Voted the best island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Santorini is one of the most beautifully unique islands in Greece. Its landscape is a result of a now dormant volcano that created spectacular views from the top of the crater (caldera). Fira, the capital, may be reached by car or tram or donkey from the harbor, many of hundreds of steps below. The traditional village of Oia (Ia), on the northern part of the island, is a place of incomparable beauty. The unique appeal of Oia is in its little houses built out of the soft rock, its neo-classical mansions with courtyards, and its narrow paved alleys. There is a superb view out to sea and is famous for its beautiful sunsets. Also of interest are the villages of Imerovigli, declared a preservable settlement, with a marvelous view of the entire area, and medieval Pyrgos built on a hill with traditional houses surrounding a Venetian castle on the top. Santorini is not known for its beaches but the black sand and pebble beaches attract throngs of bathers. Among the famous beaches are Kamari, Perivolas, and Perissa.
There are many things to do and see on the island. A boat trip to Thirassia, a chain of islets, is worthwhile to see and to swim in the Aegean Sea. Ancient Thira is an archaeological site occupied by many cultures such as the Phoenicians and Romans. Akrotiri, one of the most significant archaeological sites of Greece, has yielded the remains of a Minoan city destroyed around 1500 BC by a volcano eruption. Santorini has long produced a plentiful grape harvest with their local wines the finest in Greece. Many wineries may be visited to taste the delicious varieties, among them a unique dessert wine called Vinsanto. There are many fine restaurants and shops to visit to experience the traditional cuisine and handicrafts of this most extraordinary island.
Things to do:
Take a sunset catamaran cruise
Tour local wineries
Visit traditional villages
Observe beautiful sunsets from Oia
Hike from Oia to Fira along the caldera