Edit Blog Post
Published: August 1st 2006
Leaving the wind in Mykonos and arriving in sunny, calm Santorini was marvelous! This has always been one of our favorite Greek Islands in spite of the crowds and popularity. There are so many ways to detach yourself from the hectic pace and just truly enjoy what the island has to offer.
One of the ways that we do this is by staying in the beach town of Kamari which is on the opposite side of the caldera portion of the island. There are fewer people, wider streets, flat terrain, and a beautiful black sand beach to enjoy. Mesa Vouno is the large mountain at the end of the beach which we love to hike. A paved switchback road takes us to the top of the saddle. From there stairs and a steep trail lead to the site of the ancient Thira ruins. This was the first village that was established after the giant eruption of the 1500's B.C. It dates back to 1315 B.C. and is an expansive town on the top of the mountain. There are great views of Kamari on the left and of Perissa on the right. On a clear day you can see all the
way to Crete. That didn't happen for us.
The hike down to Perissa is a steep, rocky trail with beautiful views for the entire trek. The first thing we usually do when we arrive in Perissa is visit one of the seaside tavernas and have lunch and a cold bottle of water. The local bus then transports us back to Kamari. It's a great way to spend a day. Best of all this was the first big hike since my foot repair and I did it PAIN FREE!!!!! What a true joy that was after 11 years of pain!
We always plan a day or more at the beach while staying in Kamari. Sunbeds and an umbrella make it a day long activity. We find chairs on the stretch of beach nearest our hotel and spend the day reading, eating, drinking, swimming, and napping. This is the activitiy that usually follows our hiking days.
Another post hiking activity is a walk to the local winery. Canava Roussos has been growing grapes and making wine on Santorini since 1836. They have a great grapevine covered porch where we can taste the 7 varieties of wine that they produce.
These are served with Greek cheeses, black olives, and grape tomatoes. The music is traditional Greek, the pace is slow, the wine is great, and the afternoon just slowly slips away while enjoying it all.
Oia is a village on the northern tip of the island. The bus ride there is my favorite bus ride in all the world. The views along the winding, cliff-side road are incredible. I'll almost fight to get a seat on the right side of the bus so I have an unobstructed view!! Once in Oia there is more beauty to photograph and to enjoy. The village has grown tremendously over the past 20 years, but it is still a very magical place. Sitting in the cafes at the tip of the caldera looking back at Thira and across to the crater while listening to Andre Bocelli and eating Greek delicacies is a memory that will stay with me forever.
We did the outside movie theater twice this time and managed to see one movie and 5 black kittens. On our first visit there was a Greek musician performing instead of the movie that we thought was scheduled. That movie was playing at
the new theater in the village that we thought was a video store! It wasn't until our last night there that we discovered that it was a theater. So we went to that one too!
Hanging out in Fira, especially at the caldera, is another frequent activity. The serene quiet at the top of the village looking down to the caldera with such beauty all around is something that we never get enough of. This is also where we shop and work on the Internet. It's a great place to people watch, window shop, and enjoy the many fantastic views.
It was a difficult good-bye after 9 wonderful days in Santorini. But it was time to move on and we are now in Crete. We returned to Crete to do the hike through the Samaria Gorge. It was scheduled for today. We'll tell you all about that on the next installment.
For all our friends that returned to school today, you have our condolences. We thought of you while hiking the gorge.
Tot: 1.205s; Tpl: 0.077s; cc: 16; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0303s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb