Santorini or Thira is the most spectacular island of Cyclades. It is a unique place due to its volcano and its magnificent landscape.
The island had a round shape until the volcano erupted in 1500 BC with a tremendous force that the central part sunk into the sea. The Minoan settlements on the island were destroyed and covered by volcanic ash. The huge tidal waves reached Crete and destroyed the Minoan civilisation.
Nowadays, the crescent shape of the island forms a long inner bay called “caldera”. It is considered the largest one on earth (11,2x22,4 km). The sheer cliffs of the caldera rise from the sea up to a height of 300 m. There are two volcanic islets in the middle: Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, which is actually a part of the active sunken volcano crater. To the west side of the caldera there is Thirassia island and Aspronisi islet.
Santorini covers 74 sq.km. and is located 127 nautical miles from Piraeus port. Crete is 70 miles to the South. The island’s capital town is called Thira or Fira. There are 13 villages on the island, most of them keeping the traditional style and architecture.
Transportation: There is a frequent ferry connection from/to Piraeus as well as regular ones to Crete and the other islands of Cyclades. There is also an international airport.
Summer resorts: Kamari and Perissa are the two most popular beach resorts with a continuously developing background of recreation facilities.
Beaches: The beautiful beaches with the clear crystal water, the black or red sand and volcanic rocks offer a wonderful sensation of relaxation and pleasure. Kamari and Perissa are considered the best organised ones while Perivolos, Agios Georgios and Monolithos are worth a visit. The Red Beach and Vlyhada with their extraordinary natural beauty are highlights of the island.
Sightseeing: Two important archaeological sites are considered the main attractions of Santorini: Akrotiri excavations and Ancient Thira. Also the volcano, hot springs, Oia and other traditional villages. Byzantine churches, remnants of castles and museums are major points of interest.
Shopping: In Fira and Oia there are many jewellery shops, handicraft and embroidery shops. Visitors can purchase excellent souvenirs and any kind of gifts.
Dining: On Santorini, visitors can find any kind of eating places like high class restaurants, snack bars, tavernas, traditional restaurants on the sea front, serving international cuisine, Greek cuisine, or traditional island food.
Nightlife: Cosy bars with view to caldera, playing soft or classical music, noisy bars, beach bars, dance clubs, “after hours” clubs. Busy and vivid nightlife in Fira where the most of the bars and clubs are located. In Kamari and Perissa there are open-air bars and dance bars on the beachfront. In Oia there are coffee shops and bars offering panoramic view to caldera and idyllic sunsets for romantic evenings.
Accommodation: A wide range of accommodation to suit every taste and budget is available. Hotels of all categories, studios, apartments, villas, traditional houses. Most are small complexes with a small number of units, preserving the traditional style of the island. All accommodations have modern facilities, quality and good standards, mainly built in typical Cycladic architecture. Also, there is a special accommodation type on the caldera side: renovated cave houses with vaulted ceilings and verandas with panoramic view.