Ever since my first trip to Greece at the age of 11, I have been a lover of all things Greek. The fabulous beaches, the friendliness of the people and particularly the food. I absolutely LOVE Greek cuisine. Pitta gyros, stifado, lamb kleftiko, feta cheese. My mouth is watering just typing this! And then there is the wine. Retsina certainly isn’t to everyone’s liking but I think it’s great. And it doesn’t give you that dreaded hangover.
So imagine my delight when I saw a cruise sailing with Costa Cruises that took in 5 Greek islands in a one week cruise. Sailing out of Heraklion in Crete we visited Kos, Rhodes, Samos, Mykonos and the jewel in the itinerary for me, Santorini.
Spectacular Santorini for me, is without a doubt the most scenically dramatic of all the Greek Islands and its whitewashed churches and clifftop houses are probably the most recognisable image of the Greek Islands. This was the port of call I was waiting for! And I didn’t have long to wait. Day 2 of the cruise and we were there. After breakfast on board, we took the short tender to the port, Thira (pictured left). There are 3 ways up to the town, the cable car, by donkey or on foot up the 588 steps.
Whichever way you choose, the views are certainly worth it. I honestly don’t believe the pictures do the scenery justice. Well mine certainly don’t anyway.
After wandering around the quaint cobbled streets and watching a local wedding party celebrate a new union we got on a bus to explore the island. Our first stop was Kamari on the east coast of the island. Kamari is a cosmopolitan beach resort which has been awarded the Blue Flag. The water is deep and blue, the sand is black and a lovely stone paved promenade for strolling runs parallel to the beach. Offering a wealth of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops this area is closed off to traffic during the summer season.
After some of that fabulous Greek food for lunch we moved down the coast to Perissa which is a picturesque little village dotted with whitewashed villas. Home to a 7km long Blue Flag beach and a promenade packed with chill-out bars and tavernas this was the perfect place to quench our thirst with a couple of ice cold pints of Mythos for me and a cocktail for the wife.
Back on the road again we decided to get a taxi back to Thira as we realised that we probably needed to go back to the port to make sure we weren’t rushing to get back to the ship in time. That’s when we realised we hadn’t been to Oia which is another cliff side town with stunning views. We were disappointed but at least it means we have to go back for another visit.
When we got back to Thira we decided before going back to the ship that another couple of beers and a light snack would be required. After all who wouldn’t want to sit in a taverna and take in those views while they had the chance.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Time to take the 588 steps back down to the bottom and set sail for the next port. One thing is for certain though, this will not be the last time I visit this wonderful island. I guess that is one of the main reasons why cruising is such a great way to travel the world. You get to see several places all in one cruise and it gives you an insight in to places that inspire you. Places that you would love to visit again. Santorini is definitely one of those places!
Thanks for reading, until next time keep searching for YOUR Best Destination….