We hired a quad bike which was an adventure in itself. This was NOT a decision made lightly. We'd seen people blasting around on scooters and mopeds on the last 2 islands and it wasn't until today that we felt it might be an ok idea. Not only are we driving on the 'wrong' side of the road here, but Greeks do some funny things on the roads.
We had helmets unlike half the loons (read: Aussie tourists) that drive around in their boardies and nothing else. The guy at the rental shop was trying to talk us into a 180cc bike and we were both saying, 'No, no! 50cc.' We got our 50cc for 15 Euros for the whole day - or bring it back in the morning - it doesn't matter...
Turns out he was right. The first hill we got to and we were being overtaken by everything on the island. I could have run faster. Girls on mopeds were going faster than we were. But we did get to see a lot of the island and at a very leisurely pace.
This is what we saw:
We drove to the southern tip of the Island to visit the famous 'Red Beach' - volcanic cliffs of red rock.
We'd hoped to visit the nearby archaeological site of Akrotiri, but it turns out its been closed to the public for four years.
So we puttered our way to the mid-east section of the island and had lunch in Perissa.
Perissa is known for its black beach.
They have walkways because the pebbles get so hot.
The water is still super clear. A lot nicer than that red beach. :/
We found that our crocs float.
The site of Anceint Thira was right next to Perissa but this wasn't accessible either. We didn't see the quad making the 500m ascent to the top of the mountain. So we made our way back to Fira, where we are staying. Today didn't seem to be the day for history and culture. But we did find:
Lots of grape vines here but they don't train them on trellising in rows like we do and they look a lot less nourished.
The views were breathtaking. It's so mountainous here!
Crazy Greek signs.
From the middle of the Island we went up to Oia (Ee-ya). A short 8km trip from Fira on the NW coast. But we took the low ocean road which was the long way around... across to the east coast and alll the way up and around.
Taverna by day.
Iced coffees out of the sun in Oia, overhanging the caldera, with Fira in the background.
There is a strange haze over the land here, the moon already up.
We didn't get to the 'White Beach'. But really, how could that compare when we have places like Yallingup and Esperance?? ;)
Weeeeeee!! We took the high road to Fira home. And I mean high!
This completed our unintended circumnavigation of Santorini.