There’s only one thing that could make the white-washed walls and royal blues roofs of Santorini more alluring: a tiny bookshop that overlooks the sparkling Aegean Sea. This fantasy destination for readers might have a furry friend or two wandering among the shelves, and it would undoubtedly invite readers from the world over to step inside to relax and browse.
In 2004, a group of friends made this bookish dream come true. They found an ideal location in Oia and set up shop; there may have been some whiskey, a dog, and a stray cat involved.
Since then, the shop has been a welcome spot for story-loving travelers and was named the best bookstore in the world by National Geographic. Based on the photos below, we are not inclined to disagree.
This postcard-worthy shop is tucked into the cliffs of the volcanic island, so making your way there feels a bit like a magical quest. When you arrive, you’ll likely be greeted by the bookshop cat, lazing in the sun, reclining in a basket, or slinking around your ankles.
The white walls are painted with a cheery timeline of the bookshop’s history, along with literary quotes, bits of poetry, and illustrations.
But books are main attraction here: fiction and non, philosophy, art, children’s books, history, literature — in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and, of course, Greek.
The shop is a pleasant maze that invites you to meander, running your fingers along the spines until you find the book that calls your name.
The shop is run by a collective of book lovers, writers, artists, and activists from Cyprus, England, and the United States. They host readings, bookbinding classes, film screenings, and theater at the shop — sometimes on the patio in the soft evening air — and organized a book donkey to deliver books to local schools.
Atlantis Books is open almost every day, although the hours might be a bit irregular during the hottest summer days. Contact the shop to make sure they’ll be open when you want to visit. You might also follow Atlantis on Instagram.
Top image courtesy of f11photo/Shutterstock.
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