Day 6: Santorini (Σαντορίνη / Θήρα)
Finally, the most famous of the Cyclades islands. Once your ship docks, look all around you. You’ll realize that you’re in the middle of the aftermath of a huge volcano; inside the caldera. Santorini looks quite different from the other islands, mostly because the towns are high above ground, like >500 steps high with nothing but a rock wall in between.
The main dock is south of the town of Fira. To get to Fira, you can take a cable car up, or walk up the zig-zag stairway on foot or by donkey. Either way, it may be too hot for walking up, but walking down is just fine.
To start off the day, we drove to the opposite side of the island to Perissa beach which happens to be a black lava beach. What else can be expected from a volcanic island?
I liked this beach. Its good to be in the water when it’s blazing hot outside, even in the morning.
After 2 hours or so, we headed to Fira. So many shops, restaurants, and tourists. As the heat intensifies throughout the early afternoon, you really just want to find a restaurant with shade. But along the way, you can’t help but take photos.
After lunch with some new friends, we headed back to the main avenue for some last-minute shopping. The cable car seemed to be the popular and easiest way to descend back to the dock; however, the line was over 45 minutes long. Well, certain days have 4-5 cruise ships docked and thus, 1000+ people want to go and return from Fira using the cable car. So instead of waiting on line in the heat, I decided to descend via the donkey trail on foot. Best choice ever, and quite scenic. But it was still a challenge in the heat and dodging donkey poo for 15 minutes.
It was a crazy day in terms of the heat and the amount of tourists in Fira which seemed like walking through Times Square. Unlike the other cruise ships, our boat was one of the few that would stay the night and have another day at Santorini. Santorini should be less crowded tomorrow. Goodnight Santorini, see you again soon.
We started the day off with a drive to the northernmost town called Oia. This is the town where everyone takes those photos of the marshmallow houses and juicy blue domes. I actually didn’t see much of a difference between Fira and Oia other than the blue domes being more abundant in Oia. But both towns have tourists, shops, restaurants, and views. When you lookout over any edge of town, you’ll know where the best photo spots are simply by observing where people flock for selfies. I believe that I foud most of these spots.
It really looks unique compared to any town I’ve been too, almost like it’s a make-believe town full of cake houses with blue frosting. Again, you can choose to shop, eat at a restaurant with the a great view, or go for a scenic stroll.
That is pretty much all we had time for since our boat leaves during the middle of the day. I hear that the sunset is magical in Oia, but honestly, the sunsets look the same anywhere in my opinion.
Ok, that was fun. Next stop, Crete.