Santorini is undoubtedly one of the most favourite islands and one of the most romantic spots on the planet. This gem on the crown of Greece, as it is called by foreign media, is one of the most famous islands worldwide and is listed among the top travel destinations. Its distinctive geomorphology, the unique caldera, volcanos, black beaches, delicious food, characteristic wines, and the magical sunset are only a few of the island's singularities which make Santorini enchanting and unforgettable.
In Santorini you can engage in many activities which will bring you even closer to the magical atmosphere of the island.
Following is a list of the "must do's" for every visitor:
1. The beaches of this Cycladic island, unlike any others in the Aegean, are legends in themselves. The island's volcanic origins have given the beaches distinct colours and fascinating diversity.Only a short walk from the ancient site of Akrotiri is the Red Beach, the most famous beach of the island, with its remarkable red and black volcanic rocks. On the beach of Vlichada, the white volcanic rocks and the black sand create a striking landscape where you can enjoy swimming while relishing the sun set.The black sand of the twice awarded with blue flags beach of Kamari is overseered by the imposing mountain, Meso Vouno, and that of Profitis Elias. Finally, the beaches of Perissa and Perivolos are highly popular for their tourist facilities, cafes, restaurants, bars, and water sports. Last but not least, there is a plethora of natural, unblemished beaches awaiting to be discovered.
2. Wine making in Santorini goes back to the Roman period, and until this day, the wine remains one of the major local products of the island. The volcanic environment , it is thought, gives wine its unique, unequalled characteristics. Visits to local wineries may be arranged. The award winning Sigalas Winery offers tours of its facilities. Of course, marvellous wine may be accompanied by a variety of local delicacies.
3. The idyllic village of Oia, with its white houses and blue shutters, is one of the most photographed places of Greece. It is situated at the top of an impressive rock and offers an entrancing view of the Palia and New Kameni volcanos. Wander in the maze of the narrow alleys and footpaths to see blue domes of white churches, countless art galleries and taverns. Traditional architecture with its captains' residences, subterranean abodes, a spellbinding view and an evocative atmosphere, make Oia famous worldwide. Besides, such fame is well deserved since Oia has one of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet.
4. Make sure you reserve a place on a cruise and see the island from a different perspective. Santorini is famous for sailing. You can choose either a yacht or a speedboat to see the island. Also, you can go scuba diving, which is the surest way to have a view of the fascinating underwater volcanic landscape.
5. Visit the lovely village of Emporio with its well preserved ancient castle, also called Castelli, profuse with historical architecture and a multitude of churches .
6. Enjoy history at the ancient site of Akrotiri, where lie buried findings of both prehistoric and postcycladic civilizations and where extensive archeological restoration works have taken place. Wander through the lanes and squares of this prehistoric city where about thirty thousand people once lived and thrived and which is often referred to as "Pompeii of the Aegean".
7. Visit the volcano of Santorini. You are in awe as you approach the craters by boat, and your pulse quickens at the sight of islands which have emerged from the earth's molten core. Make a stop behind Palia Kameni and swim towards the undersea hot sulfur springs. Your tour ends at Nea Kameni, where new intense sensations are entangled with the volcanic landscape. The volcano exhales gases and paints an impressive picture while this natural phenomenon diffuses feelings of calm and serenity knowing that fiery energy is being vented out from the crux of the earth.
8. Visit Finikia, the tiny, well preserved, traditional village - right before you enter Oia- distinct for its architecture. Along the footpaths of the village, among gardens, stairways, rooftops and vineyards , only donkeys and pedestrians can be seen. Here you will enjoy an eye-pleasing promenade with a view of the green hillside vineyards and the bluest of seas northside of the island. If you find yourself in Santorini in the fall, you should not miss the Santa Marina fair on October 20th, where the whole island dances till the morning...