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 and checked out, leaving my case at reception and asking when the bus would come past to get back to the ferry port. The owner 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 to get a ticket for the 13:05 ferry to Santorini.
We handed the quads back at the bike shop 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 could 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.
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 didn’t need them, but I wish I had one! I felt quite sick when we arrived in Santorini, and the new port at Athinios doesn’t have a seawall protecting it, so even getting off the boat was tricky as the ramp constantly slid 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 I 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 a 10-minute walk to my hotel. The road up from the port is very narrow, with many sharp turns, and it gets busy when ferries come and go.
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, much quieter than the main pool area.
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:
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 relaxing by the pool, I returned to my room to shower and change for dinner. Instead of venturing into Fira, I ate at the hotel as they had a buffet option. The food was really good, although a touch expensive at €20, but I got my money’s worth! I then returned to my room to read my book and get an early night in another comfortable bed!