Sunsets in Santorini Greece
Santorini is the glowing pendant of Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea it seems. So, last but not least, I am off on the Paros Jet to check out what this island is all about.
Five hours 45 minutes later, I am on this crescent-shaped island, being driven to the Anemomylos Suites.
This comfortable, family-run traditional apartment is just a few meters from the central square of Fira, the capital of the island.
During the 16th century, this island was devastated by a volcanic eruption and hence, the rugged, breathtaking landscape. And like the other islands, this one too, is designed with whitewashed cubi-form houses with its trademark blue trimmings, that cling to cliffs above the underwater caldera (crater). And unlike the other islands, this one is far more crowded, noisier and more expensive.
We hire a car. And off we go to Oia to see the sunset that people rave about. Despite it being late into September, the crowd is rather thick (and I cannot imagine what it must be during the summer months). We follow the crowds through pretty, narrow alleyways, past beautiful, tempting souvenir shops, and delightful cafes to reach the cliff of Oia.
And then we settle down to watch the setting sun painting this picturesque landscape into a tapestry of colour. When the last ray of sunlight disappears, the entire audience bursts into applause to mark the end of yet another day!
On the way down from seeing the sunset, we catch a glimpse of this blue domed church, which people claim to be the ‘most photographed dome in Santorini’.
The Three Bells of Fira, officially known as The Catholic Church of Koimisi Tis Theotokou, is a Greek Catholic church. The church is famed for its three bells, blue dome, and picturesque views. The building is located in the town of Firostefani, directly above the cliffs which dominate western Santorini.
But there’s more to Santorini than just domed churches and sunsets.
We drive across to Santorini’s southeast coast, the lesser known, yet worth-visiting end of this island. That 16th century volcanic eruption has left the Perissa Beach, better known as the Black Sand Beach, lined with black sand. However, the water remains crystal clear and perfect for swimming in.
Located on the southern side of Santorini, right next to the ancient site of Akrotiri is the Red Beach, where the sand is a rare red colour.
The White Beach is a cove right next to the Red Sea. It is very similar to the Red beach, with black pebbles on the shore, only that the surrounding cliffs are white. This beach is accessible by boat or on foot from the Red beach.
In Akrotiri is this lighthouse, considered to be one of the best and most beautiful lighthouses in the Cyclades. It stands tall, in its whitewashed splendor on the edge of a high cliff right above the sea. The tower above the lighthouse keeper’s house is 10 meters high and emits a luminous white light. The panoramic view from here is yet another “wow” moment.
Off the village of Pyrgos we come across Santo Wines, one of the finest wineries of Santorini. These local wines are apparently famous because of the rich volcanic soil, and Santo Wines is one of the biggest wine producers. I think the view from here is to die for.
These islands are pretty small and can be easily explored in two or three days. On the third day, with plenty of souvenirs, photographs, and memories, we “ferry’ ourselves back to Piraeus in Athens to catch our flights back home.
My personal opinion is that Santorini is overrated. Mykonos was by far, much prettier. But, the food, the ambiance, the friendliest Greeks and the most amazing sunsets remain the same. Greece has been ticked off my bucket list but will forever remain in my memory.