Santorini is no doubt the most picturesque of all the Greek Islands. Even if you’ve never been to this 'Heaven on Earth" Cyclades island in the Aegean Sea, you’d still recognize it immediately.
Candy colored houses carved into cliffs,
Crystal waters, gleaming white churches topped with half-spheres the color of a stormy sky.
Here you’ll find peace to unwind as you roam the black sand beaches or the streets of a quiet village like Imerovigli.
If you arrive in late afternoon, begin your tour enjoying the sun leaning in to kiss the sea at sunset in Oia, tinted with every shade of an artist’s palette. Couples, all deathly quiet, from all over the world gather along the breathtaking Caldera to share the beauty of the moment. There are few places on earth one can see so much love and affection gathered in one place. At the end, every single time I find myself clapping with watery eyes as if I just heard Callas singing exclusively for me!
Early in the morning you can visit Fira town, the capital city and the main commercial hub of the island, for great shopping.
Later on, you absolutely must charter a boat from the old port at the bottom of the Caldera cliffs in Fira. Choose the traditional way to get there, by descending the 588 steps backriding a donkey.
Otherwise there is a cable car that travels up and down the path in three minutes. You will get a chance to visit the volcanic Caldera and if you want, you can scuba dive
or just swim in the warm water of the nearby Kamenes islets. Time will suddenly be turned back!
Otherwise head for the other beautiful beaches of the island: Red Beach, White Beach, Black beach, and 25 more beaches for you to explore.
One of my favorites is in the gorgeous little harbor Ammoudi
where you can dive from the 6 meters high of the small church of Ai Nikolas and then take the little path back to eat fresh fish grilled that just came out of the fishing boats on the bayside tavernas.
I also like quiet Koloumbo beach where you can gaze Anafi island at the end of the horizon.
I ended up in Perivolos and had the most incredible frozen cocktail on the beach Bar of Black Rose !
If you go to swim to Kamari, you might want to stay after the sunset, and catch a movie at the open air cinema - a Greek experience not to be missed!
You should definitely hire a guide and visit the archeological site of Akrotiri, where professor’s Spyros Marinatos’ excavations on 1967 brought up ruins that strengthened his theory of the relationship of the Minoan Civilization with ancient Thira.
You can also take a look at this year's biennale or visit lots of local photo exhibitions all around Oia.
You should not leave Santorini without visiting at least one winery. We recommend Santo Wines which is the Union of Santorini cooperatives,
because we do not think it exists a better terrace view in any winery in the world, but all the other local ones are perfect to introduce you to Greece's best wines as well.
While you are at the union, pick up some of Santorini’s local worldwide famous products such as fava, capers, tomato paste with their intense and characteristic flavor coming from the Island’s particular rich dry soil, created from volcanic explosions.
Where to stay: "Room with a view" , sometimes with your own little swimming pool is so easy to find in this island, so don't settle for anything less!
Five star luxury is offered in many hotels but here is our choices.
1. Experience the warmest hospitality in the whole of Santorini in Vedema Resort, situated in the gorgeous provincial village of Megalohori.
2. I don't think I would choose any other place to spend my honeymoon other than the Mystique Hotel in Oia with the most breathtaking sea view of the caldera,
3. The Grace in Imerovigli is a charming boutique hotel and does have a spectacular view as well.
4. In Fira, I think the crown goes to Aressana, with a fairytale-like spa.
5. In Akrotiri, the Santorini Princess Suites for distinct tranquility
6. In Firostefani chic and cozy Mill Suites
7.In Kamari, the Rose Bay hotel, mostly for family vacations
8.For ‘Cycladic Zen’ style, you should stay at Perivolas Traditional Houses
Where and what to eat:
Santorini is the Mecca of modern Greek cuisine with creative flair. See our article The Best restaurants in Santorini.
There is something so unique in Santorini, that will always make you want to - and hopefully will - come back to this Paradise on Earth!
So, even if do not have time for all of the above,
Don't worry, Be Happy, cause you 'll be back!