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OceanWave Tours

#15 of 55 Tours in Fira
Fira, Greece
About OceanWave Tours
Private Tours in Santorini Greece with local friendly and experienced English speaking drivers.
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OceanWave Tours
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Victoria C wrote a review Aug 2021
3 contributions
Booked through SantoriniTour.net via email, but I was charged through this company. They are the same thing. I would like to preface this review by saying that I exclusively book private tours as I like complete independence and flexibility during my tours. I also like to avoid other stereotypical tourists. To be quite frank, I don’t even like a private tour but more so a driver for the day who will allow me to do what I want without having to worry about parking, traffic, or driving in a foreign country and give genuine recommendations when asked. This “tour” was exactly what I did NOT want. First of all, I wanted my driver to be waiting for me at 8am and I stated this when I was emailing Dimitris. I also sent a very specific list of what I wanted to do. He insisted that I would never be able to leave the cruise ship that early and catch the tender and cable car (I thought otherwise as I knew I would fight to get off the boat as soon as possible and cruise ships are only operating at 22% capacity). But he said he would send the driver early if I messaged him, so I let it be. Along comes July and I am on the first tender to leave the cruise ship. I email Dimitris at 7:29am- I am on the tender and about to step foot on the island, please have my driver waiting. No response. I then send him a message on Whatsapp at 7:34am- I am on the cable car, can you please send my driver this way. Still nothing. At 8:00am I was standing waiting in the area where I was supposed to meet the driver and I called him. No answer. At this point I’m left wondering if I have bee scammed out of my deposit and am going to have to find a cab to hire for the day. He did not answer any of my attempts to contact him until finally at 8:30 and said my driver was on his way. The driver did not arrive until 9am which means I had already wasted an hour of the precious few I had in Santorini. When I finally get in the car, the driver informs me that he has a plan for the day including 2 wineries that are notorious for having bus loads of fanny pack tourists from the cruises and nothing from the original itinerary I sent to Dimitris, indicating there was no effective communication between the two despite the fact Dimitris advertises his company as family owned and without any middle men. In retrospect, thank god I interrupted the driver and told him how I wanted to spend the day or else it would have been a complete and utter waste. However, even once we finalized what I wanted to do, the driver still heavily pushed for me to go to a winery. After going through the tasting which was so commercialized it was comical and there was a fee for it, I suspect many of the tour companies get kick backs from the wineries as once people come in, they are again pressured to buy whatever they have tasted. The wine was fine and was also a nice art gallery (Art Space for those interested), but I don’t like being duped into things and having to pay for a wine tasting that I did not want to do in the first place was ridiculous. Lunch was next and a real letdown. I specifically asked for a local restaurant, preferably one with seafood, that was quiet and small. I was dropped off at the cheesiest catering place that I have ever seen, complete with a bridal get-ready room, a heart shaped logo, and a playground outside. It was completely empty at prime lunchtime. The food was average at best, which made it a real disappointment compared to other amazing food we had in Greece. My mom and I had one course each and were out of there in 35 minutes (a real rush when we are known to linger for 2 hours over a bottle wine). Despite the fact we gave the driver and accompanying tour guide a 15 minute notice, they kept us waiting outside the restaurant for nearly 25 minutes before picking us up. Afterwards we went to a black sand beach (not the one I requested) which was fine. We spent 15 minutes for pictures and then wandered around little shops looking for mastika until the van came back. When we get back in the van afterwards, the tour guide informs me that Ancient Thira, one of my priorities on my itinerary for the day, had already closed and we wouldn’t be able to go. This was the final straw. Now of course, I should have had in the back of my mind that the site closed at 3:30pm, that was my fault, but I told the driver and tour guide what I wanted to do when they picked us up and this might have been something they wanted to remind me of at a certain point during the day as they are the professionals. However even if that were not the case, had I not been pushed into a wine tasting that I did not want and done lunch later in the day as I requested, there would have been plenty of time to get to the site (and go to the black sand beach that I wanted to go to which was 10 minutes away). Or, had this winery and particular lunch spot been so important, we could have gone after what I as the customer wanted, but they pushed in doing it their way and going there first. It was very clear that the driver and tour guide felt very chastised after the Ancient Thira event as they were silent for much of the trip and did not make any further suggestions or changes. We went to Oia and Ammoudi Bay afterwards as requested and had a lovely time. (For anyone looking for amazing food in Santorini, Sunset Ammoudi has some of the best food I’ve ever had in my entire life- rivals many Michelin rated restaurants, reserve in advance if possible or go early, it is on the expensive side, so be prepared). We also made it back to our ship on time, which was of course very important. I write this review not to be harsh, but to simply explain what occurred and to caution other travelers when selecting private tours. If you have in mind what you want to do, have mapped in out on Google maps, know when sites open and close, and what may get busy first (as I always, always do), INSIST ON THAT ITINERARY. Put in writing in the email when booking the tour and have a print out of it to hand to the driver the day of. Of course, you can ask your driver and tour guide for recommendations and accept or reject them at your leisure, but if you are a planning, type A traveler and are prepared, don’t back down. There are plenty of private tour companies that will do what YOU want to do and make genuine recommendations that they believe you will enjoy, but this is not one of them. If you do choose to book with this company, which is understandable as they offer a competitive price compared to other private tour companies on a notoriously expensive island, have your itinerary in mind and don’t let them derail you. If they do, stop the car right there, pay them for the hours so far, and hire a cab for the day. Precious, precious vacation time can’t be wasted.
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Date of experience: July 2021
Wayne J wrote a review Oct 2019
2 contributions
We thoroughly enjoyed this well run tour of this beautiful island. Our limited time was well managed, and we got to see all the highlights we expected to. They accommodated our every need. We had a wonderful lunch at a seaside restaurant, and the timing was perfect to miss the big tour buses. The driver and guide were both knowledgeable, friendly, and spoke very good English. Thanks for a great time!
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Date of experience: October 2019
Kacee W wrote a review Jul 2019
Ocean Springs, Mississippi33 contributions18 helpful votes
Christos was waiting for us at the cable car exit. He was a fabulous guide. Great English and very knowledgeable. He made sure we saw all we wanted to see and told us about all of Santorini and Greece too! Do not miss out on a tour with Ocean Wave!
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Date of experience: June 2019
2 Helpful votes
Grumpy_Troll wrote a review Apr 2019
Los Angeles, CA27 contributions39 helpful votes
This weekend, we booked a five hour tour of Santorini. I had difficulty walking and my eight year old daughter was in a particularly cranky mood. I cannot express how patient and kind they were. Amazing people. They were fantastic guides and took us to some really out of the way hidden gems. I am so glad we stumbled across these folks. I can’t tell you how much fun we had and how many wonderful memories were made. Thank you so much!!!
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Date of experience: April 2019
1 Helpful vote
Response from diminik, Owner at OceanWave Tours
Responded Apr 23, 2019
Thank you for your review, I will pass it to our driver and his guide. Dimitris
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Kenneth H wrote a review Sep 2018
St. George, Utah233 contributions93 helpful votes
We booked this private tour months in advance and everything went as smoothly as possible. We were met at the top of the cable car in Fira as agreed and given an excellent tour of Santorini by Dimitris. Highly recommend.
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Date of experience: August 2018