An amazing island

Santorini is considered as one of the most beloved destinations on earth. The Caldera and its scenic views, the Cycladic architecture and pallet, the geological beauty and the vibrant life, night and day, give visitors memories of a lifetime.

An amazing island

Santorini is considered as one of the most beloved destinations on earth. The Caldera and its scenic views, the Cycladic architecture and pallet, the geological beauty and the vibrant life, night and day, give visitors memories of a lifetime.

History, mythology and a scenery 5000 years old

Santorini, classically Thera and officially Thira is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km 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 and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini comprises 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. 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, is surrounded by 300 m 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 possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a newly built marina 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 long and 20 to 40 km 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 3600 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 to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis. Santorini was ranked the world’s top island for many magazines and travel sites, including the Travel+Leisure Magazine,  the BBC, as well as the US News.

Sightseeing & Leisure

An island full of tradition, history and earthly beauty combined with a vibrant day & night life, will keep you engaged and fulfill you with precious memories. Either you want a relaxed day by our terraces, a glass of champaign while watching the sun setting in an amazing scenery, or an excursion at the Volcano, a dive at deep blue waters at one of Santorini’s beautiful beaches, trip to history in the archaeological sites, the limit is the sky. Following is a small list of destinations you may like not to miss. Should you need updated information regarding fine restaurants, bars and night clubs please ask at our reception upon your arrival or use our contact form.

Fira: Fira is the capital town of the island, and the undisputed centre of the tourist business. In summer it buzzes with people and activity, packed with hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and businesses serving the many visitors. The view of the Caldera and the black islands of Palaia and Nea Kameni, the remains of the volcano, is an unforgettable spectacle. You should take a stroll around Fira enjoying the sights and sounds of the narrow streets, and walk down to the little harbour of Mesa Gialos among the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, admiring the little houses carved into the cliff face or perching on the rock. There is a cable car to bring you back to the top of the cliffs.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera: The museum tells the story of prehistoric Thera through a variety of finds from excavations and collections, making up the dynamic image of an island which was a significant commercial and economic centre in the Aegean during the 18th and 17th centuries BC.
Fira, tel.: +30 22860 23217

Archaeological Museum: Next to the point where you embark on the cable car to take you to Mesa Gialos stands the Megaro Gyzi, the building housing the Santorini archaeological collection – including sculptures, inscriptions, vases and figurines. The museum is particularly proud of the huge volcanic rock, weighing 480 kilos, which according to legend was once lifted by the ancient weightlifter Eumastas, and of the Theran amphora with geometrical decoration dating from the beginning of the 7th century BC.

Oia: This is the finest of all the villages on Santorini, located on the edge of the Caldera. It is famed around the world for its sunsets, one of the island’s must-sees, and has a delightfully sophisticated atmosphere, picturesque narrow streets and stunningly beautiful houses. Descend the two hundred steps to the old harbour, Ammoudi, with its pretty fish tavernas.

Akrotiri: Fifteen kilometres south of Fira, close to the village of Akrotiri, you will find one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, discovered in 1967. Originally a Neolithic village, founded in the middle of the 5th millennium BC, its central position on trade routes allowed it to develop rapidly into an important commercial port. You can walk along the ancient roads, admire the amazing multi-storey buildings and see a prehistoric community come alive before your very eyes!

Imerovigli: This picturesque community 2km to the north of Fira was, throughout the Middle Ages, a vantage point looking out over the whole area of the Caldera – hence its name: imerisia vigla – daytime observation point. Walking along its cobbled streets, and enjoying the spectacular sunsets, are just two more unique experiences you will take home from a vacation on Santorini.

Emporeio: A famous mediaeval community, one of the largest on the island, lying in the shadow of the Venetian castle above the town. Stroll along the narrow streets and admire the architecture of the houses, which seem to be carved into the soft rock.

Pyrgos: The village is built on an elevated plateau and until 1800 was the capital of the island. It has traditional houses built around the Venetian castle and many churches. A little higher up you will find the Profitis Ilias Monastery, built in the early 18th century, where a picturesque feast day is celebrated each year on 20 July.

Volcano: As you’re just a stone’s throw from one of Europe’s active volcanos, it would be a shame not to inspect it at first hand, to feel the scorching of the earth and the dangerous crater which submerged the great island of ancient Strongyli and destroyed the Minoan civilization in 1613 BC. You can take a little boat from Mesa Gialos and visit the jet black islands of Palaia and Nea Kameni, swim in the warm waters of the sulphurous springs and walk across the scorched earth. A unique experience which will fill the visitor with awe at the force and wild beauty of nature.

 

Thirasia: Another aspect of the ‘neighbourhood’ of Thera, Thirasia is a fragment of ancient Strongyli which was separated from the island and, as it appears, from time itself. Untouched by tourism, yet still a fine example of the exotic natural landscape of the region, Thirasia has just three inhabited communities, the capital town Manola, the new harbour of Riva and the village of Potamos. The first of these has tiny, all-white houses, narrow cobbled streets, traditional stores and a superb view. The village of Potamos is tranquil, with houses carved into the rock and colourful courtyards; it is set on a water course in the centre of the island and there are deserted beaches with beautiful water on the wild nearby coastline. You can catch a little boat to the island from Ammoudi, the harbour below Oia, and from Mesa Gialos.

Wine Museum: This is the only underground museum in Greece, carved into the rock eight metres below ground level, an evocative and fascinating place to explore the history of wine. Along a maze of passages, 300m in length, you can follow the whole wine-making process: the tending of the vines, the harvesting of the fruit, the treading of the grapes and the final stages of wine production. The exhibits include tools and machinery used in wine-making from the 17th century to 1970. And at the end of the tour there is an opportunity to sample the wines in the winery.

Beaches
: The island has lots of beaches, famed for their clear water and the distinctive colour of the sand. Try the famous Perissa, popular with the tourists, or the Kokkini Parali, or Red Beach, which takes its name from the imposing deep-red rocks, or Kamari with its black sand and excellent amenities, or Aspri Paralia, the White Beach, and Monolithos, excellent if you have children with you, with its shallow waters and black sand. You should also swim at Vlychada, where the volcanic rocks seem to be carved by hand, and at Mesa Pigadia. If you’re looking for some solitude, try Koloumbos or Plaka. At Kamari you will find a wind surfing and diving school.

Our guests love our hospitality, quality of services and the amazing view, and are rating us as Exceptional in Booking.com, with 9.9 points, placing us on the first position at “The 25 best holiday rentals in Imerovigli, Santorini”. At Tripadvisor.com, Avista Suites are rated as Excellent, with 5 stars and a Certificate of Excellence, 2016

Our guests love our hospitality, quality of services and the amazing view, and are rating us as Exceptional in Booking.com, with 9.9 points, placing us on the first position at “The 25 best holiday rentals in Imerovigli, Santorini”. At Tripadvisor.com, Avista Suites are rated as Excellent, with 5 stars, and a Certificate of Excellence, 2016

AVISTA SUITES, IMEROVIGLI, SANTORINI – T +30 22860 36159 – F +30 22860 36169 – info@avistasuites.com

AVISTA SUITES
IMEROVIGLI, SANTORINI
T +30 22860 36159
F +30 22860 36169
info@avistasuites.com