The stunning view from Pyrgos, with Fira and Oia in the background.
Our second morning in Santorini brought better weather, less wind, and even more sunshine. We had our breakfast at Agnadi Villa then hopped on the bike, determined to find the ancient city of Akrotiri. The roads on Santorini are marked only with directional signs, and somehow we ended up ascending the tallest peak on the island. Riding next to the sheer cliff on one side we decided it would be better to turn around, so we headed back down and found the road we actually wanted, heading towards Akrotiri. We did stop to take in the view, though.
The caldera view from the road near Akrotiri.
When we got back down to sea level we stumbled upon one of the greatest views we found on the island. Right by the side of the road we found ourselves to be in the bottom of the “U” that makes up Santorini’s caldera. Looking towards the west, we could see Oia at the far tip of the island, the active volcano in the center, and the tall humps of Santorini’s rocky outer rim wrapping around the cool blue water. We rode on from here for a few minutes and stopped for lunch, then moved on to Akrotiri…which we bypassed for want of getting to a beach. We figured Akrotiri had been there for millenia and would still be there in a few days. After parking and taking a short little hike, we found ourselves on Red Beach.
Do you wonder why they call it Red Beach? This beach was beautiful, required a short little hike over some lava to get to, and thanks to its color was nice and warm.
The red sands of Red Beach were warm and felt nice on the toes, but the very rocky waterline made it kind of difficult to get in and out of the cool water. We hung out here for a while, watching people come and go, and when we did get in the water found ourselves covered with thin strips of seaweed. We decided that we should probably get our money’s worth out of the quad bike, so we got back on and headed towards Fira to find another beach, only to miss our turn and go all the way to our new favorite beach on the island by mistake! Hooray for happy mistakes!
Perissa beach didn’t have many rocks to struggle through, the water seemed a tiny bit warmer, and the scenery couldn’t be beat.
It was about 4:00pm when we pulled up to Perissa Beach. There were more people here, and the sand was devoid of seaweed. On closer inspection, the sand extended far enough into the water that you wouldn’t hurt your feet getting in and out. Of course we changed back into our bathing suits, laid out our towels, and frolicked in the calm blue water. There were a few other couples around doing the same thing, but all-in-all not a whole lot of tourists as it was late in the day. We decided to head back towards Fira before dark, and left somewhere around six. It was time for dinner, and our tummies were rumbling when we pulled into Fira.
The sun heading towards the horizon from Fira, really lighting up the caldera.
Fira clings to the edge of the cliffs above the caldera. Beautiful, no?
A caravan of donkeys climb the cliffside in Fira.
With gyros in our bellies we explored Fira a little bit, snapping a couple of photos here and there. We shopped around a little, and enjoyed the picturesque white houses and steep pathways heading up and down the side of the cliff. Of course, Fira is where the cruise ships dock, and one was in port that day, so we did this all with about 3,000 of our closest friends, none of which seemed to make it to Oia, of course.
After a bit of shopping we rode back towards Oia, taking the low road. Carolyn wanted to stop and take some pictures of old boats and stuff we had seen in the late evening light, and when we were finished we watched a stunning sunset. It was a little bit chilly, so the short ride up the hill to Agnadi Villa had the added value of Carolyn clinging to me for warmth as we rode through the darkness.
The bluest blue ocean with the bluest blue sky.
If I haven’t convinced you that Santorini is the most beautiful place on Earth yet, I’d like to submit this last image as evidence. Santorini has the most otherworldly landscape I’ve ever seen. It wouldn’t even seem strange if there were melted clocks everywhere, because the whole place made me think of Dali paintings. That whole landscape is surrounded with this blue, blue, blue water.