Posted by: Rasma R | October 9, 2017

Spectacular Santorini

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Our armchair travel took us through Africa. When you are hopping about the map on the Internet it is easy to discover many interesting places to visit someday. I was thinking about where we would go next and then decide to search for some popular islands that tourists enjoy visiting. There are quite a few I have not written about. Afterwards I will decide where we will venture next.

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Santorini is one of the Cyclades Islands in the Agean Sea. In the 16th century BC this island was destroyed by a volcanic eruption leaving it with a rugged landscape. Today you can see whitewashed, cubi-form houses in its two main towns, Fira and Oia, clinging to cliffs above an underwater caldera or crater. The overlook the sea, other small islands to the west and beaches that consist of black, red and white lave pebbles.

san fira

Fira or Thira is the capital of Santorini. Here you can see whitewashed cubic-style houses and terraces, winding lanes, little squares and blue-domed churches.

san fira skala

From the small port of Skala you can get to Fira either by walking up a stepped path

san fira mules

of 587 steps, ride a mule for hire

san fira cable

or take the cable-car. Fira exists mostly from tourism and you can find small hotels, apartments, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and jewelers.

 san fira prehistoric

Take the time to visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira which displays finds from Akrotiri archeological site.

san fira prehistoric monkeys

Tourists particularly enjoy the Blue Monkeys wall fresco. There are ancient artworks on display that include marble figurines, painted ceramics, tools and weapons.

san fira mitropolis church

It has found its home in a modern white building, close to the 1950s Mitropolis Church.

san oia

Twelve kilometers from Santorini is the village of Oia. It has whitewashed houses and little boutique hotels with infinity pools. There are steep path winding up to town from Ammoudi Bay, where you can find waterside seafood restaurants. This lovely town is especially known for its sunsets. It is possible to walk from Oia to Fira along a footpath along the cliffs high above the caldera.

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The Caldera was formed by the massive volcanic explosion that blew out the center of the island about 3,600 years ago It measures 12 km by 7 km. It is still home to volcanic activity. In its center rise the two Kaimeni islets with hot springs and gas emissions. You can get one-day excursions of the caldera by boat.

san thirassia

Visitors enjoy bathing in the hot springs and having lunch on Thirassia, a tiny island on the west side of the caldera.

san akrotiri

Twelve kilometers southwest of Fira near the village of modern Akrotiri you’ll find the ancient settlement of Akrotiri which was buried beneath lave after the 16th century BC volcanic explosion. Before the tragedy Santorini was flouring due to shipping and trading. Frescoes show its connections with North Africa most of which are no in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Akrotiri reopened to the public in 2012.

san akrotiri red beach 2

Close-by is the famous Red Beach below a spectacular red cliff wall. The beach is accessible along a path from the town of Akrotiri.

san pyrgos

Tiny Pyrgos was the capital of Santorini before Fira took over in 1800. Here you can see whitewashed Cycladic cottages that have been built around the ruins of a medieval hilltop castle.

san pyrgos cafe

Since 2004 this village has begun catering to up-market tourism with the opening of small chic restaurants and boutique hotels. The village lies right in the center of the island eight kilometers southeast of Fira.

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A road taking you from Pyrgos goes to the summit of Mt. Profitis Ilias, the highest point in Santorini. It offers fantastic views over the island and over the sea.

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The Profitis Ilias Monastery is open to the public. Inside the church there is a richly carved iconostasis and the museum displays the miter and crozier of Patriarch Gregory V. who was hanged in Constantinople by the Turks in 1821. Visitors are also interested in the library, the monastic archives and the kitchen. This monastery ran one of the many “secret schools” that operated during the Turkish period.

Thira Fira Perissa Oia Ammoudi Thirassia  Greece island cyclades

The most popular and best known beach in Santorini lies on the southeast coast between the villages of Perissa and Perivolos. Here you can find fine, black volcanic sand along with tamarisk trees and a string of seafood tavernas and cafes. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas and water sport facilities.

 

http://www.planetware.com/greece/santorini-gr-aeg-santo.htm

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Responses

  1. What utterly wonderful architecture!

    • I love finding just the right photos . For an island they really have done some impressive building. Glad you enjoyed the tour.


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