Tuesday 14 October 2008


Up early, the gang of KT, Dane and I left the sweat, smoke and coffee of Athens, bound for the promised bliss of Santorini.

We had somehow got a cheap flight to Santorini, but this isn’t the usual way when heading to the Islands from Athens. Most people ferry it there, taking anywhere from four to 13 hours, depending on who you go with (we think Blue Star Ferries are apparently a good, even-keeled choice!). Although, if you are prone to sea sickness or claustrophobia, it might be best to fly. And when the gang plank is lowered, punters who haven't paid the extra for a cabin, scramble for the limited chair and deck space. So be ready when boarding begins!

Famous for its postcard panoramas, Santorini is a dreamy labyrinth of blue and white buildings staring lazily out over the Med. Hours can be spent wandering the mesmerizing laneways of Fira, Santorini’s major ‘town’, where ice-cream laden tourists ride donkeys and get snap happy. However, for those intent on days spent lounging on the beach, Santorini isn’t for you. Don’t get me wrong, Santorini is almost hypnotizing with its beauty, but the island is actually made up of volcanic rock, so don’t expect rolling dunes of perfect white sand here. The sand is soft and fine, but black as coal.

Driving the rest of the Island is definitely a must. White arches frame the Med in every direction, the Med stretches out endlessly from every point on the island. It is a stunning drive. Maps aren’t much help, but the Island is small, so aimless wandering will usually get you back to where you started. On the very south tip of the Island is the infamous Kamari (black) Beach. And aptly named. After a dip in the perfectly ambient Med, we trekked across the beach to reach our car resembling something of a mud wrestling team. Our tip, go there last, otherwise the drive (and the car) turn into a somewhat muddy affair.

Our final night on the Island was spent indulgently at Omis, the northern most point on the Island, laden with cheese and wine, we watched a glorious Santorini sun sink into the sea.Relaxed, tanned (burnt) and full of wine and cheese we left Santorini on a high bound for Croatia. What we didn’t know was that an incredible 50 hour journey lay in front of us…


Santorini - Our Top Tips

Do: hire a quad bike or car to see the Island.
Do: take a night to watch the sunset into the Med.
Don’t: expect white sandy beaches.

We stayed: Stavros Villas, booked through hostelbookers.com

Our verdict... amazing place to relax poolside and enjoy nights in with wine and chats, but if you want nightlife, stay closer to Fira.

The idyllic views from Fira, Santorini

KT and I enjoy the hostel pool :)

Nom nom nom...

Black Beach.

Next stop: Croatia…

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