I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Santorini. It was the island that the majority of my friends and other tourists seemed to universally love. Which to me to meant tourist hotspot and crowds. And although yes Santorini was very crowded with camera-toting pushy tourists, particularly at sunset, it still ended being my favourite island. In my opinion, it is easily the most beautiful and interesting out of the Greek Islands I stayed on.
I stepped off the ferry and felt immediately happy with the view.
Blue water and dramatic rock formations = happy Sacha
Originally I thought the villages of Santorini were only accessible by donkey or climbing a few hundred steps. Turns out that the main ferry port is a little more modernised now. The majority of ferries dock in the new port which is accessible by a steep zig-zagging road. Public buses run regularly to the port from the main village Fira. Or if you were lucky like me, the hostel you book provides a free pick-up van service.
Good bye ferry! The view just kept improving as my hostel van drove gradually upwards
I arrived in my hostel which was located away from the main drag near Perissa Beach. It seemed quite isolated at first compared to the rest of the island, but I grew to quite like it. There was regular buses connecting Perissa to the main villages, and actually the beach was the nicest and most developed one out of all the island beaches with many beach bars and restaurants. I still had access to cheap Gyros (my main food staple while in Greece), a supermarket two minutes walk from my hostel, and only six minutes walk to the beach. Which had black sand!
I elected to stay in Santorini for three nights. Looking back now I wish I’d stayed for more. Based on my research of Santorini I knew that the sunset was spectacular on this island. I decided to watch the sunset each night in a different part of the island. For the first night, I picked Fira (the main village) to watch it from. And it was most definitely spectacular.
Fira spilling over the cliff, the black shape to the right is a volcano
A group of cute donkeys suddenly came past while I was admiring the sunset
Double wow.. [mouth open]
It got dark quick after that so I headed back to my hostel. It had been a long day with the ferry and mouth-dropping Santorini views. I was pooped.
The next day I had signed up for a volcanic tour. It was an all day tour that my hostel recommended. And really cheap considering the amount of stops and sights that were covered for €20 over eleven hours in total. Pick up from the hostel was included and we headed down to the main port to hop on a traditional Greek boat.
Arriving at the volcanic island
The main crater
This photo doesn’t do the view justice. It was remarkable
The volcano itself wasn’t hugely impressive.. there was a strong smell of sulphur and steam coming out of a crack. But the views were great and it was fun stepping through all the black crunchy rocks to explore the island.
After that we hopped back on the boat and headed towards a natural hot spring on the other side of the volcanic island for a bit of a swim. It was so refreshing to jump off the boat and swim through the water after getting so sweaty and dusty.
See the brown water? That was the hot water. It is also worth noting that any white/light-coloured togs do tend to get stained brown..
Next we headed to Thirasia which is on another island that completes the the Santorini circle for lunch.
We had the best view while eating our cheap filling €2 gyros here
A gyro consists of pita bread with meat, tomato, red onion, tzatziki cucumber yoghurt sauce and fries. This one has paprika sprinkled on it too which was a Santorini touch
Another Greek island kitty
After an amazing lunch with the best view, we headed to the final stop of the day – Oia.
To be continued…