THESSALONIKI

How to reach it

Santorini is a small island located  in the southern area of the Aegean Sea it  belongs to the archipelagos of the Cyclades.

The island is well linked by direct flights from Greek capital Athens but also from many European cities during 7 months of summer season. 

From Athens you can travel either by plane (Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”) or by ferryboat (Piraeus Port). There are also links between Santorini and other Greek islands.

The flight is the quickest, easiest and most direct way as it lasts more or less 40 minutes. The international Airport of Santorini is situated on the east side of the island, in Monolithos.

Coordinates: 36°25′N 25°26′E

Region: Cyclades

Capital: Thira

Area: 92 km2 

Peak: Profitis Ilias 556m

Main Port: Athinios Port

Airport: Thira JTR 

HIstory

Santorini was a round island, but during an earthquake and volcanic eruption in the 15th century BC, the center of the island sank giving it its present shape. This is one of the reasons why many truly believe the island is actually where Atlantis once was. After this, the Minoan civilization on the island disappeared, and it seems that most of the inhabitants managed to escape and the island has changed its name over the course of history. Originally it was called Stroggyli (“round”), until the time when the name described the shape of the island. When the Phoenicians arrived they called it Kallisti (“the best”) and finally took the name of Thira, after its first governor.Theras was the son of the Theban hero Autesiona who was a descendant of Cadmus. He was the viceroy of Sparta and responsible for his twin nephews Procles and Eurysthene. When they were old enough to rule on their own, Theras left ‘Sparta and settled’ with a group of aristocrats on the island. The Romans originally used the island for exiles, but later contributed to the building of the island. The Christianization of Santorini took place between the 2nd and 5th centuries. The island was often plundered and even devastated by pirates and was conquered by the Venetians in 1204, when the island took on its current name. The patron saint of the island was Ag Irini (St Irene), and foreign navigators called it St Irini, hence Santorini. The island was destroyed by the Venetians in 1354, and again in 1397, this time conquered by the Turks. The eruption seems to have inspired certain Greek myths and provided the basis or at least the inspiration for Plato for the narration of the myth of Atlantis. It is hypothesized that the mythical island of Atlantis could be identified with Santorini.

Where to Sleep

Caldera Cliff: Santorini is a world famous destination dreamt from any traveler, the best location to stay and enjoy the true character of the island is the part over looking the caldera, so the main villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia & Akrotiri. All of them offer amazing views for the sunset, luxurious properties with great amenities, infinity pools and typical Cycladic design with clean & minimal interiors. 

Beach Lovers: for all the beach lovers the island has two large famous black beaches, Kamari & Perissa – Perivolos. Both offer many hotels beach front or just few meters far from the beach, many restaurants and local tavernas to enjoy local dishes.

Strategic Locations: one of the best location to stay on the island to be close to the night life and the beaches as well is Karterados, a suburb just 1km from the capital Fira.  It offers cheap qualitative hotels, nice small tavernas & supermarket.

Properties Travellers Love

Things to see/do

Beaches: Santorini is a volcanic island for this reason is not possible to find white sand beaches, but it offers in any case almost 70km coast starting from the south west point, the lighthouse, following the coast up to the north to Katharos beach. The best beaches of the island are Kamari & PerissaPerivolos the famous black volcanic sand beaches. Perivolos offers larger front beach, shallow waters being more comfortable for kids and families. Other nice small beaches to visit are Mesa Pigadia few km from the lighthouse, Vlychada, Yalos, Theros Beach, Kambia Beach, Baxedes & Katharos close to Ammoudi Bay at the bottom of Oia. 

Villages: Most people unfortunately decide to visit and spend much more time to discover Oia and Fira, missing another Santorini, more traditional, more original, made of locals. The picturesque villages to don’t miss are located in the heart of the island, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Emporio & Akrotiri. During the past the island had 5 “Kastelia” built under the Venetian domination, they were in Oia, Skaros, Pyrgos, Emporio & Akrotiri, today are still standing ruins of them as in Pyrgos, Oia and Akrotiri. The castle in Emporio instead is well standing and one of the best location to visit. 

Activities: the island offers thousand of different tours, cruises and activities to enjoy. One of the best experiences to live in Santorini is a Catamaran Cruise running in the morning or at the sunset, it gives you the opportunity to cruise the south coastline, doing different swimming stops also in the caldera and the hot springs., they usually include bbq and drinks. Another cruise unique in its category is a Sailing Sunset on the “Thalassa“, a replica of a brigantine pirate vessel of the 18th century, still keeping the original style, it cruises around the caldera, including stops at the volcano & at the springs, in Korfos bay, offering also bbq and wine. The best part of the cruise is the sailing at the sunset just with the sails enjoying the views. 

Santorini is also famous for the quality of the wines so really suggested is to enjoy a wine tasting in one of the wineries offering different organised tours. 

One more activity worth to enjoy in Santorini is a diving tour, available for everybody also for beginners, it is a life experience, diving close to the volcano, or for advanced divers in the caves at the south.