Visiting Greece: Part 2 – Santorini

Visiting Greece also implies visiting one or more of the fabulous islands. The biggest problem is deciding which to visit. Since we went there out of tourist season, and barely having enough time for just one island, our choice went to Santorini. This turned out to be a great decision and we were not disappointed.

Santorini is one of the more popular islands, and for a very good reason – it is stunning!

Being there out of season helped because it is relatively small with narrow streets and roads, very hilly, and packed with accommodation, restaurants, and shops – too many tourists would’ve spoiled it.

Even out of season it was surprisingly busy and we were only too happy not having to drive around ourselves 🙂

One of the many tiny churches, captured late afternoon in the setting sun. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

We were astonished by the sheer number of churches around, most of them being very small and well maintained. We were told that there are about a thousand churches on the island. Even if the number is not accurate, it cannot be far out! It probably explains why one see so many photographs of the island featuring a church.

Mid-day shot.  (Olympus OMD EM-10)

And another one!   (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Something else that we did not expect is the fact that Santorini has got a strong and thriving wine industry. Their location in the middle of the Aegean and terroir (rocky and volcanic) forms the basis for some unique, interesting, and excellent wines. We managed to visit several wineries and tasted wines quite new to us, most of the cultivars ones that we’ve never even heard of before! The grape yield is by nature quite low, resulting in very good quality wine.

Santo Wines, the largest of the wineries, offers a beautiful view over the Aegean. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Another winery with a magnificent view. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Santorini do not trellis their vines. Because of the frequent and very strong wind, they have developed a unique bush-vine method of growing vines. The vines are shaped in a round, basket-like fashion close to the ground. The intention is for the leaves to form a canopy on the outside to protect the grape bunches on the inside from the sun and devastating wind. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

We also visited this interesting and well-curated winery museum – most of it underground. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Naturally when you visit a winery you need to taste the wine too! (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Santorini also offers many other tourist attractions, such as shops ranging from the usual curio shops to high-end brand name shops, and a fair number of art galleries.

A popular street for tourists. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

An art gallery hidden away. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

Then of course there are the natural sights to see – ranging from views over the Aegean, rocky beaches, colourful night-time scenes, to truly magnificent and spectacular sunsets.

Red Beach, which got its name from the red volcanic rock. (Jaunine – Fuji X-T1)

Little church at Red Beach. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

There is even an ancient city, or at least an undercover archaeological site at the area where it used to be.

Undercover archaeological site at the ancient city of Akrotiri. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

VERY old pottery at Akrotiri. (Olympus OMD EM-10)


Of all the sights to see, the spectacular sunsets and night scenes are  the most stunning by far.

Late afternoon at the picturesque town of Oia – the place to be at sunset. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

As the sun dips towards to horizon the sky starts changing colour, starting with soft pastel colours. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

As the sun gets to the horison the colours start to deepen and becomes quite saturated. (Olympus OMD EM-10)

As the sun disappears behind the horison, the smiles come out! (Olympus OMD EM-10)

An explosion of colour at Oia. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)


Alas, our time at Santorini ran out much too soon and we had to get ready for heading back to Athens.

One of the things I really wanted to accomplish was to shoot one of those postcard-like night-time shots of the lights of Santorini. Although I managed to do that, my shots were not quite as good as I was hoping for. However, Jaunine managed to get the shot that I was hoping for, and (as far as I’m concerned) it turned out to be the top shot of our visit, and here it is:

Spectacular Fira at blue hour.  The small size here does not do justice to this image, it really needs to be viewed on a large quality monitor to fully appreciate it.  (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)


If you haven’t been to Santorini, then I suggest you put it on your bucket list – it’s really worth it!

As always, feel free to add your comments below.    🙂


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