Kamari is a picturesque coastal village on the southeastern part of Santorini and one of the most popular and well-organized tourist resorts of the island. Is distinctive for its black, volcanic sand covered with black pebbles and its mix of jet-setters and backpackers. Kamari is near the airport, 10 km south-east of Fira, the opposite side of Perissa, with the huge rock (Mesa Vouno) in the middle.
Kamari was built by residents of the nearby village of Exo Gonia that was almost flattened by a devastating earthquake that hit Santorini in 1956. So it’s a new village with many hotels for all budgets, apartment complexes and a campsite covering the accommodation needs of all visitors. Ιt is a popular choice for families too. There are regular bus services from Fira and many rental outlets. If staying in Kamari for a week a rental car, scooter or quad would be advised.
The streets of the village are abundant with taverns and restaurants offering an extensive variety of Greek cuisine and a selection of international dishes. Lining the beach are some popular beach bars and night-clubs that you will spend unforgettable nights of entertainment as they appear to be in a constant party mode, at least from afternoon to early morning. The well-organized beach (and busiest of the island) has sun beds and umbrellas for rent, showers, changing rooms, lifeguard as well as all kinds of water sports activities.
In ancient times it was the port of Ancient Thera. The classical city of the island is located on Mesa Vouno and it was founded in the 9th century B.C. by Dorian colonists whose leader was Theras, (from him the island got its name) and continued to be inhabited until the early Byzantine era. The preserved ruins of the city belong to the Hellenistic and Roman period. The residential area and the larger part of the cemeteries were excavated by German archaeologists between 1895 and 1902.
You can reach the site by car, but if fitness allows, it is better on foot. The truth is that you must make the effort to climb to Mesa Vouno, just for the spectacular view of the entire island. On a clear day you can see all the neighboring islands.
There you will be impressed by the Sanctuary of Artemidoros that was entirely hewn from living rock, the Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios, the hellenistic Temple of Dionysos and the Agora while gazing the vastness of the Aegean.
On the road to Kamari, located in the village of Episkopi Gonia (also known as Mesa Gonia) is the beautiful byzantine church of Panagia Episkopi one of the oldest and most important churches of Santorini built in the late 11th century by Alexios A’ Kominos. The church houses the icon of Panagia Glikofilousa, (one of the third most priceless portable icons in the world) and remarkable byzantine frescoes. Every year on August 15 a great feast is taking place here in order to celebrate Mary's ascent to Heaven with traditional musicians, food and wine. On September 24 (Panagia Myrtidiotissa) is also organized a large festival that attracts many visitors and the food and the wine is plentiful.
In August here is organized the "Kamariano sea festival" which includes concerts, exhibitions, sports activities, dancing and offers traditional food to the visitors. Among other events stands out the Jazz Festival which is held in Open Air Cinema Kamari, a very nice and popular cinema located in a cozy garden just before entering the village.
Short excursions with small fishing boats start from Kamari, either along the spectacular coast or to neighοring islands (Anafi) and beaches.