North from Fira, sits the village of Oia, where flocks of tourists crowd its narrow cliff-side alleys to enjoy its famous sunset. Targeting to more upscale travellers, Oia features some of the best hotels and finest restaurants on the island.
An excursion to the nearby volcanic isles is a popular activity in Santorini. Thirasia, the largest among the isles, was cut off the main island in 236 BC due to another volcano eruption. Manolas, the isle’s main parish, is a typical laid-back Cycladic village. Old Kameni and New Kameni are still volcanically active and therefore not populated. However, visitors come to Old Kameni to enjoy its hot springs. New Kameni is the most recently created piece of land in the Mediterranean Sea, while both Old and New Kameni are included in Natura 2000 Protected Areas.
Ancient sites of Santorini
Ancient Acrotiri is a prehistoric city which dates back to 16th century BC. Archaeologists count it as a Minoan colony and have come to believe that it had been evacuated before the big volcano eruption. Most the site’s fascinating findings are now exhibited in the Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira. The museum’s collections include outstanding frescos, ceramics and an impressive golden figurine featuring a wild goat. One ticket covers the entrance to both the archeological site and the museum.
Santorini’s other ancient site, Ancient Thira, consists of a combination of Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine remains. Quite large, it includes a theatre, agora, some temples and a few ancient residences with interesting floor mosaics.
The best beaches of Santorini
Accessible by car or boat, Santorini’s Red Beach is surrounded by red and dark volcanic cliffs. Featuring red sand, it is popular with both locals and tourists; therefore it can be quite crowded in August. For a less hectic choice, try the nearby White Beach, a smaller and quieter cove paved with white pebble.
Surrounded by lunar rocky landscape, Vlichada Beach offers soft black sand and dozens of minor caves to explore. Nudism is acceptable one the side of the beach, once you pass Theros Wave Bar. Perivolos Beach, on the south-eastern side of the island, stretches for about 7 kilometers, boasting crystal clear waters and numerous beach bars and restaurants.