Welcome to Santorini!  I probably could just post these pics without writing anything because they are so beautiful, and believe me, not because I took them, but because you cannot take a bad picture in Santorini!  It's sooooo gorgeous!

The peak season for Santorini is May - November.  We were there in November, the end of the season, due to the Marathon (see Athens if you missed it) and it was not crowded at all, in fact there were very few of us tourists.  (Hence an amazing free hotel upgrade).  According to 
our first cab driver during peak season, due to the cruise ships, 600,000 people pass through this beautiful island. That's a lot of people, he said the streets are jammed, the narrow path that goes through the island where we leisurely strolled, (and were able to take pictures without any people, would be a completely different experience had it been in peak season.  Something to consider when planning.  The residents of the island close up their shops, restaurants and hotels for 6 months of  'off season' as the weather turns colder.  I asked one of the shop keepers what she would be doing for those six months and she said relaxing.  Take a lesson over worked stressed out Americans (of which I am one.)  Then she sold me the most gorgeous painting for $6!  She said the less she had to pack and take home the better.  I quickly discovered it was like that in all the shops!  And no waiting at any of the restaurants.
When we walked onto the terrace of our room at The Canavas Oia , and I turned around and looked though the doorway, I realized this was a magical place.  The Canavas Oia Suites is all suites, but because it was so empty they upgraded us to a suite with a private hot tub and stunning views in every direction.  Swoon.
We took the ferry from Athens with half of our family while the others flew because they were leaving a day earlier. When people talk about seeing the Greek Islands I was always under the impression that they are all clustered together, well they're not.  Santorini was an 8 hour ferry ride from Athens. The flight from Athens to Santorini was only an hour.  Also to consider the flight was $150 and the ferry ticket was $35.  Plus the ferry was more like a cruise ship so we got to relax on the Aegean Sea.  And how often can you say that?!? "Oh sorry I didn't answer your e mail today I was relaxing on the Aegean Sea".  And we were tired, we had left for the ferry at the crack of dawn and as I said in my Athens post a sure way to get lost in Greece is to say follow that cab (with the rest of your family in it.)  Yup, off went, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their two munchkins in one cab headed in one direction and us in another cab headed in a completely different direction.  We were to meet at the train station.  Well, we were taken to a train station all right, just the wrong one.  We realized this from some pseudo English of the man selling us the train tickets we were about to not use.  This train wasn't due for an hour which meant we'd miss the boat,  literally!  So we ended up taking another cab directly to the ferry.  
When we arrived in Santorini we were dropped off near our hotel, but we couldn't find it. Nothing like two Americans walking back and forth dragging their luggage on cobblestones.   With everything built into the hillside, we couldn't see it from the road.  Then someone came out to greet us and it was complete heaven from then on.
The first excursion we went on was to a volcano and to swim in the hot springs.  The cable car that was supposed to take us down this huge hill to the boat was broken and so we had to climb down.  480 steps to be exact.  I should mention the boat was leaving in 10 minutes.  And I should mention the pack of donkeys blocking the way.  And I should mention that my husband and his siblings average height is 6'2 and I should mention I'm 5'2.  As I'm hoofing it down my sister-in-law was already on the boat yelling they're holding the boat!  But no pressure, just a boat full off tourists waiting for me to climb down the 480 steps.  My very patient husband cheered me on down those 480 steps, and at one point I told him to go without me, save yourself!  I said I'd wait right there until he got back, it would take 3 hours to resume normal breathing anyway.  Of course he didn't go and I had to speed it up as my sister-in-law was yelling hurry!  I yelled back, (unprintable).  I realized she got them to hold the boat!  Finally we made it.   

As we climbed aboard I apologized and thanked all 75 other tourists.  Once we landed at the volcano I found out we had to climb it!  Did I mention I was wearing a skirt?  I made it 3/4 up and then claimed a very comfortable lava rock to sit on as my new best friend.  (This was before my current hiking and running life).  Back on the boat, and hopefully a few pounds lighter, we moved to the hot springs swimming area.  I was confused when the boat stopped several 100 yards away from shore and the captain announced those who wished to swim should jump off and swim to shore.  Wtf?  Obviously I had missed the memo about this day.  And as you may have guessed they all jumped off the boat to swim, those are my husbands feet in the pic below.  And I'm sure you can guess I stayed on the boat.  Hey, someone has to take the pictures.

But in the end we had a blast even though I was minus one pair of black coach sneakers that didn't survive the donkey poop. 
That boat wayyyy down there!
The afore mentioned donkey 
We stayed longer then the rest of our family members, explored the town of Fira and on our last day walked to the winery.  No irrigation, they use the sea spray off the Aegean and contain it by weaving the grape vines around the grapes into a basket to keep in the moisture, amazing.  There were still some cafes open and it was fascinating to be there when things were closing for the season, including our hotel!  Now I'm dreaming of going back, we'll take that same suite please ;)