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The hub of Santorini is undoubtedly Fira, Oia and all in between. Visiting the beaches of Santorini though is a worthwhile exercise as it offers a completely different perspective to what you get in the villages.
We caught a bus from our hotel to Perissa, where you can access the Red, White and Black Beaches. The public buses are very easy to catch on Santorini and are inexpensive. There is a main bus exchange in Fira and another in Oia. We were able to catch our bus from the main road, avoiding the need to go into Fira itself. It’s best to have some smaller change to pay the fare to the bus conductor who will walk through the bus selling tickets.
We caught a boat for 5 euro that took us around to all the islands. We didn’t get off as the winds were high and the boat couldn’t get close enough to the shore due to the crashing waves. It didn’t really matter. The view more than made up for it, and the perspective you get from the ocean side is far better than actually being on the beach.
Red Beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island, with dark red volcanic rock and red rocks/sand.
White Beach is accessible only by boat or swimming from adjacent Red Beach. There is a cave that you can swim through as well on the way however you need to be very careful of the ocean conditions. Inside, the caves are small and large waves that crash through can create safety issues for those inside.
Back to dry land
One of the great things I love about European countries is that you find wonderful restaurants and cafes that are family owned and run. No qualifications are usually visible, just old-fashioned, family menus and a lifetime of experience. This restaurant was such a place.
When we arrived, we were a little early for lunch, so we opted for a couple of drinks, including the famous Greek coffee frappe. An hour later, we found we were still there, enthralled by the activity being undertaken by the family in preparation for lunch.
At the table closest to us, members of the family sat peeling potatoes, and then washing them under the outside tap, whilst friends came and went. Another batch of potatoes, another round of friends, all whilst drinking ouzo and water. Further down, one of the women of the family had surrounded herself with cucumbers, tomatoes and capsicums, the essential ingredients of a Greek salad.
It was such a friendly vibe here, and we’d been here so long, that it only seemed right to have some of their food. Being on the ocean, it was hard to look past the sardines, and with this being our last day in Santorini, I just had to have more saganaki.
Our afternoon was spent strolling through the villages once more. I have so many photos now of this amazing place, but with postcard images at every turn, it’s a a little hard to pass them by.
It’s sad to be leaving these beautiful islands. I am so pleased we came here and that we gave it enough time to enjoy. It’s definitely a place I would return to again, although I must cast my mind now to my next destination.