Four days in Santorini, Greece
Santorini is magical. The deep turquoise blue Aegean Sea set against the white churches with blue roofs, bright white villas and cave houses literally clinging to the slopes of the dark brown caldera rocks and the picture post card sunsets from almost every village on the cliff side, will surely make any visitors’ holiday a dream come true.
Day 1. We arrived around 11 am from Athens by Aegean airline. Exit was fast as ours was the only flight at that time. Our pre-arranged car was waiting to take us to Nonis Apartment. It was bit drizzling and windy and reached our apartment in about 15 mins. We chose Nonis Apartment for two reasons- no steps to walk up or down and good views. The place met both these expectations but that’s all about the apartments. The place definitely needs a makeover.
Checked in and asked reception to get a car to reach our first visit of the day – Art Space winery and gallery. The former winery has been cleverly put into use as a museum cum art gallery. We couldn’t see the cellar though. Tasted five variety of wine samples (Euro 5) and then bought one (Euro 20). Nothing great about it. We couldn’t go to other wineries we planned as suddenly the weather became hostile with heavy wind and rain. We waited around 30- 40 mins for the bus to Fira but there was no sign of it. Called our hotel and he sent us a car promptly (Euros 15). Relaxed in the room watching the sunset through the windows as the rain and winds were slashing until late night.
Day2: No rains and the sky was clear. Had breakfast at one of the restaurants at the square and took a stroll around the main street and reached the bus station. Took the bus to Akrotri and Red beach. Spent around 2 hours visiting the archaeological site, the red beach area (all restaurants were closed) and the blue and white church and returned to Fira.
Had late-lunch at a small Chinese restaurant near the square and it was surprisingly yummy!! Returned to our room and set up the camera to capture the sunset on time-lapse as well as single shots. It was a great experience watching the sun’s changing colours as it disappeared behind the caldera and Therasia island!! Since Nonis had no restaurant we ordered home delivery from the Chinese restaurant and enjoyed our dinner at the terrace overlooking the Caldera!
Day 3: Took the cable car down to Fira old port and boarded the ferry to go on the volcano and hot springs tour. There are two stops at the caldera – site A and Site B. Site A is a smaller volcano (now dead) and also nearer. Site B is further up and a bit steep but is bigger. The boat stopped near the supposedly hot springs and one of the daredevil passengers jumped into the cold waters to reach the hot springs but returned disappointed as he couldn’t find any hotsprings!
Back to Fira and took the bus to Oia to reach in time for the sunset. Walked through the narrow lanes of Oia (beware of several steps up and down!) and reached the old castle ruins to capture sunset from a vantage point. The experience was simply amazing!! Returned to the bus stop and had some hot chocolate from the only small café that was open and took the last bus back to Fira. Walked to the square and did some souvenir shopping.
Day 4. Our flight back was in the late afternoon so we decided to do the Fira- Oia walk upto a few kilometres. Luckily there were quite a few shops/cafes open along the cliff path. We kept walking past Imerovigli capturing the scenario and then returned by taxi that we flagged on the main road. Back to airport to Athens and to catch our return flight.
We have promised ourselves to return to Greece during summer and spend two weeks visiting the islands.