A fascinating history of an island that sprang out of the sea - an island cut in the middle, on the piece of the lost world of Atlantis, a unique archaeological wealth, an impressive traditional architecture and magic that no camera can capture, make Santorini an island-surprise, that reveals itself when the summer visitors have left, leaving it to breath the sea air.
The island was created eighty thousands years before the volcano exploded and created Strongili.
The view that the traveller sees, when the ferry reaches the island, is breathtaking. When it enters the harbour and the visitor finds himself among Santorini and Thirasia, he is suddenly confronted with the grand beauty, that the steep rocks and the intense colour of the sky create.That comes in contrast with the particular earth colour of the volcanic rock that we rarely meet elsewhere. An abrupt red and black rock of 300 metres - the walls of the caldera- stands threatening there. While the boat approaches, high on the verge of the precipice,human presence starts being visible - small lodges and light blue church domes, an impressive picture!
In Hora - Fira- we reach from the harbour, going up (on foot or by donkey) the old path, carved in the rock and, alternatively, with cable car or with car from Athinio. The settlement of Fira, with whitewashed houses and the vaulted churches, constitutes a masterpiece of architectural perfection that in addition with the view to caldera creates unique impressions for the visitor. The picturesque Firostefani, and Imerovigli, settlements of genuine Cycladic architecture, built on the highest point of the caldera offer magical views to the caldera.
The Apano Meria, in northern Santorini, includes the settlements of Oia, Tholos, Perivolos and Foinikia. The entire settlement of Oia-hanging from the caldera above the sea,is built according to particular local architecture: Small houses, built one next to the other, in a chromatic harmony that enchants any visitor. Walking in streets of Oia, one believes that time has turned him back centuries, while in the “brow” of the caldera one feels ready to take off. Oia is famous in the whole world for its sunsets. In the western end of the settlement, each afternoon, sky,sea and sun come together, in order to paint the horizon with fairytale colours. Two hundred steps lead under the castle to the old harbour, Ammoudi with its picturesque fish taverns.
Vothonas, with its two vaulted churches, Mesaria, with the Argyrou Mansion, and Megalochori, are beautiful picturesque villages built among vineyards.