My boyfriend and I are going to be in Santorini for 3 days in early May. We've heard that wine tastings/tours and boat tours to the caldera/hot springs are a must, so I was wondering if anyone had any specific recommendations for either of these. We are on a tight budget, so looking to spend probably less than 50E on a wine tasting/tour, and less than 100E on a boat tour, if possible.
The caldera/hotsprings excursion is OK as long as you want to hike out on the volcano. It's dusty and barren out there, though. Also, the hotsprings is actually a lukewarm inlet you have to swim 50 meters to reach and the murky water is sulphuric-smelling (rotten eggs) and will permanently stain your clothing. It costs about €30pp and includes a stop for lunch on Thirassia, the little island across the caldera from Oia.
Instead I recommend the caldera/sunset champagne dinner excursion for €50pp. http://www.santorini-sailing.gr/santorini-caldera-sunset-tour-with-dinner.html
Wine tasting and winery tours: http://www.winetoursantorini.com
I took the caldera and hot springs tour 20 years ago. Although it has been a really long time, I doubt that the caldera and hot springs have changed. I did not think it was a must. I still remember it. To get to the hot springs, you jumped off the boat and swam until you got to some lukewarm, muddy, slightly smelly water. It really wasn't that special and not what I expected. Then hiking up the caldera it was very hot and ultimately when you got to the top, there was a little crevice where an occasional puff of smoke came out. When I took it, I was on a tight budget and I really didn't think either of these activities was particularly special (although I do remember it well). I far more enjoyed a lovely dinner and glass of wine at sunset at a restaurant overlooking the caldera.
Ten years ago, we took the sunset sail into the caldera and loved it. Do it on a clear day for amazing views.
We took a tour of Santos winery and it was interesting, but the wines were not to our liking. We have had some good wines in Greece, but not here.
Hi Alyssa, I did one of the tours where we walked in to see the caldera many years ago. It was barren, but as geology major I found it fascinating. If geology intrigues you, it's probably worth it, if not, I would spend my time drinking more wine and enjoying the cafe's. :) Pam