Although it’s possible to get to this southernmost tip of Santorini on public transport it is a real pleasant journey by hired car as you can stop at whim and take in some of the breathtaking views over the bay.
Along the route were a number of road -side stalls selling local products and I couldn’t resist stopping off to try some of them. There was never any pressure to buy and the sellers just seemed happy to share their gastronomic delights with you. Although I’m sure that they’d have been even happier if I’d have made a purchase. I tried local wine, capers, caper leaves, honey and of course a variety of olives. All extremely tasty, but I wasn’t really in the market for buying food to take home. Just unashamedly tasting!
I can’t pretend that the lighthouse is staggeringly beautiful in fact it’s extraordinarily average in appearance and stands on top of the cliff edge dominating the immediate surroundings. Mind you in functional terms that’s what it needs to do so it is clearly doing the job it was built to do. The building is not accessible so the real attraction of this area is the natural beauty of the immediate environment. You will need a certain amount of agility to fully explore the area as although there are rough tracks none of them are well constructed. So you do needed to be as sure footed as a mountain goat if you’re going to get off the main track.
My wife decided to sit at the top of the trail and happily enjoyed the sea view whilst I headed off to catch a different aspect. The easy trail will take you into the shadow of the lighthouse, but if you’re prepared to pick your way down you can get much closer to the water. I felt adventurous so started to pick my way down the rough incline to a small headland. Initially it was perfectly straightforward but then it became necessary to use both hands to hold onto the rocks, which formed a narrow gully down to a lower level. This proved to be difficult with an SLR dangling from my neck, but I was now fully committed to my quest and gave not a thought to how I might make the ascent on my return. Not until, that is I’d reached the next plateau down.
The view from here was superb and I was able to check out the different strata of the rock formation. Indeed in one place it resembled an artists palate with several different hues and colour ranges. It was fairly peaceful down here other than the sound of the sea and it would have been a great place (had I bought some binoculars with me) to do some bird watching. However, I was soon spotted by another brave soul who picked his way down to this level. I toyed momentarily with climbing down further to the water’s edge, but the sensible voice in my head pointed out that climbing in sandals would not be a good idea. I reflected again and decided the view would not be greatly enhanced so I just enjoyed where I was.
The climb back up was not as bad as I had thought it might be and as I made the last step onto the rough terrain on the upper level I was stopped by a charming young woman who asked if I would take a photograph of her and her friend.. “Just to prove we’ve been here,” she explained.
Faros is a brilliant spot on the island and on a clear day, and most of them are, you can get a view past the nearby island of Asponisi to Palea Kameni beyond Thirisia and up to the beautifully photogenic town of Oia.
Superb and a trip that I’d commend to you.