escaping to the islands.
after an eventful stay in athens (read part I of the trip here) we departed for the islands: our first stop the fabulous, famed santorini. there are a number of ways to travel between the greek islands, depending on your time and budget there are different speed boats which depart continuously from the port of piraeus – from slow, hulking ferries to high speed ships and ultra fast speed catamarans. we chose to fly on one of the daily flights, making it a sweet 45 minute trip as opposed to a possible 8 hour voyage by ferry.
santorini is the southernmost island of the cyclades and 240 miles to the southeast of piraeus (mainland greece.) all the individual greek islands belong to a larger group of islands, most prominent are the ionian, the cyclades, the dodecanese, and the aegean. crete, by far the largest and most diverse island, is the only one that stands alone. we decided to visit the cyclades – a delightful group of idyllic islands that form a circle around the island of delos, and are known for their irresistible beauty and relaxed island lifestyle.
with a population of less than 15,000, the small island of santorini has many attractive little towns and we chose to stay on the southeastern coast at kamari beach. for four fabulous days we lounged along the black sand beaches, dining alfresco and relishing the quaint atmosphere of this fairly well-developed (yet perfectly tranquil) resort town. our hotel was a simple, family run establishment where we slept facing the ocean, our balcony doors flung open. every morning we were served tea and coffee with fresh bread, and practiced a few greek words with the owner: a kind, old woman, who i lovingly referred to as greek grandma, and who kissed us goodbye when we left the last day.
the food was incredible: fresh tomatoes and vegetables, hot bread, amazing seafood – and the days were long and languid under the hot sun. with so many places to choose from, kamari was the ideal spot to escape to, and santorini a new favorite destination.
our delightful host posed for a photo with my mom :)