August 14, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Santorini, Greece

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means….Time to escape into my imagination and pretend I am on vacation.  Today’ s destination  Santorini, Greece.

Santorini is a group of small islands, some inhabited and some not, in the southern Aegean Sea. Located more than 200 kilometers away from mainland Greece, it can be reached only by air or water. With a total population of just over 13,000, the archipelago is a haven for tourists wishing to escape the bustle of major Greek ports and beaches but still be amid the look and feel of traditional Greece.

Humans have inhabited Santorini since the Late Neolithic period (4000 B.C.), although it wasn't until the Bronze Age that the island began to flourish, mainly due to Greeks moving to it and increasing the opportunities for expansion and commerce. Dorians founded several cities in Santorini during the 9th Century B.C., and from then on, growth increased significantly. It wasn't until 1912 that Santorini became officially part of Greece.
General Facts

The total area of Santorini is just 28 square miles, with the central part of the island covered by a rather large lagoon. There are also volcanoes, mountains and beaches on the island, making it one of the areas with the most mixed terrain in all of Greece. Fira is Santorini's capital. The name Fira is a modern version of the word "Thira," the ancient name given by early settlers. Thera, another variation, is sometimes used as an alternative name for Santorini.Climate
Because of its location, southeast from Greece's mainland, Santorini has hot, humid days and cool evenings and nights, even in summer. Most of the rain falls during the winter, when temperatures drop to about 50-54 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is especially cool near the center of the island, where the lagoon is located, or on the coast. Collection of rain water in cisterns is important to the island because running water is not available, and the local desalination plant only provides non-drinkable water to residents.

Santorini is home to several large volcanoes, some of which have produced the largest eruptions known throughout history and have inspired many legends. Starting with the Minoan civilization more than 3,500 years ago, Santorini's volcanoes have caused the disappearance of complete civilizations. Because of this, some stories, including the works of Plato and many famed historians, link the island to Atlantis, whose demise may have been a result of the eruption of Thera, which occurred in 1000 B.C.E. Other stories, such as Santorini being the origin of the Biblical plagues, are also under study. When the Santorini volcano exploded sometime between 1500-1600 B.C., the eruption seemed to have caused enough debris and environmental distress to possible result in what Egypt saw as the plagues.

Visitors mostly come to Santorini for its unpolluted, unspoiled beaches. The island is also famous for its white buildings and old ports. Beaches on the East side of the island are more private, while those on the West coast are more popular and crowded. Perissa, a beach resort, is famous for its black sand, while Red Beach is made out of volcanic rock and sand, giving it its characteristic red tone. Cape Columbo, one of the most isolated beaches, offers visitors a chance to get away from the masses, as there is no public transportation to the island and only one local tavern to help you escape the heat. Small fishing and port villages also abound in the island, and offer visitors a chance to enjoy a respite and have a look into the past. Narrow streets, lots of outdoor cafes and antique shops, as well as wine production and ruins of fortresses and monasteries make the villages worth a visit. Megalochori is near the port and easily accessible, while Akrotiri is the perfect destination for those looking for a glimpse of Minoan ruins.

This has to be one of the most romantic settings I have ever seen
Daydreaming this is my reservation for the night I will have dinner here right after my swim below

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what's up??