When looking for a unique island to go to on your Greece vacation, you might want to try out the volcanic island of Santorini. This island is part of the Cyclades group of Greek islands and is located between the Ios and Anafi islands. Santorini has become quite popular for its stunning views, beautiful sunsets as well as its fantastic beaches.
The small island of Santorini contains a stunning variety of villages and landscapes. There are traditional architectures that can still be seen from its various small villages particularly in the village of Mesa Gonia. Another notable village is Pyrgos which still has some of the grand old houses as well as remnants of a Venetian castle and Byzantine churches.
The island’s capital is Fira, a place noted for the mixture of Venetian and Cycladic architecture evident in its various structures. Fira is also notable for its cobblestone streets that are lined with shops, taverns and hotels. This area is unique in that it clings at the side of the cliff 900 feet above its port. Going to the area can be done by taking the cable car from the port or by opting taking one of the hundreds of mules and travel up its over 588 zigzagging steps.
Just a bit above Fira is Ia, a town considered also as the highest point of the island. This town is known for its whitewashed walls and the magnificent sunset views which is considered as one of the world’s most beautiful.
Aside from the breathtaking view and scenery offered by the island’s many picturesque towns, there are also various beaches worth going to. There is the unique Kamari which is a black pebble beach. Perissa contains one of the island’s well-organized beaches as well as a popular for its Greek fish taverns. Monolithos is a nice shallow beach that is ideal for families with children.
Tourists can head to Santorini by air or by sea. From the air, tourists can get flights from Athens and is the fastest way to get into the island. Santorini has its own airport located at the Kamari village. Charter flights are also available from various European cities. The flight from Athens to the island of Santorini takes about 30 minutes.
The island can also be reached by ferry. There are ferries available from the port of Piraeus by way of Paros and Naxos. During high tourist season, there are also ferry schedules available from the port in Crete. The ferries dock at Athinios where there are buses and taxis available to take tourists to the different villages on the island.
The problem with taking the regular ferry is that it can take a considerable amount of time. A possible problem with taking the ferry is the occasional seasickness that most tourists with no sea legs may be prone to experiencing. A better alternative for such tourists aside from getting to the island by plane is to take the faster high speed catamarans that also service the island. A trip from Piraeus to Santorini on a high speed catamaran can take only four and a half hours.
For those tourists who wish to take a longer Greece vacation trip by sea with style, there are also cruise ships that venture to the island of Santorini but docks at the island’s old port, a couple of miles away from Athinios.