Santorini, Greece (Part 1)

It’s official. Santorini is my favourite place on earth right now.

Our first stop in our amazing pre-exchange travels was this beautiful island in the Aegean sea. Famed for its stunning sunsets and whitewashed houses with blue domes that sit precariously along the cliffs, Santorini left us with memories we will hold dear forever. The people, the food, the scenery, the weather… What’s there not to love about Santorini?

Day 1: Souvlaros Cooking & Perissa Beach

We spent the night before our arrival at the Athens International Airport. Needless to say, we hardly caught any sleep. To make things worse, I didn’t get much on the flight from Singapore to Warsaw either. We arrived early in the morning, as the sun was rising.

We got lost in Fira after we got off the bus. It must have taken us about an hour before we finally relented and hopped onto a cab, which drove us just a minute to our apartment!

1009860_10153148371595220_1069084659_nThe boyfriend. Always helping with my luggage.

581795_10153148374990220_1836228099_nOur first and only sunrise in Santorini.

561287_10153148375075220_1047352968_n

1185084_10153148380085220_1728909993_nOur accommodation – Anessis Appartments

I would definitely recommend Anessis Appartments to anyone visiting Santorini. It is just a short walk away from the town of Fira, where all the cafes, restaurants, bars and night clubs are situated. A really quiet location just a street or two off the main street with an amazing view. The apartment was big and clean, and the owner, Dimitris, was hospitable and very kind. We all liked him very much. Even with the language barrier, he made attempts to converse with us.

After getting changed, we looked for a place to have our first Greek meal. We happened to chance upon a restaurant called Souvlaros Cooking (it was the first one we saw, and we were hungry), and decided to give it a shot.

1005229_10153148383280220_1330924927_nSouvlaros Cooking

734366_10153148385505220_753700088_nUs, before becoming extremely tanned from the Greek sun.

1175388_10153148386110220_1866708573_nGreek salad – tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and a huge ass slab of feta cheese

1175491_10153148387100220_1023398579_nPork gyros, served with pita, chips and tzatziki – €8

1187176_10153148389240220_1938924699_nMoussaka – €7.50

One of the best meals ever. This was my best meal in Santorini. The Moussaka was amaze-balls! And I’m a huge fan of feta, so imagine the delight when we got served the Greek salad. The guys love pork gyros to death. I think we must have had gyros every day we were in Greece! I give Souvlaros Cooking two thumbs up!

After devouring our meal, we took the bus to Perissa Beach. Perissa Beach is famous for its black sand. We rented an umbrella and chilled for hours. We had free Wifi and a free drink too. The deep blue waters and blue sky were amazing. I’d never seen them so blue in my life.

1170677_10153148394635220_1660882993_n

1170691_10153148400205220_165415286_nHot black sand

IMG_3357Back when I still had my abs 😦

We ended off the day at Perissa as well. Another amazing Greek feast by the beach, at a place called Taberna Porto Castello. Apparently, they are the only restaurant in Perissa which is opened 24 hours.

946362_10153148737600220_1012789247_nShrimps Saganaki – €14.90

The boys loved the Shrimps Saganaki! I thought it was good, but not fantastic as the shrimps just smelled too strong for me. Shrimps Saganaki is a Greek dish cooked in a tomato sauce with feta cheese. This one came with capers (which I love love love) and a small serving of chips. The shrimps were fresh and well-cooked.

1175287_10153148741155220_2118667809_nBeef Yuvetsi – €9.90

I preferred the Beef Yuvetsi, which is basically a tomato-based beef stew with orzo and topped with cheese. This was so delicious! The beef was stewed till perfection. So tender and flavourful. I know it looks like rice, but it is orzo pasta in the dish.

1176334_10153148737570220_2034905330_nSpinach Pies – €4.50

Lastly, we had the spinach pies. I was expecting something else. Something like a Spanakopita, but we got this instead. It was spinach deep fried in puff pastry. Still, it was really good. The pastry wasn’t too oily and was deep fried till golden. Unfortunately, it costs €4.50, which is way too much for four small pies!

Day 2: Calderas Tour, Thirassia and Sunset at Santo Wines

On the second day, we visited the calderas. The tour took us to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni by boat. We decided to take the approximately six hundred steps down from Fira to the Old Port instead of paying for the cable car. It took us quite some time, and a hell lot of effort trying to avoid the donkey poo. Ultimately, we gave up as the stairs were caked with faeces and there was no avoiding it. Tip – Wear shoes. I wore flip flops. Oh boy, was that a mistake! Our journey down from Fira to the port took us about fifteen to twenty minutes by foot, whereas the cable car takes you down in less than two.

541778_10153176428735220_2046381087_nSantorini’s donkeys

1175135_10153176461340220_665168708_n

Image

IMG_3609Nea Kameni. Last eruption in 1950.

Tip: Wear shoes. The hike up takes about twenty minutes and the path is just gravel and sand. We saw many people slip. Thankfully, I didn’t!

The next stop was to a hot spring just a short ride from Nea Kameni. I couldn’t go because we had to swim in really deep waters to get to the hot spring. So I waited in the boat while Dj and Joel enjoyed themselves. A word of caution though. The minerals in the mud in hot springs stain your clothes!

From the hot springs, we got off at Thirassia, a small island which was separated from the main island of Santorini during a huge volcanic eruption a long, long time ago.

We were famished, so we decided to have lunch first along the coast. Have I mentioned how amazing Greek food is? I think it is my favourite cuisine at the moment too!

IMG_3633Greek meatballs (keftedes)

These were some delicious meatballs. Very tender, very juicy. Served with the usual fries.

IMG_3635Lobster & prawn kebobs

The kebobs were exceptional! The seafood – one of the freshest I’ve had. The lobster was melt-in-your-mouth.

IMG_3636Calamari rings

Because Dj loves his calamari rings! Really fresh and delicious with a little drizzle of lemon juice.

After our hearty meal, we climbed a few more hundred steps up to the top and caught the amazing view. Simply breathtaking.

ImageView from top of Thirassia

Our last stop was Oia. Sadly, we didn’t catch the announcement to get off if we wanted to. There were many people who remained on the boat, so we stayed as well. We should’ve left and caught one of those spectacular sunsets at Oia on the second day. The boat left the port and we headed back to the Old Port at Fira.

IMG_3667

Rather than sulk about the mishap, we decided to make our way to another viewpoint to catch the sunset. Fortunately, the sun sets pretty late in Santorini. We caught a bus, followed by a short walk, to Santo Wines to catch our first Santorini sunset, as well as for some wine tasting.

Santorini has its own vineyards, so I’d say the wines are a must-try. The wine is also really cheap.

1176217_10153228838880220_1672000147_nViewpoint at Santo Wines

1187120_10153228839535220_419129787_nWine tasting. 12 different wines, accompanied by cheese, olive and herbed croutons.

IMG_3763Our virgin Santorini sunset. Spectacular.

I will be back with the remaining of our stay in Santorini. Till next time 🙂

Love, Maddie

Santorini, Greece (Part 1)

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