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Santorini Travel Guide - Santorini Tourist Attractions
Uniquely Coloured Beaches, Dramatic Landscapes
Santorini, officially called Thira, is a small island in the southern Aegean Sea, lying south-east of Greece. It belongs to the Cyclades group of islands, formed by a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. Santorini has a lagoon in the centre, which is surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides; the fourth side is separated from the sea by Therasia, a very tiny island. Thira’s lagoon connects to the sea in the north-west and south-west. Except for very large ships, other ships can find a berth at its port, Athinias. There’s no river here and rain is scarce from mid-spring to mid-autumn. Its’ capital is Fira that is spread on top of the cliff overlooking the lagoon. In 2011, Santorini was named the world’s best island.
Santorini was originally known as Kalliste, ‘the most beautiful one’, and later Thera. Indeed, Thira, lying in an arc, is a beautiful island. Take our Santorini Tour Package to see a unique island. The island reveals different layers of solidified lava piled on each other. Depending on which layer is exposed, the colour of the sand on the beaches differs: there’s a red beach, a black beach and a white beach. Some beaches have pebbles and sand, while the outer beaches are shallow and smooth. Santorini has gardens, several vineyards, cave houses and tiny churches, all of them a beautiful sight. Most of the houses and churches here are white or in pastel colours and there are white cobble-stoned pathways – a dramatic contrast to the cliffs and sea. Imerovigli provides splendid views of the surroundings of this unique island. Above Fira is the town of Oia with white houses and blue domes rising above the amazingly beautiful Ammoudi Bay. The sunsets from Oia are considered to be the most spectacular in the world.
The 3,500-years old Minoan town of Akrotiri is a ‘must-see’; the ruins are well-preserved as are its pottery and frescoes. In Fira, there’s a Museum of Pre-Historic Thera that has more pots and pottery that were excavated in Akrotiri, including frescoes of blue monkeys which remain a riddle till today. There’s an Archaeological Museum in Fira containing exhibits of varying ages. The Art Space Gallery and Winery in Exo Gonia, near Fira, houses works of local and international artists, and has the winery. Lemon and oranges abound in Santorini along with several varieties of grapes; the island is famous for its’ sweet dessert wine and white wine. For those who want some more activity in this marvellous island, there’s horse-riding, diving, scuba-diving and snorkelling to be done, besides cruises to see the volcano, swimming in the volcano’s hot springs and island hopping to nearby picturesque islands. At Kamara beach, which is one of the island’s 10 beaches, there’s more action in the form of water-skiing, wakeboarding, knee-boarding, kite-boarding and banana-boat riding.
From the Santorini Tour Package you will find that there are several shops selling merchandise such as: fashionable clothing, jewellery, a variety of wines and cheese, handicrafts, resort clothes, leather handbags, local handicrafts, playing cards, olive oil soaps, books and gift items. Any Minimarket has beer, cigarettes and even diet coke. Local delicacies including tiny cherry tomatoes, Chloro fresh cheese, white eggplants, Melitiana cheese pies, fava – split peas puree and koufeto – a sweet prepared with almonds soaked in honey are worth taking home. In Oia the merchandise includes beach towels, beach bags, T-shirts, calendars, paintings and prints. Fira’s gold street, said to be one of Greece’s largest gold markets, has the latest Greek designs and those of world-famed jewellery designers. Hand-made silver jewellery and jewellery with precious stones is also available here; besides there’s a cosmetic store equipped with a variety of perfumes and sun creams. The latest in clothes, accessories and shoes from the world’s reputed fashion houses are available in Santorini.
Most of the restaurants serve local dishes, Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, though there are a few restaurants serving typically British, American and Chinese fare. There’s Mexican food, fusion food, seafood, pizzas and international cuisine available on this small island. The Santorini Tour Package will take you to cafes, coffee-houses, bakeries and places where you can get a good breakfast as well as desserts. Besides, Santorini rocks at night; there are bars with good music and dancing, tropical bars, taverns and open air cinemas.
Santorini experiences a hot desert clime; it’s dry and windy. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures averaging at a maximum of: 30oC-31oC and a minimum of: 20oC-21oC. In June, the temperatures are slightly lower. January is the coldest month with temperatures averaging at a maximum of: 13oC and a minimum of: 5oC. In December and February, the temperatures are a notch higher.