When traveling, if you are leaving part way through the day, leave your bags at the front desk and take off for the day until you need to leave. It is much more comfortable than lugging your backpack around all day.
We enjoyed our breakfast at Corner, our breakfast spot, one last time. We had the same as day 1 and day 2, fried eggs and bacon for me, and a waffle for Derek. We enjoyed conversation with our waitress, who had taken the time to get to know us over the last few days. We loved this place, and we were sad to know we wouldn't be back the next day.
We rode down the windy cliff and traveled the "Low Road" to Oia. The beaches were beautiful on the East side of the island and we got to see a part of the island that a lot of tourists don't go to.
One of our favorite sights on this ride was the windmills on the side of the mountain. It was unlike anything we would see back home. Although, the whole island was full of things we would never see anywhere else. We couldn't resist, and had to pull over and take some pictures. You see these windmills throughout the little towns in Santorini but this was the only spot we saw this many all grouped together. It makes sense to have windmills in Santorini because, as we found out, it gets REALLY windy.
When we arrived in Oia, we sat down at a little cafe where I got a banana juice and Derek got a chocolate milkshake and an iced tea. All were delicious. We also shared some fresh bread. with honey, butter, and jam.We had a beautiful view of the village, and the whole Island really. I was sad that this was our last day in Santorini, and I started to get emotional.
We walked through Oia, appreciating the village, and trying to take in the moment of the last day. We found a little lookout, where only one other family had stopped to take pictures. This is where I cried, knowing that I had to leave the island that day and go home to our regular routine. The view was beautiful. The pastel villas, and the white buildings with blue domed roofs will be a sight that I only hope to be able to see again in my lifetime.
We rode the 4 wheeler back south, and decided we wanted to stop and spend more time in the villages we had walked through on the first day.
First we stopped at Imerovigli. We walked through the villas and walking paths. One can almost be blinded with all the white paint on the buildings, but it is one of the most beautiful parts of the island. Derek really loved this village, as did I. We found a quaint little church on one of the ledges that had a look out points where you could see the entire island. It was breath taking.
We decided to drink a bottle of Visanto wine we had bought at Venetsanos. We originally wanted to ship the bottle home but there was a minimum amount they would ship and then we thought about checking it in with another bag but we didn't want the hassle of checking a bag. We travel with backpacks only for a reason and it makes airports and moving around so much easier. So we opened the bottle and sat on a step overlooking the cliff and took in the moment and all we had seen and experienced in Greece. We will talk more about the amazing dessert wine Visanto in our wine of Santorini post!
Our next stop was Firostefani. This was one of the most beautiful villages in my opinion. We stopped at Remvi where we had a beautiful view and got lunch. Marina, the owner of Costa Marina Villas, had told us to try the cherry tomatoes in Santorini, so I ordered a salad with those famous tomatoes, goat cheese, prosciutto, croutons and balsamic and oil. It was fresh, and Marina was right about the tomatoes. Derek got french fries. Here we tried a new beer called Volkan. The beer had been filtered through the volcanic lava rock of the island. It was delicious! It tasted nice and crisp and light, like many Greek beers we had tried. It also had a very distinct mineral quality to it from the lava rocks, a flavor we had come to enjoy and appreciate while we were in Greece and especially Santorini. It was incredible to be drinking the Volkan beer in front of the very volcano it was named for.
We walked around the village a little, admiring the sights. Firostefani is beautiful and the most quaint of the villages on the seaside. It is one of the suburbs of Fira and is only a ten minute walk from the center of Fira. It gets its name because of the height difference between it and Fira and is its "Crown". Stefani comes from the word that means crown or that which surrounds or encompasses.
We headed back to Fira to explore the village that we stayed in, but hadn't felt like we spent enough time in. We walked in an out of the little shops. We bought a Christmas ornament to remind us of our trip, and picked up 2 100mL bottles of Visanto that we knew we could take in our carry on baggage on the plane. Tip: You can pack alcohol in your carry on bag as long as it doesn't exceed 100mL a bottle and can fit in your liquids Ziploc bag.
We stopped at a bar called Classico with a beautiful view. We enjoyed a couple of Yellow Donkeys, which became one of our favorite beers in Greece. Yellow Donkey is refreshing, and has a slight mineral taste to it. Derek loved the Crazy Donkey IPA too. Apparently they also make a White Donkey and a Red Donkey, which we did not get to try.
We then made an attempt to ride the ATV to Pyros. We realized that it was way too windy as we got closer and closer to the most southern tip of the island. The wind actually lifted the front end of our ATV off the ground. We had to turn around, and instead decided to go to Santos Wines for our third wine tasting of the trip. We enjoyed 6 different wines and some small bites. You can read about the wine in our upcoming blog post about the Wine tastings in Santorini.
We rode back to Fira and looked for a place to have dinner. Derek and I had trouble finding somewhere we hadn't been yet that also had a good view of the sunset. We finally found a tiny little restaurant called Louis. This was the best place we ate in Greece. The restaurant had one male waiter, one female cook (who we thought might be married) and a younger woman helping out (maybe their daughter). It had a beautiful view of the sunset, and the food was the best dinner we had while in Greece. Derek loved his french fries and the Yellow Donkey that we had. I ordered the Fisherman's Spaghetti. It was Made with mussels, octopus, squid, bay scallops, and fish. It was all mixed up with a tomato sauce and some oil. It was amazing. The pasta was fresh and homemade, and the fish was cooked to perfection. We finished off dinner with Baklava, our favorite dessert in Greece.
For our final stop, we went to McDaniels, a little outdoor bar in Fira. There, we had a beer called Fix, which was not good at all and tasted like stainless steel. We were disappointed and didn't want to end Santorini on this note.
We headed back to our hotel, Costa Marina Villa, where we hung out with Marina and Lila (the owner and her best friend). It felt like they also became our best friends over the course of the trip. We shared travel dreams, sipped on the remainder of the bottle of wine we had bought the day before, and spoke about how amazing Greece is. Lina remembered that I had not tried the Raki and poured some for herself, Marina, and I and made a cheers to the trip. We were sad to leave Sanrorini, which we decided was one of the most beautiful places in the world we have ever been. The people were friendly, the sights were beautiful, and the food and drink were delicious.
We can't wait to go back to Santorini again... or maybe buy a house their one day...
Travel Tips for Santorini from Day 3:
- Beers to try in Santorini: Volkan, Yellow Donkey, Crazy Donkey, (anything from Santorini Brewing Co.) and Mythos
- Go to Oia, but make sure you spend time exploring the other villages too. Imerovigli and Firostefani were our favorites.
- Find a restaurant with a view, especially in Fira and Oia, where you can watch the sunset.
- Go to the little tiny restaurants run by a family. They offer the best food. Louis was our favorite restaurant!
- Buy a bottle of 100ml wine and bring it home on the plane with you. You can keep it in your carry-on in your plastic liquids bag.
Quirky things about Santorini:
- The public bus is a coach bus.
- You can not put toilet paper in the toilet because of the plumbing. You have to put the toilet paper in the metal trashcans with lids, provided in all the bathrooms in Santorini.
- There are stray dogs everywhere that appeared to be "island dogs" that everyone in the village takes care of.
- The vines grow close to the ground and don't go higher than your ankle. They also are round, like the shape of a basket.