Ahhh, days like this, reminds me of Oia, Santorini to you. How, you ask, because we went there on a month that was super windy! But alas, I fell in love to this city even before coming to this city. Culture, people, food and the view! Unique in its own way… so glad we made this trip to other side of the world. To know about this side of the world, I saw this post from Pinterest that I will repost to share with you….enjoy and learn! Travel blog by Travel Luce, thank you…
DOMES AND DONKEYS: WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN FIRA, SANTORINI
Santorini is Greece’s postcard island. The place where those photos of bougainvillea-strewn terraces, blue-doored houses and white-domed churches come to life. The island’s main town is Fira – or Thira – and if you visit Santorini, you’re almost guaranteed to at least be passing through it. It’s where the cruise ship tenders come in and where the majority of the hotels are. It’s where you’ll find the best nightlife and shopping on the island. The town is perched on top of a 260-metre-high cliff and overlooks the blue waters of the Aegean. The caldera views are so spectacular you could probably spend your days just soaking them up. But its views aren’t the only thing Fira has to offer – here are some of my highlights.
ESCAPE THE CROWDS IN THE BACKSTREETS
There’s no doubt Fira is the one of Santorini’s busiest places, and when three or more cruise ships are in at once the streets can be packed solid. But if you head away from the main shopping area it doesn’t take long to find a quiet spot. There’s a maze of little winding backstreets to explore, passing hidden chapels, arching doorways and sunbathing cats. Follow the caldera northwards to the quiet neighbouring village of Imerovigli. Or if you have time, head further afield along the 7.5-mile cliff path to Oia. It takes between three and five hours to walk (depending on how many photo/baklava stops you make) and there’s not much shade, so late afternoon or early morning are the best times. The route is a mixture of pavements and rough mule paths, with a string of picturesque churches and stunning views along the way.
LEARN ABOUT THE ISLAND’S HISTORY
Santorini hasn’t always been this picture-perfect slice of Greek whitewashed perfection. The island has a long and dramatic history, and there are a couple of museums in Fira where you can find out more. It was originally inhabited by the Minoans until a huge volcanic eruption blew the middle out of the island and formed the caldera. The ancient city of Akrotiri, in the south of the island, has recently been excavated after being buried by ash from the eruption. Some of its artifacts are on display at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which also has exhibits about the island’s geology. After the eruption Santorini was eventually recolonised and over the years it was occupied by a whole series of invaders including the Phoenicians, Dorians, Romans and Ottomans. The Santorini Archaeological Museum displays relics like sculptures, ceramics and carvings from different periods of the island’s history.
WATCH THE SUNSET
The village of Oia might be Santorini’s most famous sunset spot, but Fira does a pretty good version itself. Oia has the classic views of church domes and windmills silhouetted against an orange sky, but it also has the crowds to go with it. So you need to get there well in advance to bag a prime sunset spot. In contrast it’s easy to find a quiet place in Fira and even at the main viewpoints there’s normally only a small group of people. With so many hotels along the caldera in Fira, if you’re staying in town you’ll often have a terrace where you can watch sunset with a glass of wine. Otherwise stop by one of the cliffside bars for a sundowner with a view as the sun sinks down into the Aegean. Or if that still sounds too crowded, then get up for sunrise instead when the sky glows pink and you have the place almost to yourself.
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