I still dream of the Cliff of Caldera in Santorini. It’s not so much the view because yes, you can get spectacular sunsets from various destinations around the world, but it’s the rare experience of being seated just outside of your own cozy room jutting out of the top of the cliff, drinking in the breathtaking horizon and relaxing over a bottle of wine in perfect silence. I mean, this is the life. Or, at least I wish it were this way every day!
This destination was really special to us because it was the last leg of our trip. Tom and I stayed on the Cliff of Caldera in both Imerovigli and in Fira. Exploring Santorini was an absolute must and since we’d both driven ATVs before, he selected a powerful one to be our chariot for the week.
It was a real adventure exploring the island every day without a map, just letting the road be our guide to the next spot. During our stay in Fira, room service was divine & usually delivered at 9AM.
On occasion we went out and grabbed something delicious and local nearby. We went to Red Beach, Black Sand Kamari Beach, a winery and drove as high in elevation and as far out along the island as we could go. We spent evenings walking through the lanes of just about every district, indulging in the local cuisine and trying lots of pastries and desserts.
Red Beach & Black Beach Kamari.
Almost every evening before sunset, we would go back to our room to unwind from all of the excitement from the day and enjoy the solitude on our own private balcony with some delicious spanokopita, baklava, dessert and our favorite Spanish summer wine while overlooking the Aegean Sea. We’d watch the sun burn a beautiful yellow and orange across the sky before disappearing into the horizon. After every sunset, we took long strolls in Fira or Oia for entertainment, dinner and dessert.
Before Tom and I went, there were some things we just didn’t know and wished someone had shared some of that information with us.
Basic Information for Visiting Santorini (Thira)
1. You can fly or take ferry from Athens. We flew and the flight is about an hour. The ferry is about 8 hours.
2, Santorini is a great place to explore, catch an incredible sunset, experience delicious food, hiking and city life, but if you’re looking for the soft white sand and water to look blue, I recommend you add a visit to one of the other cyclades.
3. There are some day trips available to other islands from Santorini to a few nearby islands. They’re about $50-$100 for the day and can be purchased in Fira or Oia. There are many of them, so you’ll stumble upon them while wandering around.
4. There is a public bus that runs in Santorini if you choose not to drive, but want to explore the island outside of the area you’re staying in. They don’t come very often (I believe it was about every 25-50 minutes). It’s safe and many people actually use it. If you drive, don’t bother with a car. The lanes can get narrow and you get stuck in traffic. A motorcycle or ATV will be much more efficient. You’ll find parking a lot faster.
5. When it comes to food, many families have their own recipes and special ways to making things even what we find as traditional as baklava and Greek salad. You’ll find tasty food, but sometimes made differently from one restaurant to another. That can be half the fun for foodies out there, right? 🙂
6. Sometimes you find beautiful doors that look like they lead nowhere. I thought these were so eye-catching. We’re used to seeing doors attached to the wall of a building and here you are with a free-standing door with no ceiling behind it. These doors lead to hotels and, on occasion, restaurants down on the cliff.
7. When looking for a place to stay on the cliffs, select a spot in Fira, Imerovigli or Oia. When viewing a map, you want to face the west where the sun sets, so select a hotel along the west side of the island.
8. All the locals will tell you this, but the tap water is not drinkable. They have to bring in the water in these giant vehicles with tanks that look like the ones you see on the road that fill up gas stations. Always drink bottled water. It’s cheap or free – everyone has to drink it – so don’t stress about it.
Outfits: White dress with pattern by Mary Katrantzou. Blue dress by BCBG Max Azria. Lace up nude sandals by Mango. Sunglasses by Armani Exchange.
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