The Cats of Santorini Island

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!   =^..^

Photo credits: Courtesy of


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