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Things To Do When Sailing Around Santorini…


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Harri Morin



Santorini, a picturesque island in the Aegean Sea, is a dream destination for many travelers. Known for its breathtaking sunsets, white-washed cliffside villages, and mesmerizing turquoise waters, Santorini offers a truly unique experience for those seeking adventure and relaxation.


One of the best ways to explore the beauty of Santorini is by sailing around the island. Whether you choose to charter a yacht, rent a catamaran, or join a group tour, sailing provides a magical perspective and allows you to discover hidden gems that are inaccessible by land.


From the iconic caldera to the pristine beaches, there are countless activities to enjoy while sailing around Santorini. In this article, we will delve into the top things to do to make the most of your sailing experience in this captivating Greek island.


So, get ready to immerse yourself in the charm of Santorini as we uncover the best activities to embark on during your sailing adventure.


Planning your sailing trip to Santorini

Before setting sail around Santorini, it’s essential to plan your trip to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key factors to consider:


Choosing the right time: The best time to visit Santorini for sailing is during the spring and summer months, from late April to early October. The weather is warm, the sea is calm, and you’ll have longer daylight hours to explore the island’s beauty.


Selecting the type of boat: There are various options to choose from, depending on your preferences and budget. Yachts, catamarans, and sailboats are popular choices, offering different sizes and amenities. Consider the number of people in your group and the level of comfort you desire when making your selection.


Hiring a skipper: If you don’t have sailing experience or want to relax and enjoy the trip without worrying about navigation, hiring a skipper is recommended. They have extensive knowledge of the area, can provide guidance on the best spots to visit, and ensure your safety throughout the journey.


Planning the itinerary: Research the different places you want to visit in Santorini and plan your sailing route accordingly. Don’t miss the chance to explore the iconic caldera, visit the volcanic hot springs, and discover beautiful beaches along the coast. Ensure you have enough time to indulge in each activity and savor the sights.


Packing essentials: When preparing for your sailing trip, pack lightweight and comfortable clothing suitable for warm weather. Don’t forget your swimsuits, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a good camera to capture the incredible moments. It’s also a good idea to bring motion sickness medication, just in case.


Booking in advance: To secure a spot on the boat of your choice, it’s advisable to book in advance. Sailing trips around Santorini are highly sought after, especially during peak season, so make your reservations early to avoid disappointment.


By carefully planning your sailing trip to Santorini, you’ll be able to make the most of your time on the island and create unforgettable memories on the sparkling blue waters of the Aegean Sea.


Exploring the Caldera

One of the highlights of sailing around Santorini is the opportunity to explore the iconic Caldera. Formed by a massive volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, the Caldera is a vast, crescent-shaped basin filled with crystalline, azure waters and surrounded by steep cliffs.


As you sail along the Caldera, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the whitewashed villages perched on the cliffside. The contrast of the blue sea against the dazzling white buildings is truly a sight to behold. Take your time to admire the unique architecture and marvel at the beauty of this natural wonder.


A must-visit spot within the Caldera is the charming village of Oia. Famous for its stunning sunsets, narrow cobblestone streets, and exquisite blue-domed churches, Oia is a photographer’s paradise. Anchor your boat and spend some time exploring the village, indulging in the local cuisine, and shopping for unique souvenirs.


For a truly unique experience, consider taking a dip in the hot springs located near the volcano. The warm, healing waters are believed to have therapeutic properties, providing a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. You can either jump straight into the sea or take a guided tour that includes a visit to the hot springs.


While sailing the Caldera, keep an eye out for secluded coves and hidden caves that dot the coastline. These secret spots offer the perfect opportunity for a refreshing swim or a snorkeling adventure. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and discover the vibrant marine life thriving beneath the surface.


In the evening, as the sun sets over the sea, the Caldera transforms into a magical spectacle. The sky is painted with hues of pink, orange, and gold, casting a warm glow over the entire island. Capture this breathtaking moment with your camera and cherish the memories of Santorini’s unparalleled beauty.


Exploring the Caldera is a quintessential part of any sailing trip to Santorini. Whether you choose to anchor near the villages, dive into the hot springs, or simply marvel at the panoramic views, you’ll be captivated by the natural wonders that surround you.


Visiting the Hot Springs

One of the unique experiences you can enjoy while sailing around Santorini is visiting the hot springs. Located near the volcanic islets of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, these naturally heated waters offer a therapeutic and relaxing retreat.


The hot springs are formed by the volcanic activity in the area, resulting in warm mineral-rich waters. As you approach the hot springs, you’ll notice a distinct change in temperature, with the water becoming pleasantly warm. This warm temperature is perfect for a leisurely soak or a rejuvenating swim.


Many believe that the minerals present in the hot springs have healing properties that can improve circulation, soothe muscle aches, and promote overall wellness. Whether or not you subscribe to the therapeutic benefits, there’s no denying the pleasure of floating in the warm waters while surrounded by the stunning coastal landscape.


It’s important to note that the hot springs in Santorini are not traditional hot tubs or pools with controlled temperatures. Instead, they are natural pools in the sea where the warm water mixes with the cool seawater. So, don’t expect the water to be scorching hot, but rather pleasantly warm.


To access the hot springs, many sailing tours offer guided trips that include a stop at Palea Kameni or Nea Kameni. You can jump off the boat and swim towards the warm waters or opt for a guided boat tour that takes you closer to the springs. Remember to bring your swimwear and a towel for this unique experience.


Exploring the hot springs is not only an opportunity to relax and unwind, but it also allows you to connect with the volcanic origins of Santorini. The combination of the rugged volcanic terrain, the warm waters, and the panoramic views creates a truly unforgettable experience.


So, take some time during your sailing trip to visit the hot springs and immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of the natural pools. It’s an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to continue your adventure around the captivating island of Santorini.


Snorkeling and Diving in Santorini’s Waters

When sailing around Santorini, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to explore the vibrant underwater world through snorkeling and diving. With its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life, Santorini offers an unforgettable experience for water enthusiasts.


Snorkeling is a fantastic activity that allows you to explore the underwater landscapes and observe the colorful marine life without the need for extensive equipment. All you need is a mask, snorkel, and a pair of flippers. Dive into the warm waters and witness a stunning display of marine biodiversity.


The Aegean Sea surrounding Santorini is teeming with marine creatures, including colorful fish, sea turtles, octopuses, and even occasional sightings of dolphins. Find a secluded spot near the coastline, and you’ll be amazed at the abundance of marine life you encounter.


If you’re an experienced diver or looking to try scuba diving for the first time, Santorini offers numerous dive sites that cater to different skill levels. Dive schools and centers on the island provide equipment rental and guided diving expeditions to ensure a safe and unforgettable experience.


One popular diving spot near Santorini is the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Dive into the deep waters surrounding the island, and you’ll witness breathtaking volcanic rock formations, underwater caves, and unique species of marine life that have made these waters their home.


Another fascinating dive site is the Blue Cave, located near the island of Palea Kameni. As you enter the cave, the sunlight filtering through the water creates a mesmerizing blue glow, illuminating the hidden beauty beneath the surface.


If you’re not a certified diver, many dive centers also offer diving courses, allowing you to obtain your diving certification while exploring the underwater wonders of Santorini. Imagine completing your certification and celebrating with a dive in the beautiful Aegean Sea.


Whether you choose to snorkel or dive, exploring the underwater world of Santorini is a thrilling adventure that will enhance your sailing trip. Discover the magic beneath the surface as you connect with nature’s incredible underwater ecosystem.


Remember to respect the marine life and the underwater environment by following responsible snorkeling and diving practices, including not touching or disturbing any of the creatures or coral reefs you encounter. Let’s preserve the beauty of Santorini for generations to come.


Enjoying the Beaches of Santorini

While sailing around Santorini, don’t miss the opportunity to relax and soak up the sun on the island’s stunning beaches. Santorini may be known for its caldera and cliffside villages, but it is also home to some beautiful beaches with unique characteristics that are worth exploring.


One of the most famous beaches on the island is Red Beach (Kokkini Paralia). As the name suggests, the beach features distinctive red cliffs and volcanic sand, creating a striking contrast against the deep blue sea. The unique geological formations make this beach a popular spot for sunbathing and snorkeling.


Perissa Beach is another popular destination for beach lovers. Located on the southeastern coast of Santorini, Perissa Beach offers a long stretch of black sand and clear waters. The beach is lined with beach bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities, providing plenty of options for entertainment and relaxation.


If you prefer a quieter beach experience, head to Vlychada Beach. Known for its lunar-like landscape and unique cliffs, Vlychada Beach offers a tranquil and less crowded atmosphere. The soft white sand and crystalline waters make it an ideal spot for unwinding and enjoying the natural beauty of Santorini.


For those who enjoy a touch of luxury, consider visiting Kamari Beach. Alongside its stunning black sand and azure waters, Kamari Beach boasts upscale beachfront resorts, beach bars, and restaurants. Relax on a sunbed, indulge in a refreshing cocktail, and enjoy the laid-back ambiance.


During your sailing trip, you can anchor your boat near these beautiful beaches and swim ashore to spend a few hours basking in the sun, taking a dip in the sea, or indulging in beachside activities. Many of the beaches also offer water sports such as jet skiing, paddleboarding, and parasailing, adding an extra level of excitement to your beach experience.


Remember to bring your beach essentials, including sunscreen, towels, and beachwear. It’s also a good idea to pack some snacks and drinks to enjoy a beach picnic while taking in the breathtaking views.


Whether you’re seeking vibrant red cliffs, tranquil lunar-like landscapes, or bustling beachfront scenes, Santorini offers a diverse array of beaches to suit every preference. Embrace the island’s coastal beauty, and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and sea as you explore the captivating beaches of Santorini.


Sampling the Local Cuisine

No visit to Santorini is complete without savoring the delicious flavors of the local cuisine. As you sail around the island, take the opportunity to indulge in the culinary delights that Santorini has to offer.


Santorini is renowned for its fresh and flavorful ingredients, resulting in a cuisine that is both traditional and innovative. The volcanic soil of the island contributes to the unique taste and quality of the local produce, such as cherry tomatoes, white eggplants, and capers. Don’t miss the chance to try these local specialties.


Start your culinary adventure by trying some classic Greek dishes, such as moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki. These dishes showcase the rich flavors of Greek cuisine and are often made with locally sourced ingredients.


Seafood lovers will be in for a treat. Santorini boasts an abundance of fresh fish and seafood due to its coastal location, making it a paradise for seafood aficionados. Indulge in an assortment of grilled fish, calamari, or octopus dishes, and savor the flavors of the Aegean Sea.


One must-try dish while in Santorini is the famous Greek salad. Made with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, creamy feta cheese, tangy olives, and a drizzle of olive oil, it’s a refreshing and flavorsome dish that perfectly represents Mediterranean cuisine.


When it comes to dessert, Santorini offers a sweet finale to your culinary journey. Treat yourself to some traditional Greek desserts like baklava, loukoumades (honey-soaked dough balls), or galaktoboureko (custard-filled phyllo pastry), and let your taste buds dance with delight.


Part of the charm of Santorini’s cuisine lies in the stunning views from the island’s cliffside restaurants. Take a break from sailing and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience while overlooking the caldera or watching the sunset. The combination of delicious food, picturesque surroundings, and warm Greek hospitality will leave you with unforgettable memories.


And of course, don’t forget to pair your meals with the local wines. Santorini is known for its notable wine production, particularly the crisp and refreshing white wines made from the indigenous Assyrtiko grape. Take a vineyard tour, sample a variety of wines, and indulge in the rich wine culture of the island.


Sampling the local cuisine is an essential part of immersing yourself in the culture of Santorini. From traditional Greek dishes to fresh seafood and delightful desserts, let your taste buds embark on a culinary voyage that will complement your sailing adventure.


Exploring the Villages of Santorini

As you sail around Santorini, make sure to take the time to explore the charming villages that dot the island. Each village has its own unique character and offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Santorini.


Oia, located on the northern tip of the island, is perhaps the most famous village in Santorini. Known for its picturesque white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and narrow cobblestone streets, Oia is a haven for photographers and artists. Witness the enchanting beauty of Oia as you wander through its labyrinthine alleys, visit the charming shops and boutiques, and enjoy panoramic views of the Caldera.


Fira, the capital of Santorini, is another village worth exploring. Bustling with activity and vibrant energy, Fira offers a mix of traditional Cycladic architecture alongside modern amenities. Take a stroll along the cliffs, enjoy the breathtaking sunset views, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of shops, bars, and restaurants.


For a taste of authenticity, visit Pyrgos, a traditional hilltop village that offers a glimpse into Santorini’s past. With its narrow alleys, quaint squares, and ancient churches, Pyrgos retains its medieval charm. Climb up to the highest point of the village and be rewarded with panoramic views of the island.


Another gem in Santorini is the village of Megalochori. Known for its traditional architecture, Megalochori is a tranquil and picturesque village with charming little squares, winding streets, and traditional houses. Stroll through the village and discover its hidden corners, visit the historic churches, and savor the peaceful ambiance.


While exploring the villages, embrace the opportunity to taste the local flavors. From traditional tavernas serving authentic Greek cuisine to rooftop restaurants with stunning views, Santorini’s villages offer a diverse range of dining options. Try local delicacies and indulge in the warm hospitality of the island.


Keep in mind that some villages may get crowded during peak tourist season, so it’s advisable to visit early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds. With their unique atmosphere, captivating architecture, and rich cultural heritage, the villages of Santorini are sure to leave a lasting impression on your sailing adventure.


Witnessing the Stunning Sunsets

One of the most enchanting experiences you can have while sailing around Santorini is witnessing the breathtaking sunsets. Renowned for its mesmerizing display of colors, Santorini offers some of the most stunning sunsets in the world.


As the sun descends below the horizon, the sky transforms into a canvas of warm hues, ranging from vibrant oranges and pinks to deep purples and golden yellows. The colors reflect off the calm waters, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere.


There are several vantage points on the island where you can appreciate the beauty of the sunset. The village of Oia is particularly famous for its sunset views, with its cliffside location and uninterrupted panoramas. Find a comfortable spot along the caldera and watch as the sky puts on a remarkable show.


Another recommended spot to witness the sunset is the Akrotiri Lighthouse. Located on the southwestern tip of Santorini, the lighthouse offers unobstructed views of the Aegean Sea and the endless horizon. Marvel at the sun sinking beneath the sea, casting its final rays of the day.


For a unique perspective, consider viewing the sunset from the deck of your sailing boat. Anchor in a strategic location and enjoy a front-row seat to nature’s incredible spectacle. Feel the gentle breeze on your face as you watch the sun melt into the sea, creating a moment of tranquility and awe.


Remember to bring your camera to capture the stunning visuals. The sunsets in Santorini provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photos and treasured memories.


It’s worth noting that the beauty of Santorini’s sunsets is well-known, so popular viewing spots can get crowded, especially during peak tourist season. Arrive early to secure a good spot and savor the moments leading up to the sunset.


There’s something truly magical and captivating about the sunsets in Santorini. Whether you choose to witness this natural phenomenon from a cliffside viewpoint or from the deck of your sailing boat, the experience will leave you in awe of the island’s breathtaking beauty.


Participating in Water Sports and Activities

When sailing around Santorini, it’s not just about enjoying the beautiful scenery and relaxing on the beaches. The island offers a wide range of thrilling water sports and activities that are sure to satisfy your adventurous spirit.


For those seeking an adrenaline rush, consider trying your hand at jet skiing or wakeboarding. Glide across the crystal-clear waters, feel the wind in your hair, and experience the thrill of speeding across the Aegean Sea. Rental facilities and water sports centers can be found at various beaches around the island.


Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is another popular activity in Santorini. Grab a paddleboard, rise to your feet, and maneuver through the calm waters along the coast. Enjoy a unique perspective of the island as you explore hidden coves, sea caves, and picturesque shorelines.


Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the coastline and discover Santorini’s rugged beauty. Rent a kayak and embark on a guided tour or venture out on your own, paddling around the cliffs, caves, and secluded beaches. Take in the stunning views and embrace the serenity of the surrounding nature.


If you’re interested in exploring the underwater world of Santorini but don’t want to scuba dive, snorkeling is a great option. Strap on your mask and snorkel, and immerse yourself in the vibrant marine life beneath the surface. Discover stunning rock formations, colorful fish, and possibly even encounter sea turtles or dolphins.


For a unique perspective, consider taking a helicopter tour of Santorini. Fly over the island and witness the awe-inspiring landscapes from above. Capture breathtaking aerial views of the caldera, the villages, and the surrounding Aegean Sea. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of the island’s beauty.


As with any water sports or activities, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Follow the instructions of your instructors, wear appropriate safety gear, and be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention to weather conditions and always adhere to the rules and regulations set by the rental facilities and tour operators.


Participating in water sports and activities during your sailing journey in Santorini adds an extra layer of fun and excitement. Whether you choose to paddleboard, jet ski, snorkel, or take to the skies in a helicopter, these experiences will create unforgettable moments and exhilarating memories.


Taking a Day Trip to Neighboring Islands

While sailing around Santorini, consider venturing beyond the shores of the main island and embarking on a day trip to its neighboring islands. These nearby gems offer their own unique charm and attractions, making them worth exploring during your sailing adventure.


One popular destination is the island of Thirassia, located just a short distance from Santorini. Thirassia provides a more serene and traditional experience compared to its bustling neighbor. Take a leisurely walk through the quaint village, visit the picturesque church of Agia Irini, and savor delicious Greek cuisine at one of the local tavernas.


Another nearby island to consider visiting is Anafi. Known for its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Anafi offers a quiet respite from the bustling crowds of Santorini. Explore the unspoiled beaches, hike along scenic trails to the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, and witness breathtaking views from the Anafi Lighthouse.


For those looking for a bit of history and culture, a day trip to the island of Delos is highly recommended. Delos is an archaeological gem and an UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the ancient ruins of this once-thriving city, visit the iconic Terrace of the Lions, and learn about the fascinating history of this sacred island.


If you’re seeking a more laid-back island atmosphere, head to the charming island of Ios. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife, Ios offers a perfect balance of relaxation and entertainment. Explore the winding streets of Chora, hit the shores of Mylopotas Beach, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this lively island.


When planning a day trip to these neighboring islands, consider the distance from Santorini and the time it will take to sail there. Take into account the weather conditions and consult with local guides or tour operators to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


Visiting the neighboring islands while sailing around Santorini provides a wonderful opportunity to expand your exploration and discover more of the Aegean Sea’s beauty. Immerse yourself in the unique atmospheres, discover hidden gems, and create new memories as you sail from one island to another.



Sailing around Santorini offers a truly extraordinary experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of this Greek island paradise. From exploring the iconic Caldera and witnessing breathtaking sunsets to indulging in the local cuisine and participating in exhilarating water sports, there are countless activities to enjoy while sailing around Santorini.


By planning your sailing trip carefully, considering factors such as the best time to visit, choosing the right boat and itinerary, and packing essential items, you can ensure a smooth and memorable journey. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the charming villages of Santorini, where traditional architecture and rich history intertwine.


Don’t miss the chance to dip into the warm waters of the hot springs, snorkel or dive to discover the vibrant marine life, and relax on the island’s stunning beaches with their unique characteristics. Sample the local cuisine, indulge in the flavors of Santorini’s fresh produce and seafood, and toast to the experience with the island’s renowned wines.


As your sailing adventure comes to a close, consider taking a day trip to the neighboring islands, where you can explore different landscapes, histories, and cultures. Expand your horizons and create lasting memories as you sail from one island to another.


Whether you’re seeking serenity or excitement, relaxation or adventure, Santorini has it all. The combination of its natural beauty, captivating history, and warm hospitality make it a destination that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler.


So, set sail and embark on an unforgettable journey around the enchanting island of Santorini. Let the azure waters, breathtaking views, and the allure of this Greek paradise transport you to a world of wonder and discovery.