On the Caldera Cliff

The second half of our stay in Santorini was at the Artemis Villas, a family owned hotel glued to the side of a cliff in Imerovigli.

An earthquake destroyed this town in 1956, but tourism has built it back. Dozens of hotels are splattered on the rocks, only reachable by a maze of steps. Everything is squeezed in as close as possible (which is real close since there are no building codes on this island) and the steps – which vary immensely in their treads and risers, are used as a common passageway for the hotels, restaurants and shops. Here are some of the nicer ones, all painted up purty.

This is all clustered here on this particular cliff because of the view. Not only can one gaze upon the volcano’s cone while watching the sun set, there is this distinctive, enormous rock called Skaros in the foreground that really makes the whole scene spectacular.

There used to be a castle fortress on this rock and it was the capital of Santorini, but the buildings were toppled by an earthquake.

The first thing Mark wanted to do was hike over to it.

The kids thought it was great to be able to walk to a place that they could see in the distance. Mark then wanted to climb on top of the rock. The kids and I opted out of that.

That little white speck on top is him.

Instead, the kids got a real treat – our room has a hot tub. Finally they got to put their bathing suits on!

The wind has turned out to be extra nippy here on the side of this cliff, so our balcony’s hot tub was the only place to be most of the time. Here’s a short video of the view (and the wind):

From a distance, this is what Imerovigli and the Skaros rock look like.

The Artemis Villas has turned out to be full of surprises… Good surprises! Every day they have brought something extra to our room.

The first night, it was the hostess’s homemade flan for the kids, along with hot cocoa.

I think she is partial to red headed boys.

The next morning was a complimentary breakfast (made again by her) brought to our room. Notice the lovely children are more interested in the Greek cartoon on t.v.

In fact, we always got something special every afternoon such as fresh squeezed orange juice for the kids and champagne for the grownups.

Greeks use the softest of stones for their mattresses. This hotel broke with tradition and offered a typical American style model. I suppose I can deal.

Most importantly, our bare feet were warm on the wood floors.

If and when we ever return to Santorini, this is where we will stay.


About marlashane

Artist. Explorer. Freethinker. Mother of two children.
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