Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 - Greece - Day 2 [Santorini]

Our first full day in Greece, specifically Santorini, with the goal being that we rent an ATV and travel around the southern part of Santorini for the day.

Nemesis Breakfast Buffet
Nemesis Breakfast Buffet
Nemesis Breakfast Buffet
Breakfast was included with our stay at Nemesis Hotel and it was a good spread. Buffet style with a few types of bread, cereal, oats, yogurt, desserts, juice and coffee. There were also some sliced deli meats and cheeses as well as some local Greek items. Overall, I thought it was a nice breakfast.

After breakfast we got our ATV delivered to the hotel which was coordinated by the hotel, it cost us 25 euro for a 200cc ATV for the day (return 24 hours later). We got the ATV at around 10:00am, they took my driver's license as collateral, it may not happen to you, but that's what happened to me (it was returned when we returned the ATV). Note, we did get an International Driver's Permit at the local CAA in Toronto since we read that if you run into problems with the local police, you WILL have a big problem if you don't. It wasn't very expensive, $25 for the permit, but you need to bring photos or get them there. We spent 10 euro on gas and it was good enough for the day for what we drove.

Our first stop was Megalochori and it was a cute little town, we didn't see much and it was pretty small. It had some views and there was a church, but we got fairly lost and just drove around and ended up back on the main road somehow and then we went to Akrotiri and we got there by around 10:45am. There is a private parking lot right next to the site and it cost 2,50 euro for an ATV, prices differ based on what you are parking there, however, it seemed to be for as long as you like and not an hourly rate.

Akrotiri is a archaeological site that features an excavation of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement that happened to be preserved due to it being covered by a volcano eruption a long time ago and was only recently rediscovered in 1967 with excavation happening to this day. The cost to enter is 12 euros, however, 14 euros gives you an additional 3 sites that you can visit for a total of 4 sites. Since it was only 2 euros more to visit 3 other sites, it was an easy decision to make and we got the 4 site pass. We spent an hour at Akrotiri, your length of stay depends on your interest and how much reading you want to do. It is a fairly good sized excavation and there is a map that points out how the routes work and how long each route takes so you can plan it out accordingly. 

Red Beach
Red Beach

After Akrotiri, we decided to visit the Red Beach which is just a short walk away from the parking lot. Very easy to find with plenty of signage, or you can just follow the people. We spent an hour getting to the Red Beach, taking pictures and returning to our ATV. There were plenty of people there and it was different to see a different colour beach. Swimming here is no advised due to the amount of waves here. No cost to visit this.

The Dolphins
Stuffed calamari on top, swordfish on bottom 
The Dolphins is where we ended up at for lunch and we ordered the grilled stuff calamari, grilled swordfish, and an orangeade. It came out to 30 euro, food was good, it is right by the water with a small dock that you can take some nice pictures of.

Random church
With our stomachs full, we continued onto the Akrotiri Lighthouse and it is quite nice there. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest, it was overcast this day but I can see how people would like to spend their time here. Parking lot here is tiny though, so I can see that many people just parking on the side of the road. You can't actually enter the lighthouse, but there are plenty of areas that you can walk around for pictures and views. Parking was free.

Dakos on the top left, greek salad on top right, chocolate souffle on bottom
The Good Heart is where we went for a snack and it was a good place to stop for food. Allison spoke with a couple next to us and they gave us some suggestions and we ended up with Dakos (a Greek appetizer which contains of bread as a base, chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta on top with herbs), greek salad (which is really just tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and olive oil), and chocolate souffle (which was really just chocolate cake with ice cream on top). It came out to 20 euros.

We ended up going back to the hotel to rest and it only took us 30 minutes to get back from the lighthouse, so it isn't a very large island. We would have stopped elsewhere but the weather wasn't cooperating with us.

View from Trani Taverna
Nemo spaghetti on left, mixed fish on right
Dessert at Trani Taverna
Trani Taverna was for dinner and it does have some nice views if you luck out and get the right table which we did for a nice sunset dinner. We ordered the Nemo spaghetti, mixed fish for one and a desert which came out to 40 euros. Everything was very nice here, would recommend.

Akrotiri lighthouse
Akrotiri lighthouse

We drove back to the lighthouse after dinner, but we made it just a few minutes before and since it was cloudy, there was nothing to really see, although I can see how it would be really busy if the weather conditions were better. Allison read that if you stay a bit after sunset, you will see the lighthouse turn on which we did and it was my first time seeing a working lighthouse which was neat.

Tomorrow, we go on a boat cruise for the day. During the day, we actually went to the tour company and found out that it cost 5 euros less to go through the tour company instead of the hotel. Up to you whether you want to do this or not (40 euro vs 45 euros).

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