#Fernweh: Santorini, Greece

Santorini is a dream in white and blue. An archipelago that shapes the romantic Greek image of the Aegean Sea. A volcanic landscape, which spreads itself across in the turquoise sea of the Mediterranean. With small settlements nestling on the rocky slopes at a height of 300 meters, with black lava beaches and villages in classical Cycladic architecture. The beauty of the island has its price: dozens of cruise ships come to Santorini. But docking in the port, like in Miami or on the Bermudas, is not possible.

Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cyclades. The crescent-shaped form of Santorini was formed by several volcanic eruptions. The last outbreak was over 3600 years ago. A huge caldera (crater lake) burst free in the middle of the island and was probably the most powerful in the history of the earth. The three islands remained: Thera (main island), Thirassia and Aspronissi around the caldera. Some places on Santorini, like Fira and Oia are partly built directly into the steep slopes of the caldera. These places not only form a magnificent backdrop from the sea, but also offer a magnificent view.

After the initial volcanic eruption Santorini remained uninhabited for a long time. Approximately 900 B.C. the Dorians settled the island under the leadership of Theras. The Ancient Thera became the island capital and islands. In 146 B.C. the Romans overtook the rule. In 1204, Santorini fell to the Venetians and was renamed Santorini after the patron saint of Santa Irini. Subsequently, the island was in Turkish hands until it became part of the Greek state in 1832.

The traditional basis of the island was agriculture, industry has never settled apart from the production of tomato preserves. Since the surface of the island is not suitable for livestock breeding both in the past and in the present time, farming was geared towards cropland. Apart from small grain fields for their own needs, tomatoes and beans were cultivated. Pistachios and olives around the houses were often in large parts of the island the only trees. This tradition of agriculture is still evident today in the specialties of the island: Unlike in other parts of Greece, vegetarian food has a large share of the diet.

The buildings on the island correspond largely to the Cycladic architecture on the neighboring islands. The house forms were created in the typical agglutinating construction, in which cubic cells, which are mostly a room, are arranged as required. This creates irregular streets, squares, corners and angles, connected by stairs, terraces or courtyards. This construction has obvious advantages in the island climate, the winding alleys protect against storm and sun exposure. Moreover, the settlements were so easy to defend.

Santorini has a magical aura. The crosses and bell-towers of the capital Fira rise sharply into the steel-blue sky. Here the simplest things become something unique: jogging in the morning at the edge of the crater. A yoghurt with honey and walnuts on the terrace of the Art Café. A stroll through the twisted suburbs with their cave houses. In Oia it smells of sea, of fresh garlic, of expensive perfume. The first visitors are already waiting for the sun on the lookout platform.

The island of Santorini has been one of the most visited islands in the Cyclades for many years. This is due to the breathtaking places on the Caldera, as well as to the fascinating and diverse beaches of Santorini. Most of the tourists are coming to Santorini by ferry. In addition, there is also, in contrast to most other islands of the Cyclades, an international airport on Santorini.

The famous photographs of Santorini with the white houses and blue domes – they were all shot in Oia. And indeed, this postcard scenery is real. Whitewashed houses, which are terraced to the rock wall. Blue pools, which together with blue window and door frames provide for the color accents. Colorful flowers complement the Greek idyll.

And there are of course many beaches on Santorini. What you can not expect, of course, are white sandy beaches and Caribbean feeling, because you are on a volcano. But that makes this great island so exciting. But beware: black sand is hot – damn hot even. The Kamari Beach, the Perivolos Beach and the Red Beach are particularly beautiful.

The sunsets on the island are some of the most stunning in the world. They cost nothing but your appreciation and attention. Put your smartphone aside, take the hands of your loved one, perhaps a bottle of wine, sit on your balcony or a stone wall of the city, forget the world around you and just look at the sea that seems to devour the sun. This moment should only belong to you and the memory of this magnificent island should stay with you for a lifetime.

Santorini is a dream that everyone must have lived! Immerse yourself in Greece’s unique island, fall in love with the view, the domes dipped in azure blue, the rugged rocks and the sea at your feet. An invaluable experience!