I want to help you to pick a great boat tour around Santorini. Here I compared tours for you and even created maps so you get an idea where the boat is sailing.
Two boat tours that take you to the Volcano, and two different catamaran cruises to snorkel and chill.
- 4 best boat Volcano tours in Santorini
- a map with stops
- Where is the Volcano?
- What to bring?
- Is it worth it?
- My best 3 things to do
4 Best Boat Tours of the Caldera & Volcano in Santorini
In this list I will only share the tours I really, really recommend!
There are a few more tours, but some of our readers and others had no good experience.
So we narrowed it down for you to the best Santorini Volcano Tours.
1. Volcanic Islands Cruise with Palea Kameni Hot Springs
My #1 recommendation is this volcanic island cruise.
Cruise to the volcanic islands of Santorini’s caldera region. Swim in hot springs, admire views from an active volcano and explore island villages.
The highlights are:
- Peer into the crater of an active volcano
- Swim in volcanic hot springs
- Explore the the city of Thirassia on your own
- Experience a spectacular sunset in Oia
Below I created a map for you. Here you see where this tour takes you.
You get on the boat at Athinios Port, the main island of Santorini itself.
First stop is at Nea Kameni. There you take the path to the crater of the active volcano. As with every tour you have some time to explore and wander.
Next you head to Palea Kameni, the island left-hand and swim in the hot springs.
The hot springs are not super hot water, if this is what you expect, but warm water.
After getting dry you will sail to Thirassia to visit Manolas, a village accessible by winding stairs, or by a donkey ride up to the village.
The last stop takes you to the North of the main Island, Oia, for a brief stop.
There is the option of extending the tour in Oia to admire the panoramic views and a spectacular sunset.
Depending on what you chose, the duration of the tour is between 6 and 10 hours.
Here is the map. I included the stops and rough itinerary.
2. Sunset Dinner and Volcano Tour
The more classy version including sunset dinner, the Sunset dinner Volcano Tour.
Cruise around Santorini and get some free time at Nea Kameni volcano. Languish in the hot springs, and watch the sun set over the island on a dinner cruise.
The highlights are:
- Climb to the top of the volcano on Nea Kameni Island
- Swim in the hot springs at Palia Kameni
- Watch the sunset while being wined and dined on a dinner cruise
The tour actually starts at your foot step. They will pick-up at your hotel, and then drive to Athinios Port to hop on the boat.
Cruise to the island of Nea Kameni and get the chance to climb to the top of the volcano.
Continue to Palia Kameni to dive and swim in the hot springs created by the underwater powers of the volcano.
Sail above the underwater craters to Thirasia Island, and anchor close to the shore to relax over a dinner buffet of pork rolls, chicken rolls, rice and baked potatoes, along with Greek salad, tzatziki, bread and seasonal fruit, all served with local wine.
Set sail as the sun begins to sink into the sea and experience the true romance of Santorini from the water.
The itinerary is pretty much the same as #1 in this list.
Yet, this activity includes lunch and is usually less busy.
On top of that, the highlight here is the sunset from the boat.
3. Exclusive Catamaran Tour
To make this list complete, I want to share a Catamaran tour with you. This tour does not take you to the Volcano BUT the Caldera- important.
This is my #1 recommendation if you prefer a private tour with less than 25 people.
It is a bit more expensive, but 100% worth it!
It’s a different option and I think it’s important to you to see what other options you have.
The tour includes:
- Sail in the Caldera during morning or evening to see a spectacular sunset
- Swim and snorkel near the Red and White Beach
- Enjoy a barbecue meal of local delicacies with drinks
- Visit the Hot Springs
- Discover unique parts of Santorini not reachable by car
Yes you read well, a barbecue is included, as well as drinks (white wine, beer, soft drinks, water).
They do also bring snorkeling equipment. You only have to be willing to jump in the water!
And the groups are small. A really nice way to meet other fellow travelers and enjoy Santorini and its hidden beach spots.
4. Santorini Sunset Cruise
This is the Sunset Cruise, a romantic and memorable sunset cruise.
This cruise is actually from the route like #3, but it is a different kind of boat.
Climb aboard the 74-foot Ocean Voyager or the 80-foot Tahiti catamaran for a 5-hour sunset cruise around Santorini in the Aegean Sea.
Sailing, snorkeling, snacks, white beaches, good vibes only and a mud bath!!
Head over to a secluded White Beach, only accessible from the sea, for more swimming and snorkeling in the shadow of the towering white cliffs.
Free snorkeling equipment is available on board the catamaran where you’ll also be served a barbecue supper of salads and grilled pork.
Continue sailing inside the crescent-shaped Caldera, close to the volcano, and enjoy a final dip and mudbath in the Hot Springs.
Now, this is how you spend an epic, unforgettable day!
All Volcano Tours in Santorini put on a map
A map is always helpful. I created a map with the 4 tours to show you the stops.
I kept the same order form #1 to #4 and kept them in a different color. I hope it is clear enough.
You can deactivate different layers as well.
Update: here you find all tours in Santorini related to Volcano and Snorkel.
Where is the Volcano anyway?
Santorini is basically a Volcano itself or better to say, what remains from it after an enormous volcanic eruption.
When looking at Santorini you will notice a giant central, rectangular lagoon.
It measures about 12 by 7 km and is surrounded by up to 300 meter tall cliffs.
The active Volcano (yes, you read well, it is active!) had the last eruption on 1950. Nowadays, it only has fumarolic activity.
The prices start from 37€.
I have seen as well cheaper ones when I was there. But, I do not recommend going for anything cheaper.
Cheaper usually simply means more people will join.
So while you may save 5€, you will end up with 50% more people on the boat.
What to bring on the tour?
First of all, it depends what the tour includes.
If the tour includes the food like the #2 in this list, that’s covered.
My #1 volcano activity does not include lunch. But, you are nearby restaurants and taverns for getting your Greek food.
Yet, I always recommend bringing:
- water and
- sun blocker!
Seriously, Santorini is a summer destination, and you have sunshine (almost) all year long.
Do not get sunburned on your first day and then suffer through the rest of your holidays.
Santorini is way too beautiful to do that. Rest assured, you can skip the sunburn experience!
Santorini Volcano Tour worth it?
Absolutely, that’s a definite yes!
Did I already say: YES?!
I consider the Volcano Tours a must-do when you are at least 2 days here. Even on a day trip to Santorini it would be worth it. Yet, I don’t think there is any tour that is early enough back to get you back to an official ferry schedule.
If you are only visiting Santorini for a day trip, I recommend taking the traditional bus tour including wine tasting, cute villages and sunset in Oia.
You see, the island is a Volcano itself.
Earlier I mentioned, it is actually what is left after an enormous earthquake thousands of years ago.
It changed the whole island form and destroyed human life on it.
Read the full wikipedia article on this topic here.
So I would say: It is worth to take the tour.
Simply because Santorini’s history is closely related to it, no, because it is a Volcano.
Here is some reviews:
“Very well-organized cruise that delivers what they promise, with a fun vibe. Great for all ages and the boat never felt too full, even with about 30 passengers on board. We stopped three times to swim, and one included snorkeling. Dinner was tasty and plenty of good, drinks on tap apart from beer, which was charged for. Highly recommend it.”
– Louise, Japan
“If you want to get into the water, layout in the sun and visit several beaches, this is the tour for you. We had an incredible time. Our guides were so much fun, the food that was BBQ’d was delicious and the group we toured with were great! Drinks (beer and wine) are included in the price, which is also a HUGE plus. We got to swim with the fishes, take a dip in the hot springs and see the red and white beaches. The catamaran itself was about 3 days old so it was a very nice/clean looking. This was a day we will never forget. We cannot be any happier with this tour!”
– Melisa, United States of America
Top 3 best things to do in Santorini are…
I love to keep it simple. For me there is only three things you cannot miss.
My top 3 best things to do in Santorini are:
Please please please drop me a line below. If you have any questions, any doubts, please leave a comment below.
Your comment helps me to improve the article and it helps you to travel a bit better, I hope.
I am keen to help!
Safe travels and enjoy Santorini,
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