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Santorini - one year after Sea Diamond

03 May 2008 / 15:05:08  GRReporter
8207 reads

Maria Spassova

Santorini has always been a top-tourist destination but the image of the island suffered last year, when in the beginning of April the luxurious cruise Sea Diamond sunk in the port and environmentalists were expecting an ecological catastrophe. The last three studies of the waters around the crash (today it’s fenced with four rubber oil tanks – on the photo) provide very optimistic results. They show that the water is clean but there is only a little increase in the heavy metals content – zinc, copper, cadmium, and lead. The court date, which the port authorities in Santorini asked for, is coming up. The defendant is Luis Hellenic, which is the owner of Sea Diamond and it is accused for ecological damages and compensations. The sinking of the ship is only another attraction for tourists – they take pictures, ask for details and after that comment everything over a glass of frappe.

There are many reasons why a person should include Santorini in his travel plans to Greece.  If you are a historical mystery lover, you will love to visit the place, which is connected to the disappearance of the mythical continent Atlantis. If you are a nature lover, you will be left breathless by the famous Santorini sunrises and sunsets, where the sun appears and disappears at the same place. If you are a healthy but delicious food lover, then the kitchen of the Aegean Sea Pearl is for you. If you are an architecture lover, interior design and applied arts – then, you will certainly find out how the island can please your eye.

You can get a fast and comfortable ride to Santorini. If you choose to fly – the flight from Athens is 40 minutes but if you choose the fast ferries – not longer than 4 hours from the port in Pieria. The first look at the island takes your breath away – curtly, high rock, on top of which you can see small villages and hotel resorts. It seems as if snow has covered the top. If you choose a hotel, always remember to ask whether it is on top of the rock. Hotels there are more expensive – the price for a double room without any extras (with refrigerator and a mini bar, but without room service) is about ?120 per night. The price of the same room in a luxurious hotel starts from ?250 per night. What you get more for that money is the magnificent view, which you can see from everywhere – from the restaurant, the pool, the gym, the balcony of your room and even from the bathroom window.

Santorini is famous as the Aegean Pompeii. It was created as a result of the volcanic activity in the region, which dates from 26 million years ago. The excavations in Akrotiri prove the presence of an advanced civilization from about 2000 BC, which suddenly disappears 500 years later, when it was in the peak of its development. Those dates coincide with the upsurge and the destruction of the mythical continent Atlantis, which is mentioned also by Plato and Solon. The coincidence gives place for speculations, that Santorini is the missing Atlantis but until now, scientists have not found any proof of that. Actually, the magnificent view, which I mentioned is the crater of the Nea Kamena volcano (on the photo), which has blue reflections during sunrise and crimson at sunset. The volcano is still smoldering, because the sea water around it is hot. Every day, firms in Santorini organize few hours long trips with a boat to Nea Kamena and depending on which one you choose, you can see different parts of the volcano and you can even take a walk till the crater.

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