When you think of the Greek Isles, Santorini is what you envision. It’s a place of brochure covers and picture postcards. Bright white homes, small hotels and outdoor cafes hang on the edge of the steep cliffside that runs down to the blue Aegean. White church domes and the much photographed blue dome of the Anastasis church dome complete the magnificent landscape. If you’re lucky as we were you’ll see it set against a beautiful blue sky.
In Santorini, on the advice of friends, we didn’t arrange a tour. Again, this is another place to get there early. We were one of first on the tender and one of the first on the cable car. When you get off the cable car there are lots of shops. We walked away from this more crowded area and took a long stroll past many small hotels and peeked in to see their exquisite interiors. Every spot is a Kodak moment.
The kids had done some research and thought we should take a boat excursion that went to the volcano and let you swim in a hot springs. So down the cable car we went. Which turned out to be a good thing. Towards the end of the day lines at the cable car get quite long.
Fair warning, I’ve learned that the Greeks aren’t as worried about public safety as we are in America. There was no warning that the trek up the volcano was strenuous. And there are no guardrails. However, if you can’t make it all the way, you can stop and meet the group on the way back. Thank goodness we are all in good shape, though Amanda and Matt were in flip-flops. Not too good for walking on a lava field. And getting back to the tour boat–it was the fifth boat behind the first docked boat–meaning we needed to step from one boat to the other, with no one there to help or guide us.
Next stop was the hot springs and another surprise. We didn’t dock at all. We stopped a couple of hundred yards off shore and had to jump overboard. I couldn’t swim that distance so I stayed on board. It was fun and adventurous, but buyer beware. Ask some questions if you are hesitant or have any limitations.
Amanda and Matt decided to take the cable car back up and rented an All Terrain Vehicle and drove to Oia. Back on the ship, they said that it was so much fun! If I go back I’ll take a taxi to Oia. Hopefully then the ship wouldn’t leave until after sunset. Oia’s sunset is said to be one of the best in the world.