If you see a picture from Greece, chances are it’s from Santorini island which is considered by many as the perfect expression of the Greek spirit and landscape. Also known as Thira, it lies between Ios and Anafi island.
Part of the Cyclades group of islands, and its crescent-shape lures many skippers to its shores every year. The most visited place is the stunning cliff-perched town of Fira where people come in large numbers to see the stunning sunsets.
In fact the whole island is famous for its high cliffs of volcanic origin which offer some spectacular views. Essentially, the whole island is one large volcano which has had its top blown off a long time ago, forming a large caldera in the center of the island which offers even more spectacular views.
The volcanic nature of the island also means that beaches have a wide range of colors and textures depending on the geologic layer they’re situated on: there’s a Red Beach, a Black Beach, a White Beach etc.
Travel & Arrival
Although travelling by air is the fastest and most comfortable means of arrival, it’s also one of the hardest to book given the large number of visitors here in the summer season. Flights from Athens get book very early on, meaning that crews have to make arrangements early on. There are also flights from Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos and Thessaloniki.
By sea there is a wide range of ferries that connect the island with ports such as Piraeus, Paros, Naxos or Heraklion. We recommend the high-speed catamarans which are faster and more confortable, with a trip from Piraeus lasting 4.5 hours. There is also the option of arriving here in a cruise ship, a more relaxing and beautiful voyage.
Avant & Apres Sail
There are a few picturesque villages on the island you will simply have to see, like Oia, Fira, Pyrgos, Mesaria or Mesa Gonia, all of which have traditional Cyclades architecture white the whitewashed houses crammed together to form narrow, cobblestone-covered streets, just like you see in postcards. But you’ll also find remnants of Venetian and Byzantine buildings, a testament to the past rulers of Santorini.
The greatest attraction on the island is the landscape itself, since many tourists consider this to be a natural wonder of the world. Also worth checking out is the back country where you can find the ancient cave houses, gardens, vineyards and tiny churches, all of which make up the charm of the island.
When it comes to eating out, the gastronomical tradition in Santorini is famous in Greece for its diversity and exquisiteness. Local dishes include white eggplants, fava cape, tomato keftedes, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), grilled fish. The priciest venues are those overlooking the caldera, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch the sunset from these terraces while dining.
If you come for a holiday in Santorini, there’s one thing you should buy as a tasty souvenir for the crew back home: some bottles of wine. Santorini is a famed wine region which produces quality wines thanks to the unique climatic conditions.
Actions & Events
There is so much to see and do on the island, chances are you’ll need several trips to get the full experience. Maybe this is one of the reasons that so many people choose to come back here year after year. The most popular are the different beaches around the island which come in many colors and textures.
But there are also boat trips available around the caldera for holidaymakers, to the neighboring islands of Thirassia and to the Faros near Akrotiri. Cave exploring is also available, wineries tours, scuba diving, horseback riding and snorkeling.
A thing worth mentioning is that Santorini is a known destination for those looking to get married so take that into consideration the next time you’re headed here, maybe you can kill two birds with one stone: have a romantic wedding on the island and then spend your honeymoon relaxing here.