While the capital town of Fira has great views and lots of shops, the rest of Santorini offers a draw as well.
We took a few side trips from Fira to see as much of the island as we could.
Our first trip was a bus ride (on the local bus system, which is pretty good, and stops in Fira) to Kamari - a black-sand beach on the southeast side of Santorini. It took 25 minutes, and cost 1.80 Euros each person, each way. Saying "black-sand" is a bit of a stretch. The beach is volcanic, it's black, but it's pretty rocky. I found it beautiful, but quite hard to walk on. Chairs line the beach, but we were unsure if you had to pay to use them, so we (uncomfortably) put our towels down on the rocks. We also tried the slippery slope into the water for a photo op. It was cool, but hard to stand in (the rocks were slick and hard on the feet.)
There was some shopping in Kamari, and a few restaurants to chose from. We picked one with beach-side seating and had some decent food.
Another day, we walked (in what seemed like an entirely uphill climb) 20 minutes to the closest city to Fira, a suburb, called Firastefani. I'll say that this town offered some of the best photo ops - with a lot of the traditional blue church domes that grace almost every Greek guidebook. Plus, it was a chance to escape the hoards of cruise ship passengers in Fira, and get a look at how people live on the island. There are a few hotels here, as well.
Lastly, we took the local bus again to the northern city of Oia (pronounced ee-ya). Oia is renowned for its sunsets. Actually, short of the sunset, the town is almost the same as Fira. Cobbled walkways. Lots of shops. Lots of restaurants. Lots of people. But there is an old stone fort, where people gather an hour before sunset to watch the show. And what a show it is. There was resounding applause at the end. Poor BF - I can't imagine how many sunsets I've made him sit through now. (But I think, secretly, he enjoys them as well.) Folks, you've really got to take the time to appreciate the small things like sunsets - even in your own back yard.
Overall, I think we chose the right Greek island to visit, and we chose to stay in the right town on that island. (Firastefani is for those that want quiet, Oia is a long bus ride to anywhere else, and Fira is the center of the action - what action there is, anyway).
Now, the last set of Greek photos. Everyone have a wonderful weekend!