Santorini is a unique island of volcanic origin. It represents the greatest caldera, submerged volcanic cup caused by a catastrophic volcanic eruption in 1450 BC. Settlements hanging over a cliff at a height of 100m made this island world famous. An unforgettable sailing by boat in the mouth of sleeping volcano, climbing on a donkey to Fira, sunsets in Oia, the beaches of volcanic and multicolored sand overlooking the volcano are only some of the reasons why tourist keep coming back to this island.
There are several places you should definitely visit if you ever find yourself on Santorini. Fira or Thira is located on the western side of Santorini, is the capital town and the most important town of the island. It is situated on the edge of the impressive cliffs, 250m above the sea which is very typical for a place of the Cycladic islands. Akrotiri is a place located about 8km south of Fira and it is best known for its archeological sites. Oia is located around 10km north of Fira and it is the most famous place on Santorini, mostly because of the famous sunsets and its architecture. Perissa is located around 15km southeast of Fira and apart from the beaches it is famous for vine, the remains of the ancient ruins of the nearby Thera and by the small chapel of Agia Irini from the 17th century.
The western part of the island is more popular than the eastern one, mostly because of the view on Caldera, while on the east part has more beautiful beaches.
If we move from Oia to the east or south you will find the beaches of Baxedes, Columbus and Paradise beach which cannot be seen from the main roads so it is mostly frequented by the locals.
The next beach is Monolithos which is not too crowded, Avis beach which offers water sports and it is mostly attended by younger population and Kamari beach, one of the best organized beaches of the island with numerous hotels, beach bars and restaurants. On the beach you can rent sun beds and umbrellas and it is very suitable for families with children.
Behind them are located the beaches of Perivolos and Perissa which together create the largest black beach with numerous water sports and also offering the same services as Kamari beach. These two beaches are accessible by bus or taxi.
In the south part of the island White beach is located which is only reachable by boat, then Vlychada beach and finally Red beach which is named for its large concentration of iron in rocks giving the red color. After bathing and relaxing you need something to eat. Dinner at taverns usually starts a bit later, not before 9pm. It should be noted that Santorini has a water problem so there are plenty of tanks mostly brought from Crete because the island does not have its natural resources. On the island there are around 250 churches because many sailors in the past had pledged to build one for a safely return home. Apart from larger places Panagia Episkopi is also worth visiting, a church dedicated to Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is located south of Mesa Gonia and is a true example of Byzantine art from the early 12th century.
For those who like partying and nightlife, Santorini is really an interesting place. Nightlife is very rich in Firi in clubs like Enigma, Koo Club, Murphys Bar and Taj Mahal. In Kamari you can visit Dom club and Mango bar, while Oia and Perissa offer lighter fun and do not have so many options for going out at night.
As for transportation, the main airport is located between Monolithos and Kamari, and it is linked with charter flights as well as regular flights with Athens which lasts around 40 minutes.
From the airport you can reach Fira by bus or a taxi and the price of bus tickets is from 1 to 2 Euros depending on where are you going.
Renting a car is very common here and prices are around 30 Euros and higher on daily basis. You can also rent scooters at price of 15 Euros. With scooters you can reach from one end of the island to another within an hour.
All in all, this unique volcanic island is definitely worth visiting for all that it offers and for all you can experience.
Aleksandar Mijailovic is a blogger, marketing manager and traveler. He likes everything that has to do with the summer and enjoy in all that lures smile on the face.Tags: guest post, Islands, santorini