We had one more day to spend with our friends from the states before they flew back to the UK the following day so we decided to rent Quad bikes and go all Dora The Explorer on this island. I felt like we just had to show them Santo Winery which Phil and I had visited for 5 minutes a few days before. It’s located on the hill of Fira and just had the best view, so much so, that we saw about 3 weddings going on whilst we were sat there. After getting over the initial awe of the views, we decided to do a little wine tasting before heading over to Perissa Beach. After my time in Greece, I’ve definitely taken more of an interest in wine and ventured out of my Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot comfort zones. A dry white is the way forward for my little taste buds!
It was a 20 minute ride to Perissa Beach which involved driving through some real local villages which is always great to see. Perissa Beach is distanced away from all the hustle and bustle but was still pretty touristy..and not in a good way. The actual beach is unexpectedly beautiful with volcanic black sand and pebbles and views of mountain churches, however, the bars and restaurants above just brought the Kitsch factor up by 500%. To make matters worse, the service and food were just awful. I’ve never had tougher calamari in my life, it was like chewing through an iron bar! I can’t say I would recommend staying anywhere near Perissa Beach, especially during high season.
We headed back to Fira and hit Theoni’s restaurant for one last portion of the feta cheese fries and seafood.
The next day we decided to stay around Fira and check out some local hotspots. Our hotel recommended a restaurant called Chefs Garden and as many do with recommendations from locals, you take with a pinch of salt, due to the fact that it can just be a case of mass promotion. We decided to try it out on a Sunday afternoon and were a bit hesitant as there was no one else in the place. We were absolutely blown away! I would definitely recommend trying the sausage with mustard and honey, the grilled sea bass with oven roasted brussels sprouts (so meaty!) and the tomato and crushed feta seafood saganaki. Service was fantastic and as the lovely Greeks do, we were presented with a rich chocolate orange soufflé and ice-cream with our bill.
We followed dinner with cocktails at a bar which was highly recommended on TripAdvisor called Palia Kameni. The bar was split into 4 levels and had couches all facing the sunset. It was such a lovely location to watch the sunset and what made it even better was the unlimited Prosecco for 20 Euros. As soon as we had put one glass down, a refill would magically appear in front of our eyes in seconds. Perfection.
On our last full day, we decided to make one last trip to Oia to catch the sunset. We had read that you could hike from Fira to Oia in around 3 hours and that the views were spectacular. I absolutely love hiking and haven’t been able to do any since I left Hong Kong for London so I was extremely excited! We left Fira with massive bottles of water and no expectations of what was ahead of us. Thankfully the hike wasn’t that physically demanding at all which allowed us to take our surroundings in and finish within just over 2 hours. I think overall, this was probably one of my most favourite experiences during my time in Santorini, coming after first settings eyes on Oia. Santorini really does have an energy about it that you just can’t explain, must be something to do with it being Volcanic lands.
We had a quick snack at Ammoudi’s Fish Tavern (Baked Feta in a crisp leaf, covered in honey and sesame seeds. YUM) and then relucatantly said our farewells to Oia and caught the 20 minute bus back to Fira wedged between a pervert and an old woman. Like I said in my pervious post, I wouldn’t recommend using the bus service unless you don’t mind not being able to move an inch or breath without inhaling someones sweaty armpit.
Santorini exceeded all my pre consumptions and I am so thankful that I was able to visit this island with my boyfriend and meet all the people I did. I will be seeing you in the not so distant future Santorini!