Santorini in Greece

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Oia and Imerovigli in Santorini. Greece.



Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cyclades. The island has about 15,550 permanent inhabitants, the main occupations are tourism, fishing and winemaking. The surface area is 75 km2, Santorini is the thirteenth largest island in the Cyclades, about in the same size as Serifos and Sifnos and about five times smaller than Naxos (the largest island in the Cyclades). The two nearest neighbouring islands are Thirasia and Anafi. The largest villages are Fira, the capital of Santorini and its administrative centre, Oia (pronounced Ia), the island's cultural centre and Emborion where the majority of the resident Greeks live. The most popular package resorts are Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos.

Thira - the official name of Santorini (not to be confused with Fira, the capital of Santorini) - is the most spectacular island among the Greek islands. I would even go as far as to say that Santorini is one of the most amazing places in the whole of Greece. Well, actually almost in the same class as the monastery mountains of Meteora on the mainland. Even the most hardened tourist get amazed at the sight of the island. The most common phrases you hear from tourists is "incredible", "amazing", "fantastic", "this can not be true", "how is it possible" and "what if Mom could see this."

Santorini would be an island like all the others if it were not for the island's dramatic history. Reflect on what a volcanic eruption can result in. The heart of Santorini sank below sea level for about 3,500 years ago, no one cheered at that time. Today, Santorini is visited every year by half a million tourists for the very same reason, and the number of visitors increases year after year. In fact, Santorini is one of Greece's most popular destinations. Very rightly, because it is an island with unique villages, unique beaches and unique attractions. Photos from Santorini »

Caldera beach is one of Santorini's least famous beaches.

Caldera beach is one of Santorini's least famous beaches.


Oia and Amoudia are some of the villages you must visit while on Santorini.

Oia and Amoudia are some of the villages you must visit while on Santorini.


Santorini is often marketed as the sunken island of Atlantis, that Plato describes in two of his philosophical writings, namely the dialogues Timaeus and Critias. It is of course a very likely one since Santorini (at least some parts of the island) actually, just as Atlantis, once sank to the sea bed. In Santorini you can stay at Hotel Atlantis, book excursions at the travel agency Atlantis, rent a car at Atlantis, eat at Restaurant Atlantis where you naturally drink wine called Atlantis.

If you've never been to Greece, you have probably seen pictures of the island, in magazines or on postcards. When Greece is described in the media the text is usually visualized with pictures from Santorini. It says a lot about the island's magic and beauty. But it is not a genuine island. Large parts of Santorini is extremely exploited and fully adapted for tourists. Some people think it's a bit to much of knick-knacks. But, thankfully, there are oases where the traditional Greek everyday life have survived and it is a shame that not more people take the time to discover Santorini's other points. Roughly one could describe the northern part as exploited and the southern half as adapted for tourists and in some places completely genuine. No matter what you think of Santorini, the island won't leave you unaffected, it is somehow impossible to ignore the magical and exciting scenery.

If you like shopping, it is a good idea to bring your thick wallet. Here is everything you can imagine, and sometimes things you can not imagine. Apart from the usual souvenir shops, which there are many of, you will find numerous of jewellers, clothing boutiques and art galleries. If I may suggest something to buy home, it is wine from Santorini. Taste the wine at the vineyards, or buy it at a supermarket, and surprise your friends back home with a unique lava wine. Also honey and capers from Santorini is worth buying home.

The volcanoes and the sunset. Santorini.

The volcanoes are one of many interesting sights.


You can read more about Santorini via the links at the top of the page. A short summary of the information comes here:

Santorini is one of the archipelago's most easily accessible destinations, choose between charter flights, international flights, domestic flights or ferries. Santorini is a perfect island for those who like to travel independently, the island is perfect to use as a base when you are island-hopping: the boat connections to other islands is extremely good, it's easy to get to and from the island, and Santorini is also well worth seeing.
Read more about how to travel to Santorini here »

Most people who travel to Santorini only visit the villages of Fira and Oia. It is not surprising, since they are the two most beautiful villages. I do wish that more people gave themselves time to discover other villages, because there are many lovely villages, some of them completely unaffected by tourism. Akrotiri, Imerovigli (see photo at the top of the page), Megalochori, Pyrgos, Mesa Gonia, Exo Gonia and Katerados are examples of other villages. You see the villages of Imerovigli and Oia in the picture at the top of the page.
Read more about the villages here »

Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers on whether the beaches of Santorini is good or not. Personally, I think the beaches are great. Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos are the most popular beaches. My favourites are Vlychada, Baxedes, Katharos and the bathing-place with rocks below Oia. Others prefer Red beach and Monolithos.
Read more about the beaches here »

You do not have to search for tourist attractions in Santorini, because the whole island is one big attraction. In addition to the dramatic scenery, I would recommend the excavations in Akrotiri, Ancient Thira, the volcanoes of Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni, the sunset and a visit to one of the many vineyards.
Read more about the sights here »

The range of hotels and pensions are enormous, especially in Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Kamari and Perissa. There is also accommodations in lesser known places like Megalochori, Pyrgos and Vlychada. Although the range is huge, it is wise to book in advance, because Santorini is an island that is becoming more popular.
Suggestions for hotels can be found here »


Fira in Thira. Sunset. Santorini.

Fira is one of many unique villages.

Read more about Santorini via the links at the top of this page.



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