Not only are the colors of the buildings built on the islands that used to be under the same prefecture of Cyclades very special; the architecture of the region has become one of the symbols of the small Greek villages found here.
When you come here, the difference of the small towns and villages is apparent – all the houses seem to follow the same building style and this makes the village look very united as a whole, in contrast to some other places where you would normally found loads of different architecture ranging from old medieval building to examples of modern large glass architecture. Nowadays the value of this unity in architecture is recognized, and most of the building in modern Greek villages is regulated so that it is very hard to ruin the classical small Greek village look.
These houses rarely go up more than two storeys; usually they have a dome-type roof, which is painted white, but the small windows and window blinds and doors are blue. This look, however, is not the only thing that describes a small Greek village in the Cyclades. A very important part is city planning and the arrangement of these houses. The houses form a complex web of streets as they are essentially built on steep cliffs and mountains – this is why only locals can get you to some awesome spots for taking in the views and snapping a couple of photos ( wink wink ;) ). All of the houses are very connected to the hill on which they were built on, it is nature that decides how you will place your home and how big your rooms are going to be. Many of the houses have been built in some niches of the rocks. An extreme example of this is a different type of house – yposkafa spitia (υπόσκαφα σπίτια), or simple seamen’s houses. Many of these houses have become guest-houses, hotels and restaurants – that means that this simplistic style of architecture will be preserved AND you will be able to enter these types of houses and have a look inside.
So if you’re into architecture come and take a look at a very unique style, which has largely been formed due to the specific local natural conditions and the placement of these villages on rocky mountainous islands. By the way, the weather in Santorini in autumn is still great plus it’s far less crowded and the prices of airline tickets go down around October. If you’re planning to travel the region, drop me an e-mail and we might think of a photo session for you and your loved one to capture your times in Santorini.
Santorini vacation photographer Anna Shulte