Santorini

So, Santorini was very nice on the eyes. I did find it surprising after looking at pictures of cliff top white and blue houses that it’s dry and volcanic. I didn’t know anything about the history of Santorini or how it was formed before arriving so for those who do know the history, that may have been pretty obvious but for my bright eyed and bushy tailed self, this was another fun fact of the trip.

We arrived by ferry in the afternoon and spent the first day indulging in cheap pittas and exploring the area.

The second day, Mitch hired a scooter which I climbed on the back of and Hayden hired a quad. We rode along the coastline, stopping for photos along the way, and headed towards Red Beach. When we stopped at lookouts, it was crazy to be able to see both sides of the island. Looking at it on the map it’s quite narrow but you don’t realise how narrow until you’re literally looking down the strip of the island.

We got to Red Beach and it was literally that. We were extremely thankful of the one euro watermelon on the way down to the beach and again, stopped for photos of the deep red rocks and dark red sand with patches of black through it. Given the darkness of the sand, the water wasn’t very clear yet still had that beautiful blue all the islands seem to have.

We dumped our towels and jumped in for a swim. It was another beautiful day and the water was perfect temperature. Given that this was supposed to be a time full of tourists, it wasn’t that crowded either. Maybe everyone was indulging in cheap watermelon or watching the violinist play on the cliff top.

After our swim we rode onto the highest point of the island to get some panoramic views. Hayden’s quad wasn’t a fan of the hills but it was much better than the one he got in Paros. We got to the top and found a monastery and saw that there were walking tracks up to the view. If we had more time there it would have been good to go on a couple of the hikes so if you’re a hiker, definitely put a day or two aside for that.

Once we had looked out over the whole island we stopped for lunch before riding to the top of the island to Oia. This is the spot where the Santorini pictures are taken. This is where you go to watch the sun set over the cliffs with the white and blue houses. We got there at the beginning of the sunset. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to watch the whole thing since we had to return the quad and scooter but people were really cramming in to watch the sunset so we were happy enough to beat the crowds home.

What we were able to see was stunning. We walked along the cliff side, walking down alleyways to get a better view where we could. We watched a couple have their wedding photos taken and got our days worth of sunset photos.

The next day we booked a day cruise where we were taken to the hot springs and an active volcano. We sailed about 10 minutes before reaching the hot springs which we had to jump off the boat and swim to. To be honest, they were more like lukewarm springs but fun nonetheless. The boat sounded its horn and we swam back for the volcano.

The volcano was just a few minutes from the hot springs. When we arrived we had a guide do the half hour climb with us. Once we got to the top we were able to look at neighbouring islands as well as feel the warmth of the volcano. We were able to pick rocks up and feel how hot they were and put our hands in holes that had hot air coming out. It was more appealing and impressive than it sounds.

That afternoon we packed and were off to the airport. We had booked an extra night of accommodation but Ryanair moved its flight forward 17 hours. So, we missed a night and day in Santorini which we probably would have spent hiking. Pretty disappointing.

What we did do in the little we had though, was good fun and full of sights. If you’re short on time in Santorini, I recommend getting a quad or scooter, it cut our travel time by a lot which gave us more time to explore and was pretty cheap with priceless views.

 

Check out Santorini pics or browse the Europe 2016 gallery!

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