Santorini – The Crowned Jewel of Greece

Santorini - The Crowned Jewel of Greece

Welcome to Santorini

Santorini was nice and sunny when we reached there by ferry from Athens. We were looking forward to our stay in the beautiful island.

santorini ferry

As we came out we saw multiple shuttle services calling for tourists to drop them where they wanted. One of them said, they would charge us 25 Euros to drop us to Aroma Suites Hotel in Fira where we would be staying for next 3 days. Everyone else quoted a higher price, so went with this shuttle.

Looking for Aroma Suites

The shuttle dropped us on the main road in Fira. Then we dragged our bags upstairs. Aroma Suites was a little far and also there were no signages so we got a bit confused too. As we reached our hotel, we went down the stairs but couldn’t find the reception or anyone around who could guide us.

While coming back up, we met a guy – Andreas. He came from the other side and took us to reception. He checked us in and gave us all the information about Santorini – places and time to visit, how to go, where to eat, etc. When we were paying, he told us if we pay in cash, we can get airport drop complementary.

Our suite with personal Jacuzzi at Aroma Suites 

Then we came to the room which was carved out inside a cave. It was long room with a personal jacuzzi. Every suite here has a name and ours was called vanilla

aroma suites santorini

We put our luggage and went up to get drinking water and eat something. We checked the supermarket and then went looking for a nice restaurant to eat.

Ladokolla – A place that became Synonymous with Food

We sat at Ladokolla and ordered for a zatztiki, pita bread, greek salad veg and beef steak. The bread was fresh and just too good. I had yellow donkey beer it was nice and fruity.

Enjoying Sunset from terrace of our suite

After that we went to super market, picked up water, some snacks and wines. We all sat on the terrace itself at the time of sunset. It was a nice view.

sunset from aroma suites santorini

We continued sitting in the terrace with our wines, snacks, music and the lovely wind that was blowing in Santorini. It was a nice relaxed evening.

sunset from aroma suites santorini

Later, it got too windy and little cold too, so we went into the room and continued the fun. After sometime we went to sleep as we wanted to wake up fresh and enjoy Santorini in its full glory. After all we had been waiting for this.

Day Two in Santorini

Next morning, we all got up late after 7am. After 3 days, we finally didn’t have an early morning transfer. So, we were relaxed. After a lazy morning, we sat on the terrace and were served coffee.

morning view at aroma suites santorini

Breakfast at Enigma with sea view

After some time, when the hunger took over. We decided to go out for breakfast and ate at Enigma Cafe by the sea. We had vegetarian and egg sandwiches, juice, croissant and coffee. The croissants were the best part of the meal. The best part of the meal was the view. 

Walking around Fira or Thira Market

After that we decided to take a round of the market. It seemed nice and buzzing. There were lots of shops selling Linen clothes and beachwear. White seemed to be the color of the season.

Enjoying the Private Jacuzzi

When we came back, we found hotel staff setting up the jacuzzi in our room. They had increased the temperature and told us it will take 2-3 hours for water to heat up. We had asked them in the morning to heat up the jacuzzi and they told us it will be extra 30 euros so we had decided to skip it. Then I don’t what happened and decided to do it for us for free.

personal Jacuzzi aroma suites santorini

After sometime, we went into the jacuzzi with our drinks and just soaked ourselves in it. We were there for good 2-3 hours. It was so relaxing that we didn’t feel like coming out even then.

Our cave suite was lovely, but the only problem with room was bathroom area. It was an open area with no door. Also, the bathing cubicle for glass and toilet had no lock nor curtains. The view of the Jacuzzi was visible to outsiders from certain points, so one had to be quite careful.

cave suite aroma suites santorini

Another meal at Ladokolla

As we bathed and got ready, we felt hungry, so we went again to Ladokolla for lunch while they were getting ready. Apart from usual, we ordered greek tomato and bell peppers with rice and potatoes. The name was fancy but what came was – capsicum stuffed with risotto rice and tomatoes. But the dish was nice and hot and we were very hungry.

Even their breakfast is quite good and filling and value for money for the price.

ladokolla santorini

Off to Oia by Local Bus

Once fed, we took the local bus and went to Oia for sunset. The ticket was 1.80 euro per person with three stops in between, main being Mrovigli. It took us almost half an hour to reach there.

oia santorini

Fira, also known as Thira, is in the centre and Oia is like one end of Santorini. We walked along the lanes of Oia. There were lots of shops and cafes there.

oia santorini

We found a spot with windmill and sat there for sunset. Everywhere else was very crowded.

windmill oia santorini

Enjoying the signature sunset at Oia, Santorini

It was nice to watch the sun set. There were 5 aeroplanes and around 30 ships full of tourists who had come to watch sunset and they were all stationed strategically in and above the sea. The sunset was a part of Santorini tour which also shows Crater Island, Red Beach, White Beach among other things and takes 6-7 hour for the whole trip.

oia sunset santorini

Taking a walk around Oia

After the sunset, walking around a bit, buying souvenirs and having some amazing mint and dark chocolate icecream, we took the bus back to our hotel. There were some very interesting souvenirs and memories that one can get back home.

souvenirs oia santorini

Back to the comfort of our lovely suite

Since we were not very hungry, we had a light dinner at the hotel itself – soup and bread. The terrace seating, soothing music and serene water shining under moonlight added to the experience.

way to room aroma suites santorini

Day Three at Kamari Beach

Next morning, we went off to Kamari Beach. It was lovely and clean with very blue waters.

kamari beach santorini

There we rented beach-beds for 2.5 euro per person. Then we went to get our beers and wine and sat down. It was nice and sunny and perfect for just lazying around. one word of caution is that the local wine served there is very potent. Wine and the cool breeze can make one happy high quite easily. 

kamari beach santorini

Lunch at Varkes on Kamari Beach

Two people went swimming and had a great time. We had late lunch at Varkes restaurant by the beach – waffles, club sandwich and tuna sandwich with coffee and juice. It was a good and fun lunch.

Sunset once again from our suite’s terrace

We came back by the sunset and watched the sunset from our hotel’s terrace. Though Sunset from Oia looked magical, but it was good from our hotel too and was definitely more comfortable away from the crowds.

sunset aroma suites thira santorini

Exploring Fira Market by night

Later in the evening, we went out to explore the market towards the old port and to have dinner. We went to Lithos for dinner. We had flat pasta and bread for 1 euro. I had house beer and another girl had octopus. The food was average. We went there as it was recommended to be best place for veg and vegan food by the hotel receptionist – Andreas. But there was nothing vegan about place.

fira at night santorini

Once back into hotel, we decided to get into jacuzzi. After all we had paid exorbitantly high charges for it and so should be using it. This was our most expensive stay of the entire trip. It was quite relaxing in water and slept well after that.

An observation about Aroma Suites

While the hotel, food, service and everything else was good, we found one thing very weird about hotel staff. Every time we came back to our room, we found them in our room and they would say that we were setting/ checking the temperature of Jacuzzi. At one time as they walked into the room and one of the friends was sitting there and doing some work, they didn’t bother to check before coming in. They just walked in and said that they have come to check the temperature. We found this whole thing a little disturbing. At one point, we checked the room thoroughly for hidden cameras.

aroma suites santorini

And the day has come to return to Athens… and India

Next morning, we woke up late as our return flight to Athens was at 1 pm. our month long backpacking trip was coming to and end. One girl went for a walk and wanted to click pictures but didn’t get much good shots as the sun was up and place was already crowded.

fira market santorini

Breakfast at Homemade Cafe

We decided to check out place other than Ladokolla for breakfast as we had been eating there for past three days. So, we went up a little further and sat at Homemade cafe.

homemade cafe fira santorini

We had croissant, juice, sandwich and chocolate-banana waffle. The size of croissant was quite big.

homemade cafe thira santorini

The food was freshly made. Croissant and Waffles were nice and soft.  It was yummy.

homemade cafe thira santorini

The food was good but the table was a little sticky. When we asked the server to clean it. He told us that it is because of the humid weather of Santorini. We found it a little weird because we never faced this problem in the past three days in Santorini.

Final walk around Fira

thira santorini

After finishing food, there was still time for flight so we started walking around but got bored because all the shops had started looking same by now.

Time to head to Airport

The hotel receptionist Andreas came to drop us at the airport as it was a complimentary drop to airport because we paid the entire tariff in cash. The airport is on the side of Aroma Suites. There were huge lines for entry at the airport. We were prewarned at hotel to come early coz the airport is crowded and good we came early because it took us more than one and a half hour to check in and reach our flight.

santorini airport

The Adventure called Santorini Airport 

It was a very small airport and everything took extra time. We were allowed into the airport an hour before the departure of our flight. Before that we were waiting in queue outside airport. Then at every step there were queues and waiting. People were sitting on floor because of long waits.

santorini airport

Finally, we went through Gate no. 5 to get into our flight but there also they made us wait. They were checking the size of cabin luggage at the gate and were charging penalty for bag bigger than standard size. A couple was asked for 60 euro and hey started fighting among themselves. Others in the queue took out stuff from the bag and made it as per standard size to avoid penalty.

santorini airport

Finally… in flight to Athens

We all were given different seats but all were window. I got 15 A which was the exit emergency exit so all my bags including purse were kept in the overhead cabinet.

in flight santorini airport

The flight had 5 seats in each row- a/b/c/e/f. Seat d was not there. The flight was very spacious with good leg room. It was a comfortable flight.

And that brought us back to Athens to catch the flight back home.

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