As in Athens, we’d scheduled a private airport transfer from the Santorini airport to our hotel before leaving the States. Apparently, August is the apex of peak season, but it was our only option (#teacherlife), so we braced ourselves and took the suggestion of those who had gone before us: make reservations for things before leaving. So, along with the airport transfer, at least a month before leaving, we also reserved an ATV, made a reservation for a patio seat at a restaurant in Oia for a sunset dinner, and booked a sunset cruise. The ATV was the only pain in the process. We reserved an ATV with three different companies only to have them email us to cancel the reservation due to lack of supply. Happily, fourth time’s the charm, and we reserved an ATV and arranged a hotel drop-off with Rent Me, Love Me… (More on that later.)
Still sipping on the Mythos beer (“the Corona of the island”) our driver gave us for the ride from the airport, we pulled up to Meltemi Village, lit-up so its bright white stucco glowed, and looked at each other big-eyed and pleased with where we’d landed.
Here is a daytime photo.
Check-in was a breeze, and the person at the desk not only answered our question about taking the morning bus from Perissa to Thira (Fira), she also gave us a bus schedule and let us now exactly where to catch the bus (on the bench in front of Bob’s Bar, across from Dorian’s Pub) and exactly how much we’d need when the money-collector made his or her rounds (€2.40 each). (When speaking, “Thira” is used to refer to the ancient island, and “Fira” is used to refer to the capital.)
Our suite was pretty magical. The bed was in the loft, and the private “Jacuzzi” (a soaking tub with bubbles, but no heat) was on the patio, along with two lounge chairs, a small table with chairs, and a drying rack. The room also had AC, but some nights were cool enough to leave the windows open instead. The temperature ranged from high 80s (Fahrenheit) to low 60s in the evenings (the temperature was a bit warmer in Athens, sometimes in the 90s). Like in Athens, the room’s lights and AC only worked with room key activation; but, unlike in Athens, the refrigerator stayed on regardless. There were also two plush robes and two sets of slippers in one of the closets.
Here’s a daytime photo of our private deck.
After freshening up, we took the 5-minute walk to the Black Beach and the boardwalk to find some water and sunscreen for tomorrow’s hike from Fira to Oia (pronounced E-yuh) and to eat dinner. The water is not potable in Santorini, so be sure to stock up on bottled water for your room and excursions.
Perissa’s boardwalk is lively!
We let our hunger guide us and ended up at a table on a beach-deck at Apollon Restaurant. Our Armenian server, who, unlike a lot of the service industry people we met, stayed in Santorini year-round, explained that the dining area was makeshift: a cabana business had dibs on the deck during the day, so the restaurant just set up tables on the deck from dinner until midnight. Luckily, we got seated at 10 p.m., so had no need to rush. We ordered a Greek salad, bread, mussels saganaki (with olive oil, white wine, cherry tomatoes, and crushed feta), salmon (with a lemon and lime marinade), sparkling water, and a bottle of wine, knowing we could cart it off with us after the meal for a walk at the water’s edge.
Perry was very pleased that we got to dress the salad ourselves with a cruet of oil and vinegar.
The server gifted us with a limoncello (for me) and ouzo (for Perry) and let us know it was “the night of shooting stars” and to keep our eyes up during our walk. Perry, the one who can see a coyote in the trees off the interstate while driving, unsurprisingly saw two shooting stars on our walk; I saw none.
We stargazed some more on the lounge chairs on our private deck, then packed for our hike, opting to take my daypack from the Osprey Meridian. After calling it a night, we climbed into the cool sheets of our bed—a true full bed, unlike the pushed-together twins in Athens.
We woke early and left before the complimentary breakfast (8-10 a.m.), wanting to catch the 7:50 a.m. bus to Perissa. We didn’t have to walk far, as the bus stop is under one minute from Meltemi Village.
We saw some horses beside the bus stop.
And found Florida.
This was the 2nd bus of the day: the first came at 6:30 a.m. Had we missed this bus, we would have had to wait until after 9 a.m. for the next one or call a taxi (~€25). We were getting scared we somehow missed the bus (even though we showed up at the stop around 7:35 a.m.), but it turned out it was just running behind, arriving about 15 minutes late.
So, off to Fira we went, arriving in the square, picking up some espresso and pistachio and honey bars, buying a linen towel (€8) near Hotel Atlantis, and easily finding the start of the 6-mile Fira-Oia trail for our caldera hike. More on that soon!