Santorini is one of the most photographed places on earth. While Santorini belongs to the top ten travel destination lists worldwide, if you move your sight a bit to the left, you will come along a tiny island called Anafi.
You can get there only by boat, since there is no airport on the island. The only resemblance with Santorini is that you get to Anafi, from Santorini, only by boat in about an hour and a half. The capital of the island is located not by the sea, but on a large cliff. Of course this is typical for an Aegean island, as it is the extraordinary view of the deep blue you get from every little rectangular white house you stay.
Four beautiful beaches located on the south part of the island can easily be reached, even on foot since the most distant one is only 10km far from the capital. If you get hungry you can grab a bite on one of the five tavernas of the island. The food, either meat or fish is truly exceptional and is usually accompanied with home grown vegetables and herbs.
However the most interesting thing about this quiet island is not the view, the architecture, the beaches nor the food but the people who live or visit it. The island during the winter has only 200 inhabitants. In the summer the number gets multiplied by tourists and by people who have left the island to find a better luck in the big city and return to spend a few days. When you walk on the narrow alleys, you do not feel that you are a foreigner since everybody, even visitors talk to you with a wide smile. In two days time you know everybody and everybody knows you. This is the advantage of a tiny place with warm people. You become friends with everyone, which is obvious in the tavernas and in the only square of Anafi, where you feel like a part of a big company. The island attracts young people, actors, writers, musicians and artists. It is a popular destination among free campers since camping is permitted even on beaches.
Anafi has three key ingredients for the successful recipe which makes you want to come back every summer: a beautiful place, artistic visitors and locals who are still humane and don't treat you like a fifty euro note. To conclude next time you plan a trip to the caldera, consider a "caldera break" to Anafi.