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kja Feb 21st, 2017 06:03 PM

@ brotherleelove2004:

OMG, what a lot of information to process! I can’t thank you enough for providing it, even if my initial reactions are all “yes, but” -- I really need to sit down and give some thought to what you say!

I absolutely abhor crowds, and seriously considered skipping Santorini entirely, but decided that Akrotiri was a sufficient enticement, particularly once I concluded (if falsely) that I would be able to see the sunset from my hotel. I thought: How can I skip the chance to see Santorini, with its iconic images of this part of Greece? But I may just have wine on the Aethrio’s terrace even if I can’t see the sunset. I need to give it some thought. Again, many thanks – with your input, I can make a decision based on the facts. I would have hated assuming that I would see the sunset from that hotel, and then finding that I couldn’t!

You make a compelling case for renting a car, and I truly appreciate this information. If I’m understanding, you are pointing me to two different car rental companies: One in Oia (Vazeos, with which I should be able to arrange a ferry port pickup and return in Oia), and one in the port (Spiridakos, where I could rent upon arrival and return upon departure). Did I get that right?

If I decide to go straight from the port to Akrotiri – and I do appreciate your logic on the timing! -- I take it that you would recommend a car rental rather than a hired taxi, and wonder if you would comment on your reasoning….

If I decide to forego the sunset AND forego a rental car or taxi, I still think I could visit Akrotiri and the museum in Fira by public transportation. As it turns out, I actually enjoy taking local transportation. But maybe I am still misunderstanding the logistics?

Sadly, I am NOT a morning person. I sometimes force myself to do something early (which to me means before 10 a.m. or so) if it truly is an extraordinary, not otherwise available option, but I find doing so decidedly unpleasant and therefore do so only as a last resort. Trying to do something I consider a very high priority that early, with my eye on the clock, would likely be stressful from my perspective. If I put anything off to the last day, it would be hiking anywhere along the ridge.

(I think I warned you that I’d be saying “yes, but…”? Please understand that I do appreciate your comments and will keep thinking through what they mean for me!)

One last question (for now): when you speak of the snackbar about 3 miles from the hiking trailhead in Oia, does that mean that if I do follow my original plan, and try to get off a bus to hike a bit before reaching Oia, is that snackbar a bus stop at which I could get off, and is that the last of the places the bus would let me off? Really, I’m just looking for a scenic and not particularly strenuous hike of about 1.5 to 2 miles. I’m still recovering from an injury, and don’t want to risk a re-injury that early in my trip….

Efcharistó, brotherleelove2004 – your input is proving invaluable!

Heimdall Feb 21st, 2017 07:12 PM

<i>"But I may just have wine on the Aethrio’s terrace even if I can’t see the sunset."</i>

That's exactly what I do, and you can watch the colours change on the whitewashed buildings as the sun sets (a bit like Uluru in the Northern Territory, if you've ever been there). Frankly there are lots of places to watch the sun dip into the sea in Greece, so you don't have to join the crowds in Oia to see it.

brotherleelove2004 Feb 21st, 2017 07:28 PM

Firstly, you will enjoy Santorini's unique beauty in spite of any crowds you might encounter.

Yes, you understood my suggestions correctly regarding renting a car. My reasoning for the car is for you to make the best use of your time as well as having a safe place to store your things if you go to Akrotiri from the ferry port.

Yes, you can accommplish your goal of visiting Akrotiri and Fira's museum by using public transportation. I just want to make sure you realize you'll be spending a lot of time backtracking if you go to Oia first before you head south to Akrotiri. By the way, it's closed Mondays. So is the Museum. You'll be glad to know that the Museum is just uphill from the bus terminal in Fira. Can't miss it.

Yes, the bus will let you off at the snack bar as long as you let them know as you approach. This is the snack bar: As the bus gets close you'll pass the San Antonio Hotel on the left up a hill. The "Snack Shop" is about 1/4 mile further on.

kja Feb 21st, 2017 07:52 PM

@ Heimdall:

Thanks for your reassurances -- they are much appreciated! I plan to see the sunset from Cape Sounio, and perhaps another place or two while in Greece, so maybe those experiences will meet my desire to see a glorious Greek sunset (not that any can be guaranteed!).

I haven't been to Uluru yet, but hope to do so one day. (Spectacular, yes?) But you remind me that one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen didn't let me glimpse the sun at all -- instead, I watched the light changing on the mountains outside of Salzburg, with different cliffs and crannies coming into, and disappearing from, view with each changing moment. The scenery on Santorini will, of course, be different, but as you note, the chance to appreciate the changing light will be there whether I can see the sun or not. And the views of buildings cascading down the cliffs of Santorini are one of my reasons for going! Maybe I'll appreciate them even more for being able to focus on them, instead of looking at (and being blinded by) the sun. :-)

You've helped me think of my "back up" as an especially wonderful experience. Thanks so much!

kja Feb 21st, 2017 08:04 PM

@ brotherleelove2004:

We were posting at the same time! (Or rather, I was composing and posting a different response while you posted.)

Once again, I thank you for your patient and detailed responses!

While I have some choices to make, I now have confidence that I have a few different options that will allow me to see and experience my highest priorities for Santorini in just one short 24-or-so-hour period. :-)

I am incredibly fortunate to be part of the Fodorite community and to be able to call upon people like you who so generously share your knowledge and expertise. Many, many thanks!

Heimdall Feb 21st, 2017 10:45 PM

Hi kja,

Yes, Uluru is spectacular, both at sunrise and sunset and I've seen them both. Everyone looks at the monolith instead of the sun, and that's what reminded me of the colour changes on Santorini. If you do go there, take a tour with the local Anangu tribe, traditional owners of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

If you get to Paros (I can't remember all the stops on your itinerary), take at least a day trip to Antiparos and hang around until the evening. Sunset beach on the western (obviously) edge of town has the same views as Santorini without the crowds. I have become rather blasé about it, but you can sit at a table in the taverna there and have a drink at normal island prices while you watch the sun disappear into the sea. Some of my friends go there every evening.

brotherleelove2004 Feb 22nd, 2017 05:14 AM

I should mention that for me the best place in Oia to watch the sunset is up at the little chapel at the beginning of the hiking trail between Oia and Fira.

Chances are very good that you'll be alone and not surrounded by the hordes that populate all the vantage points in the village itself.

kja Feb 22nd, 2017 04:01 PM

@ Heimdall: I look forward to the day when I can see Uluru at either sunrise OR sunset! It sounds like your have some very special memories of your time there. :-) And it sounds like you have some very fortunate friends in Antiparos.

@ brotherleelove: Oooh, that little chapel looks perfect – and the walk to it from the Aethrio might suit my interest in a reasonably short and manageable walk! Efcharistó!

brotherleelove2004 Feb 22nd, 2017 04:39 PM

Walk along the main road towards Fira. At the outskirts of Finikia, the small settlement on the edge of Oia, you'll see this small bus stop and next to it a flight of steps that leads up to that little chapel.

kja Feb 22nd, 2017 04:56 PM

@ brotherleelove2004: You are awesome! :-) :-)

kja Mar 5th, 2017 07:53 PM

Oh, no! Another thread (by LeslieC) has made me rethink my plan for Santorini, and I'm hoping one or more of you will offer your advice:

Instead of staying at the Aethrio in Oia, I'm thinking of staying at one of the Smaro Studios in Firostephani. It looks like my views would be better in general (although I might still opt for that place that brotherleelove shared). I wouldn't have a pool, but that isn't a big deal for me. It seems that there is parking near the studio in Firostephani, and now that brotherleelove has convinced me that a rental is a good deal for both time and money, that would seem to be an advantage.


(Thanks for your patience with all my questions -- much appreciated!)

kja Jul 28th, 2017 05:32 PM

I’ve finally started my trip report. Any of you who are interested can find it here:

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