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Terrifying beauty

Oia, Santorini

We found ourselves naked on the pumice stone
watching the rising islands
watching the red islands sink
into their sleep
into our sleep George Seferis, Santorini

As the most spectacular, otherworldly Greek island, the pressure is on Santoríni to come up with the goods. And it does. The mixture of sinister dusky precipices, dappled with the most brilliant-white, bars and restaurants in the country, gives the island a splendid kind of schizophrenia; forget Under the Volcano, here you’re teetering on the edge.

Usually bathed in glorious sunshine, but occasionally lashed by high winds and rain, everything seems more intense on Santoríni, even daily life. Some call it Devil's Island, an exhilarating but disturbing place where the scent of sulphur occasionally breaks through, and where the inhabitants, through centuries of experience, were such experts in dealing with the undead (the vrykólakes) that other islanders used to send their troublesome corpses over.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Antje, Arian Zwegers, Carole Raddato, Christopher Down, Giuseppe Milo, Navin75, Norbert Nagel, Rainer Zenz on Wikimedia Commons, Rt44, Sidvics, Tomisti, User:Hhss8228