Not knowing how many hours you have ashore makes this difficult to answer. If you DIY you will be tendered ashore below Fira and will take the cable car up the cliff into the heart of Fira, so you can explore it easily by yourself. You can take a bus or taxi to Oia and there is a winery there, Sigalas.
From the time the cruise ship company gives you ashore you need to subtract the time it takes to reach Fira on the cable car as well as the time it takes to return to the tender wharf on your way back. This can be as much as 2 hours total if it's busy.
If you have doubts about it all then go with the ship's tour.
Thank you for this information. We are in port from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. My main concern was how easy it is to get around and see the sites without the expense of the excursion.. Do you know how much the taxi or bus would be to Oia? Have you done the hike between the two?? The excursion I am considering is a 1/2 day tour of Fira, Oia and includes a visit to a winery.
The buses are cheap and regular, if a little crowded in high season. There are about 39 taxis on the island.
One thing to check/keep in mind, is that some cruise ships prioritize passengers using their escorted tours for disembarking over those doing 'DIY' tours.
Thank you. You have been very helpful. We will be there in late September so I am assuming still very busy.
11 hours ashore gives you plenty of time for a DIY tour. I haven't done the hike. Typically it takes about 3-4 hours.
The winery on the ship's tour is most likely Santo or Boutari. The ship's tour passengers are tendered ashore at Athinios, a different wharf than the DIY passengers because the tour buses need to be close by. Santo is on the cliff above Athinios, so I presume that's where the tour stops.
A taxi to Oia will cost around €15.
Thank you......it certainly sounds like it is far cheaper and just as easy to do a DIY tour.
Hiring a car and driving yourself around would be the least-expensive and most rewarding way to see the island.
Thanks....I will keep that in mind and discuss with travelling partner.
If you decide to hire a car be sure to go to your local CAA office to purchase an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required. Bring 2 passport photos with you.
This year we too the bus to see the ruins at Akrotiri and again wandered about Fira, on our return.
The queue to use the cable car, in August, was long, but we probably only waited about 20 minutes to access it, on the return, later in the day we didn't queue at all, just got straight onto a car. Beware the queue jumpers, whilst waiting to take the cable car to the top, a few nearly got lynched, after thinking they could just wander to the front of the queue, while everybody else stood waiting in the 40% heat...such fun