Sensational Santorini

Want to venture to a picturesque paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea?  Then book a flight or set sail to the enchanting island of Santorini.  Whether you choose to ride the cable car, hop in the saddle of a donkey, or walk the 600 steps to the top of the caldera, you’ll be greeted with a panoramic view that will leave you speechless.  Once a single volcanic peak, an enormous eruption hundreds of years ago left behind a caldera 400 meters deep that is filled with water from the Aegean Sea.   Although it was a catastrophic occurrence that destroyed earlier civilizations, today visitors enjoy the towering cliffs and breathtaking views from vistas as high as 980 feet above the brilliant blue waters below. 

Santorini has everything you’re looking for in the Greek isles, from beautiful beaches to authentic Greek cuisine with a backdrop of picture perfect landscapes everywhere you look!
While there are several ways to get around the island, I recommend renting a car online before your arrival.  When you reach the town of Fira, you will be greeted with a sign bearing your name.  The rental car agent will meet you there and escort you to the parking lot where your transportation awaits!  After a brief orientation meeting with the map, you’ll be on your way for a day that allows you to do exactly what you want!  So take a drive around the island, see some of the sights, and the stop for a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants.
History and archeological buffs will want to make plans to visit Akrotiri, an excavation site of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement.  Preserved by a modern covering, this site provides a rare look into the past as you explore this civilization that was buried by the catastrophic eruption that desolated the island during the second millennium B.C.  If you want to dig even deeper into the history of Santorini and other regions of the world, you’ll want to visit the island’s museums including the Archeological Museum, Museum of Prehistoric Thira, George E. Argyros Museum, Megaro Cultural Center, Naval Maritime Museum, Lignos Folklore Museum, Icons and Relics Collection, Museum of Minerals and Fossils, and the Wine Museum.  Please note that the majority of museums on the island are closed on Mondays, so you will need to plan your itinerary accordingly.
When you’re done exploring the history of the island, you can continue making some history of your own by driving toward Mount Prophet Elijah, the island’s highest peak standing at 567 meters.  Nearby, enter the charming village known as Perissa.  You’ll definitely want to spend a good bit of time here.  Whether you want to stop into one of the many bars or restaurants for some refreshments or get a relaxing massage on the beach, this is truly an island oasis.  Of course, you may choose to follow in my footsteps, leaving the landlubbers behind and plunging into the dark blue sea, enjoying a refreshing swim as you watch the boats sail smoothly over the horizon.  Back on the beach, take a moment to sink your toes into the warm volcanic sand, a unique experience that you can brag about to your friends and family back home.
Whatever you choose to do on this gorgeous Greek isle, be sure to savor each and every single moment.  Stop to take a photograph, talk to the locals, or shop for locally handmade goods.  One of my favorite experiences on Santorini was when my dad and I stopped spontaneously at a local bakery in a remote area away from the town of Fira, away from the tourists.  It was frequented by locals taking bread and other goods home to feed their families.  Deciding what to order was a feat in itself as we stood there mesmerized by the trays upon trays of freshly baked bread, pastries, cookies, and other culinary confections.  After much indecision, we chose to sample the classic Greek baklava and an apple spice cake, both of which were delicious and perfect in every way.  Having purchased a large bottle of milk, the owner graciously offered us two cups so that we could share.  This was the perfect way to cap off our stay in Santorini.  Sitting in the open air patio, looking out at the Mediterranean Sea, I was fascinated by the beauty of the landscape, the delicately refined taste of the sweet treats, and the notion that I was enjoying life as a citizen of Santorini, at least for the better part of a day.
All too soon it was time to return the rental car and make our way to the port to catch the tender back to our cruise ship.  As we prepared to board the cable car, I stood there for a moment looking out at the town of Fira.  Briefly, I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to stand on top of this glorious remnant of a volcano again.  Just as suddenly as the thought came, it fluttered away.  For a trip to Santorini is not an once-in-a-lifetime experience.  There’s something special about this island, a sort of tugging that I know one day will bring me back to the enchanted beauty of Santorini.
What are some of your favorite things to see or do on the island of Santorini? Please comment below and share your recommendations! May you always have joyful journeys!

Jennifer Campbell

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