While there’s a lot to be said for living in the moment, instead of experiencing things through a screen, you won’t want to leave Santorini without snapping at least one or two photos of the island’s incredible sunsets. At dusk, the sky is a mesmerising tapestry of hot pinks, fiery oranges and moody violets, and whether you’re on a romantic break or not, the atmosphere is truly out of this world.
With their striking whitewashed houses, and higgledy-piggledy cobbled backstreets, the villages of Oia and Fira are some of the most beautiful in all of the Greek islands, if not the world. Whether you’re here to sample local wine and dine in traditional tavernas, or get the adrenaline pumping by following one of the many hiking trails, this island certainly won’t fail to capture your heart.
When it comes to beaches, Santorini has them in just about all colours, shapes and sizes. Although not everyone’s idea of a sunbathing paradise, the island’s cliff-flanked black sand beach, Mesa Pigadia, is certainly worth a visit. Aspri, or White Beach, is one of the most picturesque on all of Santorini, but do bear in mind that you can only reach it by boat. Rounding off the colour trio, Kokkini Beach boasts gorgeous red-golden sands, and is backed by cliffs of fiery red, orange and pink rock.
One of Santorini’s best and most popular viewpoints, Akrotiri Lighthouse is where visitors and locals alike head in search of the ultimate sunset view. Because of its popularity, you can’t expect to have it all to yourself but the lighthouse is certainly less busy than some of Oia’s other sunset viewpoints. Oia Castle is also a brilliant viewpoint to watch the sunset, allowing you to not just look over the windmills but also providing you with a spectacular view over Ammoudi Bay. To capture the iconic blue domes of Santorini in your sunset snap, head to the opposite side of Oia Castle for an unforgettably picturesque experience.
For archaeology fans, no holiday to Santorini would be complete without paying a visit to Ancient Thira. Dating back to the 9thcentury BC, this historical site features ruins from Hellenistic, Byzantine and Roman times, so there’s plenty to explore. As well as temples, ancient houses and intricate mosaics, you’ll see the remnants of a theatre, a market, and a gymnasium, and don’t forget to take advantage of the views.
One of Santorini’s most significant landmarks, Skaros Rock was one of five fortresses built during the 15th century in an attempt to fortify the island against pirate invaders. Situated in Fira, jutting out to the west, this peninsula boasts spectacular views, but wear some good walking shoes as there are quite a few steps to climb.
Known as the island’s White Beach, Aspri combines pristine white-gold sands and glittering turquoise waters, making it the perfect sunbathing spot. Located in a remote cove, surrounded by towering white cliffs, Aspri Beach is ideal if you want to hunker down with a drink and a holiday read, but you can only reach it by boat, so be sure to factor this into your plans.
Undeniably the most famous dish in Santorini and contrary to the name, doesn’t actually have anything to do with the bean, fava is a delicious yellow split pea puree. Served warmed with lemon and olive oil, this creamy dish is the perfect accompaniment to any main meal during your holiday to Santorini, and often comes topped with chopped onions or capers for added texture.
In Santorini, the seasons are typically split up into summer and winter as opposed to the traditional four seasons. Summer falls between March and October, with the highest temperatures felt in July and August and there are around 12 hours of sunshine per day with little or no rain. If you visit in the winter, expect slightly cooler weather, with temperatures ranging from the late teens to mid-20s.
If you are a British citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Greece but you must have a valid passport. For the latest information on European travel regulations, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/entry-requirements.
The currency in Santorini is the Euro (EUR).
The language spoken is Greek.