Backpacking Greece:Santorini Red Beach10:49 PM
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the
place where love resides @ Red Beach Santorini #Greece
The inconsolable longing in my heart by now was wanting to scream.Why did I pre-book my ferry was what I was all the time wondering.3 days,just 3 days,I had for this beautiful place that deserves at least a 10.I could never get bored of Santorini.Next time for sure,I am leaving no stone upturned to not book advanced ferries... at least now when I know that 3 days wouldn't suffice ever.
At that moment I recalled Sankara's and Nisha's advice to 'Not plan much or plan impromptu if I like any place'.Wish I had given a forethought.I just had booked my ferries because the rest were off budget..sob! Later I was happy that I did because the sea was ferocious and the ferries were getting cancelled as you'd see in my next post.Luckily mine went the other day.
Watch my one - minute video below on Red Beach Santorini captured on my iPhone:
Previous posts on Greece
Santorini:Oia feature,Top Things To Do
Backpacking Athens:Top Places To Shop in Athens
Backpacking Athens:Graffiti This Is My Athens
Backpacking Athens:Hostels,Transport And Food
Greece By Indrani
Greece By Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar
Best Source of Blog For Santorini : Santorini Dave
I love Santorini for its pace.It's so relaxed that it qualifies as a perfect place to be lazy.Shops open late.People wake up late.It's a wholesome vacation place.It's a place when even when you take stroll down the same road once twice or infinite times you'd feel the same excitement every-time.
A lone girl enjoying her solitude
The view of the sea in Santorini is always a static vision from far but as you come closer and closer you would understand the vivaciousness it has - the colors probably none other beach can provide - ranging from White to Red to Golden to Black.It is a town made for tourists where local buses run every 10 minutes and where ATV’s/renting cars are the most preferred private transport.It is all about fun and frolic and silent gaze,where everyone just everyone is busy admiring the stunning beauty of Caldera in their own possible way.It is when I met a sweet couple from Singapore in the local central Fira Market and we dined together on the Chicken and the Fish at a recommended budget restaurant.The food was awesome.We'll discuss some of which in next post.Such is the ambiance that getting fooled is out of scope,but just to tell you - its expensive than 'Athens'.So if you have done Athens before,you'd find the prices of food are comparatively a little highly priced than our budget capital.
I carried all my luggage in the dark morning hours from Fira Bus Stand to Hotel and not even for a minute felt unsafe.
Bus routes in Santorini are very simple
After all its a small island!
I recently felt proud when an Indian couple who are my friends planned Greece as their honeymoon.Seems like pictures on my Facebook wall inspired them so much that they thought this might be their perfect destination.
Meanwhile,I always had crush on the bright blue doors that made me backpack Greece at the first place,the fact I cannot hide.
Today is the Greek Independence Day(March 25th), a national holiday celebrated annually in Greece commemorating the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821.
I gave my camera to a stranger for this shot!
For honeymoon if you have to choose between Paris,Italy and Islands of Greece;Greece definitely heads down.The islands don't have the crowd the rest of the places have.Second to which would be Venice in Italy.It's my personal favorite.
Greece is definitely extremely backpacker friendly.Even when I was travelling solo and hopping islands,never for a moment I felt uncomfortable or wrongly approached plus its affordable.
Nothing will burn a big hole in your pocket as other European countries and at the same time your fellow friends who missed going will have the last laugh.
Besides Oia in Santorini which is popular with tourists that we discussed in the last post,
there are many islands and places in Greece that will woo every type of traveler.
My good old Margarita from Anatoli handed me the map in the morning with the homemade type food spread with cookies,Halwa,cakes,fruits,flakes etc.She told me there is an escape route to the Fira bus stand right up from the hotel.I need not take the main road.As I took the road which passed through Narrow Alleyways,still painted in white,watching the sea a little away from me but still in vision,winds blowing through my hair,I took small little turns over the narrow roads of hilly Caldera.
It felt like somewhere walking in villages in India where destination doesn't matter.You just walk,ask a few passerby or wonder if City Center arrow would take you to any road broader at all.This was quick. As I came to the city center,I reached the Bus Stand.The Buses in Santorini are fabulous.If you are travelling alone,as I was,highly recommended.Very very affordable,very very convenient.My friend couldn't believe when I said I paid anywhere between Euro 1.2 to Euro 2.2. The best part of it is as you take different routes throughout the day,sometimes you’d land up with the same ticket collector who would randomly smile at you.Since I just had 3 days,I decided to land up somewhere called ‘Red Beach’.Like seriously,can the beach be Red was the thought process behind me choosing this one.
I took a quick snapshot of the bus routes with the ticket routes(watch below).If you are confused,you can always ask at the counter.Generally,I found Santorini to be very friendly where even the most confused traveler will find his way.
The simple map of Santorini
The Fares And Timing
I ain't a big fan on history,in fact unless a thing is flamboyant,I wouldn't even stay there for a minute but I liked Greece..We were on the same route but by different interest.
Red Beach Santorini
Impatience is never a virtue of a traveler but I wonder what always makes me think that the bus would land just into the sea or right beside so that my first step would splash in the water!
Anywhere in Santorini doesn't take more than 20-25 minutes by bus.So as the bus stopped at its final destination - I started looking for sea.I could see Akrotiri excavation site,Margarita told me its very famous,but all I wanted was the Red Beach at that moment.Asking the guard on the Akrotiri site on how I should go to the Red beach as there were two signboards on the opposite road one left and other right both of which said Red beach.I started walking towards down because I thought the sea can’t be hilly,as the other route was uphill.But reached a dead end where I could see the sea but not a beach.
The left route down takes you to Red,White,Black beach by boat
Sea caves looked interesting but the boats weren't running the day I went there.
Finally I paid heed to what the guard has said.I jumped to see if I could see a tinge of red anywhere far,but all I could see was one slightly up road and down road was the sea.I thought if it involved a trek or a hike.People from the bus were all tourists.Nobody knew.So we all walked,individually on the same path thinking if we are lucky,we might get to see what we came here for.We were told by the guard the walk is of 1.5 kms.
ATV’s passed by zooming way ahead of us.But I loved the walk. For the first time,It wasn’t strenuous, it was well built uphill road with cafes alongside that went down after a while,Dolphin spots and folks walking for that hint of red.After walking for about 40-45 minutes,I landed a place where I could see sea with red cliffs.And I could see people hiking with their sticks.So that’s where the road ended.
And that’s where the downhill hike on the red cliff started.I found the hike to be pretty simple.It was surrounded by Red rocks which seems to cut and break and the terrain at some places were little slippery due of gradual Red rock fall but all in all the very kind of hillock we would love to climb down.It took me around half an hour/40 min to get down but the views were as if for today I was a Rockstar.
The very beautiful Red Beach! A must visit place in Santorini
I swear to god,I never wanted to leave that place.The water,in spite of the cold wind in the mornings and by night , was warm.The reflection of the Red rocks on the sea would be hard to describe with words.It was that beautiful.Since I was travelling alone,I took a selfie,met my new friends again,asked them to click me,then they asked me if I would need a drop back as they have rented the car and they are going to the same black sea I had planned afterwards.I refused.I wanted to spend more time.And going back was just not in my mind..I wanted to wander.
Taking a few more steps down,I reached where the sea was,then I quickly splashed the water on my feet.I felt like if I can take a dip.Everybody was busy with how they wanted to frame the beauty.Just then,I saw two men turn by turn clicking their pictures.I handled them my DSLR,can you please?One of them happily said yes.That was the moment,I felt solitude in a place where a little activity is all you need plus a security of your own belongings,that's why solo travelling to places such as these just makes it a little raw.Best suited for a group or a couple unless you enjoy reading a book by the bay which I don't.
I could see people hugging kissing each other.I could see friends forthcoming and throwing water on each other.I missed company.Just in Santorini.Nowhere else before.
Hikers climbing up...
The end of the beach...
But that didn’t make me stop or take another route.Smiling past the people who took rest,I made a heart out of the red stones on the sand shore.I went further to the other end,where wind was blowing off a certain white rock making the bits and pieces fly that contrasted with the red rock.It felt magical.I still went through.As I reached the last end of the red rock,I could see a tiny countryside road going towards somewhere.It was so tiny that I wondered where.There was no soul going there.People were busy dipping in the red sea.I took my camera.The wind was so strong my tripod would have flown away had I kept it.I kept it back.Enjoying my silence.Rock by rock. Just then,I saw my watch,God,I have been there for 3 hours.How time flies.
Washrooms by the end
As I walked back towards the bus stop,I just held my map for planning my next destination.To my surprise further ahead of Red beach on the map was the white beach.I came at a juncture where bus had stopped.I asked a few locals where was the white beach?They told me that you'd have to take a boat but today the boat ain’t running.I wondered if that countryside road led me to the white beach as in the map it was exactly down.Why didn’t I just let my intuition take me,but it was late now.
Akrotiri Excavation Site:
At Akrotiri Excavation Site
According to legend,it is in this area where the mythical kingdom of Atlantis lies.Excavation in the site Acrotiri during the 1960's revealed that Thera was the most important site of Minoan civilization outside Crete.The well preserved ancient town are comparable in beauty with those of ancient Pompeii,in Italy.
Santorini is a small place where the bus timings may shift by 5-10 minutes.I knew I had 30 minutes more for my bus to come as per schedule.So I thought let's give the Excavation site a chance.The entry fee was Euro 5. After so much adventure,I wasn’t in the mood to rave and rant about the underground cities the ancient Akrotiri had.I walked around the path on the excavation site and covered all within 10 minutes.
When I came out,the guard gave me a strange look,and asked,was that it?I nodded in silence.
Exotic Locales are now becoming favourites with Indians
The bus came half an hour late as per scheduled time.I wasn't bored.I was simply chatting with fellow travellers who had come from US and some folks had come down from India all in the same crowd of willingly watching the bus to come.
/*This trip was part funded as a result of win worth Rs 1 lakh from Skyscanner and Blogadda.In that 1 lakh,I chose my stay and flights to Greece,France and Italy and a part of Turkey*/
I was more than amused to see Indians at Red Beach Bus Stand...Or may be it was a live example of how exotic places have started becoming part of Indian holidays. Tommorow we explore black beach and explore more white villages before we leave for the posh Mykonos Islands.