Greek Islands Pictures
The Islands of Greece
The islands of Greece offer tourists with a variety of ways to enjoy themselves. From relaxing on the many beautiful beaches, enjoying the sun drenched climate and outdoor patios to visiting the many archaeological sites and cultural attractions. I visited Santorini, Crete, Paros, Hydra and Ios.
The volcanic island of Santorini is my favorite. This island has something for everyone.
This is an island that it is difficult to describe in words. You have to visit it to really appreciate it's beauty and your Greek holidays should include a few days on this ancient and panoramic island. The volcanic eruption around circa 1500 BC showered the island with pumice and ash leaving a huge caldera in the middle of the island and sheer steep cliffs. This is the reason for spectacular colors of the sediment and rock strata of the cliffs composed of reddish-brown, black and grey striations. You can also take a tour to the caldera where you can still see and smell sulfur coming out from the earth.
On top of these sheer cliffs you have small villages such as Thira, Imerovigli and Oia. Oia is a great place to view sunsets or have a romantic dinner. While on the island you can see vineyards and farmland growing various crops such as olives and pistachios.
Civilization thrived in Santorini from 3000 BC to around 1500 BC. Remnants of this ancient civilization can be found at Akrotiri on the south western tip of Santorini. The influence of Minoan Crete is evident in this city especially in their colorful frescoes, pottery and customs. This city was buried by the pumice and ash from the volcanic eruption. Only a tiny portion of it has been excavated so far revealing 2 and 3 story buildings.
On the south eastern coast of the island on a cliff overlooking the sea you'll find Ancient Thira. It is accessible by a road. The ruins here are impressive and date from the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
To relax, you can spend some time on the beach. There are plenty of them and I found the black sand beaches to be very beautiful and different, but very hot.
A trip to Greece must include Crete. A few places of interest are the Palace of Knossos, the city of Herakleion and the Herakleion Museum.
Palace of Knossos
The most important archaeological site in Create and perhaps all of Greece. The Minoan site and civilization flourished till around approximately 1450 BC. There are many theories concerning as to why Minoan civilization collapsed. One of them surrounding the massive volcanic eruption in Santorini. The site is impressive. It has yielded incredible artifacts, pottery and beautiful frescoes. The palace itself was multi-storied, contained running water and has a throne room.
City of Herakleion
The Archaeological Museum of Herakleion is an impressive museum containing many ancient artifacts from various Minoan cities and periods of Cretan history. Some of the more memorable finds include the beautiful Minoan frescoes and the bull's head from the Palace of Knossos and the Roman finds from Gortyn.
While staying in the city you can view the impressive well-preserved Venetian walls and fortifications still standing. You can also visit the 16th century Venetian castle at the harbor entrance.
*** Island of Ios
*** Blue domed, white washed churches on Ios
*** Port of Ios
*** Fisherman fixing his net on Ios
*** Hillside village in Ios
*** View of Santorini farmland and Thira in distant background
*** Thira and Mt Profitis Ilias in background
*** Thira, Santorini
*** Ancient Akrotiri buried by volcanic eruption on Santorini
*** Volcanic sediment comprising steep Santorini cliffs
*** Ancient Thira
*** Satorini from boat
*** Temple of Artemidorus
*** Caldera (volcano), Santorini
*** Island of Poros
*** Island of Siros
Island of Crete*** Palace at Knossos, Crete
*** Leaping Bull fresco, at Herakleion Museum, Crete
*** Throne room, Palace of Knossos
*** View of temple complex at Knossos, Crete
*** Sculptures from Herakleion Museum
*** Coffin from Gortyn, Herakleion museum, Crete
*** Bull's Head, Minoan
*** Venetian Fort, Herakleion
*** View of Heraklion harbour and walls from Venetian fort
*** Temple of Aphaia, Island of Aegina