Santorini, one of the Cycladic islands, is a historically active volcano and part of the South Aegean (or Hellenic) volcanic arc in the Aegean Sea, located about 120 km north of Crete. Is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that occurred a long time ago and destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, creating the current geological caldera.
My trip to Santorini from last September meant also the second visit I’ve made to a Greek island. It was one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been, but also one of the most overcrowded destinations, even though you’ll see the opposite in the images below.
The dramatic views and the stunning sunsets from Oia, has made this island one of the most popular places in Greece. It was included along with other destinations from Europe, on a list of places to avoid because of the mass tourism from the recent years. Everything looked so picture-perfect. It is no wonder why so many people are attracted by places like this or Venice, Cinque Terre (Italy) etc.
Walking on the cobbled streets of the so popular towns like Thira, Imerovigli or Oia, I’ve got to enjoy some truly breathtaking views over the caldera. A caldera is a volcanic feature formed by the collapse of a volcano into it, making it a large, special form of a volcanic crater.
Beside the tourist attraction towns that clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon, this island has a lot more to offer. During my time there I’ve also got to see some of its beaches but also a few of the peaceful traditional villages.
There was also something that bothered me a lot and it has to do with the many donkeys and how they are used as “taxis” for the so many tourists coming to the island. I’m sure there’s a lot of discussions over the internet regarding this topic. One morning, while I was walking down the steps to the port of Thira, during an hour or so I’ve seen the same donkey going down and climbing back over 500 steps. The poor animal was literally sweating. Imagine they are often required to carry tourists, some of them who are obese, doing all that exhausting work in the summer heat.
Despite all of that, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Santorini and I can’t take out of my head all the stunning views the island offers combined with its marshmallow-colored buildings. I can only hope to see some of the other wonderful Greek islands in the future.
The images below were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 using Kodak Portra 400 film.
Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California.