The final island, the absolute stunner of Santorini. The Topdeck crew arrived tired and worn out but was incredibly excited to see if Santorini’s reputation lived up to our experience. We were a little worried as we arrived at our hotel, as the clouds started to settle in overhead. It didn’t matter about the rain, we still wanted to visit the famous city of Oia, and watch what we could of the sunset.
We were not disappointed. The clouds cleared and we had an incredible view over the Aegean and beautiful white Hellenic buildings.
Santorini along with all the Greek islands is known for its brilliant seafood, and I had the opportunity to spend the evening enjoying octopus, marinara and pizza.
Day two was the longest day of my entire life. Early morning we left the hotel for a cable car down a cliff face and a boat ride to the crater of the volcano of Santorini. After hiking up we were explained the geology, history and dug into the ground to get a taste for just how active the volcano actually is! Unfortunately I didn’t see lava, but did get a look at some massive egg shaped rocks with crazy cracks in them from when the fell from the sky.
Next was a short, easy swim for most of the Topdeck crew into the volcanic springs. Initially we were revolted by the heavy sulphur smell, and it was quite comic watching all the girls try to hold their hair up while trying to swim! By the time we reached a small cove, our leader instructed us to dive down and grab as much mud as possible to smear over our bodies. Most of the group took a while to warm to this idea, but the mud apparently is really good for your skin! Everybody came out glowing a radiant olive colour and smelling a little bit gross!
After a traditional meal on the boat we packed onto donkeys for a very strange and awkward climb up the side of the caldera. I was fortunate not to have a mad donkey like some of my friends, and although I felt as though I might die on multiple occasions, it was a tick of a box and a great time.
As if we hadn’t done enough already, everyone decided that a quadbike journey around the island would be fun! By the time I got there all the bikes but two of the most powerful beasts were left in the shop. A new mate from Canberra, Brett and myself shared the mothership that held four times the power of my fellow travellers. After getting rather lost but still seeing the scenery, we arrived at the red beach. I was a fool not to have my camera with me at this point because it looked like I’d just come off Earth and onto Mars. The red beach is an absolute must do for any type of traveller in Greece as it will leave you breathless.
One more night in Santorini awaited the Topdeck team and as is tradition with a group of Aussies, we hit the local Irish bar for one final evening of laughs, and it was mighty sad to realise those people I met would not be around for much longer! Shout out to all the people on the Topdeck Island Hopper for being great fun on our tour!
Santorini awoke to a late bunch of us for one final quadbike tour of the island, before jumping onto an 8 hour ride back up to Athens once again! Santorini is definitely one of the best spots I’ve hit this year, and will definitely be back. Read my top 5 from Santorini!
Get a vehicle
The islands are not small enough to easily walk, and to get around you need a way to see as much as you can! I shared a quadbike with a mate, which was quite expensive, but saved us a load of time and meant we could see more of Santorini!
See the sunset
Head down to Oia one evening and watch the sun go down. It’s weird because it has to be the same sun as everywhere else in the world, but there is something incredible about it!
Red, Black and Yellow Beaches
Due to the volcanic activity, and different minerals being dominant in each explosion, the sand on different parts of the island is a different colour! The red beach is definitely the most serene, but both the black and yellow beaches are quite incredible.
Climb the volcano
Just to be able to stay you have stood atop a live volcano it is worth a boat ride and hike up the crater. It’s not hugely impressive in itself, but a geologically interesting walk, and a small dig beneath the ground will show you just how active the volcano is!
The waters around Santorini everywhere are amazing. Whether it is the thermal springs, or down by the beach it is a lovely time.
#jongmasjourney has finished its Greece tour, I will post once more on the overall recommendations for Greece later in the month. However in the meantime look forward to my stories of Madrid! Shout out to Topdeck Travel for being absolutely legendary, I would definitely recommend Themis Vlachos as a tour leader as he is an absolutely awesome guy who is really passionate about his work, and knows Greece incredibly well.
Until next time… As Grandma’s friend Laurie always says…
“Love all around”