The Greek Island of Santorini, or Thira to the locals, is a much loved nook of tranquillity nestled in the South Aegean Sea, far away from the hustle and bustle of continental Greece, the ‘Cradle of Western Civilisation’. Whether travelling to Santorini via Athens, or flying direct to this crescent-shaped island, your Santorini getaway is bound to leave an indelible mark and a longing to return time and again.
Santorini Sights and Other Delights
As soon as you alight on Santorini, you find that the island is best explored on Quad bike or motorcycle, and renting one is a cheap and thrilling way to save time when sightseeing. Oia, the oldest settlement on this island, is a sight not to be missed. White houses stay cool in the torrid summer days, and the town is brimming with them. Some warm-coloured variants, sprinkled here and there for visual impact, don their cream, nude, rose or ochre paint with pride. Virtually all their roofs, windows and doors are painted blue, a typical Santorini sight. From afar, they look like foamy waves and ripples kissing the clear sky. Atop the sinuous and narrow stairways that act as footpaths between the houses of this jam-packed ancient city, the most splendid sunset will unravel as the golden orb descends beside the blades of a silent, iconic windmill.
The view from Oia is second to none, and the Caldera view of the volcano follows suit. For a close-up look at the belly of the active volcano, take a submarine from Vlychada and explore the depths of the sea beneath it. Debouch amid the sulphur rich waters of the ‘Hot Spring’, right next to the volcano, and take a leisurely stroll across the shoreline. This warm beach is known the world over for its therapeutic and rejuvenating mud, and tourists flock to dip their knees in it just as they would to a Dead Sea spa. Luckily, a flight to Santorini is much shorter and infinitely more affordable.
When the pebbled beaches on Santorini island hold nothing new for you, take a tour boat to the satellite islet of Thirassia, which awaits with open arms and a wealth of traditional seafood restaurants. When you’ve had your fill of local gastronomy, take a donkey up the cobbled path to the peak of the mountain, and visit the small fisherman village on the other side, where sun-kissed, pure white houses tower above monumental cliffs. On your way back, marvel at the broods of jellyfish floating by, revel in the splendour of the colourful sea life, and make a note in your agenda to book another flight to Santorini soon.
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