Published by Johnny Ward on July 26, 2012
There are too many places that claim to be the most beautiful place in the world, and I’ve been to a lot of them, but few really, truly compete for the title. Santorini however is certainly in the running.
I’m actually humbled by my writing struggle to truly depict the beauty of Santorini, so I’m hoping the pictures will get me out of jail free. The phenomenal views of the caldera cliffs plunging into the azure blue waters with glowing-white cliff-top towns perched on the lava-layered cliffs are something quite special.
The whole island used to be a volcano, and you can see it’s shaped like a donut even today. The landscape is so unique thanks to the layers of lava changing over the years, giving birth to huge volcanic rocks dotted around and beautiful black-sand beaches.
Santorini is a ferry ride from Athens (8 hour slow boat, $47) and the morning departure (around 7am) will have you’ll pull into port in the early evening. The island effectively has two centres that you’ll want to stay in, Fira or Oia.
Oia is the postcard setting, it’s the place from all the magazines and google images so I choose to stay there, in an amazing hotel situated right in the middle of that postcard picture scene! Oia is the smaller of the two towns, but it’s also the prettier and home to the best sunset spot on the island (get ready to compete for best picture taking spots there though).
Fira is the capital of the island, and certainly a more happening scene. More bars, restaurants, more people too. If it wasn’t for Oia, Fira could well be the most picturesque town in the world, but here it plays second fiddle. Wandering around the town is a daily activity, there’s a hustle and bustle about Fira which Oia lacks, but at no point do the vendors try to hard-sell you. Awesome.
My 4 days here went by too fast too mention, partly because of my amazing accommodation, partly because of the sheer beauty of the place and partly because of all the local wine I was drinking. I rarely go back to places as I travel around the world, but Santorini I might well see you again soon. Happy travels!