The island of Santorini (Σαντορίνη — pronounced “Sandorinyi” in Greek) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece, a factor which has led to the expansion, not only of the island’s economy, but also of its population.Such magazines as Travel and Leisure and U. S. News and World Report have included articles on the island’s main tourist attractions, which include archeological sites like the Bronze Age ruins at Akrotiri, the sunset views from the cliffs at Oia and the picturesque town of Fira. (Santorini has also been subject to volcanic eruptions throughout its history, including one that preserved the ruins of Akrotiri. It should also be mentioned that, to preserve the caldera in its pristine state, the pumice quarries have been off limits to the general public since 1986.) This article will deal with the two overlapping topics of Santorini private tours and Santorini photo tours.
Santorini private tours
The company OceanWave Tours specializes in arranging private trips. Its owners, husband-and-wife team Dimitris Nikolaidis and Patricia Leidert, have been providing Santorini private tours for twelve years; for even longer (thirty-five years, to be exact) he has been a driver, and he formed this company in order to combine these two passions of his. They use vehicles that are new comfortable and clean, fully equipped with air conditioning and capable of holding both large and small groups. They take visitors to such places as:
• places that are in remote, “out-of-the-way” locations
• wineries (Wine has always been one of Greece’s major products.)
• seaside taverns where you can enjoy the finest local cuisines
Kerteradhos is a small community near Fira and Vothonas. Here there is another family-run business that provides Santorini private tours during the day for those who have no desire to travel with strangers. The business has been rated with four and a half stars by Trip Advisor.
Santorini photo tours
There is a website called Santorini Photo Tours where you can get information on the subject — and not just on photo tours of that island either, but also of the Canary Islands. Four tours are listed here — Zoom in on Santorini (four hours), Highlights of Santorini (five hours), More of Santorini (six hours) and Focus on Santorini (lasts for an entire day). All of these tours are private and are conducted in small groups — up to four adults and two children, although the host is perfectly glad to arrange tours with larger groups for those who request it. Likewise, custom tours can be arranged by phone or email. Each of these tours, by itself, offers the tourist only a limited view of the island. The four-hour tour is just fine for the person who has only a limited amount of time and money; the longer ones are more expensive. The atmosphere of each is fun and relaxed and allows tourists to hone their skills in photography.
Incidentally, the name Santorini — it was called Thera in classical times — comes from St. Irene; it dates from the Middle Ages, when the Franks ruled.