Santorini you are in my heart. I will be back sailing soon
Santorini, so charming, ready to explode!
The unique spirit of this volcanic beauty, magnifies the looks between the Greek islands.
Santorini is truly unique. A true story that only a myth could describe but yet so powerful and eye catching, definitely will tempt your senses for a visit you will remember for a lifetime.
How well do you know the story of Santorini? Frankly speaking, I was not aware of the truth behind the famous name until some years ago when I looked more closely to this imaginary island with my sailing boat.
There is no better way to feel this beauty, than a sailing boat. The reason is simple, the basic ingredients of what makes Santorini so special are a) Nature and b) Scenery setup. With a sailing boat you are so close to nature and scenery but yet you have the luxuries of your home inside the yacht.
Did you know that Santorini was one piece that was divided? This happened when a big part of the land was disappeared into the deep blue of the Aegean Sea due to the volcano eruption. At the time of the explosion the big piece of land was sunk while the volcano raised and took its place in between the two remaining parts. The island was called ‘Strogili’ (which means rounded) because it had a rounded shape. After the explosion she was divided into two pieces a part that is today the famous Santorini (or Thira) and the small island that is right across which is called Thirasia.
With your sailing boat you will have the most romantic experience of a lifetime. Dive in the crystal blue waters in front of the volcano and let the view of the Aegean sea surround you. Relax on your sailing yacht, on your large sunbeds and have refreshing cocktails while the sunset will be a performance for your eyes only.
Thirasia is the little island opposite Santorini (which was connected to Thira in the ancient years before the volcano eruption). Before I finally went to Thirasia, I had heard nice and positive comments for the land and scenery but for the people as well. Now I can definetelly tell you that ‘You have to visit this unique experience island no matter what’. I was very lucky that I visited this area with my sailing boat. The island is hard to reach and the only way to approach is to drop and anchor and use your dinghy (little rib) to reach the small port. When you reach the small island you will feel like you are living in another century. People of Thirasia live on a ‘different civilization’, most probably of the earlier years of the island (when they were connected). It feels like time has stopped and people live like they used to in the previous decades. Little homes, old restaurants, no cars (only 1 taxi for the locals). Trust me, if you reach Santorini, you have to visit Thirasia, spend some time walking, meet the locals, taste the delisious traditional tastes and smell the more spicy atmosphere of the Aegean.
On the other side you have the popular Santorini. We suggest you to try this unique experience with a sailing boat. You can see the Volcano from a really short distance, drop an anchor and walk on this erotic piece of land. Again you will have to use your dinghy to reach. The volcano is still considered active (it is not considered dangerous since it is being monitored for possible eruption activities).
I anchored to the old port, it is located in front of the Caldera. I approached quite early and found a spot. There is a teleferic that you can hire and suddenly you will be in the heart of events. The city is set up so high that you feel like flying on an airplane. I took some time and watched the sunset which was truly magnificent. In front of me I had the sun setting down, the Volcano that is still active, the piece of land that was once a part of where I was sitting and a piece of land that I could not see (the one that has gone underwater. Mystery, romance, adrenalin, calmness. Am I dreaming? At that time I had ordered my Greek salad and a bottle of local wine. The number product of Santorini exports is bio tomato and red wine. This was one of the best days to remember.
I looked at my watch and realized I had only 10 minutes to catch the last teleferic down hill to the old port. Don’t forget, the last trip is set for 00.00 (midnight). So back to our sailing yacht, I spent some time with the rest of the group telling stories for volcanos and other urban legends before going to sleep.
I was quite lucky for the weather conditions. My friendly advice that all of these trips should be done weather permitting. We should always respect the signs of nature (more specifically the wind). Santorini is considered quite windy as a Greek island of the Aegean and should be respected as such. In case it is quite windy you can see the southern side which is equally interesting.
As far as swimming is concerned with the sailing yacht you are truly ahead of everyone. The beaches ‘Black Sand’, ‘Red beach’, ‘White rocks’ prove how colorful Santorini truly is. Unique locations, each one with a different color and shape (due to the volcano eruption) it is recognized as a piece of art. Swim, dive, relax, drink a cocktail, all these on your sailing boat away from the crowed beaches but still very close to the magical scenery.
From my point of view there were two more interesting experiences that caught my attention. I reached Akrotiri bay on the southern side of the island. There is not a marina, just a natural bay. I dropped an anchor and along with everyone else (except George who decided to stay onboard sleeping…) we visited the old archeological place (it is more of a museum). This is an ancient city that was found buried under the rocks. It used to be the first port of Santorini of the ancient years and is considered one of the biggest spots of trading of the ancient times. The interesting story is that the city was so well designed and advanced, they even had a sewage system! Trsut me you should be visiting this. If you do not feel safe approaching by boat from Akrotiri you can reach Vlychada marina (which is an old fishing shelter actually) and get a taxi to the archeological place.
The second interesting activity, apart from the regular ones which are restaurants, clubs, drinking, relaxing and partying, is to visit a local monastery festival. Santorini is very popular for her churches to have traditional celebrations to honour the Saint that is dedicated to each church. I visited such a festival and I was surprised by the musical atmosphere, hospitality of the people of the church that offered local tomatoes, fava and of course wine. The local expression for this festival is ‘Panigiri’ and you should be visiting one soon!
I left Santorini behind with my sailing boat and I already miss it. I miss the sunset that sunk in the Aegean, the spicy Volcanic atmosphere, the white homes that are built in an imaginary view, the calmness of the Thirasia people that reminded me where we started from and how we can be happy with the basics.
Find all the routes here to see how you are going to reach santorini with a sailing boat.