Friday, 15 January 2016

Santorini, Greece: Fira, Santorini Volcano, Kamari/Red Beach

Manchester > Glasgow > Edinburgh > Scottish Highlands > Aberdeen > Lisbon > Porto > Madrid > Valencia > Barcelona > Athens > Santorini

26/6: Santorini, Greece

Part 1: Oia, Santorini

Day 2 in Santorini was spent exploring Fira, joining a Santorini Volcano tour, and visiting the Kamari Beach and Red Beach.

We stayed in Fira, the Capital of Santorini.

These cobblestone streets lined with souvenir shops are a common sight.

We chanced upon this Greek bakery the day before and went to get breakfast here today.

Sweet-looking (literally) traditional Greek pastries

Coil pastry with spinach and feta to kickstart the day

..along with Greek ice-blended coffee

Fira is located at the top of a cliff so we took a cable car down to the old port.

View of the iconic white-painted buildings from the top of Fira

Panoramic view of Fira

Fira also has beautiful sceneries which allow for many photo opportunities as well.

The cable car ride took about 5 minutes. It was quite small and the view was not as fascinating as it would be by foot.

Old Port, located at the foot of Fira.

The old port is also where the cruise ships dock.

While waiting for our Santorini Volcano tour..

Quaint little spaces

On board our cruise ship to Nea Kameni, the volanic island of the Caldera.

Beautiful green waters near the volcanic islands

There is a small admission fee of €2 to enter the geological park of Nea Kameni and it is worth every cent.

The last active volcano happened in recent decades, in 1950!

My kind of day (exploring)

Magnificent landscape of the volcano island

Look at the blueness of the waters!

Breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea as the perfect backdrop against the black island

It was quite an eye-opening visit although I felt that the tour was a tad rushed.

Forget about commercialized postcards, take your own photographs and make postcards out of them!

This active volcano island has hot springs as well.

Heading back to Fira

We took the donkey ride from the old port back up to Fira.

It was quite a smelly experience as the steps were littered with donkey dung and there were many dung flies too.

Welfie with donkey success!

View of the old port from Fira

Restaurants along the edges of the cliff with a fine view

The typical and iconic cycladic architecture of whitewashed painted houses, hotels, shops, and even churches are what make Santorini so picturesque and photogenic.

Quenching the summer heat with Greek honey frozen yogurt from Selatrevo

Such a beautiful town! it must be really lovely to stay by the edges of the town, facing the ocean, and waking up to an unimpeded view of the Aegean Sea.

Lunch was a filling and satisfying Greek Chicken Gyros. So yummy!

After lunch, we headed to Kamari Beach.

Kamari Beach is a black sandy beach equipped with rows of straw shade umbrellas. They are not available for free use though.

I've never seen black sand before so it was pretty intriguing.

Sapphire blue water and occasional baby waves

It was quite a refreshing cold dip in the waters especially during the summer.

Because the sand is black, it can get uncomfortably hot to walk barefoot.

Sunshine on my face~

Pistachio ice-cream by the beach

There are a couple of restaurants and souvenir shops lined along the pathways of Kamari Beach too.

.. and a panoramic view of Kamari Beach to end off this visit.

Next stop, Red Beach. We passed by these interesting rock formations with some markings on them.

The Dolphins Tarverna

Crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea

This area was relatively quieter than the rest of the places we had been to and there was not much to see and do too.

Red and black volcanic rocks leading up to the Red Beach

We had to cross over these steep rocks to get to the bottom of the red beach.

vast blue sea and a quiet spot

Even as I'm typing out this blog post, it still feels surreal that I've checked Santorini off my bucket list :')

Ocean horizon~

Sunset at the red beach was not a fantastic sight but I liked that there were few people there and it was peaceful to be in a somewhat tranquil environment.

With the sun rays coming through..

It was time to go catch the bus back to Fira. The bus frequencies were limited so it was necessary to keep track of time.

Cute little church spotted

In the bus back to Fira

This Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Fira looks anything but orthodox. The dome and neat curves of this white church are on point!

A better view of the sunset in Fira
It must be so romantic to dine with the love of your life, accompanied with unobstructed ocean views and a stunning view of the sun setting, while engaging in a htht conversation.

Lovely sun rays hitting the exterior of the whitewashed Cathedral

Dinner was at Ellinikon Restaurant where we had fried cheese.

It was my first time having mousakka too. This is an eggplant-based dish, with ingredients such as minced meat and cheese. It is basically a pasta-free lasagna.

Frozen yogurt at Chillbox for dessert. My heart is still with llaollao hehe.

Next stop for the europexploreRS, Napoli :)

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