04 Oct Santorini and Sunsets
Note: If you’re looking in the guidebook and can’t find Santorini on the map, it might be because it’s called Thira…
From what I remember of my trip to the Greek Islands last year, I watched a lot of sunsets on Santorini. Those picture postcards and paintings of blue and white domes against even bluer seas look exactly the same in real life.
I wonder what it is about humans flocking to see the sun go down over the ocean, but for some reason it’s human instinct to gaze in awe at this sight that occurs every day. Every day the sun rises, and every day it sets, yet we mere mortals still look at it like we’ve never seen it before.
The sunset was particularly stunning in Oia, a little village purched on a cliff on the north of the island. We bought a Gyro (a greek kebab) and a couple of beers every night and watched that sun go down on a little ledge, trying to block out the hoards of older tourists arriving on coaches to watch the exact same thing, only they were spending twice as much money in the restaurants perched on the cliff.
If you’re going to hit the Greek Islands, including Santorini, May is an awesome time to go. A double room in a budget hotel with swimming pool cost something like 15 euros a night each. Pretty cheap for Europe. I’m sure as the backpackers started to flock of the ferries the prices would have doubled. On Ios we stayed at Far Out camping and paid something like 10 euros a night in these little beach huts, but the prices went through the roof in high season.
The best way to get around Santorini is by quad bike. Forget taxis and cars, quad bike is a fun and cheap way to view the island’s dramatic volcanic coastline and let the wind blow through your hair. You can have fun on the empty winding roads that make you feel like you’re riding across a toy island on a toy bike.
As we rode around the island we couldn’t help but wonder how many euphamisms the guide books could come up with to describe the beaches. The beaches on Santorini aren’t my idea of stunning beaches, don’t go expecting white sand or palm trees as this is a volcanic island…Perissa beach was black sand and probably the sandiest and the rest were quite rocky with boulders. But that doesn’t detract from Santorini’s charm with it’s picturesque towns and quiet tavernas. Although it was the quietest island I went to on my trip around Santorini, Ios, Paros, Kos and Mykonos, I have to say there was something really unforgettable about Santorini.