The Greek islands known as the Cyclades, are an island chain that stretch through part of the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. The island of Santorini has a ferry connection with Athens and the other islands in Cyclades and with Crete. It is particularly popular for tourists and is a regular stopover point for many of the luxury cruises that meander through the Greek islands.
Steeped in myths and legends, Santorini is an enchanting island where time stands still. The architecture of the houses with their domed roofs, dot the landscape with dazzling white buildings, narrow streets, snow clad mountains, and amazing and unusual colored beaches. If the legend of Atlantis is to be believed, then the Gods did leave this lovely island as the last remains of the ancient city.
The beaches of Santorini are unlike most other beaches in Greece due to their special geological features. Black and red volcanic pebbles cover the shores of the beaches with a backdrop of magnificent white cliffs. This lovely peaceful island is one of the most romantic destinations in the Mediterranean. Couples from all over the world honeymoon here because the sunsets are so incredibly spectacular, and along with the scenery exquisite, the air is filled with the fragrant scent of herbs and flowers.
Oh and for cat lovers, it’s a dream come true! Santorini is home to an unbelievable number of stray cats much like the famous Japanese ‘cat island’ of Tashirojima. The island is awash with blue domed Byzantine churches rounding off white villages that look they have been painted by cubist architects then decorated with bougainvillea and cats.
It’s a place to enjoy freshly caught fish and local wine by the water’s edge, as the local Orthodox priest chats with villagers while cats rub against your legs looking for tit-bits. It was once said of these cats, that during their catnaps they dream of the days when they were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and didn’t have to rely on the kindness of strangers for food.
Today the stray cats of Santorini are fed and cared for by the island’s residents and celebrated by visitors. There are now several charitable organizations dedicated to the health and well-being (including spay/neuter services) for the island’s stray cat population.
Great scenery. Amazing sunsets. Beautiful weather. And CATS!!! What’s not to love! =^..^=
Will you be adding Santorini Island to your bucket list?
These kitties are living the nice life. What a beautiful place to be.
I have read other reports that these animals as well as stray dogs and donkeys are not well cared for. You need to back up your assertion of their welfare with more facts.
I traveled there. Met quite a few of the cats. They were friendly and well fed, on the whole,. Had one stray stay around our villa the entire visit.
The ones in the photos look well cared for, certainly. I shall see for myself when I go. You too are only reading reports Peggy, so who knows?
Love this so much!
As a frequent visitor I see the opposite each time. Tourists find dumped-alive kitties in May and August. Poisoning is common before everybody is leaving for xmas holidays. There is no cat shelter on the island for ill/rehab cats. The cat loving people and people helping the strays of Santorini would really need you to tell the world about the other side. Only then, effective help for the strays of Santorini and the network of cat lovers there can more and more reduce and prevent the immense suffering.
Another way to describe Santorini… I liked your article. In fact, cats of the Cyclades are different from ones that can be found in the Greece mainland. You will see a lot of them not only in Santorini but also in other Greek islands like Paros or Naxos. You can visit Santorini and meet the cats with a sailboat.
I’m at santorini and this lovely cat has made a hone with us for our stay we named her blossom and will feed her everyday while we are here x I just hope others care for her and the rest when we leave x
I didn’t come here to take care of stray animals!!! I love dogs & cats… but this is a horrible situation. I will only return to island after they clean it up. By this I mean, spayed, neutered & adopt! HELP control the pet population! Let me vacation in peace for heavens sake!!! I have to step over, around & wait for them to clear everytime I leave the apartment I’m renting
The reality is that Santorini doesn’t have a cat shelter save that of one woman who has 20 living at her house (a wonderful local vet tech). The sad thing is that 100’s of stray cats and dogs are poisoned each year, particularly at the end of the busy season (around November 1) because they don’t have tourist handouts and become a nuisance. I just got back from Santorini and contacted both SAWA (a shelter for dogs, some cats and lots of donkeys) and Sterila, a group that believes in catch neuter and release (they also do danger rescues). All of their fosters are full, they have no cat shelter and have a small group of dedicated volunteers that are stretched to the point of burn out, particularly because of the extensive deaths of the feline parvo virus. Sterila is well connected though and is helping me get three kittens out that I got to know at our hotel through a someone who is traveling back in November. Resources are thin, however and they need help.
Both SAWA and Sterila a
I am here now on vacation. This is NOT TRUE! I can back this up with photos. Many cats have eye issues and are in serious need of immediate veterinary care. I saw juvenile or very skinny cats with kittens, very few with ear tipping so this sad situation will only multiply. Skittish scared skinny dogs with collars on traveling in packs for defense. Many are skinny (when articles like this like to tell you they are well fed) Just wait till the profitable season is over and all the tourist leave and the workers go back to their homes, these animals will be completely on their own. This place is beautiful but unfortunately seeing all the stray animals that look skinny, sick, and neglected left an awful memory for me to take home. Spay and neuter, sad that the locals do not understand how to cure this sad crisis that takes away from their number one industry of tourism. Most tourist are able to see with their own eyes, Google the real problem that exists. Most humans in 2021 do not approve of this ignorance and cruelty to animals. So shameful.
Thank you Shannon for being honest. . I will not travel to Greece. I will donate to Santorini cat rescue TODAY. Ty.