Santorini is an island best known for its volcanic complex which creates a very interesting landscape, making Santorini stand out from other islands. The last recorded volcanic activity was in 1950, with the last underwater eruption occurring in 1650; since then the majority of the volcanic complex is dormant. The underwater volcano, Kameni, can clearly be seen from Santorini’s Caldera area, which is a massive cliff upon which the city is built. The Caldera is the main area to be in Santorini featuring many options of cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as small hotels, rooms to let some of which are actually built into the rock, making it a profoundly exclusive staying experience!
In Caldera you will want to choose to stay in Fyra, which is the capital of the island, or better still in Fyrostefani. There is nothing cooler than sleeping in what appears to be a cave room and then waking up to view the morning glory from the balcony overlooking the tip of the black volcano amidst a deep blue sea. The Caldera area is a great show case for Greek island architecture: the Cycladic asbestos white building and blue dome rooftops give a serene aura to the harsh landscape.
The volcanic structure of Santorini could not leave its beaches unaffected, and so do not expect to find sandy white beaches. The main beach promenade is in Perissa, which is a long stretch of dark gray/black thick sand. Locally, this is a called a ‘Black Beach’ due to the peculiar sand colour. The water here becomes abruptly deep and colder than other locations. Since the party island culture calls for blasting tunes, there are a couple of beach bars which offer guests sun-bed and umbrella chilling when you buy a an iced-coffee or beverage from the bar. As morning coffee gives way to lazy afternoon alcohol and as temperatures rise, so do the tanned beautiful people from their sun-beds, and they begin to dance the sun away. Alternatively you can try Vlychada, which is absolutely striking. The scenery there resembles a lunar landscape as the rock leading down to the beach is strangely surfaced, full of intricacies and formations.
Santorini also has a ‘Red Beach’ where the sand and rock there is, of course, red in majority although you will find white and black in its pallet. It is worth seeing this strange beach, although you can only access it via boat, and your options are either private hire, or joining one of the many tour operators. There are so many more beautiful things about this island, further increasing the reasons why you should definitely visit. The typical Cycladic architecture found all over Santorini is one of them. The colours chosen are a tribute to the national blue-white flag, while the blue specifically is a marine blue, to match the colour of the Aegean Sea. The idiomorphy of the architecture provides a calm and tranquil feeling for the viewer and is in complete harmony with the colours of the surroundings. One more thing which makes a trip to Santorini a soonest possible ‘must-do’ is the majestic sunset view from Santorini’s north-est point, Oia.
Visitors have reported they have seen nothing like it, and asking whether it is an illusion of some sort. No, it is simply the most beautiful sunset you can ever experience. Words cannot describe, and surprisingly often even photographs cannot fully capture the beauty of the moment.