The Greek island of Santorini has been voted “Best Island in Europe” for the sixth consecutive year by the readers of US magazine Global Traveler, a monthly travel publication aimed at frequent business and luxury travelers.
Greece overall ranked 8th in the “International Best Historical Attractions” category and 7th in the “Best Beaches” category in the magazine’s 7th annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards that honor the best in leisure and lifestyle travel including goods, services, destinations, hotels, airlines and cruises.
Santorini, the prime gem of the Cycladic island complex, is embraced by the Aegean Sea and erupts with charm. Also known as Thera in Greek – this volcano of an island is immortalized by poets and painters thanks to its celebrated light, multi-colored cliffs and picture-perfect sunsets. Arguably, all senses are magnified on Santorini thanks to its ever-present contrasts including whitewashed cliffhanging villages on black volcanic earth and wild volcanic sculptures against sleek Cycladic lines.
There are plenty of reasons for visiting this beautiful island; keep reading for our take on the top ones:
The volcano of Nea Kameni
Red and black rocks create a rather otherworldly landscape around the crater of Nea Kameni, a small island at the center of the caldera. The top of this 2.5-million-years-old volcano offers an incredible view of the caldera.
You can easily rent one or hop on a day cruise departing from Athinio, Gialos or Ammoudi, and take a tour around the caldera. Explore the numerous churches built into the volcanic caves and the old staircases used for mining excavations along the cliffs. Should you feel more adventurous, dare to dive into the thermal waters of the volcanic spa at the small island of Palia Kameni.
Ideal for long walks
The extraordinary cave-like houses grouped together on volcanic soil create a unique atmosphere for spending your holidays. Santorini’s picturesque villages are ideal for leisurely strolls – we recommend an early evening walk from Fira to Firostefani and Imerovigli. Should you however want to enjoy a longer walk, why not set off on the path to Oia passing by Prophet Elias’ Church, the Chapel of the Cross and the Black Mountain, quite a spectacle on its own due to its iridescent colors at sunset.
A luxury experience
Santorini is one of the most luxurious destinations in Greece. Plunge into one of the infinity pools that flirt with the edge of the cliff, the Aegean laying out in front of you in all its glory; enjoy a refreshing cocktail at sunset and a relaxing massage in your suite.
The local cuisine boasts extraordinary ingredients thanks to nutrient-rich volcanic soil. Amongst the island’s specialties are the world-famous sun-dried cherry tomatoes, fava beans (split peas), capers, and white eggplant. Santorini’s chefs are always experimenting with local products, combining traditional recipes with modern gastronomy thus making the island a must-visit European culinary destination.
The island is lined with unique and exotic colored beaches covered in black, red, and white volcanic sand. Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach), Aspri Paralia (White Beach), Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari, are nothing short of real life works of art created by the uniquely colored volcanic earth. Comfortable sun beds, hammocks, cocktails and delicious snacks are in abundance at the plethora of the island’s organized beaches.
A sunset ritual
Experiencing the famous Oia sunset should be on everyone’s bucket list. For a few precious minutes the energy of the landscape is palpable, the fiery sun sinking into the Aegean and your heart skipping a bit in awe!
The perfect Wedding
Can you imagine a better background for your wedding and honeymoon pictures than that of the caldera and volcano? Whether it is the courtyards of the island’s endless little chapels or the terrace of a boutique hotel or a unique restaurant, the island offers couples real-life fairytale wedding venues second to none.
It’s time to invoke the spirit of Dionysus! Don’t miss the luscious Santorini whites and reds, especially the renowned Vinsanto from the volcanic vineyards dating back to the ancient times!
You are cordially invited to one of the most celebrated islands of the world where elegance fuses with natural kallos, history and unparalleled hospitality!
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