Santorini & the End of My Greece Adventure
The last island in Greece I visited was Santorini and it was just as beautiful and amazing as the rest. Our time in Santorini was short, so we were prepared to make the best of it. After delays with the ferry, we arrived midday to check into our amazing hotel! It was my favorite of all the hotels with a spa-like atmosphere.
We had a cooking class scheduled for half of our group on the evening we arrived, so that was the main thing on our agenda for the day. I've never taken a cooking class, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The chef was very entertaining and it turned out to be more fun than I imagined! Since there was a small group of us that attended, it was a very personal experience. We worked together to prepare a traditional Greek dish called Mousaka. I'm a picky eater, but it turned out to be delicious. We even had a wine pairing in which I discovered that I think I only like dessert wine.
After dinner, we spent some time walking around, grabbed some gelato, then headed back to the hotel to take advantage of the jacuzzi in our room. The end of our trip was nearing and we just wanted some time to hang out with each other.
The Moussaka we prepared for dinner!
The next day was our last full day in Greece. A group of us made plans to meet up and explore together, so we were up early to experience the best of Santorini! We hit the shops and grabbed the last of our souvenirs. The people are super nice in all the shops and if you look around you can find great deals. There was a beautiful church at the top of the town, and we stopped in there to explore. It was gorgeous inside like something you'd see in a movie.
Outside of the church we ran into a man that was making custom jewelry. He could take your name in English (or probably whatever language) and write it in Greek letters. Then, he would bend the wire to create the design. You could choose a necklace, bracelet, or keychain. Of course it's a very touristy item to buy, but we had to get the full experience and it was so neat to watch him make it right in front of us.
Ready for a cable car ride down the mountain
As we went on our way walking and shopping, we saw signs to the Old Port. We just had to explore, so we rode the cable car down the mountainside to get to the bottom. There were more shopping and restaurants at the bottom and just sights to see. To get back up the hill, we had to choose to walk up over 500 steps or ride a donkey up the steps. Most of us opted for the donkey, but props to Nicole for trekking her way all the way to the top! We dubbed it the Santorini Challenge for those of you that decide a mule ride isn't for you. 😂
Riding the donkeys back to the top
To end our day in Santorini, we selected a restaurant that had a rooftop seating area with gorgeous ocean views. I had the Margarita Pizza and, for the most part, it tasted just like pizza in America with a different crust. But, I didn't really expect any different. We finished lunch just in time to head back to the hotel and get read to go on a sunset cruise!
Gorgeous lunch views!
Our sunset cruise was on a traditional boat that looked kind of like a pirate ship. We spent a few hours out on the water enjoying the views. We saw an active volcano and got to swim in the hot springs that are at the bottom of it. It's always a cool experience to swim in the ocean, but to feel the warm, bubbly water was a difference experience. It was a little messy because the water has sulfur in it so it has an orange tint and can stain your swimwear. You can touch the bottom as you swim closer to the edge and it's very muddy and kind of slimy.
The boat ride ended with us finding the perfect spot in the middle of the ocean to watch the sunset. We made our way to the upper deck of the boat for the best view. It was one of the most amazing views I had seen all week! The weather was perfect, the water was blue, and seeing the sun drop lower and lower in the sky was just magical. I can't think of a better way to spend my last evening in Greece.