The most beautiful place in the world
05.20.2011 - 05.25.2011 80 °F
My Mom and I head to Santorini for some sun & relaxation. Alright, y’all…Santorini has to be one of the most spectacular islands in the world! It’s just so visually stunning. The sunset over the caldera is absolutely beautiful! I am not going to write a lot in this post because I feel the pictures tell you everything you need to know.
After spending our last day in Athens, we hop on the fast ferry which gets us to Santorini (Thira) in approximately 5 hours. One thing about the ferries is that the departure time is “approximate” which means that if the schedule says it is leaving at 5pm, it could leave at 4:45 or 6pm. You are advised to get there an hour prior to departure to make sure you catch it. It was a pretty comfortable ride and I would advise it as an inexpensive way to travel around the Greek islands. Now, I will let you know that it was a bit musty by the time we got to Santorini but I think that may have been just because some of the passengers were hygienically challenged.
We arrive in Fira around 11pm and are picked up by the hotel bus. One thing to remember about this island is that it really isn’t for big and/or heavy bags as there are lots of steps with virtually no lifts. We stayed at the Rocabella Santorini hotel in Imerovigli (which is in between Oia & Fira around the mouth of the caldera).
It’s a great hotel and situated in a wonderful location as Imerovigli is within 3 miles of both bigger cities (Oia & Fira).
Upon arriving, we are told that we have been upgraded to the “cave” suite. We are tired and just happy to have a place to sleep. So, um…we arrive at the suite and I was like, “what is this?”
The idea is cute but if you are tall, this room is uncomfortable. I had to bend down to take a shower. Also, with the high humidity, the room had a mildew smell and the furniture cushions were damp. Um, this is an upgrade? Listen, I prefer the regular room, please. The complimentary bottle of wine wasn’t enough to make us forget all of that. We tried to deal but the next morning, we had to ask for a room change. They were great about it and put us in a much better room.
Notice the "sky" in the ceiling. It lights up to look like you are looking at the sky.
Pics from around the resort.
We were in Santorini at the perfect time. It was the week before high-season started so the rates were low, the resort wasn’t crowded and the weather was mild. In fact, we had to wear jackets in the morning but it was hot like fire by 11am. While the forecast may say a high of 75, the sun will make it feel like 95.
This was our view when we woke up each morning!
We had breakfast over-looking the caldera then went to our balcony and read our Kindles. I hiked from our hotel to Oia & Fira…and I was not ready. I had seen a guy running the “hiking” route so I thought this would be a good route for me too. Now, I had also seen folks walking with hiking sticks, big bottles of water and sun hats but I thought they were just wusses. Lord help me. I should’ve known something was up when I only saw the guy run for 10 minutes. I started hiking to Oia and come to a mountain (although some may call it a hill…but it was steep). I start hiking and you know what? It was so steep I felt like I was hiking up to Jesus. Seriously. I barely had the energy to take pictures. But, I suffered through for y’all.
Did you notice the guy with the walking stick? I wanted to ask him where he got it from. Once I reached the top, there is a narrow strip of land to continue hiking to Oia.
This is like the hike of death. I was like, “Where are the guardrails? Has anybody died doing this?” But, I’m not a quitter so I keep going, then turn around to hike back past the hotel to the end of the trail. Why is it so hot, Lord? And, why are the lizards trying to push me off the mountaintop? I pass the poor souls hiking past me not realizing what is in store for them. Poor things. Anyway, once I pass the hotel, there is another hill to hike to Firastefani. You know, the view is really what keeps you going when your mind is telling you that you are the biggest dummy in the world.
I don’t hike all the way to Fira, I figure I’ll save that trip for the next day when I can convince my Mom to join me.
After my hike, I shower & chill out on the patio with my Kindle & Pandora and wait for the sunset.
Have you seen anything like this? All I could think was, “This is the life…I am not leaving here.”
The next day, my Mom decides to hike with me and we go from the hotel to Fira (which is about 4-5 miles roundtrip). The views were even more stunning than the hike to Oia.
We do some shopping in Fira, then get lunch. This was the absolute best food I had the entire trip. Delicious!
Afterwards, we hike back to the hotel. We alternated just being bums and lounging on the balcony or by the pool to walking around the island.
One day, we took the bus to Fira and on to Akrotiri to see the ancient city (the Greek version of Pompeii)…which was closed. So, we ended up at the Red Beach.
Which you clearly must be some sort of Indiana Jones to get to. Why did we have to hike and climb cliffs? For a beach? Lord help me. My Mom starts videotaping and her narrative goes something like this “Here is Red Beach where I could meet my death.” I’m paraphrasing. Anyway, after we leave the beach, we head up to a café, get a taxi and head back to Fira for lunch.
Fira is the party city of the island. Oia is the beautiful city that you see in postcards. Both are cool to visit. I don’t suggest staying in Fira if you are looking to relax though as it is hopping all night.
More pics from Fira
Our last day, we head to Oia to walk around. We saw a lot more dogs hanging around. It really is beautiful!
Overall, it was a perfect island to visit. There is plenty of relaxation and nightlife. The people are so nice and the views will leave you breathless. Cannot wait to go back!