Road Trip around Santorini

Santorini is a really small island. If you stand on high ground you can see coast to coast in most directions. So we decided to spend a day exploring by car… Road Trip! 🙂

Doorway in Pyrgos, SantoriniWe first drove to Pyrgos which was a cute village with small winding alleyways leading up to a whitewashed church on a hill. From here you get great views across the island.

Pyrgos, SantoriniWe continued south to Akroti and saw spectacular Minoan ruins. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never been to an archeological dig before. What I found was a modern wooden strcture providing a cool space, and a massive dig which had uncovered a whole city, including the ruins of houses, archways, and pots. We only spent around 45 minutes here which was enough to saunter around it, but you can spend longer and hire a tour guide.

Minoan Ruins at Akroti, SantoriniWe then drove to Perissa, a sandy beach on the south east coast. We grabbed a tasty kebab lunch at a cafe in the village square, under the shadow of yet another beautiful church with an impressive belltower. Above us high in the mountains was another little white church. It was so high that we wondered how anyone got up there.

Perissa, SantoriniBoat Trip

We took a boat trip from Fira. Several boat trips leave here every morning and they tend to take in the same sights – the volcano, hot springs, and lunch at the tiny port of Therissa on the opposite island.

It was quite amazing to see the the sharp black volcanic rocks on the island. We hiked to the crater, which was hot hot hot. There were small holes in the ground with steam coming out – if you put your hand by the hole you could feel the heat.

The hot springs were only for the brave – you had to dive off the boat and swim for a short time. My BF went in and enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was worth it for a 15 minute swim. A chinese girl went in the water with a life buoy ring for support and the staff told her to put it back, and she should only be attempting this if she was a strong swimmer. When she proceded to try and swim on her own, the staff asked her to get out, as if the lifeguard was supervising her she wouldn’t be able to watch over the group. I watched all the drama and sunbathed on the boat! 🙂

At Therissa, there was a choice of 2 restaurants to purchase lunch in. We chose “Capt Johns”, a self service restaurant which was very tasty. You could climb the 300 steps up the cliff to a small town there, but we couldn’t be bothered in the heat! It was all very touristy, the typical concept of bringing tourists to an island where all there is to do is to buy lunch and then leave. But we embraced it, enjoyed our lunch in the shade, paddled in the sea, and then sailed off!

Volcano, Santorini

Travel Tips:

  • It takes only around 20 minutes to drive across the island, and around an hour to drive the length of the island.
  • The Volcano has an entrance fee of 2 Euros entrance fee, collected in cash before you are allowed on the island. (This annoys me – not that you have to pay a small fee, but that no-one tells you this when you purchase the tour; what if you didn’t happen to have 2 Euros per person on you?)

Next blog:  Oia, Santorini, Greece

Previous blog: Fira, Santorini, Greece

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