If you are traveling to Greece for the first time, Santorini is a great introductory island. You can stay in a cave like villa on the rim of a volcano crater, lounge at beach clubs on a black sand beach, enjoy spectacular views and wine tasting at a local winery or explore ruins of an ancient yet modern civilization called Akrotiri dating back to 5000 BC. Celebrities such as Simon Cowell, David Letterman, Jay Z, Beyonce, Diddy, Leonardo Di Caprio are just a few who frequent this island.
To describe Santorini in one word…OPA!
We stayed in Oia (pronounced ee-ah) which visually is a true escape from your daily reality. Blue domes, windmills and white washed cave residences dot the rim of the volcano crater as far as you can see. The Grand Canyon like views are awe inspiring and change throughout the day dependent on the sun’s positioning. The location is so popular that during golden hours the area becomes photo shoot heaven for photographers and poser’s alike. Girls in designer dresses and brides and grooms in full wedding regalia climb on top of cave dwellings or perilously perch on steep steps to get that perfect Instagram worthy shot.
Why is SANTORINI so exclusive?
When we were not lounging on our balcony gazing past the blue domes at the sparkling Aegean sea, we would wander throughout the small town filled with cafes and shops. We discovered a few cafes that are perfect for lunch. Terpsien Restaurant was our favorite. The food, service and atmosphere was the best in town. For fresh seafood and a small port experience, Ammoudi Bay is another fun option. Donkey taxi’s can be hailed to take you down the ancient switchbacks to the old port and it’s also where catamaran cruises depart daily to the volcano, hot springs and red sand beach.
Oia like Key West has a special area that everyone flocks to for the communal experience of watching the sunset. This is an exciting thing to do on the first night you arrive and will serve as an official kick off to your trip. Following the sunset, Pelekanos Restaurant is a lively yet romantic place to have dinner and has a great view of the Caldera (volcano crater).
If you are ready for a beach day to relax after your long journey, Perissa beach is the place to go. Tavernas and beach clubs with cosmopolitan lounge areas and DJs line the long black sand beach. If you are not into beach clubs, many of the tavernas also offer lunch service at the adjacent beach chairs with umbrellas for a rental fee.
To describe Santorini in one word…OPA!
10 FACTS ABOUT SANTORINI1.Santorini is not the islands original name. Santorini has been know as Strogill (the round), Kallisti (the most beautiful), and Theras (the son of a king). After the Crusades of the 13th Century, the island was once again re-named, this time by the Venetians in honor of Saint Irene or Santa Irini. Fast forward a few centuries and the world over knows this sparking gem in the Aegean Sea as Santorini.
4. 3,600 years ago, someone saw the signs and knew when to get out. Scientists believe the nearly 30,000 residents of the island successfully evacuated prior to the volcanic eruption. In the late 1950’s archeologists uncovered the near perfectly preserved city of Akrotiri encased in three to six feet of ash.
6. The volcanic activity of Santorini left behind stunning beaches in vibrant hues of red, white and black stone. On one side of the island, Akrotiri, you can hike the stunning Red Beach.
7. In the town of Perissa, you can enjoy the Black Sand beaches of Santorini. Side note here, the beaches are beautiful but can be painfully hot. The word sand, is used very loosely here as the black sand beach could be more accurately described as a black stone beach.
8. The black sand beaches are nearby at the end of street and there are plenty of beach clubs and cafés ready to welcome you to Santorini.
9. Due to its harsh, dry climate, Santorini has a limited supply of water. Many believe there is more wine than water on the island, you’ll enjoy some of the most delicious and fresh Greek food available. Volcanic soil is mineral rich and the produce on the island.
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