My First Visit To Greece: Sea-Worthy Adventures in Santorini

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50

 

My first trip to Greece with my sister N and daughter A would soon be coming to an end. Thankfully, we saved our sea-worthy adventures in Santorini for the later part of the week, including a trip to the Perissa black beach and a sunset catamaran cruise around the island.

Santorini, Oia, Greece

I went to Greece with my daughter A (center) and sister N (right).

Breakfast and a Visit to the Black Beach
On Thursday, we headed out for breakfast at Passaggio, a cute spot on the edge of Oia’s town center. Passaggio is a small bistro where you can takeout or eat in. We each ordered coffee and yogurt and fruit bowls. They also make homemade smoothies which looked yummy. We decided to sit on the terrace where there is a beautiful island view. Passaggio’s breakfast bowl was the creamiest  Greek yogurt I’ve ever eaten and the honey on the bottom thin and light with just the right sweetness. It was so good, so good, so good.

Passaggio bites and drinks

Passaggio is a cute place for breakfast with a view.

Passaggio bistro in Oia; Oia restaurants; Santorini restaurants

A lovely view from the Passaggio terrace.

Knowing it would be a long trip to the beach, we were glad our tummies were satisfied. We boarded the local bus to Fira (the capital of Santorini) and from there took another packed bus to the beach all the way on the other side of the island. It took about 90 minutes one-way for the trip. (Note: Originally we had planned to rent a car. However, after seeing the rugged roads we decided against driving in Santorini – which was a wise decision. That’s why I’m still here to tell you all about my travels.)

Santorini black beach, Perissa black beach; Santorini, Greece

The black beach in Santorini has pebbles for sand.

While it was a hot and long journey, once we arrived at the black beach, it was very relaxing. The “sun beds” and thatched umbrellas are free as long as you buy drinks or food from the beach’s restaurant. There are also bathrooms in the restaurant should you need to change into or out of your bathing suit.

The sand is full of black pebbles from the volcanic ash. The sea water is calm and clear — nice for swimming.

Our return bus rides were equally crowded and hot, hot, hot. We were glad to be back in Oia for the evening to enjoy dinner at Karma (we shared Greek salad and tomato fritters and I had veggie kabobs for my entree) and dessert at Lolita, Oia’s popular gelateria.

Karma restaurant in Oia; Greek tomato fritters; Santorini restaurants; Greece

Karma restaurant in Oia has delicious tomato fritters and veggie kabobs.

A Captivating Catamaran Cruise
Our Amorous Lagoon 520 Sunset Tour with Sunset Oia Sailing Cruises was all set for Friday. We had reserved a 5-hour group tour for the afternoon leading into evening to see the famous Santorini sunset over Ammoudi Bay.

Sunset Oia cruises; catamaran cruise around Santorini; Greece

Sunset Oia offers catamaran cruises around the Santorini islands.

We met our van service pickup at the Oia Post Office, packing bathing suits, hats, a change of clothes and lots of sunscreen for our voyage on the Aegean Sea. It took about 45 minutes to pick up all the travelers and there were many, many boats and catamarans to organize before leaving port.

The Sunset Oia team was super-friendly. Helen gave us safely tips and other members shared stories about he 1956 earthquake that divided Santorini into three islands. We visited the Red Beach for swimming and snorkeling. Our second stop was nearby the White Beach for more swimming, and where we anchored for our on-board barbecue.

Santorini Red Beach; Santorini beaches; Sunset Oia catamaran cruise; Greece

The red rocks overlook the Red Beach for swimming.

After dinner, we sailed around the two volcanos, which are closely watched by local authorities, and visited the Hot Springs for more swimming. (Note:There is sulfur in the Hot Springs water and it can turn your white bathing suit orange. I recommend you wear a dark bathing suit if you go on this cruise.  I held off swimming, not wanting to ruin the white trim on my bathing suit.)

Sunset Oia cruises; Santorini, catamaran cruise

The catamaran takes you around the volcanos.

Our last stop was below Oia village where we watched the sunset from the best point on the island. As we sailed into the port and the sun was setting a song was playing “These are the days we won’t forget. These are the days we won’t forget. These are the days that we waited for. These are the days that we’ll never forget.”

Santorini sunset; Santorini; Sunset Oia.

A beautiful Santorini sunset.

It was just as the Sunset Oia says, it was “a fairytale” experience and a great way to end our week in Santorini.

Santorini Sunset; Santorini

Viewing the setting sun from the catamaran.

Farewell Dinner At Floga and Fond Memories
There would be one more highlight of our stay and that was our Saturday night farewell dinner that A had booked in advance at Floga, one of the more expensive restaurants in Oia. Floga has the biggest terrace in Oia to view the breathtaking views of the caldera.

We decided to splurge since it was our last night. We dined on tomato fritters and Greek salad to start. I ordered the sea bass fillet with fennel and ginger sauce for my entree. Our dessert finale was a best-ever baklava. We each took turns scrapping up the last bits of phyllo, honey and nuts.

Floga restaurant in Oia, Santorini; Santorini restaurants; Oia restaurants

Our final meal at Floga included tomato fritters, Greek salad, sea bass (for me) and baklava.

 

By Saturday evening our bags were packed for tomorrow’s early morning flight from Santorini to Athens and then Athens to New York.

Santorini; Oia; Greece

Santorini offers picture perfect views.

My first-ever visit to Greece is filled with fond memories. I hope you get to experience Greece, especially Santorini, during your life after 50. It’s well worth a trip. This Santorini quote below reminds me that every day can end beautifully.

Judi

P.S. In case you missed my earlier posts about my vacation to Greece, check them out below:

My First Trip To Greece: The Amazing Old World of Athens
My First Trip To Greece: Climbing To The Top Of The Acropolis
My First Trip To Greece: Soaking In The Splendors of Santorini
My First Trip To Greece: Enjoying A Wine and Food Tour in Santorini

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9 thoughts on “My First Visit To Greece: Sea-Worthy Adventures in Santorini

  1. Your photos and comments brought back so many great memories. I have been to Santorini twice and I totally forgot that I did the sailboat cruise to the volcano. So much fun! Looks like you had an amazing time too (with great food)!

  2. We took our first visit to Greece in our 50’s and now in our 60’s have purchased a home there, obtained our residency permits, are selling our US house and moving there next month. And that quote about sunsets is true! Great photos. Glad you had a good time.

  3. What a great way to end you trip to Greece. I’ve had the good fortune to visit Santorini twice. Both times, many years apart, were magical. Those sunsets are hard to match and it\’s great you finished your travels on such a high note.

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