The picturesque island of Santorini

Santorini is as breathtaking, romantic and magical as they say it is. Even though it is very busy with the continuous stream of cruise ship tourists visiting, the island is a must see.

For us, the 12 km hike from the village of Fira to Oia was an amazing day. We loved the idyllic views, the experience of being pleasantly surprised around every bend – and the laughs along the way.

From Naxos, we came to the island via a High Speed Ferry. The 2 hour ride was a good experience that allowed us to see islands dotting the sea. It was fun in spite of the crew shouting out directions and urging us to hurry along.

Our hotel in Santorini was the El Greco, just outside of Fira. It was beautiful – this is the scene from the boys’ balcony.

And then from the balcony, you left your eyes to the left and you can see Fira in the distance.

As you will have heard, the sunsets on Santorini are spectacular. This photo from the streets of Firostefani doesn’t do the moment justice…. you really have to experience them for yourself to know the majesty found at the end-of-the-day.

Here, the food too was amazing. This is a lamb shank served at the Ouzeri in Fira, one of the top rated restaurants on the island. The lamb was tender, full of flavour.
An aside: With its volcanic soil, Santorini is known for its unique flavoured wines — and we were not disappointed with the various local wines we had with our meals.

I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lucky in Fira. His restaurant (called Lucky’s) is notorious for serving the best gyros in Greece – and argumentatively in the whole of the Mediterranean.
(Many thanks to my friend Mikey Coleman – a personal friend of Lucky’s – to have pointed us his way.)

The walk from Fira to Oia along the caldera is promoted as “the thing” to do while in Santorini. So, we had to do it – and we were all glad to have had the experience!

The walk followed along the edge of a cliff high above the sea. The views of the Mediterranean (or to be more correct: Sea of Crete) were expansive and beautiful.

As we left Firastefani (or maybe it was entering Imerovigli) we saw in the distance our destination, the village of Oia on the northern tip of the island.

The walk took us through the main villages that hugged the cliffsides of the caldera. This is Imerovigli – a village that has the nickname “balcony to the Aegean.”

The whitewashed buildings framed the blues of the sea and sky – everywhere you looked it was just as it is displayed in the travel brochures.

This hike took us by dozens of striking churches…

Literally, at every bend in the path there was another amazing view (often with a church in it)

In beautiful Oia, at the end of our 12 km adventure, we dined at a spot that overlooked the village and the sea. It is a most memorable lunch hour.

The next day, three of us headed out to climb the Skaros Rock, another hike that took us to Imerovigli again.

Skaros – to get to the rock one has to traverse a steep winding staircase of 300 stairs – and then on the peninsula there are a few climbs and a winding dirt pay to another 200 stairs down to a church…

Through past centuries this rock served as a strategic watchtower post for the inhabitants of the island.  In this photo you will see through the ruins the village of Oia in the distance.

The church found on the bluffs of Skaros was beautiful.

While on this island our family celebrated Mother’s Day. It is a family tradition that on this special day Mom gets breakfast in bed – but that didn’t happen this year. Instead, the boys upped their game and kept Mom smiling throughout the day!

The beauty of Santorini is unmatched. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.

Back to the menu: Our Family Odyssey to Greece

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