A Greek island paradise – Santorini

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Spectacular Santorini

A volcanic Greek island

Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. Some 3600 years ago the volcano on this Greek island erupted. It caused much of the island and its settlements to sink beneath the cobalt blue Aegean sea, leading, some say, to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

It has some of the most dramatic views in Greece as you look across the caldera (cauldron) to what remains of the top of the volcano. Both the capital Thira, and the town of Oia (pronounced ‘ear’) have the beautiful white houses and blue domed churches. Perched perilously on the cliff edges, they make Santorini the subject of a million tourist photographs. It is an incredible view, and the intensity of the blue of the sea and the sky are balm to the soul.

Caldera of Thira

A Greek Island story

We caught the local bus to Thira. It only takes fifteen minutes from Kamari where we were staying. It’s a small island and nothing is too far away from anything else.

On the bus, I sat next to an oldish man with a strong London accent. He proceeded to give me his entire life story effortlessly shoehorned into that very fifteen minutes. Of Greek Cypriot origin he could speak the language and had been sent on this holiday by his kids as he’d had a ‘bad year.’

He now lived in a flats in North London, near the Arsenal, with his son who was a Chef.  I think he was just lonely.These things happen on a Greek island.

Greel island
Up in Oia

Now in Thira the tourists are heading for the cable car to get down to the port. They cross the lagoon and walk about on the top of a real Volcano. You can feel the warmth of the sand from the lava beneath.

White ship blue sea

Greek island – donkey beer

Sometimes visitors get a precarious donkey ride back up the steep incline. The donkeys, which are really mules and quite large robust animals, like to have a bit of a race up the hill.

The donkey is a familiar symbol of Santorini. The microbrewery phenomenon has reached the Greek Islands and their beer is named after this iconic animal. Beers are called Yellow Donkey, Red Donkey, or Crazy Donkey. I tasted them all and, as you might expect, Crazy Donkey was my preference.

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Micro breweries hit Greece

The sheltered moon shaped harbour provides a picturesque stop for cruise ships. They drop off their wealthy passengers into Thira’s narrow, rather up market, shopping streets.

Thira is a very popular destination for weddings. Couples leave little padlocks on the railings to show they are locked together forever.

From Santorini with love..

The Japanese take tourism very seriously. The selfie stick was quite a new device at the time.

The advanced art of the selfie

Island life

October is the end of the season in Santorini. The weather is cooling down, but still very pleasant, especially for walking and sight seeing. It’s not too crowded either.

The magic of Greece doesn’t fade for me. It’s in the ice cream coloured wood of the cafés, the azure sea and sapphire sky. The multi-coloured cats and timeless heartbeat of an ancient era. Look out to sea, and pour yourself a chilled glass of delicious Greek wine.. Yamas!

Buckets of Basil

Wine tasting in Santorini here

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Pomegranate in the wild