Kayaking Trip in Santorini: A Brilliant Experience

3 yellow kayaks on a small pebble beach

I did a morning kayak experience with Serenity Kayak in Santorini and it was such a great decision. If you’re considering it even a tiny bit I recommend you go ahead and book in.

At a Glance:

  • This is the kayaking tour I did
  • There’s also a sunset version which I think would be amazing too
  • Trips last around six hours
  • Groups sizes are kept small, maximum 8 people
  • Cost is about 105 – 135 euro depending on which option you go for

I’d been worried my arms would tire out too fast or that I’d be completely achy the next day. While my arms were definitely feeling it towards the end, it was totally manageable and I had no muscle soreness the next day.

You book out a whole morning for the trip but it’s not six hours of paddling. We had to get organised at the beginning and sorted out at the end. In between, we also stopped for snorkelling and lunch so it’s a balanced day.

See also: 7 Best Santorini Boat Tours for an Unforgettable Experience

Hotel Pick Up and Drop Off

My hotel cancelled my accommodation so I had to contact Kalliopi to change my pick up point when I rebooked elsewhere. There was no problem and we arranged for me to wait in a nearby car park for the minibus. I was the last person to be picked up so when the driver arrived we went straight to the meeting point.

Getting Set Up with Safety Gear (and coffee!)

Kalliopi, the owner and our guide, and her cute little dogs greeted us at her base near Akrotiri. We were offered tea, coffee and other refreshments to welcome us. The morning was very relaxed, we were treated like family and while we were filling out the registration form we were given various items.

All we had to bring along was a pair of shoes that were ok to get wet and a change of clothes for after. I rushed out the night before to get a cap but I needn’t have bothered. Kalliopi literally provided everything for us and gave us some waterproof sou’wester type hats to keep the sun off.

We were fitted with a life jacket and given a bottle of water in a special holder for the boat. We also got a waterproof pouch to put our phones and other bits and pieces.

Leaving From Kambia Beach

When we were all ready we headed down to Kampia Beach. It’s just a few meters away and Kalliopi’s little dogs came with us and brought their friends along the way too!

Kampia is a small pebble beach around the rock from White Beach. There’s a bit of parking and a little restaurant but you’ll need a 4×4 or ATV to come if you want to visit.

Our three kayaks were all set up and waiting for us. There were two couples, me and Kalliopi. Kalliopi showed us how to sit properly and how to use the paddles. Then she explained how to steer the kayak with the peddles.

Once we’d packed the rafts with our lunch, water bottles and other items we pulled the kayaks into the water and got in. Then we were off.

Staying Safe

One of the couples had delayed the pick up a bit so we were late setting off. Kalliopi said she normally starts the tour by popping into one of the sea caves. However, we left it until the end since the timings were off.

Everything about the tour was planned for our maximum enjoyment and/or safety. Kalliopi knew there was a large boat scheduled to pass that would create waves for us and wanted to avoid any problems that would cause.

Weird Weather

So we headed straight on towards the beaches.

The weather was a bit weird when we left. It’s usually foggy in Santorini in the morning. Something to do with hot and cold air around the volcano I think. Anyway, it generally burns off as soon as the sun comes up to heat the air. But that day it hadn’t.

After a while, it did clear up but the fog came back when we were on the return journey. Luckily the water was completely still throughout, perfect for us.

Touring the Beaches

It didn’t take long to paddle around parallel with White Beach. (The sand isn’t white, it’s called that because of the white cliffs behind it.) It was empty at that time of the morning but it can get busy with people coming on the boat taxi from Akrotiri, the only way to access it.

We paddled on and Kalliopi told us about the various coloured rock formations we were seeing. It was really interesting as the rocks are quite fascinating. And I loved being so close to the water which was really clear. Where it was shallow we could see the bottom.

Soon we got to Mesa Pigadia Beach which is a popular stopping point for the daily boat trips. We dragged the kayaks up to a small pebbled area at the end so we were away from the bigger boats.

At this point, Kalliopi got our picnic lunch ready and we snorkelled while she did so. The kayaks had snorkelling kit for us so we borrowed that and went off to explore.

I loved this part of the trip. The water was cold but there were steaks of hot springs coming through from the volcano too. Where we were there was a ledge where the water dropped off. It went from being shallow to really deep and there was a boat of scuba divers getting ready to head down.

Some little fish just near the surface

Swimming around that section were loads of fish and I saw a beautiful jellyfish too. I don’t know how long we were in the water. But it felt about 30 minutes. I just floated around in awe of the creatures I could see moving around the ledge and the abyss beyond!

Picnic Lunch

Sorry I don’t have a more attractive photo of lunch. I was starving after the paddling and snorkelling so I scoffed down my food as soon as I came out of the water.

I was expecting to be offered a ham and cheese sandwich but Kalliopi produced an exquisite meal for us along with some hand sanitiser.

We had delicious spanakopita (feta and spinach pie), olives from near where Kalliopi is from in Evia, salad and carrot sticks with scrummy fava. She even gave us a little pot of herbs to sprinkle on the salad.

It was all very lovely and there was no rush. We enjoyed our food and relaxed on the rocks watching the boats go by.

Heading Back

When it was time to head back we followed the same route we’d come. The weather was starting to mist up again but we were able to head into a couple of sea caves.

We learnt how to manoeuvre into the caves backwards to stay safe with an eye on the horizon.

My arms were grateful for the short break before we paddled the last section back to Kambia.

The fog was really thick by the time we got back on our route.

I’m glad we were with Kalliopi as we saw a kayaking group from another company heading out as we came back. They were paddling quite far out from the rocks, amongst some of the boats. I’m not quite sure how well they’d have been seen by bigger boats so it’s good our guide was so conscientious.

Book Your Kayak Adventure

I had such good fun on this tour as if you hadn’t noticed! All I can say is book your place (because over the summer they will book out) and go and enjoy your own trip. Kalliopi is so warm and welcoming as well as being a very experienced guide. You really couldn’t ask for more.

Kayaking Trip in Santorini: A Brilliant Experience

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