Greece

Hiking Santorini’s Volcanic Crater

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Morning started with a delicious breakfast on our porch with view of Skaro’s Rock, how does that sound?

Although it was cloudy and a little bit chilly, we booked our tickets for the volcano tour with a stop of the hot spring for today; I was hoping for sunny sky but not happening πŸ™ At 9 am, the guy from Motor Inn came to meet with us to drop off our rental car! We booked the car for two days so we can go around the island, it was very hard to find an automatic transmission carΒ and cost a lot more than manual cars and Motor Inn had the best price! Total cost for 2 days rental with full insurance (for the peace of mind especially in oversea): 134 euros. It is required to have an International Driver’s License in Greece and hubby had it from AAA months ago for our trip to Grand Cayman. We got a convertible Smart Car which is cute but hubby said it was not comfortable to drive with because it was very stiff. Motor Inn gave us a map with the locations of all the gas stations which came in very handy!!!

We drove to Fira and parked on the lot located on the back of the bus station. We walked down to the port right away, our tour starts at 10:30. We purchased the ticket the day before while we were shopping in Fira, it was on sale cost 15 euros per person. Note that they accept credit card but with a fee so better to bring some cash! We walked down to the old port, passing by the donkeys.

Had to watch out while walking and some areas smelled bad πŸ™

I thought it was a longer walk than the walk down to Ammoudi Bay in Oia!

We made it down, I noticed that the houses on the cliff of the Old Port were pretty worn out due to vacancy, I thought they were occupied when we were here four years ago.

The donkey station down at the port:

I like the colorful charm hanging on their forehead, the donkeys are so cute but they looked very tired πŸ™

We waited for few minutes and our ship arrived, looked like a pirate’s ship haha! We boarded the ship and walked all the way to the back for seating there so we could take photos of the cliff. Unfortunately it was very cloudy that day! Definitely a reason to go back and retake those photos!

We arrived at Nea Kameni, the volcanic crater. There were many ships there already and they jointed the ship together so we walked from one to another to get off the boat, well coordinated with arriving and departing time!

There’s a 2 euros admission for the volcano, luckily, it wasn’t a long line at the counter. The lady from the ship guided us to the crater which is an half hour hike! We only had a little more than an hour total and walking back is another 20 minutes! We followed the lady and off we go! First time hiking on a volcano crater!!!

Watch out for the lava rocks because some are very sharp! Don’t forget to bring water πŸ™‚

The only plant growing on this island are those yellow flowers which added color to the black and red volcanic rocks! Fira and Imerovigli on the back!

We rested in mid-way while waiting for the rest of the group to catch up…..opportunity for photos!

The walk continued!

We arrived at the crater, the sulfur smell and some smoke coming out!

We only had like 10 minutes there so we walked around the crater and took some photos:

We even walked up a bit to view the hot spring where the boats are:

Right after, we headed back to the port with photos along the way of course! It was very cloudy so there weren’t much colors of the sky, the sea, and the cliff but in contrast, the colors of the path really stand out (plus two people wearing red hiking, pretty good timing haha!)

We got back to the port!

The ship departed right on time so don’t be late heading back!!

Next stop the hot spring, the ship stopped a few hundred feet and people can only reach the hot spring by swimming there. I heard the water was cold but will get warmer as approaching the hot spring. We are not strong swimmer so we stayed on the ship…plus they only have less than half an hour there!

There was another tour of the volcano only but it was not available yet since it was not the peak season – July & August.

We headed back, oh boy, it was very windy and chilly!

No way we ever going to walk up! Thankfully, there is another option: cable car! Same price as donkey rides: 5 euros per person, I rather take the cable car! The ride up was excellent photo opportunity of the houses built on the cliff…would be nicer in a sunny day!

The tour overall was rush but it was okay just to experience the hike to the crater and have a view of Fira from the bottom. I would do it again next time when it’s better weather just for photos!

After we got up to Fira, we shopped a bit and bought some cute ceramic houses ranging from 3 euros to 10 euros, we asked for a little discount too πŸ™‚ We went to Obelix again for lunch, it was almost 2 pm and we were starving! Β The delicious pitas; we had two this time instead of three and with a drink total to be 6.5 euros, cheap and filling!!!

We walked back to our car and then it started to rain grrrrrrr!!! We decided to head back to the hotel because of the rain πŸ™ Hopefully tomorrow will be better weather so we can get some nice photos! We parked on the parking lot near our hotel; there were a few lots further away too so we never have trouble of finding a spot!

I washed some clothes while hubby took a hike to Skaro’s Rock to check it out if it’s worth the hike….he returned half way because his camera was out of battery LOL!!!

We rested a bit and then walked out for dinner at Anogi, I made a reservation the night before πŸ™‚

We ordered the grilled octopus, it was excellent!

The garlic shrimp:

Although the shrimps weren’t the king prawns, they were still fresh and I love the sauce!

I ordered the shrimp spaghetti, it was delicious, definitely a 4.5 stars! Their sauces were very unique, no wonder they are highly rated!

The only downside was hubby’s beef stew, there were only a few chunks of beef and a little bit dry…sorry hubby!

Dessert on the house:

The meal was great after all, I would recommend this restaurant but just don’t order the beef stew! Great restaurant and very good for the value:Β 2 appetizers, 2 main courses, and with house wine for only 58.5 euros!!!

The rain was on and off so we decided not to head to Fira for night photos…we’ll just have to wait for tomorrow!

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