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Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a place instantly recognisable around the world. Here's all you need to know if you're.
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The walking route is different from where the city buses go. Santorini is one of the great natural wonders of the world, and its main attraction is the landscape and seascape of the island itself.

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The configuration of the present, roughly semicircular island is the result of an enormous volcanic explosion which occurred probably around bce, literally blowing the top off the island and changing what had been a typical half-submerged mountain of an Aegean island into a flooded crescent caldera, in the middle of which a few small smoking islands still bear witness to volcanic activity.

Some have speculated that this event was the inspiration for the myth of Atlantis. The towns of Fira , Ia also known as Oia and Thirasis cling to the steep cliffs facing into the caldera bay. Tours to the central "smoking" islands are readily available and one can see and feel steam vents and recent s lava flows. Another popular reason for coming to Santorini are the legendary sunsets, some of the most spectacular in the world. Ia is one of the few places on the island which is both close to a sea and offers a good view to a sunset over the sea: in other towns, the sun disappears behind the volcano.

Be sure to explore the areas outside of the towns. There is beautiful countryside where tradition still survives. Cave houses both abandoned and occupied , gardens, vineyards, small family business, and tiny churches are there to be discovered.

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Santorini ranks among top destinations for wedding celebrations for at least 4 years -- primarily for sunset and peace, like those in Oia. Couples often arrive with few friends, stay in Ia places like Fanari Villas. Groups often arrive in the beginning of the week -- judging by demand for cabrios and number of corteges seen on Mondays compared to weekends.

Certainly to mention the viticulture and winemaking of Santorini. One of the most ancient vineyards of the world has been developed on this island, a veritable monument created by nature and humans. Vineyards are seen anywhere on Santorini, especially on the central and northern parts of the island. The volcanic soil and the special climate contribute to the unique character of the island's wines.

While the island is full of medium- and top-cost hotels and villas, there are still lots of abandoned caves and modest private houses where no one seems to live for a long time -- even in western Oia where every inch seems to be occupied by some villa.

And this doesn't seem to change for years, judging by Akrotiri, in the south, a roughly 3, year old Minoan town preserved in volcanic ash like Pompeii, is one of Santorini's "must-sees". The excavation site is covered by a roofing system, which makes it something that you can comfortably visit no matter what time of year. The ruins are extremely well preserved. Streets, buildings, stairs and even second floors of buildings are still visible.

Visitors can stand in the ruins and look at Minoan pottery and frescoes, and with a little imagination, feel what it would have been like to live in ancient Greece.

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Due to an accident in September , the excavation site was temporarily closed to the public, but as of April , the site is once again open. Ancient Thera, the Classical city of the island is on Mesa Vouno, m. It was founded in the 9th century B. The preserved ruins belong to the Hellenistic and Roman phases of the city. The residential area and the larger part of the cemeteries were excavated by German archaeologists between and Zapheiropoulos in the years Fira has the Museum of Prehistoric Thira that contains some of the artifacts, which were found in the ruins of Akrotiri.

So first visit Akrotiri, where the items came from and then Thira to understand what the items are.

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The museum has more pots, pottery and other household items than you can shake an antique stick at, but the highlight is the frescoes of the blue monkeys -- a mystery since historians say there is no evidence that there were ever monkeys on Santorini. Also in Fira , near the cable car station, is the Archaeological Museum that contains artifacts from various eras. Most of the exhibits are dated from the Classic and Roman period from the ancient town of Thera and it's cemeteries.

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The Cycladic Islands are world-famous for their picturesque towns of cubic white-washed homes and blue-domed churches. Many of these traditional homes are built on cliff-side caves, thus having a much larger interior than their exterior would suggest. While Santorini cannot claim a prominent art collection, why not see some local and international artists work by visiting the Art Space Gallery and Winery in the small village of Exo Gonia, on the way between Fira and Kamari.

Art Space is a winery built in , an old canava.

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Also an museum with old installations for raki and tomato-juice. Owned by the same family Argyros for three generations. The landscape here --the blue sky, the little white houses perched on gigantic rocks on hills that plummet to the sea, the lemon and orange groves, the pink and white churches that look like pastrycakes, the faces and warmth and expressiveness of the Greek people -- little wonder this may be the most photographed scenery in the world. Santorini has 5 dive shops. The offerings are otherwise quite similar.

Prices are sometimes lower when booked directly through dive shop, rather than through a travel agency. Their office is on Perissa Beach near the Tranquilo Bar. Diving, visibility is amazing, but there are not as many fish as more popular scuba and snorkeling locations. Dive sites include a wreck near the volcano, caverns, reefs, as well as wall diving. The wall dive is the most interesting. Octopus are not uncommon.

To minimize environmental damage, all five dive shops go to the same locations although not at the same time , with moorings shared by all the dive shops. If you want to go to a specific dive site, call ahead, and find out which dive shops are heading to which locations on which day or ask to go to a specific location. Recommended sites for snorkeling include Mesa Pigadia beach, somewhat out some people recommended a diving buoy for boat safety , the beach South of Oia, as well as Perissa Rock esp. There are supposed to be some nice spots between Perivolos and Vlichada Beach as well.

The beach on Thirasia also has some reasonable snorkeling. Caldera Beach, near Akrotiri, has a few amazing snorkeling spots. When walking down to Caldera Beach follow the signs to Santorini Dive Center , you will see some rock formations further out into the water. If you can find those once in the water, and swim to them, you will find wonderful snorkeling. Virtually all beach-side shops will sell cheap, low-quality snorkeling gear mask for around 10EU, fins for around 20EU. A combination of climatic factors and the tastes of those who have occupied and lived on the island have formed an eclectic cuisine.

Another must-try is fresh fish grilled in tavernas, esp.

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If you decide to eat or drink in a taverna overlooking the caldera or having a good view to a sunset, expect higher prices than a similar establishment in one of the many side-streets as you are charged extra for the view —- but what a view! For those who enjoy the Mediterranean diet -- fresh fish, vegetables, and meat dishes can be found at several moderately priced restaurants average 40 Euros for two in Imerovigli, Oia, and Fira. To save money, stay away from places that are overtly commercial and go to the family run fish taverns located nearby the smaller beaches and communities.

Don't miss the traditional fried tomato balls of tomato keftedes and be sure to ask for local tomatoes in your salad. They may be the best tasting you have ever had. Santorini is particularly well known for its cherry tomatoes which are very sweet. The cherry tomatoes are usually sun dried or sometimes made into sweet tomato marmalade.

Where To Stay In Santorini (🔥 GUIDE) - Santorini Secrets

Santorini island could be divided into two parts, the western side of the island and the eastern. Santorini mainly owes its popularity to the western side.

This is where the caldera is, and the villages, like Fira and Oia , that are built on the cliff. On this side of Santorini most hotels have terrific views of the caldera, volcano, the sea and sunsets.