Thira (Santorini)

Thira (Santorini) is justifiably famous for its cliffs on the caldera but there's more to the island. We loved Perissa and didn't feel like we missed out staying on that side of the island.

Day 1: Naxos to Thira

We had some time to explore Naxos town before our afternoon ferry. You can read about Naxos here.

Our ferry trip was again uneventful. Well, an old guy fell down the escalator. That looked scary. We got to see the uninhabited side of Ios as we went by. I never saw that when I was on the island. We found our host easily despite the crowds. The cliffs are amazing, as advertised.

Perissa is a great, laid back beach resort. Stelio’s Place is very friendly, with nice perks like a clothesline and towels for the pool and beach.

hotel courtyard
Behind our room. We had french doors opening onto this area. The clothesline came in handy.

The beach road in Perissa was open to traffic during the day and at night closed for pedestrians only. We walked the beach road in both directions, from Magic Bus on one end to Tranquilo on the other. We had beer at Tranquilo, then dinner at Noma Kuzina. We had Naxos white wine, fried calamari and pizza. Our server was kind enough to tell us they were large pizzas, and split the toppings for us. Then we finished up with beer at The Magic Bus. The owner talked to us and other Americans there about politics. He was at the big protest in Athens with his wife and kids and didn’t realize there were problems until he saw it on the news later. They saw no violence.

pool and bar
Pool and restaurant/bar area.

Day 2: Akrotiri and the Hike to Oia

We had continental breakfast at our hotel. Rain was in the forecast, so we went to Akrotiri, then the Red beach, which is nearby. Akrotiri is the remains of an ancient village that was buried in ash by a volcanic eruption. 

We decided it didn’t look like rain and the timing was right to catch the sunset, so we made the spur-of-the-moment decision to walk from Fira to Oia

After sunset in Oia we got the bus back to Fira — with seats, yay! We were exhausted. We had some time to kill in Fira while waiting for our bus to Perissa, so we were able to pick up our next ferry tickets, then got back just in time for our bus, which was early. After a quick wash-up we went to Ntomotini for dinner. Our first real mezes meal: bakalao, taramasalata, saganaki, bekri meze. Then we bought beer at the supermarket and sat outside our room to drink it. 

We got a message from my brother that our power was out at home, so we had some back and forth on that.

grapes on hillside
These are grapes, not weeds.

Day 3: Perissa Beach

We had the continental breakfast again. We slept in later, then went to the beach. We sat in the Aqua section on the beach and napped, swam, and drank beer. They had the typical arrangement that if you eat there, they don’t charge you for the umbrella and loungers. We had souvlaki and chips and a stuffed burger. Served by our enthusiastic server. Two thumbs up that Steve enjoyed his stuffed burger. I feel like crap; I have some kind of sinus issue. 

We went to the Acropolis taverna for a dinner of wine, greek salad, and veal stifado. Then we bought beer and went back to our room and sat outside.

Tomorrow afternoon we’re off to Crete.

palm and blue sky

Essentials​

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Lodging

The owners were very friendly and helpful. They picked us up and dropped us off at the port, which was a nice plus. The room was clean and simple. Towels for the beach and pool were provided. There was also a place outdoors to hang wet suits and towels. And it appeared each room had its own outdoor seating. Everyone was very helpful about answering questions, letting us store our luggage and hang around by the pool until our boat left on the last day. It’s very well located close to the beach, yet quiet. LOVE Perissa! In fact, we’re going back!

Dining

We found great dining options right in Perissa.

Tranquilo
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We wandered in here for a beer our first afternoon and ended up staying for several. Relaxed, nice music, great view of the beach. We didn't eat here, though we we saw interesting looking salad and other food go by.
Ntomatini
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We went to several places that advertised themselves as serving mezes; this was the only one that really was. Got to try new things (bakalao, bekri meze) and some old favorites (taramasalata, saganaki). All of it was great. Service was also great; nice modern atmosphere.
Acropolis
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I recall places like this from Greece 25 years ago. Faded pictures of the food, set menus for two. Appears to be the twin of the place next door, since my menu had their name on it. The food, service, and prices were good. There are more creative restaurants in Perissa; this one is still fine.
Aqua
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We had lunch and beer on the beach. Efficient, enthusiastic service. Some of the best on the entire trip. Can't speak for the restaurant itself, but enjoyed the beach experience.
Noma Kuzina Mediterra
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We were ready for a break from Greek food so we ordered calamari and two pizzas. Based on the price we thought we were ordering personal pizzas, not large pizzas! Thankfully the waiter told us they were large pizzas and split the toppings for us.
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Transportation

We walked around Perissa and took the bus elsewhere on the island. Our hotel offered a free ride to and from the port. 

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