Santorini has always been a ‘must do’ for me, and the photographs I have seen over the years of this lovely Greek island have captivated me for a very long time.
If there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ image of Santorini, I would say it is a photo of whitewashed buildings perched high on a cliff top, with vibrant blue domed roofs framed by an idyllic postcard blue sky.
My wife and I have just spent two weeks holiday in Santorini and I hope these pictures and my attempt at descriptive narrative entice you to do likewise.
First impressions when arriving at Santorini’s ‘international’ airport were very misleading so please beware when you arrive there.
We were transported from our aircraft by a coach to the terminal building, and queued up outside for around 30 minutes to enter the building and clear immigration.
This consisted of forming an orderly line as we passed the solitary immigration officer, who languidly waved each of us through without so much as a cursory glance at our passports!
Another flight from the UK arrived shorty after ours and we saw that it was an EasyJet flight.
We were a little taken back when we were stood watching the single baggage carousel going round endlessly as our flight was a Thomson flight and all the luggage passing before us was from the EasyJet flight, with their passengers outside the terminal building unable to enter because the hall was full of passengers from the Thomson flight!
What ensued was the baggage belt becoming increasingly strained as the luggage from both flights was somehow crammed on to a belt barely big enough to take the luggage even from one flight. This of course guaranteed that the EasyJet passengers became more anxious to gain entry to the arrivals hall and soon the hall which was hardly large enough to accommodate one aircraft full of passengers and their luggage, was bursting at the seams with twice the volume of both passengers and luggage.
Eventually we collected our luggage and made our way to our transport for the short and uneventful transfer to our resort of Perissa in the South of the island.
The following two weeks were spent exploring the island and relaxing in the idyllic surroundings.
We used all forms of transport available. We hired a car (an extremely well worn Kia Picanto) for two days, has a quad bike for a day (they are EVERYWHERE) and the island is very doable in a day, we went on an island cruise which was sooo relaxing, and took a famous sunset cruise. The island is renowned for fairly spectacular sunsets, and tavernas boasting excellent sunset views are plentiful.
We even took a donkey ride in the capital city of Thira
The donkeys all looked very well cared for, and an information board claimed that they ‘only’ dis two or three trips each day, had plenty of shade, were well fed and watered, and lived long and happ loves.
This is of course, subjective, but I would say the donkeys looked healthy and bounded any duress to me.
The island of Sanrorini is volcanic and there is still an active volcano there. There are actually 5 separate island which make up what we today know as Santorini.
The sands on the beaches are black, but the ‘sand’ does not stick to you or even to itself as normal sand does, which was a pleasant and unexpected discovery for us.
It a most goes without saying that the food on Santorini is delicious, if a little predictable. The menus in the restaurants are virtually all the same, containing Suvlali, Kleftiko, Gyros, and one or two other typical Greek dishes.
We went to a restaurant on a ‘Greek night’ and the usual Greek dancing, plate amazing, and setting fire to the floor was the order of the day. A great night was had and the staff completely immerse themselves to ensure everybody enjoys the evening.
There are churches everywhere on Santorini, and none of them are less than pretty. In fact, the overwhelming memory I have of Santorini is just how pretty the island is. Everywhere you go you enjoy ideal views and it is a photographers’ dream.
Aw I mentioned, Santorini is volcanic, and the area in front of the main island itself is called a Caldera. As you look out from the island, over the Caldera, you gaze upon the dormant volcano and the active one.
We went on a trip where we walked up the active volcano so don’t be alarmed, it is not expected to erupt again any time soon!
The photos above will tell you that Santorini is a favourite cruise ship destination, with three or four cruise ships arriving and departing every day when we were there.
The sunsets, as I have mentioned already, are a big attraction on the island, and as the sun sets over the volcano it really is a spectacular and memorable sight.
With the weather being as warm as it is in the summer, watching a sunset is a lovely way of spending an evening.
All in all, a very relaxing and enjoyable time was had, and I will definitely visit again