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One of the most popular destinations worldwide and the top Greek destination, Santorini, or Thira, is one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen!
Located on the southern side of the Aegean sea, Santorini Greece is a part of Cyclades island complex. The island was created after a huge volcanic eruption, occurred in 17th century B.C., which shaped the breathtaking Santorini caldera.
The enthralling sunset view in Oia Santorini, the minimal Cycladic architecture, the luxurious Santorini Greece hotels, the dramatic rocky landscape, and Santorini volcano are just some of the reasons you’ll have a crush on this unique island!
You cannot truly appreciate the beauty of Santorini until you witness it from the sea. The massive sea cliffs are mesmerizing.
Plus on a sailing trip, you can go snorkelling, visit some of the lesser visited beaches, and have a swim in the hot springs.
There are several boat tours around Santorini and Get Your Guide has several you can book in advance.
We suggest a sunset cruise for some of the best caldera views.
While crowds of people gather at the caldera to watch the sunset, we found our way to the Blue Domes for sunset. It had a bit of a crowd itself, but by the time blue hour hit, most people were gone and we had it to ourselves.
Oia is world famous for its spectacular sunsets. The cascade of whitewashed buildings, dotted with windmills and blue dome churches, form a stunning backdrop for photographers. As the sun goes down, these buildings glow in pinks and oranges and yellows. The moment the sun disappears below the horizon, the crowds literally applaud and cheer. It can be an unforgettable moment for many people.
If you plan to visit Santorini, most likely watching the sunset in Oia is on your to-do list. If so, we have two spots to try. One is at Oia Castle, definitely the most popular photo point in Oia. But if you want to escape the worst of the crowds and get the iconic blue domes in your photos, we let you know how you can do that, too.
The first day in Fira definitely got into the island mode after a gorgeous sunset and dinner overlooking the Caldera.
We decided to head to the Three Bells of Fira which is part of the iconic church that is often used in pictures.
After the trip, we were all stoked up to head to Oia. The drive from Fira to Oia is about 45 minutes and goes through the mountains and all going up. There is very limited parking in Oia and after some back and forth with the hotel, we finally found the Post office where we parked our car. The post office is the meeting point where the porters from the hotel pick you up and take you to the hotel. I will skip the walk to the hotel and the hotel itself for the next blog.
We spent most the afternoon cooped in the hotel room because of the bright sun and heat. We did walk around Oia for about an hour or so. It is a very small town and about an hour and you get the end to end picture of the town.
The Oia sunset experience is why people head to Oia and the best spot is on the top of Byzantine ruins. What they don’t tell you is the amount of people on the top of the ruins and people start queuing about 3 hours before the sunset — which in the heat of Oia is a bit crazy.
Fira is by far the busiest of towns in Santorini with cruise ships coming in here at the port and passengers taking the gondola or doing donkey rides up from the water.
While there is lots of shopping in Oia as well, Fira is the place to find your souvenirs.
As one of the cosmopolitan islands in Greece, Santorini has a plethora of shopping options to offer. The shops, ranging from clothing apparel to shoes, jewelry, and books, are located in Fira (Thira) and Oia, and you should combine your retail sessions with a stop at one of the many terraces offering a splendid view over the blue sea. Here is our selection of the best boutiques in Santorini.
For jewelry designer Ilias Lalaounis, every piece of jewelry has a message in it and a story to tell. This is probably why every piece of jewelry is exquisitely made, emanating Greek history. If you haven’t visited the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens, then head to the store in Fira. With influences from the Byzantine era, the Neolithic age, or Mycenaean art, the pieces are simply a work of art. And even if you don’t buy anything, a visit to the Lalaounis store is a treat for the eyes.
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