TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD–SantoriniTuesday, August 30, 2011
Santorini’s group of islands is consisted of Thera, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea and Nea Kameni (Volcanoes) islands and is located in the most southern part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, 63 nautical miles north of Crete. The surface area of Thera is 73 sq. km. and its population, distributed among thirteen villages, is 13.600 people, according to the 2001 census.
Santorini can be reached from most international airports via Athens. The flying time from Athens to Santorini is approximately 40 minutes.
Nearly all international scheduled flights arriving in Athens allow adequate time for making the connecting flight to Santorini. Numerous charter flights from different European Cities fly directly to the island during the summer period. During the same period Santorini is also connected with flights to and from Thessaloniki.
Another way to reach the island is by a regular ferry boat service from the port of Piraeus, Thessaloniki or Crete and almost all the Cycladic islands. The boat trip takes approximately 5 - 9 hours depending on the ferry and the ports of call.
Daily high speed boats are also available only during the summer period leaving from the port of Piraeus and from numerous other Cycladic islands and Crete. The trip lasts about 4 - 5 hours.
The climate in Santorini is typical of the Mediterranean climate: generally extended periods of sunshine throughout most of the year, relatively warm and dry summers and mild and rainy winters.
WHAT TO VISIT / WHAT TO DO ?
Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Located in Fira center overlooking the volcano and the sea. The original church was built in 1827. It was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1956, which levelled the church. The frescoes inside were painted by Christoforos Assimis, a local artist of exceptional talent.
Palea and Nea Kameni volcano
The two small islands in the centre of the Santorini caldera, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, “the volcano” according to the locals, are the youngest volcanic lands in the Eastern Mediterranean. Palea Kameni (Old Burnt Island) is less than 2.000 years old, while Nea Kameni (Young Burnt Island) began to form only 440 years ago and its youngest lavas 60 years old. These two small islands are the result of the volcano’s most recent activity.
The longest hike is Fira - Firostefani - Imerovigli - Oia. It lasts almost 3 hours and you will enjoy the magnificent view of the Caldera. An alternative route is Imerovigli - Firostefani - Fira that lasts about 30 minutes. You’d better start the tour in the early-morning or evening hours in order to avoid the heat. Don’t forget your camera!
Santorini's famous beaches are spread out mainly along the eastern and the south-eastern side of the island. Each beach has special characteristics, which make it unique and outstanding. The black shining pebbles, the unique land formations, the black, white and red sand, make up an unforgettable scenery. Most beaches are well organized offering the choice of lounging chairs, umbrellas, and various water sports.
Fira is the central market of the island, with its crowded alleys being full of shops that satisfy even the most fastidious tastes. In Fira you will find the gold street, or as the real name is Ypapantis street, that is considered one of the biggest gold markets in Greece. In the shops of gold street you will find the latest design jewelry collections of famous Greek and foreign houses, and you will come up with ideas for presents both for yourself and for your beloved ones. In Fira you can find many shops with handmade jewelry made of silver and other precious materials, in definitely more budget prices. In every shopping street of the island’s capital, you will find the latest trends of international fashion as far as clothes, shoes and accessories is concerned, coming from great fashion houses. In the center of Fira there is also a big cosmetics store offering a wide variety of perfumes and sun creams.