We started the second half of our Santorini holiday at walking down to Ammoudi Bay. I must say it seemed like an endless set of stairs down toward the bay from the top of Oia! Just at the top of the the island off Oia, it's something that may be easily missed as you're exploring the magic of Oia, but it's always nice to get away from the famous cliffs of Santorini & get closer to the sea.
There aren't a whole load of restaurants in Ammoudi Bay and all of them are also touted as the "best sunset taverns" in Santorini. We personally enjoyed the sunset at the top from Oia Castle more as you get to enjoy that all famous Santorini sunset view and we also had a clear sunset view from the sunset cruise we hopped on early during our Santorini break. You'll be sure to get a decent feed whichever of the taverns you choose - when there's such an abundance of fresh seafood you'll always be okay!
Don't forget to look back after you climb all the steps back - it's a pretty stunning view with the red cliffs contrasted against those beautiful turquoise waters the Greek Islands are so famous for.
After enjoying our lunch at Ammoudi Bay we decided to make our way down to Fira. You can easily catch a bus from Oia (the bus stop is neatly tucked away and payment is made on the bus so you don't need to prepay for a ticket). The bus ride shouldn't take more than half an hour and it's very obvious where the stops are.
As you can probably tell we had a lot of fun strolling the streets (stairways) of Fira and taking as many shots as possible during our time. There's so much potential - whether you want sweeping sea views or quaint and colourful little doorways!
We thought of a change in sunset scenery and enjoyed the views from Fira instead on this night. Instead of looking out into the sea and the white washed walls of Oia, when we looked out into the water we saw the caldera of Santorini and the sun disappear behind it.
We chose a spot on the stairs that lead down towards the old port and made way for the donkeys that passed us during the time. As much as they seem like a "Santorini symbol" my heart pained for these donkeys that passed us each time - they didn't look particular happy and we have heard they are not well treated as they are forced to walk up and down the stairs in the blistering heat during summer. An alternative has been built - a cable car which will only set you back a couple of euros and also free up the use of these donkeys!
We enjoyed our time so much at Lucky's Souvlaki (see previous post here) and decided to drop in for dinner that night again even though I had actually marked out another well rated tavern, but we definitely did not regret our choice!
The season coming to a close after the summer was obvious when we got to Perissa with all the deck chairs packed away and no lifeguard on duty. Despite this, the beach was still as beautiful as ever (and probably even more so with less crowds around!) and definitely a change from the postcard views one thinks of when they think of Santorini.
One thing to tick off your bucket list while in Santorini is to hire yourselves an ATV for the day which is what we did during our last full day there! (yes my helmet looks a bit dorky, but safety first guys!) These ATV's are readily available to hire at any town, or if your hotel offers the services you'll find the prices are all pretty on par.
We putted our way up slowly after we visited Perissa Beach up the mountain towards Ancient Thera where you can see views are pretty endless from up top! We didn't actually head in, but this city is circa 3000 BC which is pretty cool if you're interested in the ancient times of Greece.
Metaxi Mas Tavern, in the middle of Pyrgos (it looked & felt kind of isolated when we got there) is definitely a must try while in Santorini. Although a bit out of the way from the main sights and sounds of Santorini, it is all accessible if you've hired an ATV or you have a car at your disposal. I personally loved the fava here - this is a staple you can find at all local restaurants in Santorini!
We sailed past the captivating Red Beach during our catamaran sunset cruise but I just had to get a closer glimpse of it so it was one of the places we marked out on our last tour of Santorini. I'd recommend some decent footwear walking to the beach (I didn't, but it just means you need to be a bit more careful when making your way down to the beach). I also think this was a stunning last view of something spectacular in Santorini (everything is pretty spectacular to be fair) and after we dipped our toes in the sea we promised we'd be back again some day, and in the meanwhile just pour over all the endless photos we took during this trip!
We Stayed: Santorini Secret; We Flew: Aegean Airlines & EasyJet