Tuesday 2nd August
Hairy drive to the hotel (taxi for Samanth a Graham - new Greek name?) along lots of bendy roads. Warm welcome and super cute beachy decor; lots of driftwood art. Stumbled our way along in the pitch black to find a supermarket. Poolside picnic and a foot dip before bed.
Wednesday 3rd August
Body clocks not yet adjusted to Santorini time, waking up was a struggle. Only 18 rooms in our hotel so breakfast buffet was very civilised and we had our pick of shady tables on the pool terrace to eat. Rest of the day spent between lounger, pool and lilo basking and admiring the surrounding scenery. Dinner along the beach; Greek salad, Gyros and Baklava accompanied by smoothie cocktails and odd Grecian remakes of classical pieces.
Thursday 4th August
Spent the day on volcanic sands (although strictly not sand but tiny little smooth pebbles which are a dream compared to sand), taking the occasional dip in crystal clear sea. Enjoyed an elevenses cocktail (another of the smoothie variety; feels less naughty) and later lunch on the beach; 'spaghetti with butter'. Embraced a 'Greek Night' for the evening involving a huge tasting platter of traditional dishes, wine by the litre, plate smashing and lots of 'opa!'
Friday 5th August
Took a boat trip around some of the islands of Santorini. First stop was the dormant volcano at the centre of them all. Glad to have spent so much time on the crosstrainer lately as we huffed and puffed our way to the top for a spectacular view and sulphuric smells. Stopped for a while at some thermal springs and then again at a traditional village where we spent most of our time stuck on the boat (of course everyone else managed to get off in time) while 'a ferry making huge waves' passed us by. Had a 'quiet night in' with some nibbly bits and wine from Carrefour. After smashing the bottle of red (literally), the rest of the night went quite smoothly...
Saturday 6th August
Began the day by the pool again. Partook in a lunch of leftover meat and cheese from the night before in bread stolen from breakfast. Made our way to the capital of Santorini, Fira (no, not the same as Thira) for the afternoon and evening. Wandered up and down precarious paths on the cliff edge, stopped a while for cocktails with a view to recover from the shock and heat, enjoyed a glorious sunset from a wall with a view of a traditional blue dome, bell tower and the sea before returning to the cliff path to dine at a table that began with no candles and ended up with three to keep us warm from the sea breeze.
Sunday 7th August
Struck down by prickly heat of epic, swollen proportions (apparently my elbows (and I quote) resemble sock puppets or a granny without her false teeth) so I was a good girl and had a shady beach day. After an incredibly sleepless night of forced starfishing to avoid contact with anything, had a good snooze on my lounger. First experience of a club sandwich (apparently a holiday favourite) for lunch was washed down with an incredibly potent Margarita (all in the name of pain-killing). Food settled, we had a long swim and splash about in the sea before I was finally able to emerge from my shady nook to enjoy some evening sun. Found a lovely restaurant offering a complimentary fish soup starter and watermelon dessert for dinner. Had haloumi andk zucchini balls followed (for me, anyway) by a feta stuffed burger too. A pretty setting and delicious food was a choice well made for spending our final evening in Perissa.
Monday 8th August
Another morning begun by the pool before we ventured into Oia to spend our final evening. Wandering the cobbled streets we were even hotter than in Fira and I had to buy some Greek sandals when my own Primark specials snapped along the way. Sat for a while to cool down with icy cold drinks before. Energy regained we trekked down the many steps leading to the bay below, narrowly avoiding donkey poop (and the donkeys themselves as they clattered up and down), for a view of the town in the setting sun. Having enjoyed the sunset for a final time we found a little jazz bar for more Santorini wine and pittas.
Tuesday 9th August
The hotel were kind enough to let us keep our room until the taxi transfer picked us up for an evening flight so we spent our final day saying goodbye to black sand and sea that isn't murky brown. Volcanic beaches are officially my favourite - enjoying all the perks of a beach without getting sand in all the wrong places is pure bliss. General impressions of Santorini? I've loved it! The climate, the scenery, the people, the wine, the food (oh, the food)! Would love to come back one day. Think we left just enough places undiscovered to warrant a return visit.