The Insider Guide to Santorini
The steeply-stacked, cliffside houses and buildings of Santorini are iconic the world over, their white paint and blue azure-domes making Santorini one of the most distinctive, romantic and increasingly, one of the most popular Greek Isles with tourists. Here’s our guide to Santorini.
Páme! The Main Attractions
There’s a whole lot more than tourism to Santorini - an island where volcanic craters and cliffs meet red sand beaches and far-reaching views of the Aegean Sea. Santorini itself is the largest island of a small archipelago formed of a volcanic caldera - a cauldron-like volcanic depression. Santorini was actually once the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded. It occurred around 3,600 years ago and is thought to have indirectly led to the demise of the Minoan civilization on Crete, 110km to the south. Santorini caldera today, or the parts that aren’t submerged at least, forms the remaining archipelago, and it’s the reason for the moon-shaped bay, and rugged, dramatic volcanic nature. The eruption is not the only remarkable history in the area, either. Amongst the top modern-day attractions on Santorini are a visit to Ancient Thera, an ancient city on a ridge of the 360m Messavouna mountain, discovered through meticulous archaeological investigation in the late 1800s and early 1900s. If you’re interested in the history of the island, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera is the place to go for more details. The main modern city of Santorini is Fira, the capital from where you enjoy stunning views of the caldera and will find cafes, restaurants and bars in abundance. Firostefani village is an extension of Firo, a 15-minute walk to the north, and Imerovigli is the highest point of the caldera edge, a half-hour walk from Firo, and a real gem of a viewpoint. Further north still is the village of Oia - a more exclusive and often more expensive spot for accommodation. The walk from Firo to Oia is a genuinely remarkable one, though the path does get quite rough. On the other side of things, you’ve got Akrotiri on the south of the island, further from the action of Firo, but just a few minutes walk from the volcanic sands of red beach - truly a sight to behold.