September 18 – 22, 2012
The last stop in Greece was the island of Santorini, one of the most popular and picturesque of all the Greek Isles…
We stayed in this amazing little apartment called Villa the Birds. It was in a small town on the south end of the island called Perissa that was close to the beach and even came with a free rental car for exploring the island! From the pool you could see a cute little church built into the rocky mountainside. Since we were there on the shoulder season, it wasn't very busy, so we basically had the entire villa complex to ourselves!
Ios is known for it's beautiful sunsets. This fact is by no means a secret, and hundreds of people flock to the small windey streets of Oia every night to watch it. On our first night we took advantage of our rental car and drove there to see what all the fuss was about. There we wandered the streets and enjoyed some wine overlooking the sunset. Not only were we gawking at the beautiful views, but the overwhelming number of people who stand in the streets and eventually applaud as the sun finally sets.
Paul had started working by this point, which meant 8 hours a day of remote work. So us three remaining amigos had to entertain ourselves a lot of the time and try our best not to distract Paul!
The villa was a short walk from a beautiful black sand beach.
After lounging around at the beach, we decided to set out and see more of Santorini. Dave decided to hike up to the church in the mountainside, while Paul was sadly stuck inside working. The Lauren's opted for a less strenuous option, and took the car on a little road trip around the island. We drove out to the tip of the island where there was a cool lighthouse and great views looking back on the rest of Santorini.
Then we drove to the town of Fira in the middle of the island where it was way less busy than crowded Oia. We wandered the streets looking for souvenirs and enjoyed a little girl time.
Thanks to the smaller crowds in Fira, we got front row seats on a terrace overlooking the sunset where we enjoyed a drink. We caught a glimpse of some of the donkeys, who normally carry up cruise ship tourists, being brought up the cliffside for the last time that day.
On our last full day together we took a boat ride around the island. First stop was the volcanic island that is in the centre of the caldera that makes up Santorini. We got off the boat and had time to explore the island and peer into the crater (which unfortunately was not spewing molten lava!).
Then the boat headed around to another part of the island where we got to swim in the volcanic hot springs. Although the water was a much nicer temperature, it was a little too murky and stinky for our liking!
The views of Santorini from the boat were spectacular, you could really get a sense of how massive the cliffs are (not to mention the cruise ships!).
Last stop on the boat ride was the island of Therasia, which has a little port town and a whopping population of 268. We had lunch at a little greek restaurant with a patio that stretched out over the water - making photo ops and swimming both readily accessible!
On Saturday morning we said an early and sad goodbye to Lauren and Dave who were off to check out Oktoberfest. We spent the day at the villa, with Paul computering away for work, and Lauren maximizing use of the pool. That evening we headed back up to Oia for one last sunset, an amazing Greek dinner, and a photo shoot of the iconic Greek architecture.
The incredible views definitely did not disappoint!
Here's a map that shows all the places we saw in Santorini.
Greece was amazing and was a great way to finish off our summertime travels. Now it was time to head back to France and figure out where we wanted to settle in for the year!
Check out the rest of the photos here!