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October, 2021

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Visited the island of Santorini for the first time, and was spellbound by the views. As our first point of call on our Celebrity Cruise on Apex from Athens to Barcelona, we took the tender on the first morning to the little harbour at the islands capital Fira. As soon as we disembarked the tender we saw a number of tours on offer, and settled on one for 20 euros pp, which would be a round trip boat to Oia then coach to the top of the hill, and a return coach to Fira.

Both Oia and Fira are a magnet for photographers and whilst it was busy (we travelled at the beginning of October) it was bearable, however, I can image in the height of the summer it may not be the most pleasurable experience wandering small alleys, looking for the perfect picture.

After a brief shop (some beautiful if not expensive shops) we headed for lunch at Passaggio, an unassuming lunch spot with balcony offering great views and people watching opportunity! Two beers, one spinach pie, and one Greek salad later (very good value), we headed back out wandering the village.

Later in the afternoon we headed back to Fira by coach which took around 20 minutes, and settled in to a fabulous bar perfect for watching the sunset that Santorini is so famous for. There are so very many bars and restaurants to choose from but even though it was what would be considered out of season it was still busy as tourists purposely find a spot early enough to get a front row seat.

Word of warning; sadly there are still donkey transfers from the port at Fira to the centre at the top of the hill – whilst the animals looked healthy of course I’d encourage everyone to avoid. There’s a cable car alternative or for the more active a very steep winding walking route with slippy steps (as we discovered as we decided to walk down the hill).

Fell in love with the island even though we were only there for a day, I’d return for sure, although probably early or late summer to avoid crowds.

Lisa McAuley

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