A Day in Santorini

We arrived in Santorini the morning after sailing from Athens.

Santorini had never been on my travel bucket list. Not that I didn’t want to go there — I’ll go anywhere, really — but with so many places in the world to visit, Greece in general had never been high on my list. Another cruise itinerary we’d considered started in Venice, sailed to Croatia and Malta, and toured more of Italy before ending in Rome. But ultimately, beginning in Athens and making our way west was a better sightseeing option for my parents.

We walked around Oia, the Cyclades village built on the slope of a caldera, with bright-white cave houses carved into the hillside. While stunning, Oia felt quite unreal. It was almost too picturesque, too postcard-ready — a set for Asian brides to take photographs (I saw a few photoshoots that afternoon). It didn’t feel lived-in, as perhaps Santorini’s capital (Fira) did, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as how can a pretty cliffside village with the best sunsets in the world be a bad thing?

That said, Santorini is lovely — I’d never been to a place quite like it.

White cave houses along a slope.
An iconic church with bright blue cupola.
Table with a view.
One of the main walkways in the village.
This cat loved the attention.
Panoramic view from the lookout point.
A narrow walkway.
Looking down to the shore.
View toward the sea.
Lava rock-filtered beer, with special Santorini honey.

View of the cliffs of Santorini from our boutique-sized cruise ship, the Azamara Journey.

Photos taken with an iPhone 7 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100. A few iPhone pics originally posted on Instagram — follow me @cherilucasrowlands.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including WordPress.com.

33 thoughts on “A Day in Santorini

  1. Yes, I agree everywhere you turn, Santorini is a postcard image. The best glimpse is not Oia but coming by boat at sunrise and viewing that volcanic caldera…simply breathtaking! Happy sailing!

  2. Beautiful pics. Love the one with the cat relishing attention. We went on a boat trip from Kefalonia to Ithaca once. We sailed round the coast then moored in the harbour of a small village with four great tavernas for lunch. As we walked from the boat down the quay, cats were appearing from back alleys, terraces, balconies until a while procession of them were fiollowing the tourists to the Tavernas. When we got there they all went to specific tables to beg for food. They clearly knew the arrival of the boat meant easy-touch tourists and huge scavenging rewards; and they had clearly divided the taverna terraces between them so each knew its own turf.

  3. I absolutely love these picture as they’ve managed to capture the natural beauty of Greece. This is one of my top 5 destinations. Hopefully sooner than later. Cheers!

  4. It amazes me that people build and live on such a steep slope, and one that’s a caldera. But when I see the photos, I see how beautiful it is. I suppose we all live on the edge, in one way or another. I also got a kick out of the ‘rent a cat’ sign. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Santorini, i mean the people; the colors; the food it’s just beautiful.
    i went there last year with my boyfriend and it was nothing less than my own paradise on earth.
    but maybe it was just me !

  6. Unlike you I long to go to Santorini, (or anywhere in the Greek islands really) and your photos make me want to go even more. Greece has been a dream for more than 40 years. I’ll get there one day.

  7. You do get around!!! Greece…for some reason, I felt the same way about going there. But like you, I washed up on Crete one day. I kept asking the postcard sellers where this or that place was shown on postcards. They kept saying Santorini. All the places I wanted to see from the cards were in Santorini. So I kept trying to find the village of Santorini on island of Crete. Then, someone told me it was another island. The only thing to do was get on a ferry and go there. Did you see the ancient buried city of Akrotiri, the Minoan bronze-age site…some believe was Atlantis…where the houses had earth-quake-proof beams in their structure?

  8. C’est splendide ! J’ai surtout aimé le bleu azur pur de la mer qui imprègne tout l’environnement. Comme j’aimerais bien découvrir ce beau coin de la Grèce !

  9. So beautiful… I don’t think we went to
    the same place based on your pictures and the ones I took! 😉
    You just have the eye for it … love ❤️

  10. Looks heavenly! My mother loved Greece, but I haven’t been. One thing that has really primed me for you post is watching the Durrells in Corfu series. The region’s beauty feels very deep to me, a primal landscape.

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