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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.”
It was just as the Sunset Oia says, it was “a fairytale” experience and a great way to end our week in Santorini.
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.
By Saturday evening our bags were packed for tomorrow’s early morning flight from Santorini to Athens and then Athens to New York.
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.
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