Greece travel

Santorini holidays

santoriniThe popularity of Santorini is due to its unique volcanic nature and its incredible excavations in Akrotiri. This latter brought to light a prehistoric town from the Minoan era, buried by the massive eruption of the Santorini volcano 3,500 years ago. Because of these two factors Santorini is probably one of the most visited places in Greece after Athens.
Thousands of holiday makers, backpackers, honeymooners, celebrities and Greeks visit the island every summer for unforgetable holidays, pictures of Santorini with sunset views are a trademark of the island. Many cruise ships dock at Santorini every day during the cruise season with hundreds of passengers joining the holiday makers who arrived by other means like flights to Santorini at the airport in Kamari.
The centre of all activities in Santorini is Fira. The most important part of the city is between Erythrou Stavrou Street, which has much of the nightlife in Santorini, and Ipapantis Street where you will find many of the upmarket Santorini restaurants and hotels.

On Ipapantis Street you can see the best views to the blue Aegean, the amazing sunsets and the view of Caldera. In the town there is a museum and many beautiful churches, with the Cathedral being one of the most lovely. One kilometre north of Fira is another popular village of Santorini namely, Imerovigli. The place itself is quieter than Fira and is an ideal place to stay due to its central location which has the same beautiful views you can get in Fira. Further to the north, about 10 km., is the village of Oia.
Here many holiday makers choose to stay because of its picturesque atmosphere and the fantastic views high above the sea level.
As a result of its huge popularity as a tourist resort, every kind of tourist business has been developed on the island. This includes luxury hotels, pensions, campsites, restaurants, beach bars, souvenir shops as well as shops selling high fashion, jewellery and furs. In fact, Santorini
provides everything that a top holiday resort needs - and more. The plethora of tourist shops in Fira, the main town of Santorini, reminds me a lot of the Republic of San Marino in Italy. With its narrow streets and winding steps filled with tourist shops, specialist shops, eateries and cafes
all bustling with trade.

santorini beachOne of the most famous products of Santorini is its local wines. A visit to the local wineries is something you should do and almost every tour of
the island includes a visit to a Santorini winery. The Santorini beaches
are unique in Greece due to their volcanic nature with grey sand and black pebbles.
Fira, Oia and Imerovigli are amongst the most popular three towns in Santorini. However, one of the most important places to visit whilst on your holiday is Akrotiri. Akrotiri is probably one of the main reasons that the tourist industry developed on the island. This is because of the archaeological findings made there that many believe is the Lost Atlantis. The archaeologists are still slowly bringing to the light of day the remains of an astonishing ancient town that had a very high level of civilization.

Other holiday resorts of Santorini are the beach resorts of Koumari and Perissa to the east, the villages of Vourvoulos north east of Fira, Emporios, 12 km. southeast of the main town, and Megalochori, with its fine Cycladic architecture and neo-classical mansions. In Megalochori it is well
worth visiting the church of the Virgin Mary that contains many old Russian Icons. Another well known resort, located to the north near to the town of Oia, is Finikia. Among the villages of Santorini, Pyrgos is the first village you will find after you disembark from the Santorini ferries at the Port of Athinios, Pyrgos is an alternative place to stay as it has lots of cheaper accommodation than you will find in the other, much advertised resorts, of Santorini. The same can be said for the small village of Gonia, a bit further east from Pirgos.

sunset from oiaSunsets in Oia are thought to be the most spectacular in the Aegean. The uninterrupted view of the setting sun over the volcanic caldera is unforgettably magical, leaving you breathless with wonder. As the sun slowly descends into the sea the sky turns the most glorious colours of red, orange, lemon, mauve, violet and pink, gradually increasing in depth of hue as the sun sinks lower and lower. Furthermore, this amazing palette in the sky is reflected magnificently in the ripples of the sea, the sails of boats and on to the surrounding white buildings that cling to the cliff-face. It is so unexpectedly awe-inspiring that, when the sun finally disappears below the horizon, the crowds of spectators often burst into spontaneous applause. Beyond doubt, it is one of the most dramatic and exciting experiences you will have whilst visiting Santorini. The down-side, consequently, to all of this is that it is impossible to experience it alone or just with your loved one. It does get extremely crowded at sunset, with many people coming to Oia by coach, car or cruise ship only for this spectacle. Don’t let this put you off however. Make sure you know when the sun is due to set on the day you decide to make this trip and ensure you find your place at least 1 hour before it happens

One thing you should know before you visit the island is that Santorini is not one of the cheapest islands in Greece and accommodation can be a problem in
high season if you haven't pre-booked. Many non-European visitors, who visit Greece as part of their once-in-a-lifetime European tour, have Athens and
Santorini on their itinerary as both these places are the most well-known Greek places outside of Greece. Therefore, good advice is to arrange your accommodation in Santorini before you arrive.