My third full day in Greece was one of my favorite days there! I was up early to go and see Akrotiri, which is basically Greece’s Pompeii. I love anything history-related, so I wanted to check it out, and I’m glad I did. It’s thousands of years older than Pompeii, which I didn’t realize because the volcano that buried it erupted sometime between 1600-1500 BC. And it had been around for hundreds of years before that happened. I say it’s kind of like a mix of Pompeii and Roanoke, too, because, unlike Pompeii, it seems the Minoans were able to evacuate before the volcano destroyed the settlement since they’ve never found any human remains there. But, nobody knows where they went. I’ll stop my history lesson now, but one last fun fact before I move on is that it’s very widely believed that Akrotiri was the inspiration for “Atlantis.”
So anyway, back to my day. I went to Akrotiri, and it was very cool to see. I’d recommend checking it out if you’re also a history/culture person, but you definitely don’t need more than an hour or two there. After walking around and seeing the excavation site and taking tons of pictures, I took the bus back to Fira to take another bus to Perissa. I realized later I could have gotten to Perissa from Akrotiri, but oh well.
I originally planned to go to Kamari beach that day, but the bartender told me that Perissa was better the night before. First, I had an amazing lunch at The Mermaid Tavern (obviously a fantastic name) – I had the most enormous bowl of pasta I’ve ever had for like $8. Then, I went down to the beach! Perissa is a black sand beach which I was not quite used to, but it was very cool. It has a huge mountain next to it, and it was the most transparent water I have ever seen in my life. The water also felt super weird to me because it’s so salty, but it was worth it. I ended up staying at the beach for almost an hour and a half longer than I’d initially planned because I was so relaxed, and the water felt so good.
Finally, I made my way back to Fira to get a gyro from Lucky’s Souvlaki, and man, oh man, did it live up to the hype. I got the chicken, and it was incredible; I could have eaten three more probably. Then, I went to this cute jewelry store called Lava Art Fira that I’d been to the day before to get a custom-made necklace from the owner. I’d wanted a monogram necklace for a while, and she made me a beautiful one. I’m so happy with it. Then, I ended my night with a chocolate crepe, some wine, and a movie on Netflix before getting to sleep.
For my last day, I had a semi-private sunset catamaran cruise scheduled to spend a bit more time swimming, sunbathing, and sunset viewing. But first, I had a massage at a partner hotel a bit down the street. It wasn’t the best massage/spa experience I’ve ever had, but it was nice to relax before I flew again.
But first, I had a massage at a partner hotel a bit down the street. It wasn’t the best massage/spa experience I’ve ever had, but it was nice to relax before I flew again.
The shuttle picked me up just after 1, and then after a handful of other hotel pickups, we arrived at the marina in Oia we’d be leaving from. I was VERY happy to learn I would not be on what looked like a party boat with two guys I met by the water. Instead, I joined an entertaining group of calmer people.
The boat tour was incredible. First, we stopped by the “hot springs” and swam right next to the volcano, and then moved onto another area for more swimming. I snorkeled a bit, too. Next, we had a literal feast on the boat – there was so much delicious food, thinking about it makes my mouth water. Then, we went to find a good spot amongst all the other boats waiting to watch the Oia sunset. Everyone on the boat was so friendly, they kept taking photos for me, and it was just such a good vibe.
I ended my night in Fira to get my necessary COVID test to return home and then had some gelato before going back to my hotel, packing a bit more, and spending my last night in Santorini.
Greece has been on my bucket list and my vision board for a while now, so I’m not sure why I was hesitant about thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it, but it surpassed every expectation I did and didn’t have. Although, before this trip, Croatia was my favorite place I’ve visited by Greece quickly took that spot. The people, the food, the water, and the views were simply unbeatable. I already can’t wait to go back, and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already! Next time I want to explore more of the islands and Athens, so if you have any tips, send them my way! Also, if you have any ideas on what should now be my 30th country – let me know! I’m just going to say that because of COVID I get an extra year and a half of my 20s, so I still have time. 30 by ’30,’ I’m not giving up!