SANTORINI ISLAND & IMEROVIGLI
Santorini is, not unjustly, one of the most famous Greek islands, and, while characteristically a part of the Cyclades, with its white houses and churches, still has its very own personality and style.
The island of Santorini has been inhabited since the prehistory and today, many are those who like to connect its ancient civilisation and the story of the volcanic eruption to the legend of Atlantis. Due to the eruption, which is historically connected to the downfall of the Minoan civilisation in Crete, the large central part of the island submerged into the sea and Santorini and its Caldera as we know them were formed. Dwellings carved into the rock, known as "yposkafa" were built in the Caldera to accommodate and protect people while taking advantage of the natural material, and towns and villages were built on top of the formation or in it. The volcano has left its trace in every part of Santorini, from the impressive tall rocks surrounding its beaches, to the black, red, and white colours of the sand and the pebbles, to the rich volcanic soil that produces vegetables, fruit, and wine of excellent quality. What was a destructive explosion eventually became a source of life and unique colour for the island, and today Santorini is famous not only for the explosion that changed it forever, but also for the amazing views one can enjoy from the Caldera, the quality of its agricultural products, and the Cycladic architecture which finds, here, its most characteristic expression.
Imerovigli, a small village adjacent to the capital of the island, Fira, on its north side, is mostly known for the beauty of its sunsets, its picturesque romantic little streets, and the tranquillity of its atmosphere. It is also famous for its view, and rightfully called "the balcony to the Aegean", since it is built amphitheatrically around the Caldera, with its white buildings separated from each other by narrow cobbled streets. As you walk down these paths, you will be all relaxed and satisfied, just as vacations should make you feel. Take a note of the lovely scents emerging from the flowers growing on the houses' windows, admire the stunning scenery, plan where you'll have dinner, search the perfect spot for a photo; and don't forget to have a look at the church of Anastasis, in the village centre, and the Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos, on the way to Fira, both excellent samples of the famous Cycladic architecture. Imerovigli also offers the best view to Skaros, what remains of the Venetian Castle built in 1207 by Marco Sanudo, the ruler of the Cyclades at the time. From the Caldera and the explosions of the volcano, to the ancient civilisations, to the fascinating stories about piracy, the history of Santorini is apparent on the island's scenery itself and there's a lot of interesting titbits to learn while exploring it.