Helicopter sightseeing tours in Santorini are always fascinating, offering unparalleled aerial views of landscapes and landmarks that can’t be fully appreciated from the ground. Helicopters can reach areas that are difficult to access by other means, providing exclusive views and photo opportunities. In Santorini, for example, flying over the dramatic caldera, volcanic islands and cliff-top villages of Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani and Fira provides a unique perspective on the island’s stunning geography and architecture.

A helicopter tour in Santorini is a unique experience and you need to prepare for it, which means there can be a lot of questions. Once we are organising such flights for our clients on a regular basis, we are here to help you and provide you with some information about the flights. In this guide I will ansfer to one of the most popular questions about helicopter sightseeing tours in Santorini. Let’s fly!

Helicopter in Santorini: that's me and the little Robinson R44 helicopter behind me
Helicopter in Santorini: that’s me and the little Robinson R44 helicopter behind me

What can I expect from a helicopter tour in Santorini in 2024?

Depending on the chosen route and flight duration, a helicopter sightseeing tour of Santorini offers stunning aerial views of the island’s unique landscapes, including the famous caldera, volcanic formations and whitewashed villages such as Oia and Fira. Most of our tours last between 20 minutes and an hour, providing a perspective that’s unattainable from the ground. You can expect to see the dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and iconic architecture from a bird’s-eye view. The experience is both exhilarating and serene, offering photo opportunities that are truly unique.

Sunset helicopter flight in Santorini
Sunset helicopter flight in Santorini

Can I fly over the Santorini caldera during a helicopter tour?

Yes, flying over the caldera is a common highlight. The Caldera offers dramatic views of the volcanic landscape, with sheer cliffs and the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea below. This part of the tour offers a breathtaking perspective that is unique to aerial views and showcases the rugged beauty of our island.

Flight above Santorini Caldera
Flight above Santorini Caldera

Can I fly over Santorini Volcano on a helicopter tour?

Yes, all of our main helicopter tours routes over Santorini include a flight over the volcano, offering spectacular views.

A helicopter flight over the volcano of Santorini
A helicopter flight over the volcano of Santorini

Can I request specific flight routes for a helicopter tour in Santorini?

Yes, specific flight routes can often be requested (in advance!), especially for private tours. Customisable routes allow you to focus on areas of personal interest such as specific beaches, landmarks or scenic views. Discuss your preferences with us in advance to ensure we can accommodate your request. Customised routes may be subject to additional cost and availability due to airspace regulations and safety considerations.

What is the maximum altitude reached during a helicopter tour?

The maximum altitude reached during a helicopter tour of Santorini is typically between 1000 and 3000 feet (300 and 900 metres), depending on the route. This altitude provides a balance between detailed views of the landscape and a broad perspective of the island. Altitude may vary depending on airspace regulations, weather conditions and the specific route. Pilots adjust the altitude to provide optimal viewing angles for different landmarks and scenery.

How much does a helicopter tour in Santorini cost in 2024?

Helicopter tour prices in Santorini vary depending on the length of the tour, type of helicopter, and the operator. For example, the most popular trips that we organize, lasts 20 and 30 minutes. We organize both private and group flights, so, let’s say, shorter tours, around 20 minutes, typically cost from 295 euro per person and from 800 euro if you decide do book a helicopter flight in a fully private way. Longer tours, lasting 30 minutes to an hour, can range from 1150 euro per helicopter/per tour and more. And yes, prices may also vary based on the season, demand, and whether it’s a private or shared flight. We also have some last minute offers, usually at a discount. However, the best way is to check our prices for your dates and book in advance.

What are the payment options for helicopter tours?

Payment options typically include credit cards, debit cards, online payment methods and cash (we accept euro). If you book with us, then you can pay 100% online in advance or pay part online and pay the rest in cash just before your flight. We’re flexible, so it’s up to you and your preferred method.

What are the main highlights of a helicopter tour in Santorini?

The tour offers a panoramic view of the geography of the island, including its dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters. Each landmark offers a unique visual experience and the changing perspectives from the helicopter add to the excitement. If you choose one of the base routes, highlights of a helicopter tour of Santorini include aerial views of the caldera, the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, and the picturesque villages of Fira and Oia perched on the cliffs. You’ll also see the Red Beach, the old lighthouse at Akrotiri and the famous sunsets over the Aegean sea, if you choose the evening time.

Can I request a specific helicopter model for my flight?

Of course! It may be possible to request a specific helicopter model for your aerial tour, especially for private tours. Different models offer different capacities, comfort levels and features. Discuss your preferences with us at the time of booking. Availability of specific models is subject to current scheduling, so flexibility may be required. We usually have different models from Robinson, Bell and Airbus (Eurocopter).

How long are the typical helicopter sightseeing tours in Santorini?

Our typical helicopter tours range from 20 minutes to an hour. Shorter tours of 20 minutes focus on the caldera and nearby villages, while longer tours of 30-60 minutes cover more of the island, including its beaches and outlying areas, so you can also see the island of Thirasia. The length of the tour affects what you can see, so choosing a longer tour will allow you to discover more of Santorini’s beauty from a bird’s eye view. You can check out most of the options in advance.

When I book a sightseeing tour for, say, 20 minutes, will it actually last 20 minutes?

Yes. Some operators calculate the flight time from engine start to engine stop. This usually takes about 5-10 minutes, so a 20 minute tour may only include about 15 minutes of actual flight time. We don’t do this on our tours. When you book a tour with us, the actual flight time is measured from take off to landing, so if you book a 20 minute flight – you will fly for 20 minutes.

Do I need to book a helicopter tour in advance?

Almost always the answer is yes, unless you want to try your luck with a last minute booking. It is advisable to book a helicopter tour in advance, especially during the high season (June to September). Early booking ensures availability and allows you to choose your preferred time, date and helicopter. If you have special requirements, such as a private tour or a special occasion, advance booking will help to make the necessary arrangements. Last minute bookings may be possible but are subject to availability.

Do helicopter tours include hotel pick-up and drop-off?

No and yes. It’s an option. If you have a rental car, we will simply tell you the exact meeting point and time, so you only pay for the flight. If you would prefer to have an organised transfer from your hotel to the heliport and back – of course we can arrange that for a small extra charge, just let us know in advance!

How early should I arrive before my helicopter tour?

Arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled flight. This will allow time for check-in, safety briefing and any necessary paperwork. Arriving early ensures you’re prepared and can address any last-minute questions or concerns.

What should I wear for a helicopter tour?

Choose some comfortable clothing suitable for the weather. In summer, light clothing is recommended, along with sunglasses to protect against the sun. Layering is advisable in spring and fall when temperatures can vary. During the winter time we have no sightseeing flights, so… Ah, comfortable shoes are a good choice! Avoid high heels and loose items that can get caught or blown around when boarding or disembarking.

Do I need to bring my passport or ID card for a helicopter tour?

Yes. It is generally recommended that you bring your passport or ID card for some security reasons and paperwork.

Are helicopter tours in Santorini safe?

Yes. Helicopter tours in Santorini are very safe. All the strict safety regulations and scheduled maintenance are applied! Pilots are experienced and well-trained. Helicopters used for tours are modern and equipped with safety features such as GPS and emergency communication systems. Weather conditions are carefully monitored, and flights may be rescheduled if conditions are not optimal. You will also have a safety briefing prior to your flight.

Do helicopter tours offer insurance?

Yes. Our helicopter tours include insurance coverage as part of the tour package. All passengers as well the luggage are insured according to articles 6, 7 and 7.1 of Regulation (EC) N785/2004.

How many people can fit in a helicopter for a sightseeing tour?

It depends, because we have a number of different models from different manufacturers. Most helicopters used for sightseeing tours in Santorini can accommodate 3-5 passengers, plus the pilot. For private tours, the helicopter capacity may include just your party, offering a more personalized experience.

In the cockpit of a Eurocopter before take-off, Santorini, Greece
In the cockpit of a Eurocopter before take-off, Santorini, Greece

Are there any weight restrictions for helicopter tours?

Yes. Weight restrictions may vary from helicopter to helicopter. Accurate weight information helps maintain the performance and safety of the helicopter. Always provide us with accurate weight information to facilitate safe and effective weight management. As these are quite personalised questions, you may prefer to contact us in advance.

Are helicopter tours suitable for children?

Yes! Helicopter tours in Santorini are generally suitable for children, but children over three years old must have their own seat or a special safety seat with extra belts, so please let us know their age when booking. Infants under three years old can fly on an adult’s lap using an infant seatbelt extension.

Helicopter tours in Santorini: we even fly with the youngest guests!
Helicopter tours in Santorini: we even fly with the youngest guests!

How does the helicopter seating arrangement work?

Weight distribution is an important safety consideration for helicopter tours. Seating arrangements in helicopters are typically determined by weight distribution to ensure safety and balance. Passengers may be asked to sit in specific seats based on their weight, with lighter passengers often seated towards the front or near windows. For private tours, you may have more flexibility in choosing your seats.

A helicopter tour of Santorini is a completely different way to see our island
A helicopter tour of Santorini is a completely different way to see our island

Are there any restrictions on helicopter flights in Santorini?

Not too much, but yes, helicopters can only fly during daylight hours, so we can start at sunrise and have to land at sunset.

Can a helicopter land anywhere?

Helicopters can land in many places on our island (including some hotels and villas) but there are important restrictions. We need permission from the landowner and must avoid densely populated areas to ensure safety and privacy. Helicopters must also respect the privacy of local residents and comply with local regulations. Landings must always comply with legal and safety requirements.

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my helicopter tour?

If the weather is bad on the day of your helicopter tour, the flight may be postponed or cancelled. Safety is a priority and we monitor weather conditions closely. Common weather problems in Santorini include strong winds in summer and some rain in autumn. In the event of a cancellation, you will be offered a refund or the option to reschedule for a later date. It’s a good idea to plan flexibly and check the weather forecast before you go.

What are the cancellation policies?

Cancellation policies vary from no refund to a full refund, depending on the reason for the change or cancellation. For example, all cancellations due to weather conditions or technical problems will result in a full refund or rescheduling. If you simply don’t show up at the time of the flight, we can’t give you a refund. Contact us as soon as possible if you need to cancel or change your reservation.

Can I take photos and videos during the helicopter tour in Santorini?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, taking photos and videos during the helicopter tour is encouraged 🙂 The aerial views offer incredible photo opportunities of the island’s landscapes and landmarks. Make sure your camera or smartphone is held securely as there may be some vibration and movement during the flight. It’s best to use a camera with a strap and avoid large, bulky devices that can be difficult to handle in the confined space. Some helicopters have windows that can be opened for a clearer view, but always follow the pilot’s instructions regarding safety and camera use.

Aerial tours in Santorini, Greece
Aerial tours in Santorini, Greece

How can I ensure I get the best views during a flight?

To get the best views during an aerial tour in Santorini, choose a window seat if possible and keep your camera ready. Communicate with the pilot about specific landmarks you’re interested in seeing. Flights during early morning or late afternoon often provide better lighting and visibility. Check weather conditions in advance, as clear days offer the best views. Sitting in the front seat can offer a broader perspective, but all seats typically provide excellent views.

Are there any special health considerations for helicopter tours?

If you have any health concerns, such as fear of heights, motion sickness or a medical condition, please consult your doctor before booking a helicopter tour. Motion sickness is generally rare, but it’s advisable to avoid large meals and alcohol before the flight if you are prone to it. Pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking a helicopter tour. Please inform us of any medical conditions or special needs to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.

What should I do if I experience motion sickness?

Taking motion sickness medication before the flight can help prevent symptoms. Stay hydrated and avoid heavy meals before the flight. Inform the pilot if you start feeling unwell. If you experience motion sickness, try to focus on the horizon or distant objects, and avoid looking down or inside the cabin. Fresh air vents and controlled breathing can also alleviate symptoms.

Are helicopter tours in Santorini private or shared?

Helicopter tours in Santorini can be either private or shared. Let’s say we are running private tours from the spring to the autumn on a daily basis and in a few months we also have a group tour with shared flights several times per week. Private tours offer a personalized experience with the helicopter exclusively for your and your family or friends, allowing for customized routes and flexibility. Shared tours are more affordable and involve flying with other passengers, following a standard route. Both options provide incredible views, but private tours offer a more tailored and intimate experience.

Can I customize my helicopter tour in Santorini?

Yes, to a certain extent you can if your booking is completely private. Group tours are always held on the base route, but for the private aerial tour you can request specific routes, sites to visit, or durations to suit your preferences. Private tours allow more flexibility, including choosing flight paths that cover areas of personal interest or coordinating with special occasions like proposals or anniversaries.

What is the best time of day for a helicopter tour in Santorini?

In our experience, the best time of day for a helicopter tour of Santorini is usually early morning or late afternoon. Morning flights offer calm conditions and clear visibility, while afternoon and early evening flights offer the chance to see the island’s stunning sunsets. The time of day can affect lighting and visibility, with the softer light of sunrise and sunset often enhancing the beauty of the scenery.

Where do helicopter tours take off and land?

Our Santorini helicopter tours usually take off and land at heliports near the airport. Make sure you arrive at the heliport in plenty of time to complete any necessary check-in procedures and safety briefings before your flight. We can also depart from your hotel or villa if it has a helipad.

Can helicopter tours in Santorini be organised for special occasions?

Yes! Aerial tours are ideal for special occasions such as proposals, weddings, anniversaries or birthdays. Private tours offer the most flexibility to accommodate special requests and personalise the tour. Inform us of your plans when booking to arrange any special touches and make the experience unforgettable.

Can I arrange a helicopter tour as a surprise for someone?

Sure! Aarranging a helicopter tour as a surprise is possible and can be a memorable gift. When booking, inform us about all the details to ensure smooth planning and any special touches.

Do helicopter tours in Santorini operate year-round?

No. We usually operate from late spring to early autumn, in line with the main tourist season and sunny weather. You can always check the schedule of our trips in advance.

How are helicopter tours in Santorini different from yacht or catamaran tours?

Helicopter tours offer a bird’s eye view of the island, giving a unique perspective of the caldera, cliffs and villages from above. They cover more ground in less time than boat trips, allowing you to see a wider range of landmarks. Boat trips, on the other hand, offer up-close views of the coastline, access to swimming spots and the chance to experience the sea first-hand. Both tours offer different experiences and generally complement each other well for a complete exploration of Santorini. You might consider doing both in a completely private way or in a shared group way 🙂

What if I want to change the departure time or date of my flight?

If you need to change your flight’s departure time or date, please contact us as soon as you can. Availability can be limited, especially during the busy season, so early notification helps. Rescheduling is free of charge, but if we can’t find a new time for you, the cancellation policy will apply.

What is the best way to book a helicopter tour in Santorini?

One word: beforehand 🙂 The best way to book a helicopter tour in Santorini is online through the website. You can find all the detailed descriptions, prices and booking options directly on our website.

What languages are helicopter tours provided in?

Our ground staff and pilots speak English. If you require a tour guide in another language, please contact us for available language options.

Are there any special offers or discounts for helicopter tours in Santorini?

Yes. Special offers, last-minute offers and discounts for helicopter tours in Santorini may be available both during the summer and off-peak season too, as well as for early bookings, or for group reservations. You can check prices on our website or send us a message on WhatsApp. If you are more comfortable communicating by email, you can send a message to manager@santorinika.com or you can use the form below:

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