Santorini, officially known as “Thera” is one of the most eminent and beautiful Cycladic Island located in the Aegean Sea about 200 km south-east from Athens, Greece. Santorini is a small island with an area of 76 square kilometers and population about 8500-10000 inhabitants. Its shore is approximately 70 km long. The length of Santorini reaches 18 km. Its width varies from 2 to 6 km. There are many things to visit and experience in Santorini. Among all the other tourist destinations Santorini Villages are more remarkable and give you an unforgettable experience for your entire life.Santorini Villages are spectacularly beautiful as well as most popular due to their unique characteristics and differentiable appearance. Whitewash houses with blue colored windows and doors, blue dome churches, amazing landscape, extravagant sunset and the cliffs of volcanoes, historical monuments, deep blue sea, beautiful beaches and pleasant climatic condition are the some of the reasons those renown Santorini as the most popular holiday and vacation destination in all over the world.
The villages of Santorini Island are considered as the most beautiful villages in Greece. There are approximately eighteen well-communicated villages developed for tourists. Among all of them Fira, Oia and Kamari are three most popular villages which are always crowded by tourists.Fira – The Capital of SantoriniFira town is the capital of Santorini Island, which clings to the edge of a cliff at a height of 260 meters and offers the most pictorial representation of the submerged volcano. Fira is centrally situated at 10 km away from port of Athinios. It is considered as one of the most beautiful and developed among all villages with approximately 2000 permanent inhabitants.The village Fira is extended due to the tourism explosion. Along with Firostefani and Imerovigli, Fira form a large village on top of the cliff, offering lots of places to stay, drink, eat and enjoy the view. The streets of Fira are filled and live with staggering jewellery shops, Boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and night-clubs. You may get calm and quite feeling at the small churches and the Archaeological Museums. Fira is a wonderful vacation destination for tourists and a port for the majority of cruise ships.Oia Village of SantoriniOia is the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini, which situated about 11 km away from Fira. As it is hanging from the top of an exciting cliff on the north side of island, it enables to offer a magnificent view of sunset, where the sun falls in the sea.Oia is a quite and traditional village outfitted with charming houses, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. Its narrow streets have plenty of tourist shops, taverns, cafés, and many more. It has been attracting visitors and artists for sitting in art galleries, taking breathtaking sceneries with delicious diners and elegant shopping. One can visit the Maritime Museum with its small library and exhibits from the marine life of this area. By coming down 300 steps from Oia to the port to Ammoudi and the beach of Armenis you can also take the boat to Thirasia.
Kamari Village of SantoriniKamari is one of the best organized beach resorts of Santorini Islands. It is located 10 km away in south eastern side of Fira. It is always packed with tourists for accommodation in huge range of hotels, restaurants, cinemas, café bars and nightclubs present here. In August and September many festivals observed here.It has a beautiful and popular beach to the east with black sandy beach and crystal clear blue water, protected on its south side by the vertical rocky volume of Mesa Vouno. It is well organized with all kind of facilities including sun umbrellas, chairs and various types of sea sports. Kamari is well communicated with Fira and other islands through public buses and rental cars. Emver Car Rentals also provides rental car service at Kamari, Santorini.
In the time that has followed since the tragic events of September 11, we have seen numerous changes happening to us all.These changes began with shock, disbelief and anguish and so overwhelmed us, that they made all work related issues seem trivial and personal relationship seem especially dear. And believe me, this hits very close to home with a wife who works in the cruise industry in the United States.Those of us in the travel business began to see numerous cancellations of long planned holidays and vacations, mostly from fear and misunderstanding of security, schedule changes even with the combined will and effort of the cruise industry attempting to keep passengers traveling and enjoying the process.Should you take a vacation? Should you travel? I think we North Americans pride ourselves on our freedom to travel and enrich our lives by interacting with cultures from all over. To cocoon and avoid travel allows those who seek to destroy our freedoms the power to bring us to our knees.I believe that America will not stop travelling, it is in our blood. The key is to increase your knowledge of travel related issues and to understand how the process has changed. What follows is a synopsis of the changes you can expect to see for the near and distant future.What can I expect at the airport? There are stricter security measures on airport employees, merchants, airline employees, and vendors that service the airports…and also on travelers. Expect the line that you are standing in to take longer than before. Plan for longer time at the airport to park, check-in, and get to departing gate. You may also experience some inconveniences and delays – please be patient.
There will be thorough searches of all airports and airplanes before passengers are allowed to enter the aircraft. You will be required to limit carry on baggage and to possess government issued photo identification, and as always, I strongly urge you to obtain a passport as the most important piece of identification. You may also notice additional uniformed law enforcement officers and canine teams patrolling airports – all to guarantee your safety.What changes will you see regarding your cruise experience? Embark and Disembark may take longer due to additional security measures. Strict enforcement of required identification and nationality/travel papers. Boarding will be denied without presenting proper documents. Your documents must be original – no copies will be allowed.Here are the Top Ten Cruise Traveler Tips1. Purchase trip/vacation interruption insurance. Check with your travel agent as to the coverage benefits and limitations.2. Review your cruise documents in advance for important guidelines and travel tips. Again check with knowledgeable cruise agents to ensure you are well prepared.3. Prior to leaving home, call the airline – or check their website for flight arrival and departure information4. Be at the airport early – 2 hours or more unless local circumstances dictate allowing a longer time. Security screenings will take additional time.5. Minimize carry-on luggage OR be prepared to have them searched and suspicious items confiscated (nail files, scissors/clippers etc.) Please make sure luggage is clearly tagged with the complete color bag-tags provided with your documents.6. Make sure necessary medical items are with you rather than in checked luggage.7. Make sure you have your passport and other identification on your person – not in checked baggage.
8. Lower the stress level of “getting to the ship on-time” by arranging a pre-cruise land package. Consider coming in a day early – especially when flying a long distance to the cruise.9. Expect delays and longer lines than usual – and be pleasantly surprised if they are not that bad.10. Be patient – once on board your cruise, you will have the fantastic time cruising is noted for.To be very practical consider that if you look at the damage on September 11, the total number of deaths on the airlines is 288 including crew and militants. I will guarantee you that since September 11 more than 288 people have lost their lives on America’s highways. It is estimated that greater than 34,000 will lose their lives traveling on the road and if you average that per day, 93 people daily will not make it to their destination via car. Flying is still the safest form of traveling.
This writer believes we have an obligation to continue the business of life, to live freely and to travel when and where we want within the constraints of common sense. To do other would suggest the terrorists have won.Rest assured the cruise lines have made major changes in itineraries to place their ships in the safest and most enjoyable voyages possible. The Middle East itineraries may be eliminated for the duration but there are fantastic values on hundreds of other itineraries.If you are concerned, sit down with a cruise expert and discuss your situation face to face to learn why cruising remains a safe, and enjoyable vacation and why now is the time to make your plans.The good news today is that more people than are enjoying the hassle free way of cruising than ever before – securely!Talk to your agent about price protection, deposits, penalties or lack of for cancellation and all the little details that will help assure a vacation like none other on earth. See you on board!Sid Kaplan
Cruise Vacations Guide