Around 9am we woke up and strolled down to the breakfast room. I settled down with a bowl of slightly unconventional Greek yoghurt with melted Nutella. Probably not supposed to be put together but it works. Today was the sunset sailing trip with Santorini Sailing so we decided to use the morning attempting the hike across the huge chunk of mountain between Kamari and Perissa. We drove up as far as Ancient Thira and took to the footpath. Soon it became apparent we weren’t going the most logical route as it was a fairly pleasant down hill route with mild sun on the way there versus an uphill slog in intense sun on the return! I also forgot my asthma inhaler too – so bonus points to me for being extra unprepared!
The drive up to Ancient Thira was full of hair bend turns but good fun, I guess we could have walked this bit too but seeing as we had the car we figured why not save the hassle! Once on the hiking path the walk was very rocky and uneven – definitely one for proper trainers and not to be attempted in flip flops. We got down to Perissa fairly quickly after stopping to admire the view a few times. Once at the bottom we had a little stroll around, but as we expected and similarly to Kamari it was packed full of people and sun beds so not the most photogenic area.
After a brief break we armed ourselves with fresh cold bottles of water and began the return schlep. It was a bit more intense than I expected, probably because I barely stopped to take a break and powered back up as best as I could, baking in the sun which really amplified the effort required! We passed a fair few people along the way who had given up and were taking refuge on the sidelines! Eventually after dodging some really uneven patches we stumbled to the top, I had a great sense of achievement and it was good to know my fairly modest breakfast had probably been burned off in the process.
Whilst we had been gone it had gotten busy at the top with various tours and taxis dropping groups off at Ancient Thira. The car park was a circus and Chris had to do a few tight manoeuvres to get us out with a bit of an audience. The drive back down to Kamari beach was a little nerve wracking with the drops but I guess if we fell it would only be to the next section of track below, I’m not sure how reassuring that is though! After trundling down behind some quad bikes we made it back to the hotel just before lunch and squeezed in some pool, book and sunbathing time as a reward for all of the activity.
I was always surprised by how empty the pool area at our hotel was during the day, the pool was rather small so it was a blessing but there was rarely more than six people there at any one time. After some R&R we packed up ready for the sailing trip armed with a fully charged camera, tons of sun lotion and the scabby hotel towels after forgetting to bring ours from home. We were the first people to be picked up and got an additional little tour of the island as we hopped around picking everyone else up on our way to the port.
We drove down to Ammoudi Bay and boarded the Dream Catcher boat. Our trip had a bunch of people from lots of different countries, I think we had people from China, India, America, Spain, UK, Australia and even some Greeks! The team on board were friendly and entertaining, and we had a good trip stopping off at various different places. I enjoyed swimming out to the hot springs and it was good having a pool noodle to float with which enabled you to be a little lazy if needed. I was initially wearing a white swimsuit and thankfully they warned me ahead the hot springs could stain it orange, luckily I had a trusty black back up in my bag ready to go.
The views of the caldera from the ocean side were interesting, we cruised past white beach which didn’t excite me too much, and red beach which looked far cooler – although I don’t know if I would be up for sunbathing with falling rocks above like some people appeared to be. In between we saw some cool cave and fishing houses, and we passed some people stand up paddle boarding, another activity on my wish list. We anchored by Red Beach for dinner and the beginning of the sunset. Chris went for a swim in the turquoise waters and I decided to give this one a miss so I was dry for dinner which was a stupid mistake as I never got to swim in the brightest part of the sea.
Dinner was a yummy mix of Greek dishes including Greek salad, roasted vegetables, feta pasta salad, tzaziki made in front of us, bread, grilled pork and chicken. The bar had unlimited beer, wine, water and soft drinks. The toilets were a bit dodgy though, you had to pump flush them each time and I’m not too sure they were used effectively, every time you went down there they weren’t too far from overflowing! The food was all very good, and we got talking to the Greek girls and guys who were visiting friends who lived in Santorini. As the sun started to dip down we set off again on our way back towards the harbour.
Towards the end we got a little bonus of some spontaneous dolphin jumping which was great and a cool way to round off the trip. The sun set with lots of colours and was really pretty, I am not sure whether the sea or the caldera view was best so it’s definitely worth experiencing both. The only way to improve the trip would be to cruise back towards Ammoudi Bay for the views of the caldera lit up for the evening. Instead we were at the south of the island and hoped to be one of the first drop offs back to Kamari which was fairly close, however we lucked out and were the last ones to be dropped off after a tour up to Oia and back.
We did get to see a bright field of Santorini tomatoes on the drive which although it sounds uneventful was actually quite cool to see. Once we made it back to the hotel we made a spontaneous decision to head out for dessert despite feeling ready for bed. Kamari was in full evening swing, and we aimed for Megka, one of the casual spots serving crepes, waffles and ice cream on the beachfront. I went for a sugar overdose of a crepe with white chocolate and praline. Chris had ice cream with his instead, both were very good although the filling in mine was very rich and a bit much even for me. We tried to walk it off a little bit before heading back to the room to relax and finally sleep.