Hey again! This is the last of my Santorini posts that I'll actually write from here, as I'm currently sitting in the hotel lobby and waiting to be picked up for the airport. Understandably, I'm leaving with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can't wait to be at home with my loved ones again, but at the other hand it's just so beautiful here and we really enjoyed our vacation. Today however, I wanna tell you more about the trip we took on Wednesday - "Caldera & Sunset in Oia"

We booked said trip at the hotel and it was 45€ per person - in my opinion definitely worth the money. Our trip started when we were picked up by the bus outside the hotel at 9:45am. Along the way on our one hour long drive to the port we picked up all the other participants and then finally went on our boat for the day - King Thiras

At first we headed to a volcano island called "Nea Kameni" (the new burnt).  It's actually the youngest of all the volcanos in Greece and also the one who last erupted (in 1950). The island is nearly round, 3338km² big and has a maximal height of 127m. We hiked up the crater (you'll have to pay 2.50€ per person) and our tour guide Tanya told us a lot about the history and details about the volcano and Santorini in general, which was really interesting. From up there we had a marvelous view on the main island of Santorini and the Aegean Sea around it.

The second point on our agenda: HOT SPRINGS
Basically we just went for a swim next to the volcano where the water is warmer than anywhere else, and the sea is more of a rustic brown colour there. Due to the water not being too deep there, the boats can't really go directly to the hot springs. Which means you'll have to swim there in the open sea, which you definitely only should do if you're a good swimmer. 
Side note: don't make the mistake of wearing white clothing, as it's going to be ruined afterwards. My white dress was orange/brown all over it after the swim

Right after having a swim we headed straight to another, bigger island called Thirasia. We spent about 2 1/2 hours there. In that time we were free to explore, have something to eat, shop, etc. Obviously we wanted to explore the island and therefore hiked up that steap and exhausting path to a little town called Manolas. As it was around noon, it was blimming hot!🔥Luckily for us we found a Mini Market up there where we got some cold water and ice cream.

The last and most anticipated point on our agenda: strolling through Oia and watching the sunset there. Although we once again had to walk up a steep path from the port to the town center before we could do so. Let me tell you, Oia really is a charming and beautiful little town with all those white houses, blue domes and narrow alleys. However, for me personally there was one thing ruining it - all those people! Whenever I'm somewhere I haven't been before, I'd love to stroll around for a while, really have a look, soak up the towns atmosphere and take lots of pictures. Which unfortunately wasn't really possible as there was always somebody running through it.

All you fellow book lovers out there listen closely now! There's this unique little bookshop called Atlantis books, which you'll definitely stumble upon if you're following the main alley. This store is stacked with books from bottom to top in lots of different languages like Greek, English, French and Italian. It was founded in 2004 I believe, by two men from England with the help of friends from Cyprus and the US. Read more about their story here if you're interested. Typically for me I spent quite a time in there and of course got myself a book in the end - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

If you follow the main alley to the very end of the town there's this cafe/restaurant (which also has a swimming pool) called Liogerma from where you can watch the sunset. This was actually a tip from Tanya, our tour guide. After I spent a while in the bookstore, we headed to said cafe where we grabbed something to eat, drank a cocktail and waited for the sun to set, along with a lot of other people.

The sunset was really beautiful, but as soon as it was over, everyone jumped up from their seats and wanted to get away. - Easier said than done! - Therefore the alleys were crowded with people and it was really difficult to get anywhere. Horrible. After about 15minutes of everybody trying to barge their ways through the crowds, we finally managed to get to the main square where we met up with the rest of our group and then caught the bus back to our hotel. 

Conclusion: the hot springs weren't something special and ruined our clothes. However, I really enjoyed the rest of the tour. If you're having problems with large crowds of people, I'd recommend to skip the sunset in Oia and take the boat back to the port (if you decide this version of the trip it only costs 39€)

xo, Lena

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