Greece
Santorini

Here you’ll find travel reports about Santorini. Discover travel destinations in Greece of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

67 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Santorini

    September 25, 2017 in Greece

    Early start with our ferry living at 7.20am. We managed to lock ourselves in the foyer of our apartment and had to call Stefano our landlord before 6am. Thankfully he answered and we were on our way. Next we ran into trouble as the ticket machine for the metro only accepted coins and needed to find somewhere to exchange a note for coins. Two cafes later we were on the train to Piraeus.

    We made it to Santorini by about 3pm. The ferry ride was llong and picturesque. We arrived at our hotel, checked in and sun baked by the pool. Our hotel is beautiful and our rooms has a balcony which over looks the sea.

    A few cocktails later and we headed into Thira for dinner. We found Da Corta, a seafood restaurant with a view. Unsurprisingly the food was delicious and fresh. We had a mixed seafood plate, with grilled octopus, fish, prawns and oysters. Service was brilliant and our waiter Andrios was lovely.

    Next stop was to check out the local night life. We start and end with Murphy's. It was very touristy with tacky decor and 80s music. However the people were friendly and the drinks were cold. It turned out to be a big night and I know my head is going to hurt tomorrow.
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  • Day5

    Thira

    September 26, 2017 in Greece

    I woke up feeling very sorry for myself, definitely too much alcohol last night. I tried to sweat it out at the gym but made it worse and decided to rest by the pool for a few hours.

    Eventually, I began to feel human again so we decided to explore Thira/Fira (not sure which name is more correct as it appears to have multiple spellings). Fira is the capital of Santorini located on the Caldera Cliffs and overlooking the volcano. It's full of winding streets and hidden pathways along the cliff face. Such fun to explore.

    We descended the 600 stairs down to old port. Navigating the donkeys and their poo. If you are prepared to pay, you can ride a donkey up and downthis slop. At the bottom there was beautiful clear blue ocean, some quaint shops and funnily enough some boats. It was then time to ascend... It was hard work and suddenly the sun was beating down, which made it hot and sweaty too. We also had to contend with herds of donkeys racing down the steps. We tried playing chicken with one heard of donkeys. We lost, one of the donkeys damaged my shoes (thankfully not my feet) and Nic was sandwiched between the wall and the donkey,with enough force to get airborne. I'm glad she wasn't hurt and didn't go over the edge. We made it to the top bit couldn't find stair 600, the highest we found was 588. I'm going to count the stairs back to our hotelas the last few steps.

    We had dinner at Classico Cafe and watched the sunset over the volcano. Just magical. To finish we found a dessert shop and tried some loukoumades (mini dounuts) and then meandered home.
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  • Day6

    Volcanos and Hotsprings

    September 27, 2017 in Greece

    New dawn and our first stop was the nearby volcano, Nea Kameni. We took a boat from old port (yes we went down those 600 stairs again) and sailed to the volcano. On arrival we took a 20 minute hike to the summit and walked around the active crater, which aside from a slight Sulfur smell looked like nothing more than black rocks.

    I'm gonna get my geek on and give you a geology lesson on the Cyclades islands. Santorini was once a large circular island that included nearby Thiraisa (which is on the other side of the Caldera).

    About 3600 years ago a massive volcanic eruption occurred. The ancient society which inhabited Santorini was wiped out and the power from the eruption created a giant a sink whole. This sink whole is known as the caldera and is the large depression which separates the islands.

    Within the depression is Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, two volcanic formations created from the 6 eruptions over the last 3600 years. The last eruption was in 1950 and was considered minor with no damage to Santorini.

    We got back on the boat and headed for the hot springs, located on the shores of Palea Kameni. The waters have a high mineral content including magnesium and iron which means they have historically consider to have therapeutic benefits. I'm not convinced, I could certainly smell Sulfur, which had also turned the water brown but didn't feel healed after my swim. However somewhere deep below. a magma chamber assisted in heating the water to a pleasant 28°C, so not complaining at all.

    All in all a fantastic tour that is informative, fun and affords spectacular views of the Santorini coastline.
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  • Day6

    Atlantis Books

    September 27, 2017 in Greece

    Legend has it the formation of the Caldera and the island of Santorini was the inspiration for Plato's Atlantis.

    Also an amazing book store founded by some philosophy students from Brown, Cambridge and alike in 2004. It is a underground cave completely covered with shelves of books in English, Greek, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Most books appeared to be paperbacks but I did spy some first edition hard copies, for the true connoisseur.

    Rumour also has it there are sleeping nooks hidden amongst the books for staff. Who are all amazingly well versed in literature and their recommendations are recorded on notes throughout the shop. There is also a fantastic you diverse range of books available. An amazing bookshop, best I have ever seen.
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  • Day6

    Oia - Whiter and Bluer than you imagine

    September 27, 2017 in Greece

    We took the sea ferry to Oia and we were once again afford spectacular views of the high cliffs of the island. Upon arrival we tackled the 300 stairs to reach the town centre. While less stairs than in Fira, they were at least twice as steep. Legs burning we made it to the top, and will probably now have buns of steel after climbing 1000 stairs in 2 days.

    This town, like Fira is built into the cliff side and is roughly about 100m above see level. The town itself filled with winding streets,secret walkways, cave like houses and beautiful churches with white washed walls and blue domes.

    We explored these hidden paths ways, drooled over how amazing these churches were and then found a bar, Flora Cafe with a view of not only the volcano but also the nearby blue domed churches. We enjoyed some delicious Herb Mules. Mesmerised we sat and watched the sunset over the spires of the church in the town square. Simply amazing.
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  • Day7

    Mera Beach and the last of Santorini

    September 28, 2017 in Greece

    On return to our wonderful hotel, The Majestic Hotel after the afternoon in Oia, we found the staff had left us a surprise. On arrival we had told staff our holiday was a birthday gift. They left us an amazing golden gaytime sponge. It was so delicious.

    Some early morning yoga by the pool with a sunrise in the background was the perfect start to our next day.

    After yoga we headed to the beach. Mera Beach is very different from Australian beaches with its black volcanic rocks/sand, sun beds and quaint straw umbrellas. The lack of waves made it feel like in some respects we were lying on the shores of a lake, but regardless it was stunning.Read more

  • Day11

    Santorini, Greece

    October 12, 2017 in Greece

    Santorini what a magnificent place. Another perfect day of blue skies, blue seas, and white buildings which sit precariously along the rim of the remains of the volcano. Santorini Island has a number of villages that cling to the top of the volcano rim overlooking the Caldera or crater of a volcano that erupted 3,600 years ago. I was surprised that most of the housing and buildings cling to the cliff tops and only a small number of houses use the lower side of the volcano.
    We visited Oia, one of the villages, in the morning and meandered through the streets to find the iconic blue domed buildings for our photos. We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the capital, Fira wandering through the streets. We enjoyed a traditional chicken Gyros at lunch very similar to our doner kebab but much tastier. To get from the port of Fira to the top of the cliffs you can either walk the 600 steps or take the cable car up the steep slope or if you must, ride the donkey.
    The climate is very dry and the Island receives no rainfall for five months of the year, this makes good growing for a unique grape which produces a sweet wine called Vinsanto. The grape vine grows close to the ground with the vine wrapping around to form a basket which protects the grapes that nestle inside.
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  • Day31

    Mermaids can Breathe Underwater

    July 20, 2016 in Greece

    Day 2 in Santorini and GUESS WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY. THAT'S RIGHT.... SCUBA DIVING.

    Up bright and early to head to the centre to fill out forms, we sat down in anticipation (obviously the forst ones to arrive) as everyone else filed in. On the boat, there were 3 instructors, 5 snorklers, 4 certified divers and 3 "discover divers" .. That's us! We got to scuba dive without certification but had a very good guide with us at all times.

    So we wiggled into our wetsuits and got to the boat, 16 of us squeezed into this tiny dinghy anf held on for dear life as we hit open waters at full speed. Partway into the journey, however, a fuel line broke amd the boat stopped moving... We were rescued by a yacht passing by and they pulled usnto safety.. But of COURSE that would happen when we went out to dive. Murphy's Fecking Law.

    Anywayyyyy after being slowly pulled into our dive spot and the boat getting fixed (hey we technically went sailing!) we sat there in anticipation wating to get into the water! The snorklers went in first.. Then the certified divers... Then the three of us had a mini scuba lesson before suiting up and jumping in the water. We learned about the tank, flotation device, regulator and emergency regulator, hamd signals and how to equalize our earsrums under water. We got strapped in one at a time to very heavy scuba suits and were tossed off the boat backwards... It was slightly scary but once you were in the water it was fine.

    The firat step was to "snorkel" with the regulators.. Learning how to breathe normally underwater. Next, we were emptied of air in our flotation devices one at a time and sunk to the bottom where we could kneel and get comfortable underwater.

    My mask kept flooding with water and I panicked (i don't do well underwater as it is) so i kept asking to be pulled to the surface. The instructor gave me his mask and I felt incredibly determined, and finally got to the bottom without panicking. I did grib my regulator into my mouth using my hand like it was my day job, though... Usually you just hold it in your mouth like a snorkel but my anxiety would not let that happen.

    We went on a quick 15 minute dive exploring the area, and I felt more and more comfortable as time went by. I spent the first half holding the instructors hand and eventually felt good enough to let go and and explore on my own. When the firat dive was over we surfaced, took off our gear and climbed back in the boat to head to our next dive spot.

    At the second dive spot we entered the water in the same order. At this spot, we were to do nearly rhe aame diver as the certified divers BUT we couldn't go into caves due to lack of certification. TOTALLY FINE WITH ME.

    So once again we got in, the three of us... But the guy we were with panicked, started shaking uncontrollably and decided not to do the dive. Taylor and I now had a private dive.. What the actual heck. This was too good to be true.

    So we sunk to the bottom (12 metres) and I handed. The gopro to the instructor so he could film our whole adventure... I can't wait to get home and show people the video because it was so incredibly surreal!

    We went through some amazing caverns and saw some reef/volcanic rock and sea life that is indescribable unless you have been underwater. We went through a bunch of small arches until we finally came to the cave that we werent supposed to go in.

    And he took us in.

    One at a time we went in to see the memorial for Jacques Cousteau that his grandson put there after his death. The cave was incredible and honestly an experience that we never wpuld have had if the guy didn't decide to opt out of the dive!

    We continued our dive and headed back to the boat , but at one point my left ear wouldn't equalize. Every metre or so underwater you are suposed to plug your nose and blow to pop your ears (like you would on an airplane) but my left one wouldn't pop. I started to panic but our instructor helped me out, walking me through the steps i needed in order to rise up, re-equalize and head back to the bottom of the sea.

    We continued our dive without incident and got back to the boat.

    It was legitimately one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Not only am i terrified of being underwater (i literally will not put my head under in and water... Pool, ocean, sea.. Nothing) and terrified of people touching me underwater, ll of the fears slipped away as the calm of the sea took over. I have to admit, whenever something went alightly wrong I did panic (my flipper fell off twice, my ears, the goggles filling with water) but a little determination goes a long way.

    After the dive we were both so giddy we decied to just grab some food and snacks amd spend the evening with each other.

    Tomorrow we leave Santorini... In 2 days we are home.

    Im not ready to go yet.
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  • Day31

    Scuba diving? how did that happen.

    July 20, 2016 in Greece

    So our first night in santorini, we found a diving club, & we looked into how much it would be to do a discovery dive. We ended up leaving with it booked to do on Tuesday.

    The morning of, we woke up, returned our ATVs & went down to the club. We arrived & they had some snacks & juice out for us. We filled out some paper work & health questions & waited for everyone else to get there.

    So there was this girl there also, who was just doing a dive (already certified) & was so butt hurt to find out that we were going on the same dive as them. (But not with them. We had our own instructor) She actually went inside to talk to the people because she couldn't believe it. I know what you're thinking.... Ugh shes one of those.... A fun sucker.

    Anyways, we got fitted for our wet suits & we were on our way. We got a shuttle to the port where we all hopped in the boat. We were all too heavy to push out the boat. We got out, they pushed out the boat & we got back in.

    Off we went.

    Bree & I were at the front of the boat & caught some air when we hit those waves.... Probably the same ones that made everyone puke on the seajet a couple days ago. They were telling us that it was pretty windy all week & the waters were more rough than usual.

    We got to this calm spot & he stopped the boat to show us the red beach & the white beach.... Then the boat wouldn't restart. The fuel line broke. We had to get towed by this beautiful yacht.... So we also went yachting.

    The driver (our instructor) fixed the boat while everyone else was getting ready to go in the water.

    There was 3 of us in the discover scuba lesson. He did a little bit of theory before about signals & equipment but was basically going to take our equipment for us (the BCD & our meters)

    Our first dive was only 15 minutes just so that we could get used to how it feels to be under water. He brought us down one at a time.. Of course I'm the one who volunteered to go first 🙋🏼 It was the coolest feeling ever. Once everyone was under, we swam for a little bit before coming up.

    We got back on the boat & had a light snack with some juice before we left for the second diving site.

    This one we were under for 35 minutes at 12 meters deep. The other guy who was with us backed out so we got a private dive. On our dive, he said we would see the opening of a cave but wont go in... We ended up going in. We saw a plaque that was placed there in honor of Jacques Cousteau, it was his grandson that put it there because it was one of his favorite dives hes ever done.

    There wasn't much marine life because of the volcanic eruption that happened but all along the bottom was all volcanic rock. It was lava that bubbled & sank. It was so cool.

    We came back up, got on the boat & went back to the club where we got our certificate.

    After diving, we came back, took a shower & went to go get food. Guess what we got.... Greek salad 🙋🏼

    We went back to our room & just relaxed for a bit.
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  • Day31

    Donkey Indy 500

    July 20, 2016 in Greece

    First full day in Santorini: so much to do!! We started out by renting ATVs from a local shop (and it was only 25€ for 24 hours... Everything included) and after a quick fuel stop we set our to explore the island.

    Let me tell you a few things about Greek drivers.. First, no matter what type of vehicle they are driving - be it a bus or a moped - everyone thinks they can fit into the smallest areas and that they have the right of way. Second, the roads are very narrow and windy, and Greek drivers could not care less. Third... They like to go fast. Really, really fast. In order to survive as a driver in Greece, you need to become a Greek driver.

    So we hauled ass through the city streets towards Fira, the cente of the island. We made a stop to grab a breakfast (donuts) and then cruised through the city. We decided to wing it without maps because A) that's basically how we have handled this entire trip and B) it's virtually impoasible to get lost on an island this small. The only thing we had on the agends was to get to Oia (the northern part of the island) in order to watch the sunset. We found several cute streets, secluded beaches, and houses that are literally caves in mountains.

    After a while, we were getting hungry (again) so we headed towards the southern mountain to see what we could find. We happened upon a cute restaurant made out of an old converted windmill that was absolutely adorable and had a great atmosphere. We ordered a tsaziki appetizer which was giant and each had a greek salad. Honestly I am in love with greek salad.

    After eating, we hopped back on Gin and Tonic (our ATVs) and raced through the streets towards the top of the mountain. We made it to the top to find a couple of secluded military bases and a monestary.. But we couldn't explore the monastery because we were not dressed conservatively. C'est la vie!

    As we came down the winding hills, a buss was heading straight as us so naturally I pulled off into the side of the road to let him pass. Did I accidentily spin out and pull a 180 into a ditch doing so? Possibly. Did I recover spectacularly and have the bus driver givingnme a thumbs up as he passed? Also possible. They are All Terrain Vehicles, after all... I was simply testing their capabilities!

    After the mountain, we decided to check out the famous steps that donkeys can bring you up and down. We got lost a cew times trying to find it (mainly because no one in Europe can give directions... Honestly) but eventually found prime parking in the middle of Fira and hiked up the mountain through some crazy busy streets. When we finally found the donkeys, we hopped on one each and were led down the steps by its trainer.

    Taylor named her donkey Paco and mine had a bit of an identity crisis before I settled on Minou.. And the ride down was great but a bit steep! When we got to the bottom we looked up at the steps we would have to walk and decided to take the donkeys back up the hill. I got to stay on mine, but Tay was transferred to a bigger donkey who she eventually named Speedy.

    Speedy and Paco must have thought they were in the donkey Indy 500 because holy.. Did they fly up the hill. They literally forced their way past many other donkeys and seemed to be racing each other as we flew up the steps back to Fira town.. It took us half the time to get back up than it did to get down! Still, I had a great time and I am so happy we had then chance to ride the donkeys like my Poppy suggested :)

    When we finally made it back to our ATVs (somehoe the walk back seemed to be uphill again.. How do we always find a way to walk uphill BOTH DIRECTIONS) we jumped back on and decided to travel by the beaches before heading up to Oia. We went through many tiny back roads on the way to see all of the beaches, literally exploring all of the island. I am not exaggerating when I say this.. We actually covered the whole island.

    When we got to Oia, we found a street that led to Ammoudi Bay - a famous section of Santorini. Wellnit was obbiously very popular because it had one TINY road down the hill towards the bay and it was full of cars, mopeds, ATVs and busses who DID NOT GET OUT OF THE WAY FOR ANYONE. SERIOUSLY SO ANNOYING. When we finally got through and parked, we climbed down the the sea sode and managed to find this hidden swimming cove near tide pools and a rock you could jump off of. We didn't swim as we had left our bathing suits in the ATV but we watched people struggle to get in and out of the water long enough to feel like we had the experience ourselves.

    We hiked back to the ATVs amd after some careful maneuvering (they don't have a reverse so we had to push them out by hand. Around 2 busses. And 2 busloads of asian tourists) we were on our way again. We finally headed up to Oia centre where we parked our atvs again and went into the town to explore.

    One of the first thibgs we had to do was find the spot where everyone takes pictures in Santorini. You know the spot.. With the blue dome shaped roof in the background? After exploring and navigating through tourists, we found the spot and took our Santorini pictures.

    We started to get hungry and so we stopped at this cute restaurant overlooking the city which was definitely expensive but worth every penny for the view. We stayed for a couple of hoirs to kill time before the sunset, the headed over to the viewing section to secure our spot.

    As the time past by, people atarted to flood the area to get a good view... There were so many people on this tiny spot it was absolutely ridiculous! The sunset was spectacular (regardless of the stupidity of those around us. "Does the sun set somewhere else in winter" honestly. Honestly? Ahhhhhhhh) and as soon as it went down we joined the hoard heading back to the one road that takesbyou out of oia.

    After what seemed like an eternity, we broke free from the crowd and rushed to our ATVs so we could attempt to get home! We flew through the streets on the bayside (literally flew. There were two guys on another atv that we passed and they looked so butthurt. It was great) and headed back into our village ofnPerissa whrre we attempted to find aloe to sooth our burnt skin.. But it was too expensive.

    After calling it a night, we parked and went to bed in orser to be ready for our next adventure.

    Stay tuned!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Dimos Santorini, Santorini, Σαντορίνη

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