The myth of lost civilization
The myth of lost civilization
Admired from the inside of the Caldera, the views of Santorini will be a memorable experience. Even if you arrive on the island by ferry or cruise ship in the afternoon, this awe-inspiring land will leave you speechless. The sunset light adds more colour to the scene and you will have the feeling that you are sailing across the center of the crater. You may do this tour by private boat, or choose one of the organized sea excursions.
Starting from Ammoudi, the small port below Oia, you leave behind you the church of Aghios Nikolaos Peramataris, and pass by Armeni. It is worth making a stop in the small beach of Epta Paides (Seven Holy Youths). You can tie up your boat at the small cement wharf and visit the one-room church. Have a look at the greenery on the rocks: these are caper plants.
From here to Imerovigli, there are many bays and beaches where you can enjoy a quiet swim (Mouzakia bay area). However, it is a bit difficult to put down anchor in these spots. Sailing in front of Skaros you will notice the small church of Panagia Theoskepasti. In the area from Gialos (the old port of Fira) until you reach Athinios (the new port), you will notice the loading docks and facilities of three old Santorini mines. All these mines exported Theraic earth and pumice to big cement factories. To isolate the required material, Theraic earth and pumice were processed through fine or coarse sieves and then conveyor belts and funnels were used to load the ships.
Heading south you will come across a small white church with a triple belfry: it is Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Plaka. Here you can also find contemporary hot spring facilities during the summer.
Almost below Megalohori, near Plaka, you will come across a small rock-hewn church devoted to Christ, in an area called Thermi, where there used to be thermal springs – hence the name “Christos ta Thermi”.
If you approach by sea, the white arched façade of the church looks very impressive, as if painted on the rock, surrounded by rock-hewn, deserted houses. A stone-paved path from Megalohori leads here in less than half an hour.
You are heading towards Akrotiri and the lighthouse, but before you reach it you will pass by Balos (or Palos) bay. Two white-washed churches stand out in the landscape: Aghios Nikolaos of Balos, at sea level, and the rock-hewn Panagia of Balos, built high up on the cliffs.
Sailing around Palia Kameni, you will come across three coves where you can take a swim. The waters are warm and therapeutic. In the channel between Palia and Nea Kameni, the sea is emerald green, while near the rocks it takes a unique shade of yellow, orange and brown. In Aghios Nikolaos, Palia Kameni, you can enjoy the thermal sulphur baths.
Therassia shares the same vistas, morphology and architectural lines with Thera. Several hundreds of people have settled on the opposite side of the Caldera, striving to lead a simple, modest life.
The most impressive spot is in the south part of the island. It is Trypiti Promontory, where you will distinguish the successive layers of the volcanic materials. Geologists consider this the most beautiful volcanic “vein”. Due to the erosion of the surrounding materials, this “vein” sticks out looking like a wall.