Santorini is essentially what has remained after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera.
The capital, Fira as well as the other settlements of the island, cling to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon and offer a magnificent view of the Excavations starting in 1967 at the site called Akrotiri have made Thera the best-known Minoan site outside of Crete.
The traditional architecture of Santorini with low-lying cubical houses, made of local stone. The unique characteristic is the common utilisation of the "hyposkapha", the extensions of houses dug sideways or downwards. These rooms are prized because of the high insulation and are used as living quarters of unique coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter. The island remains the home of a small, but flourishing, wine industry based on the indigenous grape variety, Assyrtiko.
There are several charter companies that fly here from many places in Europe. The others will have to pass through Athens' airport. Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines fly frequently from Athens to Santorini (says Thera on the itineraries). Book early as flight quickly fill up in the high season.
There are plenty of ferries each day to and from Piraeus and many Cyclades islands.
Thira’s main port, Athinios, stands on a cramped shelf of land at the base of sphinx-like cliffs and is a scene of marvellous chaos that always seems to work itself out when ferries arrive. Buses (and taxis) meet all ferries and then cart passengers up the towering cliffs through an ever-rising series of S-bends to Fira.
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|Tourist Information Office||22860-23360|
|Archaeological Museum (Fira)||22860-22217|
|Archeological Site of Akrotiri||22860-81366|
|Folklore Museum (Fira)||22860-22792|
|Naval Museum (Oia)||22860-71156|
Sunset in Oia
Popular and fantastic yet a must live experience in Santorini. Watching the sunset in Oia is a truly memorable and full of feelings moment in Santorini. From the castle of Oia (the most famous spot) or from any part of the traditional settlement of Oia, the sunset here is magical and unforgettable.
Fira is the capital of Santorini. It can be found on the west coast of the island, on the caldera cliffs opposite the volcano. Modern day Fira is the cultural and commercial center of the Santorini. Although geared around the tourist industry, perhaps more so than other areas on the island, there is much about Fira worth taking a look at. Apart from the museums, galleries and cultural events, it has the island’s largest shopping center and the biggest choice of dining out and entertainment. Fira heads the nightlife section – many bars and cafes are actually on the caldera, whilst others, as well as the large clubs, are tucked into the quaint cobbled streets weaving through the town. There is so much to choose from and so many places to explore. The whole of the Fira Caldera is connected by a path at the cliff edge that starts just above the Mayor’s office and finishes up on the hill at the Nomikos Conference center. The volcano can be seen from every point, as can the mesmerizing sunsets. Sunset time in Santo
rini seems to be the only hour of the day when everything, and everyone stops moving.
Pyrgos can found at the highest point of Santorini, with panoramic views of the whole island all the way to the village of Oia. This hillside village was declared a protected settlement in 1995. Pyrgos is a typical Fortress Settlement of the Cyclades. On the hilltop you can find ruins of Kasteli Castle, one of the five ‘kastelia’ on the island. It became the capital of Santorini after the abandonment of Skaros Castle in the mid 18th century, and before Fira, which is the capital of Santorini today. There is a memorial plaque near the entrance to the castle, commemorating those who died in the Second World War. Traditional architecture, remains of neo-classical mansions, narrow winding paths leading up the hillside, small white houses, galleries, vineyards, churches, breathtaking sunsets.
Also Known as Nimborios, is the largest village of Santorini. It can be found in a central southern location 12 kilometers from Fira at the foothills of Profitis Ilias Mountain. Emporio is a traditional settlement and one of the five fortified castles in Santorini, the Goulas of Nimporio. In Medieval times, the inhabitants used to build their houses side by side, so that they could protect themselves against the pirates. There are different theories about the origin of the name Emporio. The prevailing idea is that the name came from ‘emporio’ = trade, because the settlement was the center of buying and selling all kinds of merchandise, due to the geographical proximity of the mercantile port of Ancient Elevsina. Above Emporio one can see the mountain ridge of Gavrilos, where ruins dating to the Byzantine period have been discovered.
The prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri is considered among the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. The excavations at Akrotiri have uncovered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millennium BC).
The large extent of the settlement (ca. 20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storeyed buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity.Evidence of habitation at Akrotiri first came to light in the second half of the 19th century. However, systematic excavations were begun much later, in 1967, by Professor Spyridon Marinatos under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens. He decided to excavate at Akrotiri in the hope of verifying an old theory of his, published in the 1930’s, that the eruption of the Thira volcano was responsible for the collapse of the Minoan civilization. Since his death in 1974, the excavations have been continued under the successful direction of Professor Christos Doumas.
Museum of Prehistoric Thera
This is a very important museum across the Mediterranean as it hosts findings from the excavations at the archaeological site in Akrotiri. In the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, you will admire the beauty and the craftsmanship of the wall paintings found in Akrotiri along with a great number of tools and objects from the everyday life of the people who were living in the pre-historic settlement of Akrotiri.
The group of islands known as Santorini is unique. Probably the only volcano with a caldera that reaches into the sea, the last major explosion occurred during the Minoan Bronze Age 3,600 years ago. The thunderous fury of nature left its mark on the island, the home of Greece’s last active volcano which still smolders today. The entire center of the circular island sank into the sea during the tremendous volcanic explosion. The eruption caused tidal waves which virtually wiped out the advanced Minoan Civilization of Crete, 70 miles to the south. The huge mass of pumice thrown out from the Minoan eruption covered the surface of the sea over a wide region and was washed up at higher levels on the shores by the tsunamis triggered by earthquakes. A recent example is the earthquake in Santorini that happened on 9th July 1956, when the tides on the island of Ios reached a height of 25 meters. On most of the shores of the surrounding part of the Aegean, lumps of pumice have been found that clearly drifted on the sur
face of the water. Pumice was also found on the northern coast of Crete and on the shores of Anafi, Limnos, Paros, Samothraki, Cyprus and even Israel. Experts have discovered traces of this eruption as far as Egypt on the Nile Delta. What remains today of Santorini is a large crescent shaped island enclosing a west bay and the largest caldera on earth.
This is one of the most famous beaches in Santorini. On the beach of Perivolos, which is the biggest of the island, 4km long, you will find beach bars, a lot of choices for food and drinks and water sports facilities. Black sand and deep blue waters are the main characteristics of Perivolos beach, whereas you can also swim at the beach of Perissa which is the continuation coast line of Perivolos.
The beach of Vlychada is one of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini. The white volcanic rocks are creating a unique background and in combination with the black sand and pebbles of the shore and the blue waters, in Vlychada you will live the ultimate experience of swimming in a volcanic beach. A part of the beach is organised with sun- beds and umbrellas but the biggest part is free and favourable among couples.
This is a small yet charming beach with volcanic characteristics, ideal for those seeking for tranquility and quietness to enjoy a day at the sea.
Savvas Popeye Taverna
Greek taverna next to the black sand beach of Perivolos with generous portions and traditional dishes like Greek salad, tomato balls, tzatziki and more. A big variety of options, great starters and main dishes suitable for guests interested in meat, seafood and vegetarian.
Ammoudi Fish Restaurant
The high aesthetic, the magnificent views from the “AMMOUDI” upper level, the experienced, friendly and helpful staff, the fresh fish, the quality of raw materials and our recipes from the distant past guarantee for unforgettable moments.Taste fresh fish and sea food, local dishes like tomato balls, lava capers and white aubergine while seating on the dock next to the sea, at the upper terrace or at the beautifully decorated interior space.
Krinaki”, a “kanava” of 1832, (an area where wine was produced and stored), was turned into a traditional tavern by Christos Marcosane and Antonis Patelis.
“Krinaki” is situated at Finikia village, which is on top of the plains of Oia in Santorini.
“Krinaki” has a unique relationship with the traditional agricultural products of this village. Dishes have always been created based on these products, such as fava, roasted eggplants with fresh tomato and fresh cheese, tomato balls with fresh mashed tomatoes, caper and caper leaves in salads.
It would be unfair not to mention that “Krinaki” is like a refuge to vegetarians, since they have a great variety of choices.
None the less, a variety of meat dishes are grilled at “Krinaki”‘s barbecue. Just to mention roasted lamb, kokoretsi, exohiko, kontosouvli, lamb ribs, burger. Greek dishes that are famous all over the world.
Krinaki”, a “kanava” of 1832, (an area where wine was produced and stored), was turned into a traditional tavern by Christos Marcosane and Antonis Patelis.
Metaxi Mas Restaurant
Taste a variety of local and Cretan dishes consisted of local vegetables like lava beans, cheese, white eggplant, meat while drinking traditional homemade Raki or Santorinian wine.The amazing view from the outdoor terrace and the cosy interior space along with the friendly stuff will make your meal a memorable experience.
Although not on the main strip in Oia, it’s worth searching out. Roka (spelled “POKA” on an occasional sign along the way) is a warm and inviting place with unpretentious paper tablecloths and napkins. Roka is a cozy, out-of-the-way restaurant that feels like dinner in a big house. A bit difficult to find but only a minute away from the main marble walk way along the border of the caldera. Seating is on the balcony or indoors and the small patio on the backyard has a beautiful sea view.
Some of the specialties include a variety of meze (Greek starters), salads, risottos and onion pies, fried cheese, thin-sliced eggplant with feta and tomato sauce, snails with tomatoes, mussels and many others.The drinks are reasonable house wine (featuring lots of local wines), high quality bottled wines and soft drinks.The staff make you feel like long-time friends. You shouldn’t miss it if you come for the sunset to Oia.
Santorini Mou Restaurant
Enjoy a full Greek meal while hearing to traditional live music. Mihalis, the owner of the restaurant, accompanied by friends, plays everyday live music for you. His friendly temperament and the family character of the restaurant is a great example of the Greek culture and filoxenia.
The restaurant is like an old villa with a huge backyard, or front patio. Inside there are thousands of photographs of customers hanging from the ceiling and the wall contain many paintings of Mihalis done by a few of his artistic customers. It is a very pleasant and familiar atmosphere. The food is typically Greek, he even has a wood oven for roasting the whole lamb “SOUBLA”, and this dish is only available by special order.
Red Bicycle Restaurant
The “Red bicycle” Restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean-fine dining cuisine. Its success is based on both the use of high quality traditional products of Santorini, Greece and the Mediterranean countries and its chef’s talent and skills.
“Our philosophy requires that everything is hand-crafted with extreme care and attention, from basic raw ingredients.”From our little kitchen, using an abundance of fresh produce and an outrageous attitude to cooking,“Red bicycle” offers a unique culinary.The amazing view of the Caldera cliff and the discreet sound of the relaxing acoustic-jazz music make the atmosphere romantic. Perfect for special occasions.
Koukoumavlos is a critically-acclaimed gastronomic destination on the island of Santorini. Housed in an original 18th century sea captain’s house, the interior of the restaurant offers a refined romantic setting, while the terrace offers stunning views of the caldera. It is tucked away from the crowds in a quiet corner of the town of Fira.
The highly creative cuisine created by chef and owner Nikos Pouliasis, combined with sweeping views and excellent service, await to offer you and your guest(s) a truly memorable visual and gustatory journey.
A carefully selected wine list accompanies the menu and will surely enhance your dining experience. It includes some of the most interesting wines produced locally in Santorini, where the volcanic soil offers an infusion of unique character. The wine list also showcases some of the best vintages produced in other parts of Greece. Finally, it includes an unparalleled collection of wines and champagnes from around the world. From bold reds to balanced whites and fragrant champagnes, there is a glass that pairs perfectly with each dish on Chef Pouliasis’ inspired menu.
Theros Wave Bar
Volcanic beauty, summer mood amazinh views and fine dining.
Theros Wave Bar, located on Eros beach in the south of the island with its crystal clear waters and fine, black sand.
Endowed with all the gifts of nature, at a beautiful volcanic landscape on a beach protected from the winds, Theros Wave Bar was created with a unique style to offer its guests total relaxation and real summer fun under the sun.Theros Wave Bar with its impressive architecture, the minimal décor and delicious gastronomical proposal awaits you from early morning for coffees and fresh juices till evening for cocktails and cool drinks.
Seaside By Notos
In the cosmopolitan beach of Perivolos, Seaside by Notos creates the perfect summer backdrop. If you are after gourmet seafood cuisine, this is your ideal choice. It’s just fascinating how Seaside by Notos manages to finely balance its modern, cosmopolitan nature with an unpretentious gourmet atmosphere, being relaxed yet boasting excellent, informal service.
An atmospheric seaside haven, playing with the shades of white and sand. It all starts on the beach, with its comfortable sun beds, fluffy towels, and straw umbrellas that lend it an exotic touch. With fresh fruit juices, sandwiches, cocktails and even tempting dishes, the beach service you will enjoy here is exemplary. Stretch out and indulge in your book, while your champagne bowl keeps your water, wine or even champagne nice and cool.
Further up, you’ll find the restaurant and bar. The chef’s creative cuisine will take you on a journey to the four corners of the earth, through Mediterranean flavours with a twist. For a truly unique experience, have a meal at the table-boat on the beach, listening to ethnic and lounge music, which changes pace depending on the time and the crowd.A real journey of the senses, against a backdrop of volcanic sand and the blue sea. And, of course friendly, warm, unpretentious service, a unique atmosphere, quality and distinct flavours.
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