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Santorini

Santorini is an island in Cyclades, a Greek sailing area.

The anchorages on Santorini:

ThirasiaThirasia
Skala ThiraSkala Thira
Nea KammeniNea Kammeni
FinikiaFinikia

Island Overview

Santorini (Thira) is a magical place like no other. Donkeys were used to climb the steep hill from the old marina. Nowadays, you are more likely to stay in the new marina on the other side of the city. The views are one of a kind. Just sit down, have a glass of wine and enjoy the most romantic views. Notice that the best time to visit Santorini is outside of the main charter season. If you are coming during the main season, consult a visit of Santorini with your crew, it might not be enjoyable.

Santorini Island is a synonym for luxury, colorful beaches and enchanting sunsets. The site of the mythical Atlantis was a place where an enormous volcanic eruption took place in the past. While walking the Caldera of Santorini, you actually look at a submerged crater of a giant volcano. According to recent scientific evidence, the activity of the volcano led to the demise of the Minoans around 1,500 BC. The remains of these peaceful seafarers exist on Crete and Santorini.

Especially popular among honeymooners and romantic travelers, the most famous of the Cyclades Islands features stunning black-sand beaches with water sports. Visiting rich archeological sites and museums, and exploring picturesque settlements are also among must-do things on Santorini.

Santorini is a unique Greek Island that will blow your mind once you see it. You will surely be mesmerized by its magical atmosphere from its enchanting volcanic landscape to the stunning architecture and thrilling nightlife. You will love the mind-blowing view of the caldera and the panoramic scenery of the island.

You will enjoy a thrilling adventure right from when you approach the island by the sea on a crewed yacht charter as the notorious cliffs start revealing. Once you enter the bay of Fira and going to the Skala harbor, you will see a steep mountain that rises from the sea, and it looks snowy. Once you get closer, you will find out it is not snow but whitewashed houses situated on the edge of the caldera.

Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash
Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

Navigation

Numerous anchorages surround Santorini. You can reach the capital of Santorini (Fira) through the Skala port. You will find the port at the deep caldera, and it protects from the northerly winds. Small boats can use the interior of the port while yachts make use of the outside of the quay. Outside of the quay, there is also a rocky seabed that causes the anchor to snag, and the best way to berth here is by taking a strong long line from the bow to one of the large mooring buoys and then tie the stern to the quay or the bay platforms.

You will find the picturesque harbor of Oia farther north of the island. The port features a small pier while its main mooring buoy is usually occupied. The best place to anchor at the port is in the west of the mole.

The safest anchorage in Santorini is the Vlyhada public marina. You will find it in the southern part of Santorini. You will need to be wary of the shoals at the entrance where the remains of the ancient harbor can be found. It is best if you contact the Santorini Port Authorities to know if the entry is dredged before you dock here.

Santorini, Photo by: cacioepepe_santorini (Source: Instagram)
Santorini, Photo by: cacioepepe_santorini (Source: Instagram)

General information

Santorini is a famous tourist destination to go to in Greek for visitors that want to relax and unwind. You will find this mind-blowing island in the Southern Aegean on the eastern part of a collapsed caldera. It is among the best places that you can visit in the world. You will surely be mesmerized by the nerve-wracking views from its whitewashed churches with bright blue domes, soaring cliffs, and ancient archeological treasures. The island is also famous for its picturesque beaches, donkeys, dry white wines, and thrilling nightlife. It makes the island an excellent spot for day-trippers and yacht charters.

Santorini, Photo by: santoriniflue (Source: Instagram)
Santorini, Photo by: santoriniflue (Source: Instagram)

Places of Interest

Ammoudi Bay

Ammoudi Bay is a picturesque bay that glistens above the stunning turquoise waters. You will find the bay at the base of the cliffs that rise to the town of Oia. Although getting to the bay can be tasking, the food and the lovely views are worth it. You will find numerous restaurants with a picturesque setting where you can eat. You can try out a variety of activities here like swimming at the isolated coves, going sailing around the volcano where you can swim in the hot springs.

Ammoudi Bay, Photo by: mikej411 (Source: Instagram)
Ammoudi Bay, Photo by: mikej411 (Source: Instagram)

Fira

It is the capital of Santorini, and you will find it along the edge of the caldera. The city is among the tourist hotspots in Santorini, and you will be mesmerized by the white sugar-cube shaped buildings in the town. It also offers mind-blowing views of the shoreline and the Aegean Sea and its picturesque sunset views. You can get to the city from the port of Skala by walking, riding a mule up the winding stepped path, or taking the cable-car.

Fira, Santorini, Photo by: travelwithlux (Source: Instagram)
Fira, Santorini, Photo by: travelwithlux (Source: Instagram)

Oia

It is a picturesque village surrounded by whitewashed houses, and you will find it on the northern tip of Santorini. It is popularly known for its mesmerizing sunsets and boutique hotels that overlooks the caldera.

Oia, Santorini, Photo by: bestofsantorini (Source: Instagram)
Oia, Santorini, Photo by: bestofsantorini (Source: Instagram)

Pyrgos

This village was once the capital of Santorini, and you will find it in the middle of Santorini. The town is encircled by whitewashed Cycladic cottages, which was constructed around the ruins of an ancient hilltop castle.

Pyrgos, Santorini, Photo by: akou112 (Source: Instagram)
Pyrgos, Santorini, Photo by: akou112 (Source: Instagram)

Perissa Beach

Perissa Beach is the most popular beach in Santorini, and you will find it on the southeast coast, between Perivolos and Perissa. The beach is characterized by a 6km long stretch of fine, black volcanic sand, and tamarisk trees surround it. There are also numerous seafood tavernas and cafes that overlook the beach. You can rent a sunbed and umbrella and sunbathe while enjoying the breathtaking views or have fun at the water sports facilities.

Perissa Beach, Photo by: ludmillaradchenko (Source: Instagram)
Perissa Beach, Photo by: ludmillaradchenko (Source: Instagram)

Megalochoria

Megalochori is a picturesque village located away from the edge of the caldera. It can be called the wine capital of Santorini, but you will be surprised that it is less frequented by tourists. You will be mesmerized by its cobblestone lanes surrounded whitewashed buildings with blue-painted doors. You are going to find several welcoming tavernas at the heart of the village where you can enjoy a swell time with the locals.

Red Beach at Akrotíri

You will find the Red Beach below a mind-blowing red cliff wall not far from the Akrotiri site. You can either drive to the beach or take a boat from Kamari, Akrotiri, and Perissa ports. The beach is picturesque, and it is usually crowded during the summer.

Red Beach, Photo by: frenchtouchtravellers (Source: Instagram)
Red Beach, Photo by: frenchtouchtravellers (Source: Instagram)

Ancient Thira

This is a perfect destination to go if you are a history lover. You will find the ancient Thira on the southeast coast of Santorini, and it dates back to the 9th century BC. At the site, you will see Hellenistic temples ruins and foundations of Roman and early-Byzantine buildings. Some of the ruins to explore here a theater, religious sites, old administrative buildings, and a gym for military trainees. You are going find most of the archeological finds here displayed in the archaeology museum of Fira.

Ancient Thira, Photo by: tiagodealmeidaesilva (Source: Instagram)
Ancient Thira, Photo by: tiagodealmeidaesilva (Source: Instagram)

Museum of Prehistoric Thira

You will find this museum in a modern white building that is not far from the Mitropolis church in Fira. It is filled with collections of finds from the Akrotiri archeological site. The highlight of the museum is the Blue Monkeys wall fresco. Some of the artworks that you can also explore are painted ceramics, marble figurines, weapons, and tools.

History of Santorini

Santorini history dates back to the period of intense volcanic activity that left the island deserted for centuries.

According to Greek historian Herodotus, in the 13th century BC, the island was named Kallisti (the most beautiful) by the Phoenicians, the first people to reach the island.

One century later, it was named Thera (after their king) by the Dorians from Sparta that settled on the island.

In the 9th century BC, the island was a Dorian colony, and its center was the settlement of Ancient Thera located in Mesa Vouno Mountain. There was also growth and development during this period as the locals adopted the Phoenician alphabet.

In 630BC, the Santorians made a colony in Africa known as the Ancient City of Cyrene before a long period of drought-hit the island.

During the 6th century BC, the Santorians coined their own money before the island was subjugated to the Persians during the Persian Wars. Santorinians were at Sparta’s side during the Peloponnesian War.

In 426/425 BC, they were among the Athenian Empire before they then became part of the Roman Empire.

They were also part of the Byzantine Empire during the Byzantine years. During the 3rd or 4th century AC, the first church was constructed in Santorini.

Santorini and the rest of the islands of the Aegean Sea were under the rule of Marco Sanudo after Constantinople fell to the Crusaders during the 4th Crusade.

He then granted Santorini and Therasia to Giacomo Barozzi that ruled the island until 1480. The Crusaders named the island Santorini which was after a chapel of Saint Irene (Santa Irini).

The island suffers incessant pirate raids during the Frankish rule, which led to the creation of five fortified settlements, which are castles of Skaros in Imerovigli, Emporio, Pyrgos, Agios Nikolaos, and Akrotiri in Oia.

The island was under the Turkish rule from 1579 to 1821, and it was called Dermetzik (small mill). During the Ottoman era, the island has a fair amount of autonomy, and piracy ceased because of merchant navy was developed.

The island became part of Greece in 1912. The island flourished with shipping trade until the end of the 19th century.

In 1956, a catalytic earthquake and volcanic eruption caused significant damage, which leads to the decline and desertion of the island.

The introduction of the tourism industry during 1970 helps to grow back to the island, and it is among the popular tourist destinations that you can visit.

Santorini, Photo by: leanne88 (Source : Instagram)
Santorini, Photo by: leanne88 (Source : Instagram)
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