Situated in the Cycladic archipelago, the island of Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations and alsoone of the most expensive. In the middle of the island, there is a lake with blue water, which was formed on a very old volcano crater; according to legend, this volcano destroyed the lost continent, Atlantis, when it erupted 3,600 years ago, burying the ancient city of Akrotiri (which is now excavated ) under tons of ashes. Because of this tragedy, in later times Santorini has gained “celebrity” due to its black, white and red-sanded beaches that are unique in the world.
There are two well-known beaches accessible: Perissa and Kamari, both with volcanic black sand. The most popular, and most expensive resorts in Santorini are Fira (the capital of the island) and Oia, located in the highest areas. Here you can find luxurious hotels, restaurants, bars and plenty of other facilities. On the island there are a few resorts where prices are much lower: Kamari, Perissa, Akrotiri, Imerovigli, Thira, Firostefani and Kallistis Pyrgos.
It is the perfect place for a perfect holiday and it is said that Santorini is the place where “there are more churches than houses, more wine than water, more donkeys than men.”
The most popular beaches are situated on the eastern part of the island: Kamari beach hass black sand, and is frequented by many tourists also because there is a popular diving center. In Perissa you will find a seafront resort with great restaurants, terraces and nightclubs. Fira and Oia have no beaches, instead there are some overhanging rocks, offering a spectacular view and many hotels have pools. And if you are passionate of history, some 12 km from Fira there is the Akrotiri Archaeological Site. Here you will discover the remains of a castle, two churches, and the impressive view over Caldera. The frescoes which had been discovered there can be admired at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
Another three km from Kamari, there is Thira Antica, a city built in the nineteenth century b.C, where you can admire numerous relics full of history. The ruins are located on top of a mountain known as Mesa Vouna. The rocks Thira offer one of the most beautiful landscapes: blue sea create a stunning contrast with the rugged rocks. The monument can be visited every day between 08.00 – 14.30 at a price of 4 Euros. If you choose to stay in Santorini, then you shall not miss the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, located in the island’s capital, Fira, where you can admire figurines and pottery and other pieces of ceramics discovered at the archaeological site of Akrotiri. The museum can be visited every day (except for Monday, when it’s is closed) between 08.30 – 15.00. The price of the ticket is 3 Euros
The Folklore Museum is in Kontochori, Fira is located in a house that resembles a cave and was built in 1861. The cave-like museum is an old winery with workshops for carpenters, shoemakers and tinsmiths and has an art gallery where local artists display their works. Inside the museum you will find a library, a garden and a courtyard where the seating area is placed among the trees and flowers. The museum can be visited daily between 10.00 – 14.00, the price of a ticket is 2 Euros.
The Naval Museum is in the picturesque Oia resort. Here are exposed marine objects coming from different historical stages of the island, especially from the 19th century. The museum can be visited daily (Tuesday is closed), between 11.00 – 12.00 and 17.00 – 20.00.
The Wine Museum is located in the Vothonas, on the way to Kamari and shows the history of the wine industry of Santorini between 1660 and until 1950, with mobile and immobile figures and sound effects. The museum can be visited daily, between 12.00 – 20.00 o’clock, from April to November, and between 09.00 – 14.30 o’clock from November to March, except Sundays.
Fira is Santorini’s capital and most important city. Located in the western part of the island, 10 km from Athinios port, Fira fascinating due to the contrast of white buildings shaped like boxes, with blue windows that display the crystal clear sea and steep cliffs. During the summer season, the streets of Fira are full of tourists eager to have fun. Many cafes, terraces, taverns, nightclubs and souvenir shops attract thousands of customers.
The most picturesque resort in Santorini is Oia (pronounced Ia), famous worldwide for the quiet life and fantastic sunsets. Situated atop a cliff, 11 km from Fira, Oia Palia offers stunning views of the volcano, the Caldera and Thirassia island. Winding streets, churches with blue roofs, terraces overlooking the sea, the white houses, Oia resort offers a special charm.
In Santorini you have the opportunity to visit two volcanic islands: Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. Islands can be visited via 1-day trips that take place in the area. The spectacular landscapes and volcanic rocks guarantee a trip not to be missed.
Like all summer resorts, and Santorini are a lot of shops with souvenirs, shoes, sunglasses or clothing. Here you will find many handmade jewelry made of volcanic rock. Greek wines, olive oil cosmetics are a few obligatory souvenirs.
The nightlife of Fira is the most thrilling nightlife you will discover in all Santorini. Once it gets dark, narrow streets that there are numerous pubs and clubs are crowded with tourists eager to spend time and money until morning.
However, in Kamari and Oia, evenings are quiet, the main attractions being nocturnal restaurants and terraces overlooking the sea. For an authentic Greek evening, go to Club 33. Located in downtown Fira, Club 33 is just listen Greek music, and often professional dancers entertain troops.
Koo Club is the largest club in Santorini, where renowned DJs mixing the latest music. Situated on a cliff of Fira, the club has an outdoor dance floor, surrounded by palm trees and a pool room where the atmosphere turns into fire after midnight. Blue curtains, velvet sofas and divans covered with ruby silk will take you back in time.
Enigma has been one of the most popular clubs in Fira since 1979. You listen to the latest music, the atmosphere is one of the most pleasant and drinks are not expensive at all. The club has three sections linked together, including a covered terrace and 2 rooms with air conditioning. The bar has a terrace are the best places where you can admire the sunset. Here you can enjoy cocktails with champagne, and music is a clever mix of classical music with modern pieces, from Maria Callas to Secret Garden.
A unique atmosphere you will find in restaurants or taverns in which organizes Greek nights, where everybody is dancing and feeling good, and the icing on the cake is the moment of the broken dishes.
There’s no place like Santorini and you must visit it at least once in your life.