The cosmopolitan Kamari is situated at the east side of Santorini and is 10 km away from Fira. It is a continuously developing seaside resort that attracts the preferences of those want to spend their vacations by the sea and not by the Caldera side. Access to the village is very easy as Kamari is connected with regular transportation with bus to Fira and the rest of the island. And of course, is easy access also, with taxis or private cars and rental cars.
Kamari was the seaport of ancient Thira and called Ia. Ruins of ancient Ia are now in the sea. The large residential development of Kamari emerged only after the great earthquake of 1956, from the residents of Mesa Gonia, which was almost completely destroyed. In 2002, was discovered in Kamari, an archaic Sanctuary of Achilles. This discovery proves that the mythical hero was worshiped in other places except Thessaly. Near the entrance of the building, were found ceramics, among them an Ionic kylix with an engraved inscription indicating the name of the commission and the name of the hero. It is the only sanctuary that has been synonymous with the cult of the hero, although it is known in the cult of antiquity from various written sources. There is always life, as it accommodates the majority of the charter passengers that inundate the island from May to September.
It is worth mentioning that Kamari is of great historical importance, as in Mesa Vouno, the ruins of the ancient Thera were discovered – a city that was the only urban centre of the island until the expansion of Christianity. Kamari has a well organized beach that stretches in many kilometers (more than 6 km) and is awarded with a blue flag. It has smooth black sand, playground, water sports, diving centre and a lifeguard. Near the rock you will see the arch, the once Customs, where the most daring ones will find it a good place for diving. Not far away, you will see the ascetic residences, natural caves found inside the rock or small buildings that ascetics used in order to retire since the late 17th century. Hotels, travel agencies, office rental cars, cafeterias, taverns, beach bars, vivid night life and numerous choices for food make up the image of Kamari
At nights, when the red full moon is rising from the dark waters, a walk in the coastal pedestrian precinct is a perfect idea. Enjoy the sight of the endless sea and make a stop to eat or to have a drink. In the picturesque taverns, you can taste the traditional cuisine of Santorini or the international cuisine. However, if you want something different, the open-air cinema will offer you an alternative way of entertainment and of course a beautiful atmosphere. But if you prefer to go shopping, a walk in the market will persuade you that you will find anything you ask for.
In the central square you will see Panagia Mirtidiotissa that has a festival on the 24th of September. In Kamari, you can also visit the small chapel of Zoodoxos Pigi and the church of Episcopi of Gonia, which is quite close to the village. The church was built in the late 11th century by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios A’ Komninos and is an important Byzantine monument.
In Kamari, during the summer-time, in August mainly, the local Municipality organizes interesting music concerts, such as jazz festival, and cultural events that attract visitors from all over the island, so make sure that you don’t miss that chance.
The permanent residents of Kamari are more than 1.400. Next to the bus station there is a bank and an ATM and in the shopping mall you will find a cinema that operates during winter as well. Moreover, in Kamari, operates a health center for the coverage of medical needs of visitors and a pharmacy. Also, you can find there, a lot of bakery shops and super-markets.
For the lovers of nature, Kamari offers the opportunity for underwater diving in the enchanting grounds of the island, horseback riding, climbing, paragliding flight and finally, hiking to the trails of the hill of Mesa Vouno.