Santorini

The Black Pearl of the Cyclades

Santorini, Thira, is included in the top must-visit destinations worldwide, famous for her unrivalled views, exquisite sunsets and her breathtaking volcanic Island nature, prevailing unspoiled with incomparable beauty. The famous Island, known as the “Black Pearl of the Cyclades”, attracts visitors from all around the globe due to her unseizable romance and unique landscape of idyllic hilltop towns and volcanic multi-coloured beaches.

Emanating from an immense volcanic eruption in 1500 BC, Santorini emerged as the volcano’s central part collapsed into the sea, leaving a crescent-shaped rim of cliffs.

As the centre of the island sank into the sea, only the crater and the imposing cliffs of 150m to 300m in height were left behind, forming the nature of the island we observe nowadays. The last eruption dates to 1956, as the volcano is still alive today!

Santorini is possibly the only volcanic island worldwide dominated by the Caldera, an active underwater crater. It is these sheer lava cliffs of Santorini’s Caldera towering 300m above the emerald waters inducing the iconic beauty and treasure behind its mythical ancient legends.

Santorini is encompassed by a complex of cliff-lined coastlines consisting of Thira, Thirassia, Aspronissi, Palea and Nea Kameni. Its iconic bright white buildings tumbling down the cliff-sides, provide some of the most picturesque backdrops worldwide. Fira is the capital of Santorini and the most important of all villages. It is located on the west side of the island perched on the edge of the Caldera. From its location 260 meters above the sea it offers great panoramic views over the submerged volcano. Most of the cruise ships arrive in the small port of Fira, called Skala. From there guests have three options in order to reach the top of the volcanic crater: use of the cable car, ride a donkey or walk up!

Sights On The Island

Most of Fira is a pedestrian area and offers beside countless cafes, taverns with panoramic views and great shopping opportunities. Worth visiting are the Museum of Akrotiri and the quiet quarter around the Catholic Cathedral.

Oia, pronounced “Ia”, is the most famous of all villages of Santorini, approx. 11 km from Fira. It is a traditional village with charming houses, narrow streets, blue domed churches and sun-bathed verandas all overlooking the Caldera. Oia offers plenty of tourist shops, bars & taverns as well as art galleries. The village is also famous for its sunset. Mt. Profitis Ilias is with its 567m the highest mountain on the island and offers a breathtaking panorama.

History At A Glance

According to searches and excavations made in many of Santorini’s archaeological sites, the first human presence on the island dates back to the Neolithic Period. Between 2000 BC and 1600 BC Santorini was occupied by Minoans. The ruins of a once important city close to Akrotiri gives still evidence of this highly sophisticated culture.

During the Hellenistic Period Santorini became an important trade centre and an important naval base, due to its strategically perfect position in the Aegean Sea.

Between 1200 and 1579 the island was under Byzantine and Venetian reign. From 1579 to 1821 it fell under Turkish occupation until the Greek Revolution took place.

Beaches On The Island

The Red Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches of Santorini. It is located near the village and archaeological site of Akrotiri. Easy accessible by public transport are Kamari (pebbly) and Perissa Beach. Last mentioned is part of the longest black sandy beach of Santorini.

Shopping Tip: Wine from Santorini and local Art & Craft products (e.g. jewellery or paintings).

Panorama II Sailing Yacht in Santorini

Reasons to Visit

  • Breathtaking volcanic nature
  • Idyllic cliff-lined coastline & hilltop towns
  • Volcanic multi-coloured beaches
  • Cosmopolitan bars & restaurants
  • Luxury 360 ocean view & spa resorts
  • Traditional Greek architecture
  • World-famous Oia sunsets
  • Picturesque village of Fira
  • Iconic beauty & ancient Greek heritage
  • Archeological sites
  • Diving
  • Wineries

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