Santorini is the island of dreams and fairy magic. When you look at this extraordinary piece of land from a distance, it seems as if the tops of the harsh cliffs are shrouded in clouds. However, if you get closer to the island, you will see this is not a cloud. You will see wonderful houses, streets and churches of striking whiteness. Merging into a single architectural ensemble, they create a kind of atmosphere of tenderness, purity, innocence. It is not surprisingly this small Greek island has become a traditional place for weddings, quiet family holidays, honeymoons.
As the southernmost island of the Cyclades, Santorini has two lines of communication with the rest of the world: by water and air. The quickest way to get to the island is by plane. International Airport in Fira welcomes planes from Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Thessaloniki, Mykonos. For example, a flight from Athens lasts no more than 45 minutes.
The major part of tourists still gives preference to maritime transport. Such journey is more entertaining and exciting. Santorini welcomes ferries from the ports of Piraeus (Athens) and Heraklion (Crete). In the first case the voyage lasts about 9 hours, in the second - about 4 hours. If the sea is calm enough, Santorini can be reached by high-speed catamaran.
The island may seem very unusual. Fira - Santorini administrative center - is located on a cliff above the port, at an altitude of 260 m above sea level. You can reach it in several unusual ways. The fastest and easiest way is to use the cable car. However, you are unlikely to be able to fully experience the true Santorinian spirit. Enjoy the surrounding scenery during traditional hiking trip or ride a donkey.
Visitors wishing to explore all corners of the most romantic place on earth are free to choose from several options of transportation. The cheapest and easiest way to get from one city to another is the bus ride. They run with an interval of 20 minutes, but you should be prepared for delays and changes to other buses in Fira.
You can rent a car to be able to manage your own time and route. Fortunately, there are many offices that provide these services. At the same time, the cost of rental is markedly reduced if you use the services of companies that are located in the depths of the island (in contrast to the port offices). If you have a driver's license category A, you can rent a moped or quad bike.
The beaches of Santorini are perhaps the most unusual in the world. Enjoy golden sands anywhere, but not here. Geological feature of the island affected its nature. While vacationing in Santorini, you will certainly get the opportunity to find the black, white and even red sand. Numerous bars and taverns on the beaches of Kamari allow enjoy the charm of seascapes, and the silence and comfort of the shoreline of Perissa provide a calm family rest.
Akrotiri cape is one of the most visited historic sites of Santorini. During archaeological excavations they’ve found ancient settlements of about one and a half millennium BC. Found attributes, dishes, ornaments and utensils were transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Fira and Museum of Prehistoric Thera.
At the highest point of the island there is the Monastery of the Prophet Elias. It is functioning as a museum of religion: visitors can take the opportunity to visit the monastery library and study the ancient manuscripts. On sunny days, you will see the outlines of the island of Crete from here.
On the way to the village of Kamari you will see an unusual museum, carved into the rock. This is the wine museum. You can taste the drinks and buy your favorite wine in addition to admiring the exhibits and studying the history of winemaking in Santorini.
Visit the island and watch the sunsets in the famous fairy-tale village of Oia - don’t miss one of its business cards.
The culinary traditions of Santorini are closely linked to the peculiarities of local agriculture. Local cafes and restaurants are sure to treat the foreigner with notorious local tomatoes, cereal of special varieties of beans, white eggplants, goat cheese, spicy tomato meatballs and so forth.
Local wines are particularly noteworthy. Only in this unique area grapes grow right on the volcanic soil. A bottle of nice traditional Vinsanto wine can be found in the luggage of each tourist leaving the island.