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Ia, The enchanting sunset
The traditional settlement of Ia is located on the northern tip of the island, high on the cliff-top. Ia hosts the most magnificent views on Santorini and a picturesque road, with cliffs on one side and sea on the other, leads to this attractive town. A square overlooks the sea and visitors are encouraged to observe a truly fantastic sunset well worth saving on film. Directly below is the beach of Ammoudi across the bay are the Burnt Islands. Ammoudi, accessible only by foot, is 214 steps below, and Armeni beach is 286 steps below. The architecture of Ia is typical Santorini with houses sunk deep into the volcanic soil, their whitewashed walls and blue domes sparkling in the sunlight. Ia in 1900 had close to 9,000 inhabitants with virtually all of them mariners and who today many live in Piraeus. They owned 164 seafaring vessels and seven shipyards. In the area there were 79 churches. After the devastating 1956 earthquake and the passing of 80 years, 1980 presented us with the following: just 500 permanent residents, 75% who are mariners and who have 112 seafaring vessels. In 1951 Captain Antonis Dakoronia established a Maritime Museum. Although it was destroyed in 1956 earthquake, it was reopened in 1979 and is functioning today. Ia today also hosts a cultural centre, a central art gallery and many other Greek art galleries. Many shops sell handicrafts, souvenir, jewellery and other items to help you remember your visit. If it's peace and quiet you seek, Ia is the ideal spot to enjoy a peaceful vacation surrounded by unique natural beauty. But that's not to say that the town is dull.

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