One day in Santorini by cruise ship? The ultimate guide, especially for cruise travellers

Useful information and tips for Santorini cruise visitors

The cruise port of Santorini was originally named Skala. But most of the people on the island know it as the old port of  Thera. Before the construction of Athinios Port, the port of Skala used to serve every boat or ship that was coming to Santorini. After the establishment of the “new” port of Athinios, the old port is mainly serving cruise ships.

The cruise port is located at the bottom of Fira which is the capital of the island. It is about 250 meters (820 ft) lower than the main city. If you want to reach the top there are 2 choices.

The first one is the cable-car (teleferik) and its entrance is located at the north end of the cruise port. The second choice is the walking path which is comprised of 587 steps.

Cable car Santorini information and prices

The cable-car of Santorini old port runs every day from 06:00 in the morning till 10:00 at night and it comes every 20 minutes.

The prices for the tickets are: 6€ for an adult ticket per trip, 3€ for a child 5-10 years old per trip and kids under 5 years old can go for free.

There is also an extra fee for the luggage which is estimated to 3€ per passenger.

Unfortunately, there is no website to buy the cable-car tickets online. The tourists can only buy them at the terminals at the cruise port of Santorini. Payments are acceptable either in cash or by credit card.

The ride from the old port to the main city of Fira takes about 4-7 minutes.

Also, keep in mind that during the peak season there is a long queue of people waiting at the top of the cable car station for their return back to the cruise ship. Thus, it would be wise to get there about 2 hours earlier of the last scheduled boarding time.

santorini cruise port - santorini cable car - santorini old port - Santorini Port Fira

Places a cruise traveller should visit in Santorini

Santorini is an idyllic gem in Greece, a dream destination for many, and it’s no wonder why. This fantastic island is known for its outstanding sunsets, the whitewashed buildings, and crystal-blue waters. Santorini is considered as a must-visit place, especially for cruise travelers. If you find yourself fortunate enough to visit this picturesque island, below, you will find some of the best places to visit while in Santorini.

  1. Oia: The iconic village, which is known as the postcard of Santorini. What makes it so beautiful are the narrow, windy streets through charming white houses with blue-domed churches, all of them located on the caldera cliff. Oia offers some of the most Instagram-worthy views on the island. Be sure to stroll along the cliffside path and explore the many worth-visiting shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
  2. Fira: The cosmopolitan capital of Santorini, is a bustling hub of activity. Cruise travelers can enjoy shopping, dining, and exploring museums or galleries which are located there. The cable-car ride from the old port to Fira is a unique experience as the panoramic views are amazing.
  3. Akrotiri: Sometimes, it is referred to as the “Minoan Pompeii,” which caused the Lost Atlantis myth. Akrotiri is an archaeological site that offers a glimpse into the island’s ancient history. Cruise travellers can explore well-preserved ruins, including multi-story buildings and frescoes dating back to the Bronze Age.
  4. Red Beach: If you’re in search of natural beauty, the Red Beach should be on your list. The combination of red cliffs and black pebbly shore makes it a unique place for taking photos from the top. Also, the crystal-clear waters create a unique mix with the red and black volcanic rocks.
  5. Perissa and Kamari Beaches: For those who are looking for a relaxing day by the sea, Perissa and Kamari are excellent choices. Both black sand beaches offer an extensive selection of restaurants, traditional tavernas, beach bars, and shops.
  6. Wineries: Santorini is famous for its unique wines, thanks to the rare volcanic soil. Cruise travellers can take advantage of wine-tasting tours where they can savor local-made wines, learn about the history behind them, and get an insider’s perspective on the wine-making procedure.

Santorini’s allure lies in its diverse attractions and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re drawn to its romantic sunsets, historical sites, or beautiful beaches, this island offers something very special for every type of visitor. When your cruise ship docks in Santorini, make the most of your visit by taking a Santorini tour that explores all of the must-visit places and creates memories that will last for a lifetime.


As the island of Santorini is very busy and there are only 39 taxis all over Santorini to serve millions of tourists, it is highly recommended for cruise visitors to pre-book one online before their cruise ship docks on the island of Thera.

By booking a taxi online, you won’t spend your time waiting and searching for an available car to take you to your desired destination.

Moreover, when you order a taxi online,  you have the possibility to make a roundtrip reservation. In this way, your visit to Santorini will be stress-free as you won’t be stuck in a place far from the cruise port trying to find the next available taxi to be back on the cruise ship on time.

Many companies on the island organize one-day or half-day Santorini tours, especially for visitors who are coming to Santorini by cruise only for a few hours. It is suggested to book a private experience, as you will be able to customize the itinerary and take it closer to your interests without waiting for big groups of people and wasting your time.

One of the most reliable and highly-ranked companies on the island is Cozy Sightseeing Tours. By choosing Cozy Sightseeing Rides, you will have a well-trained, friendly, and English-speaking driver or assistant to show you the island of Santorini and its hidden gems of it.

Moreover, in conjunction with the brand-new and air-conditioned vehicles, your experience in Santorini will be an amazing and unforgettable memory for a lifetime.

Santorini cruise port – Meeting points for tours & taxis

Most of the companies meet with the travelers on the Main Street of Fira, which is a few meters away from the cable car station, as the cable car station is not accessible by car. The walk is very easy and lasts about 7 minutes.

Also, some others waiting to meet with their customers at the top, near the exit of the cable-car, by holding a sign with their name.

But keep in mind that this depends on how every company works. Thus, it would be better for you to contact them and confirm your meeting point.

Santorini sightseeing tours and activities

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