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Mike's Odyssey to Greece - 2005

Part 19: The Cave of Nikolas

Since I was at Santorini on Easter weekend, the buses only ran every 2 hours.  Since it only took about a half hour to tour the Akrotiri site, I had about an hour and a half to kill on the southern end of the island.

As I left the Akrotiri site and passed the bus stop, I saw a sign pointing towards the beach advertising "The Cave of Nikolas."  Intrigued, I decide to venture down the beach and check it out.

A sailboat at the beach of Akrotiri.  The white church in the center of the picture is the church of Agios Nikolas (Saint Nicholas).

A wider view of the beach.  The islands in the distance are called "Christiana."  There is no water, so no one lives there, although they are a popular fishing spot for the fishermen of Santorini.

Black rocks
You can see that the beaches in Santorini are made of black sand and black rocks from the volcanic eruptions.

At last, I arrived at the entrance to the Cave of Nikolas.

Since the ground is all made up of volcanic ash, many of the houses and tavernas in this part of Santorini burrow into the ground.  As a result, the Cave of Nikolas taverna looks small from the outside, but actually goes quite deep into the ground.

Inside the Cave of Nikolas.

In Greece, there are two major beers - Mythos and Alfa.  Both are quite good actually, tasting like Heineken.  But mostly, the restaurants and tavernas in Greece serve wine.  In fact, like in Britain or the US where a bar or restaurant will serve a draught beer, most tavernas in Greece serve a house wine that they have made themselves and serve from giant casks.

The casks of house wine in Nikolas' cave.

The porch on the cave.  It was too nice of a day to spend inside the cave, so I came out on the deck and ordered some wine.

My house wine on the beach.  It was very good.

As I sat and drank my wine and enjoyed the view of the Aegean Sea, I quickly realized that the bus would soon be arriving.  Adopting the Greek attitude of "Ola kala" (meaning "It's all good"), I decided to skip that bus and keep drinking wine in the taverna.

Later, Nikolas' wife gave me this orange-cake dessert native to Santorini known as "metilini."

Mike at Taverna
Mike at the Cave of Nikolas.

Following my wine at the cave of Nikolas, I decided to hike further down the beach and over the rocks to the Red Beach.

The rocky beach at Ormos Akrotiri.

Ash layers
You can see the erosion and the layers of ash and rock along the beach.

Here is the staircase I climbed at the beach at Akrotiri to make my way up toward the Red Beach.  This staircase shows one of the distinctive design features of buildings on Santorini.

Continue on to Part 20:  The Red Beach (or "Wow, it really is red")