Tap into this post to read about some of our sightseeing, fun facts, travel tips and many pictures of our time in Santorini. We encourage you to get out and see the world if you are able, and if not, we will bring it to you through our posts. We hope you enjoy!
The flag of Greece is one of the most recognizable flags among all nations of the world. The white cross represents the Greek Orthodox religion of the nation, while the blue and white colours symbolize the surrounding seas and white waves. The nine stripes represent the nine letters in the Greek word for freedom.
The first stop on our Mediterranean Sea cruise was the rugged and beautiful Greek island of Santorini. Having always heard of Santorini’s beauty from TV and magazines, we were very eager to arrive at the legendary volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. Marked by steep high cliffs with white cliffside villages, Santorini is a very picturesque island. Arriving at the base of Fira via tender from our cruise ship, three of us decided to take a donkey ride to the top of the village while the other three family members took the cable car. For all you tree-huggers out there calm down; donkeys have been used to transfer goods and villagers around the island for hundreds of years. It was a great experience along the zig-zag cobbled path up some 221 meters (725 feet) to the top of the cliffs in Fira.
Once in Fira town center we found a private tour for the 6 of us who took us all around Santorini, from the blue-domed postcard town of Oia, to the monastery 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) above sea level with incredible views, to red and black pebble beaches, to the Cape Akrotiri lighthouse at the tip of the island. See ‘Travel Tips’ below for our recommended tour company and guide.
A Little Geology —
Present day Santorini was formed from an enormous volcanic eruption over 3000 years ago. The island of Santorini itself is actually the rim remnants of a huge crater with the sea filling in the caldera. Sea depth in the caldera just offshore is over 400 meters (over 1300 feet) deep into the former magma chamber, thereby giving the sea colour such a deep shade of blue. The sea is so deep in the caldera that only the largest ships can set anchor there. Traveling around the island you can literally see the white layers of volcanic ash, black volcanic basalt, and layers of red lava. Santorini is known for its unique black and red volcanic pebble beaches.
Facts & Figures
— The island of Santorini is a remnant of a volcanic caldera (or crater) formed from a massive eruption around 1650 B.C.
— The name Santorini is derived from Saint Irene (Santa Irini) of Thessalonika who died there in 305 A.D.
— Santorini’s climate and volcanic ash soil produce amazing vegetables; while in Santorini you MUST try their cherry tomatoes!
— We hired a private tour company called Santorini Road Trips for the 6 of us in a very new and comfortable, air-conditioned passenger van. Our guide was a lovely gentlement called Cristos and we highly recommend him and Santorini Road Trips. Cristos took us all around the island, found us a nice restaurant in Oia, snapped family photos for us, and gave us excellent information about the history and geology of the island. He even stopped to get us a special bag of locally grown, delicious cherry tomatoes. Money well spent!
— August is a very busy time to visit Santorini; the crowds were mad! But the views were worth it!
— Currency used in Santorini is the Euro
If you are a world trekker like us and want to become more ‘worldly’, then you will want to try our books below. Thanks to the former British Empire and current Commonwealth, the English language is widely spoken across the world, however it is spoken quite differently depending on where you are traveling. We believe the books below are essential to worldly trekkers and think you will find them both fun and informative. The books include a dictionary of everyday words and phrases, traditional cuisine, some history and culture, and other handy information.
Simply click on the book covers below to find out more:
Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation – NLT)
20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.