If it weren’t for the volcano that brought hell upon its people long ago, Santorini wouldn’t look as beautiful today. When the topic is the most mysterious of the Greek islands Santorini, always the same question comes to mind; Could Santorini be the missing island Atlantis? Could the Atlantis dream be living on this island? Each ray of sunlight offers a different delight from sunrise to sunset. Its geometrical architecture, crimson skies behind the church bells, warmth of the natives, a vast blue, and scenic images that you run into with every step emphasize the magic of Santorini.

From a volcanic disaster to a popular island…
The population of Santorini, which is scattered over a 73 km area consisted of 13 villages, used to be double before the last disaster caused by the volcano in 1956. The crescent shaped island had been formed following a volcanic blast during the prehistoric ages. The islets surrendered with lava rocks had been formed in this part of the Aegean creating a single island called ‘Strongyli,’ which means ‘circular,’ or ‘Kallisti,’ which means ‘the most beautiful.’

Strong winds in winter, scorching heat of the Aegean, and the lack of finding water and wood on the island, which is affected by quakes easily, had offered some clues to the islanders related to its architectural structure. The meandering narrow streets shelter the natives from storms. The volcanic blasts and quakes may have brought disasters upon the islanders, but at the same time presented an incomparably beautiful geography to them. The steep mountains reaches to the sea at one side while white houses, churches, beaches with dark and red sands strike the eyes on the other side of the island. Horyatiki- Greek salad, calamari, tzatziki, and pinto beans are among the typical tastes of the island, which are served at humble fish restaurants along the beaches.

A classic sunset
The capital of the island, Fira has been set on the high hills of Kaldera. The houses, churches, and hotels that are built side by side or carved into rocks face the dormant volcano in the middle of a vast blue. Fira is linked to the harbor by cable cars and a road with 600 steps. Kato is the best preserved part of Fira. Ia, located on the northern back of the island, is the most picturesque village of Fira. The most striking feature of Ia that face Kaldera is its colorful homes and brown archways as well as white ones. Ia gets crowded closer to sunset. The people who sit on the rocks or at the cafes start walking through Ia’s elegant touristic market place accompanied by the crimson rays of light which spread around after the sunset.

The Ammoudi Beach, which is not known as much as other beaches are, is reached by climbing down the steps or by donkey rides. Although, the Perissa and Kamari beaches are among the best beaches of the island, this small and quite beach might appeal to the people who want to be out of sight. While swimming in clear waters enjoy the view. The most of the beaches on the island are consisted of dark sands and volcanic rocks because of their volcanic origins. 

For archeology enthusiasts: Akrotiri
Surfacing by the formation of Santorini, the ancient city of Thera had sunk because of a volcanic blast. This event is usually correlated with the myth of Atlantis. One important part of the myth is Mesa Vuono, which carries the marks of two significant civilizations: the ancient Greek and the prehistoric Akrotiri. The ruins in Akrotiri show that wealthy people inhabited the island before the set of the volcanic activities.

What actually happened to Atlantis has been searched since Plato. It is suggested that the disaster of Atlantis took place around the same time bringing again the same question to mind; Could Santorini be the missing island Atlantis? This possibility gains strength with the wealth and high life standards in Akrotiri. Yet, neither the size of the island, or its cultural development, or being open to foreign countries don’t resemble the legendary Atlantis. Maybe that is way the island doesn’t lose its mysterious and dreamy ambience. It is highly possible to be a part of this dream while lying down in one of the sun beds located at the terrace of Franco’s Bar.

Resembling an eagle’s nest, Canaves Oia Hotel & Suits that is situated on the volcanic hills, selected as one of the top 25 luxurious hotels of Greece, is the right place to spoil yourself.

Canaves Oia Hotel organizes daily boat tours; open to public, to the surrounding coves and beaches.

It is not fun to climb through a tough path to Nea Kameni where the dormant volcano is but it is worth to see the contrast between the lava rocks, the sea, and the white houses of Fira.

Watch the sunset at a café that has live classical music across the magnificent scenery of Ia.

Try to be at Feredini Restaurant after the sunset especially when there is full moon…

Ammoudi Restaurant located at Ammoudi Cove is specialized in seafood.

It is not easy to choose from the menu of Seaside By Notus thanks to its delicious food, and cozzy ambience. The Perivolos Beach, which is right in front of it, is ideal to swim and relax.

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You can get information from SeaJet on how to transport between the Greek islands and the capital Athens.