Saturday, November 19, 2016

24 HOURS IN SANTORINI


What would you do if you only have 24 hours to explore the one place in the world you've always dreamt of wanting to see? Well, that was my case because we only had that much time (even less) to explore Santorini. As part of the itinerary of our Greece and Adriatic Sea Cruise under Royal Caribbean , my parents and I wanted to make sure that we would be able to visit most of the must-see locations on the island. As such, we booked ourselves a shore excursion (since it was the most convenient) that was prepared by the cruise ship that took us to Oia & Fira.


The road going up from the docking area to the main center of Santorini was really scary, the roads were steep and being on a bus, that made it even scarier knowing that the roads were already very narrow. Our guide told us that it was nothing to worry about. We arrived at the village of Oia 45 minutes from the docking area. We only had an hour and a half, so you could imagine us running around, taking pictures everywhere and admiring the view. We had no time to eat or shop! I would prefer a more relaxing experience but given the time constraint, we just had to take in all the scenery and take as much photos as we can.



View of the caldera from the village of Oia

Expect a lot of tourists with you during the cruise season of July-August
Our shore excursion tickets via Royal Caribbean


Our very friendly guide
Onboard the tender boats from the ship

The tour included a wine visit to Santo Wines. We were given a chance to try the exclusive wines in Santorini. We were also served with cheese, grapes and a selection of scenic views. Don't get me wrong, this place is such a beautiful place for celebrating weddings and other celebrations. There was even a Greek couple who got married when we were there. The view from here is breathtaking! I have no words. The blue color of the Mediterranean Sea gives a good contrast against the white-washed walls and terraces of Santo Wines.




Enjoying the wine and the view
Take home a piece of Santorini as a souvenir
This was taken when we were on the cable car going back to the docking area
We then headed to the Capital city of the Island, Fira. Located on the top of the cliff, like Oia, (or caldera as they call it in Greece), it boasts beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. I suggest that you purchase souvenirs here, as it is relatively cheaper compared to buying in Oia. We spent most of our free time in Fira. You could do a lot of shopping in Fira. We also had lunch at Character restaurant since it offered stunning views of the caldera, and was highly rated by TripAdvisor. Coming from Fira, you have the option of riding a donkey or riding the cable car going down from the cliff. The cost of either the two are almost the same but if you plan to do the donkey ride, please take precautions as you could fall from the donkey at any time (oh, and they smell really bad).


Greek lamb souvlaki from Character

Don't forget to try authentic Santorini Baklava! 
View of the caldera from the village of Fira
Alleyways of Fira



Bought myself a Greek slushy because the 35-degree weather was too much to bear

This is where you ride the tender boats back to the ship
Visiting Santorini through a cruise ship is a whole new different experience on its own. Your time in the island is lesser compared to actually staying in the island for a few days. Given the little time you have, you kind of take everything in such a rush that you are always left in awe when you're already back on the ship. It gives a whole new meaning to looking at the island from a distance when you start sailing for the next destination.

View of Fira from the cruise ship during the sunset
View of the Santorini sunset onboard the ship
The moon came out just as the sun was setting


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