Saturday, October 10, 2009


At last, the final instalment of my holiday in Greece ... the volcanic island of Santorini. The island is actually the 'lip' of an enormous volcanic crater and part encircles a massive caldera (the basin of the volcano, now filled by sea). At the heart of the caldera lie the two youngest landmasses of the Mediterranean. This picture below was taken on the larger of these two barren landmasses, looking towards Santorini:

Santorini is an incredibly popular tourist destination, but where Corfu was very much a family and package tour destination, Santorini attracts a different type of tourist - clearly the kind that has more money to spend because everything here was more expensive. Tavernas in Corfu add chips to every meal. Tavernas in Santorini create works of art.

The charm of Santorini is not its beaches, but rather the quaint pedestrian walkways, the awe-inspiring views and the blue-domed churches that epitomise Greece. White-washed villages cling to the rim of the volcanic crater, accessible to the harbours below only by hundreds of steps carved into the mountain side. At the capital, Thira (pronounced Fira), tourists can take the cable car or a donkey ride to reach the harbour at the cliff's base. We did both, to the kids' delight!

We stayed in the smaller town of Oia, famous for its sunsets. Words cannot describe the beauty of Oia (pronounced Ia). I'll just have to let the pictures speak for themselves ....