Santorini Island is a picturesque archipelago formed by five islands in the Aegean Sea. Once on the main island of Santorini – Thira – you find yourself in a completely different Greece – sleek, aristocratic, but at the same time homely. If you describe the island, then you have to use only epithets in excellent shape.
The island is more than 3.5 thousand years old, here for millennia accumulated traces of the presence of ancient civilizations that have survived to this day. However, in such an environment – surrounded by the purest, azure sea, volcanic landscapes, time loses relevance, you just forget about it. Once you get to the well-kept beach, see the snow-white houses, as if from a postcard, harmony, serenity and absolute happiness will return to your heart. According to scientists, Santorini is a lost part of the lost Atlantis.
This island of Greece occupies only 76 square meters. m., the length of the coast is approximately 70 km. About 9 thousand people live on the island. In the past, Santorini was round in shape and called Callista.
After the eruption of the volcano, the outlines of the island changed. Now the wild landscape prevails here. And the newly built white houses seemed to hover over the sea surface, on the steep slopes of an unusual, dark color. Only a bizarre relief, frozen lava and colorful sand remind of the eruption. Santorini island in Greece is particularly attractive at night. The staircase in the lanterns, illuminated by moonlight, looks like a staircase to a fairy tale.
There are many legends associated with this island of Greece. According to one of them, Santorini is part of the sunken Atlantis, and according to the second, it is called Pompeii of the Aegean Sea.
The greatest interest among tourists is the capital of Santorini – the resort of Fira. This small town is known for its tragic history. In 1956, the settlement (like others on the island) was completely destroyed by an earthquake. Another famous Greek resort in Santorini is Oia (Oia), here, according to travelers, the most magical sunsets in the world. If you are interested in a beach holiday, pay attention to Kamari and Perissa. Here you can enjoy plenty of comfortable black sand beaches and high-level service.
Fira (or Tire) was founded in the second half of the 18th century. The settlement has experienced terrible earthquakes more than once, which almost completely wiped it off the face of the earth.
Fira is located on the cliff terraces, is decorated with domes, snow-white houses and Scaft (ascetic cave houses). Today, many hotels, bars, restaurants have been built here. The town has a port – Skala Fira, located 270 meters below the city level. You can get from the port to the city by stairs, but you will have to go through 580 steps. Fira is a pedestrian, resort area, paved streets give the feeling of past eras.
Fira is also a favorite place for nightlife lovers. There are many restaurants, discos, bars that welcome guests around the clock.
Oia is the most famous city in Santorini. Most often it is he who is depicted in the photo of the island – white houses with blue shutters are his visiting card. There are no beaches in the settlement, people come here for sunsets and dinners in a pleasant atmosphere with beautiful views.
After the devastating earthquake of 1956, the village was completely restored and is now very popular.
Small, cozy villages are located near Fira, in a north-westerly direction. The road from Fira takes only a quarter of an hour on foot. The resorts are calm, quiet, located away from the bustling city.
Kamari is the main beach area in Santorini in Greece. The beach here is mixed – pebbles and dark sand prevail. Beyond the beach line are bars and hotels.
Perissa is a tranquil resort, suitable for people who want to enjoy the silence. The length of the beach is 8 km, covered with volcanic sand, located at the foot of Mesa Vaughna Mountain. For vacationers all possible entertainments on water are provided.
This is not just a resort area, but a landmark of Santorini. New and Old Kammeni are small islands where local, religious holidays are held, and at the top is the male temple of the Prophet Elijah.
Attractions and entertainment
If a relaxing beach holiday is too boring for you, set aside some time for sightseeing. Connoisseurs of the history of Ancient Greece will be interested to look at the excavations of the ancient city of Akrotiri. The ruins are located in the southern part of Santorini.
What name the settlement had in antiquity is unknown. During the excavation, he was called Akrotiri – as the nearest village. Scientists have found that the settlement was destroyed by a volcanic eruption about 3,500 years ago. Found artifacts are mainly works of ancient art, of jewelry – only one piece of ash. Excavations are ongoing to this day, perhaps the most interesting things are still underground.
Entrance to the attractions is paid. Those who wish are given the opportunity to stroll along the ancient paved pavement, look at the frescoes.
The city of Fira (Thira) is located in the western part of Santorini, with a population of just over 1.5 thousand people. There are preserved buildings of the Doric era, tombs built in the 9th century and the incredible beauty of the Byzantine period buildings.
Be sure to visit the sanctuary built in honor of the god Apollo in the VIII century BC. You can get to this place only on foot, you need to follow from Perissa in the direction of Kamari or rent a taxi to Mesa Vouna Mountain.
The temple was built in honor of the most ancient prophet Elijah and is located on top of the island, at an altitude of 560 meters. It offers a fabulous view of the entire archipelago. Within the walls of the monastery, a school was secretly located, where the children were taught literacy, which was banned during Turkish rule. Today, a museum has been organized on the territory of the museum, where a school class, a cell, a workshop of joiners and a forge have been restored. There are more than 300 temples on the island.
Looking at the photo of Santorini in Greece, you are convinced that this is a real gem of the island. But photographs do not convey the whole atmosphere that reigns here. Experienced travelers strongly recommend a boat trip or a yacht charter. The ship offers an incredible view of the blood-red cliffs that rise directly from the water, and the snow-white houses are connected by an ornate staircase and fancy walking trails.
All buildings are built of volcanic rock, there are no cars, industrial enterprises, so many note clean air. The atmosphere is complemented by buildings of the Venetian period.
Oia is also known as the city of Captains, as it resembles a museum dedicated to the art of navigation. The exhibits of the Maritime Museum are presented in the mansion of the century before last, there are projects and models of ships of different years of construction, old photographs and a selection of valuable books on shipping.
Of particular interest are the windmills in Oia (Oia) – not just technical structures, but fabulous white towers with wooden blades.
The streets of Oia are narrow, cozy, but there are a sufficient number of hotels with pools, restaurants and cafes. It is here that tourists take panoramic photos during sunset.
This volcano cannot be called truly active, but even the smoldering giant is noticeable. They offer an original excursion program, during which you can climb to the very top and even take a walk around the vent.
Most souvenir shops are concentrated in Kamari. At quite affordable prices, you can buy products of famous brands. Silver jewelry is in the greatest demand; rare items can be found in stores. Among vacationers, leather and wood products are in demand. Pay special attention to local wine – it makes sense not only to try it in Santorini, but to bring a couple of bottles home.
Most of the festivals on the island are timed to certain dates in the religious calendar. In the middle of summer, Agios Ionnis is celebrated, at the end of July they hold events in honor of the patron Profitis Ilias, and in mid-August they celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Jazz Festival is very popular.
Weather and climate
Given the weather and climatic conditions, several tourist seasons are distinguished on the island. The weather in Santorini for months is described below. In addition – see the graphs.
It starts in May and lasts until October. At this time, you can fully enjoy the wild inaccessibility of the rocks, neat, white houses, decorated with bright colors and unusual volcanic beaches.
The peak period for visiting Santorini Island is during the hot, summer months. Despite the fact that the air temperature rises to +35 degrees, the heat is easily tolerated, as a refreshing wind blows from the sea. At this time, the number of guests on the island is so great that a hotel room must be booked for several months.
From November to March in Santorini in Greece, the tourist season is not so active. The weather is not very pleasant – winds blow on the island, rains become frequent, the number of ferry flights to the island decreases.
A beach holiday attracts many tourists to the island, namely the opportunity to relax on the sand of the most unusual colors. You can swim here from the second half of May, when the water warms up to +21 degrees. At this time, there are still not so many vacationers, and mostly the residents decide to swim in the sea. The season ends in September.
It comes in the second half of September, when the total number of visitors to the island decreases, but the temperature of the air and water remain quite comfortable.
In general, the climate in Santorini is Mediterranean and in many ways similar to the climate of another popular island of Greece – Crete. The warmest weather is in the southern and central parts of Santorini, in the northern part the average temperature is lower throughout the year.
Cuisine and wine
If you remember where Santorini is located, you can understand the culinary preferences and features of the local menu. It is dominated by agricultural products that are rich in taste.
The most interesting for tourists are the tomatoes “Santorini”, a special kind of cherry. The bean variety is Santorini fava, Chloro goat cheese with an unusual creamy texture and sourness on the palate. Santorini produces capers from wild plants. Vegetables – white eggplant, katsuni cucumbers and round zucchini deserve special attention. For dessert, try small watermelons with a very rich taste.
The secret to the success of wines in a special ecosystem of the island, thanks to which the vine receives the necessary amount of moisture. Vine bushes grow randomly and in appearance resemble round-shaped baskets – this is a necessary measure to protect plants from the winds.
On the island of Satorini in Greece, more than 10 grape varieties are grown, from which mainly white wines with a fairly dense structure are produced.
The most popular variety is Assirtiko. From it produce 80% of all local wines. The drink has a special flavor bouquet with a light citrus aroma.
Another popular wine is Vincanto. This is a sweet wine that is made from Assirtiko grapes, but dried in the sun. The drink acquires a more concentrated taste, velvety. It is served to the Cardinals of the Vatican and to the Pope himself.
Afiri and Aydani are two grape varieties from which white wine is produced, which is subsequently mixed with Assirtiko. The drink has a rich taste palette, which intertwines honey, floral and citrus notes.
On the island conduct fascinating tours of wine factories.
Santorini Island is an amazing place where there is everything that tourists expect to meet at the resort – a unique unique nature, high level of service, comfortable beaches and many attractions.