Each time we met tourists on this trip, we were asked if we’d been to Santorini yet. We had seen pictures and knew it was a very popular destination but we weren’t aware of how high up the villages were until a couple from Australia told us about it.
When you arrive in Santorini via ferry, you must take a bus or a taxi up a very tall cliff with many switchbacks. The view is amazing of course! Leon and I wondered how we would get around on this island as our hotels were about 8km from the downtown area, Fira. We decided once again to rent a quad so we could visit more freely. The roads here are even windier than in Mykonos and so high up on the Caldera side, you want to stop and take pictures everywhere as you pass different towns with their amazing views. For the uninitiated, Santorini used to be a round island about 6500 yrs ago, that’s 4500bc, right? Then an enormous volcano erupted and left an island that is shaped like a half moon with tall cliff towards the centre, known at the Caldera, and gentle slopes on the other side. There are 2 islands in the Caldera that have emerged over the years, one of which still has a volcano on it.
So we drove to our hotel in Akrotiri, named after a long extinct tribe. The hotel had a wonderful view of the cliffs as they lit up red at sunset. We also had a Venetian palace in our view. From the pool, we could see the sea, the neighbouring palace and the cliffs of the Caldera. Amazing! It was perhaps the best hotel pool we had visited so far.
That evening, we went to dinner in the little village at a typical family owned taverna. Leon tried the grilled squid while I had the lamb. Our salad was made of a new ingredient we hadn’t heard of before, caper leaves. They taste like capers, all salty and vinegary, but are in a small leaf shape. I must look for some when I get home! After dinner, as is the custom in Greece, we were served a treat with some raki. In this case, it was a Nutella filled donut. And as usual, Leon had to taste it as I cannot eat all the yummy looking pastries here. Considering everything we do eat, it’s probably a good thing that I can’t eat gluten and dairy products or else I would probably have to pay extra for my plane ticket home.