Santorini: the main pearl of Greece


Санторини: главная жемчужина Греции The perfect place to vacation.

Santorini is the business card of the Greek Islands, the island of the volcano with its authentic architecture, comfortable beaches and stunning sunsets. White and blue — the colors of the Greek flag. The color of the sea and gulls, the sky and clouds. And white Cycladic houses perched on the cliffs of Fira, the distance is so similar to snow caps.

When you come to Santorini by ferry (which is the most convenient way to get here, although on the island there is the airport, taking several flights a day), hats will gradually take the shape of buildings, you can see even the window. While the narrow serpentine will climb up further and further, increasingly will open the view of the Caldera. He is especially good at sunset when the sun slowly sinks into the sea, illuminating the soft light the distant Islands, a small nimble boats and huge cruise ships standing at anchor at a respectful distance from the shore.

3600 years ago a volcanic eruption formed these Islands, the volcano disappeared under the water where it sleeps all the time, and the hundred-meter wave reached the island of Crete, 200 km to the South, and destroyed the Minoan civilization. Some scientists believe that the earth, which many hundred years “warmed” a dormant volcano, and was the mysterious Atlantis. Among the latter were, for example, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. However, part of the legacy of the Atlanteans has been preserved, and it can be seen in the museums of Athens, and most importantly — here on Santorini.

Sometimes among rocks tri-color (gray and black, pumice stone, red-brown lava) will appear in the vineyards. Here unique climate, only 24 days a year it does rain, but a lot of moisture in the air, no insects, spoiling the vines, but the constant blowing winds, so the grapes don’t tie up, and placed on hot ground in the form of baskets. A bottle of local dry white wine is certainly worth a grab as a present home.

Assyrtiko dry white wine, most common in Santorini, nihari — translated as “night”, because the same grape varieties assyrtiko harvested at night, when the berries cooled down. The wine’s taste is a little different. Nihari is a bit more expensive assyrtiko. Amber-pink dessert vinsanto — the most famous wine of Santorini. For its production of grapes getting dry under the scorching sun from about 14 days and then aged in oak barrels not less than one year. Vinsanto is expensive — from €22 per bottle, which is not surprising: in 1 liter of wine takes 15 kg of berries.

The road that winds along the top of the cliff (at the narrowest point, where the width of the island 2 km away, you can see the sea and the left and right, but the pictures will have out of the window — too narrow roads, too many buses), it dives down, revealing cultivated fields, houses and churches. Santorini say that the churches here are more than houses, more wine than water and more donkeys than people.

If you ask: “where’s olive?”, answer: olive trees on Santorini no. But in Crete there are 60 million single tree yields about 30 kg of olives. And a certificate for a small olive plantation — a great gift for a Greek wedding. Take note, by the way.

Periodically the rocks you can read the white lettering like “Mary Peter” (“Julio + Rosalia”, “Kiang + Chunhua”). Do not be surprised: according to local legend, the lovers who left their “autographs” will always be happy. Yes, Santorini is an island of honeymooners. And more and more couples come here specifically to marry. A magnificent feast arrange will not work, but a bright photo session completely. Especially the idea of eternal happiness is liked by residents of China, so the Trinity, composed of the groom in a black suit with bow tie, bride in lace dress and ballet flats and photographer with cases making their way to the location through a crowd of tourists in shorts and t-shirts everywhere.

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Santorini (however, none of the official document in Greece this island no, he actually called Thira) is always hot. The weather forecast may promise +22 °C, but the island is volcanic, of the city climb the cliffs of the Caldera in the sky, blue domes merge with the sky. In the narrow streets there is no place not only vehicles, but large trees. Here and there the pure white walls are interspersed with pink, red, purple bougainvillea. The transport — donkeys (you’ll even hear the theory that the most beautiful village of the island, Oia, and named in honor of these animals but in fact “ia” in Greek-“violet”). It is on donkeys in the local shops and restaurants deliver the goods, so you should not wonder why the restaurant so everything is so expensive. By the way, here you pay more for atmosphere. In fact, lunch overlooking the Caldera — where else you can afford?

In the heat need an umbrella. And ice cream. There are a lot of ice cream. While walking on the stone pavement, catching the mingled fragments of speech (well, clean Babylon), from all sides will beckon the bright side of glazed vases and candlesticks, saucers and cups, owls, and elephants, the famous pink pistachios (they say such because they grow on volcanic soil, though, it seems they just gave the color Carmine). And every 50 m — fridge with ice cream. Take it, enjoy. Wrap take, the ballot box there is simply nowhere to fit.

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Local Souvenirs are expensive. €7 for a glass magnet. €3,5 for a pack of pistachio nuts. A pair of earrings from silver wire — €80. Decide worth it or not. Remember the donkeys.

All postcard views of Santorini that you can find on the Internet is Oia. Oia and Fira, the island’s capital, are the main must-see this trip. There is a special thrill to get through the narrow streets, go around the corner to climb somewhere up, not knowing where it will cause one or the other winding street. Stumbled on a sign “Private area”, it is necessary to get around. Sometimes on the way there is a doorway leading, it seems, directly into the sea. Remember the scene in the movie “Moscow — Cassiopeia”, which suddenly appeared in the dessert the door? Very similar…

Is there another place where just need to stop, is only 10 km from Fira. This is the beach of Kamari, famous for its black sand. In fact it turns out that the small beads that roll with the sound of waves — not that other, as the pieces of rolled pumice. They are porous and very light, lying on a “sand” in the surf — very nice and a little tickled.

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Rows of straw umbrellas with deck chairs, stretching into the distance, promising so much time to relax as you want. Absolutely for free. The beach is equipped with all necessary. And rocks are a great backdrop for photos. And Yes, swim is warmer than even southern Crete. Be careful, there are stones.

Another interesting beach — Akrotiri. Here in the sand you will find shades of red and pink, because the color gives him the lava chippings of fault rocks.

The victim in the XVII century BC, the city was covered with a 20 metre layer of ash and discovered in the nineteenth century. To save all found: the ancient houses, streets, tools, household items — over excavation pitched roof, spending €40 million unlike Pompeii, the people of this town managed to escape under a layer of pumice was not found human remains. According to one version, people got to Palestine, the other swam to Crete, where everything has found its end. Akrotiri. Here it is necessary to get access to tourists was opened quite recently. The frescoes of the city are kept in museums of Fira and Athens.

Council. Overnight on the island is expensive, but if you want really good photos, which are known to work at dawn and at sunset, should stay. Daily ferries, even the fastest, arrive by noon and fades in the area of 17-18 hours.


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