Kaliméra ómorfi Santorini


Are adventurous (and sometimes dirty) backpacks even allowed on Santorini with its fancy restaurants and crazy expensive villas?!
We decided to give it a try! N. Back and P. Pack are going on an exquisite trip to Santorini, and you’re welcome to join us!

We had just landed at the airport Kratikos Aerolimenas Santorinis and P. Pack was still hyperventilating, since the plane descended quite close to the hill of Ancient Thera… Close one!

The accommodation we had booked for the following 5 days was quite secluded. Good, so P. Pack could relax on the way there!
However, having a rental car is a must anyway as this island has a lot to offer. We stayed at “Modern Dome Homes of Santorini” where we had the perfect combination of privacy and solitude. Additionally, we saved a few million euros by NOT staying in Oia or Thera directly.

The first day was reserved for beachin’. N. Back had been wearing its swimsuit already since the airport! Thank God backpacks can carry all kind of things, and nobody cares 😊.
The beach of Perissa is known for its black sand and views of the Timiou Stavros church. It is not needed to describe the white building with its blue domes to you. Everyone has seen it at least on photos, as it is very typical for the Santorini island. For you, who haven’t seen it; here you go:

view of church in parissa

After the beach, N. Back & P. Pack dressed in their finest cover for the dinner excursion to Thera. The traffic was a bit annoying, because the condition of the streets are…well, let’s say “not the best”. Furthermore, there are plenty of people (often tourists) riding scooters, which are a common rental vehicle on the island. These people on the scooters can create a lot of noise and dangerous situations. That is why we found a parking spot and start exploring Thera by foot is highly recommended.

The more you know:
Free parking is available just outside Thera. Be sure to get there in time and don’t expect too much of it. It’s basically a field, where the parking order can be interpreted in very creative ways. Still we’d had no problems parking there!

The dinner at “Kaliya Reimagined Food & Drinks” was fabulous and the place was simply perfect for observing the magic of the sunset. For a good digestion it is recommended to do minimum a 1.000 steps. The backpacks therefore enjoyed walking the shopping street “Erithrou Stavrou”, with its clothing stores and endless number of taverns. This variety can make the dinner decision an impossible task!


Day number 2 was very hot, but since the program was full and the wind was blowing hard, the humans took the chance to hike to ancient Thera. Although the wind cooled us down, it was still not the best day for a hike!

Starting point is the parking “Path to ancient Thira” – you can find that even on Google Maps. The hike is not particularly challenging, but we would not recommend going there with a baby carriage. While slowly making your way up you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Passing by the secluded chapel of “Panagia Katefiani”, caused us an unexpected long stop with a lot of photo-making, and eventually delayed our arrival at the top.

The opening hours of this historical landmark are quite unexpected and we as tourists did NOT expect it to be closed at 2:30pm. So, after a few pictures from outside, we turned and walked back down.


While on the path, we’ve met some people and their backpacks who were hiking through the whole island, which we as bags find fascinating and a great idea for our next visit. In the end: how hard can it be for us? 😉

The backpacks’ fun was achieved for the day, so it was time for the humans to get their portion of entertainment. Nelly had booked a wine tasting in advance (which is no surprise for anybody…). There are many wineries on Santorini and the island is quite famous for its Assyrtiko wine. It grows in the rich, volcanic soil and poses very unique characteristics. The tasting was done at the “Venetsanos Winery”, where the humans got to taste the local wines and enjoyed the breathtaking sunset.

The more you know:
Yes, EVERY sunset on Santorini seems to be breathtaking. We’d seen a few and we were not disappointed once!


The amusement transformed from tasting to drinking when we took part in “The Greek Wedding Show” afterwards. The wedding of the Papadoupulos family includes music, dancing, plates breaking (that was fun!!!) and endless wine on our table. Oh right, there was also food! The musical is a MUST DO and tickets are often sold out, so please book in advance!
Opa! Eleni! Costas! (once you’ve visited the show, you’ll understand).

In every family compromises are part of the daily life, which meant that the backpacks had the final word in choosing the activity of day 3, namely a 10 km hike from Thera to Oia. The direction could be inversed, but in order to enjoy the scenery, this was the better way. The hike is easy, but it takes 3 to 4 hours. On our hike the weather was very hot, although we were there at the end of September. Sun cream, a big water bottle and a small snack are obligatory on this hike, as well as an open heart and readiness for amazing views and some action! The road goes uphill and downhill, but the main challenge for us was to remember the names of all the churches on the way. The most memorable one is “The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Holy Chapel”, which is also a good place to pause for those who are looking for a little shade on this hot road.

Arriving in Oia made everybody happy, not only because it is extremely pretty town, but because it possesses one of the most important advantages of the Greek life: the Gyros.

Having a tasty Gyros at “Piatsa Souvlaki Grill House Oia” recharged our batteries to continue the track to the “Ammoúdi”, which is a tranquil bay with crystal clean water. Perfect spot for cooling your body after hiking under the hard sun for 10 km!

If the soul needs cooling, one can take advantage of the many beach tavernas. And should the cool wine and blinding light of the sunset be too much for some tourists to handle, a donkey ride up is always an option. Because going to the taverna is easier than leaving it 😊

“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.” – Cormac McCarthy

Let’s end the day here, as for sure nobody wants to read about the rest of the taverna experience our owners had. Finishing the day with a single word, explains it the best: Yamas!

The next morning, we had to sober up fast and hop on the car that collected us and all the hungover humans to bring us to the catamaran. Nelly has done a lot of research and chose a full day catamaran trip with foods and drinks for us. Amazing job, well done, Nelly!

The car ride was a really dangerous experience, since the way goes down the twisted road to the Athinios ferry port. Since there were no involuntary stomach reflexes, we were all in an excellent mood for the tour. The catamaran was big, very clean and modern. Perfectly organized by the captain, the trip included a stop at the volcano hot springs, where everybody had the chance to jump from the boat into the salty and shiny volcanic waters. As we learned, some people with heart or skin problems should rather avoid this fun not to cause serious health issues.

Then the catamaran passed by the ancient lighthouse which we all admired from the sea. The next swim was in the area of the red beach, which continued with swimming and snorkeling next to the white beach. While marvelling the amazing views from the board, we enjoyed barbecue, prepared directly on the boat. The time passed by so fast, while having fun dancing on the deck. The sunset surprised us with its strange colors and as some people say: their favourite colour is the sunset!

sunset santorini

That is when we realised that the day is coming to an end, together with our beautiful story of Santorini.

We all need more sunsets like the one in Santorini in our lives!

Your backpacks

Backpack Secrets revealed

  • Santorini can be expensive, so be prepared to pay some extra cash.
  • Must do, once in Santorini is “The Greek Wedding Show” in Thera. It costs 65 € and booking in advance is advisable. It was really a lot of fun!
  • Wine tasting in Santorini is a popular experience, but the presentation and explanation is not well done. Might be because the sunset light is extraordinary, and nobody likes to talk much while watching it. For our taste it was too less learning for the price paid.
  • The island offers not only sea activities, but it is also a hidden gem for hikers!

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Thank you and enjoy the sunsets in Santorini!


2 Replies to “Kaliméra ómorfi Santorini”

    1. Hello Cindy,
      it’s not the tour itself, but the water on some spots the tour stops can be a problem. Due to volcanic activity, the water there is high on minerals and it’s also very warm. But this is only on specific spots. We’re not aware of a general problem of the water in Santorini.
      We recommend to inform yourself about where the catamaran tour stops for swimming/snorkeling and how’s the water situation there.
      Are you planning on going to Santorini?
      All the best,
      your backpacks

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