Experiencing Santorini by catamaran on the best boat tour with Barbarossa Sailing made for our favorite day in Greece. You'll cruise to an active volcano, visit the hot springs, and swim in the crystal clear waters on the Aegean.
What to Expect on a Boat Tour with Barbarossa Sailing
Boating with Captain Mario was one of our favorite activities during an incredible 14-day Greece and Italy trip, which is saying something—there were so many moments we loved. The manager at our hotel recommended Barbarossa Sailing as the best boat tour in Santorini, and it didn't disappoint in any way. We absolutely loved our semi-private 5-hour cruise with Barbarossa Sailing.
Due to our travel schedule, we opted for the daytime cruise, but a sunset cruise would have been even more lovely! The morning of our cruise, a spacious, air-conditioned van picked us up outside our cave hotel, and we barreled our way across the island to Ammoudi Bay. Since there’s not enough room to turn the van around at the bottom, the driver careened us down in reverse.
Once at the port in Oia, Captain Marios and his hostess gave us a hand onto their well-kept catamaran and brought out a platter of fresh fruit for us to nibble on. We applied sunscreen liberally and settled into the comfy seat cushions.
Free flowing beer and white wine kept a warm buzz going all day. As we took in the beautiful caldera views, Captain Mario put on smooth electronic beats and regaled us with stories of the history of Santorini.
We anchored by Thirasia, directly opposite Santorini, for a quick swim in Corfos Bay and a glimpse at the tiny old houses on an island that seemed untouched by tourism.
Next, we crossed the sea to stop at the Kameni Volcano, where we jumped into the ocean and swam in to the warm, rust-colored hot springs water.
After a delicious homemade meal of bread, salads, pasta, spicy chicken, and seafood stew, we had a last and final stop, snorkeling to our hearts’ content in the crystal clear sea.
Even in August’s high season, we were lucky to have a very private excursion with only one other hilarious Aussie couple. Though the price is higher than what we’d typically spend on vacation excursions, it was a dreamy day that was perfect in every way.
Tips on Booking a Santorini Boat Tour with Barbarossa Sailing
What’s included : Roundtrip transport from your hotel, boat cruise, towels, snorkels, homemade meal, and unlimited wine / beer / soft drinks.
Price : Rates vary by season—our price was 135€ per person before tip in the summer.
Timing : The boat cruise goes for approximately 5 hours. The morning trip departs the port at 11 a.m., and the afternoon trip (sunset cruise) leaves at 4:00 p.m.
Facilities : The lower deck has a small kitchen, refrigerator, and toilet. There’s also room to store small belongings, so it’s fine to bring your camera, wallet, bag, etc.
What to wear : Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are a must—the sun can get hot! Wear your swimsuit and something easy to slip out of, since you’ll be jumping in and out of the water. I wore a breezy maxi dress, which was perfect. However, swimming in the sulphurous hot springs water can stain your clothes, so wear something dark that won’t stain (no white suits or dresses). If you’re doing the sunset cruise, you may want an extra layer in case it gets windy.