One of the most popular destinations in Greece, Santorini may be one of the more expensive islands but definitely one of the most picturesque. Part of the Cyclades group, Santorini is well-loved for its cliff-hanging villages, Venetian castles, scenic wine country and legendary sunsets.
While Santorini consists of numerous villages, the most famous are Fira and Oia, which cling to cliff sides overlooking the turquoise sea. Hundreds of zigzagging steps ascend and wind through these villages of cobblestone lanes and whitewashed houses with blue-domed roofs. The sunset views from Oia are regarded among the most stunning in the world. Tourists can reach these villages by way of a cable car from the seaport or opt for a mule ride.
Other significant places in Santorni include Akrotiri, an excavated site of an ancient Minoan city preserved by ash from a volcanic eruption during the Bronze Age. Additionally, the island is home to two of the youngest volcanic islands in the Eastern Mediterranean, Nea and Palia. A tour to these smoking islands offers views of steaming lava flows.
Unique beaches are also one of Santorini’s many crowd-pullers. The most popular of these include Perissa, Red Beach with its red sands and cliffs, and Kamari with its black sands.
Santorini can be reached by flights from Athens, cruise ships and ferry connections. A good way to explore the island is by cycling, ATV rentals and motorbikes.