By Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe
Santorini is sure to be on your bucket list for its picturesque sunsets, stunning views and selfie-ready iconic white churches with blue domes. Located in Greece’s Cyclades Islands, Santorini is a short flight ride from Athens and is close to an active volcanic island.
We loved holidaying there, a lovely relaxing counterpoint to the busy Athens & even historic Delphi sightseeing trips. We went in June but it’s an all year holiday destination.
Where to stay: You are spoilt for choice and you can find a hotel or caldera hotel to suit every budget. I recommend a hotel in Fira if you are looking for a caldera view and want the pleasure of walking around and staying at the middle of the island. If you are on a romantic holiday or honeymoon, you may like to consider splashing out to stay at Oia.
What to do: Chill, Sunset Selfies, Shop, Sightsee, Walk, Hike up a volcano, Visit a prehistoric town museum, Sunbathe. Santorini offers a holiday of your choice for all ages and interests.
My favourites were the Sunsets at Oia, Akratori Archaeological Museum, Ancient Thira, the Volcano, Megalachori Village & the spectacular Caldera Views. Perissa Beach is great for a nice promenade, posing for scenic pictures and of course dining at the waterfront tavernas.
-A Volcano cruise to the nearby volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Thirasia. Trek up to the highest point of the volcano, enjoy the hot springs (for strong swimmers) and lunch and chill at a waterfront taverna.
– Stroll through Megalochori Village, which dates its existence back to the 17h century. Home to historic mansions, old traditional houses, pirate hideaways and wine canavas, this is a charming village off the beaten route and well worth spending a couple of hours in. You can dine there, shop in the boutiques and of course take some lovely photographs of the iconic churches with blue domes.
– Get your perfect sunset selfies at Oia: Santorini is interwoven with the sunset, this magical hour of the day when the light makes everything look more beautiful. The sunset in Santorini is considered one of the most famous sunsets worldwide. Oia is the most picturesque settlement of Santorini, a lovely village with traditional character. Built on the caldera cliffs, when it is under the colours of the sunset it becomes even more staggering and idyllic. There are charming white-washed houses, blue-domed churches and marvellous buildings with attuned colours that compose an entrancing scenery. The best place to sit and enjoy the sunset is the remains of the prominent Castle of Agios Nikolaos. From here you can gaze the most scenic view; the spectacular settlement unfolding in front of you, the impressive volcano across the sparkling Aegean Sea and the dreamy horizon.
Of course there are beaches in Santorini too: The beaches are all pebbled & volcanic sand beach though you have interesting colours (Red, Black & White Beach). They are nice to sunbathe on but not very nice to walk on barefoot or even in sandals.
Eat: In a Greek Taverana, Indian Restaurant, Italian Café, You have them all. You will usually adopt a tavern or two near your hotel as your go-to-place for good food. Vegetarians may enjoy the stuffed peppers, tomatoes or vine leaves or the famous Santorini Salad. The olives are fresh and yummy. Non-veggies may enjoy the lamb gyros. Have breakfast at Fira by the Caldera and enjoy the view as you read, perhaps catch up on your email or just chill.
How to get there: Riyadh to Athens: (Aegean Air), Olympic Air from Athens to Santorini. Of course, there are ferries to travel by as well.