Our hotel room was quite small but the staff were so friendly and helpful that we didn't mind. (Note: even the smallest hotel rooms in Greece come with balconies. Many hotel bathrooms, however, have shower nozzles that you have to hold in your hand. Fair warning.) Also helpful was the price—so low, on a generally expensive island, that I'm not even going to disclose the name of the hotel. You can ask me nicely if you want it. Also, we've still got 20 minutes of time at the Internet cafe in town, if anyone wants that.
The hotel was cheap because of its location on a nothing side street off the main square of the main town of Fira, rather than on the cliffs overlooking the caldera. That wasn't important to us; we don't typically spend any time in our hotel other than to sleep. We spent our time exploring (places and cuisine) and saw a good deal of Santorini in two and a half days. The ancient Minoan site of Akrotiri, frozen in time by the volcano's eruption (like Pompeii but much older), is closed because of the collapse of a protective roof, but the dramatically situated mountaintop ruins of Ancient Thira satisfied any craving for ruins we still had. (The two inset photos show relief carvings of animals and a real animal at Ancient Thira.)
We took our one and only swim at Kamari Beach (hot, black not-quite-sand; beautiful clear water) and then a small boat ride around an imposing jutting cliff to Perissa Beach, thence home to Fira by bus. But it's walking along the ridges from village to village, always in sight of that amazing caldera with its brand-new volcanic islands, that lingers most vividly in the memory. A five-minute rain shower was the only precipitation we experienced in our whole two weeks in Greece.
In short, Santorini is all it's cracked up to be, its popularity well deserved. It's crowded enough in May; I can't imagine going in the high season of July and August. Nor can I imagine being one of the Cruise-Ship People, whisked up by cable car for a few hours of view-gazing, shopping, and a meal, then zoomed back down for happy hour on board. Even though it's a small island, you need time, at least two nights, to get a decent feel for a place like this. Other sites we saw: the impressive digitally created reproductions of the wall paintings of ancient Akrotiri, housed at the Thira Foundation; the northern village of Ia, famed for its sunsets (but was it really better than the next night's sunset from Firostefani?); the small, lovely Catholic cathedral (those Venetians again); and the Megaron Gyzi Museum, which has photos of the island pre- and post-earthquake. What we'll have to get to next time: winery visits; a boat trip to the caldera islets; and of course, ancient Akrotiri, which we hope will be reopened in time for our next visit, whenever that might be. We left the island almost overwhelmed, even without having experienced everything.