Sunday, August 03, 2008

Santorini, Greece: A Day at Perissa Beach

Perissa is the longest beach in Santorini with approximately 7 kilometers stretch of fine black sand due to the volcanic terrain. It is also the oldest beach in the island I believe.


This humongous mountain in the picture divides the 2 beaches: Kamari and Perissa (yes, Kamari is on the other side) but there is no short cut route to get from Perissa to Kamari or vice versa, only with the boat, which is approximately 5+ minutes compared to inland travel which is 30+ minutes. This mountain is also the location of the ancient Thira archaelogical ruins.

We almost booked a hotel in Perissa as Dutchman was quite familiar of the place having camped here during his younger years, but the reviews we read online were not all jolly compared to Kamari. We didn’t take chances and booked instead in Kamari but wanted to see Perissa while there.

The online reviews of holidaymakers that stayed in Perissa were right on smack. Unlike Kamari that has a compact and lively beach front, and resorts and hotels are within walking distance to the center and beach, Perissa is different. The resort hotels, restaurants, shops, and other touristy and commercial establishments were quite scattered and loose. There was not much to do in the evening too. The feeling of gezelligheid was just not there.

We also paid a visit to the camping Dutchman stayed some 20 years ago, and he had a blast remembering the old times, telling me this used to be here, that was not around here before, this area had an alley that goes right to the beach, where is the restaurant beside the camping, why aren’t there many campers, blah-di-blah-di- blah. His final conclusion: the camping grounds, a past glory.

20 years ago, resort hotels were almost nonexistent, an imaginary in Perissa and all around Santorini, and most of the tourists that visited the island were young European kids trailing on a backpack with a tent. Mode of transportation was boats, trains, buses, and sturdy hiking boots. Dutchman said there was no airport here before. Wow, the island surely have gone a loooong way!

He could not imagine camping and traveling on a backpack anymore. But I have challenged him that we should do 1 camping holiday (with a tent) at least once in our lives. I was met with a funny stare and told that I am a luxurious lady that will not last a day in a tent. Well, let’s set aside the comforts shall we? I would still do it for the experience.

As for the beach – I did dip in the cool waters, a great relief for me as the black sand was too hot to step on with bare feet. I didn’t bring any beach slippers and had to walk with my heeled espadrilles to the beachfront, haha. There were no sand dunes in the waters  though, instead there were rocks, so I had to tread on carefully because it can get slippery.

We had a late afternoon lunch snack at one of the tavernas. Some good old Greek salad, which is always refreshing, bread and a plate of calamari. Dutchman loves to order the Greek frappes while I settled for a rose wine.

For our souvenir of Perissa, Dutchman handed over to me a rock shaped like a penis, lol. He brought in this trip his snorkeling set and found this interesting looking rock while snorkeling on the shore. I had a laugh, of course! Great souvenir, ha-ha!


Me sitting on the ledge in Perissa beach.


A blue domed Greek Orthodox Church with beautiful pink flower trees on the grounds (a cross between frangipanis and bougainvillas) which reminds me of my childhood in Cebu. Our next door neighbor had many of these similar looking trees and the branches cascade down to our home’s wall gates and the flowers fall down on our terrain. I always manage to grab a few of them but was told I should not as I am stealing the flowers.


Typically Greek - white and blue colored doors, dilapidated quarters, domiciles, or in this case igloo, and corroded latches with hanging locks. If you look closely on the mountain rock, you can see a white house nestled in the cliff.


Vision for this foto op: Could be a nice store or perhaps a small roadside cafe, and me the business woman manning the little establishment, says the Dutchman.


Penis looking rock Dutchman found while snorkeling and what a nice way to lounge back on a lazy sunny afternoon.


We are having a light shared afternoon lunch here at one of the tavernas on the beach after dipping in the waters.


The entrance to the camping site in Perissa with the star-studded blue EU flag.

Travel Period: July 2008
Destination: Perissa, Santorini (Cyclades), Greece

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