours range from 95-165€/person which includes:
- Roundtrip transfer to and from hotel
- Unlimited drinks (soft drinks, wine, beer, ouzo)
- Freshly made barbecue meal
- Snorkeling gear
- Onboard WIFI access
We opted for the daytime tour, but sunset tours are available. The sunset tour reverses the order and ends in Oia, where the sun will set over the horizon. Because we went in early May, we thought the sunset tour would be a little chilly although it would be beautiful to watch the sun set from the boat. Sunset Oia has multiple different luxury catamarans available for bookings, private and semi-private options available. The boat ride allows options if you want to swim, snorkel, or just enjoy the ride and the scenery. Next time you’re visiting Santorini, make sure you book a sailing trip around the island with Sunset Oia. You have great views, delicious food and phenomenal service!
Find out more about Sunset Oia Sailing here:
- Email- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website- http://sailing-santorini.com
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/sunset.oia.sailing
A big thank you to Sunset Oia Sailing for hosting us on the tour. We really enjoyed our time! As always, all opinions and thoughts are our own.