Posts tagged ‘Cyclades’

Oia

Oia is Santorini’s premier resort…..the sort of place where the well-healed go to relax, wine, dine and party. It’s undeniably pretty, with some great picture postcard photo opportunities, but it’s also a little too manicured for my tastes……a little, dare I say, false.

It also gets packed with the masses of tourists who disemabrk their crusie ships and head straight up to Oia in time for the sunset and then head straight back to the ship in time for the evening meal and entertainment…….just one of many reasons why the idea of a cruise really doesn’t appeal.

Personally I much preferred the charm and character of Fira, which is still very pretty but a little more rough around the edges.

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

Akrotiri Archaeology

Although not the most photogenic place in Santorini, I’ve had to include some images of our visit to the excavation site and museum of Akrotiri because it is without question one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

First discovered in 1967, the site is to Greece what Pompeii and Herculaeum are to Italy (buried and preserved by the cataclysmic volcanic eruption that collapsed the middle of the island and caused the Caldera that Santorin is famous for today). Akrotiri may not be as spectacular as the ruins at Pompeii, and it’s certainly not as well known, but it’s much older…..in fact it’s reputed to be the oldest urban settlement in Europe dating back approximately 3600 years.

What’s even more amazing is that the ruins uncovered so far are only a fraction of the whole site. The problem of course is that archaeological excavation on this scale and of this importance takes decades of painstaking work and huge amounts of money……..something at the moment the Greek governemnet is sadly short of.

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

The Red Beach

I’ve decided to share only one image of the Red Beach, because although it is one of the more famous natural landmarks on Santorini, it is also very dangerous…….and so we only viewed it briefly from the cliffs to the side of the beach from a relatively safe distance.

We were told by a couple of locals that the beach itself used to be much bigger, but over the last few years a series of landslides have eroded the cliff face and reduced the size considerably. It is for this reason that we were advised not to go down on to the beach itself, a warning that we were only too willing to accept……..unlike some other idiots that you can just about make out in the picture below.

Red Beach, Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece, Europe

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

Fira – Greek Orthodox Cathedral

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Fira is actually quite modern, it was only built-in the late 1950’s after the earthquake in 1956 destroyed the previous early 19th Century building. Having said that it is much more grand than the Roman Catholic one I posted about last time and is by far the largest and most impressive building in Fira:

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fira, Santorini, Greece, Europe

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

Fira

Fira (aka Thira) is the capital of Santorini and was the base for our two-week stay on the island. The town holds a dramatic location along the caldera edge, with its white sugar-cube shaped buildings and narrow-cobbled streets clinging to the edge and spilling down the steep cliff side towards the old port of Skala and the sea below:

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

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