Even if you’ve never been to Santorini, you’ve probably been seduced by it’s picture-perfect charm; inviting white Cycladic houses, spectacular panoramic views and the beckoning azure waters of the Aegean. Think you know all the reasons to go? Here are 15 reasons why you should put Santorini at the top of your list…
1. It has some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets
Santorini is famed for its spectacular sunsets, with many claiming it has the most beautiful sunsets on Earth. Go early and secure a spot in Oia, looking out over the Aegean and white-washed rooftops, and watch the sun sink into the horizon with a splendid array of reds, oranges and yellows.
2. It’s as pretty as an actual postcard
With its panoramic views and brightly coloured roofs, Santorini is so picture-perfect it has to be seen to be believed. It’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of the picturesque town of Oia or the main city of Fira, with their gorgeous collection of white-washed houses.
3. And it’s a super volcano
The main island of Santorini is Thira, the largest of a small, circular archipelago which hugs the remnant of a volcanic caldera. The island sits in the water-filled caldera of a super volcano that is thought to have ended the Minoan civilisation on Crete. Visitors can take a boat out to the caldera on a guided tour, with fantastic views back across the water to Thira.
4. It has black sand beaches
The beaches of Santorini are unique. Black sand beaches like Perissa were shaped by Santorini’s volcanic past, with smooth, black lava rocks beneath the surface of the water. The water at the black beaches is warmer due to the heat absorbing black lava rock, with the sand itself soaking up a good degree of sunshine.
5. …and red sand beaches
Near the ancient excavation site of Akrotiri is possibly the most photographed beach on Santorini, the Red Beach. Boasting incredible red rock formations, the beach is a testament to Santorini’s unique volcanic landscape.
6. ..and white sand beaches
If you don’t like the red or black sand beaches, if you are after a more traditionally coloured beach, or if you just want to try as many beaches as possible, Santorini also has white sand beaches. Pick one for each day and rotate through, or find your favourite and pull up a deckchair!
7. You can ride a donkey
Ride a donkey from the harbour to cliff-side Oia for a truly memorable experience. The donkeys know the steps like the back of their hooves, so all you have to do is cling on to the saddle and admire the beautiful views as you wend your way up the cliffsides.
8. And eat extraordinary produce & food
The volcanic ash soil makes for some really tasty tomatoes and other amazingly fresh produce. Stop at any local restaurant for a taste of authentic Greek food, made with gorgeous fresh, local produce.
9. And drink amazing wine
Santorini’s wines are renowned for their Italian palate – during the Crusades, a Venetian nobleman seized the island. His influence can still be tasted in the sweet, crisp white wines and rosés that Santorini is famous for. The best month for tasting the new season’s vintages? October.
10. You’ll love living on the edge
Many of Santorini’s hotels and guest houses are perched on cliff-edges for panoramic views. Add breathtaking infinity pools with stunning views across the Aegean, and you’ll suddenly find that living cliffside is very appealing…
11. Or enjoy non-stop adventure
Santorini offers a vast variety of activities. Water sports are the most popular, with diving, sea kayaking and cave snorkelling available. There’s also catamaran tours for a more chilled-out experience, or rock climbing and hiking for those who prefer to stay on the dry land.
12. It has a desert climate
Despite not looking anything like a classic desert (there are definitely no rolling sand dunes or herds of camels), Santorini is one of only two locations in Europe with a hot desert climate. Which means dry, hot weather which is just perfect for a summer getaway!
13. It has a ghost town
Santorini has suffered from several earthquakes over the years. In 1965, an earthquake left the town of Mesa Gonia a ghost town. Wander through its deserted streets for an eerie experience…the town’s main inhabitants? Wild cats…and ghosts of course!
14. And lots of history
For a small island, Santorini has a lot of incredible history. The city of Akrotiri was buried underneath volcanic ashes during the explosion of 17th BC, leaving a fascinating array of well-preserved remnants that will take you back through time.
15. Best of all, it has a warm-hearted atmosphere
The locals of Santorini are incredibly friendly, with that all-encompassing Greek charm that immediately makes you feel like one of the family. Most locals also speak English, which makes it even easier to get around and have a fantastic time.
Did we miss your favourites parts of Santorini? Would you like to visit this amazing island? Let us know with #IntheMeantime #Loveholidays