Athens International Airport 12/11/2015
We are back from our sojourn to the volcanic wonderment of Santorini and a great time we had too. There cannot be a more stunning Island in Europe, this place belongs in Hawaii and not the Eastern Mediterranean. We took the half hour flight to Fira with Ryanair, a bargain at £22 return. For those with less time on their hands then it is possible to do a day trip with the flight leaving at 7am and returning at 8pm. Is there a better day out than this?
Hotel Thireas Fira 8/11 – 11/11/2015
Our Plane was bang on-time and we caught the waiting airport transfer bus and were at the Hotel by 8:30. A tad early for check-in but were met by gracious staff who took our bags off of us and told us we could be in our room by 12. I should point out there are no roads to any of the hotels built within the cliff-face or Caldera as it is known, just lots of steps to hike up and down. And no signs either making finding places a tad difficult. We had a coffee and a wander around before returning to the hotel to be told we have been upgraded to a Superior Suite. Happy, happy people. The suite had a living space with two sofas, a fridge, table and chairs, coffee table and TV. We also had similar in the bedroom and a fully furnished bathroom and double balcony to finish things off. Here is the view from our room.
We spent the rest of the day admiring the sheer beauty of the place before going out for a meal and watching the sun set.
The next day we hired a car for the princely sum of £11.24 and toured around the Island. We went firstly down to the Eastern Side of the Island to the main beach, Black Beach.
Our next point of call was Red Beach. This is situated close to the ancient city of Akrotiri. As we had just come from Athens, and as most of the stuff from Akrotiri is in Athens we decided not to bother. I am sure it is very interesting but we are having a culture break, meaning a break from culture not a break with culture. Here is the Red Beach.
We then headed to the lighthouse at Cape Akrotiri before crusing up the West Coast to the northern town of Oia.
One of the interesting things about Santorini is the number of Chinese visitors that roam the streets in long white frocks. Initially we thought they were just badly dressed, but no, Santorini is a mecca for young Chinese Couples wanting to be married, and they are in here in numbers carrying out the sacred deed. On the way moving North you pass many a winery and we are pleased to tell you the wines of Santorini are of excellent quality and reasonably priced
As you pass north of Fira town you start to see the blue rooved churches that adorns every single postcard of Santorini. Not to be outdone we managed to bag a picture for the blog and here are the churches of Imerovigli.
Oia is the place renown for sunsets but after checking it out we decided to head back to the hotel with a bottle of quality wine and watch it from our balcony. Only go to Oia to watch the sunset if you do not have a view yourself. Having said that it is a cute wee town in its own right and with a half-hourly bus service from Fira it’s worth a trip. A picture of a Santorini sunset, from our balcony.
Wednesday. Today we went around the Volcano on a boat but before we did we had breakfast on our balcony.
For some obscure reason we chose to walk down the 580 steps to the port. A decision that was regretted from step one. Not only did Tracy have on irresponsible shoe wear, a pair of ballet pumps with soles made of shiny plastic, the volcanic rocks that made up the steps were like glass and the donkeys that ferry tourists up and down had covered the entire route in poo and wee.
Anyway we headed off to the island in the middle of the crater known as Nea Kameni with ninety other good souls aboard a fake sailing ship known as The Captain Something.
After about a twenty minute cruise we alighted onto a lava field. The Parhoehoe flow had spilled from a fissure that entailed a half hour walk upwards to visit. This we did and we saw there was still some activity with the release of steam and accompanying bad-eggs odour.
Hot and sweaty we returned to the boat for some refreshment before the next treat of the day, swimming in the Thermal Waters of Palia Kameni. The only downside to this is the boat cannot get close enough and so you have to jump off the boat and swim through 50m of cold water, but we did it.
When you see Santorini from the sea you obviously get a different perspective with at first thinking the white painted buildings giving the impression of the cliffs being capped with snow, and then you look again and you think not snow, but bird shit. Anyway we had a great day and topped it off with cocktails at sundown.
Our last day was spent lying by the pool, eating kebabs, and having a final walk around Fira. This is a truly standout place to visit and should be on everyone’s bucket list. We would also like to thank all the staff at the Hotel Thireas who made our stay special, if you are looking to come to Santorini then look no further than here. We will leave you with Santorini by Night with our Hotel being the one with the brightly lit Swimming Pool.
Love to All
E & T