Voted as one of the world’s most beautiful islands on many occasions, Santorini is a volcanic island that exudes charm and beauty. With breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, no wonder it has been celebrated by poets and painters alike through the ages. You must visit magnificent Santorini this summer for your best vacation.
Santorini, officially called Thira, is an island located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200km from the Greek mainland.
The economy of Santorini is largely dependent on tourism (thanks to its beauty), especially during summer, and also depends on agriculture. It hosts more than 1.5 million tourists annually.
How to reach:
Santorini has a major airport at a distance of 4 miles from downtown Thera. There are regular flights from Athens to Santorini and it only takes 30 minutes.
It also has two ports: Athinios (which is a Ferry Port) and an old port, Skala, where cruise ships anchor off.
Things to do & experiences in Santorini:
Wine lovers will love this place as it is home to a flourishing wine industry. Their wines are made from indigenous grape variety. Many local vineyards offer wine-tastings at fairly small prices with food and local produce. It is an experience you can’t afford to miss in Santorini.
The agricultural produce here is of the highest quality thanks to Santorini’s nutrient-rich volcanic soil. Local chefs here are always experimenting with traditional and modern recipes, making this place a food lover’s paradise.
You can visit the prehistoric site of Akrotiri which displays a Minoan City destroyed by the volcanic eruptions of 1613 BC. It is like the Pompeii of the Aegean.
You can also visit Skaros, the medieval capital of Santorini. You will find houses, temples and structures from olden times, situated 330m above sea level.
The unique thing about Santorini’s beaches is that they are in exotic colors of black, red and white. Kokkini Paralia is a red beach; Aspri Paralia is a white beach, Kamari and Perissa are balck beaches & so on. These beaches are perfect for relaxing in the beautiful summer sun.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are common activities here.
Whether you have been to Santorini or not, everyone has seen pictures of their distinctive buildings. Architecture in Santorini is traditional, with low-lying cubical houses made of local stone and whitewashed to give them that characteristic look. Blue-domed churches also dot the landscape.
Commercial development in Santorini is also focused on the western clifftops, offering breathtaking views, largely following the same traditional architecture.
There are spectacular views to be enjoyed all across this place. You must take a walk along the caldera from the capital Fira to Oia. There really is no better way to explore Santorini than to admire its beauty on foot. Instagram-worthy views are literally everywhere, we mean everywhere!
Admire the arts
You can visit the Art Space Gallery and Winery in the small village of Exo Gonia on your way between Fira and Kamari. You can admire local and international artists at work while treating yourself to good wine.
Calm Eastern countryside
Santorini’s east coast is its lesser known, calmer cousin where hotel rates are cheaper and streets quieter. You will not find steep cliff edges here. Instead, those western heights have sloped down to the sea level. There are volcanic-sand beaches and resorts here that largely cater to youngsters and families while the west coast is more of a honeymooner’s retreat.
You can find vineyards and traditional villages here where you can enjoy Santorini in all its glory beyond the hustle of Fira’s crowded streets.
Santorini’s sunset experience is magnificent to say the least. You can watch the sunset from any waterfront seat but the prime location to view an awe-inspiring sunset is Oia.
Most tourists would describe Santorini’s sunsets as romantic. No wonder this place is ranked as one of the favorites for destination weddings.
Once the sun sets, there is an altogether different kind of Santorini beauty that emerges. As the sun sets behind the volcano, you will see terraces glimmer with candle-light and the city looks just as beautiful as it did during the day with its white houses and blue waters.
Spa experience in the Aegean Sea
If you dare to be adventurous, you can visit the small island of Palia Kameni to dive into the thermal waters that form a volcanic spa.
Many organized tours are available in Santorini. Whether it is an archaeology tour, sunset-watching, winery visit, trail walk, you name it. Tourists do take the cruise the most to the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Pali Kameni.
Where to stay:
The caldera edge, which is the west coast of Santorini, offers the best scenic experience. But hotels here are expensive due to high demand.
You can go to Fira and Firostefani for midrange options.
The east coast of Santorini has nice resorts with affordable prices. The catch is that the views aren’t as great as the west coast.
When to go:
July and August are the months when Santorini sees maximum tourist influx. Resort and hotel prices soar at this point and the beaches are jam-packed too.
April, May, early June, late September and October are the best times to visit. With lesser crowds as compared to peak season, you can easily bargain for accommodation on the east coast and the ambience is much quieter.
Easy summer living is what most people are looking for when they go to Santorini. Even though Santorini is mostly seen as a summer destination, you can also make the most of your trip during winters. Nothing is taking its breathtaking beauty away in any season and of course prices are affordable during those months.
No matter what kind of experience you are looking for as a tourist, Santorini has a lot to offer to those seeking either leisure or adventure or both.
Looking for another great summer vacation destination? Check out Travel To Nantucket Island- The Summer Paradise.
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