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Saturday, 12 October 2013

A-Z Guide to Santorini, Tony Oswin, Reviewed.

Going on holiday to a new place? Makes sense to me to read a guidebook first. I’d always wanted to visit the volcanic island of Santorini, outpost of the Cyclades on the edge of the Aegean Sea, and a recent celebration gave me the chance.

Tony Oswin’s guide is a POD (print on demand), so it can be, and is, updated very frequently, thereby avoiding the dated feel of some guides. He lives in the area and is in touch with changes, so keeps all those essentials up to date.

There’s an excellent prĂ©cis of the island’s history as an introduction. This really sets the scene for the traveller and raises questions in the mind of the inquisitive tourist. He gives clues about the local culture, folklore, products and food and wine. The piece on getting to the island will be very useful to those independent souls who prefer to go under their own steam rather than rely on the package holiday.

His list of places of interest is extensive and comprehensive, covering all the major sites that will interest visitors.

He explains the attractions and disadvantages of the various beaches for those who love to paddle, swim, surf, or simply lie undisturbed under the sun without the benefit of any cover.
He covers activities, sports, transport, money, weather, bugs, health, and gives the dates of local festivals and events.

There is information about which tavernas offer what food, which bars and supermarkets you might like to try, and what other shops you may find interesting.

In short, this is a comprehensive guide to the island. It lacks a detailed map but, as Tony explains, the inclusion of a useful map would make the book far more expensive and you can usually obtain a free road map from the car hire companies anyway. He does include plans of Fira, Akrotiri and Ancient Thera, all of which we found useful.

So, if you’re bound for the island that is now acknowledged by most as the site of the original Atlantis, I suggest you try this guide. Very easy to read and follow and full of very useful and interesting information. Highly recommended.

(If you’d like to see a set of pictures of the island, by all means feel free to visit my album onFacebook)
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