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Welcome to Santorini

santorini has been called several things over the ages—including kalliste, meaning “the most beautiful one”—and it’s an apt description of an island with high cliffs set around a volcanic caldera in the azure aegean sea. fira, the capital, is an enchanting mix of venetian and cycladic buildings set into steep cliffs, which are often climbed by cable car or donkey. meanwhile, oia's whitewashed walls and blue domes show off one of the most famous and beautiful sunsets in europe. on a guided tour, these towns reveal santorini’s charm, which also extends to the sea. take a boat tour to experience the volcanic island of nea kameni, the hot springs of palia kameni, and the ancient lighthouse akrotiri. there are beaches of many colors to enjoy on shore excursions: white, red, and even the black beaches of perissa and kamari. more private tours take visitors to traditional villages such as megalochori and pyrgos. the highest point on the island is the monastery of prophet elias, and it’s a popular spot on guided tours for its views. of course, no outing would be complete without sampling the santorinian wine, distinctive for its minerality courtesy of the volcanic soil—sip while touring the wineries where each bottle was made.

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Top 10 attractions in Santorini

Santorini Volcano
#1

Santorini Volcano

The volcanic eruption of Thira that put an end to the thriving Minoan civilization was so cataclysmic, it may have spawned the legend of Atlantis. The explosion occurred around 3600 years ago, scooping out the once-circular island’s center and west coast, and creating the sea-filled caldera and signature sheer cliffs where Santorini’s townships teeter today. Since then, there have been perhaps a dozen major eruptions. The volcano is quiet today, though the nearby island of Nea Kameni in the center of the caldera still emits puffs of steam. It’s thanks to the caldera that towns like Oia boast such stunning sunsets, providing a low-lying, obstruction-free observation point as the sun sinks into the sea....
Nea Kameni
#2

Nea Kameni

Centered around a ruggedly beautiful volcanic crater, the small island of Nea Kameni offers a dramatic photo opportunity, with its dark cliffs sculpted from lava rock and natural thermal waters tinted orange by the mineral-rich seabed. Floating off the coast of Santorini Island, Nea (New) Kameni and neighboring Palea (Old) Kameni lie at the heart of the mostly-submerged Santorini caldera, and are Greece’s newest volcanic islands - Nea Kameni dates back just 425 years. Reachable only by boat, Nea Kameni makes a popular choice for cruises from Santorini Island, with visitors free to explore the unique volcanic landscape and bathe in the natural hot springs, legendary for their healing and rejuvenating minerals....
Oia
#3

Oia

If you came to Santorini for the sunsets, the town of Oia is where you want to be when the sun sinks towards the horizon to such glorious effect. Perched on the steep edge of the caldera, with open views of the sea, the village is quieter than the island’s main town, Fira, at least outside sunset hours. A string of tavernas turn their faces to the caldera for those views, and it’s fun exploring the town’s tiny backstreets and rocky cliff face, where homes have been carved from the volcanic rock. There’s some seriously chic boutique accommodations in Oia, complete with infinity pools and spas. The lucky people staying on for the evening dine in Oia’s gourmet restaurants, perched on terraces to catch the best views. Follow the 300 steps leading from the top of the caldera and you reach the fishing port of Ammoudi. Boats sail from here to the nearby island of Thirassia....
Red Beach
#6

Red Beach

Most of Santorini’s pocket-sized beaches are made of dark volcanic sand and pebbles set against black, austere cliffs, but perhaps its most unusual beach is near the Minoan ruins at Akrotíri on the south coast. Aptly named Red Beach (‘Kokkini Ammos’ in Greek) for its blood-red sand and gently crumbling burnt-umber cliffs, the crescent of beach forms a bizarre Martian landscape of red and black lava boulders scattered over grainy red and black sand. Rocks thrown up by ancient volcanic activity lurk just offshore in the calm bay, forming perfect platforms for sun worshippers, and the crystal-clear waters are paradise for snorkelers. Open-topped wooden boats, known as kaiks, trundle backwards and forwards between Red Beach and Akrotíri disgorging a constant stream of visitors....
Akrotiri
#8

Akrotiri

In 1967, archaeologists uncovered the spectacularly well-preserved remains of an ancient Bronze Age Minoan village at Ancient Akrotiri, destroyed by a mighty volcanic eruption in around 1650 BC. The most famous Minoan site outside Crete, the sandstone remains of Akrotiri’s buildings reach several stories. Their door and window lintels are spookily intact, along with stone walls and porticoes, courtyards and rooms. As at Pompeii, the buildings were preserved by the volcanic ash. Fortunately, unlike Pompeii, it appears that the villagers were safely evacuated, as no skeletons have been unearthed during the excavation. The excavation site has been closed for several years, though restoration is continuing. To get an idea of what lies beneath, visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, where gorgeous frescos of boats, fishers, wildlife and everyday people from several millennia ago are displayed. You can also see personal artifacts like pottery and furniture....
Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)
#9

Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)

The monastery of Mount Profitis Ilias is perched on the mountain of the same name, the highest point on Santorini at 1,853 ft (565 m) above the Aegean Sea in the south of the island. Built in the early 18th century out of sizeable stone and resembling a fortress, the monastery was dedicated to the prophet Elijah and initially enjoyed great wealth. It once also functioned as a secret school of Greek culture during the dark days of Turkish occupation of the country, but its power began to decline in 1860 and it was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1956. Today Profitis Ilias is successful once more; its three domed church has become a museum hosting an exceptional and significant collection of Greek Orthodox icons, early, hand printed books and bibles, wrought-iron artwork, wooden carvings and elaborately embroidered clerics’ robes. The resident monks put on displays of traditional carpentry, shoemaking, local cooking and wine making as well....

Trip ideas

Top Beaches in Santorini

Top Beaches in Santorini

How to Spend 2 Days in Santorini

How to Spend 2 Days in Santorini

Wine Tasting in Santorini

Wine Tasting in Santorini

Top activities in Santorini

Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks

Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Full Greek Meal and Drinks

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€125.00
Private Classic Santorini Panorama: Visit the most popular destinations!

Private Classic Santorini Panorama: Visit the most popular destinations!

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€175.00
6-Hour Private Best of Santorini Experience

6-Hour Private Best of Santorini Experience

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€175.00
Small-Group Santorini Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour

Small-Group Santorini Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€120.00
Santorini Day Tour with Sunset in Oia

Santorini Day Tour with Sunset in Oia

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€50.00
Private Tour: Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Greek Meal and Drinks

Private Tour: Santorini Caldera Cruise Including Greek Meal and Drinks

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€625.00
Santorini Luxury Catamaran Day Cruise with BBQ,drinks,transfer

Santorini Luxury Catamaran Day Cruise with BBQ,drinks,transfer

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
From
€190.00
Santorini Private Sightseeing Tour

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Santorini Private Sightseeing Tour

The Top 10 Things To Do in Santorini
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€206.76
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