White houses castled one over the other with hues of blue, pastel pink or yellow outlining the buildings. The intense blue of the sunny sky above you, the deep blue of the sea below you and the myth of Atlantis reverberating in your mind. This is Santorini, Cyclades, Greece. Officially known as Thira, this island might have inspired the Greek philosopher Plato to write about Atlantis. Devastated by a volcano eruption that took place during the Minoan era (around 1600 BC), Santorini is the remains of that dramatic event, and most of the ancient island was destroyed or submerged.
There are several areas of this Cycladic island worth a visit. Here are my favorite spots on the island with everything you can do and see while in Santorini.
Oia is the best part of the island to visit get a sense of the myth of Atlantis and its submerged civilization. Here the cliffs of the village face the caldera, a magnificent lagoon formed after a volcanic eruption and filled with water from the Aegean Sea. Oia is also famous for the enchanting sunsets you can enjoy from the narrow, steep streets of this part of the island. When it comes to Santorini sunset viewing, nothing beats the strip of land along the Fira-Oia hiking trail, the Orthodox Church in Fira or a private boat tour.
Talking about romantic things to do, a dinner at the Ambrosia Restaurant offers one of the most exclusive views of the caldera. For more informal dining, opt for the relaxing atmosphere of Amoudi Bay with its line of enchanting taverns on the sea or check out Dimitri Tavern.
Oia is the best spot in Santorini, but there are other villages worth a visit. Whitewashed buildings with blue domes makes Imerovigli with its Anastasi Church (one of the favorite for islander weddings), a little gem in Santorini. This quiet village that seems cut out of the rocks offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. While strolling around this area make sure you check out the Panagia Theoskepasti Chapel, the Agios Nikolaos Church and the Church of Panagia Malteza.
Akrotiri, in the south part of the island, is a famous archeological site. A stroll around this area will help you to discover where all the beauty and mythological enchantment of Santorini’s history originate. Known as the Pompeii of the Aegean Sea, similarly a ghost city well preserved under layers of ash, Akrotiri is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. This site dates from late Neolithic times and presents remains of the Minoan civilization from before the volcano’s eruption. Unfortunately, frescoes and many art crafts are not displayed in situ, but housed in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera in Tira. From Akrotiri, visit the Red Beachwith its black and red volcanic pebbles rocks and hot water.
Are you looking for a typical picturesque Greek village? Perched on the hills in the southern part of the island is Pyrgos, a charming village with a spectacular view up to Oia. The village houses a Venetian fort (Katelli) built by the Venetian crusaders during the 15th Century. Not too far from Pyrgos is the Monastery of Prophet Elias founded in 1771 on the highest point of the island. Go there for another amazing view of the scenery. Here, the Church of Saint Triada houses an ecclesiastical museum with a collection of icons.
Santorini is an island, but it’s not famous for its beaches which are far away from the dreamy sandy white ones that come to mind when thinking of the Greek islands. However, you might want to check out Vilchada, which is less crowded and more difficult to access or head to the more famous Perissa or Perivolos beaches. Santorini is an island, but go there for its atmosphere.
You might also like A Stroll Around Athens.
Original source: A STROLL AROUND SANTORINI by A Stroll Around the World
An Italian journalist who has worked as a television screenwriter, and, by luck, leads a nomadic life.