Situated approximately 200 kilometers southeast off mainland Greece, Santorini, also known as Thera, is the largest of a cluster of islands that also bears the same name. According to history, these chains of islands are the remains of an enormous volcanic explosion. Santorini is famous all over the world for its eye-catching scenery and is famous for hosting wedding ceremonies. Those who love music will recall the famous composition, `Santorini,’ composed and played on the keyboard by the famous Greek keyboardist Yanni.
In ancient times, Santorini was also known as Strogili, or the rounded one. Many years ago, following a devastating volcanic eruption, the center of the island sank, leaving behind a crater and imposing cliffs that are 150 to 300 meters in height. Climb these cliffs and admire the sight of the small villages that seem as if they are suspended in mid air. It just looks like paradise on earth. Apart from its volcanic remains, Santorini is also famous for its coastline that stretches up to 69 kilometers.
Do not make the mistake of confusing its beaches with that anywhere else in the world. The black and red volcanic pebbles on the shores, along with the steep cliffs on the background, make the four beaches… Kamari beach, Perissa beach, Perivolos beach, and Red beach a tourist’s delight, with the last named beach, located 12 kilometers southwest of Fira, the capital of Santorini, being the most popular. View one of the world’s most breathtaking sunsets from the shores of this island. The best way to enjoy the beauty of nature is by perching yourself atop one of the steep cliffs to soak in the romantic view of the fading sunlight.
The excavations near the village of Akrotiri, dating back to 1500 BC, make up one of the most famous archaeological sites of Santorini. Fira is also famous for the Archeological Meuseum of Santorini. Feast your eyes on the huge and rare collection of clay figurines, vases, along with Roman & Hellenistic sculptures. Fira also hosts the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, where one can view classical pieces of art from the Cycladic islands. Enjoy the maritime life of the area in the Naval Museum of Santorini.
Those who are interested in engravings from the 16th to the 19th century should check out the Megaron Gyzi, a museum that is located in Fira. Over here, one can also find photographs of the area pre and post the earthquake of 1956. Do not miss the Folklore Museum of Santorini, housed in a cave shaped structure, where one can view a traditional winery, shoe making equipment, and traditional dresses. Music lovers should time their visit in such a manner so that it coincides with the world famous jazz festival, organized by Antonis Kutrubilis & Vasilis Tzatzias, which attracts leading jazz bands from the international scene.
The National Airport of Santorini connects the island with the rest of the world. Tourist can also visit this island via ferries that depart from the ports of Rafina & Piraeus… both in Athens. This island is also famous for its wines and they, along with the romantic sunset, form the perfect combination for general tourists and honeymooners alike.