A unique island of dreams, peace and happiness, the island which have been the most popular travel destinations in Europe for many years, the island that wholeheartedly welcomes each and every one of its guests, and finally the island whose astonishing history was literally hidden under a thick layer of volcano ashes for thousands of years! Santorini is one of the most spectacular islands in the Aegean Sea.
Its sea is enclosed and surrounded by volcanic islands, known as "Burnt islands". Over its volcanic cliffs that are either red, brown or greenish, a string of white villages pop up.
So much have written about the mysterious sea realm, the colorful land, the enchanting sunset and the clear blue sky of Santorini! Words are poor to express the grandeur of an island that knows how to get reborn out of ashes.
Welcome to Santorini!
St. George - Perivolos - Perissa: One of the most popular and beautiful beaches of Santorini. Black volcanic sand and amazing waters is the best combination for the ideal summer destination. The beach is indicated for diving and long sunbathing lying in comfortable deckchairs. Here the beach with black volcanic sand stretches up for several kilometers offering tourists countless choices of cafes, restaurants, beach clubs, little shops, and of course, water sports opportunities fitting every taste and budget. Here the beach with black volcanic sand stretches up for several kilometers offering tourists countless choices of cafes, restaurants, beach clubs, little shops, and of course, water sports opportunities fitting every taste and budget.
Kamari: A beach awarded with two EU blue flags, well organised, with a lifeguard and plenty of room for lying free on the sand. The water here is quite deep and the beach has black volcanic sand. Above the beach you will find a pedestrian road with small shops, taverns, and bars.
Red Beach: The Red beach is the definition of a volcanic beach. Everything here is red, the imposing rocks as well as the alteration of sand and pebbles. Unfortunately, has been officially judged unsuitable for visiting due to the unpredictable landslides in the area. Despite that, it's a rather busy beach and those who visit it, do it under their own responsibility.
Vlychada: One of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini, it is ideal for those who do not like the hubbub of crowded places. The volcano whhite rocks remind us of a moon landscape. The last part of the beach is the favourite spot of naturists and nudists.
Emporio: The biggest village of Santorini overlooking the waters of Perissa and Perivolos. Here you will find testimonies of the days of glory when Emporio was the economic heart of Santorini. The best preserves Kastelli of the island is located here. Every single corner, yard, house embraces the innocence of beauty. The arts of architecture and scultpture become one, creating a beautifully mystic ambience.
Akrotiri is a small fish village but the fact that such a remarkable civilization flourished here for approximately 15 centuries, gives it a special prestige. The ancient city of Akrotiri is the most important archaeological discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean. The volcanic erruption 1600BC, covered with lava the ancient city and preserved it in an excellent condition, as happened in Pompeii. Visit, also the Goulas of Akrotiri for the really impressive view and the Light House for a unique sunset.
Pyrgos: Built at the foot of the Mountain of Profitis Ilias, Pyrgos is a vivid example of a fortified settlement and it is the only one on Santorini that preserved its bright features of a typical medieval town. There are plenty of churches but the oldest one is the Church of the Assumption also known as Theotokaki built on the 11th century. Near Pyrgos, on the summit of Profitis Ilias, there is the Monastery bearing the same name. It hosts an important collection of rare religious relics, hand written books and artifacts.
Fira is the central town on Santorini island and is virtually built on the edge of the cliff overlooking the caldera, at the altitude of 260 meters above the sea level.
The unique architecture of white houses clinging to the fancy slopes of the caldera and spectacular views to the volcano and the Aegean sea make Fira one of the must destinations on the island. Here you will find the biggest choice of cafes, restaurants, bars and night clubs, as well as excellent shopping opportunities with shopping centers, jewellery stores, art galleries, clothing shops and much more...
Oia is the second largest settlement after Fira. It was built at a low altitude and closer to the sea connected with the town by several stairs-like streets. One of the streets leads to Ammoudi fishing harbour and counts 214 steps, another one leads to the old port Armeni counting 286 steps.
The caldera in Oia is the most famous place for sunset views, which makes tourists from all other parts of the island flood the streets of the little village in the evening hours. Here you will find a variety of fine dining restaurants, cafes and bars.
Museum of Prehistoric Thera: The excavation findings from prehistoric Akrotiri, exhibited in a highly interesting way at the Museum of Fira. Main exhibits: original mosaics, marble figurines, painted vessels, pieces of furniture, copper tools and jewellery.
Akrotiri Archaeological Site: Akrotiri has been the best preserved ancient settlement out of all excavated villages in the Aegean Sea. The archaeological research in Akrotiri started as early as the 19th century. Excavations confirmed that the volcanic eruption took place around 1500BC., so the settlement was found under a thick layer of volcanic ash 3500 years old. The architecture of the city features typical Cycladic elements. The wealth and quality of emerged buildings reveal the welfare of the city: the life of Akrotiri was rather carefree and sophisticated. The excavations in Akrotiri have revealed only a part of the prihistoric settlement that seems to have occupied a much larger territory than what was believed before. However, archaeologists continue their work today and it is likely that in the future we may hear of new astonishing findings of Akrotiri.
Ancient Thera: The second most important historical sight of Santorini, after Akrotiri, is the settlement of Ancient Thera. The excavations in the area of Mesa Vouno have revealed a settlement dating from the Hellenistic Period stretching along the mountain from the north-west to the south-east. This natural fortification appeared to be the most suiteble place for Spartan Colonizers who founded a city here that was connected with the coast of Perissa on one side and the harbour of Kamari on the other. Such a strategic vantage point was also appreciated by the Ptolemies and Egypt's military , in the later period.
All known volcanic eruptions on Santorini island have been described having catastrophic proportions for the population of the island. Ejected lava and massive explosions were often accompanied by tsunami bringing destruction to the coasts of the Aegean Sea.
The rough beauty of the volcano and its breathtaking history attracts tourists to embark on a journey, which is quite safe but no less intiguing. The crater of the volcano is situated on the island Nea Kameni. It is a mass of black stones ejected from the earth's womb in prehistoric times.
A small boat(kaiki)with passengers drops anchor at the shore with warm and muddy waters having a greenish cast because of sulfur. Here starts a path leading to the crater. The hike will take half an hour. In the crater smoke is rising in numerous places and it slightly smells like sulfur. There are also thermal springs, were you can bathe in, if you wish so.