A popular stop for cruise ships, Santorini is a stunning island filled with quaint blue and white villages, fascinating ruins, and incredible beaches lapped by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Whether you’re a history lover or a beach buff, Santorini has plenty to offer just about everyone, from multiple beaches to impeccably preserved ancient Greek ruins. Even those looking for some time away at a slower pace will find the perfect speed here on Santorini.
Considered a significant archaeological find, the settlement of Akrotiri revealed substantial information about prehistoric Minoan life. Dating its origins back to the 4th century BCE, the village of Akrotiri was buried in ash after the eruption of the nearby Thera volcano in 1613 BCE, which also caused destruction for other nearby islands in the form of tsunamis from the sheer force of the eruption. Before the desolation of the settlement, Akrotiri was a strong trading power thanks to its fertile fishing waters and prime position in between major ancient powers Cyprus and Crete. Discovered in 1967, the site is remarkably well-preserved thanks to its generous coating of ash and is an almost perfect snapshot of Minoan life in antiquity.
One of the stunning and charming towns on Santorini, Oia has a unique appeal all its own. Unlike its sister town of Fira, life in Oia travels at a more sedate pace, with gorgeous beaches, delicious restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to simply sit back and soak in the Aegean sunset. The white and blue buildings are laced with staircases, the perfect opportunity to explore the alleys and inner workings of the village just as the locals do. During the day Oia can get crowded with the cruising crowd, so wait until closer to the evening before visiting the town.
On the southeast side of Santorini island, Kamari is the seaside town just below the ancient site of Thira. Many of the activities in the town revel in the outdoors, including an outdoor theater that shows many American and Greek films every evening and the typical beach fare. The beach here is comprised of black pebbles and is the longest on the entire island. The village has plenty of clubs, bars, cafés, and restaurants for those looking for a more cosmopolitan experience.
Above the town of Kamira is the ancient city of Thira, containing the ruins of Roman, Byzantine, and Greek relics and buildings. The area was originally settled by the Dorians, one of the four major ethnic groups of Hellenistic Greek in the 9th century BCE. Strolling through the ruins you’ll see temples, the agora (market), gymnasium, theater, and the homes of residents with intriguing mosaic art.
A smaller island that separated from Santorini thousands of years ago, Thirassia is the true epitome of Greek tranquility. This island isn’t full of shops, restaurants, or bars, but absolutely filled to the brim with local charm and amiable residents (be aware, though, that residents on this island only speak Greek; you’ll be hard-pressed to find any English speakers here). If you’re looking for a break from the crowds and commercialization of the main island, consider taking a day or more to enjoy the simplicity of the island, including the quiet beach, homemade fire-baked bread, and the respite from frantic modern life.
Celebrate The Best Of Santorini With
“Santorini and the Aegean” is a tour offering Athens and Santorini, plus an Aegean Cruise in which you will explore the islands replete with legend, history, and splendid natural settings. Budget friendly hotels available, from Superior Tourist to Deluxe, for the three nights in Athens and three in Santorini. A half-day Athens guided tour also takes in the legendary Acropolis, crowned by the Parthenon, an apogee of Western civilization.
An Aegean cruise for 7 days and see the best of Turkey and Greece
A brief but wonderful tour to Greece, packed into six delightful nights. Three nights are spent in Athens to take in some spectacular views of the monuments atop the Acropolis that have left an indelible mark on western civilization. You will admire the famed Parthenon, the Museum of the Acropolis, housing some of the noteworthy remains of the sacred hill and also have time to explore the Plaka district, which at night is becomes alive with Athenian joie de vivre.
11 day adventure that will take you to the best parts of Greece and Turkey
This 11-day adventure into the Aegean Isles & Turkey promises breathtaking scenery, rich history and a chance to explore an amazing part of the world. Travel to Greece and being in Athens, to explore the ancient city at leisure – this is the capital and largest city in all of Greece with fantastic ruins and archaeological sites.
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