Insider's Guide to Heraklion

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3.5 star rating: Worth doing 8 Reviews

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  • Location:Heraklion, Greece
  • Duration:12 hours (approx.)

Santorini Island Day Trip

Get to know Santorini on a full-day independent trip from Crete, and see as much of the island as you wish! Either soak up the sun with a book on the beach, or explore the pretty island towns and villages. Discover the delights of Fira or Oia; take a cable car ride from the volcanic caldera to the old port; scout out cozy island tavernas; or impress the children with a donkey ride! How you enjoy your time on Santorini is up to you; just note that any entrance fees, activities or meals are at your own expense.


  • Independent day trip to the island of Santorini from Crete
  • Explore the glamorous Greek island at your own pace
  • Visit sandy beaches such as Perissa or Kamari to sunbathe and swim
  • Take a cable car ride from Santorini’s caldera to Ormos, the island’s old port
  • Explore Fira and discover museums, windmill ruins and pretty whitewashed houses
  • Enjoy round-trip transport by boat from Crete plus hotel pickup and drop-off

What You Can Expect

Santorini Island Day Trip

See the sights of Santorini on an independent day trip!

Start your day trip with a pickup from your Crete hotel, and then travel by air-conditioned minibus to the port to board your high-speed boat. The cruising time between Santorini and Crete is roughly two hours, so settle in and gaze out at the sea as you prepare yourself for a day of exploring the island of Santorini independently.

After docking near the capital of Fira, listen to the onboard crew give your travel details (embarkation point and departure time) for the return to Crete, and then head out to discover Santorini. How you spend your time on the gorgeous island is totally up to you!

Check out Kamari, Perissa or Red Beach for a day of sunning yourself on the sands and swimming in the cool waters of the Aegean, or explore Fira for a dose of culture. Look out for the picturesque ruins of windmills and pose for pictures against the pretty whitewashed houses and the blue sea. Maybe pay a visit to Ormos, the old port, to visit the quaint restaurants and tavernas that line the bottom of the caldera’s cliffs. Access to the old port is tricky with some 600 stone steps down, so why not take the cogwheel cable car instead? The short jaunt lends itself to unforgettable views.

Alternatively, make your own way out of Fira to visit other pretty villages and island attractions. The picturesque village of Oia is well known for its beauty, eye-catching blue-domed churches and dramatic volcanic views. Likewise, Firostefani — a village just north of Fira — is visit-worthy, with more volcanic vistas as well as traditional architecture and atmospheric cobbled lanes.

If you are visiting with children, take them for a donkey ride and let them see Santorini’s sights in an oh-so traditional Greek way. And then, when you’re ready to sit down and relax, check out the island’s countless cafes or bars to sample Greek cuisine staples such as Greek salad, moussaka or dolmades (stuffed vine leaves).

Return to port at the prearranged time, and then hop aboard your boat for the crossing back to Crete. Your day trip finishes with a drop-off at your Crete hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

It was very well organized and fun and easy to purchase and negotiate. I have no complaints other than more time in a day! The tour company worked with our resort to arrange for pick-up.

4 star rating: Recommended June 2014

I really loved Santorini but I would prefer to go there and stay for a few days as we spent too many hours traveling (bus+boat+bus). The guide was really kind and funny, we could see that she knows a lot about her island (she lives there), unfortunately I don't remember her name but she said that we could call her "mama" :) also she recommended a good restaurant by the beach!



4 star rating: Recommended January 2010

Santorini is stunning.


4 star rating: Recommended January 2010

The sea was very rough on our visit, which caused not only the entire boat full of tourist to vomit for 3 hours straight but it also caused us to land late on the island. This caused a strain on time as we only had 1 hour in Oia and about 20 minutes in Fira before we had to get back on the bus and go back to the boat. I can only hope that on a more smoothly run trip that the time on the island lasts longer than that If not, then I would suggest allowing tourist much more time on the island. Leaving earlier from Heraklion would be a good start. I also wish there was a more convenient way for the tour guides to communicate with people on the bus. Listening to the same description 5 different times, first in English, then Dutch, then German, then Italian, then French, etc. etc. gets extremely tiring. You start to ignore all of it after a while. Maybe a recording with headsets would be more reasonable.

3 star rating: Worth doing September 2013

I liked the tour, and visiting Santorini. However, there was almost no guidance, we had short free time of 1 hour or 1.5 hours in the major cities which was too crowded and left us with the wish to see more. The ferry was 2.75 hours to each direction, which left us less time than we expected.

3 star rating: Worth doing June 2013

I wish there were multiple ways to see this island, but, alas, you've got few options. This is one of them. The ferry ride was lovely, but then we got herded off the boat into, like, 30 waiting, idling buses. It reeked of exhaust and was chaotic. We got shuffled into one bus that advertised both German and English (we're English-only speakers), but we quickly left that bus after the guide on it was rude to some nearby passengers. So we switched to a French/English bus, where we were the only English speakers -- our tour guide, though, was very sweet about it and called us "her girls" because we were the only ones she had to address in English.
On this tour, you get to see Oia, Fira, and the beach. You won't get much time at each, and you'll follow all the other tour buses around to each of the stops, which means hundreds of people flood the tiny streets at every stop. And you're basically only dropped there to do shopping. The tour guide was knowledgable and interesting -- she definitely does the best she can -- but it's possible that if you want the real Santorini, you'll have to give it more than just one afternoon.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better September 2015

They say on the websit you can use an E-Ticket, it was a real problem for us at the port! Do not go for lunch at the first stop, which was the beautiful town of Oia! You WILL NOT have enough time to shop or see anything! I was VERY upset being hearded to The Blue Sky restaurant, the food was just okay and slow. We were not left with enough time, only 25 mins to see what we came for which was Oia not a Greek salad!!!. There is time to eat at Fira! I would recommend this trip but heed my warnings and you'll have a great time!

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better September 2013

Santorini itself is the most beautiful
Of islands. However the tour tries too hard to fit too much in. The result is that you hardly have time to look round before being moved on to the next location. My advice get the ferry yourself and take your time maybe just concentrate on Thira or one location

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Tour code: 2462SANT


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