Santorini For A Day

I am pretty sure that is impossible to completely avoid photos of picturesque Greece in this day and age, perhaps particularly Santorini. On my first trip to Greece, with my husband, we missed the opportunity to visit this well known destination and I was not going to miss the chance this time around. Before I had even arrived in Greece I had booked the excursion to Santorini for my daughter and I, beyond anxious to capture some of my own photos of the famous island.

It is a nearly two hour ferry ride from the port in Heraklion to the dock on Thira, the largest of the five islands that make up Santorini.

When the first views of the islands of Santorini came into sight the passengers started pushing their way to the windows at the front of the ferry to take their first pictures of the scenery. I have to admit I was not one of them, I was happy to wait until I had got off the boat to have my pictures taken without the glass in the way.

We met our tour guide and boarded a bus that makes a rather slow climb up the side of the hill to where the cities on the island are nestled. Our lovely tour guide informed us that the island is home to a little over 17,000 inhabitants but that every day receives around 5,000 visitors.

If you look closely you see that some of the homes and hotels here are quite literally built into the side of the rock. It really is as beautiful as I imagined and when I had only been there a few minutes I was already calculating what it would take to move there permanently.

Then again one of the smaller islands that make up Santorini is a live volcano so I am not sure I am really brave enough to stay for longer than a vacation but the striking walls and bright sunlight are enough to almost convince me.

It was hovering over 30 degrees with perfectly clear blue skies the whole day and I have to admit that this was fast becoming my idea of heaven. I was dying to peak inside these quaint white houses to see what they looked like inside but I resisted knocking and asking for a tour.

The island is small, only about 35 square miles, and with that many tourists you worry that you may be surrounded all the time but with a little patience and a willingness to explore you can find the most charming streets that you have to yourself. (Yes we did take a number of pictures walking down it)

Our tour only took us the cities of Oia – by far my favourite- and the capital Fira but we are told that some of the prettiest cities and the one know to be the most romantic were not actually on the tour. On my next visit I think I will skip the tours and opt for a more self guided visit so I can see these places.

Our last stop of the day was at the black sand beach and that sand is as hot as you think but the water is crystal blue and worth the hopping journey to get to.

I struggle usually to travel to the same place more than once because there are so many places I want to see, but Greece makes my exception list. This is my second trip there in less than a year and I am already thinking about what I would want to do and see the next time I am there. We just missed the busy season on both trips and I do think that is the way to do it. It is still very warm there before the very beginning and after the very end of the season so you still get all the advantages of a tropical getaway without the crowds. You can find my first trip to Greece here.

What are your favourite travel spots? Do you have a destination that you’ll go back to over and over?

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