Unique in the world, Santorini is the crater of an ancient volcanic eruption, whose scimitar-like rim enfolds a spectacular lagoon of islands with the graphic names of “Burnt Island” and “New Burnt island”
The iconic cave-buildings, churches and white cube villages encrust the rim like sugar coating, but don’t ask for a villa with beach access, as the place to be is up on the “Caldera” as the rim is known, with sunset views if possible.
At the tip is Oia, the prow of the island, followed by Imerovigli, Firostefani, Fira, Messaria, Megalochori and down to Faros.
The famous Red and Black beaches are of red and black lava under cliffs of the same colour, dark blue waters and dramatic feel. For families and chilling, Perivolos on the opposite flat side of the island offers kilometres of gently shelving sandy beaches, tavernas, water sports and sheltered swimming.
Connoisseurs come to Santorini on the wine trail – the volcanic soil produces some amazing wines and state of the art wineries, while the local produce is famously flavoursome and healthy. Dining on Santorini is a joy even without the sunset views, with young, new and excellent chefs using the freshest of local ingredients.
Other activities on Santorini include sunset cruises in the lagoon, exploring the lagoon islands, viewing the archaeological site and museum of ancient Thira, riding the téléferique up from the port of Ammoudi to Oia, and shopping for artisanal goods in the small boutiques.
The trick on Santorini is to find privacy and space on the Caldera, and a new crop of luxurious villas offers just that.
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