Santorini in Greece, is a group of volcanic islands located in the Aegean sea. Fortunately, I was able to visit this place last year. I have to admit that it was the most memorable and joyous experience I ever had. Once you see this place, it is going to stick to your mind for a lifetime. No wonder, it is one of the most sought after romantic destinations and full of honeymoon couples!
This place derives its name from Saint Irene. But it is officially called as Thira as well. The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions recorded in human history, which occurred some 3,600 years ago called the Minoan eruption (sometimes the Thera eruption). This eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits in a picturesque setting, now the most popular spot for photos/selfies among tourists.
Though the island has some 12 odd villages but Oia, Fira and Pyrgos are the most famous ones for their proximity to restaurants serving global cuisines, luxurious sunsets, breathtaking views, stone walled villas, volcanic sand beaches etc. I had stayed in Pyrgos during my visit to Santorini. The place is spectacular, believe it or not, but I could have lived here forever!
While there is no denying to the amazing landscape of these islands, there are some fun facts that caught my attention. Few of them are as below –
- More donkeys than men – This is true! The number of donkeys inhabiting these islands is twice the number of men who live here. Because of the treacherous mountains and narrow roads, donkeys are the best mode of transportation.
- Hibernation period – While there are more than 1.5 million tourists thronging these islands during the summer months every year but in off-season, there is hardly anyone that you can find in these islands! Even the locals go into hibernation and move to either Athens or some other place in Greece.
- More wine than water – Wine is easily available than water and in fact cheaper as well, as it is locally produced with several wineries that you can find on these islands. 70% of what is produced is white wine as compared to other types of wines!
- Blue and White colored houses – Most of the houses found across the island are painted in blue and white, the color of the national flag of Greece! Another reason for using the white color is to keep the houses cool during summers. There is no limestone available within the islands and hence, all are caved stone houses.
- Rent-a-cat – For some reason, people are quite fond of cats here. In fact, you can rent a cat while you are visiting Santorini!
- Windy – Due to major Northern winds blowing across the islands, the crops that are grown cannot stand on their own. Hence, they are protected from winds using wooden coils around them. I found the same coils used as decorative pieces as well in restaurants!!!
- Worst Airport – In-spite of having millions of tourists pouring from all corners of the world, it has the worst airport in Europe and 5th worst in the world! Expect huge crowd lines everywhere at the airport.
- No irrigation – The humidity and moisture in the air makes up for all the water needs for the crops. Hence, there is no irrigation required!
- Eggplants and Tomatoes – Santorini is also known for their cherry tomatoes and white eggplants which are sweet in taste! I tried out their tomato fritters and it was quite a delight!
Watch out for my upcoming post covering the best spots in Santorini!!!