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We gaze again at the still waters of the Caldera from Firostefani, dive on black sand beaches, weep at the sunset of Oia, explore the inland villages and forgive everything we have at times accused of.
She will let you, along with all this world, contemplate the most beautiful sunset from the beginning of the world, and as your ironic swearing will fade into an expression of restrained admiration, she will laugh a little with you for the applause – just like you laugh at something that, even if deeply, seems to you, apart from being funny, and a little cute.
Then you will have to leave again, again from the back alleys, wondering where you hear your footsteps on the cobblestones, while two blocks away the absolute commotion prevails – you suppose, because for some mysterious reason you do not hear it.
It will take you to Firostefani – which must be the most beautiful Greek place name ever – to look down at the almost still waters of the Caldera from the steepest point of the cliff, and it will tell you not to hear anyone, here is the best view. You can also try Imerovigli, you will like it, even if it looks a bit snobby if you do not stay there.
And Fira, you will love them, especially if you are a little mainstream or under 30. And Oia – will always be Oia, the magical and beautiful, even if the works of its people distract the eye from the natural beauty, and let them compete. You will not find direct contact with the mysterious image of the Caldera.
Her awe in all its glory diffuses here. This is where you will begin to make sure that there, under these still waters, under this silent volcano, the lost Atlantis sleeps forever.
It will take you down to Ammoudi, the small port below Oia, with the crimson, majestic rocks behind it to protect it, it will treat you to an ouzo with a meze and will challenge you for a swim from 6 meters from the chapel of Ai-Nikola – you will find it following the path after the taverns.
By the time you dry, you will have reached Finikia, you will walk on its cobbled cobbled streets, among colorful, cave houses and you will gaze at its vineyards. If you have time, you will make a stop at the Sigala winery, for a glass of Athiri.
He will put you in the car to take you back to the inland villages, the hidden from the spotlight, the unknown, the authentic. In Karterados, with its painted, cobbled cobbled streets, the tower-like bell towers of the Ascension and the bakery of Kalimeris – where the rumors want him to make the best traditional barley bun -, Vothonas, dug entirely in a ravine with its famous vineyards and the visitable wineries of Boutari, Antoniou and Gavala.
He will climb with you to the Tower, where he moved to Franco’s Bar this year, attracting with him the fans of his classic melodies and his panoramic view. It will guide you to the Venetian tower city of the 15th century, with the special architecture of its stone houses, and to the monastery of Prophet Elias, from where you will gaze at the whole island – including those around it.
It will surprise you in Kastelli of Emporio, in the ruined Goula, in the picturesque, narrow alleys of the settlement with the whitewashed houses that seem to belong to another island – the characteristic dialect that you will hear the locals speak – in the windmills that stand in row, sleepless guards on the hill of Gabriel and in the tombs carved in the rock of ancient Echendra.
You will, of course, go to the seaside, to the touristly developed Kamari, the newest settlement of the island, which was built to house the victims of the earthquake of 1956, and to Mikrouli, Akrotiri, with its ancient city covered by its lava volcano in 1600 BC and was kept in excellent condition – the excavation unfortunately remains closed due to restoration work.
She will smile ironically when you tell her that the rumors want her beaches not to be worth talking about, and she will take you to dive in the Red Beach, with the shocking shade of sand and the imposing rocks behind her, and then in the lunar landscape of Vlychada, with the white pumice rocks giving you the impression of dunes that, at the first gust of wind, will scatter silently at your feet. If you are a fan of beach bars, water sports and the crowds, he will suggest you Perissa and Perivolos, if not Columbus and Pori, near Oia.
If you have an appetite for discoveries, he will go with you in a boat, to get to dive in Armeni, behind Ammoudi, and in Mouzakia, between Oia and Imerovigli. It will also reveal the secret to Mesa Pigadia, which is connected through a cave to the White Beach – which will advise you to come with a mask, because its seabed is simply shocking.
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