Phototour – Thira (Santorini)
Last week I showed a specific part of my stay in Santorini, the Volcano Tour, which I highly recommend by the way. This Monday I am showing off Thira, which is the main island in the cluster that we all call Santorini.
There are several towns on the island. I went to four of them. The largest seems to be Fira, where the volcano tours leave from. Oia (pronouced Ee-ya) is in the north and well known for the sunset views and windmills.Karterados was where my hotel was and there was the port where my boat left from.
The outer edge of the island (away from the volcano) is where the beaches are. The towns are connected with sporadic buses. Each ride costing 1.40Euro with the main hub is in Fira. I was trying to get a bus to port where my sailing tour was leaving and the bus only went twice a day; so don’t assume you can always get where you want to go. The new port where I believe the inter island ferry leave from is also outside of Fira a ways. There are also taxis on the island. I had my hotel call and he had to call twice because the first time there were not any taxis available. Hmm.. Greece is not set up for exactness of timing.
As always there are more pictures in the Gallery at the bottom.
I stayed outside of Fira about a 20 minute walk in a town that I can’t pronounce. The hotel was nice and quiet with a friendly staff. I do think that I would rather stay in Oia if went back. The hotel was fine, but distance from activities was annoying, as the bus did not run very often. However in my walk I did find a very good internet cafe just outside of Fira only 100 yards from the bus depot. The view from the walk through Karterados was indeed impressive.
The buildings are further apart, than in the other two towns. Though there were a number of places to eat and a pair of markets where I stocked up on OJ for the day’s wandering.
This is what they claim the main town is. It is perched up above the caldera with many of the restaurants and hotels dripping down over the edge. This is not a place for handicap accessibility or bad knees.
Far below is the old port, where the various tours leave from. There are two ways down or up. The cable car the infamous donkey ride. I took the cable car both ways and was perfectly ok missing the donkey ride. Read about that part at Vagabond Quest.
I found the food and drink prices of the places down the cliff very high. Yes it is a beautiful view, but still I wasn’t willing to pay a lot for just myself. I did however find Obelix. I had seen a few delivery motorcycles carrying the bags, so I was happy to find the store. This is greek fast food and much better prices. Each piece is a few euros, so you can order as many or as few as you like.
The towns on the islands I found to be an odd mix of highly renovated luxury and virtual ruins. Even the edges of Fira when I just went walking had rubble and falling walls.
My second day on Thira, I had to be at my boat at 5pm; so I took a bus the 30 minutes or so to Oia. This is at the northern tip of things and a town I actually liked better than Fira. It just felt friendlier somehow. Like Fira, the town drips over the side of the cliff along the edges. It also has a couple of small beaches down at the base of the cliffs that you can walk down to(and then all the way back up from).
From the postcards, Oia is known for the windmills, the sunset views and like most of the islands for the blue domed churches. I saw the sunset from Fira the night before, but I can well imagine it would be impressive here as well.
There really are no sights, just white washed hotels and restaurants. It was very warm that day. I walked out to the very tip where there is a ruin of a fort. I almost stepped on this poor dog lying in the shadows that would soon be gone.
I ended up getting so hot around noon that I caved and bought a 4Euro cup of tea to sit in a cafe and cool off in the breeze. Expensive, but still a great view from the window.
This is the small port where I was to meet my sailing boat for the week long Gap Adventure cruise. We went to a pretty decent tavern for dinner and the very small market for breakfast supplies the next morning before heading out.
February 9, 2011 @ 11:10 pm
Andrew, beautiful photos. I am headed to Greece in May or June and couldn’t decide between Mykonos or Santorini…I think you just helped me decide. I am also traveling there on my own as a single female. Any warnings, suggestions or should I not worry too much as a female?
February 10, 2011 @ 12:33 am
Santorini was my wide favorite of those two. I am not so much into the party scene, so Mykonos fell a little flat for me; though it was cool to wander a bit. Check out Ali’s Santorini post http://www.aliadventures.com/2011/02/santorini-volcano-tour/ and ask her about the single female traveler part. I am not single nor female, so don’t really have any hints for you there; but I wouldn’t think you should have anything to worry about especially if you keep your wits about you.
December 17, 2010 @ 6:19 am
I love the pictures as it reminds me of the fabulous times I had in the Greek Islands. Amorgos was my favourite but Santorini was fantastic too.
November 5, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
Gorgeous Santorini photos!! Very nostalgic 🙂 And, haha, you totally missed out the donkey ride! Also miss out great opportunity to fall on the donkey’s poop 😀 I love the city shot from above you have up there. I never realized before how matching it is the Greek blue and white flag with the Santorini’s blue and white architecture.
Thanks for the mention up there 😉
November 8, 2010 @ 7:34 am
The timing just didn’t work out for the donkey. Meh, not too worried. I’m sure I’ll land in poop on a different occasion. Yeah, the white and blue is very iconic for Greece. The mixture of land and water is apparent in a lot of things.
October 28, 2010 @ 3:44 pm
Yours is my favourite blog thus far in my blogging journey and I’d like to thank you for that. It’s inspiring, indeed, and the opportunity to travel with you is a great pleasure. I’m a fan.
October 28, 2010 @ 4:55 pm
High praise indeed. Check out the Photography category, lately I have been linking to other really great blogs.
October 26, 2010 @ 10:33 pm
Unbelievable photos! I was there after graduating college…. too bad there weren’t digital cameras back then 🙁 I need to get back there someday soon.
October 28, 2010 @ 4:43 pm
Thanks. It really was cool. Kind of hard to take bad pictures. You should indeed go back.
Expat in Germany by Laurel
October 22, 2010 @ 2:01 pm
Great photos! I haven’t been to Greece yet but Santorini is very high on my list of places to visit!
October 22, 2010 @ 5:04 pm
Thanks. Certainly keep it there. It is well worth a visit and certainly one of my favorite spots in the Islands and Greece.
October 22, 2010 @ 10:08 am
the photos are awesome, especially of the ocean. i feel like i have been to greece
October 22, 2010 @ 5:03 pm
Thanks for the compliment. The sea is quite blue there and makes a nice backdrop. Don’t take my pictures for pure reality though, being there is still a great experience.
October 22, 2010 @ 3:33 am
seeing your pics make my vacation juice start to bubble! Thxs!! Keep those pics coming.
October 22, 2010 @ 5:02 pm
Thanks. 🙂 I think I’ll do pictures for a while.
October 20, 2010 @ 4:11 pm
Beautiful photos! And I love your description “hotels dripping down over the edge”!!
October 20, 2010 @ 7:33 pm
Thanks. The towns really do seem to do that, with stairways descending toward nowhere.
October 19, 2010 @ 2:38 am
Love the pictures! It’s funny how many pictures you have that look almost identical to ones I took on my trip to Santorini.