Santorini, a Greek Island in the Aegean Sea, is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It is part of the cycladic group of islands and is famous for its breathtaking postcard views. Santorini is a small island and the easiest way to get around is by renting a car or an ATV.
The city where the picture postcard frame is brought to life. The whitewashed houses with blue tops perched on the cliff is an image straight out of a fairytale. Walking through the narrow white lanes, you pass by numerous souvenir stores and cafes/restaurants with their terrace overlooking the cliff. Oia is also famous for its mesmerizing sunset. Tourists wait for hours with their cameras to capture this magical moment. Though, I must confess watching the sun slowly and steadily glide into the sea makes this wait totally worthwhile.
The capital city of Santorini, is known for its restaurants and night life. Firostefani is the topmost point of Fira from where you can enjoy the view. Given a choice between Fira and Oia, my pick would be Oia. Fira can get too crowded at times and does not have the charm that Oia has to offer.
For the beach lovers:
I, for one, love beaches and Santorini offered us a wide array of choices from the black pebble beach to white sand beach to the splendid red volcanic beach.
Being an volcanic island, most of the beaches in Santorini are black pebble beaches. Perissa is the most commercial of the lot, with restaurants lined up throughout its 8 km stretch. In good weather, most of these restaurants bring out their sunbeds onto the beach. Ahhh, the absolute bliss of feeling the sun on your face, whilst sipping on a cocktail far away from the cares of the world 🙂
An extension of the Perissa beach, but less crowded and touristy as compared to Perissa. The sand and the water is cleaner than perissa. If you prefer quiet spaces, this might be a better option than Perissa.
This beach has sand carved out of the volcano, giving it a scorched effect. There are two ways to reach this beach – either through a ferry (or) by parking the car and taking a short walk through the volcanic rocks till the beach.
Ancient Thera Ruins:
After the 17th century BC volcanic eruption that shattered Thera, the entire prehistoric city of Akotiri was buried under thick layers of volcanic deposits. The island then remained deserted for centuries. At Ancient Thera you get to see the ruins of various settlements which developed in this region over the years, the main inhabitants being the Dorian colonists from Sparta under the leadership of Thera (from where the name is derived).
There are two ways to reach the ruins – you can drive from Kamari and park at the entrance of the ruins (or) you can trek up the mountain from the Perissa side. Not the ones to miss an adventure, we chose to climb up the mountain. It was a 45 min climb till the top but the stunning view at every stage made the climb well worth it.
I hope we have managed to tempt you to pack your bags and head to Santorini the next chance you get. If not, the below images should do the trick!