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 just 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.
Half a year after leaving Santorini, 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).
I stayed in Fira for a few nights. In sunny weather, the sky is always perfect. Stepping to the hotel pantry (full review here) for breakfast every morning, I will delightfully pass by cute little doors painted blue. It was wonderful to be outdoors!
Firostefani & Imerovigli
Hands-down the prettiest village in Santorini! Oia is the place 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).
A shop at Oia that’s closed for winter, but its white exterior is a lovely contrast from the background’s sky.
Thank you, Santorini. You have been a very inspiring place to be at, I’m so grateful to have visited you!
Beyond the two colors, Santorini also has beaches known to be black, and also red. Santorini Dave wrote an entry to share about the beaches.