Photo Diary: Fira, Santorini, Greece
My visit to Santorini in early April was squished into 48 lightening-packed hours, a quick weekend getaway before a business trip nearby. Like most people, I’d heard about the island for years so when the opportunity to finally pay a visit entailed a pricey ferry and limited leisure time, I still jumped. Sleep when you’re dead, they say.
I opted to stay in the town of Fira because of it’s proximity to the port however if/when I return I’ll shoot for Oia (more in a post to come). ‘Downtown’ (if you can call it that) Fira felt a bit touristy to me but offered plenty of dining and shopping choices. Hoping to avoid any tourist traps, I consulted locals and was directed to Naossa, which was absolutely delicious.
Prior to arriving on the island I’d seen zillions of beautiful pictures but still didn’t expect the topography I found – for the most part, the main activity on the island is perched atop steep rocky cliffs high above the sea, called Caldera. This explains all those jaw-dropping infinity pools on the hotel websites, beach swimming really isn’t possible without a long winding cab, shuttle or scooter ride down to the water. Not a problem for me. Santorini was formed by a volcano, the top of which is visible just off shore, which also created ‘lava islands’ nearby. The sunset is considered the best in Oia since it’s unobstructed by these islands but in my opinion they only add interest.
A final takeaway from my visit- much like Venice and Rome, Santorini isn’t the same in high season (late May – September). In early April I found the island peaceful and dreamy but after conversations with locals in the hotel industry I understand it’s the exact opposite mid-summer as tourists pack onto the island off huge cruise ships. The quiet winding path that I strolled to get to and from town can get so dense with vacationers that queues form near some of the steeper steps. Not my cup of tea. Alas, if you settle into one of the many luxurious hotels all the buzz might not matter while you sip local white wine and bask in the Greek sun.
My thoughts on Santorinian wine:
So what do you think? Is Santorini for you? I think I know the answer.