Greece - Santorini

Jun 8, 2011
And so our island hopping story was about to continue, even though none of us really wanted to leave Naxos behind. But at the same time I think it's safe to say that everyone was more than ready to actually see the much hyped paradise island of Santorini...

About a half an hour before arriving, we started to see the cliffs of Santorini rising from the water. The closer we got, the more people squeezed on to the deck for their first pictures of it. I have to admit, the view was really spectacular: a massive caltera rising from the sea and small white villages built amphitheatrically around its edges. This was the first observation, the second was the massive cruisers lined up along its coast. Judging by the sea traffic, we were not going to be alone on this volcanic paradise. 

As we got to the dry land, we hopped onto the bus headed for Fira: the capital of the island. The bus dropped us off, and we were now looking for our accommodation. Turned out that the center was so full of little twists and turns that the whole finding it easily didn’t quite happen. Instead, we girls decided to sit down to wonder the views as the boys went on looking for the place. Finally we found our way to Noni’s apartments, which was just a few minutes away. The place was way beyond our expectations: two spacious apartments with multiple terraces, pool, Jacuzzi and the most important thing in Santorini- the view over the caldera! This would be our home for the days to come and we couldn’t wait to settle in. 

Later in the night we walked along the small cobblestone alleys and snapped a billion photos of the sunset that took every shade of orange, purple, red and yellow imaginable. The view didn’t lack one bit of magic. 

Next, we had the best Souvlaki in town on the menu! 

As the next morning rise and we crawled out of our beds, we enjoyed some cold cafe frappe on the terrace to welcome the day. We decided to go and check out the Red Beach, which was just a short bus drive away. The coastline looked very different on that side of the island: the terrain was rather gently sloping towards the beach. We followed a beach path sometime until we saw a small rocky bay in bright red color: obviously we had arrived. 

In the evening we wanted to chase the sunset from a great spot (not that those are hard to find!). We climbed the path towards the next village above Fira, and had views to about every direction. 

The sun started setting into the Aegean Sea with a thin fog over the horizon making the colors gently soft. We felt like having the front row seats in a great nature showdown! As we made our way back down, the mist got thicker and eventually we found ourselves sitting right in the clouds. It was so surreal: the clouds seemed to rise directly from the sea below and push up the caldera (and straight to our terrace). We got some blankets to wrap around us and sat there for hours- till we were wet of humidity.

The next day we wanted to chill the noon at our place, get some tzatziki, cheese, bread, and wine from the supermarket down the street and have lunch on one of our many terraces- no words could really do justice to that place (or that lunch for that matter) and the view just never got old…

Hours later we went to rent quads that we’d be using for getting to Oia: the town known for its picturesque architecture and its noted sunsets, which are claimed to be amongst the most beautiful in the world- yes, every night is about sunset in Santorini. It was such a fun-filled ride from Thira to Oia. We parked the quads and walked around Oia’s cute little alleyways, which were filled with restaurants and small shops. 

The sun was still high up as we got to the castle (a main point to check out the sunset!) so we decided to get down to the small harbor. That resulted in descending the long steps that seemed never-ending, especially on the way back up. Finally the sun slipped down the calm sea but unfortunately we were not alone to witness it…so we thought its better to get out of there before everyone would cram out at once. We grabbed the quads and rode the sunset, alone.

When we got back to our place, a Jacuzzi was all heated up and so we dipped into it in no time! That must’ve been one of the funniest nights in the entire trip as we laughed (plus drank and ate) our night away in the hot tub!

The next morning everyone got up anxious to hit the road again! We were going to take the wine road and visit some of the local wineries. First stop was at the Santo Wines, a magnificent winery overlooking the Santorini volcano. We had a tour through their property and ended it with an excellent tasting- an unforgettable wine experience! 

After we got back on our quads and headed through the vineyards to our next stop: Boutari winery, a winery that goes back over 300 years. We really enjoyed hearing the history and how the wine gets its distinctive taste from to the rich volcanic soil…and of course we had to buy some bottles to bring back home. On our way back, we drove up the highest point of the island to get the view (and get the ride). Quickly after the time ran out and we had to bring back our rides! We ended the nice day eating sea food on a panoramic terrace, and later back at the apartment we chatted the night away with a group of other guests…

The bad news was that our stay on the island was slowly coming to and end. On the positive note, we had the entire day to spend there before cruising back to AthensEveryone was in the mood for chilling, enjoying the pool and getting some last minute souvenirs. Me and Denis decided to go for a walk to Imerovigli (the small village above Fira), also known as the balcony to the Aegean. The ascent along the cliff was nice but the weather was too hot, really. The village was really charming with its small churches and their blue domes made in Cycladic style. The houses were built mainly along the cliff and the small narrow path was the only way to cross the village (a real honeymooner place!)

As we still had a couple of hours to kill before heading down to the harbor, we dived in to the pool and cooled off with some fresh beers.

The next thing we noticed we were already on the boat headed for Athens, and eventually the airport. We arrived to Athens in the night and reached the airport in the midnight hour. We still had the entire night at the airport, which definitely didn’t count into most comfortable accommodations, but we still tried to catch few hours of sleep. Very early in the morning it was time to get to a more comfy place- the plane. We were home bound. And for a change, we actually caught a really pretty sunrise

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