Experience and Sightseeing
Sailing to Santorini
was a breathtaking experience. When the huge cruise ship
dropped anchor right in the centre of the giant lagoon,
we found us surrounded by up to 300 m (980 ft) high, steep
cliffs on three sides and enjoyed thrilling views of the
white houses, that tower right above the cliffs. The small,
picturesque, white-washed towns on top of the
main island, Thira, such as
Oia and the capital Fira, are
popular tourist spots with great hotels, restaurants and
many other spots that offer spectacular views of the archipelago.
One hardly can imagine the fascination of this area without
having seen it.
The principal port of Santorini is
Athinias, at the main island
Thira. From here you can start all possible activities,
to explore the archipelago by boat, bus or car.
may wonder how to get on top of the cliffs - no problem.
You can go by bus and even ride a donkey, but don't miss
riding the cable car, at least
one time. It takes you from Port Athinias up to Fira and
back, offering great views of Fira and the caldera, as well
as of the island's rock formation.
Once on top there
are many different ways to explore the island. One of them
is a jeep safari, which was
our choice to visit the most picturesque parts of the island.
We enjoyed incredible panoramic views, saw the
beaches of Vlihade and Perissa,
had a delicious Greek lunch at the
charming village Megalochori, and visited
Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah),
the highest mountain of the island (567 meters).
Actually we wanted to visit also the
excavation at Akrotiri, but
the place was closed, because of a fatal accident that happened
some time bevore. However, at the end of our safari, we
had the opportunity to visit the
Museum of Prehistoric Thira
at Fira - very to recommend!
Fira itself is a marvellous
tourist spot with all kinds of shops in the narrow streets,
but best are the beautiful cafes, restaurants and hotels
overlooking, and offering stunning views of, the archipelago.
Unfortunalely there was no time left to go
Oia in the North of the island
Thira. The lovely town is one of the foremost tourist attractions
of the Aegean Sea, famous for its picturesque architecture
and its most beautiful sunset.
The first traces
of settlement on Thira date from the 5th Millennium BC.
In the course of huge volcanic eruptions in 1628 BC not
only was the island destroyed, but also a great culture
buried under tons of ashes. This event is also known as
the Minoan eruption, as it happened at the height of the
Minoan civilization, and may have led indirectly to the
collapse of the Minoan culture on the island of Crete through
the aftermath of a gigantic tsunami some 90 years later.
In 1967, at Akrotiri (on
the main island Thira), a nearly perfectly preserved city
from the Bronze Age was found under meters of ash layers.
Sophisticated, multi-storied buildings with bathrooms, connected
to a sewage system, with magnificent frescoes, furniture
and elaborately designed vessels, show the high degree of
civilisation and culture on Santorini around 3600 years
ago. Beyond that, various finds from Crete, the Greek Mainland,
Cyprus, Syria and Egypt testify that Santorini had developed
an extensive commercial network, and was probably one of
the most important trading centres in the Aegean in the
of Prehistoric Thira at Fira houses a multitude of
presious finds from the excavations at Akrotiri. The exhibits
cover different periods, including Akrotiri's heyday (17th
century BC) with plaster casts of furniture, household articles,
bronze vessels, and so on. Very impressive are also the
magnificent wall painting ensembles...