‘Our bodies were dripping with sweat, water was scarce and the air around us was motionless’…. Yes, this could have described me hiking in a desert but actually this was our flight into Santorini on a tiny Cessna airplane from the island of Rhodes. Feeling thankful that we and our baggage (strapped with rope in the back of the plane behind our seats) touched down safely I leapt out of the plane as the air outside the plane hit us in full force – 35 degrees and all I could think was woohoo…. Beach time here I come ♥
For those of you that haven’t been to Santorini it is actually an island built on the remains of a caldera (crater) which was caused by a volcanic explosion however the majority of the volcano is now submerged by water. The main town in Santorini is Fira and the scenic viewing town for the Caldera and the famous windmills is Oia in the north. Everything is easily accessible by taxi, scooter or bus and everyone we met was friendly and helpful
We stayed at the Horizon Resort in Kamari, a small town near the airport after reading some great reviews on trip advisor. George and his family who run the hotel are more than happy to help out with anything you need and we spent many a happy day lounging by the pool and pool bar while George made us sandwiches and drinks whenever we needed. Sometimes the small family run hotels can give a welcome break to the large chains as you feel like you’re at a home away from home with all the creature comforts you require. A short walk from the resort there was shops, cinema’s and the main Kamari beach area (volcanic pebble beach) and numerous restaurants located along the foreshore. I would recommend Kamari if you just want to relax away from the hustle and bustle of Fira or Oia and you’re not too fussed about views. However, if its views your after Fira & Oia are the places to stay.
My one recommendation while your there is to do a boat cruise of the volcano, hot springs and finish it off with a sunset dinner overlooking the Caldera at Oia.
Now be warned – the hike to the top of the volcano is long, hot and crowded but when you are at the top you feel like you achieved something other than working on a tan and there are great views around the Caldera from the highest viewpoints as well as little steam spots where the sulphar from volcano is released into the air in little pockets.
From there we went to the natural hot springs courtesy of the aforementioned volcano. Boats are unable to dock at the hot springs so it involves a jump off the boat (super refreshing after the volcano climb) and a swim to the springs but once there its good to just soak off the worries for a half hour while the world goes on around you. In regards to Oia it is well worth the visit to see the famous blue roofs of the churches as well as the magnificent views though its quite busy so find a good spot early as space is at a premium. I will let the following pictures do the talking for me..
We loved Santorini so much we extended our stay by 3 days just so we could relax around the pool and unwind after 7 months of constant travel. Yes it was hard keeping tanned faces like these but someone has to do it 😉
Until our next adventure update
‘Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life’ – Michael Palin
Horizon Resort – Kamari
There are numerous cruise companies to choose from, ours cost about $28 euro each and included pick up from our resort, the cruise to the volcano, hot springs and then to Oia to watch the sunset and a bus ride home which all in all was good value for money for the 5 – 6 hours it took.