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The Old Port of Santorini, where history meets beauty!

Skala, officially known as the cruise port, is the historic Old Port of Santorini.

Its origin dates back to a volcanic eruption in 1650 B.C., which re-shaped the island’s landscape. Nestled at the base of the Caldera Cliffs in Fira, the capital of Santorini, the Old Port has received a significant transformation over the years.

In the past, the Old Port played an essential role as the island’s primary commercial harbor, facilitating trade and commerce. However, with the increase in tourism in recent decades, its purpose has changed, and today, the Old Port no longer accommodates commercial ferries. During the summer months, it primarily caters to the numerous cruise ships that visit Santorini’s shores, as well as excursion boats that allow tourists to visit the Volcano and Therasia island.


How do cruise ship passengers arrive at the Old Port?

Due to the port’s limited size, cruise ships do not anchor directly in the harbor.

Instead, cruise ship passengers are ferried to and from their ships via small vessels known as tender boats.


How can someone go from the Old Port to Fira?

From the Old Port, there are two ways for visitors to ascend the 260-meter-high cliff:

  • The Cable Car: The cable car offers a convenient and scenic ascent. It is operating daily from 6:30 to 22:00 at 20-minute intervals. Tickets for adults are priced at 6 euros, while children aged 5 to 10 pay 3 euros (children under 5 years old ride for free). In addition, a 3 euros fee applies for luggage per passenger. There are no discounts for round-trip or group purchases and tickets can only be bought at the terminals either by cash or credit cards. Online ticket purchases are not available.
  • The challenging hike: For those who are seeking a more adventurous and challenging option, a hike of 580 steps is available. It may be physically demanding but the breathtaking natural beauty of Santorini’s landscape is rewarding.

  • Important Note: The Old Port is not accessible by any means of transportation!

    Where is the Cable Car located?

    The Cable Car is located at the northern end of the harbor dock. Accessing it involves climbing quite a few steps, while upon reaching the cable car station, visitors must take steep steps to board the cable cars. The ride is just 3 minutes at an altitude of 220 meters before they arrive at the beautiful town of Fira. The cable cars are small, and the descent is steep. However, the panoramic view of the picturesque town of Fira clinging to the cliff’s edge makes the experience worthwhile.


    Good to know!

    During the high season (June to September) Santorini welcomes approximately 80.000 visitors daily. Therefore, it is quite normal for as many as five cruise ships to arrive simultaneously in the morning. This situation places the Old Port among the busiest ports globally and queues can be quite long. Travelers should anticipate that during these peak times, the ride from the Old Port to Fira town may take up to 2 hours.


    Explore this charming waterfront, and its rich heritage, and start your journey to the heart of the Aegean!

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