Tag Archives: Amoudi Bay

I’m On A Boat

Mr. Wonderful had one last surprise before we headed back to reality (aka London). After a few days of exploring Santorini by more traditional modes, he manned up and chartered a speed boat for the day! He reasoned, this was the only way to truly delve into some of the island’s best kept secrets. Hey, I’m not going to argue with that.

Our captain, Panos, would be waiting for us at the old port in Fira at 1100 hours. But first we had to get there. The old port lies 800 feet straight down the sheer cliff face of the Caldera, and is used mostly by the ginormous cruise ships shuttling boatloads of tourists on and off the island. My inconvenient fear of heights meant that the two-minute cable car ride down was out of the question. So we opted for the 600 steps on foot. Which would have been merely unpleasant – were it not for the herds of mules that traverse the path everyday. Now I had to totter down the hazardous route in my flimsy sandals, the cobblestones slick with donkey mess! It was awful – not to mention stinky!

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Miraculously, we made it to the bottom uninjured. I practically threw myself onto the boat – let’s get outta here!

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We sped off toward Nea Kammeni and motored into the secluded sulphur spring inside the volcano. The warm waters have a distinctly sulphur smell, and are a murky orange color, tingeing the volcanic rocks at the water’s edge. The minerals are little metallic flecks shimmering near the surface which have curative, spa-like powers. We dove in and, clinging to a life buoy, paddled into the opening of the volcano. It was like swimming on Mars!

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sulp swim

After climbing back aboard and rinsing the mineral water from our swimsuits, Panos steered us around Pallea Kammeni, where the sea was a crystal clear blue.

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Thirassia is one of Santorini’s satellite islands. This little village has a population of only around 100 year-round inhabitants. Village elders have steadily refused foreign tourism, turning down lucrative offers to build hotels and resorts on the island. The result is a humble little seaside town that survives off of fishing. We anchored in a quiet cove just in front of Thirassia and got down to business – poppin’ bottles!

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Love these anchor beer glasses! Where can I get a set?

Love these anchor beer glasses! Where can I get a set?

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We talked, and laughed, and toasted the advancing conclusion of our Greek escapade – until the captain called us into the cuddy for a traditional meze lunch. What he served us was a comprehensive tasting menu of all the Greek staples – tomato keftedes, white aubergine, saganaki – seven dishes in total.

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After a wonderful lunch – and plenty of champagne – the real silliness began.

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As we rested on the bow, Panos whizzed us around underneath the sky-high cliffs of Santorini’s perimeter. It was so spectacular, gazing up at all the places we’d visited over the week. As we swerved around the jagged rock outcroppings, we passed Amoudi Bay where we’d dined the night before.

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I could not think of a better way to say farewell to Santorini than a day on the water touring its most remote borders. As we sped back into the old port, I tried to capture the memory of the sparkling sea, the dizzyingly tall cliffs, and the sense of perpetuity that reassured me if I ever come back, I’ll find it untouched by time.

Sunset in Oia

It’s rumored that Oia has the best sunsets on the island. Curious to see what all the fuss was about, we decided to head over before dinner.

Along the way, we paid our friends at Grace Santorini a visit atop the vertigo-inducing village Imerovigli. Keeping cool with a saffron mango margarita by the pool, I was able to take in the jaw-dropping views of the Caldera.

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We arrived in Oia just in time to witness the mad rush of tourists (some of them literally stampeding) down to the tip of the island where throngs assemble every evening to await the sunset. We shied away from the crowds, opting instead to take advantage of the suddenly deserted streets. We wandered around watching the fading glow of twilight bounce off the town.

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With dusk upon us, we wound down the coastal road to Amoudi Bay for dinner at Sunset. We heard about it in our trusty copy of Where Chefs Eat, but this place is no secret. Reviewed in the New York Times and featured on Travel Channel,  it’s one of Santorini’s most famed dining spots. Nestled at the base of the cliffs with the gleaming white villas of Oia above, Sunset sits on the edge of a twinkling bay. As we walked to our table, little fishing boats were returning to the cove and coming ashore with their catch. We sat right on the water and shared the Sunset trademark dish – lobster pasta.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if this dish was a favorite of the Greek gods themselves. The restaurant insists the recipe is “top secret.” But word is already out amongst the feline foodies – this discerning lad definitely wanted in on the action.

Rest Amoudi 8 Rest Amoudi3 Rest Amoudi 9A shame we were too full to taste this complimentary sweet yogurt brought to our table – it looked lovely. I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming about this meal for some time to come…