It is also found in the Aegean Sea and it belongs to the islands of Kyklades. It is an island known all over the world for its unique geological phenomenon, the Volcano and the captivating sun sets. Thousands of couples come to the island on their honey-moon, to be married or to spend a romantic weekend. It is an ideal destination for the young with an intense nightlife and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. The wild beauty, the bewitching Kaldera, the most beautiful sunset in the world, pure white houses, impressive hotels, endless breath-taking view, unique beaches with limpid seas; these all characterise the island. The glamour and the romanticism the landscape is inspired by, have both impregnate Santorini’s lifestyle!
The story of the island is closely related with the Volcano, twelve huge explosions, each nearly every 20.000 years. The explosions, able to make whole settlements disappear, created new small islands. Ancient Atlantis is said to have been here. The primary name of the island, before the big volcanic destruction, the so-called “Minoic” explosion, was Stroggyli, due to its circular shape. It was named “Kallisti” by the Argonauts due to its natural beauty. When the island was occupied by the Spartians it was called “Thira” in honour of their leader. Its today’s name is attributed to the Venetians.
One of the most beautiful settlements in Greece, Fira, the capital of the island, built onto a rock almost 250 m2 above the sea, to the end of Kaldera. Fira together with their linking part, Firostefani, is every day’s focal point, the market centre, the island’s and the nightlife landmark. In Fira, you can find hotels, dimly lit restaurants, dozens of clubs, bars, jewellery shops, stores for all tastes. The afternoons is the ideal time to walk in the narrow stone-paved streets and in the picturesque corners of the settlement.
Imerovigli - “Santorini’s balcony”
The highest point of Kaldera with a magnificent view to the volcano, endless blue and a romantic sunset. Here, lie most of the luxurious hotels and villas with impressive pools to the edge of the cliff. There also exist restaurants and small shops.
Oia– enchanting sunsets
It is a place where you can relish the sunset! Lovely, traditional settlement, with imposing houses of big captains, the houses which are built within the volcanic rocks whether the entire building or with supplementary built parts, churches, the castle of Aghios Nikolaos, gourmet restaurants and traditional taverns.
Other beautiful villages of the island you can visit is Akrotiri (the Cape), which was discovered in the old town Pyrgos (the Tower) with more than 40 churches and the traditional village, “The gone Santorini”, Karterados with the traditional mill and the church of Analipsi (the Ascension), Emborio, Ammoudi, Finikia, Perissa, Perivolos, Megalochori, Kamari, Messaria and Monolithos.
Santorini is a gastronomic paradise, a privileged land with its own products. Its traditional dish is “fava”, as it is called like that by the locals. Another famous product, the legendary Santorinian small tomato. Deep red and aromatic, it is the king of the local traditional salad with a “barley rusk”. Enjoy it in soft tomato balls, as well!
The island is renowned for its marvellous wines and it is considered to be one of the most well-organised wine touristic destinations in Greece. Ask for a Vinsanto – this sweet diamond of the Santorinian vineyard – or accompany your food with the exquisite Santorinian wines Assyrtiko, Athiri, Aedani, Mandelaria, Mavrotragano.
It is worth visiting the following:
The Archaeological Museum in Fira.
The Museum of Prehistorical Thira.
The Folklore Museum.
The Nautical Museum.
The Bellonio Cultural Centre, where painting and photography exhibitions take place.
The Cultural Centre “the Gyzi Mansion”, which hosts interesting exhibitions and musical festivities.
The Prophet Helias Monastery.
Panaghia Episcopacy. An 11th century Byzantine church.
The Argyros Mansion.
Various wine factories (11 open on the island); most of them offer scheduled tour and savoury wine taste.
The Wine Museum, in which story is presented, from 1660 until now.
The settlement of Ancient Thira. The Volcano, take a tour boat getting you to the two small islands, which represent the most recent action of the volcano, in Nea Kammeni, where you will be able to walk until the crater of the volcano in the Old Kammeni with the Thermal Baths.
- Small next island Thirassia.
Unique beaches of the island:
You can not find anything like the beaches of Santorini anywhere in Greece. They are special due to the volcanic character, the dispose of a wild and unusual beauty. Beaches with colourful pebbles, white, black or red sand are just awesome.
The Red Beach. A special one with red sand on the volcanic rocks. It is one of the most popular on the island.
The White Beach, a small, quiet one with black sand and white pebbling, surrounded by white rocks.
Black beaches with crystal waters and black sand being awarded the blue flag. Cosmopolitan Kamari and Perissa, an organised beach together with Perivolos, with beach bars, taverns, water parks, diving centres, infrastructure for sea sports, beach volley courts. Perivolos is the favourite beach of the young and of those with a tendency to intense life… Loud music, dancing, beach partying…
The atmospheric beach of Vlychada. A lunar landscape with an exotic atmosphere due to the high white volcanic cliffs.
Akrotiri. A small beach near the excavation of the old settlement of Akrotiri. It is destined for those who seek relaxation and looseness.
A family-organised beach with shallow waters is Monolithos.
Attention-Translation: Olga Syntrivanis