Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I would never imagine that I would visit one of the top 10 islands in the world until my 40s, but I luckily did. One travel agency offered a deal of a lifetime, and I took it. Just for 500 euros, I stayed there for four days.
Many historians think that Santorini is the place where the lost city of Atlantis once stood. Reading that information all over my body I felt goosebumps and got even more excited than ever for this trip. However, historians are still researching and have no conclusive evidence that Santorini is the lost city of Atlantis.
Santorini is better than any other islands in the world because it was made from volcano eruption around five thousand years ago. The form it has today looks nothing like the shape it had five millenniums ago. It had a round shape (like many islands today), yet it broke, and now it looks like a french croissant.
Even today, the volcano is still there and is usually inactive (last time it tried to erupt was in the 1950s, yet it didn’t break the layer).
Therefore the land mass of the island is volcanic, making a unique tourist destination. Also, all the beaches are volcanic the black and red beach. You cannot find beaches like this in any part of the world – simply astonishing. The black beach was near my hotel – Perissa beach. Even at 15 degrees, I saw someone swimming in the sea. Maybe it was worth it, but I was could, and I promise you I will do it next time I visit.
The red beach was something different – the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. The red beach is located near Akrotiri, which is accessible for any tourist. However, our guide there told us not to visit it because an earthquake from 2 degrees can cause a rock slop that can squash us. However, even with those odds, I had to go there! So fantastic experience, I highly recommend you do that as well. Also, if you pick up a red volcanic stone and put it at the eastern part of your house, your family living there will be protected from evil spirits!
One aspect of Santorini remained the same – the unique architecture. It makes staying in Santorini an extraordinary experience, that you will remember until the rest of your life. Here is my journey through the Greek island Santorini.
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Santorini (Greece) Travel Guide
We arrived at Athinios port Santorini where we docked and continued towards our hotel. One thing that immediately captured my attention was the road. It is a zig-zag road that climbs the mountain. It was so high that made some of the passengers uneasy when we traveled. To be honest, it looks cool and reminds me like it was written as part of some fantasy novel.
We continued through the island and arrived at our hotel. I was amazed by the shapes of the houses in Santorini. Every home in Santorini whether located in cities or small villages, it has that familiar and uncommon Cycladic architecture. All buildings are white and cream colors and build in a way that they do not absorb moisture from the sea. The design is simplistic yet conservative. A unique and beautiful style that makes Cycladic architecture so eye-catching to tourists around the world.
You can find this style in every big island in the Aegean sea including Mykonos and Crete. Buildings either have flat or cubic shapes for their roofs, where the walls are whitewashed making the experience staying in a hotel or villa in that type even more exciting.
To experience the architecture of Santorini, you must visit the big cities Oia and Fira (Thira eng.). Okay, my stay was in April, and the weather is around 15 degrees Celsius. There were many tourists, and you cannot walk freely around the city as you like. However, in the summer it gets even hotter and more crowded! Imagine visiting the city in summer – even more tourists and 45 degrees! Nextravel recommendation- visit Santorini in spring or autumn – best way to experience Santorini to the fullest.
The name Santorini comes from the Venetian translation of the church St Irina – which remained to the present day.
All the cities in Santorini are located on a caldera. They are located around 400 meters above sea level. Fira is the biggest city in Santorini. The tight streets, houses, hotels, and churches make walking around Fira like walking in Kings Landing (Game of Thrones). You can see shops, restaurants and gifts shops all around. Every family living in Santorini has its church. Yes, there are more churches in Santorini than days in a year. Not all churches are open through the year. Some family churches are only accessible when they have an orthodox family holiday, and you can visit them by sharing food and drinks, celebrating their family holiday and wishing them the best of luck for the coming year.
Akrotiri is the most famous village in Santorini if you want to see its ancient ruins. All the houses are built in caves, surrounded by gardens and fields make it one of the most beautiful places to experience the history of Santorini. Firostefani was a separate village, but as time went on, it became part of Fira. You only need 10 minutes to get from the center of Fira to Firostefani. Like every place in Santorini, it has beautiful houses and hotels. Usually, this is the place where the inhabitants of Santorini live.
The most impressive part of Santorini is OIA or Ia. It was the previous capital city of the island, before the expansion of Fira. However, it is the most beautiful part of Santorini -with a good reason. There you can see the most beautiful sunset in the world. I was witness to that. However, more than 10.000 people were watching it with me, making it too crowdy for my preference.
And the final part of Santorini that amazed me it was their wine! Santorini does not have any water. So, how do they make wine? As you can see from the pictures the wine plants are located near the ground and don’t grow like normal ones. They feed water through the moisture of the sea. The wine is one of the best wines I’ve ever tried in the world, and I only drink wine! If you visit Santorini, try their wines – both red and white taste divine!
In the end, visiting Santorini opened my eyes to the beauty of the islands in general. That’s why I remain motivated to visit even more now, and soon you will be reading about them.
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Nextravel Tips (Santorini Travel Guide):
Clothes: Santorini in summer is hot, hot and hot. It can get up to 50 degrees Celsius! In winter, the temperature stays around 10 degrees so that you will need to bring spring/autumn clothes. In spring and autumn, you will need summer clothes during the day, because the sun shines and makes it feel like it is 25 degrees. Also, at night use a jacket, because it can get windy with low temperatures around 10 degrees.
Hotels: Santorini is expensive, especially in the summer. One night in a good hotel can cost you up to $6000 or more per night. Even in winter and autumn, the prices remain expensive. On the other hand, there are cheaper hotels around Perssia bay. In summer you can stay for ten days just for 800 euros.
Foods & Restaurants
Food is generally expensive in Santorini than other parts of Greece, but not so much. You can eat traditional Greek seafood at a higher price, but conventional food excluding seafood remains the same. Also, Santorini offers one of the best wines in the world. If you don’t try them, you will be missing a lot!
Local Guides, Excursions and Rent Car/Bike
In spring local guides and excursions are cheaper than summer. However, if you travel with a bigger group, you can get discounts. Renting cars and bikes is like any part of Greece – the price remains the same and reliable.
Nightlife: Again depending on your budget. If you stay in the most luxurious part of Santorini, you will get to better parties. However, those located in the Perissa bay, also have good beach bars, that a big part of the young local population attends.