For years now, Santorini is the top preference for millions of people all over the world. Santorini tourism is well-developed and in fact, this is the top destination among the Greek islands. Santorini, the southernmost island in the Aegean Sea, is an archipelago of small islands formed by an enormous volcanic explosion which broke up the single Minoan settlement of Thira into fragments, resulting in the magnificent natural formation of a volcanic caldera. Discover the island with our Santorini Travel guide.
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A giant central lagoon created by the caldera is surrounded by high steep cliffs on three sides that slope downwards into the Aegean Sea, while on the fourth side, there is a small island called Thirassia. The deep waters of the lagoon make it a safe harbor for shipping vessels, both big and small, and the best part is that all harbors of the island lay in the lagoon.
Fira is the capital town of the main volcanic island. A combination of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, with white cobblestone streets clinging to the rim of the caldera and bustling with shops, taverns, restaurants, and cafes at a height of nearly nine hundred feet above the port, Fira is a really beautiful place to begin your Santorini vacation. If you arrive by cruise ship, you can reach Fira by a cable car from the port, or take a mule ride up the few hundred zigzagging steps. This town offers plenty of accommodation options.
Another must-see place during your Santorini vacation is the village of Oia. Located just above Fira, at the highest point of the island, Oia is a quintessential Santorinian town with its whitewashed walls carved into the rim of the caldera, and its bright blue domes rising against the backdrop of some of the most stunning sunsets in the world.
No Santorini vacation is complete without enjoying one of the famous sunsets at Oia. At dusk, the town gets pretty crowded with people who come to watch the sun go down into the sea. In the other towns, the sunset is partially hidden by the caldera, so do not miss the sunset in Oia for anything in the world! While on your Santorini vacation, do not miss out on the areas outside the towns. The countryside is quaint and beautiful and you can catch a glimpse of traditional island life, as well as cave houses, small chapels and monasteries, vineyards, and wineries, which are a true reflection of the island culture and life.
Your vacations in Santorini can include yacht charters, cruises and boat trips around the beautiful island. There are all kinds of excursions on offer, including some very unique boating experiences. For instance, you can take a boat trip to the volcano, or sail to Oia to enjoy the mesmerizing sunset, or take a ride in the glass bottom boat that lets you explore the underwater rock shelf in its splendor. You can also charter a yacht and sail to the Cyclades Islands, or perhaps take a luxury liner around the Greek islands. Some deluxe VIP yachting packages combine Weddings On Board and accommodation at a luxury hotel in Santorini.
Santorini vacations can also be perfect for pursuing adventure sports, like snorkeling and scuba diving. The island boasts many diving shops and prices include the cost of equipment rental, transport, and typically, a light lunch. Deals are usually offered when a direct booking is made through the diving shop.
Santorini offers some of the most scenic diving experiences of underwater caves, caverns, and reefs, and the visibility is simply amazing. The diving trip also includes spectacular views of a wreck site near the volcano. Environmental protection is high on the list of priorities of the dive shops and they work on a quay-sharing program.
Santorini also has interesting sightseeing. Akrotiri, in the south, has well-preserved remains of a Minoan town dating back to 3,500 years. One can still see the ruins of ancient streets, buildings, stairways, Minoan frescoes and pottery that have been protected by a special roofing system. The Museum of Prehistoric Thira and the Archaeological Museum, both located at Fira, are also must see on your Santorini vacation.