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Santorini - from cruisehip?

Hello,
I will be visiting Santorini from a cruise ship on November 19. Since our ships tenders/docks at 10:30am, the cable car won’t be running at that time. Has anyone done the climb from old port up to Fira? How bad is it?

Posted by
4085 posts

A lot of steps and plenty of donkey poop. We went down, not up. We bought a ticket at the dock for a boat ride to Oia that included a bus up to Oia from the dock and then a bus afterwards back to Fira. That was 2017 and I don't recall the name of the charter company, but there was 2 or 3 of them.

Posted by
1368 posts

I just looked at the cable car schedule. For November it runs from 7:30 AM till 10:30 AM. There is another comment that says
"SPECIAL TRIPS IF THE MAINTENANCE PROGRESS OF THE CABLE CAR ALLOWS" I suspect a cruise ship visit would fall under special trips.
It resumes normal service 14:30 to 1800.

You might want to consider a ship excursion. They normally tender to the ferry port where a bus picks you up.

Posted by
4816 posts

Like Allan, we've walked down and it is steep, crowded with people, and with donkies and their waste. I definitely would not want to walk up -- nor ride a donkey up. You should be able to do a google search and locate photos or videos of the walk up to help you decide.

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you. I asked Santorini Views which seems to run the cable cars and they mentioned cable cars won’t run during 10:30-14:30. They suggested I either take the donkey up (not my preference) or climb up. Cruise tours I did look into but are charging an arm and leg for a few hours.

Posted by
4816 posts

Fira is a pretty, pretty town, albeit not too large. The views from it are great. Serious photographers love it because it is so photgenic. If the only way to get there is climb, and you are able to do so, then do it. It will be worth it. And you can have a bit of lunch and a glass of something to recuperate before the walk back down.
Just be careful as some spots going up and down may be slick.

Posted by
8359 posts

Okay, you’ve spent significant money to get to your cruise and to go on your cruise. If you really want to get to the top, spend a bit more for the shore excursion if this view is a priority for you.

I’m all about saving money, but I also realize that some times it is important to spend it as well.

Posted by
137 posts

Several years ago, my wife and I did the walk up (and cable car down). It wasn't bad in the morning - few others walking up and none coming down, but it was slow and there was donkey poop (easy to avoid). We then walked to the tip (Oia) for a delightful meal (and a free end of season dessert from the owners), and took the local bus back to town near the cable car for the ride back down.
So, while we (in our mid-40s at the time) did it with no challenge, it took time (but no lines like a cable car) and effort (back & forth gaining altitude), so it might not be for most folks. The hike out to Oia was challenging, but wonderful and fun. Lots of beauty and certainly fewer folks than when in the small towns that many folks stick to.
If we went back, it's probably a coin flip of whether we would do it again. In reality, I prefer hiking UP vs down, so probably would do it again since I also hate lines almost more than anything, and the walk at least keeps you moving. The wait to go down on the cable car was minimal.
FTR, we were off the ship early, and the cable car was already running.

Posted by
23 posts

Wow - I heard the hike to Oia is about 4 hours. I do plan to go to Oia, likely through local bus.

Posted by
11146 posts

In the total costs of your trip, whatever the cost to see the Santorini views is a drop in the bucket.

Posted by
1368 posts

If you take a tender to the port (where the cable car is located) there has always been a large sail boat and water taxis that will take you to Oia. If the cable car is not open you can be pretty sure that there wil be boats available to get you to Oia.
Its at the tip of the island. You can buy a ticket at the dock. I think the sail boat excursion includes a transfer from the dock at Oia to the top. If not you will have to climb stairs there or get a taxi to the top. From Oia you can do the hike along the rim back to Fira. The advantage of doing it this way is that hike is downhill from this direction.

For fun here are some images of Santorini.
Santorini https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632154800782

Posted by
137 posts

@seininya - it was a good chunk of time, but also a lovely way to spend that time. If you like hiking, it's not every day you get that sort of terrain back here in the US. And while there were plenty of options for things to do on Santorini during the time the ship was there, I think we really liked what we ended up doing and the reward of getting to Oia and then having a lazy but very tasty meal at a restaurant perched on the hillside was well worth it. Taking the bus back and the cable car down was also wise :)

Looking back on photos, we were there on Nov 7th and the weather was lovely! Hope you get the same.

Posted by
3120 posts

Please DON'T ride the poor abused donkeys!!!!

Posted by
4816 posts

Agree with Lee about not riding the donkeys up to Fira. The do not look at all well cared for. I felt sorry for them.

Posted by
4085 posts

Those donkeys aren't the best smelling beasts. You might smell like donkey the rest of the day if you ride one.

Posted by
20 posts

588 steps, and most are not just "steps". Many of them are quite wide, meaning 2-4+ human steps to each stair step. Donkeys and poop can be avoided. We just went down them last month, in the morning shade it wasn't bad, but I almost think climbing up would be easier, especially as it should be cooler weather for you. That's a lot of wear on the knees going down, and you need good shoes so your toes aren't running into the ends of your shoes. It's fairly steep, switchbacks and rough cobbles, some slippery, not a very smooth surface. But take your time and hike up, DO NOT miss Fira!! The views are stunning.

Posted by
117 posts

What stanbr said is the best option. Oia is even more beautiful than Fira anyway. When you get off the tender, take a boat right from the same dock to Oia. There are lots of options. Have lunch in Oia and then take the public bus back to Fira, where you'll have plenty of time to wander before riding the cable car down to the dock and taking the tender back to your ship.