To the people of Santorini, as to all the Greeks, especially those living on the islands, the sea is what the snow is to the Eskimos: their natural environment. They are surrounded by it, swim in it, live out of it, recognize its every smell and color, have hundreds of songs about it, feel its every movement, its every wave. For the ancient Greeks, the sea was a sacred element, the kingdom of the mighty God Poseidon. The most glorious adventures of the Greek mythology and history took place in the sea, as Homer so vividly narrates in his famous Odyssey!
The Greeks love the sea. They respect it. They are proud of it. It is the very essence of their tradition, their culture, their life, their legacy. And they yearn to share this experience with the thousands of tourists visiting Santorini every year. But nowadays, more and more tourists ask for accommodations with swimming pools or jacuzzi hot tubs. They spend their day in them, instead of letting themselves be engulfed by the sparkling waters, feeling the beneficial, cool, salty water on their skin, letting their feet touch the soft, wet sand or the pebbles, and then lying on the beach and basking in the euphoria of the sun drying their body. And there are so many amazing beaches on Santorini, some bustling with people, other secluded, private paradises, nudists beaches – take your pick! Beaches for all tastes. But no. So many visitors prefer to observe the sea from afar, as if watching a documentary on the TV, instead of letting themselves be a living part of it.
Why? What’s the point? They can find swimming pools and Jacuzzi hot tubs in every part of the planet, in every town or city, even in the back yard of their own home. Why come to Santorini and miss its core essence, miss the unforgettable experience of swimming in its unique sea waters?
Furthermore, due to the tourists’ demand for swimming pools and jacuzzis, more and more accommodation hosts are obliged to provide them for competition reasons. One can find amazing, traditional, quaint little houses that are not preferred by the tourists because they do not provide jacuzzi hot tubs or pools. But these elements do not belong there. They do not blend with the essence of the landscape and its culture; quite the opposite: these elements deform the landscape and distort the traditional architecture. And the tourists miss the one most vital, most important, most beautiful gift Santorini offers so generously: the direct communication with the sea environment, the incredibly energizing experience of swimming in its crystal waters. Really, it is a ‘lose-lose’ situation.
So when you come to Santorini, don’t be just a passive observer of the scenery. Do yourself the favor and let the sea cast its magic on your body and your soul. One thing is certain: you will not regret it.