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DIY Oia Santorini or Viator Tour?

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Sailing the Windstar in September, 2019 and there is a stop in Santorini. we are there until 9 pm

I don't have any qualms about a DIY tour, and I don't like taking ship's overpriced tours, but I want to know if people found a tour they liked that does the same sites we want to see.

Or had a Do-it-yourself tour that worked for you.

Here's my plan:

From the dock, take the Cable car up to Top in Fira, and get rent a car. Drive to Akirotiri. (open from 8-3pm) Take tour with guide. (either find one there or book in advance)

I'm into archaeology, so I'm sure we'd spend most of the morning there.

 Lunch: possibly Melina's Tavern on beach nearby

Then drive somewhere else (what to do?)

Before driving to Oia, arrive around 5 pm, for dinner at restaurant and  sunset at 730 pm

Drive back to Fira, return car and take cable car back down to tender back to ship before it departs at 9 pm


Or I can substitute the car with taking the bus to/from  Akirotiri  and then bus to/from Oia?


Or take this Viator tour (I know Viator is a  company that just arranges the tours from others, so don't know the quality of the tour)



Also, if I drive to Oia, am I going to find parking? And is the crowd just too much to make it worthwhile?

Will I be able to drive back to Fira and return the car in time to catch the cable car down and the tender back to the ship?


What has been your experience?

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A big big snag that I see is dinner in Oia at 7.30 when your ship sails at 9pm.:classic_sad:


I think you'll find that like most other ships, last tender time will be an hour before sailaway.

So at the tender pier (at the bottom of the Fira cablecar) by 8pm at the latest.

Hopefully if your ship is the only one sailing at that time there won't be a ginormous line for the cablecar but you should play safe - get to the cablecar by 7.30 at the very latest - if there's a huge line you can walk down the zig-zag path in 20 - 25 minutes.


Since the drive from the centre of Oia to Fira takes toward 30 minutes, and you'll have to return the car, you'll need to leave your dinner table about 45 minutes before you sit at it. :classic_wacko:


If you rent a car I suggest you return it earlier and

- book for a sea-view restaurant in Fira, not Oia. Sorry, no suggestions. There might not even be one,  Fira isn't as "special" as Oia, and you're still going to have that time limitation. But it's vaguely feasible

- or see the sunset from the bar by the top cablecar station (I've not been there at sunset and it might be crowded then). I think they have bar snacks, but it's very definitely not a romantic full-service restaurant, so dinner on the ship.  

- or sunset from the ship. Almost as good. Mebbe early in the cruise check out the speciality restaurants, especially if they have tables on deck.


Sunset is around 7.30pm, check your date


(24-hour clock, which confuses some Americans.:classic_tongue: 19.00 is 7pm, 19.30 is 7.30pm, etc)


JB :classic_smile:


Edited by John Bull

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You might want to check out "Greek Travelling"..... an amazing private tour company for Santorini.

"The Oia Experience" tour may be just what you're looking for. Best of luck and enjoy !!

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