The anchorages on Santorini:
Skala Thira is the main harbor of Santorini, and it is where the cruise ships call. The port is not a harbor but a quay, and it is characterized by a lot of swells in the bay. Skala Thira is unique, and it offers tourists a mind-blowing setting. You will find the port on a bay formed by a collapsed volcano. The highlight of the port is that it offers tourists a mind-blowing view of Fira as soon as you approach it. Skala Thira is so fantastic, which makes it a great destination to go during sailing adventures.
Skala Thira is the main harbor in Santorini. You will find the port at the deep caldera, and it protects from the northerly winds. Small boats can use the interior of the port while yachts make use of the outside of the quay. Outside of the quay, there is also a rocky seabed that causes the anchor to snag, and the best way to berth here is by taking a strong long line from the bow to one of the large mooring buoys and then tie the stern to the quay or the bay platforms. The only issue here is that you cannot leave your boat unattended because when a boat departs, the boats on the outside have to untie.
Once you get to the port, you will find restaurants, duty-free stores, and taverns where you can shop for souvenirs. If you visit during the summer, you can also join tours that are going to the nearby hot springs and volcanoes from the port.
Skala Thira is also called the Fira Skala, and it is used by passengers going on a day trip to Fira. You will find the port 220m below Fira, and it is linked with Fira by a cable car and 587 steps suitable for hiking. The port is surrounded by tavernas, restaurants, and small shops that you can explore. It also offers tourists mind-blowing views from the foot of the caldera cliffs.
Places of Interest
You will find the cable car at the north end of the harbor dock. The cable car conveys tourists from the port to Fira and vice versa in three minutes. The cable car makes an excellent option for tourists that are having less time to explore the capital. The highlight of the cable car is that it gives tourists the chance to enjoy panoramic views of the rock formations and Fira.
Cafes and Restaurants
The port is surrounded by a few restaurants and coffee shops that you can explore. You can easily stroll around the pier in your free time if you want to experience the local culture and try out local delicacies. You will find some friendly taverns on the left side of the pier and some cafes on the right.
This path is an excellent choice for you if you are searching for an adventurous way to get to Fira from Skala Thira. For a traditional experience, you can hire a donkey to take you to Fira. I do not encourage this because of the cruelty to the animals involved. Another way to explore the path is by hiking up the steep stairs to the top. Keep in mind that donkey riders use the paved steps, and there will be times where you will share the steps.
History of Skala Thira
In 1650BC, Skala Thira was created by a volcanic eruption, and it can be found at the bottom of the Caldera Cliffs. It was once serving Thira before the port of Athinios took over. The pier is now a tourist hotspot in Santorini, and it is surrounded by cafes, trinket shops, and boat rental agencies.
The port does not have a cruise terminal, and tourists will be tendered ashore with small boats. The port is accessible, and during the high season, it hosts about 80,000 tourists per day. The port is among the most crowded ports in the world as it can welcome about five cruise ships in the morning.