Santorini; calm within chaos

Santorini, Greece sits 980 feet above the water, on the edge of a sheer cliff. It is essentially sitting on the rim of a colossal volcano, an ancient one, overlooking the central lagoon that is the caldera leftover from a massive explosion that took place around 3600 years ago. This tablecloth from the Stani Tavern pretty much gives you the idea.
To view Santorini from the sea is impressive. All along the tops of the remaining volcanic islands the white buildings are densely packed together giving the illusion from a distance of a dusting of snow along the tops of the cliffs.

Many visitors to Santorini arrive by cruise ship, as we did, and visit the main town of Thira. After a tender ride from ship to shore (cruise ships can’t dock in Santorini) you can make your way up the 980 foot cliff face to Thira either by cable car, donkey, or on foot. I personally recommend the cable car; for only three euro you are whisked quickly to the top and the view as you ascend is brilliant. Also the cable car doesn’t reek, defecate enroute, or try and clobber your legs against the road walls as it climbs, unlike some of the more disorderly donkeys. Going up on foot is also not recommended, again mainly because of the donkeys… or more accurately what they leave behind.

Santorini is a truly popular sightseer destination in Greece, well known for its startling views, and wicked night life. We were day trippers so we couldn’t enjoy the celebrated night spots, but I have it on good authority that if you enjoy nightclubs and bars, Santorini will not disappoint you.

The narrow streets of Santorini, typical of many old Greek towns, are snugly filled with shops, restaurants and clubs… and tourists. It is hectic and chaotic, yet it is easy to find some peace and order amid the chaos if you look for it. Almost everything in Santorini is along the Cliffside because every restaurant, club, bar, and hotel wanted the best views and so everyone clamored for their place along the cliff edge. As a result, it is not hard to find a nice patio bar or restaurant sitting on, or even extending beyond, the edge of the cliff allowing you an amazing panoramic view of the lagoon below. There is something particularly serene about sitting in the sun, with a beer in your hand, and looking down on the world. Even though you are surrounded by the buzz of the busy Greek town, all the chaos can not penetrate your “cone of silence” as you survey your kingdom.

Of course, caveat emptor; be aware that the better the view, the higher the prices will be. We were sitting in a lovely location with excellent view as you can see from these pictures, and a simple Greek salad was ten euro. That’s about twice the price of a restaurant further in from the edge.

All in all however, I would say Santorini is deserving of its reputation. Even for a day tripper or cruise ship traveler it is an amazing place to witness, and it has something to offer everyone. But if your leery of heights, you may want to stay to the inside streets and away from the cliff edge cafes and bars.

1 Response
  1. Amber Says:

    The girl in the photo is hot!

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