The first time I heard about Santorini was when I was in high school. Strangely, I first knew it simply as a song – a song by a famous Greek composer, Yanni, which was often being requested whenever I performed with my high school’s angklung (a traditional music instrument from Indonesia) ensemble. It took me some time until I realized that it was also the name of an exceptionally beautiful island in Greece, and even a longer time until I was finally able to pay it a visit.
Yes, that was my second summer holiday destination this year :D :D :D
Like Paris, Santorini was never on my bucket list before. Yet, as expected, it didn’t take me long until I was captivated by its natural beauty. <3
As I didn’t have much time (and budget, honestly XD ), I only managed to spend 2 days there (which was actually far from enough, but what else can I do?). That’s why I needed an even more careful planning for this trip, compared to my previous one.
My biggest concern was actually about the public transportation, because neither my husband nor I have a driving license and the majority of travel websites suggested you to either rent a car or motorcycle to get around. However, the public transportation (the bus) on the island was proven to be quite reliable so there’s no need to worry about that (check the schedule here).
Given my limited time, I decided to join a tour for my first day, which I think, was quite a good decision. I got to see Prophet Elias monastery, which was located in the highest point of Santorini, the village of Pyrgos, the volcano, Thirasia island, and Oia in one day.
View from the highest point
The blue balcony
Approaching the volcano
One of the craters in the volcano
People swam to reach the hot springs (I can’t swim :””))
On the way to Thirasia
View from Thirasia
One of the churches in Oia
A busy street in Oia
Sunset in Oia
One thing I probably didn’t realize was… you had to climb a lot here XD So during one day trip, I had climbed at least 3 times:
- In the volcano
- When looking for a restaurant in Thirasia (which was actually unnecessary, but oh well…)
- From the port to Oia
Climbing all the way through the volcano
See the road up the hill? Yes, that’s where we went…
The port in Oia. We needed to go up to reach the village
Stairs in Oia
The most difficult part for me was probably to climb under the burning sun in a place with very little wind. I might have come from a tropical country but I have to say that it was way hotter than what I used to experience in Indonesia.
Or maybe I just need to exercise more… XD
For the second day, as if all the climbing was not enough, my husband and I decided to follow the hiking trail from the town we stay at (Fira) to Oia (again), which was located in the northwesternmost part of the island. Why we even chose that, I don’t know. Maybe we regarded ourselves strong enough for the challenge (an overestimation for me, clearly), or maybe we were just curious and couldn’t get enough to experience Santorini’s beauty. What we knew was that the hiking was actually one of the most recommended activities to do in Santorini, so… here we go!
Leaving Fira behind
A church in Imerovigli
See the whites on the left? That’s our destination…
The best mistake we did for this hiking was probably to start out late. We began our hike at 10.00 in the morning, so the sun had started to burn. If you would like to do this kind of hike, please, please start as early as possible. Don’t, just don’t make the same mistakes. XD
Another thing you have to notice is that the contours of the land in Santorini (at least the part of the island near the caldera) is (almost) never flat. You will find a lot of stairs, and probably will find yourself going up and down the road (almost) endlessly. I had been walking for about one hour (needless to say, panting and sweating) until I realized that I just reached the starting point of the hiking trail. Even the upcoming road was not always easy to walk on.
The ‘first’ chapel at sight
The long and winding road
The ‘third’ chapel at sight
See the road on the left? That’s where we came from…
Finally the ‘fourth’ chapel!
But it was worth every effort.
Throughout the journey, there seemed to be an endless view of the stunning Santorini. A view which, I think will make me willing to do journey all over again.
Wearing a hat is a must!
When the border between the sea and the sky no longer exists
The blue dome
The church on the main square of Oia
But maybe after a little rest.
And a lot of cold water…
See you in the next post! XD