Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sights, Sea and Sunsets in Santorini

Our stay in Santorini is now over so I wanted to recap our experience. Thanks to this Blogger app, I'm able to write my post as Chris drives us to our next destination, Sorrento, Italy.

On Wednesday, we left the charming island of Mykonos for the much-anticipated Santorini. I've seen so many beautiful pictures of the white, cliff-clinging buildings with their blue-domed churches sprinkled among them and could not wait to see them in person. But first, we had to get there...

We took the super jet ferry to Santorini, which was a faster, smaller vessel than the one we took to Mykonos. We didn't know, however, how much smaller and less comfortable this ride would be for us. They had us packed in like sardines and the luggage was packed so high, it actually blocked one of the isle exits. So, even though the first ferry took five hours over this two hour ride, I'd rather repeat the former.

Once our ferry docked, we were a little taken aback by the port as it was small and dilapidated. Thanks goodness we made a car reservation the night before because it was a little chaotic and somewhat seedy.

As we drove through the town of Fira (the largest town on the island), we started to question why we left Mykonos. But after 20 minutes of driving, we discovered Oia.

I did the research and found that Oia is the part of the island famous for its breathtaking views and stunning sunsets, so I made sure that would be our home base. After checking in, we made our way into town. Sadly, we missed the sunset, so we had to settle for strolling on the marble-paved pedestrian only streets.

The second day brought our catamaran ride. Neither of us had been on one before, so this was a completely new experience for us. For those of you who have never been on a catamaran, it's a boat that fits about 40 or so people and takes you around for a tour by water.

The first stop was to a natural hot springs near the volcano. Chris went over and took a dip but said it wasn't as hot as he expected. The second break was to the "red beach," named for its red sand (which resembles the reddish dirt in Oklahoma). The third and longest stop was to the "white beach," named, again, for its white sand.
Chris swimming near the Red Beach
This is where I actually got off of the boat and swam.in.the.ocean. You read that correctly, friends. The water was so clear and blue, I couldn't resist the opportunity to experience it for myself. I am not a great swimmer, so I put on a life jacket and eased into the cold, but gorgeous sea.
Me in the big, blue sea
 The water was 15 to 20 feet deep, but I could see the bottom as though it was a foot or two below me. I loved the experience so much that Chris and I were the last ones to get out of the water. Then it was time for a picnic lunch on the boat before heading back to port.
Heading back to shore
After getting cleaned up, we made our way to the sunset point for a first-hand look at what some call "the best sunset in the world." Chris and I made our way through the crowds and over to sunset point. Below is what we saw (just a glimpse; the good photos on my camera, not phone).

The sunset really was amazing. Too bad there were hoards of people vying for the best spot because we couldn't get a perfectly unobstructed view. What we did see, however, was gorgeous.

Both Chris and I agree Mykonos offered a little more, which is why, if we had to choose between the two islands, it would win. But Santorini was an experience I will never forgot. That ends our Greek travels and now we're onto the next country, Italy!
The sun setting on Oia 
As the sun went down
The view from our room our first night
Our second night's room- it's a "cave room" :)
Our second night's room view

No comments:

Post a Comment