Gasping at Santorini’s Shades of Blue

Santorini is postcard-perfect – well, almost, at least. At 90.96 km², this island whose photos we see in Instagram posts, postcards, posters often depict two prominent colors. All I had was to say I’m in a place with that blue dome-shaped roof of a church and my friend had guessed Santorini correctly. More than its whitewashed buildings, the sky appears in different tints across the vastness, the sea is a hypnotic mix of blue and black. The rooftops of churches, doors of houses, beckon.

Why is Santorini all just shades of blue and white?

At first, the bulk of the buildings in Santorini was made from volcanic stone. The material works well as an insulator, but its dark color also meant the buildings absorbed the heat, making it really hot to be indoors. The buildings were therefore painted white to reflect the harsh sun rays – a practical solution.

Santorini’s location meant paint was hard to obtain. The stone walls were covered using a layer of plaster made from limestone. It was very bright, therefore toned down by using a blue-tinted household cleaning powder called “loulaki” – easily available. When loulaki is added to the plaster, the solution gets dyed blue.

(information source)

Santorini is more than just blue and white though. There’re also other pastel colors to complement the blue, which you can have a sneak preview too here.

Half a year after leaving the island, I still cannot get over the beauty of Santorini, and decided to put this entry together to commemorate Santorini’s shades of blue and white! Hope you enjoy the photos below!

Fira

Being Santorini’s capital city, Fira is where all the happening stuff is at. Over here, you’ll find cafes, pubs, restaurants, and shops. Fira is also where the cruise ships dock at, which means plenty of crowds during summer.

view from hotel grounds | Review: Dream Island Hotel, Fira, Santorini • The Petite WanderessI stayed at Fira for a few nights. In sunny weather, the sky is always perfect. Stepping to the hotel pantry (read my Dream Island Hotel review) for breakfast every morning, I will delightfully pass by cute little doors painted blue. It was wonderful to be outdoors!

blue doors | Review: Dream Island Hotel, Fira, Santorini • The Petite Wanderess

dogs along the road at Fira | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess
dogs along the road
museum at Fira | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess
Museum of Prehistoric Thira

carpark at Fira | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess

| Check available Fira hotels & properties for your trip! |

Firostefani & Imerovigli

Santorini in January – Solo Travel Guide • The Petite Wanderess

church at Imerovigli | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesschurch at Imerovigli | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessempty road in Santorini | Santorini in January – Solo Travel Guide • The Petite Wanderessview at Imerovigli | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess

| Check rates for Imervilo hotels on Booking.com |

Oia

Hands-down the prettiest village in Santorini! Oia is where you see those photos via Instagram from, where people flock to see the most gorgeous sunsets of Santorini at, where I enjoyed the most fantastic view for my lunch (as featured in this post).

| Check hotel rates for Oia! |

 

blue and white building in Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessblue and white building in Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessblue domed and white church in Santorini | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite WanderessOia caldera view | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessblue domed and white church in Santorini | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess

A shop at Oia that’s closed for winter, but its white exterior is a lovely contrast from the background’s sky.

shop in Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesschapel at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess

Oia caldera view | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite WanderessOia caldera view | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesssea view at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessempty street at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesssea view at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesscaldera view at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessblue domed and white church in Santorini | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesslunch view at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderesschurch at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessempty Oia | Santorini in January – Solo Travel Guide • The Petite WanderessSantorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessdonkeys at Oia | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderessclosed shop at Fira | Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite WanderessThank you, Santorini. You have been a very inspiring place to be at. I’m so grateful to have visited you!

Another special part about Santorini is not having the usual blue seas and white sands. Santorini is famous for its black and red beached too!


Have you been to Santorini? Or is it in your bucket list?
Share with me in the Comment section below!

Travelled: Jan 2016
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Disclosure: This blogpost contains affiliate link(s). If you make a booking through the link(s), my website receives a really tiny commission at no extra costs to you. The commission helps to offset costs to keep up with this website, your support is much appreciated!

Visiting Santorini? Here’s more posts!

How it REALLY was like to travel solo in Santorini
Everything you need to know about going Santorini in winter!
Chasing the Santorini sunset alone
Checking in: Dream Island Hotel in Santorini

Santorini in shades of blue & white • The Petite Wanderess

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28 comments

  1. I spent a day in Santorini when I was on a cruise a few years back and absolutely adored it. Your pictures are magnificent. Feel like I must go back and explore more, thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Wow your photos are amazing!! I’m dying to go here and hoping I make it a priority to visit next spring! I can’t wait and after seeing all this I’m even more eager to get there asap!

  3. I’ve been to Santorini twice and both times, it took my breathe away. What I’m wondering is, how were you able to take these photos without any people in it? I’ve been there both during a peak season so it was impossible for me to not have anyone in the photos even if I wake up really very early. Did you go during the off peak season?

    1. Hi Noemi! I went in winter in Jan, in low degrees and no guarantees of sunny weather (but I was there for enough days and was lucky to get some sun). There were really very few people around, in fact, the photos of Oia were in the afternoon. I could wander around on my own and get all these pictures!

    1. Thanks Gabby! Hahaha, you’re right about no one in the photos! Well at least there was a dog.. and some cars LOL. There was one afternoon that I took a REALLY quiet walk along the road and saw all these stunning sceneries and it was just me facing them! Santorini is so breathtaking ^^

  4. Hi Kristine, I enjoyed reading your Santorini travel blog and those scenics photos taken were simply awesome. Some informations provided in your writings is really resourceful too. To my amazement, Santorini is really kind of deserted during the off peak season of which Dave’s Santorini travel blog does seems to include that there was slight improvement in winter travellers and more & more amenities & eateries opening up to cater for such. However, may I enquire are there ample souvenir shops & supermarkets/convenient stores that open in January? And what about Athens? Is it that quiet in and around the Plaka area? Thanks a million coz I am presently contemplating to pay a visit to Athens & Santorini in January next year and thats why I am anxiously doing some research here. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Ivan! Thanks for coming to my blog! Happy to help!

      When I went in January 2016, at Oia, I only found one (or at most 2) restaurant that opened for lunch, the rest were all shut. As for souvenir stores, I also didn’t see any open there, though there might be one as I saw lights coming from a little shop while waiting for sunset. Didn’t get to see closer as I was rushing to go wait for the last bus back to Oia after sunset. There’s a little minimart near the area where you wait for the bus. Oia is generally quiet during winter.

      However, at Fira, at the square area (where the bus station and taxi station would be at), there would be ample eateries, convenient stores, also souvenir shops, for daytime or dinner too, so staying at Fira near the square is a good idea, unless you rent a car to get around. The cliff road from Oia to Fira has no road-lights though.

      Imeroglivi is very quiet (I was there on a weekday afternoon). I saw a closed minimart, very few humans, though I did have a simple lunch of gyro at a small eatery.

      If you haven’t seen, this mini guide about off-season travel in Santorini which I wrote when I got back, might provide you some insight!
      https://thepetitewanderess.com/santorini-low-season/

      As for Athens, I only transited at the airport and didn’t step out. Sorry I can’t answer about the crowd levels there.

      Feel free to ask me anything further! 🙂

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