The island of Santorini is often referred to as the most beautiful greek island of them all. When you take a sunset walk across violet hued rocks while watching the roasting sun dip gracefully into the cerulean, tide less ocean you will come to realise exactly why people get so lyrical about Santorini.
Santorini’s explosive history
It is almost impossible not to embrace the absolutely wonderful landscape of Santorini, which was formed when the ancient volcanic island of Strongili (also called Kalliste, meaning “the fairest”) exploded in 1650 BC, leaving a semicircular rim of land around a deep lagoon. The unique geography this left behind has been a blessing for visitors seeking astounding views, a unique culture and a greek experience never to be forgotten.
The Minoans had a civilisation on Strongili by that time, so the eruption may well be a root source for the legend of the lost city of atlantis.
The cliffs are sheer on the inner side of the island of Santorini with no beaches. However on the outer edge there are beaches such as Perivolos and Monolithos which offer great bathing opportunities. The agressive marketing of tat to tourists is thankfully less apparent here than on other greek islands. I suspect the locals know just how lucky they are and see no need to allow their little bit of paradise to be ruined by rampant commercialism. Santorini holidays are the stuff of dreams.
Santorini is a must for visitors who like to climb beautiful fertile hills. However to get here you need to remember that the official name of Santorini is in fact Thera, and so that is what you will see on the front of the ferry boats.
Like Pompeii, the eruption not only destroyed but also preserved much, and the The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, in the island’s capital town of Fira, is no ordinary greek island museum. You will find some absolutely stunning masterpieces of art in the prehistoric Aegean here.
Since the eruption the newer buildings of Santorini have been crafted with just as much care. Santorini is the home of the white painted houses and windmills you see in all the greece travel brochures and they do look just as stunning in real life.
Reviews of Santorini
Santorini is too expensive. Its all a bit flash compared to traditional greek islands.
The most beautiful island on earth.
I have been back to Santorini five times now and intend to go again at easter. Santorini is a stunning island and not overpriced. The sunsets on Santorini are the best in the world. I prefer the caldera side (west coast) to the beach side myself, but because of building regulations you will find most rooms are smaller on the rim than down on the coast.
Photography on Santorini
My tip for photographers is to head up to Pyrgos, one of the highest points of Santorini with a telephoto lens and a good camera. Wait till sunset and snap away in every direction.
White Wine on Santorini
We noticed a lot of vinyards and so naturally wanted to try the local wines. I have to say they were an absolute revelation. Very different to classic french wines, there were heady herby flavours and a honey texture to even the dryest of local wines. By the third mouthful I was totally hooked on the taste and at a tenth of the price of cheap supermarket wines, I loved the price. The reds on Santorini are a different matter. We didn’t find one single glass we could honestly describe as paletteable, but for white wines, you are definitely spoiled for choice.
I was recently told that Santorini’s houses only started being painted white in the 1970s when a law was passed to make the houses all look the same. Does anyone know if this is true and are there any old photos of pre-white Santorini on the web?