Category: Top Santorini posts (page 1 of 4)

The bewitching but dangerous beauty of Santorini’s Red Beach

Red Beach Santorini

Santorini’s Red Beach is seen in an image from EscapeGreece.com 

 

Rockfall risk: Since Santorini enjoys a worldwide reputation for superlative natural scenery, it’s not surprising that the island’s remarkable Red Beach regularly garners glowing accolades from international travel publications and leading lifestyle websites — along with ample attention on social media, where thousands of people have posted selfies that they shot on and near the colourful coastal attraction.

During my routine online work and research, I frequently find articles in which travel magazines and websites declare Red Beach to be one of the world’s “best,” “most beautiful,” “most unusual” or “most colourful” beaches, and recommend it as a “must-see” for anyone visiting Santorini.  Photos of the distinctive strand, which is also known as Red Sand Beach, appear even more often on websites and social media pages dedicated to travel in Greece, and in particular for hotels and tour companies operating on Santorini.

What the articles, posts and photo captions rarely mention, however, is that Red Beach is a veritably perilous place to sunbathe, swim or stroll. In recent years, there have been several significant rockfalls and landslides from the crimson-coloured bluffs that rise behind the narrow strip of scarlet-tinged pebbles and stones, and geological experts believe it’s possible that more cliff sections could collapse onto the beach at any time. (There are anecdotal claims that two beachgoers were killed by a landslide a few years ago, but I couldn’t find any news reports confirming the fatalities or date of the accident.)

 

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by TripAdvisor member Chris B

Red Beach is seen on a sunny April afternoon in a photo by TripAdvisor review contributor Chris B

 

Red Beach Santorini

During peak season in past years, sunbeds have been available for rent, as seen in this photo from the Santorini Hotels Facebook page

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Cecil Ramirez

In April, Facebook member Cecil Ramirez captured this photo of the imposing red stone cliffs that tower above Red Beach

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daena K Nicholas

Major rockfalls have occurred at Red Beach several times in the past decade. Two of the larger landslides are clearly visible in this photo shared on Facebook by Daena K Nicholas

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Jc Male

Red Beach has been “closed” since August 2013 because of fears more landslides could occur, and since stones and boulders loosen and plunge from the cliffs on occasion. But warning signs like this one, shown in a Facebook photo by Jc Male, have not deterred thousands of people from going to the beach.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daniel Dias da Silva Facebook photo of Red Beach Santorini

Sunbathers sit near the foot of one of the larger landslides, seen in a Facebook photo by Daniel Dias da Silva. Fences were installed to keep people from climbing the cliffs and landslip rubble because that could trigger further collapses of the rock face.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Nikky Dudek

The safest way to see Red Beach is from the sea or from a distance on a hilltop vantage point like this one captured in a Facebook photo by Nikky Dudek

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading about Red Beach on page 2 of this post, where you can view videos and dozens more photos of this singular Santorini beach.

 

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Sky views of Santorini’s sensational cliffside scenery

 

Drone tour: Here’s a video to excite and inspire those of you who will be going to Santorini this summer — or possibly sometime in the future.

Created by NPro+ Aerial Production, the two-and-a-half minute film will take you on an exhilarating aerial tour of the western side of Santorini, renowned for the picturesque villages that cling to the peaks of rugged caldera cliffs towering nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) above the Aegean Sea.

Although dozens of drone videos of Santorini are available for online viewing, I particularly like NPro+’s Santorini from the Sky because it starts with a superb view of Agios Theodori, the church that has been pictured on countless Santorini postcards, posters and travel guides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instantly recognizable by its shiny blue dome and brilliant white belltower overlooking the volcano island of Nea Kameni, Agios Theodori church was the first fascinating sight we saw moments after arriving at our hotel in Firostefani village on our first visit to Santorini in 2004. The video goes on to show other remarkable scenes that amazed us throughout that holiday, including views of four clifftop villages — Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia — and beautiful Amoudi Bay below Oia. Of course, the film also shows some of the sensational sunsets for which Santorini is famous around the world.

Scenes from some of the shop-lined streets in the heart of Fira, and from a few of its many cliffside cocktail bars and cafes, also made me feel like I was right back on the island experiencing it in person all over again.

The only thing I didn’t like was the brief view of tourists riding donkeys on the path that winds down the cliff from Fira to the cruise ship tender port. Click here to read why you shouldn’t take a donkey ride if you visit Santorini.

Agios Theodori church in Firostefani

Even if you’ve never been to Santorini, you’ve probably seen Agios Theodori church — it has been pictured on scores of postcards, posters and travel guides. Located in Firostefani village, it was the first impressive sight we saw on our first visit to Santorini back in 2004. There’s a great view of the church, and the Nea Kameni volcano island (upper left), at the beginning of the Santorini from the Sky video I posted above.

The splendour of Santorini

Santorini was filmed during April 2013  by dimid, a timelapse photographer from Minsk, Belarus, and his colleague Zweizwei from Korea.

 

Bedazzling beauty: Now that it’s a brand-new year, people around the world are beginning to book their spring, summer and fall trips to Greece. Since many will be spending some time on Santorini, I’m posting some inspiring videos that may help them plan what to see — and perhaps even where to stay.

The film at the top of this post is a gripping 2.5-minute timelapse video that highlights some of the island’s superlative scenery, and shows why Santorini is not only one of the most popular destinations in Greece, but also one of its most well-known islands worldwide.

Expedia’s Santorini Vacation Travel Guide video features five minutes of magnificent island views and scenery

 

The video above was produced by Expedia several years ago to accompany its Santorini Vacation Travel Guide, but its images are timeless. Slightly more than 5 minutes long, the film features many of the island’s renowned sunset and caldera views, but also shows some of Santorini’s stunning beaches and coastal scenery.

The video below is over 15 minutes long and it, too, showcases the enticing views and mesmerizing scenery that enthrall the nearly two million people who visit the island each year. But it also spotlights many of the island’s most popular places to stay, dine and drink, and demonstrates how dozens of Santorini’s cliff-edge hotels, infinity swimming pools, bars and restaurants look as luscious as the surrounding natural landscapes and seascapes.  

And if you’re still trying to decide where to stay and dine during your trip, this video could help you narrow your options — signs for many of the resorts and restaurants can be seen in the film.

Enjoy the amazing views, and happy planning!

Santorini HD The best island in Greece was filmed by Sim-Xat HD (YouTube contributor Σιμος Χατζης)

Santorini sets its sights on year-round tourism

 Click on the arrow to view Santorini The One, the lead video in a series of clips produced earlier this year to promote Santorini tourism. The island now hopes to become a popular travel destination all year long. 

 

Four seasons of splendour: If all goes according to plans currently under development, winter won’t be “off season” on Santorini anymore. That’s because the island has set its sights on becoming a year-round travel destination, beginning in 2016. 

And it’s already off to a good start — around 100 hotels will be open on the island this winter, as will a number of restaurants and shops.

Santorini’s plans fit nicely with the Greek government’s own announced goal of extending the country’s tourism season to 12 months a year and upgrade the quality of Greece’s tourism product. (On many islands, the season presently lasts only from late April until the end of October, with most tourist-related businesses closed the other months.)

 

More than sun and sea

Although many travellers associate Santorini and other Greek islands with summer sunshine, beaches, warm weather and water sports, the mayor of Thira Municipality, Anastasios Nikolaos Zorzos, says Santorini has many more features and attractions to offer tourists regardless of time of year.

“Santorini’s tourism model is not based on ‘sun and sea’ but on ancient treasures, geology, traditional architecture and gastronomy — features that are guaranteed to attract visitors throughout the year,” Mayor Zorzos said, according to a December 1 news report on the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) website. 

The GTP report said the tourism development plan, branded as “Santorini: Year-Round Destination,” is a collaborative effort between the municipal government and island businesses. The program will promote alternative forms of tourism and will seek to establish “new products and activities” to draw visitors during what are now off-season periods.

 

Online ad campaign underway

To promote the initiative, GTP says, Santorini has kicked off a 3-week online advertising campaign on European versions of some of the world’s top travel websites, including TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Expedia and Lonely Planet. Special banner and videos ads also will appear on various sections of the National Geographic website accessible to web users in the program’s target markets — the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Scandinavia. 

Seeing Santorini’s stunning scenery, architecture and archaeological sites without the crowds and heat of summer appeals to me, and people I’ve spoken to who have been to Santorini in late fall and late winter have told me they found the island just as spectacular if not more enjoyable at those times. 

The large number of hotels remaining open this winter will be comforting news to people worried they will have trouble finding accommodations if they decide to pay Santorini a visit sometime between now and the spring. Last year, I saw online travel forum posts in which people who could only take winter holidays said they were considering last-minute trips to Santorini, but feared they would have few if any choices of hotels. They certainly won’t have such cause for concern this winter. 

 

Winter restaurant and wine bar listing

For visitors wondering where they will be able to dine if they do take a winter trip to the island, Santorini photographer Anna Sulte has posted on her website a list of more than a dozen restaurants and wine bars that will be open. The list includes establishments in Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia, Exo Gonia, Megalochori, Akrotiri beach and Ag. Georgios Perivolos.

Another good reason to go to Santorini in the winter — bargains on air transportation, which can be hugely expensive during the regular travel season. A few days ago, a friend in Athens told me she saw flights from Athens to Santorini available this month for as low as €9.99. If I had been able to travel now, I would have purchased plane tickets to Santorini in a snap!

 

Anna Sulte photo of Fira Santorini on January 20 2015

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte posted this photo of Fira on her Anna’s Photo Facebook page on January 20 2015, with the caption: “This is how green it is right now.” It drew a response from one viewer who wrote: “Looks like there is just no time of year when it isn’t breathtakingly beautiful!” Indeed!

Exhilarating sights and scenes from Santorini

Filipe Samora captured breathtaking Santorini sights in this spellbinding film posted on Vimeo. I loved watching the video and am sharing it here so you can enjoy the exhilarating images of this incomparably beautiful Greek island.

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