Only days before leaving for Santorini we were told of planned strikes at Athens airport. If the strikes were to go ahead it would mean our flights would be cancelled. We were gutted.
After accepting that we wouldn’t be flying and spending the following few days questioning where we could go instead, we received last minute news that the strikes had been cancelled and our flights were back on. We were stoked! We caught a very early and ridiculously short flight to Santorini the following morning, dumped our bags, then took a walk through Firá, the capital of Santorini and closest town to where we were staying.
We were all blown away by the views out to sea and the hundreds of pristine white houses, hotels, restaurants and churches nestled into the island’s impressively high cliff face. It was breathtaking. After picking our jaws up off the floor we headed back to the hotel to laze around the pool for the remainder of the afternoon.
That night we walked to Kritikos Tavern, a steak house recommended to us by Anita’s butcher cousin George. Let me just tell you: if a butcher recommends you a steak house, you go.
Kritikos are known for their extra large steaks. I’d guess each to be a little under a kilo. Jim and I chose to tackle a veal steak each while Anita and Janice sensibly chose to share a pork. As soon as the steaks hit the table Jim and I gulped. I think we were as intimidated as we were excited. Had we been a little ambitious? Maybe. Were we going to finish it? Definitely.
Anyone who’s ever over-indulged on meat is familiar with food intoxication or being “meat drunk”. That was us. Jim was almost falling asleep while I just couldn’t stop myself from laughing at everything. Kritikos’ steaks had really done a number on us. That night I had to sleep on my side because I thought the weight of my stomach would crush me.
The next morning we woke early and jumped aboard a bus which took us to all of Santorini’s major attractions. We agreed that as we had only three days on the island, a pre-organised tour would be the best way to see everything in the short amount of time we had. And boy was it a full day – twelve hours to be exact!
We visited the Prophet Elias Monastery and the village of Pyrgos, then caught a boat across to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. After climbing to the summit of the still active volcano we jumped back on the boat and headed to the natural hot springs of Palea Kameni for a quick dip before stopping for lunch on the island of Thirassia. After lunch we were taken back to the port of Amoudi for the very steep climb up to Oia for the sunset.
Watching the sunset in Oia is said to be one of the most amazing things you can do. We found the best seat to ourselves, away from the crowds, and eagerly awaited the sunset we’d heard so much about. Unfortunately it wasn’t as amazing as it could have been because of the amount of clouds that day, but still very beautiful. After our very long day we were exhausted, so hit the sack hard to rest up for our final day in Santorini.
On our last day we decided to make the trek along the coast from Firá to Oia. The hike wasn’t exactly short, taking us just under three hours to walk the 13km we did, but I personally think it was one of the best things we did in our time there. Every crest and bend presented us with amazing views across the island. It was spectacular.
After returning to Firá for lunch at what we all agreed was one of the best Greek bakeries we’d been to, Erotokritos, we returned back to the hotel pool to wait out our finals hours on the island before flying back to Athens.