After an extremely choppy landing (with one false start and a circle back), we landed on the island of Thira, more commonly known by its Italian name Santorini. We were hustled off to our hotel, Ikies Traditional Houses. Holy cow, this place is amazing with a fantastic show put on every night from your balcony overlooking the caldera. The service is nothing to snort at either.
The island of Santorini was formed by a volcanic eruption and the island wraps around the “caldera” which formed during eruption and filled with the Aegean Sea. From our balcony we got to watch the ferries, cruise ships and other boats come in to the popular port of Fira. We stayed in Oia, which is known for its fantastic sunsets (as evidenced below).
We ate at Melitini our first night, which was so good we went back again. You can never go wrong with the octopus in Greece, if you’re into that sort of thing, that is, and while you think you may not be – give it a shot. Also loved the local Red Donkey beer.
On our first full day, we were delighted to be toured around the island by Phenix Gilbert of Safowi wine tours. An amazing tour guide about the history of the island and its wines. This native Californian is a great spokesperson for Santorini and Greece and provides a personalized tour of the wineries in her gold fiat. No impersonal bus tour here!
The vineyards of Santorini
While there are lots of great places to eat and drink in Oia, our favorite was probably Katharos Lounge. This beachside bar sits atop a ledge of volcanic rock overlooking Katharos Beach off the beaten path from the throngs of bussed-in cruisers from the ocean liners to see the Oia sunsets. The food, atmosphere, service (and of course, again the Red Donkey) were an incredible lift to a couple of afternoons.
So beautiful, we cannot wait to go back!