Santorini Islands

Santorini is a group of five volcanic islands in the Aegean Sea. Thira (also called Santorini) is the main island and around it Thirasia and Aspronisi and the two volcanic islands Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. It was one island named Stroggili (circle in Greek) until about 1645 BC, when the volcano in the middle of the island erupted and Caldera was created. Someone says that Santorini is that mythical Atlantis gone under the sea. The two black islands appeared much later from various eruptions. The last one was in 1950.

Santorini Islands are famous for dramatic views, stunning sunsets from Ia town, the town of Thira and naturally its very own active volcano. There are fantastic beaches of different colors such as the black beaches of Perissa and Kamari, white beach and red beach.

Thira is the island’s capital, a marriage of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, whose white cobblestone streets bustle with souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and even clubs, while clinging to the rim of the caldera nine hundred feet above the its port. If arriving or leaving by sea you can take a cable car up from and down to the port or alternatively take a trip on one of the hundreds of very stinky mules. You could also attempt to walk by the steps but be warned, they are covered in donkey excrement and the donkeys themselves will make no attempt to avoid you.

Not far from Thira at the highest point of the island is the quintessentially Santorininian town of Ia (Oia), with its whitewashed walls sunk into the volcanic rock and its blue domes often illustrating Greece travel guides. At dusk, the town attracts crowds of people venturing to see the sunset. Santorini’s sunsets, as viewed from Ia, are considered to be among the world’s most beautiful.

Due to the spectacular beauty of Santorini, some Hollywood movies (e.g. Tomb Raider II) have been shot there. Generally Santorini is a pole of attraction for Greek and international celebrities.

The best periods to travel to Santorini, for milder weather, prices and crowds, are April-June and September-October.

If you want to know how to reach it, Santorini Islands are connected to Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Crete, Rhodes, Kos and all the major Cyclades islands (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Sifnos, Milos, Tinos, Syros) by boat and Athens and many countries direct by plane. Getting in by air is faster and not prone to sea sickness, compared to ferries. However, in season air tickets sell out well before most of the ferries.

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