By Catherine Tsounis
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. – Marcel Proust
Perissa Beach, Santorini was on my all-day program with Notos Travel in late June. Our guide Kaiti with driver Mercouri showed us the best spots to swim and dine. The beach had the classical Greek seashore atmosphere: lounge chairs, restaurant and dressing rooms. I went to the end of the beach, without crowds near the cliffs. I was only sorry I did not have water sneakers. The rocky beach makes the North Fork of Eastern Long Island mild.
Despina, a gracious beach attendant, showed me a dressing room. “I was baptized Greek Orthodox in Crete,” she said. “My son, George who works with the Perissa Beach touring boats is Greek Orthodox.” Despina and George are Albanian. Despina introduced me to her son George and his fellow workers Magda, Vania and Maria. They arranged a take-out lunch that I could take with me. Talking with the persons who make tourism work gives one an insight of Greece.
Swimming in the clear blue waters of Perissa Beach is like a television Caribbean beach commercial. Swimming underwater and seeing the beach floor is a sight a person remembers. Most of the work force is from every part of Greece, former Russian republics and other countries. Their honesty and promotion of tourism is excellent. I did not see anyone taking advantage of the tourist’s pocket. In fact, the labor force tried to save the tourist money.
“Perissa is a beautiful beach situated 15 km southeast of Fira extending for 7 km on the southeastern side of Santorini. The beach features unique characteristics, black sand, crystalline waters and various beach facilities. However, the enormous rock called Mesa Vouno that rises from the sea is the main attraction of the beach and the entire area. Visitors are left spellbound by the stunning view of the rock especially when it shines in the dark.”
“Perissa is a nice tourist resort witnessing a huge tourist movement that starts from in the middle of the summer season. The village offers a great variety of hotels for all tastes and budgets, restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars. The area is extremely developed with modern amenities and quite inviting while retaining its strong traditional character. From Perissa, a small path crosses the mountain and leads to the ruins of Ancient Thera. The excursions can be made by foot or riding donkeys.”