It was a pleasure to return to freerunning paradise and new natural track in Oia, at the north-western edge of Cycladic island of Santorini, Greece for the photoshooting of the Red Bull Art of Motion 2015 event. It’s the most photographed island in the world and the perfect playground for the world’s freerunning elite. With 18 freerunners who competed against the course and themselves, while presenting their own unique skills through their awesome tricks, runs and drops, the time here was more than fun.
Sometimes it is not easy to choose unique and creative place for pre-shooting in the same time, but if you include in it world famous “Infinity Pool” as playground and the planet’s best freerunning athletes you will get amazing shots! Bringing the art of motion to one of the most picturesque travel destinations creates spectacular images that nobody can resist.
Freerunning is all about expressing oneself with body movements as creatively as possible in an environment without limitations. In October, Santorini’s white houses and narrow streets were invaded by the world’s best freerunners. They had joined the hordes of tourists to take over the iconic Cycladic Island and the views were more spectacular than ever.
Famous poets have sung about Santorini island, the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea located north of Crete, about 200 km southeast from Greece’s mainland. Human presence on this island is dated from the middle of the 3rd millennum B.C. and it continued till volcano eruption around 1500 B.C. which entirely buried the island. From that point all traces of human activity vanishes until the end of the 13th century B.C. Initialy the island was called Strongyle (The Round One) and later it was named Kalliste (The Fairest One). Later on the Lacedaemonians arrived and renamed the island after their leader, Theras. The name Santorini was given after the Fourth Crusade (1204) after a small chapel of Agia Irini (Santa Irene) which is located, according to some sayings, at Perrisa while others say it was at Riva on Therasia. In 1821, Santorini with its shipping power, took part in the fight for independence from the Turks, and in 1830, the island became part of the independent Greek state.
The caldera is circular in shape and it is entirely filled with water. In fact, it is the only sunken caldera in the world. It resembles to a lagoon as the water depth here is 400 meters. This caldera is surrounded by gigantic cliffs on top of which beautiful villages have been constructed, and nearly 14000 people are situated in 13 villages around the island.
After the 1956 earthquake there was a huge decrease in the population resulting in an economic catastrophe. Towards the end of the 1970s however, tourism began to develop, bringing economic relief to the island. The Santorini island can be reached by plane from Athens in about 40 minutes, or by ferry boat from the port of Piraeus, Thessaloniki or Crete from aproximetly 5-9 hours depending on the ferry and the ports of call. The island itself owes its very existence to the volcano. The most recent eruption occurred in 1950 building up two small islands within the caldera, Palea and Nea Kameni. These islands represent the volcano’s most recent activity. The marvelous dry climate and continuous sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colours that give the visitor the exceptional advantage of reaching the interior of the volcano by boat. Long periods of consecutive rainy days are not common in Santorini, even during the winter, and the sky does not remain cloudy for more than a few days in a row, as it does in other regions of the world. Red and black volcanic pebbles lay the shores of Santorini beaches and steep cliffs provide a picturesque ambience. The most famous is the Red beach, while particularly popular are Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos.
Poets have written about it, artists attempt to capture its beauty. Nothing can quite describe the unsurpassed magic of Santorini, and today Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations worldwide. The capitol is Fira built on the Caldera cliffs on the west coast of the island. One of the major cultural events of Santorini, Greece is the Festival of Jazz music which has been established for the last 6 years and takes place during the Greek hot summer months.