Profitis Ilias Monastery
I enjoyed the island of Santorini and spent three days there, but the best was a monastery that I visited the last day, before my departure, up a hill, where I was received very cordially by the monks.
The Monastery was called Profitis Ilias. Inside I made friendship with a nice and wise monk with whom I had a long conversation. He show me the interior of the monastery and the bones of a celebrated saint, which I kissed.
He offered me a book about the Prophet Elias and then I left the monastery very satisfied and with an internal light. He really helped me a lot with his explanations about the purpose of life.
That friendship was paradoxical and unexpected in an island were tourists and locals only think about buying souvenirs, having good food and spending a good time, but not in acquiring wisdom.
- Budget Travel
Hot Water Dip
This is an arranged trip, which we booked through Kamari Travels. It is about a half day trip
The trip begins from Near the Kamari Travel office at around 9 Am and finishes by about 1.30 Am.
The two main attractions are the hot water point and the volcano.
The charge was around 25 Euros per head in Aug 2010.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Sailing and Boating
- Water Sports
The Akorini Lighthouse
The Akorini lighthouse was built in 1892, stands 10 meters high and is perched on a rocky point covered with white sandstone . It's a nice place to walk with some nearby caves and of course those amazing panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the distant Caldera to be explored.
Hallo Bar - Cheapest Beer in Town?
The further away you get from the caldera the cheaper things like hotels and meals become. This is also true of beer. Bars with terraces overlooking the volcano such as "Tropical" and "Classico" will charge as much as 6 or 7 Euros for a draught beer and at least as much for a small (330ml) bottle of anything imported.
If you just fancy a pleasant cold one in the afternoon then take a wander up the hill towards Firostefani. Roughly where Fira ends and Firostefani begins you'll find this little bar on the left-hand side of the main road. I discovered it because it was the nearest bar to my hotel and I would usually stop off for a swift one (or three) when popping back in the afternoon to freshen-up for the evening. Service was always friendly, the beer about 3 Euros and the chatty barman happily insisted on taking this pic.
It also does cheap eats such as Souvlaki and Gyros but I never got round to eating here.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
THE ANCIENT CHURCH OF PERISSA
There are not really too many places to go off the beaten path on Santorini. I found this ancient church very near the main church in Perissa. It is fenced in, but they are so damaged you could easily jump over and have a closer look. It is signposted as the 'Early Christian Basilica of Ayia Erini'. Unfortunately I have not been able to get more information on its age.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Donkeys and mules in Santorini are part of the native charm of the island and can be loads of fun.
You can ride the donkey up to the Prinicpal town of Fira and pay 5 Euros for each person!
The mule will never let you down, even though sometimes they can really be very slow but it is fun. Just relax and enjoy it.
You can also take them from Oia village to Ammoudi Harbour!
Blue Star Ferries Tours
These offices are to be found all over Fira. I booked tickets at 9:30 and the tour started at 11.
You can take the cable car down or walk down to the port with your ticket and get on the boat. It's such a nice trip. Takes you everywhere on a glass bottom boat to the volcano, the hotsprings, thirassia, and oia.
Bring water and your swimsuit and your camera of course. Also wear sneakers or hiking boots for the volcano. I paid on $20 euros.
The Art Space Gallery and Winery
The Art Space Gallery and Winery is located in the small village of Exo Gonia.
Art Space is a winery built in 1830.It is owned by Antonis Argiros, whose great-great grandfather built it and it is now a gallery as well as a winery. You will find some pretty good art in a fascinating setting and at the end of the tour you sample Antonis wine which in my opinion is excellent.
Open Daily: from 11a.m. to sunset
Caique boat ride
The summer season is a big business for the locals, even the fishermen try to make money from the summer tourist trade.
They will take you on a short trip with their tiny fishing boats - named as caique - wherever you want to sail around the island.
We took a ride from Kamari beach to the lighthouse and back.
Along the southern shore you pass by the unique beaches of Santorini; the lively Perissa and Perivolos, the major tourist attraction Red beach and the isolated, but crowded White beach.
At the southernmost tip of the island you can see the Faros Lighthouse. The lighthouse in fact is extraordinarily average in appearance and stands on top of the cliff edge dominating the immediate surroundings.
It was a great trip and I would do it again anytime!
- Family Travel
Church of Spring of Life
The iconic Santorini symbol is probably the Oia panorama with the blue domed churches and those are perhaps also the most visited and most striking scene on the island.
However, there are more than 200 other pretty church just waiting for your visit.
One of them you can find by walking around Kamari's Mesa Vouno mountain.
In the middle of the path leading uphill, you can find the church of Zoodochos Pigi. The church, built in the depths of an enormous rock, lies under the shadow of two huge trees.
A perfect place to rest in the cooling shade and admire the panoramic view of Kamari that lies about 200 meters below. Zoodochos Pigi is actually a white extension of the rock and offers an unbelievable natural spring of drinkable water.
The clear and cool water lies on a natural rock bowl in the cave and absolutely justifies the name of the church since Zoodochos Pigi means Life-giving Fountain.
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
Great Hike with fantastic caldera views!
I'm not a huge outdoors person, but I've realized that scenic and off the beaten road hikes are truly memorable travel experiences. Santorini is obviously no different - with jagged cliffs that dive straight into the ocean and a whole island chain circling a volcano, views are abound.
Anyways, if you're on the main island of Santorini, this hike begins in Thira (Fira). Just head north along the main road and just stick as far to the edge of the cliff as you can. After about 1km you will see dirt paths drifting from the main causeway - just follow these! There isn't one specific hike or anything, but there's a main dirt path that is a lot of fun and easy to follow. If you're lucky the local dogs will follow you as far as their paws will take them (no kidding.) Take this path all the way to Ia (at the northern end of the island) if you've got it in you, i think it's about 8km or so, takes 2-3 hours.
I've done this twice, the second with my family. Everyone really enjoyed the view and exercise. Stop halfway at a stand-alone orange juice stand (trust me, you'll want it) and grab a fresh hot gyro when you end at Ia, definitely the best and most anticipated one I had while in Greece!
- Hiking and Walking
Tour - See Santorini In One Day
For those who do not want to hire a car you can still see the island you can take a day tour.
I saw this sign in Fira and for 35 Euros I thought it would be a good deal.
We hired a car for the day..
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Since this village is not so popular to tourists, I'd say it should be considered a less beaten track of Santorini. More known for it's jetty/yatch (club) port, the village boasts of a long beach which is often void of tourists.
Definitely there are not so many structures in the area but I guess one can get some simple bed and breakfast accommodation.
I think Pyrgos is one of the nicest villages on the island. It is situated eight km southeast of Fira. It used to be the capital of the island until early 1800.
This village is built on the slope of a mountain.
- Road Trip
Hike from Fira to Oia
If you can handle a 10K hike, I would strongly recommend a hike from Fira to Oia. The views are amazing, and you get to see a part of the island that most people don't. You start out walking through Fira, then Firastefani village, then another small village, and the rest of the way you are walking along the cliff side, with nothing around until you read Oia. It took us about 3 hours to do the hike. A couple of us walked in flip flops, so it's not a very difficult hike. I would recommend starting out around 5 pm to make it in time to watch the famous Oia sunset. Finishing the hike, watching the sunset and then looking at the distance you just hiked, makes you feel a great sense of accomplishment.
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