18.09.2011 - 04.10.2011 30 °C
The plan was to stay here for a week, but it was so good so we stayed for 3. The boat from kos got in late but the owner of the hostel we stayed at for the first 4 days (kostas studios) picked us up from the port, which is a terrifyingly sheer drop from the cliffs that make Santorini. Our hotels were both in Perissa beach, whish is 20 minutes from Fira the main town, but in my opinion, 100 times better. There are restaurants and bars the whole way down the beach that serve food and drinks on the sun lounges provided. Quad bikes can be rented to drive on the road for 15 euro or 30 for the more powerful ones- well worth getting one with a bit of grunt unless you want to be driving with a top speed of 27 kilometers. The beach is black sand and the water is clean and clear. Most cafes have wifi available on the beach too and topless sunbathing is acceptable. The sun is so much more forgiving thn the new Zealand or Australian sun, you can stay out all day and not get burned. The hotel was near a huge mountain with ruins on top and 3/4 up a church perched precariously in the cliff.
After 4 days at kostas we moved to Anny's studios which were a bargain at 24 euro a night and had a pool, sun lounges, book swap, free Internet. Our room looked over the pool and bar, which was great until 30 loud single over 50 American ladies booked in for 3 days and got hammered every evening and talked so loudly. But as the saying goes 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' so one night I went down and had about 5 rounds with them. They turned out to be hilarious they were on their way to Mykanos (look out boys) they were a real handful.
Half way into Santorini we found out Karo and a few of her friends were coming, so we decided to stay. We hired a motor bike and checked out Fira, it has nice views and plenty of places to eat and watch the sunset or ride the donkeys up from the port. The donkey were al decorated in beads, but I felt sorry for them carrying lazy, fat tourists up and down in the heat. The view was amazing though and a great place to eat saganaki (fried salti cheese) and share a carafe of wine.
Speaking of wine, another fun thing to donis visit a few of the wineries dotted all over the island. We found a wine museum that had been in the family for 4 centuries, it had taken the current owners 21 years to make the mannequins in the underground caves demonstrate the old wine making methods, for 7 euro you got a tour with guide (walkie ,talkie type thing) and 4 tastes of wine at the end. Santos was another one we checked out that had a great view of the caldera (volcano centre) and surrounding islands including fira and ia.
Ia was very picturesque, situated right at the top of the island it has the white churches with blue domes you see in the pictures looking out over the blue ocean. A must to go visit if you do nothing else on the island. Only 40 minutes from Perissa on quad bike or 20 from the centre of Fira. Another must if you like Mexican food with a view is visit the Mexican restaurant near santo wines. Good food and best restaurant view ever!!
There are heaps of tours available, we took a boat out to caldera and looked at smoke rising from the volcano then to the hot springs, they looked pretty dirty and weren't that warm so I didnt bother getting in, also the end of the season was approaching so the sea was quite rough and th boat ride not that pleasurable. Santorini is really chilled out near perissa, but there is still plenty to do. We went in sept so just missed the crazy season but the weather was still great and there weren't people packed all over the place. Rates were reasonable and it want isolated. By the time we left in early October though it was almost shut and the wind started blowing at night bringing the temperature down. Would definitely recommend going in sept and would return to perissa rather than other parts of the island, although ia is also a good choice, you can't swim in the ocean there.