Red and Orange in Santorini
If like me you’re confused as to why the sun STILL hasn’t risen at 2pm, your hair is forever frizzy for damp and the C word is looming, then planning a trip to a hot island (whilst remaining in Europe) like Santorini might be the light relief you need. In my second post on the Grecian island, I’m taking you South to discover all the places I loved whilst on my holiday there last month. Warning: Prepare to book yourself a flight post-read.
See and swim at Red Beach
Which beach would you like to see today then? Red, white or black?
We chose red beach and from Santorini’s capital Fira, took the ‘bus’ (it’s a coach) down to the very bottom of the island. From there, walk along the shore (or a water taxi) round the headland. Use your feet and you’ll spot a pretty stairway with plaster dolphins on an arch leading you up to the road. Then follow the crowds round to get the view.
Disclaimer: I can’t imagine this place NOT being smothered in tourists. It’s understandable though, the colour is arresting but if you’re keen for a closer look it’s a perilous climb down to the beach and the infrastructure is lacking somewhat. (Think wooden posts jammed into rocks and bits of string to hold on to whilst scaling a boulder). I didn’t let a bit of danger bother me but the gritty beach was a different matter! Though people try, this isn’t the place for sunbathing (more on that topic later) but you can definitely have a quick swim, a snap and then shoot off again.
Chill out at Kamari Beach
The next day we hired a quad bike which, whilst involving a process of proving to a burly Greek man we could drive the thing, was undoubtedly the best use of 30 Euros on the trip. Once on the road, we really did feel incredibly liberated.
After a few expected wrong turns, ahem, we made it down to a quiet carpark by Kamari beach. At 11am, it was ideal time as barely anyone else was there so I could sip my fresh orange in peace. Our position right down at the far right end of the beach front was perfect. The shelter provided by the headland, beautiful black sand and view up on the hillside was bliss.
Less bliss is the grit under our feet. I’m not sure what the answer is here. The volcanic sand gets in flip flops so you may as well grin and bare the pain of tiptoeing over the beach and into the water. Once you’re there though, you won’t want to come out again so who needs feet anyway?
Quad to Perissa
Hopping back on our quads after lunch (frustrated that we missed the 3pm closing time at Ancient Thira up the cliff), we headed to Perissa, another coastal town.
After realising that the Aqua Park we had planned to visit was abandoned, we decided to explore the town by foot instead. Tranquilo bar was the first place we came across and couldn’t have been more perfect for an afternoon drink. My inner hippie was elated to discover sofas on platforms in the courtyard, colourful painted patterns and mantras on the walls and a healthy menu.
I could have spent hours here watching the boho staff trotting back and forth to the beach with drinks in this very unique Santorinian spot! I didn’t see anywhere like it on the island so I’d recommend making a trip just to hang out here.
Walk around Perissa village
Once we’d pulled ourselves away from Tranquilo we ambled around the back streets of the town discovering churches and deserted paths. There are some beautiful houses here amongst all the resort hotels, you just have to look around.
We quadded (or whatever the past tense of ‘to quad’ is) back through the vineyards and hills back to Fira. As the sun made it’s way towards the horizon, the landscape became glazed in yellow. Whizzing through empty roads with those views was such a treat and the best memories I’ve got of Santorini. Thanks you lovely, big rocky island you.
Liked the look of Southern Santorini? Read my post on Northern Santorini ›
Look at flights to Santorini ›