Santorini: The Most Beautiful Archipelago in Greece
Why Santorini is the most beautiful archipelago in Greece
Santorini is a surreal place, a place that might appear in your dreams, but a place you would not believe actually exist. It is a place that definitely deserves a visit at least once in your life, and here are five reasons why:
Imagine looking down from a vantage point 300 metres above the sea at the remnants of the huge volcanic caldera and a giant indigo-hued lagoon (measuring 12 by 7 km), surrounded by soaring, steep cliffs on three sides. Santorini archipelago is what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption destroyed the earliest settlements on what was once a single island some 3,600 years ago. Whenever I found myself on a cliff edge on the main island of Thira, either on the terrace of my hotel or that of almost any restaurant, or simply hiking, time and time again I could not believe the breath-taking panoramic views stretching as far as the eye could see!
2. Charming Villages
Santorini will no doubt charm you with its picturesque little villages perched atop the soaring cliffs. The cliff edge of the caldera is decorated with small Cycladic houses, whose walls are all uniformly painted the purest of whites and whose roofs are azure-blue; they cascade down the cliffs until the point where these cliffs abruptly drop into the inviting blue sea. Though Thira is rather touristy, the majority of the villages are quiet. I stayed in the small quiet village called Firostefani, an oasis of peace and quiet, a short10-minute stroll from Santorini’s bustling capital, Fira. I would highly recommend staying in Firostefani, which has the most convenient location for exploring the rest of Thira being situated right in the middle of the island. I stayed at Homeric Poems. I reviewed the hotel here.
3. Spectacular Sunsets
Here, sunsets are spectacular. As the sun slowly descends towards the waters of the Aegean Sea, it makes both the sky and sea glow like hot embers, with every imaginable shade of orange and red. Santorini provides one of the best vantage points in the world to watch sunsets; as long as you are somewhere along the edge of the caldera, you will witness a truly memorable end to the day.
4. Unusual, beautiful beaches
On the outer edge of the caldera, where Thira slopes gently towards the sea, you will find stunning multi-coloured beaches: the two most well known ones are the Red Beach and Perissa Beach (this is ranked as one of the ‘World’s Most Unusual Beaches’ by Lonely Planet!). Make sure you go to these beaches early, before they start swarming with people!
5. Great local wines
Santorini white wine is outstanding! Here, wine has been produced since ancient times, and the vines reap the richness of the island’s volcanic-ash soil. A couple of the grape varieties (such as Assyrtiko and Aidini) are indigenous to Santorini, and make one of the best white wines that I have ever tried. Sparkling wine is also popular, and some wineries make it using méthode traditionnelle. Unfortunately, the reds left a little to be desired. Santowines is the largest and most famous winery in Santorini, producing some excellent whites: come here for very cheap and generous wine tasting, whilst looking over the sea and the rest of the caldera!
And here are some more photos that I hope will persuade you to make your way there one day!