The island complex of Thira, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palaia Kameni and Nea Kameni is situated on the southern side of the major group of islands of Cyclades.
Over the centuries volcanic activity in the area formed the group’s present-day shape. Of these islands the largest one, Thira, is today known as Santorini, although the name is also referred to the whole complex in a broader sense.
Santorini’s biblical destruction -lost in the millennia- is responsible for its unparalleled natural beauty, thus justifying the second name Kallisti (‘the most beautiful one’) that the island was once known by. Twelve major eruptions gradually formed the Caldera, causing the central part of the original ‘round’ island to collapse within the deep sea.
Eventually two volcanic islets appeared in the centre of Caldera, first Palaia Kameni (Old Burnt one)and then Nea Kameni (New Burnt one). The collapse of the central part created the locally-called ‘gremna’ (cliffs), the dark steep walls of the Caldera with a height of 200-300 meters above sea level. By a boat trip across the dark blue waters of the Caldera, one can admire the different layers of volcanic ash and the streams of lava in the various rock formations, which can be distinguished by the alternation of colours from red to black.
On the fringe of the Caldera, the picturesque settlements of Fira, Imerovigli and Oia offer unique views across the volcano and the sunset. Carved out of the reddish rock the locals’ cave houses are overlooking the Aegean and the volcano, the yard of one being the roof of the other. Further inland the traditional Cycladic villages feature white-washed houses with domed or groin vaulted roofs, narrow streets and impressive Venetian mansions.
In 2006 and 2007 it was voted the leading European island destination and one of the top ten island destinations in the world. An island of unequalled beauty, it is famous for its awe-inspiring Caldera landscape and magical sunsets, its one of a kind coloured beaches and fascinating archaeological sites…
The Black beach, one of the most famous of the island, stretches the length of the settlements of Kamari, Monolithos, Perissa and Perivolos. The Red and White beaches are located near Akrotiri.
The volcanic formation of the Santorinian soil is what makes the island’s unique produce. The anhydrous minuscule tomatoes (they make the famous ‘pseudo-meatballs’), the extraordinary fava beans, the white eggplants and the round zucchini all have their own special flavour. Try them together with a glass of the fine, internationally renowned, local wine.
After you’ve tasted life on this island, you’ll certainly agree with the words of a well known Greek poet: “It is unbelievable how much goodness and peace is to be found in the earth of Santorini, the island molded and governed by the wrath of demons”.
In close proximity to our hotel, this archaeological site is situated on the imposing hill of Mesa Vouno towering 370 metres above sea level, between the beaches of Kamari and Perissa. The ancient town was founded in the 9th century BC by Dorian tribes and traces of continuous habitation till the Byzantine years are evident in the ruins.
A prehistoric settlement of immense archaeological interest, Akrotiri was destroyed by a biblical volcanic eruption in the late 17th century BC, and, thanks to the layers of ash underneath which it was buried, it has been preserved in remarkably good condition. The excellent city planning, the two- and three-story buildings and the advanced drainage systems disclose aspects of this amazing and sophisticated civilization of the Bronze Age, while the famous works of art, mainly frescoes and vessels, discovered there, indicate an extremely refined society and way of life. Of these, some are on display in the Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Fira and others in the Athens National Archaeological Museum.
Only a breath away, around 150m, from Tamarix del Mar Suites you will find the famous beach of Kamari -boasting waters among the cleanest in the Aegean Sea and awarded with a blue flag- and the seaside village with the same name, which bustles with life and offers a wide variety of entertainment options to suit every taste.
Beside swimming in the gorgeous sea or sunbathing on the ‘black’ volcanic sands, you can also indulge in one or more of the countless water sports available at the beach, from scuba diving (there is a diving center and school) to kite board and from water skiing to banana boat rides.
On the walkway along the beach you can enjoy a leisurely stroll, wandering round the various shops, relax in a cafeteria overlooking the sea or have a drink at a lively beach bar, taste traditional Santorini dishes in a picturesque taverna or try international cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the area.
Kamari is inhabited all year round by 1400 permanent residents and has a pharmacy, a small surgery, two cinemas, one of which outdoors, ATM machines, as well as many mini-markets and tourist agencies.
Water sports are plentiful at Kamari beach, a stone’s throw away from the hotel. One has practically countless choices from scuba diving (there is a specialized scuba diving school) to the most spectacular water sports around. You may also choose fishing or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters to discover the island’s rich underwater world.
Hiking/walking is another excellent way to explore Santorini. You may choose to engage in a romantic walk on the Caldera to feast your senses with the amazing views to the blue sea and the volcano or opt for some hiking trail that will introduce you to the less touristic side of the island. The same applies for climbing, cycling and for horseback riding which is also a great way to explore the island. Paragliding enthusiasts will enjoy breathtaking -adrenaline infused- views from high above.
As for wine lovers, a visit to the local wineries or the Wine Museums of Santorini is a definite must for a splendid wine tasting experience.