The volcanic island of Santorini is the jewel of the Aegean, with history, beaches, and even hot springs...a luxury catamaran cruise is the best way to see it.
There is nowhere else on earth quite like the island of Santorini. It is a jumble of beautiful, historic buildings painted brilliant white and blue domed churches. Intersecting these is a network of small alleys, passageways and quaint plazas. All this perched high up at the top of a steep volcanic cliff face, overlooking the clear blue Mediterranean sea…trust me when I say it’s heaven!
After a few days exploring we decided we wanted to get out of the heat and off dry land, so we booked a luxury catamaran tour with Omega Travel. We were surrounded by water, but as our apartment had no pool and there were no beaches within walking distance, we thought that a cruise would be the best way to do it. We were not disappointed!
Our day started at nine, when we were picked up from our apartment and taken down to the boat. For those that don’t know, a catamaran is a two-hulled sailing yacht, and its design helps keep it stable in rough waters. Not that the water was rough on our trip – the sea was calm and the weather was perfect. We shared the boat with eight other people allowing us to make friends without being too crowded. We picked a spot on deck and watched the village disappear into the distance while enjoying the heat of the early morning sun.
We spent the next few hours sailing leisurely around the island, and stopping in several places along the way. Santorini was formed by a volcano and so the landscape is rocky and the cliffs are painted with beautiful shades of red and brown. This creates a striking picture when contrasted with the deep blue of the sea, and the little white villages which dot the island.
During the trip we visited more of the volcano’s legacies, the hot springs and the colorful red beach and white beach. The springs are created naturally by underground volcanic activity. In some places, hot gasses escape through cracks in the rock and make the sea the temperature of a hot bath. We both got in and had a swim to experience this strange phenomenon. Due to the sulfur created by the volcano the water is red here. Because of this, make sure you bring a dark bathing suit because the water can stain light clothes. The sulfur is also responsible for the red sand of Akrotiri beach, while the white beach (actually black and white) is made from white pebbles and black volcanic sand. Our final stop was the Indian rock, a strange rock formation that sticks out from a cliff and resembles the profile of a face.
WHAT YOU'LL SEE
The Famed Lighthouse
Plenty of snorkeling
Between sights we had plenty of time to relax on the boat. Perhaps more than anything else, I enjoyed simply lying on the prow and watching the amazing landscapes roll past. Chris on the other hand, was most excited by the chance to snorkel, and he took every chance he could to dive in and explore underwater. Lunch was included in the price and it was fantastic! The crew whipped up a feast of Greek salad with feta cheese and dips. They even grilled us some traditional souvlaki chicken right on deck. This was accompanied by a choice of wine or cold non-alcoholic drinks.
The company which organized our trip is called Omega Travel and both of us would not hesitate to recommend them. The sights, food, drink, and boat were all excellent - making the tour great value for money. It costs €140 per person and it is €70 for a child. The tour lasts for six hours, and as well as picking you up from your accommodation, they will also drive you home when you arrive back at the dock.
Omega Travel, also offers other trips and excursions, like wine tours, horseback rides, kayaking, and scuba diving. They will also organize transportation for you, and will help you find accommodation, boats to rent or even helicopters! These can all be booked through their website
For more information about this tour, visit their website: