Greek Islands, Part Two ~ Santorini

It has been a long time dream of mine to visit the island of Santorini. I was not is even more beautiful in person than it is in the photos. 
Santorini was created by the eruption of a volcano and the island is made up  primarily of volcanic rock rising out of the Aegean sea. The villages of Santorini are at the peaks of the island (or built into the cliffs) overlooking the caldera, a crater formed by the volcanic eruption.
As part of our shore excursion, we visited the archeological site at Akotiri - it was fascinating to see the level of sophistication of the Minoans of the Bronze Age who built the settlement here before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1500 BC. They had plumbing systems and many of the homes were three stories tall. I took a lot of pictures, but when I got home and looked at them, they pretty much all looked the same - pictures of ruins covered in volcanic ash. Cool to visit, but not so much to photograph.
The village of Oia (pronounced ee-a) is the place I was really dying to visit. As we approached the village, it was clear why it is so often photographed. The buildings are all whitewashed, many with the trademark blue roofs, and are built literally into the side of the cliff overlooking the caldera.  If you are looking for wide, sandy beaches, you will not find them here.  But, if you want sweeping vistas of blue sky and sea as far as the eye can see, then you will love Oia.  
I will let my photos speak for themselves...

The town is charming with many shops and restaurants set along narrow cobblestone roads winding around the cliffside. I could have spent hours exploring this gorgeous village.

After our time in Oia, we went to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a dinner of Greek specialties and wine, and to watch the famous sunset over the caldera. 

As much as I enjoyed my day in Santorini, it was the one place where I was really disappointed to not have more time. I would really love to go back and stay in one of the luxury hotels on the island and spend days absorbing all the beauty the island has to offer.

Isn't this island breathtaking?

Next stop...Mykonos.