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Location, location, location - throw together spellbinding sunsets, the impossibly blue waters of the Aegean, and a vast volcanic bay ringed by a curtain wall of cliffs, and you’ll soon see why this dazzling island in the Cyclades seduces the senses.


Arrive by traditional ferry at the port of Athinios rather than plane or hydrofoil to experience the island’s full visual drama. Taxis and buses (or donkeys in the old days) whisk passengers uphill to the capital, Fira, whose higgeldy piggledy houses cling to the clifftop.

The glamorous village of Oia is a buzzing place for bar-hopping on the island’s northern tip and is a hugely popular sunset viewing site – though you can enjoy the setting rays from almost anywhere along the rim of the caldera. Imerovigli is a quiet spot perfect for simply chilling, while elsewhere you’ll find quaint Cyclades villages to explore by scooter, car or jeep.  

Historic sites
Visit the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri – buried under lava for centuries and said by some to be part of the lost continent of Atlantis. There’s also the site of ancient Thira – confusingly, Santorini is still known as Thira by many Greeks – where you can see the remains of houses, a theatre and even a prehistoric gym. Other landmarks include a ruined Venetian castle, and numerous churches and old monasteries.

Volcanic islets
Don’t miss a day trip the volcanic islets of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirassia on the far side of the caldera, to swim in the hot springs. Comb the beaches for colourful sand pebbles in shades of red and white, black and grey.


Throughout the summer months traditional music and dancing goes on late in to the evening.

Held in an open air cinema, the Santorini Jazz Festival hosts international acts ranging from bebop to funk.

Don’t miss the Ifestia festival, with showers of fireworks over Santorini’s caldera simulating a volcanic eruption.

Party into the night at the Santorini Music Festival.


Sunsets here demand a front row seat – and a chilled glass of Santorini wine on your private terrace to savour the moment.

Boutique Hotels in Santorini

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