Santorini9 things to do and see in Santorini and 1 not to do
If Mykonos is synonymous with a transgressive holiday, Santorini is a symbol of romantic holidays. An island of great charm, where the luxury goes perfectly with the simplicity of Cycladic architecture. The lime white houses; the blu domes and windows; the red of sunsets; L'blue of the sea and the sky; there black volcanic sand: these are the colors that you will find as soon as you land on the island. An island that in the months of July and August lives the period of greater turnout, while in the rest of the year, especially in spring, it finds the slow and cadenced rhythms that have such a hold in the collective tourist imagination. In addition to the beaches, the sea, the sunsets and its characteristic towns, the wine is the other flagship of the largest and southernmost of the Cyclades Islands. It is produced in large quantities and is called Holy wine like the Tuscan one from which, however, it is completely different. Below is our special list of things to do and see on the island. Happy reading.
Since it is almost always the base of stay for those who come on holiday to the island, Fira (or Thira) nine times out of ten it is also the place that is visited before all the others. It is a village 260 meters above sea level site in central-western side of the island, in the summer months particularly crowded with tourists devoted to strolling in the alleys of the town between shop, ice cream, bar, night clubs e typical restaurants (Theotokopoulou Square, the main square). As we said at the beginning, however, unlike other islands in the Mediterranean overwhelmed by the modernity of tourism, in Santorini the more commercial and historical soul coexist in harmony. Therefore, it is always in Fira that you will find all characteristic elements of Cycladic architecture: white houses and blue domed Orthodox churches among which the one of Agios Minas, absolutely one of the most photographed in the world, a recurring postcard of websites and magazines dedicated to travel and tourism. Also worth seeing is the Museum of Prehistory and Cathedral of the Candlemas of the Lord. There are three ways to reach the town from the port: a piedi; to donkey back, solution much appreciated by families with children in tow; or in funivia, the latter option chosen above all by those who travel with luggage.
Although it is now part of the town of Fira, it is worth spending a few words for the little one Firostefani village. It is about a quarter of an hour walk from the funivia which from the port goes up to Fira and is called the "Roof of the island" because of the extremely panoramic position in which it stands. From a logistical point of view it is perhaps the best solution to enjoy two souls of Santorini: That romance, who thrives on poignant sunsets and the frugality of the local lifestyle; is that worldly made of shopping, aperitifs, dinners and nightlife.
After Fira there is Oia (or Ià), small village north of Santorini in which the compromise between tourist soul e historical identity it is even more advanced than the other location. Here too small shops, bars, restaurants, narrow alleys and houses clinging to each other with the addition, which is not bad, of a amazing view. It is unanimous that i sunsets of Oia are the most beautiful in Santorini, and probably in the whole of Greece. To see, i windmills (also present in Mykonos and other islands of the Cyclades archipelago), the Panagia Church of Platsani and the two Ammoudi beaches e Armenians. It is two inlets of stones with particularly clear water, ideal for lovers of snorkeling.
"The balcony of the Aegean", so is called the small village of Imerovigli approx 3 kilometers from Fira. The appellation refers to the spectacular location in which it rises, just above the caldera (Santorini is a volcanic island) which mostly draws the profile of the island. We are about 300 meters above sea level and the houses, which fully respect the dictates ofCycladic architecture, are arranged almost like an amphitheater, crossed by narrow and paved alleys. In short, a show, especially in the evening with the colors of sunset. Not to be missed the rock of Skaros (see photo), as well as to see are there Ai-Stratis church, Saint Nikolas Monastery and chapel of Panagia Theoskepasti.
5 Akrotiri archaeological site
At the southwestern tip of Santorini is the Akrotiri archaeological site, the most important of the island, as well as one of the most important in all of Greece. To discover it, in 1962, the professor Spyridōn Marinatos that with its excavations brought to light the remains of an ancient Minoan civilization (Akrotiri, in fact) swept away by a terrible volcanic eruption around the sixteenth century BC More than swept, buried under an enormous blanket of lapilli, ash e dust which, however, after thousands of years, has allowed the extraordinary recovery of almost intact finds. From more accurate studies on their origin and stylistic code some scholars have breached the suggestion of finding themselves in front of what remains of Atlantis, the mythical civilization told by Plato in its "Dialogues". Atlantis or not, a visit to the Akrothiri excavations is undoubtedly one of the things to do once in Santorini. The only drawback is that, although the official time is from Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday) from 8.30 to 15.00, crossings may occur. The advice, therefore, is to make a preliminary check of the opening of the excavations.
6 Ancient Thira
There are not only the excavations of Akrotiri. A must see also i remains of ancient Thira on fortress of "Mesa Vouna" (Half Mountain) in a panoramic position about 400 meters above sea level. There are several ways to get up here: the "relatively" simpler ones - the advice, for those who go up on foot, is to wear comfortable hiking shoes - are the two that unravel from the beaches of Kamari e Perissa, the ancient landings of this citadel inhabited since the ninth century BC.entrance to the excavations is free with the possibility of using a guide on site (for a fee) to move more easily among the ruins of temple of Dionysus, the sanctuaries of Apollo e Artemidorus, Roman thermal baths, Byzantine walls and other vestiges of this ancient city awarded by one of the most beautiful views in the world. Not to be missed!
7 Caldera boat trip
The morphology of Santorini is the result of the sinking of one volcanic caldera. Caldera which are also a part Therasia, Aspronisi, Kameni, Nea Kameni e Palea Kameni, the group of islands all around easily accessible from the port of Fira. Not surprisingly, the caldera tour is one of the most requested excursions, with the additional possibility of choosing the route that suits you best. From just visiting the volcano of Nea Kameni (trekking shoes recommended), to the bathroom in the sulphurous springs of Palea Kameni, to the choice of carrying out the boat trip in the evening with romantic dinner annexed. In short, the formulas are different. Just go to the port of Fira in the morning and decide there which one is best for you. It's worth it!
8 The beaches
Santorini, of course, is also a seaside resort. And what a place to banish! The variety of beaches, for sand, sea and frequentation has very few equals in all of Greece, and beyond. We go from the most popular Perissa e Perivolos, which together form the largest promenade on the island, in the wild Red Beach which, as can be easily guessed from the name, in many places is dark red, generating a spectacular contrast with the blue of the sea and the sky. But that's not all, because there is Kamari, with its 5 kilometers the largest beach on the island; There are Ammoudi e Armenians, the two beaches of Oia; there is White Beach, reachable only by sea. It's still, Monolithos, Kambia, Koloumbos and Paradise Beach. In short, you are spoiled for choice, taking into account that Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari are the most popular beaches and equipped with services with restaurants, hotels and night clubs.
9 The wine
As mentioned at the beginning, Santorini is not only famous for Cycladic architecture, sunsets, the sea and nightlife. There is also the viticulture which has always been one of the peculiarities of the largest island of the Cyclades archipelago. In fact, one of the first things that catches the eye of the attentive visitor is the way in which the vine is grown. A sui generis, "basket" technique, with the vines that are grown low as a crown around old shoots. There white production it is decidedly majority; particularly famous is the Vinsanto, sweet wine made with Assyrtic e aidaniTwo native vines of the island. Obviously, Santorini's farms have adapted to the new tourist course and therefore almost all have tasting points to allow visitors to taste their products. They are not missing tours dedicated to the discovery of the cellars around the island.
1 Avoid the car
There are no real contraindications. At most, we advise you to do not rent the car since many streets of Santorini are narrow, not always paved and public lighting is not present everywhere. Definitely better the scooter to move. If, on the other hand, you want to do without means of locomotion, it is worthwhile stay near the beaches of Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos. They are the largest on the island, those around which the tourism industry has developed the most (hotels, bars, restaurants). Alternatively, as written at the beginning, there is Fira, the largest of the inhabited centers of the island. As for the period of the year in which to visit Santorini, i spring months together with those of September and (partially) October they return a more authentic image of the island than the crowds in July and August.