The beautiful port of Santorini graciously greeted us with clear blues skies and warm weather I have been trained not to expect in October, being from the Pacific NW. While donkeys are the traditional mode of transportation to reach Fira, the city on top of the cliffs, we opted to ride the cable car for three reasons – to save money; to get there quicker; and I had a suspicion that the poor donkeys had carried plenty of all-you-can-eat buffet enthusiasts already for the day.
Once we hit the top, after a slightly terrifying ride up, three of us rented quad bikes again to see Oia, a town that achieves the expectations of what a Greek town should look like. From the top of the carefully etched cliffs, it’s a long plunge to the sparkling Mediterranean water below. Beautiful white and yellow souvenir shops with the traditional blue accents, line the walking paths offering all sorts of wonderful handcrafted treasures.
Being short on time, we didn’t wander for long as we planned on going to a place called Red Beach, where the bright red rocks that jetted up from the sea had apparently shed enough powder to form a beach of red and black sand below. With the teal and turquoise waters gently greeting the colorful sand, the scene that laid before our eyes could have easily been a well-crafted painting or someone’s imaginative happy place, but there it stood peaceful and inviting. Had we not been short on time, my shoes would have been off in an instant allowing my feet to exfoliate in the fine sand of the most unusual beach I’ve ever seen…although Shell Beach on St. Barths is a pretty unique experience as well.
The cable ride back down to the port provided more terror than the hours we spent riding around the coastal and mountain roads of the island, but got us there safely just in time to catch a tender back to our floating home.