With Sangaris safely moored on Milos, we headed to Santorini for an overnight stay, taking the "Fast Ferry". It lived up to its name as we clocked it at 36 kts (41 mph) and the trip was a quick two hours.
We had reservations at Hotel Reverie so Georgios, the owner, met us at the ferry dock and during the drive to the hotel we had our first views of Santorini's dramatic volcanic cliffs. We strolled town and at Geogios' suggestion took in the sunset at the island's winery, enjoying a "flight" of their wines in a breezy sunset.
Here are some of the sights around town. Since Santorini is actually the above-water rim of a huge volcano, with the caldera making the bay in the center, the sheer face of the caldera walls give every view a dizzying effect. The towns look simply precarious, clinging to the bluffs, but they've had it down pretty well for centuries, except after major eruptions (last was 1956) when they rebuilt even more cliffiside villas and hotels! Minoan-era wall paintings (like the one seen here) were covered with ash and well preserved when archeologists uncovered them in the ancient southern town of Akrotiri.
The domed churches nestle amongst resort apartments and private entrances seem to open into nothingness, but actually have a steep stairway on the other side.
We had planned our visit so we could connect with Amir and Leta - Sam's Aunt and Uncle - who had a one day cruise ship stop at Santorini. We met them at our hotel in the morning and then went to the town of Oia (Ee-a) on the north end of the island where not only was the lunch delicious, but the views were stunning.
And if these pics whet your appetite for spending time in the Cyclades, look closely for the telephone number above and you can pick up your own vacation home on this magical island.
Crusiers note: We are glad we traveled by ferry vs. Sangaris as anchoring options in the deep caldera were virtually non-existent. A few yachts seemed to grab huge steel moorings for a few hours, but likely not all crew could go ashore. We understand there is a marina on the south end island but we did not see it.