|Santorini was the last destination on our trip to Greece. We arrived early morning after a 45 minute flight from Athens. At the tiny airport of Santorini, Helen was waiting for us with the car we had rented. She drove us to Villa Lukas where we had booked accommodation and gave us useful suggestions for places to visit.|
When Lukas, the owner, showed us our apartment, we were stunned. What a wonderful villa with our own terrace, what a spectacular view. The villa is located in Imerovigli, a few km from busy Fira, the touristy center of the island.
Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that took place around 1500 BC, and left a 400 meter deep caldera. In the center of the caldera a new volcano is growing. The eruption is estimated to be four times as strong as the Krakatoa one and the resulting tsunami is thought to have destroyed part of the Minoan civilisation on Crete.
In the afternoon we drove to the highest point of the island, the Profitis Ilias mountain. From here we had a nice view of the island, with its white-washed villages. One of them is Pyrgos, so amazingly beautiful, we spent a long time there, you can just go on taking pictures.
We had nice seafood in Kamari, in restaurant Nikteri, suggested by Helen. During high-season Kamari must be a very busy place, even now there were still lots of tourists.
The next day, after enjoying the view from our terrace, we drove the zigzag road down to the new harbour, to book return tickets by ferry to Athens. From the harbour you can see the magnificent rock faces, left by the eruptions. We visited the windmills of Emporio, disappointing as they were in ruins, then had a relaxing afternoon at the Red Beach. On our way back we spent some time in another nice village, Megalochori. There is so much to see and admire on Santorini.
The following day we made a trip to the volcanic islands in the center of the caldera. The boat trip starts from the old harbour, reachable now by cable car. Interesting trip, barren landscape, here and there some volcanic activity. And on the "old" volcano island Palea Kameni, there are hot springs, in the sea!
From the harbour we took a donkey ride up to Fira. Big fun. Actually they are mules, and you can not control them!
In the afternoon we visited Kaloumpos beach, impressive black rocks, before going to Oia to watch the sunset. Oia is THE place to do that, so there were large crowds, even although it was off-season.
And that was the end of our too short stay on Santorini.
Dreaming already to go back in the near future.