Greek Island Hopping,
I have always wanted to go to Santorini, but most of all Oia in Santorini. Famous for the beautiful blue and white domes, sunsets and the tiny entwining cobbled streets all perched upon the tip of a volcanic island, Oia is an incredible place to see. Thus making it the reason for our trip around the Cyclades. As we were island hopping we only managed to stay in Oia for three nights….alas it was short but amazing…….We will just have to go back to see the rest of the island one day.
Santorini is what is left of a series of volcanic explosions way back before 3000 B.C, which destroyed the earliest settlements, sadly almost always unstable a major earthquake hit in 1956, with devastating results, but the resilience, spirit, vulnerability and beauty of this is island is delectable. In recreation, the the beautiful blues of Xaipete Santorini.
What strikes you the most on arrival to the port is the sheer height of the volcanic rock with the port below, driving up the entwining red chalk coloured roads to our hotel, with the friendliest taxi driver telling stories and tales of the people of the island, “in summer we grow grapes, in winter we drink wine”, it was a great introduction to the island, we felt we understood the ethos well!! Reaching the top is like being let in to a delicious secret , seeing the view, wow! The blue waters of the Agean Sea, uninterrupted, it goes on for miles. The low level cubical whitewash house with the bluest domes, mixed with the excitement of the sheer drop down to the water, donkeys taking their thrice daily walks from Oia to the Ammoundi port, it was exactly what was on the postcard, but oh so much better.
We stayed at Esperas Hotel, which we booked through www.i-escape.com Esperas continued to just add perfection to our stay, the hotel is perfectly situated along the edge of the island, absolutely the prime viewing spot to the caldera and the famous evening sunsets. Our room did not disappoint, white, cool with perfect interiors, with a little equipped kitchen, all brought together in a cave, yes a cave. The highlight being the window to beat all windows. The absolute best seat in the house… If you had to look out of one window forever, this window is the one, the one I would choose…I whiled away time, watching ships, boats, dolphins, drinking in the true blue of the Caldera. Calm, peace, tranquillity and beauty, my own little world, my own little secret.
With breakfast looking out over the caldera, we spent our days wandering around narrow the cobbled streets, popping in and out the boutique shops, (jewellery is the key here) and cooling off in the hotels pool which was built into the cave. Swim out of the cave towards the Caldera to the view, amazing! We joined the pilgrimage to watch the sunset every night, being a part of this gathering is as exciting as the sunset itself, a sense of belonging to a community.
Dinners at the waters edge, with white and blue tables, the freshest fish, albeit a little nervous with a table so close to the waters, but crystal clear waters, were the perfect way to spend the evenings in Oia The 200 steps down to the Ammoundi and what felt like 2000 steps back was worth it. You can get a ride on a donkey but I really didn’t want to do that to such a beautiful creature, and like Oia, my weight can stay a secret too.
Oia is a must if you are visiting Santorini, and we equally recommend the Esperes hotel, for vision, creation, the friendliest staff and view filed under ‘remember forever’ Also happily say it was affordable, on one of the most expensive islands in the Cyclades.
To think of something so wonderfully mystical, created from such a disaster all those years ago, is quite a feat, tragedy and beauty do always come so closely together.It is as if the island has a secret no other island knows……When we left after three days, with heavy hearts to catch our next boat, I think I took a little of that secret with me…..
We stayed: Esperes Hotel and booked through the guys at i-escape, https://www.i-escape.com/esperas.
We at at at the Sunset Ammoudi tavern, in the Ammoundi Port, gorgeous fresh fish, the most amazing setting, and lots of cats joining you, big tick for me….http://www.sunset-ammoudi.gr/
We visited Santorini as part of a Island Hop around the Cyclades. We flew to Athens with BA Airlines and then caught a ferry to Naxos- Santorini the on to other islands. We then flew home from Santorini via Easy Jet. We booked the ferries throughhttp://www.ferries.gr/greek-islands-ferry/ before we left the UK. This I recommend you do if you have a tight schedule and are in peak season. If you are a bit freer, just see where they take you!