Along the Caldera- Day Two in Santorini

I woke up on my second day in Santorini not feeling very well. But I am no quitter. So in spite of pain and discomfort, I got up and went to get some breakfast and had decided I’d catch an early bus over to Fira for the day.

I unfortunately knew I needed to print my plane ticket for the next day, as Ryanair is picky about you having one before arriving at the airport, so I had to ask the hotel lady if I could. She let me, but she charged me five euros for the one page. I was pretty irritated by that, but I just gritted my teeth and rolled with it.

After a filling breakfast of bread and coffee and yogurt and fruit, I headed off to catch the bus.

Santorini has a super easy bus system. They get enough tourists, that they’ve made it pretty effective to use, though it is still a bit confusing the first time.

Basically you don’t need a ticket to get on, you pay when you board the bus.They have change and everything, just hop on and grab a seat if one is open, it’s basically more of a tour bus than a city bus format. The ticket salesman will come and sell you a ticket which you keep until you leave.

I arrived in Fira and decided to head out to see some of the city. I was already feeling pretty tired, but I didn’t care, I wanted to explore. So I decided I was going to do the hike I’d heard was amazing, from Fira all the way to the city of Oia on the far tip of the island. The hike was about ten kilometers, and although I was a bit nervous about my state, I decided I would do it nonetheless.

It was one of the most gorgeous hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. That’s coming from a Pacific Northwest girl who has been on more hikes than she can count.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was sunny with little shade, but the walk along the caldera was stunning, and I have rarely been so in awe of nature as I was at this time.

I know I’ve done posts on solo travel, but truly, walking the edge of this island, staring out at the sea… I mean it’s something life changing. Going through a journey like that by yourself, getting to experience and enjoy and reflect, that’s truly beautiful.

I arrived in Oia a sweaty exhausted, but very happy mess. I quickly bought some water and then walked around the city taking photographs.

I had a very splurgy lunch in this cute restaurant with spectacular views. I had a pina colada, and a piece of pork with a delicious sauce stuffed with various ingredients. I finished with some Baklava feeling very satisfied.

I headed back to catch a bus back to Fira rather than walking back. I’d decided that was my reward for accomplishing my hike even exhausted and not feeling my best.

I had wanted to see the sunset in Oia, but I was nervous about trying to get a bus back to Fira and then another to Perissa. It just seemed like too much to manage, and besides, I was worn out.

I went and took another swim and got to bed early. My time in Santorini was almost up. I wished I could have stayed longer, but it was a spectacular trip while it lasted.

Journey to Santorini

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.

IMG_7758 (2)

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.IMG_7805 (2)

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.