Dreamy and breathtaking Santorini invites to sample the pleasures of life wherever you look around. It entices with beautiful white home artistry. It whispers for your attention with crystal clear Aegean see and thrilling coastline. Yet, when the day is coming to an end, the only way to protect these precious memories is to seal it with the most amazing sunset experience.
Venturing out to the south of Santorini, we hop on our ATV, wind in our hair and the last warm rays of sunshine caressing our faces. We decide to follow a scenic route from Fira along the coast towards south-west end of the island towards Akrotiri.
Passing through the windy coastal roads around Port of Fira, we keep heading south, down the Firon-Ormou Perissis road…
We are looking for a sunset. Not the commercial one with ton of tourists. We are looking for the Santorini sunset, the unspoiled island-sunset experience. As we are getting closer to Akrotiri, the ancient town covered by volcanic ashes following the 1627 B.C. Theran volcano eruption, we stop for a moment to be closer to the sea. The Aegean waters are gaining strength. Still beautifully blue, now crashing against the rocky coast. The scent of salt fills the air. The strong breeze reminds us about the approaching evening and our quest for an authentic Santorini sunset.
We continue heading west towards the edge of the island. Slowly, the building and restaurants begin to disappear. There is more and more farmland and we stop for few minutes to play with little horses on the side of the small road leading to Faros.
Whether it is the adventure or the fresh air, we begin to crave a tasty Santorni meal but there aren’t many restaurants on the way. The few we find don’t enchant our taste buds. We keep going and hoping to stop somewhere for dinner. Finally on the horizon appears the sun ready to be setting soon. It is so bright that it is difficult to see. The small road leading to the tip of the island is quiet and empty. It is just us and Santorini. We are moving right along the coast with only our own shadow for company. Feels like freedom…..
The sunset is near but our taste buds are left unsatisfied. Craving setting in. Without any civilization in sight, we lose hope for any snack before the sunset. But we don’t mind. We are so happy. It is just us and the feeling of adventure. It is Wednesday evening and we are heading to the sunset in Santorini… Is this really our life? Suddenly, as the road winds to the right, we see a small building in the distance. There is a little horse, a large wheel and two little tables in the front. One of the tables is occupied by a couple drinking wine. We stop…
As we approach, we see a small store instead of a restaurant. A gentleman at the table outside, hearing our conversation, comes closer and in a perfect English encourages us to try the local goods from the store. Invigorated by the sweet, local wine he is in a very social mood. He takes his plate and fills a spoon with a dark, shiny paste. “Here, try it. This is cucumber jam. The best you will ever have”, he extends the spoon towards us. Cucumber jam? We are not sure about cucumber or trying it from a stranger…But the spoon is too close and we try it. It is the best we have ever had. We come in to the store….
The store is lined with wooden shelves filled with hundreds of little dark jars. On the side, there is a small table in between the shelves with a little tasting station. Maria, the Greek lady who owns the shop, encourages us to give it a try. All organic food directly from the Santorinin volcanic soil. She is the fifth generation farmer and is excited to show us the products of her own making. The zucchini jam, the salty tomatoes, the cactus preserve, and the goat cheese submerged in olive oil. Our taste buds awake.
The rich, unexpected flavors surprise us. The combination of sweet zucchini and salty white eggplant paste are more than we could have dream off. We plan a sunset picnic. We purchase few jars of the deliciousness, a box of toasts and sweet organic wine. As we prepare to pay, the owner throws in a jar of sweet cucumber paste. We talk. She speak five languages and learned it all on the farm. She speaks to us in English and Spanish. How can that be? Speechless, we say good-bye and head to the Faros Light house about few minutes away….
The coast is getting closer and we finally arrive at the Faros Lighthouse in time for sunset. We head downhill from the lighthouse, right to the south-west edge of Santorini.
As we are setting our goodies, we find a cozy spot on the surrounding rocks looking towards the vast sea and the sun ready to set.
The o’devours are ready…
We slow down and savor the moment….
What is yours most amazing sunset experience?