Holiday Destinations / Europe / Greece / Travel Guide / Santorini
The Greek island par excellence is Santorini: although touristy, crowded, and expensive, it remains in the heart of all visitors for its incomparable beauty. Halfway between Athens and Crete is Santorini, the Greek island par excellence: it is Greece as we imagine and dream it, Greece as a postcard, the tourist jewel of the country. Its curious shape, with the caldera in the centre of the island, is the result of a volcanic eruption that took place 10,000 years ago which had immediate disastrous consequences, with the sinking of most of the island but has become the reason for the tourist success of Santorini.
The breath-taking views of the caldera, the extraordinary colours of the rock formations and the spectacular sunsets that are considered the most romantic of all the Greek islands attract 1.5 million tourists to the southernmost of the Cyclades every year. Despite the crowds and the high prices of its chic hotels, Santorini remains an ideal destination for a dream holiday.
What to Do In Santorini
The most suggestive area of Santorini, where everyone wants to stay, is of course the ridge of the caldera, from which you can enjoy breath-taking views and the best sunsets. Here the tourism industry of Santorini has concentrated: you will find the widest choice of hotels, resorts, and rooms, but also the highest prices. To spend a little less you must get away from the caldera and be satisfied, so to speak, to enjoy the beautiful views of the area during a day visit. If it is true that the singular volcanic landscape of Santorini is the main tourist attraction of the island, it must be said that there is no shortage of interesting historical and cultural attractions.
Santorini is an island that offers a lot to the visitor, from sports to the most romantic visits, it is possible to book different activities and excursions with us. Sip a glass of white wine while admiring one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life, leave to explore the nearby islands, wait for the right moment to take extraordinary photos, dive into a swimming pool with breath-taking views of the caldera … you can fill your days in Santorini with unforgettable memories!
Fira, the capital of Santorini, is the nerve centre of tourism on the island: a jumble of brand-name shops and kitschy souvenirs, traditional taverns and boisterous breweries, an impressive number of bars, restaurants and tourist agencies offering tours and excursions. Why does Fira continue to attract crowds of visitors despite this chaos? Because it is simply splendid: the cascade of white house’s overlooking the caldera and the spectacular colours of the rock formations at sunset are incredible views that leave visitors speechless with wonder. The beauty of Fira is paid dearly: do not expect to find cheap accommodation in this area.
The refined Oia is the chic resort of Santorini, where design hotels, exclusive resorts, and luxury villas with swimming pools worthy of a Hollywood star abound. It is hard to imagine that only about sixty years ago there was nothing of this abundance of luxurious accommodation: the traditional village, already subdued compared to the current tourist megastar, had in fact been completely devastated by a terrible earthquake. The reconstruction brought more prestige to Oia, which today is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating villages in the Cyclades. Despite the high hotel prices, many tourists choose it as a base for their holiday on the island to admire in its full beauty this splendid city that stretches along the steep slopes of the caldera; others choose it because they want to experience the exciting experience of sleeping in a room created from a niche in the volcanic rock. The tourists who stay in Oia must be added to the same day vacationers, including those who get off the cruise ships for a hit and run visit. Staying in Oia allows you to visit the town early in the morning before the tourist crowd arrives. The price, you already know, will not be low cost.
Firostefani and Imerovigli
Leave the front row views and move a little further into the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli to find a good choice of hotels and mid-range hotels: you will not be at the centre of the action, but you can still admire breath-taking views of the caldera and you will remain something more in the wallet. With a 15-minute walk from Firostefani and half an hour from Imerovigli (highest point of the ridge of the caldera) you can reach the capital and its multitude of bars and clubs.
Perissa and Kamari
If you have read this far and you are despairing at the thought that a holiday in Santorini is beyond your reach, we have good news for you. In the villages of Perissa and Kamari you will find cheaper accommodation, including a hostel and a campsite. They are less tourist locations, and therefore hotels offer lower prices. They are also suitable for those who do not like being in the midst of confusion, but if you want an occasional crowd bath you can take the local bus that will take you to Fira.
Archaeological site of Akrotiri
Akrotiri is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean and represents an obligatory stop on every holiday in Santorini. The phenomenal discovery of the ancient Minoan city buried under the ashes of the volcano after a tremendous eruption occurred in 1967 and excavations continue today. The ruins open to the public are protected by a concrete, wood and steel structure, an exceptional work of ingenuity that allows visitors to wander around the ancient city, totally immersing themselves in the atmosphere of classical Greece. Less amazing but not without charm is the archaeological site of Thira , where you can walk among Hellenistic, Byzantine and Roman ruins.
Red Beach, the most famous beach in Santorini Curiously, the most famous Greek island does not owe its fame to the beaches: this does not mean, of course, that you will not find beautiful beaches on the island of Santorini. The beaches of the island reflect its volcanic origin and are therefore mostly black sand beaches, but once again Santorini amazes everyone and its most famous beach is Red Beach , an expanse of reddish sand bordered by imposing cliffs, also coloured reddish. Red Beach is an equipped beach but being quite small and very famous you will have to arrive early to get an umbrella.
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