The blue waters of the Aegean Sea are home to a large number of islands belonging to Greece. Only 227 among them are inhabited. Each inhabited island has its own legend, history, and culture. Crete, which was home to the Minoan civilization, is the largest and Santorini is the most popular.
The island of Mykonos belongs to the Cyclades group of the islands in the Aegean Sea. According to a legend, the island was formed by the bodies of giants petrified after Hercules killed them. The island was named after the grandson of Apollo. Chora is the main city and also a major tourist attraction. Windmills dot the island and many of them are in Chora.
Island of Mykonos
The beautiful coastline of Mykonos makes it worthwhile to watch the sunset.
Because of its spectacular landscape, the moonlit night sky at Mykonos is beautiful and serene.
The island of Santorini is also part of the Cyclades and one of the most visited places in Greece. What we see now is the remnants of Thera, a bigger island that was the center of a massive volcanic eruption happened 3600 years ago during the height of Minoan civilization.
Although Fira is the biggest town in Santorini, the Village of Oia is the most scenic and a photographer’s paradise.
As you can see from the map below, the outline formed by the archipelago of Santorini has the shape of a caldera.
Located on the northwest corner of Santorini, the Village of Oia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. It is about 500 feet above sea level.
The Oia village is famous for the panoramic view of the steep cliffs that were part of the volcanic caldera which appears to rise from the sea. As you can see from the images below, most of the buildings in this village are built on the slopes of the caldera and are painted with white and some of them have blue domes.
Scenic views from Oia Village
The Oia village is also known for the traditional cave houses, which were built on the slopes of the caldera over the past few centuries by the crews of the ships and poor families who could not afford houses on the top of the cliff.
They are typically single room residential units built by carving out the earth from on the slopes. Because of the igneous rocks that made up the caldera, these houses were warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Now some of these houses are converted into vacation homes for tourists.
The sunset at the Oia Village is spectacular and a photographer’s dream.
Sunset as seen from the Oia Village
Santorini is also famous for its wine called Vin Santo and is well -known to wine lovers all over the world. The grape vines in Santorini are coiled like a basket and kept low on the ground in order to avoid the strong winds coming from the ocean.
The wine-making tradition in Santorini dates back thousands of years. Grapes grown on the soil contain volcanic ash and the Mediterranean climate gives the wine a distinct taste.
Known in the Christian world as the island of Apocalypse, Patmos is where St. John the Evangelist spent later part of his life and wrote the Book of Revelations living in a cave.
Being a Disciple of Jesus and the one who wrote one of the four gospels, St John said to have traveled to Ephesus and preached the gospel there in the Great Theater. Because of his evangelization activities, the Roman Empire during the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE) banished him to Patmos.
After the death of Domitian, St. John was released from exile and reported to have returned to Ephesus. Unlike the other Apostles of Jesus who were all martyred, St. John died a natural death at the ripe age of 92. It is believed that he died in Ephesus.
Monastery of St. John the Theologian
The cave where St. John lived and wrote The Book of Revelations is a big tourist attraction. The Monastery of St. John the Theologian was built in the 11th century around this cave.
Monastery of St. John the Theologian
Just like the other islands in the Aegean Sea, Patmos is very scenic and a popular tourist attraction.
Scenic views around the island of Patmos
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