Since we had a 3 p.m. hotel pick-up for a sunset cruise, we decided on a leisurely morning and early afternoon in Perissa, the non-caldera side.
Meltemi Village’s complimentary breakfast had tomatoes two ways: as slices to pair with tzatziki (or to put in a salad) and as tomato balls, a Santorini specialty. Tomato balls are delicious! Savory and surprisingly light for a fried food.
Perissa’s beachfront is lively morning and night, and there are plenty of lounge chair rentals and space to lay your towel or drop your stuff while you’re in the water. The road that runs along the coast is a makeshift boardwalk in the evenings and nights when it gets closed off to cars.
We spent some time by our hotel pool, too. There were even complimentary floats, and, at the hotel bar, we were able to charge a couple of Mythos beers to the room—a nice convenience.
Our hotel pick-up was right on time, and we made our way to the catamaran in an air-conditioned van. We handed over our shoes for storage (everyone’s barefoot on the boat), then boarded Happy Day for our ~4 hour excursion.
I’m glad I packed my cardigan because the sea breeze can get a bit crisp while the boat’s moving and after swimming especially.
The sunset cruise included three swimming stops, towels, snorkeling gear, noodles for floating, water, beer, wine, and dinner, cooked on the boat (lightly fried sole, shrimp, salad, breads and spreads, pasta with marinara, and chicken).
The large catamaran had two changing rooms and a bathroom. The crew also had a lot of interesting information about and insights into Santorini and its history.
Here we are, happy on board Happy Day.
We sailed around and swam at the red beach, white beach, and volcanic hot springs. You can only reach the white beach (pictured on right) by boat.
Our wedding bands are silver, so we had to take those off at the volcanic hot springs. We were also warned that white swimsuits would get stained.
Here’s Perry, giving new meaning to “hot” springs.
Perry swam and dove so much that the captain told him to watch Dolphin Man, a documentary about freediver Jacques Mayol.
We didn’t get tired of looking at the volcanic rock formations, and we were happy to see the Akrotiri Lighthouse, too.
The sunset was among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
After the catamaran ride, we asked to be dropped off in Fira rather than back at our hotel, and, happily, that wasn’t a problem. We stopped into Enigma Café for a cocktail and caldera view. This was the best cocktail of the trip, and the view of the moonlit water and lit-up cliffside buildings was stunning.
Fira was very busy at night, but the energy was good in the bustling streets. We moseyed along until deciding to stop into Franco’s, another cute café with a great patio and view and chairs reminiscent of Adirondacks.
Here, we encountered and fell hard for Volkan Beer (along with its charming descriptions). My favorite was Volkan Grey, “inspired by the thick grey September fogs that sweep Santorini. A crisp refreshing wheat lager with hints of honey and bergamot.”
We headed back to Perissa to stop in at Tranquilo, a beach bar with hammocks and lofts with cushions we’d passed earlier in the week. Though we didn’t eat here, we did notice the signs that stated it’s vegan-friendly. Very good drink prices, too. I had an inexpensive carafe of rosé wine, and Perry had a couple of beers (under €10). Eat and drink here if you’re looking for good prices. (In general, eating and drinking is significantly cheaper in Perissa than in Oia or Fira.)
We got in bed a little later than planned, but such is island life, I suppose. Stay tuned for the final day, in which we eat the three best figs in Greece and ride an ATV around the island, on- and off-road.