I was worried about travelling to Santorini a second time. Dave and I had such wonderful few days there. It was magical – white houses everywhere, some with blue roofs, amazing sunsets, scooter rides across the island, great wine and food, beautiful beaches, and everywhere you looked was a like a fake photograph. I didn’t want to ruin this perfect image I had of Santorini.
Originally whilst planning the trip, I had refused to go back. However Anna asked me if I would please go to Santorini since it will be the only time she gets to go to Greece and Santorini is a must-see. She was right – it is a must see. So I gave in.
I do not regret it.
The magic of Santorini will never die. It will always have white houses everywhere, amazing sunsets, great wine and food, and beautiful beaches. It is the most picturesque of all Greek islands. That is why its picture is in every travel book or magazine showing Greece. Even though it does not have as many things to do on the island as Naxos does, it is a definite must-see if travelling to Greece. It is an island full of postcard views.
I think I showed my mom and Anna Santorini’s magic well. We arrived in the late afternoon and after getting settled and deciding our plan for the next few days, we enjoyed an early dinner (since we missed lunch that day) of Santorini specialties. What makes some of the food and wine unique on Santorini is the mineral quality of the soil due to the volcanic ash.
Fava: similar to hummus but better. Made from a bean unique to the island
Tomato balls: tomatoes and other vegetables grated, formed into patties, and fried. Made from tomatoes unique to the island
Santorini salad (made from vegetables only produced on the island) and fried calamari (not a Santorini specialty but still delicious!)
We stayed in Oia which is know for its sunsets. So after dinner we walked to the edge of the town to watch the sunset. . . us and thousands of other people that is! (For better sunset pictures refer to our previous blog on Santorini. Dave takes better pictures than me :) )
All the people watching the sunset. This does not include all the people standing in the same area as we were.
The next morning we enjoyed our breakfast with nice caldera views. Our hotel, Aspa Villas, built this patio over the winter. It was great. I can’t imagine a better place to enjoy breakfast, can you?
Anna and my mom on the patio
One view from the patio
Other view from the patio
After breakfast we had arranged to rent a car and check out the island. First we stopped in the main town of Fira. Here we wondered the streets, checked out all the shops, and bought some local products.
Then we stopped at Santo Wines. We enjoyed a delicious wine tasting with more incredible views.
Our tasty selection of wines including Santorini’s famous white Assyrtiko and dessert wine Vinsanto
Our view as we tasted our wine
Anna enjoying the view
Next we drove to one of the famous beaches on the island, Red Beach. It is famous for its red cliffs which are magnificent. The beach itself however was disappointing. It was full of garbage, the water wasn’t clear, and after about 45 min we were kicked out because it was closing (not sure why). So not the best experience. I recommend taking a picture from a distance and then moving on to one of the many other beautiful and clean beaches on the island.
By this time we were hungry and we drove to a quiet fish taverna again with amazing views, of course (I did say everywhere you look is like a postcard remember?!). This was where we discovered that the electricity on the whole island was out! I did see a fire at a distance while we were at the winery, but I didn’t know what it meant. Apparently there was an explosion and the generator which supplies electricity to the whole island was now on fire. For now this didn’t affect us too much except limit our choices for lunch. We were still able to enjoy fresh, locally caught fish and move on to our next stop: the beach.
Santorini is also famous for its black sand beaches (again from the volcanic soil). The sand is hot though so beware! But the beach was beautiful, clean, relaxing, and the water was warm.
Agios Georgios beach
We took our time driving back, enjoying the many views of the island. When we returned to the hotel we discovered that there still was no electricity and that this meant there was no water. Oia is up on the cliffs and there is an electric pump to pump the water up to the town. But no electricity means no pump, and no pump means no water. So we couldn’t shower but that didn’t matter too much. When we went out for dinner we ate by candlelight so no one could see how dirty we were anyways! Actually I was impressed with how well the restaurants and village coped without electricity. Some places had back-up generators and others just made do. It seemed like the whole town worked together to make the best of it.
The next day we took it pretty easy. Even though it was our last day we were getting pretty tired. Being a tourist is surprisingly tiring. I’m not complaining or anything, trust me. If I could travel for the rest of my life I’d be more than happy! We decided to walk to the beach and then to Sigalas winery and then take a cab back. Our hotel told us to do this because it was downhill to the beach and winery but uphill back. And in the heat of August, she did not recommend the hike back.
So off we went walking downhill in the heat. We only walked maybe 5 min when a construction worker pulled over and offered us a ride. It’s funny because if we were in Canada or if we hadn’t already hitchhiked in Ikaria, I’m sure my mom and Anna would’ve said no. But instead we all looked at each other and said yes! It was cute because he had to wipe cement and screws off the seat before we could hop in. He was really nice and dropped us off at the beach.
I had so much fun at this beach. The water was so warm and the waves were so much fun. I spent most of the day jumping into the waves, suntanning, then back jumping into the waves. The beach was quiet too. It felt like we had it all to ourselves.
Me jumping into the waves . . . so much fun!
We walked to the winery and again enjoyed tasting the delicious Santorini wines. When we went to leave and ask them to call us a cab, they said they couldn’t. With the power being out the phones and cell phones weren’t working. So disappointedly we started the very hot trek up the hill. Again we only walked about 5 min when, this time with our thumbs up, another really nice guy stopped and drove us. You know I wish we could do this in Canada. It’s so nice that everyone just helps each other out. It’s too bad our world has bad people in it who ruin nice gestures like these. Greece, well parts of it, are lucky that they still have this privilege.
Once back at the hotel, we had power but still no water. We wouldn’t have cared except that the next day we were travelling back to Canada. With a very long trek home ahead of us, we really wanted to shower. We had gone over two days without showering, that included beach time which meant sand and dirt in our hair. We patiently waited in our room and checked the water every half hour. Luckily we eventually had a little water and were able to all shower. Whohoo!!
Even without water and electricity and I lost my Greek travel book, Santorini is as magical as ever in my mind. I have no desire to return however, I feel that my turn is over and now many more people need to discover Santorini and see its magic for their own.
And that’s it. We’re now back in Canada and our Greek trip is over. It was a fantastic trip filled with great memories. Thanks Mom and Anna for sharing this trip me – I’ll never forget it!
My Greek souvenirs: 3 bottles of Kitron, 2 bottles of Mastiha, and 1 jar of caper leaves