Enjoy a trip to Santorini, the most extraordinary island of the Aegean Sea
According to the Greeks, Santorini is the most magnificent island of the Aegean. Also called Thira (it was the main Doric colony, founded in the 9th century BC), it is crowned by the white towns of the cities Fira and Oia, with their narrow streets and steps carved into the rock of the hillside. A trip to Santorini is ideal to enjoy nature, laze around and immerse yourself into the island’s vigorous tourist and commercial activity.
Santorini is the southernmost of the Greek Cycladic islands, and, shaped like a crescent moon, is the edge of an ancient submerged volcano that erupted around 1500 B.C. The splendid views of the caldera would suffice to make worthwhile a visit to the island in its own right, but there is also a plethora of archaeological museums, magnificent excavation sites, villages in radiant white colour, ancient palaces and monasteries. The city Fira, capital of the island, is located, with its typical buildings, on a cliff that dominates the bay and affords a magnificent panorama of the volcano, especially at sunset. A trip to Santorini is unique, even more so in knowing that this island could be the mythical Atlantis, mentioned thousands of years ago in the Egyptian papyri and by Plato, too. However, this is a matter of speculation and still under discussion.
What to do on a trip to Santorini
Making your way across the town of Fira, along the central Odos Ipapantis, full of shops -one of the main arteries occupied by family jewellers and local designer shops-, you will reach the northern quarter, where the orthodox cathedral (Panagia Ipepantis) is located, a remarkable monument in the southern part of the city, where the priests, with their grim faces, long beards and black cassocks, seem unexpectedly out of place in a touristy, summer town.
Surely, if you are excited about visiting a steaming, active volcano, sign up for one of the most interesting excursions available in the island of Santorini: the visit to Nea Kameni. After disembarkation, it is recommended that you climb up to 130 meters in order to walk around the crater. At that moment it may cross your mind that the volcano may just erupt for the fifth time in its long life; and it may even be about time, as the last eruption occurred in 1950.
In addition, to make your trip to Santorini even more spectacular, you can stop at Pyrgos to admire its medieval houses, formerly huddled together to protect residents from pirate raids; look at the semi-destroyed walls of the old Venetian castle, and then continue to Acrotiri excavations (about 10 kilometers away from Fira), near the tip of the island's southern premonition. In order to reach this site, you can take the bus, hire a car or join a guided excursion.