I’ll admit, I was worried about traveling to Santorini. It’s easy to find stories of the narrow streets being overrun with tourists and selfie sticks galore. But… I was still drawn in. Jason, ever the voice of reason, said “it’s okay, we will deal with the crowds and have a great time.” And we did, we loved Santorini! It may have helped visiting in October; we were told by many Greeks this is the best time to be there.
We took a flight from Athens instead of the ferry, which likely saved me from some serious seasickness. Where Athens felt warm and golden, Santorini shines in shades of blue and white. We stayed in Oia, the most lovely village on the island. There is a reason it is one of the most photographed places in the world. And even a day with 5 cruise ships in the port couldn’t take away from the insane beauty of this place.
I believe one of the reasons we had such a great trip was our hotel, Aris Caves. We stayed in one of their cave suites with a caldera view, private balcony and jacuzzi. We could have stayed for weeks, the only caveat was the 164 steps down and then of course, back up!
I planned a very ambitious 6.5 mile one-way walk from Fira to Oia. Who wouldn’t want to take a vigorous hike on your vacation? Well, in retrospect, that would be me.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and a bit of a maze. Once you find the trail, it winds around the edge of the caldera, through the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli. There are churches tucked into the cliffside, fruit sellers and many photo ops. Parts of the trail were rocky and steep but the views were quite spectacular… when I caught my breath!
We hired a guide for a day trip to some farther corners of the island. We visited the villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori, a monastery, a lighthouse, two volcanic beaches and a winery. My favorite stop was lunch at the black sand beach. Any excuse to enjoy some delicious Greek food 😉
Oia may be known for sunsets but truth be told, the sunrises were even more magical. And a lot less crowded! Our mornings were spent wandering and visiting the local cafe for spanakopita. But after 3 wonderful days here, it was time to say farewell to Santorini. We will definitely be back someday.