Santorini island, Cyclades Fira, Santorini island

The Aegean Islands

Santorini

Welcome to
Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece that has gained international recognition while being the most beautiful and romantic place to visit. What Santorini brings to every visitor’s mind is the myth of the lost city of Atlantis, the Volcanoes [Palea (“Old”) and Nea (“New”) Kammeni], the famous Caldera and the stunning sunset of Oia town. Santorini is also well-known for the whitewashed houses of traditional Cycladic architecture, the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri as well as Ancient Thera. It is also famous for the exceptional wines produced in the vineyards of volcanic land, its local products, its exceptional standards of hospitality -based on the fact that Santorini hosts some of the most luxurious resorts in Greece- and its restaurants that have received excellent reviews.

The volcanic beaches, the cobblestone paths, the medieval castles of the inland called “Kastelia“, the beautiful seabed, the churches and monasteries carved in the cliffside as well as all yacht cruises around Caldera add great value to Santorini’s established mythical reputation of a volcanic island that is perpetually evolving. Santorini’s beautiful image has been celebrated by some of the greatest Greek poets, namely Odysseas Elytis and Giorgos Seferis, and it has been depicted to several pieces of art by famous artists, photographers and directors throughout the world.

A trip to Santorini is a life’s dream for every traveler.

Click on each island to explore it

Pserimos

Visitors of Kalymnos and Kos can easily reach a hidden paradise every summer. Arriving at Pserimos you will find Avlakia, the only village on the island, which is supposed to be built on the site of an ancient settlement. Even today, remnants of ancient dwellings can be seen, and parts of pottery dating back to…
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Folegandros

Folegandros

Until the mid 1980s Folegandros belonged to the so-called barren line. Then it was included in the regular itineraries of Piraeus and started being discovered by West Europeans and Greek holidaymakers. The island is the ideal destination for mild/ alternative forms of tourism, a fact that is closely associated with its long tradition in self-sufficiency.…
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Tinos island

Tinos

Tinos is known all over Greece, as well as abroad, thanks to the rich pilgrimage of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. However, this island, with its extensive and rich history in the art of marble sculpture, possesses many unique features: its villages, real masterpieces of architecture, the …otherworldly landscape of Volax with the round…
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Syros island, Cyclades

Syros

Glamorous, crowded, beautiful, is very impressive from the first moment with its two states, Ermoupoli and Ano Syros, built amphitheatrically on their hills. Vaporia with the imposing mansions which gaze at the sea, Agios Nikolaos, the renonwed Apollon theatre and the Town Hall with its square, San Tzortzis of Ano Syros, Fragosyriani of Markos Vamvakaris,…
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Sikinos Harbour at night

Sikinos

Authentically Aegean, exceptionally quiet, without fanfare and away from dazzling lights, Sikinos is anti-conformist and carefree. It is addressed to people who want to experience the holidays as an actual break from the workload and the hectic pace of the city. Chora, on the edge of the winds and under the roof of Pantanassa, Alopronia…
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Schinousa

Schinoussa

This island is just a stride, where you can reach each accessible place after a few hours walk. Schinoussa addresses those who dream of peaceful vacations far away from the noise of the major tourist destinations of the Cyclades. Taste fava beans, local goat, string beans and fresh fish. Swim in Psili Ammos, Tsigouri and…
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Church of Panagia Chryssopigi in Sifnos

Sifnos

First and last image: Ochre and white. Kamares rest on the foot of Agios Symeon and it is reflected on the waters of Agia Marina. The next image will be given by the route towards Apollonia and the villages around it that are tied with dozens of stone walls, which are called “louria” (straps) by…
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Serifos island

Serifos

The first view offered to the visitor of Serifos is the infertile slopes with the “petrified figures” which bring to mind the myth of Perseus. Then, the ship turns to the port and the visitor views Livadi and Chora dominating with its cube-shaped, white-washed houses hooked on the conical rock, looking just like frozen white…
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Santorini island, Cyclades

Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece that has gained international recognition while being the most beautiful and romantic place to visit. What Santorini brings to every visitor’s mind is the myth of the lost city of Atlantis, the Volcanoes [Palea (“Old”) and Nea (“New”) Kammeni], the famous Caldera and the…
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Rineia or Rhenea . Cyclades

Rinia

Rineia seems to be connected to Mykonos and Delos with invisible chains for centuries. Besides, according to Thucydides, when Polycrates –the tyrant of Samos– was dominating with his fleet in the Aegean, he occupied Rineia and he dedicated it to Apollo of Delos chaining it to Delos… Those who own a private yacht will find…
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Polyaigos

Polyaigos

Polyaigos (Polivos) is an exotic paradise. The colours, the feeling it offers and the images that will stay in your memory forever cannot be easily described in words! One dip in the turquoise waters with the seabed of the bright white sand and you will feel as if you were reborn. This wondrous microcosm waits…
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Naoussa, Paros island

Paros

Call it cosmopolitan and you will be right. Call it famous in the Aegean, “birthplace” of water sports, gathering place for the young, favourite place of poet Seferis, and you will be right once again. Paros ignites people’s imagination since the pre-Historic times. Due to its abundant marble of high quality, it inspires artists. Due…
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Naxos island. Cyclades.

Naxos

Naxos: a small, independent world, right in the middle of Cyclades, at the heart of historical development, fertile, rich in history, abundant in ancient, Byzantine and Venetian monuments, full of customs, music and festivals organized all year long. A hospitable place welcomes you with plenty of frangrances and flavors of cheece, wine and vegetable varieties…
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Milos

Milos

A woman of dazzling beauty, like the statue of Aphrodite which made the island famous all over the world: this is how Milos looks like if you circumnavigate it. White, green, pink, red, yellow colours inedibly paint the slopes and the volcanic rocks with the amazing forms and shapes. Turquoise and green-azure waters, caves, rocky…
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Mikri Venetia, Mykonos island

Mykonos

Since the ‘60s Mykonos has been a symbol of cosmopolitan and luxurious vacations and it is one of the most world-renowned Greek travel destinations. It is also famous for being a gay friendly destination. Hundreds of celebrities, members of the international jet set, artists, intellectuals, tycoons, ship owners and politicians have all strolled through the…
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Makronisos

Makronisos

The dark historic memories cast their shadow on that almost uninhabited islet, only 2.5nm away from Lavrio. The memories are even harder for the thousands of Greeks, who had a relative that survived or died in the “disciplinary” hellholes. From 1912 to 1952, Makronisos operated first as a concentration camp, then as a quarantine for…
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Kea-Tzia

Kea-Tzia

There are destinations which attract your whole attention you right from the beginning, like a strong cocktail that burns the throat while there are those that capture you little by little, with a kind and calm manner that sooths the soul. Kea belongs to the second category. It gently calls the visitor to share its…
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Koufonisia

Koufonisia

Since the 1990s, Koufonissia have been the ultimate alternative holiday destination of Cyclades. Before that no tourists used to visit these islands, which is the main reason why their natural beauty is unaltered, with their beaches remaining unchanged, their caves unearthed and their mainland remaining virgin. Keros – the bulwark of protocycladic art – as…
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Kythnos. Kolona. Cyclades

Kythnos

Despite the fact that Kythnos is very close to Attica, it has managed to maintain the traits of an Aegean island. First of all, there are two small towns on the island, Chora and Dryopida, that look completely different from one another, yet both of them have simple and good-hearted people. Secondly, the island’s coastline…
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Kimolos_Psassa beach

Kimolos

Venetians and Francs called it ‘Arzantiera’, meaning Silvery, for the gray-white rocks that welcome you emerging from a shiny and crystal clear sea, as you reach the port of Psathi. Some wanderers believed that the name was given after the ancient silver quarries, which have not been found up to the present day. The inhabitants…
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Keros

Keros

Keros is a semi-mountainous, steep island extending over a surface of 15km2 only 1,5NM northeast of Pano Koufonisi. Its highest peak is Mount Papa (at 432m). The coastline of Keros is 27km long and it is not very fragmented. Hence, there are only a few natural harbors and coves on the southern and northeastern side…
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Ios Chora

Ios

Ios is a beautiful multifold island. An island well-known in places such as Australia, Italia, Austria, America, England, France, Sweden, Germany for the nightlife which the visitors enjoy but it is also filled with traces of its long history. With golden sandy beaches and crowded or more deserted and peaceful beaches. With its Cycladic and…
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Thirasia

Thirasia

Thirasia belongs to Santorini volcanic complex, along with Thira, Aspronisi, Nea Kameni (volcano). Your first view over the island is on the small boats that organize trips ending at Korfo, the small port of Thirasia with the excellent fish taverns. It is only a few kilometers away from the busy villages of Kaldera, Thira, though…
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Iraklia

Iraklia

The pristine natural landscapes, the very few cars, the idyllic beaches where you can spend hours swimming and the peaceful and hospitable people are only some of Irakleia’s qualities. Take a walk through the alleys of Panagia, swim under the imposing rocks of Merihas, gaze upon the landscape from the top of Mountain Papas, explore…
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Donousa

Donousa

Windswept Donoussa stands in the northeastern extremity of the Cyclades. It is a majestic place for those who seek alternative, or just tranquil holidays away from the urban/consumer morals. Go up the alleys of Stavros. Quench your thirst with the unforgettable water in Mersini. Discover the shipwreck of World War II in Kedros. See the…
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The historical acropolis of Delos and old ruin site

Dilos

Delos is known worldwide as one of the most important and impressive archaeological sites of Greece. The entire island is an archaeological site and has been included on the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO since 1990. Moreover, it has been an important natural botanical museum with a wide variety of plants for thousands of…
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The island of Gyaros

Gyaros

Ferries traveling to Cycladic tourist destinations usually pass by Gyaros. However, this arid and treeless islet east of Kea and north of Syros is of great historical significance. It was once a place of exile, imprisonment and torture for thousands of Greek communists. Over 22,000 political prisoners were sent to this islet in the second…
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Antiparos

Antiparos

Antiparos is an island waiting to be discovered outside the usual routes of those who enjoy the island hopping in the Aegean. Over the last years many Greeks and foreigners have explored it and some of them have even built their villas here. Others hang around in their yachts and sailboats along its magical coasts…
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Andros island

Andros

Seafaring lifestyle, natural and material wealth, abundant water resources, Andros Chora with unique architecture and history, museums that attract summer visitors, exquisite sandy beaches, magnificent villages hidden amid the lush vegetation, monasteries with long history, castles, dovecotes, windmills and watermills. The second biggest Cycladic island after Naxos extends over a surface of 374km2 and it…
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Anafi island

Anafi

Anafi is a well hidden secret in the southernmost edges of the Cyclades, 12 n.m. from renowned Santorini. Its geographical position and its difficult, up to now, coastal access, did not allow the island to develop touristically as other islands of the Aegean did. Thus, from the moment the legendary Argonauts discovered it up until…
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Amorgos

Amorgos

One of the most beautiful destinations in the Cyclades. In many areas it seems still untouched by the tourist development. The special energy that Amorgos gives out, its unique nature, the contemplation from high above, the old paths which bring out the pleasant herb odour, the lovely deep blue color of its waters, make visitors…
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Halki island, Dodecanese

Halki

Imagine an island, very close to cosmopolitan Rhodes, but completely different. Imagine that you can walk the entire island in 4 hours! With castles, ancient ruins, country churches and windmills. With beaches without water sports, and roads without cars. With a Chora of incomparable aesthetics. Imagine an island destined for other biorhythms, for the coolest…
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Dodecanese - Tilos island

Tilos

Several castles, a ghost-village, a late-Byzantine monastery, a capital city built below the ancient acropolis, paved paths surrounded by aromatic shrubs and beaches with colors of all hues between blue and green; these are definitely but few advantages for such a small island. Tilos inspired M. Karagatsis, it was the country of the ancient poet…
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Dodecanese - Telendos

Telendos

A sea channel like this is the best inspiration for fables through the centuries. The legend speaks about the beautiful “Potha”, daughter of the king of “Telendos”, who fell in love with the prince of Kasteli right accross. Kalymnian divers talk about an entire sunken city that remains undiscovered. Telendos resembles a rock in the…
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Port of Symi. Dodecanese

Symi

The atmosphere of this special island state charms from the very first moment: a historical preservable settlement unique in size and elegance that reminds us of the bloom it experienced in the 19th century when it had 25.000 residents. The “humanlike” mansions with their doors-mouths and windows-eyes are all located overlooking the sea, with daring…
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Dodecanese - Saria

Saria

The small island of Saria offers unparallel pictures and landscapes that spark the imagination. Would you like to visit the Doric Nisyros (one of the four cities in Karpathos) or see how Saracen pirates turned the ancient palaces into small arched houses? Would you pull down the church of Agia Sofia to discover new parts…
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Rhodes

Rhodes, the Island of the Knights, as it is called, has much to offer to its visitors and it is hardly surprising that its economy relies to a great extent on tourism, since it is a timeless destination. The Rodini park, the ancient Kamiros and the ancient Ialyssos, the Valley of the Butterflies and the…
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Patmos. Dodecanese islands.

Patmos

The sacred island of Patmos is also known as the island of the Apocalypse and Jerusalem of the Aegean. A powerful, formidable energy runs through the alleys and gets mixed up with the fragrance of the pine trees and the warm and cold currents that caress you during your tour around the island. A tour…
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Monastery of Panagia Spiliani, Nisyros

Nisyros

Provided with full information about the volcano of Nisyros, the youngest of the volcanic centers of Greece, you wander dazzled by the special aura of this small island. Panagia Spiliani and the Venetian walls, Mandraki, Emporios and Nikia, the thermal springs and the impressive buildings of the baths, the black chochlaki and the «vastadia» become…
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Dodecanese - Leipsoi

Leipsoi

On the one hand, the nature, the deep blue sea, the indented coastlines, the low altitudes – on the other hand, the humble human presence, the terraces, the olive groves, the chapels, the vineyards well-known for their wine and a whole settlement above the harbor. This is Leipsoi, a dot in the vast Southeastern Aegean,…
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Leros, Dodecanese island

Leros

In the ancient Greek language, “Leros” means mild, gentle. In fact, it seems that this description about this island is still true, as it has a gentle development of tourism, smooth rocks, fertile valleys and enclosed coves. The shape of the island reminds us of an ideogram. Moreover, on this island you can find a…
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Kos island. Dodecanese

Kos

The fact that Kos is among the first ranks of the most popular Greek vacation destinations is not a matter of chance. Its antiquities, its monuments from the early Christian times and its medieval castles alone are enough to place the island among the top spots of that list. But the Asclepeion, the Nerantzia Castle…
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Dodecanese - Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo

The island of only 9 sq. km is a sea junction between Europe and Asia, on the edge of the Aegean. One and only, wonderful settlement, which impresses with its colorful houses of excellent architecture and its churches, is built upon the arid rock. Similar admiration is caused by the Blue Cave, one of the…
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Karpathos island. Dodecanese

Karpathos

If you set out for Karpathos it means you have already made up your mind. You don’t accidentally hop on a boat and get off when you reach Pigadia, neither do you get on a plane and fool around until you land on the Afiartis runway. You have made your decision from the start and…
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Kasos island. Dodecanese.

Kasos

A key expression in Kasos is “na s’evro” (to meet you). If you know how to use it, you can open any door in Kasos. It can be a greeting welcoming you to the island, but it could also open the gates of paradise. But what else is Kasos, apart from a lonely, bushy rock…
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Dodecanese - Kalymnos

Kalymnos

If one wants to talk about Kalymnos and be honest, should first get to know its sea and love it, because, as long as there is sea, we can talk about Kalymnos and its people. We can talk about a special kind of people who are passionately attached to a dry rock in the Aegean;…
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Astypalea. Dodecanese islands

Astypalea

What is a …Cyclades island doing in the Dodecanese? Or, better yet, what is a …Dodecanese island doing in the Cyclades? Well, one way or another, this is the physiognomy of Astypalaia. An island on the “borderline”. A cultural bridge between the two large island groups. An island located between Amorgos and Kos that never…
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Agathonisi island. Dodecanese

Agathonisi

This island is a little hidden paradise. Traditional way of life and authentic island hospitality in a landscape with minimal human intervention – that is what is offered for carefree and completely anti-conformist holidays.
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Arkioi island, Dodecanese

Arki

Arkoi is the largest of a cluster of small islands and islets located on the northern side of the Dodecanese. Arkioi (ancient Arkitis) is a rocky island with little water in its soil and relatively little vegetation. The island is tiny, the houses few.
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Santorini - Fira

Fira

CHORA SIGHTS

Santorini - Architecture

Architecture

ARCHITECTURE CULTURE

Santorini - Volcanoes*

Volcanoes*

GEOLOGICAL MONUMENTS SIGHTS

Santorini - Prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri

Prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES CULTURE

Santorini - Imerovigli

Imerovigli

SETTLEMENTS SIGHTS

Santorini - By Boat

By Boat

ACTIVITIES BY BOAT

Santorini - Trekking

Trekking

ACTIVITIES TREKKING

Santorini - Perivolos

Perivolos

BEACHES

Santorini - Monolithos

Monolithos

BEACHES

Santorini - Kouloumpos

Kouloumpos

BEACHES

Santorini - Red beach

Red beach

BEACHES

More Info

Goulas of Emporio
This is a small labyrinth full of narrow cobbled lanes that can fit only one person, with stairs on each side climbing, almost vertically, up to small landings. There are also several doors in a row, small bridges below the ground that connect houses, rooms and domes – all structured in such a beautiful way thanks to the plasticity that characterises the easily processed plaster of the volcanic land. The irregular, random shapes and figures are very impressive.

Kasteli belongs to the type of fortified settlements and it was expanded from the initial core settlement around which the fortress was developed. The outer houses formed a continuous line. The settlement was built rather close to the settlement of Goulas (medieval, independent fortress that used to be the lord’s residence).

The temple you can see in Kasteli is the temple of Eyaggelismos or Panagia Messiani (16th century). Near Kasteli you will notice the settlement of Goulas with the imposing view of the whitewashed church of St. Kyriaki (15th or 16th century). There are two other chapels dedicated to the Three Hierarchs and St Artemios. This Goulas was built to protect the lords of the towers as well as the farmers who used it to store their products. It belonged to the family of Darzenta.

Panagia Gonias (Photo: Valy Vaimaki)

Panagia Episkopi
The settlement of Episkopi (Mesa) Gonia was named after the church of Panagia Episkopi, or kyra-Piskopi or Panagia Gonia. It is the most important Byzantine monument of Thera, dedicated to the Dormitory of the Virgin. It is believed that it was founded by the Emperor of the Byzantium Alexio A’ Komnino (1081-1118) and it is likely that it was the temple of a monastery. The epigraph that used to be sculptured over the southern gate of the narthex proves that it was founded by the Emperor. It was the first temple of the cross-in-square type with dome covered with byzantine tiles that was built in the island.

Panagia Sergena
Among the wonderful houses of Vothonas you may come across several churches, the most beautiful of which lies outside the settlement. That is the so-called chapel of Panagia Trypa or Panagia Sergena, which is sculptured in a high volcanic rock and celebrates on the 2nd of February. The inhabitants used to find refuge in this chapel during the years of the Ottoman rule. It is believed that it took the name of Panagia Trypa after its small imperceptible window; on the outside, it looks like a hole of 1m diameter, from which a spinal path carved into the ground reaches the inside of the chapel.

Vineyards and wine have always been central parts of the island’s financial, social and cultural life. High quality wines are produced from grapes of local varieties and they are characterised by the island’s unique ecosystem while combining a high percentage of alcohol with total acidity. The island’s vineyard is ancient with a number of ancient varieties. The findings from the excavations of the prehistoric city of Akrotiri shed light to the vineyards that have existed in the island since the 17th century B.C. The prehistoric vineyard was destroyed after the big volcanic eruption around 1600 B.C. A vineyard was recreated around 1200 B.C. in the volcanic land that was characterised by a new composition. This proves that it dates from 3200 years ago, as it has not stopped being cultivated since then, and it is noticeable that it is the only one in Europe that has not been destroyed by vine louse (phylloxera).

Ιn order to protect plants from severe weather conditions viticulturists used a certain rare pruning technique, the so-called “kouloures”. While pruning the grapevines they form a shape that resembles a low basket, so that the grapes can be protected while they are growing within the vineyard. In Santorini, 80% of the varieties that are cultivated are the ones of white asyrtiko, athiri and aidani along with some other local ones. Among the red varieties, madilaria and mayrotragano are the ones that can be distinguished. The well-known Visanto is produced by the varieties of asyrtiko and aidani which are exposed to sun after the harvest and it becomes mature within wooden barrels.

In the 1970s the “Title of Highest Quality Produced in Santorini” was given by legislation to the white, dry and sweet wines produced in Thera and Therassia by the varieties of asyrtiko, athiri and aidoni. You can find more information about the island’s wineries which are open to visitors in www.santorini.gr.

Local Products. The most typical products produced in the volcanic earth is fava, the delicious dry tomato used in the production of the well-known tomato concentrate, the white aubergine, caper berries, katsouni (a type of courgette), saffron (crocus) and Santorinian chloro cheese.

Recipes. Among the traditional tastes of Santorini, the ones that can stand out are the Jordan almonds (a type of candy offered as treats in weddings), melitinia (a type of sweet cheese pancakes that constitute a traditional Easter desert), fried tomato balls (or pseftokeftedes) ans sfouggato (Aegean omelette that is cooked with potatoes and courgettes).

TOMATO BALLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 kg flour
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 big tomatoes or preferably 1/4kg Santorinan dry tomatoes
  • 2 skinless courgettes
  • dill or mint
  • salt and pepper

PREPARATION METHOD

Mix all the ingredients and make sure they turn into a dense porridge (add some more flour if needed). Warm the oil in a pan and fry the tomato balls one by one until they become golden-brown.

You can find more recipes and further information about Santorini’s cuisine on the official website of Santorini’s Municipality www.santorini.grt, at the ‘Gastronomy’ section.

You can get to Santorini by boat, speedboat or plane.

Coast Guard: +30 22860 22239

Athens Airport (El. Venizelos): +30 210 3530000, www.aia.gr

Santorini airport: +30 22860 28400

Municipality of Thera: +30 22863 60100

Cable car links: +30 22860 22977 & 22978

Buses: +30 22860 25404 & 25462

Taxi station (in Fira square): +30 22860 22555

Police station (Fira): +30 22860 22649

Health Centre (Fira) +30 22863 60300

USEFUL LINKS

www.santorini.gr

www.Thera.gr

www.atlantida-santorini.gr

www.visitgreece.gr

http://odysseus.culture.gr

www2.egeonet.gr

http://santorini2013.gr