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How to get from cruise ship in Santorini to Oia

How to get from cruise ship in Santorini to Oia

Old Mar 2nd, 2016, 09:39 PM
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How to get from cruise ship in Santorini to Oia

Hi - question to help my parents out
Mum and dad's cruise ship docks in Santorini and they want to go from the dock to spend some time in Oia independently. What is the best way for them to do this? Any help appreciated
Cheers
Cathy
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Old Mar 2nd, 2016, 10:37 PM
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Taxi
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 12:26 AM
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Chances are the cruise ship will anchor in the caldera and passengers tendered to the old port below the cliff at Fira. There is no road access to the port, so passengers either take the cable car or walk the many steps up to the top. They should NOT ride the donkeys/mules, as they are mistreated by their handlers.

A few years ago there was a boat that took passengers directly from the old port to Oia, but I understand it isn't running anymore. There's always the chance that it could be reinstated, so check again just before the cruise date.

Once in Fira they can walk the short distance across town to the bus station or the adjacent taxi station. The buses are cheaper of course, but sometimes are very crowded. Leave plenty of time for the cable car back down to the port, as sometimes there are long waits, even up to 2 hrs if there are several cruise ships in the caldera.

Passengers who sign up for cruise ship excursions are often tendered to the ferry port, which does have road access. There are lots of things to see on Santorini other than Oia, so the ship's excursion might be good value. Were it me I would head for Akrotiri instead of Oia if I didn't have time for both.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:37 AM
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Thank you very much for that information. Is Akrotiri another village? Wow to the 2 hours waiting for the cable car! How long would it take to walk down?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:49 AM
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Akrotiri is the Greek "Pompeii", an ancient Minoan village buried under ash from the volcanic eruption that formed the Santorini caldera. Unfortunately it is at the opposite end of the island from Oia, but Santorini is very small, so with a long port call it should be possible to see both.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:56 AM
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Not sure how long the walk down would be, but a lot less than 2 hrs. It would be possible for someone reasonably fit to do it, although maybe hard on the knees. The donkeys leave their droppings on the steps, so the walk could be "fragrant"!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:29 AM
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There are close to 600 steps between Fira and dock. Just look at images, for example enter "Fira steps images" into google.com. This is not for those who don't usually hike down this much stairs. To get an idea, this is like going down 38 stories of low ceiling residential dwelling or about 30 stories of higher ceiling office buildings.

If you look at images you will find additional considerations. The steps are on the sun exposed side = hot. It is crowded with people and mules, and as mentioned above, is littered with droppings making it harder find steps as you have to zig zag to find your footings.

Don't underestimate the line to get down on gondola. It can get very very long if many boats are in caldera. I see people waiting in snaking long line in Fira before 2pm to get back to ships leaving at 5 to 7pm. Considering that they might not make up to Fira until after 9am, they would have little time at the rim level. Depending on the number of boats in caldera at one time, they would need to adjust the scope of activities they can do on their own. Sometimes there is only one boat, other times there can be five or more.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:28 AM
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The best way to determine if the water taxi to Oia is operating this year is to wait until you're tendered to the old port dock below Fira and look for the office where those tickets are sold. That dock is very small and it will be obvious.

If they take the cable car up the cliff when they exit the cabel car building they should turn left and walk to the end of that short lane, then turn right until they come to a short flight of steps on the left down to another lane that leads out to the main road. Oia is to the left about 7 miles. They might be able to flag down a taxi there, but if not at the main road turn right and walk downhill about 1/4 mile to the taxi office, which is on the left just past the main square where all the outdoor cafes are located side-by-side. The bus square is just past the taxi office on the left down the next side street.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:29 AM
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Forgot to say that if the water taxi is available the price includes a shuttle up into the village from below Oia in Amoudi Bay, plus a bus ticket back to Fira. At least this is what the fare included last time the water taxi was up and running.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:33 AM
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We stopped in at Santorini on a cruise last October and the boat to Oia was running. As Brotherlee said it was obvious.

If you rparents take the ships excursion they guarantee that teh ship won't leave without them. May be worth paying extra.
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