Beaches And Views

June 21, 2007


The road sign says “I love life, I drive safely” but I am not sure anyone reads them. Nevertheless
we ventured out in our tiny rent a car a few times to explore the island as it is the best and most comfortable way to do it. We could have our AC on full blast and everyone is in  a seat belt. The
rental cars here are very tiny and when you see the roads and parking, you quickly understand why.

Bus transportation is also very good here, like many Greek Islands, but we decided to splurge as it allows us two days of exploring if we plan it right (since it is a 24 hour rental), plus get some groceries from the hypermarket before returning it. Santorini is a small island, but it is nice to be able to get out and explore different towns, beaches, vineyards and just see the land and mountains.

There are some black beaches made from volcanic sand and we enjoyed Perissa Beach as not very many people were there when we were, which made it more fun. We are not really beach people and are definitely not into the habit of soaking up sun all day as so many Europeans seem to be, but we dipped our toes in and enjoyed our short stay late in the day.

We found Red Beach that is near the ancient town of Akrotiri (where the famous Santorini Minoan frescos were found that we saw in the Athens National Archeological Museum) quite beautiful with its red volcanic rocks and church nearby. Still it is on quite a dangerous looking cliff with a precarious walk down and back up, so not really compatible with our crew.

We did find a place that had some reproductions of the “boxing boys” and other famous frescos from ancient Santorini (from 1400 B.C.) made out of shells. Mozart enjoyed having another opportunity to “play” with them and of course had to get some post cards.

Oia (pronounced “ee ahh”) is a quieter town than Fira, but the ride there is daunting. There is even a cliff walk from Fira to Oia that takes three or four hours for those with ambition who like to trek along the crater of a volcano. Oia is known for its beautiful sunsets and we caught a few spectacular ones and one rather ordinary one.

There are endless churches on this island and I read somewhere that mostly sailors built them. It seems when they were in a near death experience at sea, they prayed to their favorite saint and promised to build a church in their name when they got home safely. They are pretty and exotic to our eyes inside and out, just as the Greek priests in their black garments and beards are unusual for us.

We stopped by a highly recommended small hotel that is right on the caldera with spectacular views just outside of Oia on one visit to this nearby village and fell in love with it. We were tempted to stay the night right then and there, but decided to reschedule it for a time when we could plan ahead so that we would arrive early and leave late and get the most out of our twenty four hour stay.

We also visited a small traditional winery that we enjoyed very much, but those are stories that deserve their own blog entries. There are too many heavenly and expansive views in Santorini to give a real picture, but here are a few to try to give you a little taste of the beauty on this one of a kind island.
As my Frommer’s Greek Island book says “The real wonder is that Santorini exceeds all glossy picture-postcard expectations”. The month of June is a great time to experience this wonderful
island before the summer crowds arrived.













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Great info!

you mentioned $23/day pp, did that include everything, or was accommodation extra?

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Everything! That $23/day pp figure is broken down from 25K a year. We give ourselves that much to live on and make it happen by being frugal. So it will average out...some days we may spend more, but many days we spend much less.

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