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Find it Here: Santorini, Firá, and Oia Q & A


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16 hours ago, tbenson81 said:

We were on the Edge in October and were in port 7-7. We were first ones off the ship and took cable car up to Fira and caught a cab to Oia (25 euro). We were in Oia by 7:30am. We explored Oia for a little while and left there about 9:30 to hike all the way back to the ship. The hike from Oia back to Fira took about 3 hours. If we had to do it again, we would begin in the same fashion but take a cab from Oia to Imerovigli and then hike down to the ship from there. There was not a ton to see on the stretch from Oia to Imerovigli and you have to be in somewhat decent shape as there is much elevation change. The major scenic areas are in Oia and then the stretch from Imerovigli to Fira

 

Is it easy to get a cab? I heard there are only a small number of cabs on the island. Your plan sounds perfect. (We'll be there in the summer, so I expect more competition for cable car or cab).

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We found a cab in less than a minute near the bus stop as there were several. There is also a bus that runs to Oia every 15-30 minutes or so but the earliest one on the day were were there wasn't scheduled until 830am. The ferry that runs from the tender dock to Oia also wasnt running yet. Instead of waiting around for an hour, we wanted to get to Oia as quickly as possible. I dont think you will have any trouble finding a cab. Both Fira and Oia were very pleasant at this time and we had Oia basically to ourselves. The stores werent even open yet. By the time we got back to Fira after lunch, it was a mob scene. There were people shoulder to shoulder. We ended up walking down the donkey path because the cable car line looked pretty long. This really wasnt that bad either and only took about 15-20 minutes. Definitely go early because it will be much more enjoyable especially if there are multiple ships in that day.

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On 12/5/2019 at 9:49 AM, tbenson81 said:

We found a cab in less than a minute near the bus stop as there were several. There is also a bus that runs to Oia every 15-30 minutes or so but the earliest one on the day were were there wasn't scheduled until 830am. The ferry that runs from the tender dock to Oia also wasnt running yet. Instead of waiting around for an hour, we wanted to get to Oia as quickly as possible. I dont think you will have any trouble finding a cab. Both Fira and Oia were very pleasant at this time and we had Oia basically to ourselves. The stores werent even open yet. By the time we got back to Fira after lunch, it was a mob scene. There were people shoulder to shoulder. We ended up walking down the donkey path because the cable car line looked pretty long. This really wasnt that bad either and only took about 15-20 minutes. Definitely go early because it will be much more enjoyable especially if there are multiple ships in that day.

 

We'll try to get off as early as possible, but I suspect a lot of people are thinking of the same thing, leading to an early crowd.

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We did a Celebrity cruise to Santorini in October 2018. 

 

We walked down to the tender area around 7 am and caught the first tender and and we didn't have a tender ticket. We did the Ferry to Oia. Was in Oia by 8:15. Shops were opening and no crowds. 15€ per person and that included the bus ride back to Fira.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will just add my experience from Santorini this year.  We went in mid September and our port stop was planned 2 pm - 10 pm, although we arrived a little early.  Our tender was being called when we were still eating lunch.  We were on Santorini by 2 pm. 

 

I had researched thoroughly.  I did not want to meet crowds (which were a big feature of our Venice/Dubrovnik/Mykonos and Santorini stops).

 

I thought that the boat to Oia/walk back to Fira sounded the best use of our time.  I had visited Santorini many moons ago.  I knew that we were not going to get to see the best of the island in an 8 hour port stop.  DH had other ideas.  He usually lets me make all the decisions but he wanted to walk up the steps.  He spends his retirement walking and in Gibraltar that means steps.  It was not an impossible physical challenge.  

 

So we went up the steps.  They were a bit smelly in places.  When the mules came by you had to try to find ways not to get squashed against the walls.  They were slippery too, this was probably due to use rather than donkey poo.  This was dangerous on the way down.  A lady on our return tender had slipped.  Her leg was broken, confirmed by a doctor in Mykonos.  I should think that she might just be back at work.  It was a nasty break.  

 

We reached the top of the steps and met with crowds.  I pointed out the direction we were to walk.  At first it was busy road which looked like unpleasant walking.  Soon we came across a church, went to take photographs and found the footpath.  The walk was lovely.  It was not that busy and the views were good.  I am not sure if we got as far as Imerovigli, but we stopped after about an hour or so when it seemed as if there were no more buildings and Fira was still a long way off.   We were planning to get back before sunset.  We did not want to be attempting those steps in the dark.  So we turned back,  enjoyed the view while tasting taramasalata with a beer.    I cannot tell from my photos when we were going down the steps, it was probably about 5.30 pm.  We would have had plenty of time to walk around Fira - but there were just masses of people.  Sitting on the ship with a drink seemed like a much more enjoyable prospect!!  

 

We got back down the steps uneventfully.   The donkeys were still going up and down and did have to be avoided.  We passed a man with a walking stick, several women who were going barefoot (carrying shoes that were totally inappropriate for the steps) and some people with children in buggies - do your homework folk!!  

 

Back on board, I heard some people talk about the boat.  It sounded as if they just got off the boat and then onto the bus to Fira.  They seemed very unhappy with the experience.  I would like to have learned more but it was not my conversation!!  

 

Difficult to know if I would do things differently again. I think the ‘ideal’ DIY trip would be to take the bus to Oia and as a previous poster has said, a taxi to Imerovigli and then walk back.   As long as it is still light and you have good shoes and take care, the steps are fine.  

 

Sadly I would not say that Santorini was a high spot of our cruise.  It is suffering from over tourism.  I thought that mid September would be after the summer crush.  If I went again it would be mid-October.  

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I've read many of the posts about Santorini, so bear with me as I ask some more questions. 🙂 I really want to make the most out of our time on the island, which is obviously limited on a cruise. We'll be in Santorini on June 30 from 8 am-6 pm, and obviously have to take into consideration time for tendering and the cable car line. From what I've been able to gather from cruise timetable sites, we will be the first ship to arrive that morning, the next ship arrives an hour later, and the third ship arrives at 1 pm. We are also the first to leave, and the next boat does not leave until 8:30 pm. I'm hoping all this helps to alleviate line congestion for the cable car but am not getting my hopes up. 

 

So, with all that for some context, I am trying to put together a day of activities that allows us to take the best advantage of the day. I considered taking the boat from the tendering dock directly to Oia, and while that's not completely out of the question, now I'm leaning more toward taking the cable car up to do the hike over to Oia. Once in Oia, we'd like to explore the town a little but are not big shoppers and would mainly like to see the sites and ambiance and maybe even find the place that does fish pedicures. 🙂 Afterward, we'd like to head down to Ammoudi Bay, go swimming/cliff diving, and eat lunch at one of the fish taverns on the water. I am thinking perhaps an abbreviated version of the hike to Oia might be a better option though to get to lunch at a reasonable time? Is there a good bus stop to get off at in between Fira and Oia that would allow us to do half of the hike or so? Or even a good place for a taxi to drop us off at if that's a better option? I've referenced the Santorini Dave website but am interested in hearing about personal experiences. If we did half-ish of the hike, maybe we could even taxi over to the other side of the island to see some of the sites over there after visiting the Oia side. I've read about a water taxi near Akrotiri that takes you to see black, red, and white beaches for 10 euro, and that is something of interest to us. I'm aware I may be trying to cram too much into one day and am interested in hearing people's perspectives.

 

If we took the boat transfer over to Oia instead of doing the plan above, we could always do Ammoudi Bay first, followed by Oia, and then hike toward Fira, but what is making me lean the other way is that I'm really intrigued by eating lunch at one of the fish taverns right on the water at Ammoudi Bay, and, timing wise, that probably wouldn't work out because we'd be leaving Ammoudi Bay before lunch time if it was the first thing we did that day. If someone has another interesting dining experience they'd like to suggest as an alternative, I'm open to hearing it!

 

I know I have a lot of thoughts, so thanks for getting through this!  🙂 

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Just one suggestion.

You can't rely on websites to be totally accurate about the number and times of ships at Santorini

Assuming you're tolerably fit, at the end of the day get back to the top cablecar station at the very least 30 minutes before last-tender time (which is likely to be 5pm because it's a tendered port). If there's a long line for the cablecar, it takes about 25 minutes to walk down the zig-zag path to the tender jetty.

 

Bear in mind that "last tender time" is when you must be on the jetty., not on the ship. And it matters not if there's a long line for the tenders  'cos they'll continue operating until they've mopped-up the line.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull
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We are definitely “tolerably fit,” haha. My main concern with the stairs is about slipperiness and avoiding donkeys. While in good physical health, I am quite accident prone, haha. I’ve heard of incidents occurring and can’t help but be a little nervous about traversing the steps. That being said, if it can give us an extra hour on the island as opposed to spending that time in line for the cable car, maybe it’s worth the risk? I know riding the mules down is controversial but would like any opinions on that, as well. Full Santorini experience? 😉 

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4 hours ago, calebandjess said:

I've read about a water taxi near Akrotiri that takes you to see black, red, and white beaches for 10 euro, and that is something of interest to us.

 

Where did you see the information? I am thinking of renting a car to minimize the risk of not being able to find a taxi in the peak season, but water taxi sounds interesting!

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2 hours ago, jennyumaa said:

 

 

Where did you see the information? I am thinking of renting a car to minimize the risk of not being able to find a taxi in the peak season, but water taxi sounds interesting!

Its not a taxi that takes you all over the island or anything like that, but, from my understanding, you can board near Akrotiri and it has stops to see black, red, and white beaches. You can get off and catch another “taxi” later if you wish at any of the stops. 

 

Here’s some information on Trip Advisor (also has a link to their Facebook page): 
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1189834-d11777498-Reviews-or10-Taxi_Boats_to_Red_White_and_Black_Beach-Akrotiri_Santorini_Cyclades_South_.html

 

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1 hour ago, calebandjess said:

Its not a taxi that takes you all over the island or anything like that, but, from my understanding, you can board near Akrotiri and it has stops to see black, red, and white beaches. You can get off and catch another “taxi” later if you wish at any of the stops. 

 

Here’s some information on Trip Advisor (also has a link to their Facebook page): 
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1189834-d11777498-Reviews-or10-Taxi_Boats_to_Red_White_and_Black_Beach-Akrotiri_Santorini_Cyclades_South_.html

 

 

Thanks. It seems that the availability of taxis can be a problem. Still thinking about renting a car, but I have not seem many examples.

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9 hours ago, calebandjess said:

We are definitely “tolerably fit,” haha. My main concern with the stairs is about slipperiness and avoiding donkeys. While in good physical health, I am quite accident prone, haha. I’ve heard of incidents occurring and can’t help but be a little nervous about traversing the steps. That being said, if it can give us an extra hour on the island as opposed to spending that time in line for the cable car, maybe it’s worth the risk? I know riding the mules down is controversial but would like any opinions on that, as well. Full Santorini experience? 😉 

 

 

At the end of the day there won't be many donkeys (they're actually mules, much more capable) .

Folk don't need, mules don't like going down loaded, and it can be quite frightening riding down.

Which neatly gives you two answers in one sentence

 

Yes, some stones on some of the steps are slippery. Those are slippery because they're very very smooth stones, nothing to do with donkeys,. But because they're so smooth they're also shiny, so pretty obvious.

Steps are very wide, with waist-high walls. Hold onto the wall with one hand. And hold your partner's hand with your other hand - if you're going to tumble you might as well drag your partner down with you, so that you have something soft to land on.

 

I've never been there in the rain - that might complicate matters and break a leg or two :classic_wink:, so take care.

Ditto with donkey poo. Unless it rains that'll be dry dust late in the day. Can get blown about a bit if it's windy

 

But you couldn't do worse than my partner. 

Going up on one occasion, her donkey was in a fairly tightly-packed grouping. One of the other donkeys decided to lift its tail and empty its bowels.

All over her leg. :classic_biggrin:

Much to the amusement of everyone else :classic_biggrin:,

Including her partner :classic_blush: 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Edited by John Bull
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10 hours ago, jennyumaa said:

Thanks. It seems that the availability of taxis can be a problem. Still thinking about renting a car, but I have not seem many examples.

Correct - taxi's will be a problem - one option might be a boat trip from the old port to Oia - then you'll also skip the possible long queue for the cable car.

 

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Yes, I’ve considered that. I was hoping to do lunch down in Ammoudi Bay, so the only downside would be having to backtrack down there later. We may have to play it by ear and see what the lines are like after we tender and make decisions for the best plan from there. I’m learning flexibility is important when planning for Santorini. 

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1 hour ago, hallasm said:

Correct - taxi's will be a problem - one option might be a boat trip from the old port to Oia - then you'll also skip the possible long queue for the cable car.

 

 

But we still have to line up for the queue to come down from Fira via cable car. All the boat trips I know of only offer one way trip, and then they send you off to Fira.

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6 minutes ago, jennyumaa said:

 

But we still have to line up for the queue to come down from Fira via cable car. All the boat trips I know of only offer one way trip, and then they send you off to Fira.

Yes, I’m aware of this. If lines are long getting up to Fira at the cable car, it may at least expedite the process of getting to Oia. I’m still debating walking down the steps to get back down to tender. 

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2 hours ago, calebandjess said:

Yes, I’m aware of this. If lines are long getting up to Fira at the cable car, it may at least expedite the process of getting to Oia. I’m still debating walking down the steps to get back down to tender. 

 

There's another factor you may want to consider: Boats to Oia usually starts at 9am (let me know if that's incorrect). So if you get off the cruise ship earlier, you may lose the advantage over the next ship by waiting for the boat. Again, my information may be wrong, but timing is important there.

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56 minutes ago, jennyumaa said:

 

There's another factor you may want to consider: Boats to Oia usually starts at 9am (let me know if that's incorrect). So if you get off the cruise ship earlier, you may lose the advantage over the next ship by waiting for the boat. Again, my information may be wrong, but timing is important there.

So many things to consider! Guess we’ll just have to get off the tender and see what the situation is that day. 🤷‍♀️ 

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ok, trying to get some updated info.

We're going in Sept and, of course, the day in Santorini has 4 ships!  I am leading a group of, maybe, 20 adults.

We're in port from 7-7 so if we get off early the boats to OIA won't be running, correct?

So, we can 1) get off early and plan on doing the cable cars up or 2) wait a bit and then the boats to Oia will be

running?

Also was planning to get a private group tour to do the beaches and wine tasting...last time I was there we did it

ourselves with the donkeys (was hysterical!) and public bus to Oia but with a group of this size I think a tour

would be better.

Any advice???

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  • 4 weeks later...

We will be arriving on the Rhapsody of the Seas mid August.  Looking for a reliable way to get from the Cruise Port to Oia.  Someone suggested the company ShoreBee.  Has anyone recently used them?  There are no recent reviews or mention of them.  I've read that we (6 of us) could take a water taxi to Amoudi Bay.  Others have said that you can't trust them.  I really don't know what to do!

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Hey folks,

 

I will be visiting Santorini on Sept 25, 2020 on the Norwegian Getaway. We arrive at 13:00 and leave at 22:00 and we will be tendering in. I have heard of the problems of long lines for the cable cars and I have a few questions.

 

A little background. There will be three other ships in port that day Jewel OTS (~2500 pax, leaves at 19:00), AIDAmira (~1250 pax, leaves at 19:00), Oceana Riviera (~1250 pax, leaves at 20:00) and my ship, Getaway (~4000 pax, leaves at 22:00). Sunset for that night is at 19:10.

 

I have a semi-private tour scheduled and we would like to end the evening by having supper (or maybe just wine) at a place overlooking the caldera and then head back to the ship. I am expecting a lot of people to want the same thing that we want and to head to cable car at 19:15, right after sunset. We may not be in Fira for the sunset but will be close, maybe at a winery. I am figuring that all the people for the other ships will be cleared out by then, so it should just be the Getaway passengers. Correct? In your opinion, do we have enough time to watch the sunset and then hot-foot it to the cable car? I really don’t want to walk down the donkey trail after dark, but I guess that is an option if absolutely necessary. And remember, there is a tender ride to account for.

 

I am looking for the opinions of travelers with experience in Santorini. What do you think? Sunset viewing or not? I don’t want to be a pier runner.

 

TIA

Steven

Edited by stevendom57
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On 2/10/2020 at 12:04 AM, gskline said:

We will be arriving on the Rhapsody of the Seas mid August.  Looking for a reliable way to get from the Cruise Port to Oia.  Someone suggested the company ShoreBee.  Has anyone recently used them?  There are no recent reviews or mention of them.  I've read that we (6 of us) could take a water taxi to Amoudi Bay.  Others have said that you can't trust them.  I really don't know what to do!

 

 

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shorebee are a third party operator ie they don't run tours themselves but contract with local companies so quality may be variable

 

the "water taxi" I think refers to a local boat operator who runs largish boats from jetty at Fira over to Oia

transport back usually by bus to top of cliff so you have to take cable car or walk down donkey path

They don't leave until they have a full boat so you could be waiting a while if you are one of first ones on

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