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Santorini is so uniquely beautiful. Small group van is the way to go. Our guide was very informative and knew when the various areas would be most crowded (Oia) and got us there ahead of the crowds. He took us to all the top, beautiful locations plus arranged a wine tasting at the Argyros Estate winery - top 50 in the world... fabulous.
What a fantastic day! Everything was PERFECT! Our guide was waiting for us as we got off the cable car. During the entire tour, he was professional, kind, open to our suggestions, classy, took photos of us, kept an eye on us in the crowds, showed us great photo spots and a spot to stop for a drink/snack, and even helped us get a wine tasting tour. The car was clean and the air-conditioning was appreciated! Our day, and our trip to Santorini, couldn't have been better. Will remember this day as a perfect vacation day!! Thanks so much!!!
This was an amazing tour. Our guide was Argyris and the driver Akis. They were fantastic. They took us to all parts of the island and was very knowledgeable. They took us to places that we would not be able to see on other tours. They made sure we were interested in the places they took us. I highly recommend this tour and are so greatfull for the guide and driver we had. They were awesome and made our experience great.
If you have never been to Santorini on a cruise boat before, it requires you to take a tender to the dock then a gondola ride to the top of the city in Fira or you can ride a donkey up a long and winding staircase that takes about 45 minutes or 5 minutes on the gondola. Also if you are in port when 2 or more cruise ships are there, the line for the gondola can be over 2 hours long. You can walk up the donkey trail as well but would not recommend as it is tad on the smelly side to say the least. I say this so you can plan on how long it will take you to get to the top where you meet the driver.
Our driver was waiting for us at the top as expected with my name on a sign. Do not remember his name but he was nice. English was not great but easy enough to understand most of what he said as we drove along. He did not understand some of our questions at all but provided nice facts on the city and history. Picked us up in Mercedes Van that held our party of 7. Our first stop with Oia which is the city everyone sees in photos with the white buildings a blue domes. We stopped along the drive to take a nice photos looking over the water and to the city. Once we got to Oia, it took about 30 minutes, it was packed with tour buses, cars, you name it. The town was packed with people so the earlier you can get there the better as there were only 2 cruise boats in port when we went and it was very crowded so if there is more then that, I can only imagine the crowds. He had bottles of water and soda for us, as he had parking already arraigned in a lot right next to town. He walked us through the narrow city walk ways and gave us facts and brought us to the photos spot with the white buildings and blue domes. The city was a disappointment as it as packed and crowded and we thought these blue roofs and white building were everywhere and there are 2 of them next to each other that requires you to walk down a narrow street with every other tourist trying to take a photo, which had line when we first got there. We did find another building with the white and blue dome around the corner but for a photo that worked out better then the ones everyone normally sees. We then went back towards Fira and up to the top of the Mountain for a Panoramic view of the entire island that was awesome. We passed on seeing the black and white rock beaches. We came back to Fira and walked through the city to shop in the cute stores before waiting in the line to buy the ticket back down on the Gondola. My two sons took the donkey down which took about 20-25 minutes. I waited in line for the gondola ticket for about 1 hours to buy the ticket back down. The ticket is 6 Euros up and 6 Euro back per person and the donkey ride was the same price. You can walk down as you can up the donkey trail for free for a great view if you can tolerate the sun and smell of donkey dumps all down the trail. Overall, it is worth having someone to drive you who knows the area and the private tour was great for us. Our driver was flexible to do what we wanted to see, even with minor language barrier, so not perfect.. Overall was a great experience and was glad we only spent the half day there as we found the island to be a let down and maybe because we built it up in our head about Oia. No fault of the drivers for that. It was a little pricey but worth it to not sit on a large bus with 100 other people.
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