Floating in the southern Aegean Sea is a little slice of Greek heaven. A huge volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago left a caldera which turned the then- circular Santorini into a crescent shaped island, one that has been charming visitors ever since.
Santorini is the largest island in a small archipelago, wrapping its arms protectively around the islands of Palea, Nea and Thirasia. Sheer cliffs hundreds of metres high shield coves and beaches made up of red, white and black sand, while pretty villages of limewashed cubic houses creep up the sides, nestled into every nook and cranny.
This sea of white in the charming town of Oia is punctuated by blue domed roofs and the occasional house painted a rebellious shade of pastel. Wander its streets past the famous windmills and wind your way up to the ruined castle, which serves as a lookout point with views across the sparkling Aegean Sea. At sunset enjoy the twinkling lights of the town and the soft glow of the whitewashed walls.
At the opposite end of the island lay the ruins of Akrotiti, a Bronze Age settlement that was destroyed in the Theran eruption and buried in volcanic ash. Beautiful preserved frescos were discovered during excavation and can be admired along with other artefacts in the Museum of Prehistoric Thira.
Santorini has a small but flourishing wine industry, the indigenous Assyrtiko grape used to produce beautifully crisp white wines that are best enjoyed with a bowl of fresh seafood.
When to go
Blessed by a lovely climate and warm temperatures for much of the year, Santorini can easily be split into a distinct winter and summer season. Rising temperatures and regular sunshine tend to emerge in March, gradually rising before peaking in August. The island sees greater visitors during the core summer months of July and August, making May, June and September particularly rewarding.