A true natural wonder
The Archaeological Museum of Firá
Black stretches of volcanic sand

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Overhanging an enchanted sea

You can’t say you have been to Greece on holiday without seeing the natural wonder of Santoríni. As our MSC cruise ship manoeuvres into the great caldera of Santoríni (Thíra), the land seems to rise up and clamp around it.
Gaunt, sheer cliffs loom hundreds of metres above the deep blue sea, nothing grows or grazes to soften the awesome view. The only colours are the reddish-brown, black and grey pumice layers on the cliff face of this, the largest island in the mini-archipelago.

A shore excursion on your MSC Mediterranean cruise can be the perfect chance to experience Firá (also known as Hóra) which clings precariously to the edge of the enormous caldera. Although Firá’s restaurants are primarily aimed at the tourist market, the food can be very good. Using a spectacular two-hour footpath along the lip of the caldera you reach the village of Imerovígli and further to the north Firostefáni, both of which have equally stunning views.

The only alternative location is Karterádhos, a small village about twenty minutes’ walk southeast of Firá. MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to Santoríni’s beaches, on the island’s east coast, which are long black stretches of volcanic sand that get blisteringly hot in the afternoon sun.

Evidence of the Minoan colony that once thrived here has been uncovered among the resorts at the ancient site of Minoan Thira at Akrotíri, on the south-western tip of the island; the site was inhabited from the Late Neolithic period through to the seventeenth century BC. The Archaeological Museum of Firá, near the cable car to the north of town, is well presented, and has a collection from the excavations of Ancient Thira.

Must see places in Santorini

  • Oia village

    Oia village

  • Nea Kameni and the caldera

    Nea Kameni and the caldera

  • Akrotiri


Discover our excursions

    The excursions program for this port is under progress. Come back soon to find out the best way to discover this destination!


Under the protective wing of the gods
Under the protective wing of the gods

It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes.
But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.

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