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  Age on Sunday   05 Feb 2017  Shades of Santorini

Shades of Santorini

THE ASIAN AGE. | AMAR RAMESH
Published : Feb 5, 2017, 5:40 am IST
Updated : Feb 5, 2017, 6:06 am IST

From skies of many hues to cruise ships and quaint villages, greece’s Santorini has a lot to offer its travellers.

Santorini
 Santorini

As the supermodel of the Greek islands, Santorini is famous around the world for all the good reasons: many-hued cliffs rising out of a sea-drowned crater caldera, capped by layers of whitewashed buildings and engulfed by the endless blue skies, dazzling panoramas, and the blissful sunsets and sunrises… Sigh! I can’t really come to terms with the beauty I have experienced in Santorini — it is simply beyond words and the splendour lies in reminiscing it.

If you are a traveller, Santorini finds its obvious superlative place in your bucketlist, yes? I am a wed    ding photographer, and I get invited to a lot of scenic places across the globe. The magic happened in 2013, when a gorgeous couple signed me up to shoot their big-fat-Greek-wedding in Santorini. This year, I got to feast my eyes on this place yet again for another shoot. It was off-season, which meant fierce rains with wind whistling at 25 km/hour speed. It was no cake-walk to casually roam around, but that didn’t steal the grandeur in any way. 

 

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Two key places to visit on the caldera are the small town of Fira on the west, and Oia, on the North of the Island. Fira (Santorini’s capital) is a busy destination with day-trippers flocking in from cruise ships, whereas Oia is that peaceful right-out-the-postcard village that you don’t want to miss. The striking white houses you get to see on all the photos online are from here. 

There are donkeys to ride and mopeds to rent too, but the best bet is to take a walk around. Every curve of the landscape poses as though it has a story to tell. The crater is speckled with the symbolic blue-domed churches. Settled above them, on the steep granite cliff-tops and directly overseeing the lagoon, is an enthralling terrace of sugar-cube settlements, lining like a ribbon along the rim. You can step into the classic restaurants across the ridge and enjoy the sunset view magnificently. 

 

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To the people of Santorini, food is a binding factor where they all come together, sit and celebrate companionship. The native drink Ouzo is the pick of the spirits and hits you smooth. 

The red-beach visit, scuba diving, poetry-reading, mountain hiking, horse-back riding, and more: there is so much to do in Santorini and the best plan to explore the place is to make no plans. Go with your guts! Fortunately, Santorini is a less complicated place for any novice traveler to explore independently. This Island for sure is full of surprises, and will unveil itself one layer at a time. 

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There were a lot of frozen memories in mind, the best being the sight of snow covering everything except, thankfully, the plane that I was supposed to board. On or off-season, the shades of Santorini are bound to take you over. Go for it!

 

Amar Ramesh is a Chennai-based wedding photographer

Tags: scuba diving, santorini, mountain hiking