Santorini is an iconic Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It has a unique landscape, consisting of dramatic cliffs that tower over the sea and beautiful beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters. The scenery makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting millions of visitors each year.
The history of Santorini dates back to ancient times when its first inhabitants settled there around 3200BCE. What’s particularly interesting about this region is how volcanic eruptions shaped its topography by creating high cliffs and terraces that are now home to many villages scattered across the island. A visit to Santorini will reveal stunning views of nature at every turn, as well as numerous archaeological sites that tell stories from thousands of years ago.
For those seeking adventure, Santorini offers plenty for both experienced travelers and first-time visitors alike. With countless activities ranging from hiking and sailing to exploring local wineries or simply enjoying some sunbathing on the beach, no matter what you do while visiting Santorini you can find something special that speaks directly to your subconscious desire for freedom!
Location And Geography
Santorini is a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea that forms part of the Cyclades Islands. It is situated on the southernmost tip of the archipelago, approximately 200 km from Greece’s mainland. Santorini has long been an important trading hub due to its strategic location and proximity to both Europe and Asia. The most prominent feature of the island is its caldera, which was formed after a volcanic eruption in 1650 BC. This natural wonder measures 4km wide and 300m deep, making it one of the largest crater lakes in the world. Its surrounding cliffs stand at 400-500 meters above sea level, providing stunning panoramic views across the entire region. Furthermore, white sand beaches with crystal clear waters offer visitors a tranquil escape close to nature’s beauty. With such diverse geographical features, it is no surprise why Santorini has become so popular amongst tourists seeking relaxation and adventure alike. Transitioning into history, this small yet beautiful Mediterranean paradise has captivated many over centuries through its unique characteristics and rich cultural heritage.
History Of Santorini
Santorini is a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, like a pearl gleaming on the horizon. It has been inhabited since roughly 4th millennium BC and earlier signs of human activity have been found from around 5200BC. Its earliest inhabitants were likely Minoan settlers who established an agricultural lifestyle based on terraced farming and fishing.
The ancient city of Akrotiri was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of 1613-1615 BC which caused one of the largest eruptions known to mankind until that time. This event left behind a layer of ash estimated at up to three meters thick across much of Santorini, preserving many artifacts from this early period of history.
In later centuries, Santorini changed hands among various conquerors such as the Venetians, Ottomans and Greeks before becoming part of modern Greece in 1830. Today it’s a popular tourist destination for its stunning cliffside views and rich cultural heritage; making it an ideal spot for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation.
As we transition into discussing weather conditions in Santorini, it’s worth noting that due to its climate – mild winters with warm summers – visitors can experience all four seasons throughout their stay here.
Santorini boasts a temperate Mediterranean climate, with summer temperatures ranging from the high twenties to mid thirties Celsius. Winter is mild and humid, averaging between 10-20 degrees during the day while temperatures drop at night. The island experiences some rain throughout the year but usually remains dry and sunny for most of it; as such, Santorini is an ideal destination for those looking to relax in the sun or enjoy its vibrant culture and cuisine.
The warm waters surrounding Santorini are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore underwater life in crystal clear waters. Due to strong winds that often blow through the Cyclades Islands, sailing around Greece’s coastline can be quite challenging yet rewarding experience when visiting Santorini.
These conditions also make it possible for visitors to take part in various outdoor activities such as hiking up ancient trails leading to archaeological sites like Akrotiri’s ruins or trekking across Kamari beach. With these opportunities available all year round, travelers will find plenty of reasons why they should visit this picturesque archipelago anytime soon – setting off into an adventure full of new sights and sounds along the way. Moving on to explore Santorini’s culture and cuisine…
Culture And Cuisine
Santorini is an archetypal Greek island known for its stunning sunsets, unique whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches. It has a rich culture deeply rooted in ancient traditions that reflect the past of this incredible place.
The cuisine of Santorini is also world renowned:
- Fava: A traditional dish made with yellow split peas. It can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish with capers, onions, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Seafood: Fish caught fresh from the Aegean Sea are served grilled, fried or stewed. Octopus, squid and cuttlefish are among some of the favorites on the menu.
- Desserts & Sweets: The local delicacies include melitinia (honey cake), kserotigana (deep-fried doughnuts) and mandoles (almond cookies). All of these treats are especially delicious when paired with Greek coffee or ouzo!
In addition to enjoying the flavors of Santorinian food, visitors should take time to explore its cultural attractions such as museums, archaeological sites and galleries which showcase art by both locals and international artists alike. From exploring historical ruins to tasting regional specialties – there’s something to please everyone here! With so much to discover in Santorini, it’s easy to understand why many people flock to this magical destination year after year. Moving forward into popular activities…
The beautiful island of Santorini is filled with a wide array of attractions and activities, offering something for everyone. From leisurely strolls along the beach to thrilling water sports; there is an activity for every adventurous spirit.
For those seeking relaxation, there are plenty of options such as sunbathing by the pool or lounging on the beach. Visitors can also get out into nature and explore nearby trails, enjoy stunning vistas from the many scenic lookouts, or take a boat tour around the island. There are also historic sites like ancient ruins and churches to visit throughout the island.
If you’re looking for more adrenaline-pumping activities, then head down to one of Santorini’s beaches where you can find jet skis, parasailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving spots all in close proximity. In addition to these popular water sports, visitors can also experience cliff jumping off some of the higher points on the coastline or go horseback riding through rural areas surrounding Santorini. With so many exciting activities available it’s no surprise that this picturesque Greek Island continues to be a favorite destination among travelers looking for adventure and natural beauty. Transitioning seamlessly into accommodations on Santorini…
After enjoying the popular activities available in Santorini, visitors will need to find a place to stay. The island features an array of accommodation choices for travelers on any budget. For the best accommodation option that fits your budget and style, don’t hesitate to contact with us.
Transportation Around The Island
Exploring the stunning island of Santorini is like a dream come true. With its picturesque views, rich culture, and intriguing history, getting around to see all it has to offer can be done in several ways.
The most convenient way to explore the volcanic landscape of this Greek paradise is by car or motorcycle. Renting a vehicle offers visitors complete freedom of movement on the winding roads that line up with cliff-top villages and secluded beaches. The network of roads crisscrosses the entire island for an unforgettable driving experience.
For those who prefer public transport, there are frequent bus services connecting Fira with other towns such as Oia and Akrotiri. Buses are also available from nearby airports and ports as well as local hotels, making them easily accessible throughout one’s stay while still being affordable enough for every budget.
Alternatively, taking a boat tour gives travelers a unique chance to admire Santorini’s dramatic coastline along with some of its hidden gems at sea level. Boats depart regularly from various locations around the island, offering passengers plenty of sightseeing opportunities without having to worry about how they will get back home again.
From luxury vehicles to traditional modes of transportation such as donkey rides, Santorini provides multiple options when it comes to exploring its many beautiful sights and attractions.
Santorini offers an array of sightseeing attractions to explore. From ancient towns, archaeological sites and traditional villages lined with white-washed houses, there is something for everyone in this breathtaking island paradise.
The first stop on any tourist’s itinerary should be Akrotiri. This Minoan Bronze Age settlement dates back more than 4,000 years and features some of the finest preserved frescoes from that era. Its captivating ruins will leave visitors mesmerized by its historical significance as well as its spectacular views over the caldera.
Oia is another popular destination where visitors can appreciate Santorini’s remarkable architecture along with stunning sunsets. The tiny village perched atop a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea has been dubbed one of Greece’s most beautiful places due to its cascading terraces of whitewashed buildings set against bright blue skies and shimmering waters below.
Visitors have many opportunities to take home memories of their time spent in Santorini, whether it be postcards or souvenirs bought at local stores or handcrafted gifts made by artisans living in the area. With so much history and beauty waiting to be discovered, Santorini promises a memorable experience for all who visit. These experiences are sure to linger long after leaving this idyllic Greek island retreat, providing travelers with abundant shopping experiences ahead.
Meandering through the streets of Santorini is like taking a journey back in time. With boutique-style stores selling handmade jewelry, handcrafted pottery, and intricately woven rugs, visitors are sure to find something unique that will serve as a reminder of their trip for years to come. Shopping on the island can be both stimulating and rewarding as merchants often offer bargains and discounts found nowhere else.
For those looking for more traditional items such as clothing or souvenirs, there are plenty of shops catering to all budgets. Boutiques feature designer fashion from some of the most famous European labels while gift stores offer an array of colorful trinkets perfect for remembering your travels by. No matter what you choose to purchase during your stay, shopping experiences in Santorini will undoubtedly leave you with lasting memories.
The freedom associated with indulging in retail therapy appeals to many travelers who seek out this popular Mediterranean destination. Whether it’s buying special gifts for friends & family or just treating yourself, exploring these shop filled alleys delivers substantial satisfaction and joy that cannot be matched anywhere else. With that said, let us move onto exploring the nightlife options available on the islands.
Having discussed the shopping experiences available in Santorini, it is now time to explore the island’s nightlife options. Santorini offers a variety of activities that cater to all types of travelers, from relaxed bars and cozy lounges to energetic clubs and vibrant beach parties. The following table outlines some of the top nighttime attractions:
|Activity||Location||Best Time To Visit|
|Beach Party||Perissa Beach||June-September|
|Live Music Venues||Fira & Oia Villages||April-November|
|Bars & Lounges||All over Island (Kamari/Firostefani)||Year Round|
|Clubs & Nightclubs||Kamari Village||May-October|
Visitors can find plenty of entertainment on most nights during their stay at Santorini. From live music venues located in the villages of Fira and Oia, to bars and lounges scattered all around the island, there are plenty of places for visitors to enjoy drinks or listen to local DJs’ beats until sunrise. For those looking for something more exciting, Kamari village hosts an array of nightclubs and electrifying beach parties between May and October. No matter what type of atmosphere they are seeking out, visitors can easily find something suitable in this Mediterranean paradise.
With its stunning landscapes and lively culture, Santorini has become one of Europe’s premier tourist destinations – with many people visiting throughout the year. However, depending on which activity they prefer or when they plan to visit determines which season would be best suited for them. Therefore, understanding when peak season hits is essential when planning a trip here. With that being said, let’s turn our attention towards discovering which months present the ideal conditions for vacationers wanting to experience everything this magical place has to offer.
Best Time To Visit
Santorini is a timeless paradise that begs to be explored, and the best time to visit this majestic destination is undoubtedly during the summer months. A trip to Santorini in the peak season of June through August promises an incomparable experience; it’s as if the entire island has been touched by a magic wand! The days are long and sunny, while the nights bring a pleasant chill which can be enjoyed from any rooftop restaurant or terrace bar. In addition, many restaurants and bars remain open late into the night for visitors who wish to explore Santorini after dark.
The crystal-clear waters of Santorini also make it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. Boats tour around the caldera on daily excursions, giving travelers a chance to see dolphins up close and personal. Moreover, visitors will have ample opportunity to sunbathe on some of the most picturesque beaches in all of Europe. Although temperatures tend to hover between 25°C (77°F) – 30°C (86°F), there’s usually plenty of shade available too!
With its breathtaking views, delicious food and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder why so many people choose Santorini for their holiday getaway. Whether you plan your vacation during the hot summer months or outside peak season for a more relaxed atmosphere – prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey that will leave you wanting more. Time spent here is truly priceless! Now let us move onto tips for visiting Santorini…
Tips For Visiting Santorini
When visiting Santorini, it is important to plan ahead. Taking the time to research the best activities and accommodations can help ensure a great trip. There are numerous options for travelers in terms of transportation, lodging, dining, and sightseeing.
For those looking for an adventurous experience during their stay in Santorini, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as trekking, biking, water sports like kayaking and sailing, and exploring ancient ruins. Additionally, visitors should consider taking advantage of some of the island’s unique attractions including its picturesque villages with whitewashed houses set against the backdrop of volcanic cliffs or take a tour through one of its many vineyards to sample local wines.
It is also recommended that tourists budget accordingly when planning their trip since prices on items such as food and accommodation can be expensive due to Santorini’s popularity among international travelers. By preparing ahead of time, travelers can make sure they get the most out of their visit while still staying within their means. With all these tips in mind, vacationers will be ready to explore not only what Santorini has to offer but also its surrounding islands too.
Surrounding Islands To Explore
Santorini is an idyllic destination for travelers seeking to explore the beauty of Greece. Located off the southeastern coast of mainland Greece, Santorini has a rich history and stunning surroundings that draw people from all over the world. With its picturesque landscape and unique culture, it’s no wonder so many flock here each year. But what lies beyond Santorini? Let’s take a look at some of the other nearby islands you can explore while visiting this beautiful part of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Cyclades are a cluster of small islands surrounding Santorini in East Aegean Sea. This archipelago consists of around 220 inhabited or uninhabited islands, most notably Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Milos islands. These enchanting spots offer visitors plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, swimming in crystal-clear waters, exploring ancient ruins as well as traditional villages with their local tavernas serving up delicious Greek cuisine. Whether you’re looking for lively nightlife or peaceful seclusion – these gems have something for everyone!
Last but not least we come to Anafi Island located southeast of Santorini – one of only two inhabited islands within the Cycladic group (the other being Sikinos). It’s known for its white sand beaches, hidden coves and archaeological sites such as Kastelli Castle where you’ll find panoramic views across the sea. Here you can visit monasteries set against rugged cliffs before heading down to Chora beach to experience true tranquility by day and vibrant music scene by night; making it perfect place if you seek both adventure and relaxation during your stay in Greece. Transitioning into safety considerations when traveling abroad…
Having explored the islands surrounding Santorini, it is now important to consider safety precautions when visiting. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while in Santorini, there are several things that should be taken into consideration.
First and foremost is the weather conditions. Being an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, temperatures can vary drastically throughout the year with high humidity levels during summer months. When planning a trip to Santorini, travelers should take note of peak season times so they may prepare for any extreme weather conditions that might occur. It is also recommended that one brings necessary items such as sunscreen and hats to protect from UV rays that could cause sunburns or heat exhaustion. Furthermore, travelers should always wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain as some paths around the island can become slippery due to moisture buildup.
Additionally, visitors should take caution regarding local wildlife which includes feral cats and goats that roam freely about the island. Though these animals do not pose much danger, it is still advised to keep a distance if one comes across them while exploring nearby villages or beaches. Also included in this category are marine life including jellyfish which can often be found near shorelines during warmer seasons; thus swimming areas must be monitored before entering waters off-shore.
Finally, tourists need to familiarize themselves with regional laws prior to traveling as certain activities may not be allowed depending on where you will stay in Santorini; for example drinking alcohol outside designated areas is prohibited within city limits after 10PM and public nudity is strictly forbidden regardless of location or time of day. By following all guidelines put forth by local authorities as well as being mindful of their surroundings at all times, travelers have more assurance of having an enjoyable time in Santorini without compromising safety for either themselves or others around them. With this knowledge firmly established, travelers can then turn their attention towards determining travel resources needed for their upcoming visit.
When planning a trip to Santorini, there are a variety of travel resources available for visitors. It is important to research the best options in order to get the most out of your experience. Here are some helpful tips and resources that can be used when planning a visit:
- Search online for travel reviews – Online reviews provide an invaluable source of information on what travelers should expect from their stay in Santorini, as well as providing useful advice about where to go, what activities to do and which restaurants to eat at.
- Look into accommodation options – Accommodation can range from luxury resorts with sea views to cozy apartments located in nearby towns. Consider researching different types of accommodation based on preference and budget before booking.
- Investigate transportation services – There are several ways to get around once you’re in Santorini including car rental, bus lines or even scenic boat trips along the coast. Researching these options ahead of time will make travelling easier once you’ve arrived.
- Plan activities – From swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear waters, exploring ancient ruins or hiking up volcanoes – there’s something for everyone no matter how adventurous they might be! Make sure to plan activities beforehand so that every day is enjoyed without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by too many choices.
- Budget accordingly – Knowing how much money you have available allows you to better enjoy your holiday without worrying about going over budget. Create a budget prior to leaving home so that it’s easy to keep track of expenses during your stay.
Traveling is all about creating unforgettable memories while experiencing new cultures; if done right, visiting Santorini could turn into one of those life-changing experiences people look back on fondly years later. With careful preparation and research, this incredible destination could become a dream vacation filled with fun-filled days and magical nights spent admiring its beauty and soaking up its culture and atmosphere.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Cost Of A Typical Meal In Santorini?
A typical meal in Santorini can be an affordable or luxurious experience, depending on one’s budget and preferences. Eating out is a popular pastime for tourists in this picturesque Greek island; however the cost of dining out may vary greatly. To get an idea of the range of prices, consider this example: a three-course dinner with drinks at Kastro restaurant costs €25 per person without any discounts. This price includes appetizers such as fried zucchini balls and traditional dishes like moussaka made with eggplant and minced beef.
The price point of meals in Santorini reflects both its reputation as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, and its status as a tourist destination – much higher than elsewhere in the country. However, there are still plenty of options for those looking to save money while enjoying delicious local cuisine. Tavernas serving homecooked specialties such as oven-baked lamb chops often offer set menus for under €15 per person; these restaurants are usually found away from the major beach resorts where prices tend to be highest. Street vendors also sell snacks such as gyros wraps or bougatsa (sweet custard pie) for less than €4 each.
Whether visitors want to enjoy extravagant seafood platters overlooking iconic caldera views or simply grab a quick snack between sightseeing stops, they will find that no matter their budget there are many ways to sample authentic Mediterranean flavors in Santorini.
Is There Public Transportation Between The Islands?
Traveling between the islands of Greece is a popular tourist activity. Whether one wishes to explore new cultures, enjoy stunning views or simply relax on the beach, hopping from island to island can be an unforgettable experience. The question then arises: Is there public transportation between them?
The answer is yes. There are regular ferries that run throughout the year connecting most of the inhabited Greek Islands with each other and also mainland Greece. These services provide access to some of the more remote locations in the country, allowing visitors to explore all they have to offer. Additionally, flights between cities in Greece exist as well, however these tend to cost significantly more than ferry tickets.
When planning a visit to any of these beautiful places, it would be wise to research available transportation options thoroughly beforehand in order ensure both comfort and convenience during travel. Not only will this make for an enjoyable journey but can save money too; by taking into account such factors before leaving home, travelers can get around economically while seeing as much as possible at the same time.
Are There Any Language Barriers I Should Be Aware Of?
Visiting Santorini can be a dream-like experience, but there are certain cultural nuances of the island to keep in mind. One such aspect is language barriers; while English is widely spoken on the Greek Islands generally, it may not always be available in some areas of Santorini. To make sure your stay goes without a hitch here are four tips for navigating language barriers:
- Learn essential phrases: Before you arrive on the island, take time to learn basic words and expressions that will help you get around. Knowing how to say “hello”, “please”, and “thank you” in Greek can go a long way in showing respect for local culture and making communication smoother.
- Carry a phrasebook: Bring along an up-to-date phrasebook with regional dialects as well as translations related to common topics like shopping or directions. This will help if someone isn’t able to converse fluently in English.
- Be patient: Don’t expect immediate results when speaking with locals who don’t speak English as their first language – patience is key! If all else fails, use hand gestures or ask another person nearby if they understand what you need.
- Look out for bilingual signs: Many places have signs written both in Greek and English so look out for these when travelling around the islands. These can prove invaluable when attempting to communicate with those who don’t know much English.
Taking into account potential language obstacles before arriving at Santorini will ensure your trip runs smoothly without any misunderstandings due its unique linguistic requirements. Being aware of this ahead of time allows for greater ease of travel through more efficient communication between yourself and locals alike.
Are There Any Beaches Suitable For Swimming?
Beaches suitable for swimming are a common and desirable feature when considering vacation destinations. Santorini is no exception, with its large number of beaches that cater to different interests and preferences. In particular, those seeking a beach experience suited to swimming will find plenty of options available in this picturesque region.
The volcanic nature of the island contributes significantly to the unique features of many of its beaches; black sand, white cliffs, turquoise waters, diverse landscapes – all offering potential swimmers an ideal environment in which to enjoy their hobby or activity. The geography also contributes to making some beaches more suitable than others for certain activities such as snorkeling or diving.
In general, most public beaches on the island offer safe conditions for swimming due to their well-maintained facilities and lifeguards patrolling during peak season; however it is always best practice before entering any body of water anywhere in the world to check local signs and warnings about currents or other risks associated with any specific location. With that said, Santorini has numerous gorgeous bays surrounded by dramatic views where visitors can make memories while safely enjoying a swim in one of its inviting waters.
Are There Any Family Friendly Activities Or Attractions?
Family-friendly activities and attractions can be found in abundance on the Greek island of Santorini. Its picturesque landscape, vibrant culture, and its captivating history have made it a popular destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. Here are some of the top family experiences to consider when visiting:
- Explore Ancient Ruins – Visitors to Santorini will find several sites that provide insight into the ruins from ancient civilizations such as Minoan Akrotiri or Thera . These archaeological gems offer visitors an opportunity to explore centuries old architecture and discover artifacts that bring this period to life.
- Visit A Beach – The beaches of Santorini are well known for their stunning beauty; many boast crystal clear waters with views of nearby volcanoes. Whether you’re looking for sunbathing spots or swimming areas, there is something suitable for every member of your family.
- Take Boat Tours – Take advantage of boat tours around the coastline which allow visitors to take in breathtaking views while enjoying the fresh sea air. This activity provides families with memorable moments spent together admiring nature’s natural beauty in one of Europe’s most beautiful islands.
Santorini offers plenty of fun activities for everyone – from relaxing days at the beach to exploring historical wonders – making it a great choice for families wanting to create lasting memories during their vacation time. With so much to choose from, all members of your group will be sure to find something they love here!
Santorini, an idyllic Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, is a popular tourist destination for visitors seeking to experience its breathtaking views and culture. From savouring traditional Mediterranean cuisine at restaurants to relaxing on secluded beaches, Santorini offers something for everyone.
The cost of meals here ranges from moderate to expensive depending on the quality of food and service, but it is well worth the price with many delicious options available. Traveling between islands can be done by ferry or helicopter and there are no language barriers as English is widely spoken. There are plenty of swimming spots across Santorini, such as Kamari Beach which features crystal-clear waters perfect for cooling off during summer days. Families will find lots of activities like boat rides around the caldera or horseback riding along scenic trails – each experience offering a unique insight into this enchanting land.
In conclusion, Santorini is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore beauty and history without sacrificing comfort and convenience. From immersive experiences that allow you to discover local life and customs to stunning landscapes that capture your imagination, this magical place has something special for every traveler who stops by.
FIRA AND FIROSTEFANI
The capital of Santorini is known as Fira – or Thera – and is often the first point that visitors see after arriving by boat, especially since it's connected by cable car to the island's main port. The town is a great point to get it all in: the cafes on the cliffs with a stunning caldera view, fancy boutiques for shopping, intriguing museums for just the right dose of culture, fancy little hotels, happening nightclubs, idyllic walks and hikes, art galleries, a hotchpotch of restaurants and so much more. The archeological museum is a must, while the folklore museum will delight those who want some insight to the island's recent past, before tourism changed the way of life forever. A short walk from Fira is the town of Firostefani which also boasts caldera-view cafes and many more hotels or suites to choose from. The hike from Fira to Firostefani is highly recommended, but do protect yourself from the sun along the way.
The town that shows most on photos of Santorini which have made it around the globe usually feature the idyllic town of Oia with its blue-domed churches, colorful little houses that descend down the cliffs, and sunset cafes that are almost always fully booked. A handful of high-end boutiques and art shops are there titillate the senses while you explore the colorful alleyways, stone-built staircases and cobblestone streets. The island vibe is strong and the eateries plentiful, so you can easily spend a whole day walking around this part of the island. The more agile visitor would do well to walk down to the little port of Ammoudi for a swim or a short boat ride across to the islet of Thirasia (see separate section). It's the way back up that's more challenging and not to be done under a strong sun, but don't let this stop you from exploring the enchanting sea-level parts of this magically perched little town, even if you get there by taxi. Lastly, consider visiting the rich Naval Museum and the remains of the Agios Nikolaos Castle to cultivate a deeper appreciation of Oia and its past.
Just a five-minute boat ride away from the little port of Ammoudi below Oia, the little island of Thirasia is considered an old version of Santorini, before tourism took over. It certainly has a more authentic feel to it, without all the bling and luxury hotels of the mother island. Thirasia's main town, Manolas, affords magnificent views of Santorini and another perspective of the caldera. While the island today is sparsely inhabited and has a strangely captivating air of wilderness about it, Thirasia once had a thriving community in the Late Bronze Age (i.e. some three or four thousand years ago), with archeologists having found intriguing building remains and objects from that far flung era. History aside, if you want to feel the elements of nature and you're the outdoors type, we can help you book a hiking or mountain biking excursion on the island of Thirasia. E-mountain bikes are available for the extra push uphill too, coupled with a possible trip to a small local winery.
The sleepy little town of Akrotiri, by Santorinian standards, hides a very important "secret": a whole prehistoric town covered by lava that will impress anyone who sets foot on this formidable archeological site. History, geology and archeology buffs often stay on this part of the island, but wherever you're staying on Santorini, the site of Akrotiri is a definite must-visit. With origins as far back as the fourth millennium BC, this seaside Minoan town once had exchanges with mainland Greece, Syria and Egypt. The famous volcanic eruption of Santorini helped preserve its two- and three-floor buildings, complete with outstanding wall murals, urns and furnishings. Some of these objects can be seen in Santorini's archeological museum. We would be happy to arrange an engaging tour guide (highly recommended for unveiling the deep history of this place) and transport to this wonderful site. Beyond the site, Akrotiri has a gorgeous lighthouse on the tip of this peninsula that's perfect for watching sunsets. Famous as well are its too unique beaches, the Red Beach and the White Beach. You'll understand more what these names stand for when you visit!
KAMARI, THE BEACH AND ANCIENT THERA
If you're a fan of the beach, Kamari is for you. The long sandy beach offers cafés, restaurants, and umbrellas that spell Greek island life and relaxation in a way that's quite different from the stark hanging cliffs of the other side of the island. The beach has won the Blue Flag designation for being very clean and there's a scuba diving school on its shores for those who want to experience Santorini from a deep-sea perspective. Snorkeling can also be fun as a lighter alternative. Just above Kamari is Mesa Vouno (literally Interior Mountain) that is home to one of the most impressive archeological sites, that of Ancient Thera. You can see buildings, temples, shops and a theater dating from Roman times, although it was inhabited by the Minoans much before that, as far back as the 15th century BC. If you're fit, you can climb up and down this mountain, then head directly to the beach to relax and recover. Alternatively, take a taxi up to the mountain and hike down for an hour or two on foot. The view from the mountain is quite impressive!
PERISSA AND PERIVOLOS
On Santorini's southeast coast, these two little coastal towns on an attractive beach with volcanic sand represent the ultimate in relaxation against the deep blue foreground. Take your pick from the different groups of sunbeds and their corresponding beach bar or restaurant, then sit back and enjoy as you enjoy your favorite cocktail, a good Greek salad or some watermelon right from sunbed. The long beach was awarded with the Blue Flag designation, meaning the water is very clean. You'll also find a variety of watersports providers such as diving, canoeing and standup paddling (SUP). We recommend you go choose activities such as these more eco-friendly options that don't pollute and minimize harm to marine life.
You'll love Pyrgos, as it's one of the more authentic villages of Santorini, without the feeling of mass tourism you might feel in other parts of the island. Start at the main square with the cozy coffee shops and make your way up the village to the the medieval castle (called Kastelli) and the landmark Church of the Virgin Mary which is over 350 years old! There's also a handful of restored villas that now serve as discrete luxury boutique hotels. Little shops, a couple of art galleries and modest little cafes tucked in the side streets will awaken a sense of wanderlust as you navigate this little village by foot. Well worth a visit!