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Santorini Island, Greek Vacation

Greek Vacation & Informations about Santorini Island

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Santorini VacationTravel to Santorini of the volcano; to the island of breathtaking views of the Caldera; of the best Aegean sunsets; of the houses built atop one another; of Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli facing the volcanic islands of Mikri and Megali Kammeni; with beautiful hotels and places to stay that overlook the archipelago, with some breathtaking views, where all of the other Cycladic Islands are proudly scattered. Santorini, the romantic, the coveted destination of honeymooners, with its precipitous heights placing them between God and their future lives. Santorini of the archaelogical site of Akrotiri, with wall frescos in this prehistoric city buried under tons of volcanic ash, and of the multicolored sand beaches of white, red, and black.Travel to Santorini!

Santorini VacationSantorini hotels are of the highest quality. Villas on Santorini are very luxurious, and there are also a number of self-catering apartments at bargain prices. Most of them are ideally located to face the Caldera and the Aegean Sea, and almost all of them have swimming pools and romantic settlements.

Santorini VacationSantorini restaurants and tavernas offer both International and Greek cuisine, with local sun-dried tomatoes used frequently as a basic ingredient. Please, don’ t fail to order the local Santorini wine, produced by fermentation of the "must" pressed out of grapes that have been exposed to the heat of the sun, producing a denser juice and a unique taste.

Santorini VacationThough appearing quite small on the map, Santorini offers so much for its size ... unique natural volcanic scenery, a long and rich history, an ancient and splendid Greek culture, marvellous food and Santorini wine, an ideal Mediterranean climate, outstanding accommodation with superb service, moderate prices, and friendly people who offer true Greek hospitality ... all guaranteed to bring you back many times throughout the years to come.

Santorini VacationDo not forget to let our professionals plan your wedding or your honeymoon on this unique island. In fact, your Santorini holidays will certainly leave you with the feeling that the more you enjoy the island, the more there is waiting for you on your next visit.

Santorini VacationThis unique, crescent shaped island is actually the remnant of what was once a fully round and very large island.  One of Santorini’s most impressive characteristics is the still active volcano that lies in the sea, where the sun sets, offering views from land that are absolutely stunning.  This volcano erupted some 3,600 years ago during the height of the Minoan Civilization.  It is said to have been one of the largest eruptions in the history of the earth!  Yet, no human remains were ever found on the island and officials conclude that the locals somehow knew what was coming and evacuated.  What they left behind is still being sought after today at the archeological site of Akrotiri – a dig that has been underway since the 1950’s.    

Santorini VacationLife on Santorini (also officially known as “Thira”) is truly a feat of accomplishment where man has challenged nature and has succeeded.  Along the side of the cliffs lie villages where the buildings have been built right into the rock of the cliffs.  They are absolutely amazing with “infinity” swimming pools, rooms literally built into the rock that are called “cave” rooms with gorgeous terraces and private balconies that jut out over the edge and offer panoramic views that your cameras will never capture.  No photo of Santorini can ever do it justice; you need to be there to see it in person in order to truly appreciate its magnificence.  

Santorini VacationSantorini has 4 main villages on this side of the island where the volcano is located.   The first village closest to the bottom (and still at 400m above sea level) is the main town and capitol of Santorini, called Fira.  Here you will find many shops, restaurants and the cable car that will offer a ride down to the “Old Port.” Follow the signs in town or ask around a bit for the “teleferek.” It is not the port that you want but a ride on the cable car as the views are fantastic.  That little trip down and back will set you back about €10-€15 each but worth every cent, especially at sunset.  

Santorini VacationA stay in Fira is only recommended if you have a short period of time of 2 or 3 days for your visit.  In Fira, you should try the Niki Restaurant, located near the Atlantis Hotel and the museum.  I also very much enjoyed our meal at the Calderimi, in the same area.  

Santorini VacationMuch better for a stay is the village of Firostefani, just a 10 minute walk, up, from Fira.   This is the village where the island’s elite chose to build their mansions when the island was resettled.  This is mainly because of its proximity to Fira but the area is also quiet and the views from here are absolutely exquisite and truly panoramic as you have something amazing to see to the North, South, East and West!  

Santorini VacationNext up on the cliffs is the village of Imerovigli.  This village is one of the most coveted for a stay on the island because it is at the highest point above Fira.  Imerovigli is so famous for the views that they call it the “Balcony of the Aegean.”  This village, like all of the others on the island, offers a main village square, shops, restaurants and public transportation.  

Santorini VacationOia or Ia, pronounced [ˈia], is located about 12km from Fira and it offers white knuckle drive along the side of the highest cliffs to get there.   Oia is known for its picturesque architecture, and many of the original buildings in the village belonged to sea captains.  The village offers a lively atmosphere with several good restaurants, including “1800,” expensive and excellent.  There are also steps along the cliffs leading from Oia down to the little fishing village of Amoudi.  This walk is quite the experience and once at the bottom you can enjoy a coffee by the water.  

Santorini VacationWhile on Santorini you might make the journey down to Kamari to see the black beach and have lunch or dinner at one of the local tavernes.  Walk the promenade and sip daiquiris at little beach bars in the sand.  You might also consider a visit to “Ancient Thira” which is near Kamari Village.  You should wear good walking shoes and go from the Kamari side as the path is paved on this side.  The walk will take you some time and it is all uphill but well worth it for a peek at the ancient city, and the views from this point are stunning. 

Santorini VacationSantorini is well known for producing some of the best wines in Greece as the grapes are grown on vines trained in circles in the black volcanic soil and produce a unique flavor.  If you are interested in wines, you should certainly visit one of the many wineries on the island.  The Boutari Winery and the Santo Winery are my favorites and they both offer tours and tastings.  There are some Culinary lessons for those who are interested in the high standard of Greek cooking with Natural Greek Products. 

Santorini VacationSantorini is known across Greece for their exceptional cherry tomatoes and the best local dish using these are Tomato Keftedes or (tomato balls). Santorini is also well known for producing Cut Yellow peas (Fava) which you can taste almost in every restaurant while you are there. Do try fava as it is a unique form of lentil and this version is only available in Santorini and Crete. Eggplants in Santorini are not bitter, have few seeds and they are white.  If you find “Dakos” it is a dish of Crete with twice baked bread and tomatoes.  Done with Santorini tomatoes… you have perfection!  Don’t forget the wine!  

Santorini VacationDay trips by boat to walk the volcano and see the little islands of Santorini are possible from the Athinos Port.  There is a dinner cruise that will offer mezes with beer and wine while enjoying a Santorinian sunset from the water, yet these are the typical “tourist” attractions.  What I really recommend is the 5 hour, semi-private cruise.  This is not only very well done but an exemplary way to see Santorini from a different perspective.  These cruises run twice per day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon at sunset.  They include a grilled meal with wine and vegetables on board as well as stops in areas of Santorini that are barely touched by tourism or only accessible by boat.  Pricing starts at €130 per person and includes everything.  The owners also offer the ability to charter their ships for private parties and if you have 8-10 people you are looking at about €100 per person.   

Santorini VacationThere are several beaches on Santorini, some with black volcanic sand, some golden, some green, there is red sand and white sand as well.  The beach communities offer hotels with lower pricing if you are on a budget and there is a web of local bus and taxi services that will connect you from any area of the island to any other area of the island.  Some people prefer hiking and trails are in abundance on this island with your reward being the most amazing landscapes and sunsets on the planet!  This romantic, unique island was honored as best island in the world 2x last year. Because of that a lot of Honeymooners have it as a must and there are a lot of weddings taking place on this island and we have special arrangements for all of that.

Santorini VacationNo trip to Greece is complete without seeing this island.  Enjoy Santorini; it is very unique.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police Department: 22860 22 649
Post Office of Fira Town: 22860 22 238
Port Authority: 22860 22 239
Airport: 22860 31 525
Central Bus Station: 22860 25 404
Central Taxi Station: 22860 22 555
Health Center: 22860 23 123
(for international calls don't forget to add +30 prefix)

Getting There

By Sea: Santorini is well connected to other Cycladic Islands, as well to Athens (Piraeus Port). There is a choice of regular ferryboat or new highspeed boats that take half the time of the ferry. Santorini easily connects with Crete, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos and Syros. Some of these islands also serve as intermediate stops for connections to other islands, such as Tinos and Andros, for instance. Since the highspeed boats have a smaller passenger capacity than the ferries, and since they are extremely popular, you are well advised to book early.
By Air: Santorini is considered an International Airport, with summer charter flights scheduled from and to a variety of European capitals. There are also domestic flights year-round to and from Athens, plus domestic flights during high season to and from Mykonos, Rhodes and Thessaloniki. For summer domestic flights, we strongly urge that you book early, as flights are always filled to capacity.

Getting Around

Bus Service: The bus service on Santorini is very well organized, with all departures and arrivals scheduled at the central depot in Fira Town. As with most islands, changing from one bus route to another has to be done at the main terminal. From there, you can also take buses to and from the main port at Athinios, as well as to and from the airport. There are routes for the most popular areas of the island, such as Perissa and Perivolos (for which there are sometimes express buses), and to Vourvoulos, Kamari, Akrotiri and Vlihada. The bus running to Oia also makes stops along the way on the main road, and includes some of the popular accommodation areas of Firostefani and Imerovigli. If you're keen on taking the bus to Oia to catch the famous sunset, it is advisable that you leave yourself plenty of time, as the buses will be crowded. During high season, some routes operate until around 03:00. Be sure to check the bus schedule carefully, so as not to miss the last bus home.
Taxi Service: The main taxi stand is just below Fira Square, right next to the old bus depot, which has now been turned into a parking area for motorbikes. Taxis are permitted to charge extra for carrying luggage, for night-time service, and for orders by telephone. All taxis have a minimum charge of 2 Euro. For 2006, the average fare between Fira and the Port of Athinios runs between 10 and 15 Euro.
Cable Car Service: The cable cars run about every 15 minutes between the old port of Santorini, Skala, and the capital of the island, Fira. The cars cover the 220-meter height in about 3 minutes. They run from early morning until about 20:00 in the evening.
Private Car/Bike Hire: As on most islands, getting about on your own is a popular way to take your time and really see the sights. There are many models of cars available, from small Smart cars to Jeeps, and everything in between. Motorbikes are also very popular on the island, but you need to check licensing requirements for the various models and sizes. Of course, on Santorini, as in all of Greece, motorbike helmets are required by law.

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