This description provides information of ancient sites, seaside resorts, churches, monasteries, landscapes and small towns and villages. Additional details can be found in various books printed on Greece, such as the 'Blue Guide to Greece.' The names of places conform to the accented Greek pronounciation which would be the one a traveller would face upon a potential visit.
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Théra, otherwise known as Santoríni, is the most Southern of the Kykládes islands. It has a surface area of 75 square kilometers and a population of about 10000. One side of the island is the remnant of a volcanic caldera and the otherside is full of fertile valleys producing wine (the famous Santorini Wine) and tomato crop. There are no lakes, rivers or many wells; water is being imported or converted from seawater through the use of de-salination plants.
The highest mountain is Prophet Elia at 584 meters. The main town, Hóra or Théra has a population of about 2000-3000 people. In recent years Théra has a brand new airport handling jet aircraft arriving and departing most mainland European airports with direct service.
Santoríni's volcano, or rather remnants of it, is the outstanding and unique tourist attraction which draws thousands to the island. Ships arrive at the deep harbour created as a result of the volcano eruption and then have to scale hundreds of steps via donkey or foot to get to the main town, which is built overhead. For those with lazy disposition, there is a cable car available.
Théra today bears very little resemblance to the original island; for one thing the lava subsided over the centuries and subsequent erruptions changed and formed the island as is today. In fact it is not one island but four: these are called Therasía, Théra, Theraís and Aspronísi.
Around 1500 B.C, the Stroggilí volcano, as the original island was called, errupted with catastrophic but incredible results. The Stroggili island disappeared and today's remaining island, Théra, is composed of the earth and lava that were pushed up, from inside the earth.
Together with the demise of the original island was also the demise of the mythical (?) city of Atlantis. Atlantis was to have been created and built on top of the original mountain of Strogili, at least that's what the experts say. Such was the force of destruction or creation depending on how one looks at it, that Atlantis, if indeed was here, quickly disappeared and so did all those in it.
There are many asphalt roads linking the various villages on the island, an efficient aircraft and ship service and connections throughout the Kykládes and Dodecanése.
Théra is adorned with wonderful sea caves, beautiful little bays, mesmerising sea and charismatic locals.
Arrriving from the sea, the steep ascent from the port to Théra is composed of at least 580 steps, that are rather wide making the ascent slow, but easy. Donkeys are still available to take visitors up the hill as is a cable car. As soon as we arrive we are greeted with a very nice town with beautiful white washed houses and many churches. In the town of Théra is also the Museum, which contains artifacts from the past and present. The Eastern side slowly descents to the sea and there is a really majestic view from the town towards the sea.
Arriving at the airport, the bus takes us into town where, after a few minutes walk, we are greeted with the beautiful view of the caldera, seen from the top. Whichever way one arrives at Théra, the view is not easily forgotten.
A small village, about 2 kilometers outside Théra full of vines and fig trees.
A village built right on the rim of the volcano, north of Théra with absolutely marvelous views to the West and East.
A nunnery operates here with most of the nuns having left long ago. The ones that remain are involved in handmade textiles using hand looms. Sometimes the Nunnery is open; ring the door and ask. Be sure to be appropriately dressed.
To the left of this illage is the promontory which would have been the rim of the caldera. Here are found ruins of the Frankish castle built in the 12th century and a small church dedicated to Theosképastis (the coverer of God).
A village built right on the edge of the island, near the northern most point. Eastwards a road leads into the Ancient Tombs, ruins of which can be seen around. To the north is the village of Iá (also known as Epáno Meriá), which suffered greatly in the subsequent termors the island has experienced over the years.
A very nice village, which leads into the seaside resort of Monólithos. Here are exceedingly beautiful beaches and plenty of restaurants and hotels. Moving South we get to the Byzantian church of the Assumption of th Virgin (Kímisi tis Theotókou) which is adorned with wonderful wall frescos.
A lovely seaside resort, now the site of many hotels and tavernas as well as the usual array of discos. A road leads to Ancient Théra, full of ruins of tombs and other artifacts.
This is the southern most town of the island and a beginning site for many hikes. To the north we can aim for Prophet Elía and its monastery which celebrates every July 20th. The hike should NOT be undertaken in the middle of the summer unless it's early in the day or late in the evening. Another walk of about 30 minutes, takes us to the ruins of the ancient town Elefsína built on a promontory called Eksomítis. Another final walk takes us to the ruins of the Byzantian castle and the temple of Artemidórou where in ancient times, the Gymnopediés athletic games took place (which literaly translated means 'naked children').
The island in the middle of the bay of Santorini, bears excursion with a small caique from Théra, because here we can walk on top of the the actual craters which, safely, have cooled over the years.
As early as 1926, the craters were smoldering and smoking therefore be aware. For a visitor this would be the first time one would be walking on a real volcano!
Atlantis, 0286/ 22232
Santorini Palace, 0286/ 22771
Villa Theoxenia, 0286/ 23386
Porto Fira, 0286/ 22849
Antonia, 0286/ 22879
Daedalus, 0286/ 22834
Hellas, 0286/ 22782
Kallisti Théra, 0286/ 22317
Kavalari, 0286/ 22455
King Thiras, 0286/ 22155
Nissos Théra, 0286/ 23252
Panorama, 0286/ 22481
Pelican Hotel, 0286/ 23113
Porto Karra, 0286/ 22979
Theoxenia, 0286/ 22740
Villa Renos, 0286 22369
Adamastos, 0286/ 81188
Akrotiri, 0286/ 81375
Goulielmos, 0286/ 81615
Ennea Mouses, 0286/ 81781
Nano, 0286/ 31001
Makarios, 0286/ 31375
Tsitouras, 0286/ 23747
Galini, 0286/ 22095
Ira, 0286/ 23488
Golden Sunset, 0286/ 71001
Atlantis, 0286/ 71214
Laouda, 0286/ 71204
Katiokies, 0286/ 71401