Updated: May 11, 2022
If you want to read about the first few days in Santorini please visit: https://photographybymariasavidis.com/Greece-Santorini.html
October 11-14 Days 4-7
Our fourth day started with a hike to Skaros Rock. We parked our car in a lot on the outskirts of Imerovigli Village where we saw street art touting Burgers which affected my vegetarian sensitivities - even though it is a nice piece of Art.
During the late middle ages a huge castle was built with fortified walls to protect Santorini from attacks by pirates. Over the years volcanic activity and earthquakes reduced this formidable structure to what it is today, rubble and rocks, even still as you walk towards the top it is easy to gain an appreciation of this former fortress.
So we decided to take a walk/hike to one of the highest points in Santorini. The day started off overcast but slowly got warm, fortunately we wore lightweight layers that we were able to easily remove.
The first thing we saw when we began our foot tour of Imerovigli Village, and Skaros Rock was a huge protrusion coming from what appeared to be a separate island.
As we entered the village we could see Skaros rock in the distance and had to ask for directions. Once we were told which road to go down it was easy enough to find and a nice hike. Please do not do this hike in sandals or flip-flops, a good sturdy pair of shoes, preferably hiking shoes is recommended.
While I was too timid to climb to the top of the rock, my husband is one of those small dots of color on the top. He offered a few observations when he returned. First, it’s not particularly dangerous, just that you need to be somewhat flexible and of moderate strength and agility for the last few yards. Second, because of that, it’s quite a popular vantage point, so the trail gets a crowd backed up there. Third, although hiking etiquette suggests yielding to those coming up a hill, from a practical standpoint it is best to forego that custom just before the top. The reasons are that there is limited space at the top, no one hangs around all that long, and coming down requires a blind feel for the footholds which takes a little more effort than ascending that last bit. If you see the line of color demarcation between the grey and the sienna rock I made it to the gray ledge. Not bad for a silver-streaked traveler.
The photo of the church below is where the trail begins for Skaros rock. Find this church and you are on your way. I took a quick shot of my husband during a rare quiet time at this location. Five minute before and five after it was full of people having portraits shot.
Our next destination was Megalochori which like Pyrgos is a town full of beautiful churches.
As we walked through town we came upon a cat whose face was almost symmetrically divided between that of a calico and that of a black cat. The Feline of the Opera, no doubt.
After a walk, a meal in Megalochori, a rest, and a change of attire, we headed back to town.
On the way, I photographed this building because of how the lines cut the sky.
Since we were in Oia, known for wonderful sunsets, it seemed reasonable to watch another beautiful one...
As we were watching the sun set, this cat decided to photobomb my shot. I didn't mind because it was a beautiful animal and it did not block the sun.
On the 12th of October we started the day with a visit to the black sand beach of Kamari.
In October the mornings start off cool but it can still get quite warm. While convertible pants mark you as a tourist , they definitely have benefits as you can easily go from long pants to shorts in seconds.
One of the things that many Greek beaches have that you are unlikely to find if you live on the east coast of the US is mountains and cliffs that cascade into the sea. Acadia in Maine is one place that comes to mind but only eight year olds actually enjoy the water temperature there. Of course, as at most beaches in Greece, row after row of lounge chairs with umbrellas are offered at a nominal fee. Usually, one needs only to order a drink or snack to cover the cost.
When researching Santorini I came up with a list of things that I wanted to see. One was the windmills of Gavrillos. It took some time to find them but when we did we saw some nice examples. Now, you may be thinking, “took some time”? Why didn’t you just look at the tops of the hills there? The answer is, many have lost their vanes over time and there wouldn’t be much to show then would there?
We then went for a late lunch or early dinner in Paralia Vicada where we saw a marina and beach from our table at the restaurant. The meal at Tavern Demetris from the perfectly prepared Tarama (carp caviar salad) salata, eggplant salad to the tender grilled soupies (Cuttlefish), stuffed tomatoes and peppers and dessert were ypérochos- beautiful - perfection in every bite.
After our meal, donning our rain gear, we headed to Akrotiri where we heard the ocean views and sunsets were spectacular. Arriving too early for sunset we hiked the short trails and took in the scenery.
It is no wonder we amassed 25,000 steps or 10 miles a day, so much to see and so much to do….
We decided to watch the sunset from Fira and so after Akrotiri we went to Fira, the town, not the harbor. Members of the cast from “The Greek Wedding” strolled by… so in addition to beautiful sites we heard beautiful sounds.
I had seen photographs of windmills in Emborio and so after a sumptuous breakfast on the 13th, our last full day in Santorini, we headed to there to see the picturesque town and to find more windmills.
Finally some of the town and another windmill.
When we booked our trip to Santorini we booked 4 nights at a luxury hotel, one at 3 star and one at a 4 star hotel and to survey the range. All were nice and offered a comfortable clean place to stay. Generally we stay in the least expensive decent place we can find but every once in a while we will splurge. There is something to be said for the upscale p
laces, the level of service , the amenities , the extreme comfort. It is a nice treat.
So we were off to our third accommodation in Santorini, the one closest to the ferry boat, as we had an early morning boat ride to Milos on the 14th. Our last stay was at the Star Hotel which was quite lovely. The hotel offered an inviting pool, a nice courtyard and proximity to an excellent restaurant, Tzanakis…again, another fabulous meal.
The food in Santorini was amazing. For a vegetarian, who does little to no dairy, the island is packed with options. Definitely a vegetarian/vegan friendly place to visit.
Briam - a mix of vegetable and potatoes - so good
Tomato Keftedakia - you have to try these
My husband opted for Arni (lamb) lemonato.
After dinner we saw another sensational Santorini sunset.
Join us as we continue our Greek holiday in our next mini blog, “South Aegean Ports and Milos - 4 Fabulous Days"
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Next: South Aegean Ports and Milos https://www.photographybymariasavidis-blog.com/post/south-aegean-ports-and-milos-4-fabulous-days