Santorinierupts with charm. A volcano embraced by the Aegean, this island-phenomenon in the Cyclades gives its visitors a mythical experience.
Santorini – also known as Thera in Greek – is the island immortalized by poets and painters, thanks to its celebrated light, multi-coloured cliffs and picture-perfect sunsets. On this island all senses are magnified, a product of its many contrasts: black earth against whitewashed homes clinging to the cliffside, or wild volcanic sculptures against sleek Cycladic lines.
Things to do in Santorini
A walk along the volcano of Nea Kameni
Red and black rocks create a wild landscape around the crater on Nea Kameni, a small island at the centre of the caldera. From the top of a volcano with a 2.5 million-year history, you have an incredible view of the caldera. The myth that Santorini is the ancient city of Atlantis, which submerged over 9,500 years ago, comes to life before your eyes.
A spa in the Aegean Sea
If you don’t have a boat, you can easily rent one or hop on a day cruise at Athinio, Gialos or Ammoudi, and take a tour around the caldera. Discover the churches built into caves and the old stairs used for mining excavations along the cliffs. On the small island of Palia Kameni, if you dare, you can dive into the thermal waters that form a volcanic spa.
Get your feet onto higher ground
Holidays in the villages of the caldera are one of a kind, with extraordinary cave-like houses grouped together in volcanic soil. Enjoy a leisurely stroll from Fira to Firostefani and Imerovigli. The more adventurous can challenge themselves by taking the path to Oia, passing the Prophet Elijah’s Church, the Chapel of the Cross and the Black Mountain, which is iridescent at sunset, all of which makes a walk that defies description.
Summertime and the living is easy
Santorini is one of the most luxurious destinations in Greece. Plunge into one of the infinity pools that flirt with the edge of the cliff, the Aegean laid out in front of you in all its glory. Relax on a sun bed, refreshing cocktail in your hand. Enjoy a massage in your suite and a dip in your jacuzzi. Candle-lit terraces glimmer when the sun dips behind the volcano. An intimate dinner for two, paired with a fine wine from a world-renowned volcanic vineyard and views of the caldera. Holidays at Santorini’s luxurious hotels and restaurants will certainly bring your dreams to life.
The Pompeii of the Aegean
Akrotiri is a prehistoric city that lies beneath a bioclimatic shelter. Walking over wooden bridges you will encounter one of the most important and well-preserved civilisations in the Mediterranean, which was covered by the ashes of the great volcanic eruption of 1600 B.C. Visit the museum of Prehistoric Thera, at Fira, to admire its famous frescoes, among them Spring, The Monkeys and The African. A world frozen in time awaits you.
Cuisine here, boasts extraordinary ingredients thanks to nutrient-rich volcanic soil. Amongst the island’s specialties are its world famous sun-dried cherry tomatoes, fava beans (split peas), capers, and white eggplant. Santorini’s chefs are always experimenting with local products, combining traditional recipes with modern gastronomy, and making the island a top culinary destination in the Aegean.
Swim with nature
The island is lined with unique beaches in exotic colours of black, red, and white, a product of their volcanic sand. At Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach), Aspri Paralia (White Beach), Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari, the volcanic earth creates immortal works of art. Comfortable sun beds, hammocks, cocktails and delicious snacks await you at all of the organised beaches of Santorini.
A sunset ritual
Experiecing the sunset from Oia, as thousands do each year, is a ritual. For a few minutes, the energy of the landscape is palpable. When the fiery sun sinks into the Aegean, this scene will be forever emblazoned across your mind and cherished in your heart.
Imagine your wedding and honeymoon in Santorini with the caldera and volcano as a backdrop. In the courtyards of the island’s churches and on the terraces of the hotels and restaurants, the island offers couples a real-life fairytale wedding venue each year.
Hidden gems of Santorini
The wineries of Finikia
A stone’s throw from cosmopolitan Oia, you will discover the multicoloured hamlet of Finikia. These old wineries have been converted into homes that are not your typical Cycladic stonewash white but rather are painted in ochre, blue, and pink, and provide a beautiful contrast against the dark blue background of the Aegean. Walk the cobblestone streets, take a rest in the courtyard of St Matrona, with its huge palm tree, and taste the local delicacies in the area’s tavernas.
The mediaeval capital
The commanding conical rock of Skaros, visible from Fira and Imerovigli, is situated 330m above sea level. Here you will discover the mediaeval capital of Santorini. Within the Venetian castle you will find houses, temples and the former residences of the nobility. Climb to the top and the entire panorama of the caldera – from Oia to Fira – unfolds in front of your eyes.
A private sunset
If you prefer a quieter, more intimate experience, enjoy the sunset in Skaros at Imerovigli, in Kato Fira, or at the lighthouse of Akrotiri.
Scuba-diving in volcanic waters
Explore the mysterious depths of the Aegean: Cape Tripiti in Thirassia, the shipwreck at Taxiarchis, Palia Kameni, Adiavatis reef, the caves at Mesa Pigadia and the “Indian rock” in Akrotiri.
The taste of ancient vineyards
It’s time to invoke the spirit of Dionysus! Try the one-of-a-kind whites and reds of Santorini, especially the renowned Vinsanto from the volcanic vineyards that are over 3,200 years old.
Lessons in Santorini’s gastronomy
Enroll on one of the many culinary classes on offer and learn to make Santorini’s rich and varied delicacies, such as tomato patties, sfougato, melitinia and sweet koufeto. One of the most beautiful and famous Greek islands invites you to unveil its secrets together.