Yesterday I sailed along the rim of Santorini’s Caldera with a small group of five lively tourists and a crew of three. The other tourists were from Vancouver BC and had been in Athens visiting relatives.
We began and ended our sail at a marina near Perissa. The sail was an interesting variation on the hike between Fira and Oia and circling the caldera by land.
On the way to the volcano we sailed by islands, beaches, and bays along the southern part of Santorini near Akrotiri Cape and Thirasia, Aspronissi, Palia Kameni, and Nea Kameni Islands. We caught some good wind and the crew did a great job sailing.
Spending time leisurely exploring Santorini helps you understand its secrets and the layout of the island. The villages are all beautiful but distinctly different. Where I’m staying in Kamari is a laid back beach location and traditionally Greek. Oia and Fira are different and perched high on the cliffs above the beaches with sweeping vistas of the archipelago.
Santorini is small and easily explored. You can rent a bicycle, hire a car, or jump on local buses that cover most of the territory every day. Another option is catching a caïque, a small traditional Greek fishing boat.
There is great hiking on the island but even in spring hikers need to be prepared for the scorching sun. Since my arrival there have been a few cool, overcast days – perfect hiking weather.
The clear sunny days were very hot. I assume the heat is one reason the Greeks enjoy their afternoon siesta so much. Don’t try to do business then – it’s nap time!
Our first stop, Red Beach, had gorgeous deep blue water and impressive red rock formations. We swam and snorkeled before continuing to White Beach which is accessible only by boat.
Our final stop was at the hot springs where we swam in the warm sulfurous waters while the crew prepared a dinner of traditional Greek cuisine and fresh local fruit.
The wind was strong for the sail back to the marina and at about 8 pm we watched the sun disappear. The sky was hazy so the sunset wasn’t as spectacular as we had hoped, but any day spent sailing on the caldera is a wonderful experience!