Santorini is one of the most popular destinations all over the world. You can be in an airport in New York or Sydney and see photos of Santorini on advertisement banners. This volcanic island truly deserves all the attention it gets. It is a must-visit for everyone who lives on planet Earth, and for a good reason.
Here, you can find everything you seek. Be it the majestic views, breathtaking landscapes, secluded beaches, or cosmopolitan villages. In just 90 square kilometers, Santorini promises a holiday experience that you will remember for a lifetime.
The Two Sides of the Island
When you talk about Santorini, you have to talk about its volcano, also known as the caldera. To be precise, the official name of the island is Thera, which comes from its capital village.
Santorini is the name of the volcano although it is the more prevalent name for the island today. A few thousand years ago, Santorini was a circular island until the volcano in the middle erupted. As a result, the central part of the island collapsed into the water creating a unique open-sea lagoon, which we call the caldera.
This volcanic eruption affected and still affects life on the island. Speaking of the Santorini way of life, you must know about this island’s two sides.
The western half is part of the island with breathtaking views of the caldera you usually come across on Instagram. All villages and resorts are built on top of steep cliffs by the water, overlooking the active volcano of Santorini.
In this western part, you won’t find any beaches though. You would have to travel to the other half of the island to get into one. The eastern side is a bit less touristy but full of the famous Santorini beaches. It is also a place with much more affordable accommodation options.
It is certainly not cheap, but you can notice the difference when you compare it with the luxurious resorts and hotels on the west coast. Because of the active volcano and the ashes, the beaches here are not white but darker than usual in Greece, although still as soft.
When in Santorini don’t miss…
Everyone visiting Greece should stop by Santorini. It is a unique island where you won’t regret spending a few days. However, this majestic island is better suited for couples and honeymooners, and less for nomads or party lovers.
That being said, you will find a good amount of nightlife but it would be nothing near other popular Greek islands, such as Mykonos. Santorini is a destination where you will enjoy breathtaking views, relax, and recharge.
You will love Santorini the most if you come with your wife or husband. There are a lot of romantic things to do as a couple on the island.
You can go for a sunset cruise around the caldera, take a winery tour over the local vineyards, enjoy fresh seafood and other Greek specialties, or simply relax at the beach and soak up the sun.
When it comes to going out, there are bars all over the island where you can enjoy a romantic night out. The most popular areas to go out are Fira and Pyrgos, two of the busiest locations on the island.
Santorini is also a rather expensive destination. There are luxurious resorts and hotels all over the island, especially on the western part overlooking the caldera.
Because celebrities and wealthy individuals keep visiting the island year after year, you won’t find any affordable accommodation options. This doesn’t take away any charm of the island, however. It is only to show that Santorini is a premium destination.
The most obvious activity to do is no other than walking the caldera edge and admiring the views.
Be aware that there can be many ups and downs along the way; so make sure you wear good sports shoes to avoid any accident. There are pathways all around Fira, the capital of the island, so feel free to choose the one that looks best for you.
If you are in for a challenge, try to walk all the way to Oia, the most northern settlement overlooking the caldera. This is not easy by any means. It is 9 kilometers one-way and can take anything from 3 to 5 hours to complete. You won’t regret it, however. It would be a highlight of your trip and you will remember the landscape and the views for a long time.
Once you reach Oia, you can have a launch or dinner in one of the local restaurants or taverns there. And if you feel too full to walk back, you can always take a taxi or bus to be at your hotel within an hour.
If you are in for a swim, your options are plenty here too. If you stay on the western side, you can visit any of the infamous infinity pools in different resorts overlooking the caldera. There is no such feeling as swimming 300 hundred meters over sea level while you have this spectacular view of the volcano.
If you go there, try to make it late afternoon so you can see the sunset too while in the water. If you want a more traditional swimming experience, however, you are always an hour’s way from the famous beaches of the east coast, with their volcanic sand and rich marine life.
Villages & Iconic Landmarks - Things to Do - Places to See
Where to Stay - Where to Eat - Beaches
Gastronomy & Wines
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