If you’ve ever looked at an advertisement for the Greek Island of Santorini, chances are you’ve seen it. The iconic blue domed church that perfectly matches the blue sky with a backdrop of Santorini’s caldera in the Aegean Sea. You know the one. For most people, viewing that picture brings thoughts of idyllic Greek vacations sipping wine dressed in pressed linen dresses with a handsome stranger. For me, seeing this picture brought on murderous thoughts of tossing my camera into the wind and never taking another picture again. You see, I’ve always wanted to take “that picture” myself. The blue domed church in Santorini would be my photographic masterpiece I was sure. The pièce d’résistance of the thousands of photos I’ve taken…my screensaver…my profile picture on Facebook. This one picture meant everything.
We’d only visited Santorini once before in 2009 and it was on a cruise stopover for a few hours. One of the cruise excursions included a photography walk around the island. I was SO excited. This was it. I was going to get “THE SHOT”. I think I even dreamed about the blue domed church the night before we landed in Santorini.
Our walk took us to some gorgeous places. Churches where the sun played beautifully with cheerfully tolling bells. Doors that led to nowhere. Skies so blue it hurt the eyes. So much incredible loveliness…but I barely see it.
Our guide had told us the blue domed church I yearned for was in another town, far away and we wouldn’t be seeing it that day. I was totally devastated. The wine didn’t taste good that night and all of those wonderful pictures I’d taken that day seemed dull and unappealing. Every single time I’d see that picture of the blue domed church in brochures or on other travel sites, I’d feel that same stab of disappointment that I hadn’t gotten THE SHOT.
Fast forward to early October, 2014. We’ve come to Greece early for the Travel Bloggers Exchange Conference in Athens. We have a few weeks to spend catching up with friends and visiting the islands. Woo HOO!! Santorini is on the list and this time I’m not taking ANY chances. We’ve booked for a week at place we found on AirBnB. Friends from the US are coming to visit and bringing cameras. I’m researching online to find exactly where the blue domed church in Santorini is located. And I’m coming up with nothing concrete…nothing helpful at all. I found several blogs detailing hikes and best spots for a romantic evening, but not where to find the blue domed church.
I’d almost given up. Perhaps it just isn’t my destiny to get this particular picture. 🙁
We’re exploring the village of Oia, on the NW side of Santorini. I see blue domed churches everywhere! However, the angle isn’t right. All the domes I can see are high up with no way to shoot down on them. So we start looking. Turning down alley after alley. It’s now become a competition. Throngs of tourists must be looking at us as though we’ve lost our minds. “No, it’s not down there. Let’s try the next one!”
Then the incredible happens. I hear a shout from down an alley I almost didn’t bother going down. “I think I found it! Come look!” It was right there. “THE SHOT” The blue domed church on Santorini on a picture-perfect day! Wow! Did I charge my batteries? Yes! Bring the right filters? No, those I left on the nightstand. I must have taken 100 shots. I wanted every single nuance of the moment to be captured forever. This was my happy place! I’d found it at last.
My friends practically had to drag me away. Only the promise of a glass of wine overlooking the caldera could entice me away. But I had the cameras and the cameras held the precious pictures. I couldn’t stop smiling..and looking at the pictures on the viewfinder over and over.
SOOOO, would anyone else be interested in EXACTLY where to get this particular shot? I’ll share the details, because if the picture makes you half as happy as it did me, then that’s a great thing!
You’re there! GPS coordinates…
Latitude: 36.461465 Longitude: 25.375176
Have you found the Blue Domed Church during your travels? Let us know below!