[BACK TO ATHENS]
1 NIGHT IN SANTORINI
Because we were only spending one night, I knew I wanted a room on the caldera in Oia since that’s where you want to be for the sunset. This really helped to focus the hotel search. We splurged on a luxurious room with a caldera view, fabulous breakfast and transfer from the port at 1864 The Sea Captain’s House. And Takis, our host, oriented us to the neighborhood and gave us great recommendations for lunch and dinner.
[The coolest thing may have been our bellhop! Check this out…]
A short walk from the hotel is Thalami for lunch – definitely order the eggplant and the intensely sweet Santorini tomatoes. The view, the food, the friendly service…there was nothing not to like about Thalami. This is also a great time to try some Visanto, a sweet fortified wine or the Assyrtico, which is like a pino grigio only better. Perfect introduction to Santorini.
After lunch we went strolling in the hot mid-day sun to shop for provisions, aka wine and snacks, and window shop for mostly everything else. We opted for the local grocer to buy a couple bottles of wine, basing our selections on what we’d tried at Thalami. Prices for clothing, jewelry and the such seem inflated on Santorini, at least in Oia. One exception is the well-regarded Atlantis Books, an awesome expat bookstore. The staff is friendly; I asked the guy working there to autograph the book I bought and he happily obliged.
Time to freshen up and have another glass of wine before heading to the Kastro to watch the sunset. Don’t worry, there will be crowds of people heading there, so just follow along. It’s actually fun to be a part of the crowd and this Santorini nightly ritual. More than okay to be a tourist.
[HOT TIP: Stay long enough after the sun sinks below to the horizon to get great photos of the landscape. Everyone will show up early to get a spot on the wall facing west to get a photo of an orange ball sinking into the sea. The novices will begin exiting and you’ll be rewarded with a seat and a scene that is far better than the one everyone just witnessed. The color of the light in the sky will deepen, the horizon will glow with different hues, and then the lights on land will begin coming on, illuminating the architecture that has made Santorini, and the rest of the Greek islands so famous. You’re welcome.]
Earlier in the day we popped in to reserve a table at Floga for dinner. After sunset we dined by the moonlit sea and the sparkling lights of Santorini. Greeks eat late. You’ll get used to it. The food at Floga is very good especially the tomato-keftedes, delicious deep-fried patties of Santorini tomatoes, onions, flour and whatever special ingredient each restaurant adds to their unique recipe.
[The next morning we caught the ferry to Amorgos. Check out these hairpin turns!]
[NEXT STOP | AMORGOS]
[MOVE AHEAD | MYKONOS]