Fabulous Facades in Fira
The village of Fira clings to the side of a cliff overlooking the Santorini caldera in the southern Aegean Sea. If you arrive by ship, you’ll likely be conveyed up to town by funicular, or on a donkey, unless your cardiovascular prowess can take the 500 narrow stairs that climb the side of the steep cliff. On the old volcano’s rim, the street level is actually above many of Fira’s restaurants and bars, which mark their entrances with facade doorways at the top of their steps. From the terraces of these establishments, guests are treated not only to some of the most delicious fare in the Cyclades, but also to breathtaking, panoramic views of the Santorini Archipelago.
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Volcanic Produce: White Aubergines
We don't normally shop when we travel, but the local markets in Santorini that are perched on top of the caldera really got our attention. Grocery shopping is definitely that much more exciting when you have the Aegean Sea as the backdrop. These markets sell local produce that can only be grown in the volcanic soil of Santorini. It's called the "white aubergine," or the white eggplant. Unlike other eggplants, the white eggplants don't have seeds, and have sweeter taste. They are typically served in local dish called melitzanosalata, which means "eggplant dip."
By Liza Kasmara
Sunset in Greece
Santorini is one of those cities a person will fall in love with upon arrival. There is something about the white buildings with blue painted domes that draws thousands of travelers every year. I have visited this great city twice and I know I shall be back again. If a sunset is what you are looking for than Fira, Greece about 10 minutes from the city center of Santorini is your place. Of all the sunsets that I have seen, Fira has been the most spectacular and the reason I continue to return.
Stairway to Heaven
No need for a gym in Santorini. Everyday was a climb up and down stairways that seemed to end nowhere yet always led somewhere magnificent.
By Kimberley Lovato, AFAR Local Expert