The town of Fira has all the basic shops one may need during holidays in Santorini. Apart from a couple of small supermarkets, bookshops and the various other necessary bits and bobs, most of the main street is offering a wide range of arts and craft, jewelry and designer clothes. It is a "paradise" for people who want to have cheap, but also much more expensive souvenirs.
Visitors here enjoy a feast not just for their eyes but also for their taste. The dazzling light and the Aegean breeze combined with the island’s fertile volcanic soil nurture the local agricultural products, endowing them with top quality and unique taste.
Santorini is known for its Fava(mashed cheek peas), used in many recipes, ranging from freshly boiled plain fava to fava with pork or with tomato puree, or as a soup.
In Santorini one can find white eggplants. The magic thing about this variety of eggplants is not just that it has been colored white by the volcanic soil. It is also that the bitterness sometimes found in eggplants is completely absent and instead the flesh is sweet and juicy.
Caper, both its flowers and leaves are used in local cuisine for their spicy sharp aroma.
It was in the 18th century that the locals first cultivated cherry tomatoes, which owe their unique taste to the arid soil of the island.
Its production is very small, thus it is hard to find on the island. Hloro is a fresh goat cheese with creamy texture and very nice taste.
One very healthy and tasty way to fight cholesterol. Found in fields during spring, they are boiled like green herbs and served at the side of a fish.
During the volcanic eruption in Santorini, a large amount of pumice was formed, a light, porous type of rock. This rock is everywhere in Santorini, free at the environment, used in many occasions during our modern life.
The excavations at the site of Akrotiri have proved that wine making and trading used to be among the most important activities for prehistoric locals. Several eruptions of the volcano over the centuries caused consecutive layers of volcanic matter, including ash, lava, and pumice to cover the limestone and slate subsoil, forming what the locals call “aspa”, i.e. hard, solid ground. Over the years, grape growers have built terraces using petrified lava stones in order to prevent the soil being eroded by the strong winds, and to help retain what little rain falls. Thanks to geographical factors here, the vines are very healthy: the hot sun and strong winds dry up any dampness on the fruit and prevent diseases and other problems such as mildew and botrytis. In other words, the principles of organic cultivation are automatically applied here, as the growers are left only with the tasks of suppuration and pruning. The latter involves the use of a special technique to form a “basket” within which the grapes are protected from the sand carried in the wind. Some of the best known varieties produced in Santorini are Assirtiko, Athiri, Nykteri and Vinsanto.