Finikia Traditional Settlement
The picturesque village sculptured into the banks of the torrent. White houses and horizontal lines, a delightful calm contrast to the passion of the caldera. Vineyards and scattered chapels decorated with humble offerings dedicated by old sailors. Right next to each chapel stands the "panigirospito" (feast house), looking forward to the Saint's Day. Most of them have very old and magnificent temples as well as stunning sunset views from their yards. Panagia Matrona stands majestic in its simplicity in the middle of the village. During the 18th and 19th century, while the village of Oia experienced the prosperity of the naval merchandise, in Finikia used to live the farmers who worked in the valley and vineyards. Except them, the captains of Oia had their canavas there for their own wine and vegetable production. In 1920 there were many canavas that were abandoned after the war and even more after the devastating earthquake of 1956. Since 1980 new residents began to return and to reconstruct their old houses with patience. Nowadays, the small settlement of Finikia is a suburban of Oia, with just 10 minutes walking distance. In Finikia you can stay away from touristic development, noise and crouds and experience the true Santorinian culture, visiting the beautiful northern beaches and the closest vineyards.
Oia Traditional Village
The village of Oia is located on the northern tip of the island of Santorini. It is considered by many people throughout the world to be one of the most charming places to visit, due to its traditional features, peaceful atmosphere, and magnificent view of the sea, the island of Thirassia, and the breathtaking Caldera.
Nestled on the cliffside, above the Aegean Sea, Oia is characterized by whitewashed cave houses that are carved in the rock and quaint stone-paved alleyways, which are ideal for nonchalant strolls and touring. Elegant neoclassic manors that belonged to the great captains of the island, offer the village an aristocratic air. Throughout the traditional village of Oia, there are small tavernas, posh restaurants, bars and cafes, all of which are built according to the Santorinian style, preserving the architectural harmony of the area. Completing the picture postcard setting, are the lovely churches scattered in the village.
Like in most places in Greece, cuisine plays an important role in learning about its culture and history. If you want to "sample" true Santorini, you should try its delicious local specialties. The most popular dishes are the famous fava (split pea paste) and tomato balls, as well as zucchini balls, chick pea balls, sun-dried cherry tomatoes, fried white aubergines, fish stew, and other seafood dishes. No visit to Santorini is complete without trying one of the wines produced on the island, which are celebrated for their aroma and the rich bouquet. There are different kinds of restaurants for all tastes and budgets someone can provide.
In Santorini visitors have the opportunity to witness some of the most unique and enchanting features, such as amazing beaches, exquisite archaeological sites, and quaint whitewashed villages. Furthermore, they can experience one of the most spellbinding views in the world.
Ancient Thira & Akrotiri
Santorini emerges from the depths of the sea and is called 'Strogili' (round in greek) because of her shape. In the 3rd millennium B.C a city with an important port develops at Akrotiri. Following a period of major development, an earthquake (late 17th c.) totally destroys the city.
The big volcanic eruption of the Later Bronze Age (ap.1600B.C.) burries everything. What remains is just three stripes of land of huge geological interest (the big part with the caldera, Aspronisi and Thirasia), which are unique and well-known all over the world.
In the late13th c. B.C. Santorini is re-inhabited by the Phoenicians and later on by the Lacedaemonians, who gave her the name 'Thera'. The Ptolemies use Thera in the Hellenistic Times as their headquarters during war, whereas in the Roman Times Thera completely 'vanishes' from the map.
In the Byzantine Times (after having been Chistianised since the 4th c. A.C.) Alexios Komninos founds the Church of Panagia Episkopi, which is still standing today imposing in Mesa Gonia.
Following the Crusades, Thera is granted to Markos Sanoudos (1204) and gets integrated in the Duchy of the Aegean Sea. The Venetians are the ones who give the name 'Santorini' derining from 'Santa Irini', the italien name for the Church of Saint Irene. Rivalries between the Latin conquerors and pirates plague Santorini.
During the Turkish Occupation (1579-1821) Santorini develops commercial activity with the ports of the Eastern Mediterranean. Then follows economic and cultural growth, which accelerates after the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca(1774), according to which the merchant vessels of santorini could sail in the Mediterranean sea under the protection of the Russian flag.
The integration of Santorini to the newly established Greek State (1830) signals a new period of commercial and shiping prosperity.
Recession time and renaissance
In the 20th century santorini comes to a decline following the World Wars. The devastating earthquake of 1956 leads her to desertification.
The development of tourism, initiating at the end of the 70's, will bring her back to the light of cosmopolitan life, where she belongs. And the name of hers 'Kallisti' (the most Beautiful')!