For many years Santorini meant to me only Akrotiri (still does actually…). This is where I always came on holiday, this is where my Greek family is, this is where I always dreamt to live.
To be honest, my original dream was to have a house at the lighthouse, well I did not end up too far, I found my place in the heart of Akrotiri. Every day I wake up watching the rise of the sun behind the Castle and this is the best view I could have ever imagined.
I have to admit, I am deeply ambivalent about my village to be still almost unknown: it’s a shame that such a special place claims such little attention but it’s wonderful to be able to live in the authentic Santorini.
On your way to the Archeological Site, I would recommend you to start considering visiting Akrotiri.
Here you can have a virtual early stroll around its narrow streets and corners.
I love to keep discovering new things in between the well-known ones, this is my everyday mission. And this is possible only if I focus on a small bit of reality.
As I have mentioned so many times, I’d love you to see the island with my eyes.
Why not starting with the first thing I see when I look out of my window: the Castle of Akrotiri.
It’s a short walk from my door but when I enter that tunnel, it is like entering a parallel world.
This is one of the five castles or Kastelia that you can still visit in Santorini.
The Castle of Akrotiri is also called La Ponta or Punta Casteli, the peak, you can easily understand why from the view.
Today it is empty but for many years hosted a cultural centre. My dream (another one yes!) is to find a project that could find its home there, one day.
History teaches us that the Kastelia were fortified settlements built during the Venetian domination on behalf of the safety against pirate raids. Did I just say, pirates??!! Yes!!!
My imagination here starts to fly and when I see the Caldera, Pyrgos, Fira, Oia and Vlichada from its terrace, I imagine myself as a sentinel, proudly standing there and fighting the enemy.
Nowadays the enemy could be mass tourism, which I am not a big fan of. But how can you fight mass tourism?
Generally speaking, there is only one cure against enemies, knowledge and culture.
And I think this might be the solution for Santorini: showing that a more ethical, authentic and sincere island exists and that you are welcome to visit if you respect it.
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©Nicoletta Barbata/One Quarter Greek