If you're like me right now you will be lusting after a holiday. The Greek Isles are like nowhere else on earth, with the island of Santorini the crown jewel. This island, arguably one of the most beautiful in the world, is a must-visit when doing a tour of the islands of the Aegean Sea. Located approximately 120 miles to the southwest of the mainland of Greece, this island is situated within an archipelago that was formed through a volcanic eruption. If you are fortunate enough to visit this island paradise, be sure to take some time to see Akrotiri. This area, sometimes referred to as the Greek Pompeii, contains ruins dating back to the Minoan era!
The beaches of Santorini are nothing short of breath-taking, and the water of the Aegean Sea is perfect for swimming. In fact, the view of the island from the water is spectacular, as you will notice on the ferry out to Santorini. The beaches on the south end are quite popular, and often crowded. Try staying near the cliff backed beaches of Baxedes. There will be some shade, less people, and shallow waters for perfect wading. It is also much closer to the residential areas and are easily accessible. But do be sure to travel south, these beaches, Kamari is one excellent example, are world renowned for a very good reason!
The wines of Greece and Santorini are consistently growing in popularity, and a few of the vineyards that are located on the island have opened up public tours. Imagine sitting in one of the newly built tasting rooms and enjoying the majestic view while sipping on some of the wonderful, locally produced wines. Boutari and Koutsoyannopoulos are two wineries that welcome visitors. These vineyards have been around for centuries, and in addition to the fantastic wine, the inherent history lesson that comes along with the tours is always worthwhile.
In addition to Akrotiri, there are several other historical places of interest. Santorini isn't just beaches and shopping! One site that is definitely worth exploring is the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. This monastery is situated on the highest point of Santorini, and as you can imagine, the views are worth the trek. This monastic home was founded in 1711 by two monks, and the memory of Profitis Ilias is still revered to this day. During the days of the Turkish occupation, Ilias created a secret school within the monastery in order to continue to teach the outlawed Greek reading and writing. There is also a fascinating museum on the grounds that is worth a visit.
Volcanoes are also a significant part of the Santorini history and landscape. Nea Kameni, located a quick boat ride away, provides an opportunity to peer into a live, and at times smoking, volcano. The climb up is 430 feet and the experience is one of a kind. The volcano tours will take you up the volcano all the way to the rim, and if you are feeling daring you can walk all the way to the edge and have a look inside. Remember that this is a live volcano!
Summer is the best time to visit Santorini, and when staying on this island, a villa is the accommodation to seek. Choosing a Santorini luxury villa for your stay will give you a much different experience than staying in one of the hotels. Santorini is the type of vacation destination where you will want to be out exploring by day, and enjoying dinner al fresco, the more time outside the better. When staying in a villa, you have most all of the amenities of a hotel, but with the added bonus of privacy.
Have you ever been to Santorini?