If you haven’t watched yet, checkout this video of highlights from the trip!
Day two started out with a walk along the black sand beach in Perissa. There’s a ton of restaurants to choose from so we found one with a nice ocean view. David got a Greek breakfast and I got an amazing smoothie with toast. After breakfast we headed to the far side of the beach, where there were supposed to be water taxis that could take us down the coast to red Beach, according to the villa owner. We planned to take a one way boat taxi to the beach, and then take the public bus to Thira after to start a hike. But turned out they only offered round trip day tours to Red Beach for 20 Euro/each, which was not our plan. We walked around a little more in Perissa until we found a travel/info desk. We asked if they knew anything about the water taxi, and they recommended that we just took a shuttle van there. Unfortunately, no busses go to Red Beach area because you have to go to Thira first before you can transfer. This was very much out of the way so we went for the shuttle van which picked us up immediately and brought us to a site of ancient ruins that had been excavated and now preserved inside, it is known as Akrotiri. We lucked out and were pretty close behind to a tour in English, so we learned about some history of the village and how it was during the bronze age on Santorini. It had been covered by volcanic dust abandoned in 1627 BC, and it was really cool to see the relics left behind by these Ancient Greek people. The ash actually helped to preserve artwork and other items left behind. I was hesitant to go here because of the cost (12 euro each), but lucky for David he got in for free and my cost was half off so we went for it, and I was glad I did it was unique and very cool to see. After we wandered around, we headed towards the sea towards the Red Beach. There’s a bit of a hike involved to reach the beach, but nothing strenuous at all. Some locals made it seem like it was some dangerous adventure to get there, but it wasn’t anything crazy. A small 10-20 minute from the ruins was the trailhead to the beach. From the trailhead the path is made from loose rock, so it was a bit precarious so I suggest sneakers. The view from the top of the path is outstanding and you can see the crystal clear blue sea and the beautiful red beach. We out down our belongings and quickly jumped into the frigid Mediterranean, snorkel masks in hand. Also I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but when I travel I always try to have a snorkel mask with me, cause you never know when you’re going to find a perfect swimming spot. There’s really not much to see in the waters around Greece, but the visibility is so good it makes snorkeling enjoyable. The highlight are the amazing underwater structures. There’s so many caves, swimthroughs, arches, and cliffs to explore. After our little swim we laid out in the sun. Also another packing tip is to always bring a pareo (sarong) instead of a towel. They’re more lightweight and they dry faster. Most hotels (and even hostels) provide a towel for the bathroom so I’ve found a pareo or a quick dry travel towel are fine. Anyways, after a little snack and soaking in the sun rays, we made the little trek back up towards the bus station. We waited at the bus stop and got the public bus heading to Thira. Once in Thira, we got a quick lunch before our hike. Lunch consisted of a delicious falafel sandwich (highly recommend). I spotted this restaurant the night before, and I was so glad we made it back because it was so delicious and so cheap. We grabbed 4 large bottles of water and then we were on our way, sandwiches in hand. The hiking directions we found online were pretty vague, and just said to keep walking towards Oia. We made a few wrong turns but overall it was easy to find. I absolutely loved this walk because in addition to the amazing crater view, you also get to walk through the amazing whitewashed buildings clutched to the side of the cliff. It is incredible to walk through these streets. I absolutely loved it. We took our time, took photos, and wandered the streets. The villages between Thira an Oia include Firostefani and Imerovigli and they look just like Thira but with less touristy shops/restaurants. If I were to return I’d look into getting a little villa with a nice infinity pools in one of these villas. It would probably exceed my budget but hey, you only live once right.
Oh, I should add David has two backpack in our photos because my back was hurting so David insisted on taking mine (in addition to his) so he was carrying all our beach gear, clothes for the evening, snacks, and four bottles of water. Oooh the perks of having a boyfriend 😉
We took a wrong turn at one point which added a little side hike, but it was worth it. It was a bunch of steps down to a little point called Skaros rock, and it is very scenic so go for it if you have the chance!
After the villages, it becomes a path along a cliff, with amazing views of the beaches down below. It was pretty hot an there were a few steep parts, but the view was breathtaking. I absolutely loved it. The motivation to the end was the beautiful town of Oia, which is probably the most famous part of Santorini. It is known for the blue domed buildings, windmills, white buildings, and epic sunsets. But honestly, anywhere you go from Thira to Oia will have some spectacular sunsets. The bummer with Oia was that there were sooo many tourists around taking photos. They were posing in fancy clothes and waiting in lines to get “the shot”. I was overwhelmed, hot, and hating the crowds so we went on a mission to find a place for dinner. We walked all around the town, which has so many little passageways you can take so it is easily to rack up the steps. I think we walked almost 18 miles on this day. We were pretty much walking all day long.
We ended up making a reservation at this picturesque restaurant called Fanari, which was fine-dining and way fancier than our usual dinner spots. But my awesome mother offered to treat a special dinner on this trip for my birthday, and I knew that I wanted it to be in Oia. It was so yummy and the view was incredible! Thank you mom!! After dinner we took the public bus home (with a transfer in Thira), then packed up our bags for a 5 AM transfer to the ferry terminal to begin our next adventure!
And if you made it this far in the blog, I will reward you with a blog post of this day from David’s perspective (which you can compare to my view on the day). It is worth a few laughs. Sorry if you can’t understand what he is trying to stay.
Day 2 in Santorini.