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Oia, Santorini-Greek magic at it's best! (Archive)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oia, Santorini Greece

It's been three times now that I've stepped foot onto the seemingly storybook island of Santorini. This amazing volcanic island sits high up in the sky and even from the vantage point of a cruise ship or ferry boat, it seems to almost touch the clouds. It's circular shape can only be appreciated from the very top. Getting to Santorini is accessible by ferry boats from various islands, but many people come from Athens. It's about 120 miles southeast of mainland Greece and very much worth the trip.

Santorini Greece

When you approach Santorini from your boat or ship, you will notice that it is simply straight up. High cliffs support  the main town and the visible town of Oia which rests just around the bend. There are 600 steps that have been built which will allow you to gradually walk all the way to the top, or you can even have a slow donkey take you up there. I never took the donkeys for various reasons. One, I feel sorry for the donkeys, two, they have fleas, three, there's lots and lots of donkey poo on the trail...and I think that's it. So, for lazy and conscientious people like me, there is a steep tram which won't set you back too much, and it's quite a bit faster...unless you're in a long line and it's hot outside. You know how that works.

Oia Greece

Out of all the islands in Greece that I've been to, I would have to say that Santorini is the most beautiful. This is an island that has been in many movies, and recently "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (Don't tell anyone I saw that). All of my pictures that you see here, and most that you will see online, are actually from the town of Oia (pronounced "Ia"). Oia, is about 11 miles of sheer terror by bus from the bus station in the main town. In other words, when you get off of the tram (or donkey ride if you're adventurous...and immune to strange smells) you will be in the main town, Fira, and you can ask anyone where the bus station is. It's only a few minutes walk from the tram.

Oia Greece

Now, here's where it gets tricky. You approach the ticket booth you ask for a ticket,  you might get mumbles, gestures or polite information. You might get a ticket..or they might collect the money on the bus (about 1.20 Euros to Oia) or whatever they feel like at the time. Don't get me wrong, I love the Greeks, but they do what they want, when they want and it's their with it. You will eventually get on the bus and it has air conditioning. Believe me, this is a good thing. Next comes the ride of death...okay, I'm exaggerating. I'm sure it's very safe to ride, I was just scared of the driver who decided to speed very quickly around very steep cliffs, which had no railings. Maybe it's just me, but it just doesn't seem natural. If I'm going to die, I want it to cost more than 1.20 Euros.

Oia Greece

Finally we make it to Oia.....alive. Worth every second!! As you can see in my photos, this place is beyond amazing. There is a trail that you can walk, which will take you around this town on a cliff. There are so many nooks and crannies, along with vistas from every turn. The white buildings seem to be electric against the occasional bloom of neon pink flowers. The odd door will be panted various shades of the rainbow, along with the odd door which seems to go to nowhere. There are a number of shops and cafes along the path, and the townspeople are amazingly friendly and helpful. I would suggest stopping and relaxing with a cup of tea or coffee. Take your time and really enjoy this town. Take lots of photos and don't worry, the bus does come around again. By the way, I have lots of photos of Oia in my "Flickr" photo album, which you can click here to see.

Oia Greece

I won't go into the whole history of Santorini, and there is certainly much, much more to do than just my suggestion here. You can also click on this link to find out more about it's history and this link to go to Travel Advisor with some reviews of different options on Santorini.

Oia Greece

Anyway, if you ever plan on going to Greece, make sure Santorini is on your list. I will post more archives about other Greek areas soon.


lechua said...

I can never get tired of looking at photos of Santorini. I think it's one of the most picturesque places... the classic blue and white. checked out ur flickr album.. on my must-visit-in-my-lifetime places.

Luther Bailey said...

Thanks Lechua! Santorini is amazing and well worth the visit.

Luther Bailey said...

Thanks Neil for the feedback. Oia is changed now! :-)

Sheri said...

Santorini is beautiful. Your photos are the next best thing to my being able to visit. Thanks.

Tina Ryan said...

Beautiful indeed, Nice photo... Makes me wanna go there..

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