Happy, happy, joy, joy… I’ve been wanting to visit Santorini for some time now. So imagine my excitement when I finally got there this past week 🤗🤩. Athens is a 2 hour flight from Cairo and then 45 minutes to Santorini so pretty close and perfect for a quick, long weekend trip.
I spent the first evening having dinner with a friend in Athens and then took an extra early morning flight to Santorini. You should know Greece is expensive, the food, the taxis, even the train ride to the city center is 10£ one way. The first day in Santorini I decided to go on a volcano tour. This meant a short walk to the town center which was pretty close. It consisted of lots of steps, and narrow walkways, amongst the many restaurants and stores and the white buildings of the city which is built up on a hill. Then a short cable bar ride down a steep incline to get to the port. The tour consisted of a boat ride to the volcano island and then a 25 minute climb up a small volcano to the top and then back down. Afterwards I returned to my hotel room tired and feet gray and dirty with ash from the volcanic hill. In hindsight I should have just gone to the beach while I waited for my check in time.
After a long nap and a shower, later that evening I went back up the hill to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Santorini was chilly that first day and after the sun went down it got even colder. I choose a restaurant closer to the bottom as my knee started to ache and had the satisfaction of seeing my server de-bone my fish. I like that level of service. 🤩
The next day I got a late start so I took the bus from Fira to Oia which took about 30 minutes. The bus was crowded, standing room only but it was worth the ride. This lovely day in Oia, consisted of taking pictures, enjoying the beautiful scenery and navigating the crowds in those narrow alleys. Oia is where the most beautiful photo opportunities are located; a little town on a hill with lots of shops and restaurants and many more spots than Fira to be fabulous. So of course I took way too many pictures with my tripod. After much walking up steps to the best spots to get a shot of the coastline in the heat and sometimes blinding sun, I decided to take a rest. I ate a late lunch at the Skala restaurant while I thoroughly enjoyed the view which was beautifully calming. I could have sat there all day taking it in but Oia being one of the most popular places in Santorini started to get pretty crowded and so it was time for me to head back to Fira.
Day 3 I decided to take the bus to go to the beach but not just one beach. I wanted to go to Perissa where the sand is black and rocky and to the well visited, interesting Red Beach. I set off for Perissa in the morning on a 30 minute bus ride and left there after 1 to get to the Red Beach early in the afternoon. Perissa is a nice, small, beach town, with lots of storefront restaurants, and no hills. The sand is black and of 3 different textures from small stones closer to the sea shore and finer sand like further way from the shore. It is often too hot to even walk a short distance on. The water because of the black sand is a mixed blue, green and was so cold I could only go in up to my calves. I met a friendly lady from Albania and we had a nice chat about the temps of the water -she says it’s always cold and her life in Santorini – she finds the people less friendly. She even offered to take pictures of me.
The Red Beach was an adventure of sorts because it required me to take two buses to get there. Once I got to the town it was a 10 minute walk to the beach area and required a short climb up a jagged, rocky path to the top and then down a steeper more jagged, rocky, path to the bottom to get to the beach. One side of the beach is surrounded by red rock formations (hence the name) as if it was once all mountains. The landscape is very interesting and unexpected; the sand like Perissa is black and the water is a mixed shade of blue green and yes cold.
Once back in Fira I had the best falalel wrap at a place called Faleland and spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the rooftop by the pool of my hotel. Once it got closer to sunset I headed back to the town center for my last fish dinner with a sunset view, sangria and topped off with baklava and ice cream. Santorini was lovely, despite all the walking but it did not disappoint me, I wished I had more time to see more of the island. Although the beaches were different than what I expected, I enjoyed the ease and liw cost of the bus rides. I walked way too many steps, ate tasty fish, sampled the gelato and took lots of pictures. I will definitely return to Santorini.
My last day in Greece ended in Athens where it started. This time I took the train into the city center, to explore the Acropolis which still has some of the original marble floor and was slippery to walk on. However the crowds, the sun, the 90 degree weather, the steps and my knees made me abandon the idea of going to the museum. Instead I chose to find a restaurant to sit in near the Acropolis subway station so I could eat and people watch before heading back to the airport. So maybe on my next visit I will see more of Athens and the Acropolis museum 🤷🏾♀️because Santorini is now one of my favorite places.
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