Our NCl cruise is going to stop on Mykonos and Santorini, and I'm not sure I want to do the ship's tours of the islands. I'm more interested in taking photographs, and going on a bus somewhere doesn't appeal either to my husband or to me.
Having never been to Greece, I'm wondering if someone might answer a few questions:
1- Are there taxis by the ports as there are in other places? If so, are they rather safe to take somewhere? For example, in Antigua, we hired a taxi driver who took us around the island for a couple of hours and charged us $20 each. He showed us great spots and told us a lot about the area.
2- If we didn't take a taxi, is there another way to get to Ola (Is that the correct name?) from the port?
3- Can one walk anywhere right from the port in either of these places?
Chris, I can help you with this too.....we got a motorscooter and did both islands this way,,,the concierge told us were to go ,,but you can google info I m sure...yes, can walk to towns once you get off launch from ship....and taxis are also at pier...we just stopped in town,ate, shopped,etc...then took off around island exploring....can swim in Mykonos,lots of good places to take photos..like the Windmills,etc...Santorini a long hike up,can take mule or elevator....really stunning views all over islands....great place to visit...
Let me try to give you specific answers to each of your questions.
1. On Santorini there are no taxis at the tender pier and you must first get up the hill to the town of Fira by either taking a donkey or using the cable car. It is also possible to walk, but you have lots of steps and would be also walking along the donkey path which is full of a lot of donkey poo. Once you get up to Fira, you can only explore this town on foot. There are taxis that can take you anywhere on the island and there is also a public bus line that can take you a lot cheaper to Oia. Santorini does have other things on the island such as some nice beaches (we like Red Beach) and a few interesting wineries. To explore the island away from Fira and Oia it is best to rent a car.
2. Mykonos has limited taxis and the situation depends on whether you dock (about 1/2 mile outside of town) or tender into Mykonos Town. The town is small and can only be explored on foot and has some good shopping and nice cafes. Mykonos is a great beach island and you could certainly take the public bus from the bus station (near the windmills) over to Paradise Beach and have a nice beach day.
In Mykonos, Princess had a shuttle at $7 per person return to town that took all of five minutes. Or other people just walked but there is no sidewalk really. Just a slip really beside the road. So beware. Nice picturesque, great photos of windmills and rocks, and houses hanging on edge of water. Very much like Venice looking back at my pictures.
Santorini, we took te funicular up the mountain. Get off ship early my advice as soon as it docks and then you can walk along the ledge and grab yourself the most wonderful view of blue water as you make your way past all the little houses perched on the cliff on your walk to Fira. Then stop for a little breakfast (pricy!!! My son's Diet Coke cost us $4Euros)Anyhow, it was an experience he remembers. Then we grabbed the bus to Oia as it passed us by and we took a cab back. Oia is wonderful once again. Would have loved to watch sunset from that place but of course our ship awaited. Best to do your walk first thing in the morning before the cliff gets crowded.
People I know were on a Costa cruise last week and one of the things they mentioned was that they heard that Costa ships are not going to stop in Santorini next year.
Can anyone confirm this and does this mean other cruise lines might also not visit Santorini ?
Have had a look at next years cruises with Costa and Santorini still seems to be a port of call.
I suppose it is possible that Santorini might be trying to have fewer cruise ships arrive on the same day as it does get very crowded with the amount of cruise visitors.