Surrounded by dazzling Aegean waters, Santorini is stunning and spectacular with small, picturesque villages of white sugar cube houses clinging to the island’s volcanic cliffs. Arched roofs, blue domed churches and magnificent sunsets dominate the skyline whilst black volcanic beaches and crystal clear waters typify the coast. Holidays to Santorini are the picture perfect destination for a first-class island getaway.
Once an important outpost for the Minoans in the southern Cyclades, a violent volcanic eruption in 1600BC created an enormous, mostly submerged caldera with just the east rim left above the water resulting in the crescent shaped Santorini. Some speculate that the eruption brought the Minoan civilisation to an end, and may also have given rise to the legend of the lost land of Atlantis. Nowadays, the island offers traditional architecture, a relaxed way of life plus gently shelving delightful shingle and black sand beaches on its east coast. Tucked away in the southwest, against an impressive backdrop of red and black volcanic rock, lies Red Beach which offers crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkelling. Needless to say, Santorini holidays are truly captivating with this stunning island setting.
Suspended from a cliff edge, the beautiful little village of Imerovigli, or ‘the balcony of Santorini’, with its pretty white washed houses boasts exceptional views of the sparkling Aegean, the caldera, Thirassia Island and the ruins of Scaros fortress just a 20 minute hike away. Located 2km from the restaurants and bars of the capital, Fira, the traditional village of Imerovigli is perfect for a relaxing and peaceful stay.
The exquisite village of Oia pronounced ‘Ia’, is renowned for its tranquillity and spectacular sunsets from its amazing vantage point atop an impressive cliff in Santorini’s northwest. Oia is a popular choice of location for premier holidays in Santorini. It offers unparalleled views of the caldera, beautiful blue domed churches, luxurious boutique hotels and dazzlingly white Cycladic buildings, punctuated by traditional blue shutters and pretty bougainvillea and oleander. An array of stylish bars and cafes, excellent restaurants and shops line the narrow pedestrianised cliff top walkway, and together with a maritime museum and the remains of an old Venetian fortress, the area is popular with artists and boasts several galleries. Set below the village is the small port of Ammoudia, reached by some 300 steps, where boats leave regularly for the island of Thirassia. This exceptionally beautiful cliff-top village is a truly magical location for Santorini holidays.
Kamari & Perivolos
Located on Santorini’s east coast where beaches are delightfully gently shelving, Kamari and Perissa vie for the title of the island’s most popular beach resort. The 2km long blue flag shingle and volcanic black sand beach of Kamari is perfect for families with watersports and a dive centre available, and lively bars, stylish restaurants and traditional tavernas along the seafront. There’s an open air cinema which hosts the Santorini Jazz Festival every July and a number of wineries close-by. Further south along the coast and close to the resort of Perissa, itself within walking distance of the ancient capital of Thera, lays Perivolos, with its long beach of velvety black sand, sparkling crystal clear waters, wide range of watersports and traditional tavernas. Both Kamari and Perivolos are fantastic when on Santorini holidays for experiencing and participating in the vibrant and entertaining Greek culture.
Boasting magnificent panoramic views of Santorini, the hilltop village of Pyrgos is located 8km southeast of Fira in the island’s heart. Formerly the capital of Santorini, and renowned for its splendid Easter celebrations, the village features whitewashed houses delightfully clustered around the remains of a 13th century Venetian castle, winding lanes, traditional tavernas, and numerous domed churches. The famed Monastery of Profitis Ilias, displaying a small collection of icons and ethnographical materials is 4km away.