We will be taking a 1-week Cyclades island-hopping sailing trip next June. Because of the deep waters of Santorini, our boat will not be able to go to Santorini. I have been told this by a few sailing captains, so I trust that they know what they're talking about. Limited mooring opportunities, and the water is too deep to drop an anchor. So, it was suggested (if we cared about missing Santorini) that we go before our sailing trip or stay after and visit Santorini on our own. We are opting not to do that. I think we will have had an amazing time exploring other less touristy islands (we're choosing to skip Mykonos). Santorini sounds astoundingly beautiful and unique, but also extremely touristy, and I think that we'll be ready to get back to the mainland. But, since I seem to enjoy agonizing over these decisions, I thought I'd let anyone else who is interested in on the action. Are we crazy for skipping Santorini? Or, do you think that we'll be satisfied with the others, whatever those end up being (depends on the weather, our moods, etc.)? So, whatdyathink?
Sailing through the Cyclades without stopping at Santorini is for me the same as going to the Louvre and not taking the time to enjoy the Mona Lisa. Make it happen one way or another, it's definitely worth the effort. If your sailboat has a dingy you can anchor below Oia in Amoudi Bay and row ashore. There is a small marina in Vlichada with temporary moorings. I believe there is also another one in Vourvoulos on the east side of the island. Map of Santorini Amoudi Bay
I'm not a sailing expert, but how do thousands of ferries make it from Mykonos to Santorini every day? How do they anchor?
Lee - I like your analogy about the Louvre, but I have to say that I was disappointed by the Mona Lisa, other than being able to say "I have seen the Mona Lisa". ;^) I'm sure that wouldn't be the case with Santorini, but if we were to go to Santorini, we would have to give up Delphi, and I don't think that I'm willing to do that. But, that's why I'm subjecting myself to this thread! Lee and Sean - As for where to anchor or moor at Santorini, thanks for the input, but I'm not going to challenge the captain of our boat. I have been told this by more than one captain, and it's not exclusively about the deep water. It also has to do with distances in the Cyclades (only doing 1 week), starting in Athens, ending on an island), the winds (some captains won't even do the Cyclades in June, due to potential for early Meltemi. Our captain said that the moorings are extremely limited, so she couldn't risk trying to get a mooring and then having to retreat if unsuccessful. I am spending a week on a sailboat with her, and I have to have implicit trust in her skills, advice and guidance. As for the ferries, they go places that the small sailboats can't access, and they most likely tie up at a dock, so no anchoring necessary. And, if we miss a "must see" like Santorini, we will have to return! Keep those cards and letters coming! Thanks! Leslie
I'm not a sailing expert ...... Not much of a ferry expert either. The suckers don't anchor. If you have a crewed boat, you don't get a vote. If you bare-boat, you can wear yourself out and be miserable. You used to be able to call/radio ahead for one of the temporary morings.
Leslie, I'd try to get to Santorini either before or after your sailing trip, as it's incredibly beautiful and unique (IMO). If you're in that area anyway, it would be a shame to miss it. I believe the ruins at Akrotiri are open again, so you could have a look at the site if you're interested. Where does your sailing adventure end? If you're returning to Athens, it's easy enough to take a short flight with Aegean Air, as there's an airport on Santorini.
Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air both fly between Santorini and Athens.
Santorini Schmantorini, it's not the be all and end all of Greek islands. You'll be island hopping for a week and you'll see many marvelous places. If you fall in love with the islands you can plan another trip in the future to go to Santorini, and maybe Mykonos too. Ah, a week on a boat visiting Greek islands, I envy you. Sounds like a perfect vacation to me, with or without Santorini. Enjoy.
Nancy - Thanks for sharing our opinion that, while Santorini is an amazing place, it can be missed! Ken and Lee - I'm not sure where our sailing adventure will end. There are a lot of factors, but most likely Paros or Syros. There's always a chance, depending on the weather, that we'll end up doing a tighter circle and end up sailing back to Athens, but we're hoping that will not be the case. The final morning, we're leaving the boat at 8:00 AM and planning to fly to Athens, rent a car, and drive to Delphi for our final 2 nights before returning home. I guess we could instead get ourselves to Santorini, spend the day, and take the latest flight out that day from Santorini to Athens. But, we think that it's too rushed and just trying to check Santorini off of a list rather than really enjoying it. So far, we're still content (OK, that's a stretch - make that "willing to accept") missing Santorini, but I'm still all ears (eyes, actually) ... Thanks for the feedback! Leslie
Leslie ... you see what happens when you give partial info?? People rush in with solutions that may not suit your situation. Now in your final posting you get more specific, and say that your sail may end in Paros. What DAY???? Because, if the timing is right, you can still do Santorini. there are TWO day-excursion boats that go 2x a week Usually Sunday & Wednesday from Paros (port of Piso Livadi) and Naxos (Naxos town) to Santorini. Here's the weblink: http://visit-cyclades.com/EN/cruises_1day_Naxos_Santorini.php you just sign up the day before, either by phone or in person at agency in Naxos or Paros. Cost is €55, but includes bus from port up to BOTH towns of Oia & Fira, & back to port, plus a tour guide if u wish. you're there from 10:30 am or so until late afternoon.... and you get back to your island in time for sunset and dinner. You get your photos, your taste of santorini, and know whether you want to return another time.
Janet - Thanks for the suggestion for a day trip to Santorini. We will end in Paros (if that's where we do in fact end up) on Saturday morning. But, honestly, that kind of trip doesn't appeal to me, and we're going to have to save Santorini for another trip, if ever at all. I am very mixed about Santorini - it's not gnawing at me as a "must see". For me, the allure of the astounding natural beauty is tempered a lot by the tourist scene. I know that I will have to get used to that, but it's certainly more prominent some places than others. If I never saw a large ferry or cruise ship on my trip, I'd be happiest! (Unrealistic, I know!) Thanks again! Leslie
It looks to me like you're trying to convince yourself that Santorini isn't worth seeing, so that you justify omitting it from your itinerary. I think it's crazy to skip Santorini if you're already in Greece. Go before your sailing trip starts and see it on your own.
Sean - You might be entirely right: cognitive dissonance and all. But, I'm a person who tries to live by the credo of "have no regrets", and I can honestly say that I really don't think that we'll have any regrets by missing Santorini. Crazy for missing Santorini by not going before our sailing trip? Perhaps, but we'd also be deemed crazy for giving up whatever we would have to give up in order to make that happen. Plus, our sailing trip begins in Athens (per our request).
Not quite right, Leslie. I did not weigh in on either side -- I simply furnished you with a do-able day-trip option in case you changed your mind.
I think that you are the ONLY one who agrees with you.
Isn't this kind of a circle discussion on Leslie's part. Ask a question and then shoot down all the answers. "Live with no regrets" and "agonize over decisions" doesn't seem to be compatible thinking. Use our philosophy, "We will catch that the next time." No regrets 'cause there is always a next time.
I started this discussion saying that we are opting to skip Santorini, and I solicited opinions about that decision. I have gotten the feedback that I was hoping for, and we are still content with our decision. I apologize if anyone feels dragged into a circular discussion or that I have shot down their ideas. Just because someone asks for your opinion and doesn't take your advice doesn't mean that it wasn't respected, considered and very much appreciated. Thank you, all! Leslie
Well said Leslie! Some of the posters here (newbies and old timers alike) are getting snarkier by the minute - is it a full moon? or something in the water?
Thanks, Nancy. AKA, the only person who did agree with our decision! (See, George, there was one. And, actually, another person did privately.)
Janet - I certainly appreciated the suggested day trip. Sorry for mis-categorizing you! ;^)