Santorini is a real miracle. Once you step on the island, it will steal a piece of your heart forever. Lifetime journey based on a 7 days tour!
Have you ever seen an advertisement about Greece (or Europe if you are from overseas)? We are sure that a landscape from Santorini was part of the spot. This small volcanic island placed in the Aegean Sea is one of the most often photographed destinations on the old continent.
The Pearl of the Aegean Sea is essentially what remains after a volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon surrounded by around 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs. Just imagine yourself standing at the top watching the deepest blue sea and feeling like flying!
Let’s step on the land of snow white houses and blue roof temples!
Day1: We arrived at Kamari International Airport (JTR) and left this town in the first minute to check-in to our accommodation placed in the neighboring city called Perissa. Why did we do that? Because Santorini is the essence of luxury and sky-reaching prices – but you can enjoy all of it’s benefits without giving out your full pocket if you follow our strategy. The other reason is that Kamari is noisy because of the airport. The planes are landing near the beach and the houses which is interesting but not relaxing to listen to it all week long. It is better to stay in Perissa which is devided from the airport area by a huge rock that totally blocks all the disturbing noises. It’s easy to find a place with swimming pool at a reasonable price – except in August.
Day2: Our temporary hometown and Agios Georgios coalesced in the last years. They offer now the longest beach on the island covered with restaurants and bars as far as the eyes can see. We liked to do nothing but walking around, swimming a bit and tasting the real greek musaka. Our breath stopped when we arrived at our place at night. There is no photo which could demonstrate how majestic the glimmering rock looks in the darkness. It is enlightened with one illuminator only but in the perfect way.
Day3: Let’s go back to Kamari – on foot, through the rock and the surrounding hill area! This idea seems to be a little bit strange but it was the best decision we could make.
This daytrip was an absolute highlight. It is like a mini El Camino in half a day. If you had read The Alchemist written by Paolo Coelho, and once you happen to be here, you will feel yourself as if you were part of the novel. You will be able to understand the strength of the nature, the voice of the animals and feelings of old rocks. This will be the moment when your heart will meet the soul of the island.
On the way up to the top we met only 1 shepherd and 1 young couple but we saw an amazing cave system, a chapel in the rock and a breathtaking view around.
Going down is much easier because there is an asphalt road from this side. It was necessary to build it in order to reach the archaeological site on the highest point of the rock, called Ancient Thira. We caught the local bus to go home at night.
Day4: We rented a car to cruise around the southernmost point of the island and to visit the Red Beach. Yes, it’s true: red rocks, black sand, memorable atmosphere and a lot of tourists.
Day5: After a light day we had enough energy to wake up early and explore the northern area by car. The north and east bay of the island is almost uninhabited so we enjoyed our morning time in our own Paradisos beach. From here we went to the most famous place of Greece: Oia, the home of luxury, beauty and sunsets.
Day6: We started early again by the local bus which is an easy, cheap and comfortable way to go around. We decided to rent a car for 2 days to save some time on the longer ways. The main bus station is at the central square of Thira (Fira), the capital of Santorini. The local bus service is relatively frequent but timetables and frequencies change regularly (according to the seasons). The fare ranges from 1,2 Euros to 2 EUR/person/one-way.
From Thira we embarked to a boat and visited the Nea Kameni volcano. The guide will show you how hot is the sand but do not believe that the volcano is angry and will erupt in a couple of minutes. It is only simple physics, that the dark sand is hot like hell if the sun is shining. And the sun is always shining there!
We had a refreshing swim after the volcano tour. There is a hot spring visit included in most caldera excursions. The boat can’t pull up to land since it is too shallow so we jumped off the boat into some deeper cool water, then swam to the warm area. The location is called Palia Kameni (old burnt), one of the two volcanic islands in the middle of Santorini Caldera. The water has a temperature of 33 Celsius degrees and it contains sulfur.
There are 3 ways to climb up back to the city from the port. Ride a donkey up the million stairs. Though we think that it is not too animal friendly, and not the cheapest way either to go up.
It is popular and fast to use the cablecar.
We decided to go on foot, enjoy the always changing view and to explore some hidden paths. That was the time when a piece of our heart was stolen forever.
We walked between the white houses, and were surprised that the sidewalk led us also through their roof sometimes. We would have liked to cool ourselves in the summer heat looking at the roof terraces and jumping in the inviting pools – in our mind. Yes, these pools are on the roof of other properties below them!
From the north edge of the town we decided to walk to Imerovigli. It takes around 2 hours to walk there and back and to take some photos. If you are there, we definitely suggest you to do this unusual trip. The picture shows Imerovigli from Thira. Between the two towns there are abandoned paths, stunning view and almost the highest point of the island near a beautiful temple. It is highly worth the effort and time.
Day7: We climbed again the huge rock until half way to the chapel and spent our remaining half day there waiting until we had to leave to the airport.
We travel frequently, we saw many interesting, amazing places and we leave always a little part of ourselves there. But leaving was quite emotional this time. As we were waiting to take-off, teardrops came to our eyes.