The result of a volcanic eruption that caused the centre of the one-round island to fall into the sea, Santorini is mystically beautiful and scientifically fascinating.
But it was Ia, and in particular the secret little spot in the picture, that truly took my breath away. I’m not going to tell you how to find it, except to say that it is down one of the little alleyways off the main tourist trail. The reward is discovering it yourself and then keeping it to yourself.
I sat there for hours, unable to read my book as I couldn’t take my eyes off the view. Perhaps nowhere has mankind worked hand-in-hand with Mother Nature to ‘get it right’! The view evolves throughout the day; in the morning it’s bathed in gold by the eastern sunshine; at lunchtime the blue of the domes becomes as intense as the surrounding sea and one can look right across the dramatic caldera to the far tip of Santorini, with the perched villages on the clifftops resembling snow; then as the Sun sets and the sky turns to purple and gold, the little fairy lights begin to come on throughout the village with the glow stretching away into the distance. The second and third photographs show the views in each direction from where I am sitting in the first (though it must be said that no photographer or artist can ever do the view justice). One is cocooned in beauty and happiness from every angle.
The majesty of Santorini is perhaps made all the more intense as it is tragically doomed. A highly active supervolcano, Colombo, lies just off the coast and is predicted to erupt within the next 300 years, wiping Santorini’s beauty from our planet forever.
As an eternal seeker of beauty, I’d love to hear about places that have taken your breath away…