When I asked for advice of where to go in Greece, this was the one island that seemed to pop up again and again. Every website of “top twenty things in Greece”, every other English assistant I asked, it kept coming up. So I knew I had to go.
Besides, Santorini looked like the perfect place to really get the ideal relaxing vacation experience, which I have rarely ever had in my life.
Oh I know, poor me, getting to go on fun family vacations all the time and never doing a resort. I’m so incredibly deprived.
But sarcasm aside, it is funny that my family tends to make vacations these exhausting events that leave us getting home more tired than we were at the start. The only time we ever attempted a relaxing beach vacation was a two day stay in Zihautanejo, Mexico, which ended with the entire family getting food poisoning (or… water poisoning rather), my back getting so sunburned I couldn’t wear a bra, and a hurricane rolling in as we were flying out. I’ve always kind of assumed we were cursed.
So Santorini it was, to finally get my fun beach vacation.
I’d opted to take the ferry, although even in May it was quite booked up so I ended up having to pay more for a “premium” seat type deal, which really didn’t turn out to be too fancy.
Nonetheless I took the bus early in the morning back to Heraklion where I managed to board my boat without trouble.
Unlike most ferries I’ve seen, it had assigned seats, but for some reason the crew were just shoving people towards the areas that were open. So I got scolded by a couple for trying to “steal” their seats. I found mine in the middle of the boat and settled in for a long ride.
I was up and down a lot. I went outside some to admire the views of the water, especially as we pulled away from Crete. After that it was pretty dull so I settled in to rest up until I arrived.
The boat pulled in after a few hours at sea. I was immediately greeted by the rocky cliffs of Santorini, the long winding road going up up up to the main part of the island.
I was told by my hostel I’d have transportation from the port. I went to the sign they indicated, but unfortunately the man there told me I’d have to pay. I was very confused, so I tried calling my hostel. The lady who picked up the phone didn’t really understand what I was saying. Clearly she didn’t speak good English. Just as I was getting frustrated, thinking I’d have to pay for a ride, a lady came up and told me it was fine and the man had been mistaken.
I let out a sigh of relief and got into a shuttle that was going to take me to my hostel.
Now, on Santorini it was a tough choice of where to stay. But I admittedly was feeling in the mood for some beaches, which meant I picked a bit cheaper place outside of the cities over on the far side of the island near Perissa.
The driver dropped me off in front of this lovely little hostel. The lady I’d spoken with on the phone was waiting for me. She led me to a room, though it ended up being the wrong one, which she did correct fairly quickly. I was then led to the right room. It was cute and clean. My only issue is that there was only one key… so in order to leave the room open for my roommates, I had to leave it at the desk when I went out. I have to say, this place did not function well as a hostel as a result.
I changed into my suit with a light skirt and top over, and then I headed down towards the beach for the day.
I initially settled in a public area, resting beneath a small umbrella at a place that wasn’t open for the season yet. It was nice, but I did want to explore, and I was nervous about leaving my stuff for too long while I went swimming. So I took off down the beach.
I looked at various different restaurants, realizing this was probably the best option. I could find a good place to get some drinks, and maybe some food, and then I could leave my stuff a little bit more secure while I enjoyed the water and the sun.
This worked fairly well. I spent most of my day at a restaurant called Saffron, ordering some drinks and enjoying the water and comfy beach loungers. I people watched and simply relaxed. It was really needed after so many long weeks of teaching in rainy gray northern France.
After a full day a the beach I went back to my hostel and spent a little time at the pool.
I read and relaxed as the sunset, before heading back to my room where my roommate had showed up. She was from Argentina, and she was not at all pleased with where our hostel was in relation to everything on the island. I told her it was maybe a ten minute walk to the beach, and she said that was too far. I laughed a bit as she went to go order delivery food and sit by the pool.
I got to bed early, because in spite of doing a relaxing beach vacation for one day, I was determined to do some serious travel the next.