Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Santorini, Greece

I couldn't imagine touring the islands of Greece without spending a little time in Santorini. Coming from Naxos the number of tourists was definitely overwhelming, but the scenery made my jaw drop. A a massive volcanic eruption 3600 years ago created the dramatic, 1000ft high cliffs where the main cities are perched. The resulting landscape is distinctively dramatic and beautiful.

My first day on the island was spent getting my bearings in the city of Oia, the oldest settlement on the island. The streets were packed with people shopping, snapping photos and claiming great spots to watch the sunset.

Sunset in Oia is legendary, so tourists start crowding every inch 'sunset view' space hours before the sun actually goes down. Instead of fighting the crowds, I escaped to the adorable Panorama Apartments. It's a bit of the walk from the city, but the view from upstairs is unmatched. The apartments are owned by an old husband and wife who don't speak english, but provide excellent accommodation at a much better price than the resort style hotels in Oia. 

The hike from Oia to Fira was a great way to explore the landscape and experience a variety of views of the caldera (the collapsed center of the volcanic eruption currently filled with water). The sun was merciless, so a hat was crucial for the hike.