Most Greeks believe that Santorini is the most magnificent island of all. Massive numbers of people visit this island every year in order to see the waterlogged caldera, the epicenter of what is commonly thought to have been the largest volcanic eruption ever. If you wish to take in the full splendor of the caldera, you should make a point of arriving by slow ferry.
Santorini is the one island I would recommend to those people who intend to explore Greece. However, if you do visit be prepared for unstoppable numbers of tourists. Many tourist book villas in Santorini for longer stay. If possible, you should visit this island off-season. I advise you to bring warm clothing if you visit during any season but high summer, because there is often a chill wind called a meltemi that is specific to the Cyclades.
There are plenty of places to see on this island. Akrotiri, for example, was a Minoan outpost. Excavations, which commenced in 1967, have unearthed an ancient city under the volcanic ash that includes building dating to the late 16th century BC. Archeologists did not find any skeletons at the site, which indicates that the people of the city escaped before the volcano erupted.
Fira is the commercial center of the island. If you loath tourist traps you should perhaps avoid it altogether. Many restaurants are both drab and expensive. In addition, the staff can be rather abrupt in that they rush you through your meal in order to increase their turnover.
Kamari is about ten kilometers from Fira. It is Santorini’s most urbanized resort. It has an extensive beach of black sand in a breathtaking location. The limestone cliffs of Cape Mesa Vouno are at the southern end. The coastal road is pedestrianised and full of bars and restaurants. There is a very laid-back ambience about the place.
Ancient Thira is a location of Roman, Byzantine and Hellenistic ruins such as an old market, a theatre, a gymnasium and temples. It is a place worth seeing if you are interested in history or archaeology, and it has some fantastic views.
Oia is a village that was completely restored after a major earthquake in 1956. It’s a very charming place because it is built into the vertical slope of the caldera. It is much quieter than the island’s other resorts, although it still has a few trendy clothes shops and jewellery stores. If you stay in an apartment in Oia when visiting the island, then you can see the most fantastic sunset imaginable there.
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