Santorini: A Study in Blue

Blue is my favorite color. So, imagine my joy at stepping off the boat in Santorini and discovering a palette of blues dotting the whitewashed landscape. Some juxtaposed against an azure sky. Others discretely tucked away. I couldn’t resist capturing these gems with my camera. A blue lover’s paradise.

Santorini blue and white buildings

An island known for its scenic volcanic landscapes, the relaxing hot springs and if you are looking for more adventure there are opportunities for jet ski adventures and extreme volcano excursions. The island of Santorini has lots to offer including amazing views over the Aegean Sea and beaches of all colours made of volcanic material.

For so many it is the deeply romantic evening sunsets and of course the breathtaking whitewashed and blue coloured palette that greats the visitor when arriving for the first time that leaves a lasting impression.

blue house gate

Volcanic landscape

Santorini in the Aegean Sea is one of the most visited of the Greek islands and can be reached by ferry from Athens. It is even possible to island hop to other islands such as Mykonos, Crete or Paros for instance.

The Santorini caldera is a wonder to experience and is in fact the world’s biggest caldera with whitewashed villages a top of it. The caldera is a volcanic crater that was created after a giant volcanic explosion 3500 years ago.

The basin is 4 miles in diameter and the rugged landscape makes this a popular destination with tourists from all over the world. The island of Santorini has been an interest to archeologists for many years and even linking it to the myth of Atlantis.

A visit to this Greek hot spot will certainly give you a taste for the local traditions and foods, all of which are intricately linked to the volcano that is still active and that made this destination what is today and in fact would not be here without the colossal eruption that created the islands.

The crater is on an islet facing the Caldera called “Nea Kameni” which is reachable by boat from the harbor of Fira.

The hot springs are another great feature in the area and are a recommended part of any trip, swimming at the hot springs can also be part of a jet ski experience just to add more excitement to the trip, and of course get the chance to see so much more than you would on land, while gaining access to more of the secluded beaches.

blue window and white house

Notable Towns and villages

The town of Fira is the capital and the largest town on Santorini, you will find this the busiest part of the island with lots of night life and activities, another reason why this town is one of the most popular destinations.

Located on the western edge and opposite the volcano, and the two volcanic islands. A good base for many desired activities, whether hiking the rugged landscape or booking boat trips out to do some sight-seeing from the harbour or going out on an extreme volcano tour. A bustling and vibrant town with its photogenic whitewashed buildings. 

Oia village also known as Pano Meria is probably the most photographed of all the islands with the stunning white and blue vibrant churches and houses, mixed with the occasional ocher and pink tones.

The village is built on the caldera slope and is renowned as one of the most romantic locations, mostly due to its world class sunsets. Imerovigli village or sometimes known as “The balcony to the Aegean” is built on the caldera cliffs on the north of the island, providing stunning views across the Aegean Sea and the volcano and stunning sunsets are all a part of the attraction to this village.

Another great interest here is the proximity to Skaros rock, a prominent high point that used to be used as a look out point, one of the five fortresses of Santorini, and would have provided security for the island on looking out for pirates. 

pale blue door santorini

Location

Located 120 miles southeast of the Greek mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera.

It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands. It is the site of one of the biggest known volcanic eruptions in history. The volcano is the most active in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, even though the remains of it today is mainly a water-filled caldera.

Though the volcanic activity explains why the hot springs are such a big attraction here.

Beaches

Being a volcanic island, the beach materials are made up of the volcanic matter making the pebbles and sand so many different colours, beautiful shades of reds, blacks and white, and so many textures too, depending on which beach you are on, there are lots of different beach locations available to experience, some much quieter than others.

You will find some are immensely popular, bustling and vibrant in atmosphere. There are coves and less accessible beaches to get away from it all if you make the effort or hire a jet ski. Some beaches have areas perfect for snorkeling or diving too which adds to a wonderful holiday experience. 

balcony of blue

Local foods and vineyards

The local foods are a delight, the fresh cherry tomatoes, white egg plants, fava, caper and “hloró tyrí”, which is a special type of fresh goat cheese that’s found on the island. The local cuisine also has lots of delicious sea fish dishes too and restaurants and bars to suit all pockets and tastes.

The local wines are well worth a tasting so make sure you sample one of the varieties made from the grapes grown in the vineyards in the very fertile volcanic soil on the island, why not try a tasting of Assyrtiko, Athyri, Aidani, Mantilaria and Mavrotragano varieties. 

The island of Santorini is a location worth putting on your bucket list for so many reasons. The romantic sunsets and awe-inspiring villages that look as though they could have been on an artist’s canvas. In fact, it is a big destination for couples to get engaged on a sunset beach, or as a honeymoon location.

The adventurers among us can find their fill here too whether it’s fun in the sea diving and snorkeling or hiking, there are plenty of fun activities here too. One thing for sure is that you will fall in love with Santorini when you step of the boat for the first time and you will want to capture those moments on your camera or your phone too.

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5 Comments

  1. John Eccles says:

    Santorini is like dropping into a spot of paradise. we visited twice in the past ten years and we left a lot happier than we arrived. it is an oasis of calm. Try a boat trip out into the caldera at sunset it is a sight that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    1. Laura whitfield says:

      John, isn’t it heavenly? I long to go back and want to do a boat trip next time. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  2. kevan hubbard says:

    Looks beautiful at night on the isles of Scilly.ive been there but only in the daylight hours. So far in 2018 I’ve managed a good few nocturnal stargazing hikes;staithes to port mulgrave in the north Yorkshire moors national park, around Wooler in the Northumberland national park, up boars hill west of Oxford and tackley to kirtlington, Oxfordshire. Raining tonight so no stars!

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Hi Kevan

      It is addictive once you get started isn’t it? 🙂

    2. Laura Whitfield says:

      Kevan, you sound like quite the traveler! I hear the sunsets at Oia (Santorini) are some of the most spectacular in the world. Just one more reason to return!

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