After Athens, we flew to Santorini. Given the fact that Greece is made up of more than 1,000 islands, you’d think it would be more economical to get around by ferry, but in fact the flight was cheaper and considerably faster – and it even included breakfast!
We didn’t have any particular reason for choosing Santorini over any of the other beautiful islands, but while searching for hotels, my husband came across a really good deal for four nights at the lovely Lilium Santorini Villas, so that’s where we went. It was perfect: one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. Our room was comfortable and full of light, the balcony had a spectacular view over the pool and the sea, the included buffet breakfast was excellent, and the employees were all incredibly helpful. It truly couldn’t have been better.
|View from Lilium Santorini Villas|
Since Santorini is fairly small (about 30 square miles / 76 square kilometers), we didn’t rent a car, but instead explored the entire island on an ATV. We did some great wine tasting and discovered vinsanto, a sweet, fortified wine made only on Santorini (despite the similar name, it’s unrelated to Italy’s vin santo.) We also visited the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum, with its delightfully (though not deliberately) cheesy exhibits in a natural undergound cave. The entrance fee includes a wine tasting – we were unimpressed by the red and white wines (though they make several, we were only allowed to taste one of each), but their vinsanto and, especially, their Kamaritis (a family recipe – this is the only place that makes it, and you can only buy it at the museum) were excellent.
While wandering beyond the touristy part of Thira (aka Fira), we happened upon Andreas Alefragís’s pottery studio, where we chatted with the studio’s receptionist/greeter/clerk/cashier for over an hour, before buying several small but lovely pieces and meeting the artist.
All in all, four magical days on one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. Next stop: Crete.