Since the airport on Santorini is super tiny, I deboarded the plane, hopped on a bus and then was driven to the terminal. As I was standing outside waiting for my ride, I watched people take all the rest of the taxis and then a few people head over to the bus stop. As I stood there, I noticed that the options for public transportation are definitely limited and that’s when I started to panic. My hotel had an option for a shuttle pick up to and from the airport which I had decided to do but as I was hanging out there, there wasn’t a shuttle around. No one was waiting for me, and the line of people waiting for the taxis increased while no more taxis showed up. I gave into my fear and turned on the data on my phone and called the hotel. It turns out that the shuttle was set to arrive about 30 minutes after my flight landed which was really funny considering the fact that there were only two flights that landed and the airport is about 3 gates big so knowing that they waited 30 minutes after landing was a funny planning thing from the hotel.
My shuttle arrived and I had the greatest driver on the way to the hotel. He is a local to Santorini and had lived there for about 15 years with his family. As we drove to my hotel, he gave me history on the island, fun facts, and suggestions on things to see around the island. For example, he pointed out that Santorini actually is known for their wine and they have vineyards all over the east part of the island (outside of the mountains/hills). As we were riving, he pointed out bushes along the landscape and told me that those were the grapes because the Santorini grapes didn’t grow on typical vines like those you find in Napa, CA.
We eventually pulled into the city center of Fira (Thira) and he pulled up to the top of a parking lot where there was a man waiting. He was the porter who was supposed to help me with my bag. I actually didn’t need the help since I was traveling in a backpack but there was no real directions on how to get to the hotel from here. So he took my bag and started guiding me to the hotel. He took me down the more scenic route which was more of a slow decline but definitely took awhile to get to the hotel. That being said, I think he took me that way on purpose because I had arrived during sunset. As we were walking down, the view became more and more breathtaking. I kept having to stop and stare out over the horizon and take it all in. I’m pretty sure the porter thought I was ridiculous because the process to get the hotel was significantly longer because I couldn’t stop staring at the landscape.
Finally, we got to the reception desk of the Porta Fira Suites and I was created with the nicest staff. They gave me a Christmas treat that was delicious (I had quite a bit of them over the last few days from hotels and the flight). And then the staff went through the hotel amenities with me including, what I wanted for breakfast. You see, this hotel has a restaurant but it’s near the main part of the city center and so they actually bring breakfast directly to your room. I was able to pick what type of savory dish I wanted, whether I wanted coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, greek yogurt, fruit, etc. It was amazing. After that, we went through the Santorini map and they gave me some recommendations on things I can do while I’m there.
Since it was winter time, the options for entertainment were definitely limited but at the same time those options that were available were actually fairly priced. For example, if I had brought a swimsuit, I could have gotten a boat ride around the entire island to see the red and black sand beaches, a stop at the volcano and a dip in the hot springs. Since I had such a limited amount of time on the island, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my time out on a boat, especially given that I am prone to motion sickness. After we were done going through the logistics, I was guided to my room and it was the most amazing thing in the entire world.