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Santorini seems to be known all over the world judging from the diverse places from which the visitors come. It has an airport which is linked by domestic and some international carriers, a ferry port with connections to Piraeus and other islands in the Aegean including Crete and is also a major stop for cruise ships.

A road links the port with Chora (most island capitals on the Aegean islands are locally known as Chora despite having another name) also known as Thera or Fira. There is also a cable-car to the top of the cliff from the port, while the capital of the island (Chora) has bus links to all the villages.

The island suffered a cataclysmic event in the mid-second millennium BC.

Santorini is actually a group of islands comprising of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronisi, Therasia and Thera. They are the result of the volcanic eruptions over the previous millennia.

The dramatic island is made attractive by the contrast between the stark landscape and the white-washed buildings. Some of these buildings seem to hang over the edge of the volcanic rim. There are amazing views from all over the island, while the sunsets are thought to be particularly noteworthy. Photographs of the island are abundant.

Thousands of visitors come to the island every year from all over the world. The island has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and there are many retailers and restaurants which aim at the well-heeled.

The island has some areas which have been exploited in that every available space has been exploited in order to allow people to eat and watch the sunset at the same time, but this does not mean that the whole of the island has been ruined. A large part is agricultural despite the clemancy of the climate. Tomatoes are produced on Santorini getting succor mostly from the humidity which then falls onto the soil in the evening. The vines get some extra moisture from the dew fall on their leaves which are at ground level as they are not trained to grow upwards. The porous, volcanic soil and the method of production which entails leaving the grapes to dry in the sun for about ten days until they are borderline raisins, produces the sweet dessert wine known as Vinsanto.

The lack of rainfall on Santorini has inspired its inhabitants to collect any rain-water or dew by harnessing hard flat areas that that flow down to cisterns.

Minoan excavations and history

It is thought that the residents in Minoan times had some warning that there was going to be an eruption as no skeletons of human remains have been unearthed at the site of Akrotiri which is second only to Knossos in Crete. At this date a small proportion of the town so far has been revealed. The town was an advanced settlement, having two and three storey buildings, squares and streets plus wall remains of as high as eight metres. Some finds seem to point to the export of some textiles. Some of the residences still have their stone staircases as well as frescoes and ceramic storage jars. There was also a sophisticated drainage system with running water and water closets. The water supply had two sets of pipes which appear to perhaps suggest hot and cold running water most probably supplied by geothermic springs.

What to do and see

Sulphur Beach

There is now a submarine which offers visitors the chance to see more of the dramatic geological features. The submarine leaves from the village of Vlychada. There is a bus link from the main town.

Sulphur Beach

The sea is warm because of the underwater volcano. The waters are said to be beneficial to health.


There are quite a few wineries on the island. The volcanic soil is a major factor is the quality and taste of the produce. The wineries produce Vinsanto as well as other types of wine. Three of the wineries on Santorini are at Megalohori. They are Boutaris, Antoniou and Iliopoulos.

Villages on the island of Santorini

Megalohori is an interesting village. It seems that the many of the houses are set down in the earth so making them seem at first glance to be disproportionate. The houses are walled so it is not always possible to appreciate them in their entirety. There are some interesting churches to visit and you will enjoy the lively traditional atmosphere and the respect the local residents have shown to their traditional which is reflected in the upkeep of the buildings.

Oia (pronounces Ia)

The village of Oia seems to be about to tumble into the sea. It is an attractive, oft photographed place and is especially favoured by romantic types because of the particular view of the sunset. It is well developed and has plenty of high-end retailers. It is fascinating to explore the narrow lanes and look out over the sea at the other sister islands.


Pygos is a fortified Ventetian village surrounding a castle. Cars are banned from the village and you will be able to explore on foot the maze of alleys with their tightly packed houses.


The village of Imerovigli is perched on the edge of the island’s caldera. The village is well developed for tourism being placed in a perfect place for stunning views, including the sunset. Imerovigli is compelled by law to use its original style of architecture so you will be able to stay in accommodation with original features. Near here are the remains of the Venetian castle known as Skaros.


The village is situated just above the main village of Chora (Fira) and has a superb view down onto Fira and the sea. A little way out of the village towards Imerovigli are the remains of the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos which was built in the traditional Cycladic style. You can visit it during visiting hours which will be available at the tourist information centre in Santorini. http://www.eot.gr


A number of sports are available on Santorini including windsurfing, sailing, beach-volley, basketball, hiking, jet-skiing and water-skiing and sea-kayaking.

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