In a social media-obsessed society, it can sometimes feel like we’re familiar with the world’s most beautiful destinations, without ever having been there…
Guest post: Ella Robinson
But there is no replacement for seeing a new spot first-hand, and Santorini is one place that you simply have to see for yourself.
There are few locations that feature more heavily on Instagram feeds and travel brochures than the island of Santorini. Part of the Cyclades group, it remains one of the most popular holiday spots for couples, families, and just about anyone else to whom a holiday means enjoying endless indelible views and sun-soaked experiences.
There are so many things to see and do in Santorini, which can make devising your itinerary feel like an impossible task. To set you on the right track, we’ve scoured the island to find three of the most beautiful sights that simply can’t be missed on your next sunny sojourn in the Cyclades.
Santorini’s volatile history is encapsulated in the rugged elegance of the caldera. The Minoan eruption of Thera that took place thousands of years ago is believed to be one of the most powerful explosions ever witnessed on earth. It shaped the landscape of this enchanting corner of the globe and is a sight that cannot be missed, no matter which part of the island you’re based in.
There are many different ways you can experience this natural wonder, both up close and personal by boat, or from further afield back on dry land. Fira is one of the most popular places to capture a snapshot of the caldera, owing to its elevated position on the island. You will find perfect photo opportunities all across the capital, where you can take a snap that is sure to feature in your holiday album.
The best way to get a true understanding of how this beautiful island was formed is by taking a boat out to the Santorini Volcano. Though it’s still classified as an active volcano, its last eruption came back in the 1950s, and tourists have since been flocking to this Aegean jewel to admire its destructive beauty.
Spending your evenings watching the sun drop into the Aegean Sea is a quintessential holiday pastime for anyone heading to the island. Travel experts have dubbed it the top sunset location in the world, and the beauty of this natural wonder has to be seen in person to truly be appreciated.
Chances are you won’t be the only visitor to have the sunset on your Santorini bucket list. As such, it can be helpful to know the best spots to avoid the crowds without compromising on the view. The most popular sunset spot is in Oia, near the old castle. This is where you’ll be able to take your own snap of the classic Santorini shot over the blue-domed churches, but it can get incredibly busy.
For a more laid-back alternative, head to the village of Imerovigli, or the neighbouring Skaros Rock, which is often overlooked by sunset seekers. Skaros can be accessed via a well-marked hiking path, so pack up your walking boots and reward yourself with one of the world’s most beautiful nighttime scenes anywhere on the planet.
The Greek islands are known for their intricate and complex history, and Santorini has its own compelling story to tell. It’s been home to many different civilisations throughout the course of history, with each leaving its own mark on the island. Today, there are many different ways visitors can learn about Santorini’s past. One of the most enchanting is by paying a visit to Ancient Thera.
Nestled in between two of the island’s most popular beaches (Perissa and Kamari) on the southeastern clifftops, this important historical site is home to artefacts from different periods of the Aegean civilisation. With so many different vestiges from different time periods, Ancient Thera is best explored in the company of a local tour guide, who will help you make sense of the complex ancient relics.
This stunning site isn’t just one for the history buffs. Due to its coastal location, you will be treated to sprawling views out across the Aegean Sea, which provides the perfect backdrop to this most interactive of history lessons.
Have you visited Santorini? If so, why not share your experience with me…