Hostel Review: Caveland Hostel, Karterados, Santorini Island, Greece
We arrived on Santorini Island around 4 in the morning. Transportation strikes in Athens forced us to take the 3am flight out of Athens, so needless to say, when we arrived at Thira Airport on Santorini, we were tired wrecks. A local bus driver saw how pitiful we looked. For 1.60 Euro he took us to within a few blocks of our hostel. As we got off the bus, the sun was making it’s first moves towards rising, and it suddenly dawned on us we might just be in the most beautiful place on Earth.
Caveland is located in a suburb of Fira, and is about a 20 minute walk from town. The other two towns on Santorini are about a 10 Euro and 20 Euro taxi away, respectively. If you want to get to the postcard-perfect Oia, than I recommend renting a car (also 20 Euro).
The check-in desk didn’t open until 9am, the same time breakfast starts, so we had a few hours to kill before we could get some sleep in a real bed. Caveland Hostel has a beautiful large pool that I bet gets a lot of action in the warmer summer months. Being as tired as we were, we decided to post up hungover-in-Cancun style, and get some sleep on the pool deck chairs. Our bathing towels became beach towels, and the deck chairs became beds. Oddly, as the sun started to creep up over the horizon, the winds picked up and the deck chairs became pretty chilly beds.
After about 2 hours of napping, the sun was getting too bright, and we were getting too cold to keep sleeping, so we made our way over to wait for the check-in desk to open. This hostel, and the entire island was like a fairy tail-come-true. The white cottages and blue doors everywhere. I couldn’t stop thinking of Meryl Streep’s hotel from Mama Mia.
Wandering over toward the reception desk, there’s an announcement board telling you what activities are going to be offered that day and that week. We saw that there was a volcano and hot springs tour leaving at 10am, with transfer to Fira provided.
Finally, 9am(ish) the front desk opens and we can check into the hostel. It was too early to check into a room, so we cleaned up in the bathrooms of the reception building, put on our bikinis and signed up for the volcano and hot springs tour. For 20 Euro we got transportation to Fira, a boat ride to the volcano and hot springs, and the corresponding tours. Best 20 Euro I’ve ever spent. Caveland let us put our bags in the laundry room while we went on the tour all day.
After the volcano day trip, we came back to Caveland, picked up our bags, and finally were allowed to check into our room. The walk to our room was just as gorgeous than the rest of the compound. Beautiful pink flowering trees lined the walkways to our room.
They call it Caveland for a reason. Our room was carved out of the rock it sits on. We were in a 10-bed shared room, with 2 bathrooms. The first night we stayed here there were only 3 or 4 people in our room, but the second night the entire room was full. As caves do, the room did tend to echo, which amplified any sounds people made at night, but when it was quiet, it was very quiet and provided very restful afternoon naps.
Our first day in Santorini was total perfection. Perfect weather, a perfect volcano trip. The second morning we woke up early for our boat to Mykonos, the weather still perfect, and Sebastian, who was working desk at the hostel, informed us our boat to Mykonos had been cancelled due to bad weather in Mykonos. Sebastian let us book a second night in our same room.
The rain finally did move in on Santorini, and a large group of us from the hostel hunkered down in the hostel kitchen. Lots of food, wine, and good company made for a second perfect day in Santorini, in spite of the occasional torrential downpours and flash flooding of streets. Even being stuck in the kitchen of Caveland was still an acceptable holiday. If I ever make it back to Santorini, I will definitely stay at Caveland.