Santorini
© Fotofeeling / age fotostock
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Santorini

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

A mysterious and magnificent place ... these are the first impressions that you have of the island of the southern Cyclades which spans over 31 sq mi and which was devastated by a volcanic eruption around 1500 BC, putting an end to the Minoan civilisation. You will discover beautiful landscapes here; the contrast of the vineyards further inland with the spectacular ochre and black cliffs where small picturesque white villages flourish. Oia is one of those villages and it is one of the most beautiful sites in the Cyclades. As for hotels, there are all kinds of hotels here, from luxury establishments to more simple hotels (category C, according to the local classification) where you are often pleasantly surprised by their good value for money. The hotels on the west coast offer an extraordinary view of the volcano, the 'capital' of the island, Fira, and the beaches (mostly black sand beaches) of the east coast. Tourists are right to come here at the beginning of the high season.

To see

The most common excursion allows you to go by caďque (small rowing boat) to the volcano (3 hours) or to continue to the islets of Thirasia and finish the tour with a visit to Oia (6 hours).

To do

Day trips round the island by bus are also scheduled and offer the opportunity to visit the main attractions of the island (in particular the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the monastery of Profitis Ilias and the vineyards).

pros

  • +  A wide range of hotels
  • +  The charm of the traditional villages
  • +  Magnificent scenery

cons

  • -  The 'capital' and some beaches are overcrowded during the summer
  • -  The distance from the mainland (9 hours by ferry)

To think about

The main villages and seaside resorts of Santorini (Kamari, Perissa , Akrotiri, etc.) have a reliable bus service. The airport is about 3 and a half to 4 and a half miles from Fira and the port of Athinios is 7 and a half miles away.

To avoid

If you take the ferry, be aware of the risk of traffic jams on the small steep road that goes down to the port and which necessitates a comfortable margin to access.

To try

Good quality fish is the island's main asset, but there is also Greek salad, tsatsiki, etc. Parikia is overflowing with small restaurants where these dishes can be found at reasonable prices.

To bring back

Some painters sell beautiful paintings representing the views in Thira and Oia. Countless shops in Thira leave you spoilt for choice for gifts to bring back.
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