Santorini is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, especially the Oia section, with its white-washed buildings, blue domes and winding hills. But, a little-known secret is that Santorini is just as beautiful by sea.
For guests staying at luxury hotel Canaves Oia, a perk of your stay is that the hotel also has an amazing boating service, with catamarans, yachts and other options. You can book a private captain for the day, or do a semi-private morning or sunset cruise through the hotel. Even if you’re staying at a neighboring hotel, you can book an excursion with their boating company, Sunset Oia Sailing, and they will pick you up and drop you off to your hotel.
We had the pleasure of hopping aboard the catamaran for a day at sea, and it was truly one of the highlights of our trip. The trip was six hours and was the perfect way to take in the island.
The catamaran itself is beautiful and roomy, with ample space to take the sun and sip on ouzo. We laid out on the netting out the front under the sail and took the sun while checking out the water’s bright shades of aqua.
We boarded at 10 a.m. and set sail to Santorini’s famous hot springs. Because there are volcanos surrounding Santorini, there are also hot springs, which you can swim in and use the mud as a mud mask. We didn’t fully submerge ourselves (we were wearing really cute bikinis, after all!) but did check out the scene and it was a really different sort of experience that is definitely worth visiting and something we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do had we not been on the boat.
Next, we sailed to the White Beach where we had an hour to snorkel, swim and jump off of the boat, which we did repeatedly. This was such a blast, and we dove and jumped into the ocean again and again while swimming in the turquoise waters. The white beach is only accessible by boat, so it was yet another part of Santorini we wouldn’t have been able to take in.
Then, we had the most amazing lunch. It was honestly one of the best meals we had in all of Greece. The boat’s chef was a young Greek woman who grew up cooking with her family, and she whipped up the most incredible, authentic spread. We feasted on tzatziki, Greek salad, shrimp saganaki, souvlaki and other Greek favorites. Oh, and we had more ouzo of course.
We concluded the trip with more swimming and diving by Red Beach, which was really unique because of the bright red mountain surrounding it. The water was crystal clear and we swam out to a giant rock and took in the scenery.
The five-hour boat trip is a great way to learn about Santorini and really appreciate its beauty. The crew on the boat was wonderful and the ride smooth. Pack lots of sunscreen and a cute cover-up and you’re good to go!
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