Traveling to Mykonos and Santorini Islands in Greece

Traveling to Mykonos and Santorini Islands in Greece

Greece, of course, has the most instantly recognizable vernacular architecture: not only the white-cube style of the Cyclades, so beloved of tourist posters, but the jaunty red pantiles of northern Greece and the neoclassical pediments of the Dodecanese.

Greek handcraft articles are a good buy in any part of Greece and include woven fabrics and small fabric bags from Arahova (near Dephi); woodcarved articles from Metsovon and Vitna (near Tripoli); island knit-wear; textiles from Mykonos; handmade silver jewelry from Ipiros; gold and silver ornaments from Rhodes; ceramics and alabaster from Crete; Sykoros pottery; handwoven shirts and dresses; sandals; sponges; honey; ouzo; brandy; brass and copper; worry beads; embroidery; flokati (long pile rugs in vivid colors).

Traveling to Mykonos and Santorini Islands in Greece

Despite their touristy ambience, Santorini and Mykonos have the two supreme white-cube towns, and nobody can deny that, of the two, Santorini’s has the more dramatic situation, clinging a thousand feet up to the precipitous lip of a sunken volcano. It makes a perfect cruise-ship stop, and the view is a must for first-time visitors; but for me, that is where the attraction ends. Santorini’s town, so pristine and peaceful from a distance, is unexpectedly tacky at close quarters.

The treadmill of backpackers and sightseers arriving briefly to register the view before squeezing onto the narrow black sand beach gives it a feeling more of a transit camp than of a lazy Greek island. Mykonos, too, suffers from an excess of visitors, but it manages to receive them with a sense of style and chic that has been lost on most other major tourist islands. On my trips to Greece, I always enjoy spending a few civilized days on Mykonos, but “Been there, done that” is my normal response to Santorini.

Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

All of us have heard about the legend of Atlantis, that lost continent. There have been songs written about it as well as a motion picture dedicated to that legendary power.

There is a story thousand of years old about a lost island in the Atlantic Ocean. The story was told by the ancient Greeks, and had been handed down from father to son for many generations before the Greek philosopher Plato wrote a famous story about it, about 375 BC. The island of Atlantis, according to Plato’s story, was really a series of island. Imagine in the center a hill, surrounded by a ring of water; the ring of water surrounded by a circle island, then another ring of water and nine of land.

Neptune, god of the sea had created the islands, for Cleito, his beloved. From their children the king and people of Atlantis were descended. The islands were very rich, and the people content. The city was built of black and red stone; the roofs of the houses were of red copper and flashed in the sun; and there were two beautiful temples, one surrounded by a golden wall and the other with silver walls, golden pinnacles, and a roof of ivory.

Excavations on Santorini by the late Greek archaeologist Spyros Marinatos, which began in 1967, have brought to light many artifacts which point to a huge volcanic destruction some 3.500 years ago. The digging has revealed a kingdom of a highly civilized people. The Egyptian papyri which Solon and Plato translated describe Atlantis as a kingdom ruled by a central government.

This same system has already been proved to exist in Minoan Crete. The description of the island formation also corresponds to that of Santorini before the volcanic eruption. And speaking of the volcanic eruption, scholar Angelos Galanopoulos says that the energy created by the eruption in 1500 BC on Santorini was 700 times more than the electrical power used by the entire world in one year! The last eruption on the island happened in 1950 and lasted two months. Today the island is quiet.

Classical Greece Tours

Classical Greece Tours

Ancient and classical Greece is considered the foundation of Western civilization. His remains are the traveler insight into the classical world, in its architecture, lifestyle and philosophy. Cruises and coach of classical Greece are available, varying in length from one to 11 days.

All Greece

All Greece Travel offers guided tours by bus to the sites most popular classic. From Athens, tours vary in length. A trip to Ancient Corinth takes half a day. Visit Mycenae, with its tomb of Agamemnon and the theater of Epidaurus, is a one-day trip. A seven-day tour covers such sites as Ancient Olympia, Delphi and the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.

Anatolia Tours

Anatolia Tours offers 11-day comprehensive land and sea tour, which includes two classical sites and Greek culture. From Athens, the first visits are in Olympia and Delphi, and from there to the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. The tour includes overnight stays at each destination.

Viator

Viator a bus tour of four days covering the main sites of Epidavros, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora. The kit includes an English speaking guide recovery of selected hotels in Athens and entrances to museums and archaeological sites. Travelers have the choice of tourist class or first class accommodations during the trip.

All About Santorini Island in Greece

All About Santorini Island in Greece

Santorini, classically Thera, and officially Thira, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera.

It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest.

The depth of the caldera, at 400m, makes it impossible for any but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a fisherman’s harbour at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The island’s principal port is Athinias. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a small presence of hornblende.

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long and 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 mi) wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri.

The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (68 mi) to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.