Santorini

 

So many Greek islands, so little time… Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, Ionian…literally hundreds of islands, thousands if you count the uninhabited ones, and why not count them? They’re there, they’re islands, they deserve to be recognized. However, in order to stay relevant, we’ll stick to the inhabited ones, and then narrow it way down to a few that possess just the right combination of scenery, personality, infrastructure and accessibility.

We’ll take one in this post – Santorini

While I’m sure most islands have some drama in their past; on that front, I venture none can compete with Santorini. The island as we know it is the caldera of a volcano which erupted in one of the largest explosions ever known on this planet around 1600 BCE. Ash and debris shot 25 miles into the stratosphere and the massive tsunami that followed brought immediate destruction, as well as prolonged environmental devastation that lead to the extinction of the powerful Minoan civilization.

Akrotiri fresco

Akrotiri fresco

The Minoans were centered in Crete but their influence was widespread and they had colonies on a number of Aegean islands. Akrotiri on Santorini was a Minoan settlement that was preserved in volcanic ash, much like Pompeii. No human remains have been found, so it would seem the inhabitants got out in time. What remains is evidence of a very wealthy, sophisticated city. A powerful city that sank into the ocean in a single day, hmmm, does that sound familiar? Could it be Atlantis? Some think so, scholars even. Visit Akrotiri and decide for yourself.

Despite an explosive history, Santorini is a very peaceful place, and thanks to its explosive history, Santorini is extraordinary to look at. Santorini is all about the views. You sit on your hotel terrace and look at the view, you eat your meals looking at the view. When walking around, you really must try to stop looking at the view and watch where you’re going because there are some pretty steep drops.

Most habitation is perched on the caldera rim, a sheer 1,000 feet over the sea. Fira is the main town, with the most happening. Oia is a little out of the way, quieter and more romantic. Imerovigli is closer to Fira but quiet and sits higher than either Fira or Oia, so claims superior views. Really, the views are good everywhere, as long as there’s nothing in the way.

Most (if not all) Greek island cruises stop in Santorini for a few hours at least. In season (April/May-October) there are frequent flights and ferries from Athens.

Foto Friday – Zoom 4

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Athens Acropolis

Athens Acropolis

Fez, Morocco

Fez, Morocco

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos Palace, Crete

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Foto Friday – Dome-a-lot

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Church of the Beatitudes, Israel

Church of the Beatitudes, Israel

Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

Church of the Seven Apostles, Capernaum, Israel

Church of the Seven Apostles, Capernaum, Israel

Church of the Beatitudes, Israel

Church of the Beatitudes, Israel

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

Abuhav Synagogue, Safed, Israel, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Abuhav Synagogue, Safed, Israel, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 23


All the clues in this post refer to one Ya’lla Tours destination: Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, or United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

We’ll show you images of popular tourist sites in our mystery country, along with descriptions of those sites. Continue reading

Foto Friday Frescos (& Mosaics)

Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece

Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece

Knossos, Crete, Greece

Knossos, Crete, Greece

Apocalypse Cave, Patmos, Greece

Apocalypse Cave, Patmos, Greece

St. John Monastery, Patmos, Greece

St. John Monastery, Patmos, Greece

Beit Alpha, Israel

Beit Alpha, Israel

Beit Shean, Israel

Beit Shean, Israel

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Madaba, Jordan

Madaba, Jordan

Qasr Amra, Jordan

Qasr Amra, Jordan

Volubilis, Morocco

Volubilis, Morocco

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 12

The answer to the last episode (episode 11) is: Turkey.
Clue 1 – the Bosphorus Strait, click to read our post
Clue 2 – Mount Nemrut, click to read our post
Clue 3 – Sufi dervishes, click to read our post

Click to see tours to Turkey.

Now for this episode –

All the clues in this post refer to one Ya’lla Tours destination: Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, or United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

We’ll show you images of popular tourist sites in our mystery country, along with descriptions of those sites. Continue reading