A Magic Island called Santorini

During our summer holidays we have chosen to visit the Greek islands and Kamari, a little place in the east side of Santorini ended up as being the best choice. The reason we have chosen Kamari was because when comparing to price/quality with all the other places in Santorini this was the one who they thought the best.

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After two airplane scales and a whole days stuck in traffic we finally made it to Santorini where we had a driver waiting for us to take us to the hotel. In that moment we were introduced to the driving style in Santorini which is let’s say quite more relaxed than what we are used to in Portugal. In this moment we knew right way these were going to be very fun holidays!

TRAVEL TO SANTORINI – GREECE

  1. AIRPLANE to Athens Airport (airlines such as Aegean Airline or British Airways flight there)
  2. METROFROM £0.80/1€/$1.1 –  E. Venizelos Athens TO Piraeus Port (duration: 1h30)
  3. BOATFROM £14.10/18€/$20 – Piraeus Port TO Thira (Santorini) (duration: 7h30)

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Once we arrived at the Makarios hotel the owner told us a place where we could go eat something. The next day would be exploring day. Kamari is the number one choice for tourism in Santorini. It has a lot of black sand beaches and the water temperature is around 25ºC. It has a big amount of restaurants by the sea, some locals’ houses and many hotels and hostels. This area lives out of tourism during the summer and the prices in general are slighter higher than what we are used to in Portugal. The people is very welcoming and nice always ready to help.

MAKARIOS HOTEL

Prices from: £70/88€/$99 per night per room with all inclusive rate plans: breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks, drinks from 10.00-22.00

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On our second day we decided to explore the strongest touristic points of Santorini: the capital Fira and its mystic sunset and the Oia (pronounced Ía) maze of white houses. It is easy to travel in the island and we have chosen to do it by bus that quickly took us to Fira which was very crowded of people.

TRAVEL IN SANTORINI

  1. RENT A CARFROM £26/33€/$37 per day (prices may vary as there are many local car rental companies such as Coolcars, easy rentals, Santorini Holiday Cars and visitors can also rent from international companies such as Budget Rent a Car or  Hertz)
  2. TAXIFROM £32/40€/$45  (one way taxi to any village from the port or airport)
  3. BUSFROM £1.30/1.60€/$1.80 (Note: in the winter buses stop running at midnight every night of the week and start running again at 5am.  In the summer months buses run until 4am from Fira to the main resorts.)

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We started by exploring the inside of the capital. We found a stunning landscape to a caldera within an endless and strong blue sea.

Just a bit underneath it we saw a “Donkey Station”, yes that is right, a station with donkeys to take tourists down and up the hills. To be honest they did not have a very happy face but it definitely gives more to the scenery of the island. They won’t move out of the way unless we hit them which made us being literally stuck between a donkey and a wall.

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RIDING DONKEYS IN FIRA

You can ride a donkey up (or down) the caldera from the main port.

PICK UP POINTS: Fira and the old port

Price: £3.50/4.50€/$5 one way per person

Duration: 25-35 minutes

Note: There are many controversy as many tourists have been poorly treated by the donkey owners along with some issues on whether the donkeys and well taken care of or not. Other ways to go up and down from Fira to the old port is by cable (£3.50/4.50€/$5 one way) or foot!

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We kept on exploring the capital and along with astonishing landscapes we also found beautiful churches and old buildings. It is a good place to quickly fill up your camera memory card. We had lunch at a local hospital where we had to pay for service charge which we never do in Portugal! So we thought they were a bit too business oriented per say.

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After lunch we caught the bus and after 20 minutes of travelling we got to Oia. We started exploring the area which is just like as seen on photos: mazes with a million corners of white and blue houses over a hill that ends in a deep blue ocean. Oia seems like taken from a movie. There is really something magic in the air of that place and the art crafts stores are in each corner. We even almost made part of a wedding photo shooting!

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After 3 hours of exploring we went to eat at a local burger place and we went to book the place where we were going to watch the sunset. The sunset is a very busy moment in Oia and 3 hours before the sun sets there are already many people saving the best spot to watch the moment. Coming from a place with a beautiful sunset (Ericeira, Portugal) we didn’t find this sunset prettier than what we are used to yet the amount of people gathered to contemplate it made us think who we should value more what we have at home.

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We spent the next days in Kamari resting and enjoying the beach, the pool and the local restaurants.

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Santorini, Greece – take a note

Santorini is a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea. It is officially called Thira and is the largest island of the archipelago with the same name – Thira. It belongs to the Cyclades group of islands. The municipality of Santorini includes Santorini and Therasia and four uninhabited islands – Aspronisi, Christiana, Nea Kameni and Palaia Kameni. 

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Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc and it is also where one of the largest volcanic eruptions happened about 3600 years ago. The Minoan eruption which occurred during the Minoan civilization and many say be the source for the legend of Atlantis.

Now a days Santorini is very famous for tourism and this is in fact its main source of wealth followed by agriculture. The island holds a small but quite successful wine industry.

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Tomorrow André and Marina travel experience in Santorini will be shared with all the best suggestions on where to go, what to see and eat among many other things!

“Santorini is a “little” paradise that everyone should visit. It has good beaches, good food, good architecture but above all of this Santorini is truly a magic island.”

Marina & André

 

Country: Greece

Capital: Athens (Greece capital)

Largest City: Athens, 3,090,508 habitants

Official language: Greek

Currency: Euro(£1 =1.41 euro)

Population:  15,550 habitants

Total area: 90.623 km2

President: Prokopis Pavlopoulos (2015)