Our quad bikes had to be returned by 10:30 am so I’d arranged to meet Anya and Erin at the hire shop at quarter past. Before leaving the hotel I packed all my gear up and checked out, leaving my case at reception and asking what time the bus would come past to get back to the ferry port. The owner very kindly told me that they had a minibus and offered free transfers so I gratefully accepted the offer for them to take me to the port for midday so I could get a ticket for the 13:05 ferry to Santorini.
At the bike shop, we handed the quads back and then walked down to the Far Out Village for some last few minutes of sunbathing before my transfer time. The girls were leaving later on the same day, heading back to Athens for an overnight stop before flying back to the US the next day. At 11:30 we said our goodbyes and I walked back up to the hotel where the minibus was ready to take me to the port.
After buying my ticket I had about 45 minutes to kill so I found a small cafe just around the corner from the port, where I’d be able to sit in the shade and enjoy a cold Mythos while waiting for the ferry to arrive. It turned up about 25 minutes late but soon enough I was sat on board the fast boat heading to Santorini.
Obligatory Mythos while waiting for the Santorini ferry to arrive!
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst ferry of the entire trip – it was a little windy that day and the sea had a bit of a swell, causing the boat to rock quite a lot. Having had such good ferries up to this point I’d stopped taking my travel sickness tablets as I hadn’t needed them, but I really wish I’d had one! I felt quite sick by the time we arrived in Santorini, and the new port at Athinios doesn’t have a seawall protecting it so even getting off the boat was quite tricky as the ramp was constantly sliding back and forth along the ground.
Once again I’d planned on getting a taxi to the hotel, but as with Ios I saw a local Fira bus first so decided to jump on and pay €4 instead of the €20-30 that a taxi would have cost. Luckily the main bus station in Fira turned out to be at the bottom end of the town and just 10 minutes walk to my hotel. The road up from the port is very narrow with lots of sharp turns, and also gets busy when ferries are coming and going.
The road down to the port gets very busy – allow plenty of time to catch your ferry!
I was glad to finally arrive at my destination, the El Greco Resort Hotel. This was one of the most expensive hotels of my trip – Santorini is a pricey place to go – but I wasn’t disappointed. The room was lovely and there was a nice small pool just outside which was much quieter than the main pool area.
Nice quiet pool area just outside my room.
Room 203B (centre) would be my home for the next 3 nights.
The hotel is located just south of Fira, and with no hotels opposite there is only a road between the hotel and the caldera, making for some impressive evening views:
View of the caldera from the road outside the hotel.
As I’d had a busy day travelling on top of a hectic couple of days in Ios, I decided to chill out at the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. After a relaxing time by the pool, I returned to my room to shower and change for dinner. Rather than venture into Fira, I decided to eat at the hotel as they had a buffet option. The food was really good although a touch expensive at €20 but I got my monies worth! I then went back to my room to read my book and get an early night in another very comfortable bed!