22nd March 2018
Many of the villages of Santorini are perched on the edge of one of the most spectacular volcanic calderas on the planet. The magnificent views across the caldera take in the picturesque villages with the exquisite blue domed churches for which this Greek Island is famed.
Santorini lies at the southern end of the Cyclades group of Greek islands, the last stopping off point before Crete. It has been continually re-shaped over the centuries by a series of violent volcanic eruptions. The current archipelago surrounds a huge caldera filled with sea water. In the 18th Century the small island of Néa Kaméni rose from the sea in the centre of this crater and still hosts an active crater. The last major eruption was in 1956.
The volcanic setting is simply awesome - whitewashed houses with barrel roofs appear to ‘drip’ down the cliff faces like melting ice cream, until the land gives way to a 900 foot drop into the blue sea below. Every village is dotted with blue domed churches and bell towers, one of the most instantly recognizable icons of Greece and synonymous with Santorini.
During Light and Land's tour we will be concentrating on the four very different villages Fira, Firostephani, Imerovigli and Oia. We will be out photographing at both dawn and dusk, making the most of the village locations in cross-over light. The island boast the kind of sunsets that will live in your mind forever. The colourful houses of Oia compliment the domed churches and sails of the occasional traditional windmill. Bright red geraniums and cascading pink bougainvillea offer a wonderful contrast to the blue doors and shutters. The architecture of the villages with their steep steps, interesting alleyways, doors and windows mean that there are endless photographic opportunities.
Although some of our locations are within walking distance of the hotel, we will also be travelling further afield on the main island in our own vehicles. Here we will explore beautiful traditional villages, dramatic black sand beaches and intriguing archaeological remains. An optional boat trip followed by a hilly 2 km trek over volcanic rock paths to the active volcanic crater on Néa Kaméni will be one of the highlights of the tour.
Our group will be based in a comfortable hotel near Oia, an ideal centre from which to explore the incredible island of Santorini. We have chosen this time of year in order to give us an excellent chance of having varied weather conditions. Some of the walking will be quite strenuous, particularly in the steep-sided villages and a good level of fitness is required by all participants. This tour will also give you free time to relax and enjoy the delights that the island has to offer.