20 Jan Sailing the Seas and Hiking a Volcano in Santorini
We had heard mixed reviews about the volcano sailing and hiking tour in Santorini, so we decided to play it by ear and leave our plans open ended. Many people said the volcano in Santorini was boring and there was nothing to look at, others said it was a tourist trap, and some seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed it. With pretty low expectations, we decided to head out on the tour one morning, and thankfully, I can say we fell into the last of the three camps of opinions. Perhaps it was because of those low expectations, or maybe it was the sunshine and sea, but either way, we had a wonderful and relaxing day soaking up the gorgeous scenery in every direction.
The morning started out with a short walk to Fira from our hotel, and we arrived at the edge of the caldera way too early. With time on our side, we sunk into seats with a view and ordered some delectable, albeit expensive, coffee. We had definitely started the day out right.
After sucking down every last drop, we moseyed over to the daunting staircase that leads down to the port. Our plan was to walk down and take the cable cars back up at the end of the day–a fine tradeoff in my opinion, where we would get the best of both worlds. The hike down the stairs started out pretty easy, but it soon became crowded with donkeys and dung…everywhere you stepped.
All I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t wearing sandals and I had some sort of protection over my feet. After what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the bottom of the stairs and did a bit of browsing while waiting for our boat.
Once it was time to board, we excitedly rushed on and found a nice spot in the sunshine.
The views pulling away from the port were absolutely stunning. Due to our schedule in Greece, it was the only time we were able to get out on the water, and I’m so glad we had a chance to do so. Something about seeing Greece by sea just makes sense, and I would have hated to miss out.
A short ride later, we pulled up to the volcano alongside a few other boats. I definitely wasn’t expecting the crowds, but we did love the scenery. In our opinion, there is much more to look at than just rocks, and the hike was enjoyable, again minus the crowds. For the hike to the top, we had to follow our tour guide, and at times it felt like we were being hearded around the island–I would have rather been left to explore at my own will, but at least the facts and information she shared along the way were interesting.
My favorite parts about the volcano were the steam and fog rising up from the center, and the expansive views from the top. After making our way back down the volcano, we were dying from the heat and ready for a bit of wind in our hair–thank goodness the boat was just about ready to take off.
Our next stop was the nearby hot springs where we had the opportunity to take a dip in the sea. We didn’t feel like jumping in and didn’t bring our swimsuits, so we hung out onboard in the sun instead. Plenty of our fellow shipmates did hop in for a swim, though. Even though they were heading to a hot spring, I had heard the water wasn’t too warm and it had a strong sulfur smell, so do be warned if you do decide to jump in!
All to soon it was time to head back to shore. Soaking up every minute of the boat ride back, we reveled in the sun and photographed the spanning views all around us as I thought to myself, “What a beautiful, perfect day.”