Where we stayed: Petit Palace
Dates we went: 12th – 19th April
Temperature: 15° – 20°
Things to do (things we did):
- Climbing Santorini Volcano; (Climbing our second volcano – bucket list check). We took the tram down to board the boat. We arrived at the volcano after 30 mins. Be prepared to do lots of uphill walking. We are quite fit and found it a bit tough in the heat. We had a lovely guide who was narrating the history of how the island of Santorini was formed, so we had to keep up with him at the front! Shockingly, it is still a live volcano to this day and gives off sulphuric gas! The views were stunning, peaceful and serene. There is nothing but sea for miles.
- Hot springs; we braved a swim in the not-so-hot hot springs and stopped for lunch at Thirassia before departing our boat at Oia – an exciting unplanned adventure exploring this pretty blue domed town.
- Hiking Trail from Fira – Oia; essentially from one end of the island to the other. Rajiv was really keen to do this and paced ahead while I dragged my feet with my water bottle – stopping for snacks (and wees) along the way. Terrain wise it was quite easy compared to other hikes and climbs we’ve done but I struggled in the midday heat – with no sun cream, no shade and limited water supply! The views and scenery were definitely worth the struggle – we saw bat caves and red volcano rocks. I thanked the Lord when we reached civilisation and we were so hungry we literally inhaled our lunch. We discovered buses here too – €1.60 a person – a bargain compared to our €15 taxi we paid 2 days prior. Tips:
- have a carb heavy breakfast,
- start early to avoid the blazing heat,
- take lots of water (i know it will be heavy but you will need it as there are no shops along the way)
- take food to snack on (even if you are not hungry, eating will take your mind off the walking!),
- wear sun cream
- take hats.
- Quad biking; another unexpected adventure! We hired one of these great vehicles to get us around the island and explore some parts of the town off the beaten track. We cruised around in the lovely weather and visited Perissa beach (a black volcanic sand beach).
- Akrotiri ; this is a town that was buried underneath rubble and rocks after a volcano erupted. Lots of items were found during the excavation. Go with a guide – ours had so many little fascinating things to tell us.
- Pre-historic museum of Thira; this is where they have kept and preserved what was found during the excavation of old Akrotiri town.
- Oia sunset; a must must must do! Its truly spectacular from Oia and so romantic. The sunsets anywhere on this island are breathtaking. We were even lucky enough to see a red moon!
- Megalochori ; we walked through this amazing historical little village where we saw pistachio, fig and grape trees. A little Greek lady, Katerina, guided us around with her wealthy knowledge of the town. We saw old Greek houses which had been fled because the government kept putting up the taxes and the locals couldn’t afford it.
- Pygros; we attended Holy Good Friday ‘Megali Paraskevi’, and ‘Epitaphios’ Lamentations. There was a ceremony taking place in the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen and candles are lit on top of buildings. The whole hillside is lit up with burning fire brands. The sight is spectacular and it was incredible to be part of something so special.
We went for week and had more than enough time to do everything we wanted, even go back to places twice and thrice. We even snuk in a visit to santorini winery! The people are lovely and the food is too (gyros quickly became our favourite meal, check out chill box for dessert – its basically the greek equivalent of snog). We made memories to last a lifetime and hope we’ve inspired you to do the same.