Sailing is probably the best way to explore Santorini. Because, in essence, Santorini is a cluster of five islands located around or in the caldera. Thera, Thirassia and Aspronisi form a ring around the caldera, while Nea Kameni and Palaia Kameni are the islands that host the volcanoes. Actually, the one on Nea Kameni is an still an active volcano. Caldera was created after a gigantic volcano eruption around 1600 BC, shaping a distinctive and extraordinary landscape. Contrary to other islands, even volcanic ones like Milos or Nisyros, the main villages are located on the edge of the crater’s inner walls and not at sea level. This particularity makes Santorini so unique and the approach from the sea an experience you will never forget. Hence, Santorini sailing comes highly recommended! Check out our charter yachts proposals.
Santorini sailing – The volcanic islands
A visit to the Geological Park of Nea Kameni is definitely worthwhile. A path will take you uphill to the rim of the volcanic crater. The hike is quite challenging and during summertime be sure to wear a hat, generously apply sunblock and have water with you. Trust us, the view towards the caldera and the villages of Oia and Fira is incredible! Please note that you cannot dock here. You need to anchor and use your dinghy to approach the island.
Your next stop should be the island of Palaia Kameni with its hot springs. Take a dip in the healing waters of the sulfurous springs of the volcano. The water here is quite warmer and temperature rises as you swim closer to the caldera. If you apply the healing mud on your body or you walk and sit on the rocks, you will find your skin and swimsuit covered by a yellowish colour that may linger for quite a while!
Santorini sailing – Thirassia
To get a taste of Santorini’s life before the cruise ships era, you have to visit Thirasia. You can dock in Riva or anchor outside and approach by dinghy. As you set your foot on the island, you feel like time stops. On the hill above Riva you can see the church of Saint Irene. The legend has it that Santorini was named after this church by the Venetians.
There are three little villages and some restaurants and cafes. Tasting the local produce, as everywhere in Santorini, is a real treat: fava, tomatoes, wild caper and their traditional sweet “sykaminoglyko”, a kind of blackberry preserve.
If the weather is not kind with you and the wind prevents you from freely moving around, you always have the southern coast of Santorini to explore. On this side, you will find the Vlichada Marina where you can safely dock your yacht or catamaran. From here you definitely have to make your way towards Akrotiri, on the southwestern side. Being on a yacht, you have a huge advantage as far as swimming goes. Because you have access to beaches that are hard to reach in any other way. Explore the Red and the White beach that are next to each other but so much different! The White Beach will charm you with the huge crisp white rocks, the black sand with the white pebbles and the beautiful crystal clear (and sometime cold) waters.
The Red Beach will take your breath away with the almost vertical red rocks and the reddish pebbles; an incredible place. Akrotiri is one of the most prominent archaeological sites in the Aegean and you should definitely plan a visit. Before the big eruption, Akrotiri was one of the largest urban centers of the area. When the volcano erupted, the volcanic material covered the town, preserving the buildings and their contents to nowadays. There is no other word to describe it but amazing!
Watching the sun sinking in the sea is probably an image from Santorini that will stay in your mind and heart forever. Yes, watching it from Oia or Fira is quite an experience but you share it with literally hundreds of people. When you are aboard a yacht, the view is all yours. As the sky turns from yellow to orange to pink to purple and the warm breeze envelops you, there is no other place on earth you would rather be!