Santorini, Greece- The town and beaches, Part 1

Santorini, Greece, June 2013

To beat the summer heat, I decided to visit Greece with my family and a friend, a beautiful country known for its history and breath-taking landscapes.

There is so much to write about this wonderful country but today I am focusing on Santorini- the most famous and the largest island of Greece, located in the Southern Aegean Sea.  People say when “God was very happy, he made the Island of Santorini”. The population of the island is only 11,400 but every year they get about 500,000 tourists visiting the island.

There are two ways to get to Santorini from the mainland of Athens (the capital of the country). One can take flight from Athens to Santorini or a fast ferry from Athens port (Rafina or Piraeus) to Santorini. We chose to take a flight to save some time and were just plain excited to reach there quickly. Thankfully, It was just a short 30 minutes flight.

We decided to rent a car from the airport itself to explore the island. Renting a car is very convenient if you are visiting an island as parking is not an issue as compared to the mainland and  it is cost effective. We rented a Matiz that costs Euro 45 a day.  Our expedition began as soon we switched on the engines.

Santorini is a place with splendid sceneries, the volcano and the Cycladic design. It is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Some of the landscapes are so beautiful that you will just get immersed in the undying nature’s beauty.  It is surrounded by flawless beaches, white-washed village houses, churches, museums, art centers and two major archaeological sites; Ancient Akrotiri is an ancient Minoan town that was covered in volcanic ash which has allowed it to be amazingly preserved, even till today. The second site of archaeological importance is Ancient Thira also known as Fira.

Fira is the main town of Santorini. It is surrounded by beautiful white varnished houses, great restaurants, cafe and bars, Ypapanti Church, Santorini Archeological Museum, street shopping, gelato ice-cream parlors, high-end fashion and jewelry stores.  You can shop almost anything from Fira Town market from top end fashion brands, elegant works of art to some of island’s key specialties. Art collectors would love this place as there are many art galleries featuring original works of contemporary rising local & international artists. Local handicrafts and pieces of souvenirs are also available in the market at reasonable rates. Fira has some good night life as well with cozy cafe’s, gorgeous bars and some cool night clubs. Above all what I loved the most is the view from Fira: peaceful and stunning.

(Pictures)

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I loved the beautiful smooth sandy beaches on the island. I visited the Red beach, the Black beach and Perissa beach. It was raining on the first day of our stay so we got a different feel of the beach. See the below pictures from the beach on a rainy day and later the sunny days.

(Pictures)

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Near the red beach I highly recommend trying the restaurant The Dolphins. If you are a sea food lover this is a must try a restaurant. It’s at a gorgeous place and serves great food. Have a look:

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Santorini Part 2 to follow soon with more details on Hotels and the stay.

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4 thoughts on “Santorini, Greece- The town and beaches, Part 1

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