Santorini (or Thíra) is the southernmost island of the group of islands named the Cyclades, and it is situated in the middle of the Aegean sea. It is considered to be one of the most famous of the Greek islands receiving a vast amount of visitors every year and in comparison with its total population of 15,550 all year round. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and consists of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea, and Nea Kaméni. Santorini is a Crescentic shaped island, the residue of a volcanic caldera and a result of repeated sequences of shield volcano construction followed by caldera collapse. The whole complex of these islands forms a volcano that breaths under the water and it is still active. Read more about Santorini below…
Santorini has a semi-arid climate with Mediterranean characteristics. Total rainfall averages about 38 cm (15 inches) per year. In the summer season, strong winds can also be observed.
Santorini: The wines, the beaches, the villages
Should you be looking for a romantic getaway, Santorini is considered to be the most romantic place to do so in Greece. Its unique atmosphere, beautiful colors, wonderful sunsets, and stunning views are certainly creating the best ambiance for something like this. Each year the island is growing its population as a “wedding destination” for couples from all over the world. Owing to its blue waters and the stunning caldera views made many Asian visitors call it the Sea of Love.
Beach sand color depends on which geological layer is exposed; as well as where the wind was blowing at the moment the volcano was erupting. There are beaches with sand or rocks made of solidified lava of various colors. Two of the most popular beaches are the Red sand beach (or simply the Red Beach), and the White beach, which is only reachable by a yacht/boat or when you take a Santorini sailing cruise. In any case, if you are wondering what to do in Santorini, this is supposed to be among the best tours. Most of the island is covered by black sand, where the most popular ones are the ones of Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos.
Oia is the picturesque village, built on the northern side of the island. It is an impressive settlement known all over the world for the Carved-in buildings, the captains’ houses and the magnificent sunset. Fira is the capital of the island; a very impressive settlement perched high up on the edge of the Caldera, which literally looks like a fresco on a wall.
These two villages, as well as Imerovígli and Firostefáni, located high above on the cliff, at the edge of the caldera, offer an amazing view to the caldera and the Aegean. Other smaller villages are Akrotíri, popular for the excavation site, Pýrgos, a traditional picturesque village, Emporió, with its fortress-like living castle, Megalohóri, a real gem of the island and the summer-holiday beachfront villages of Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos. If you are coming on a cruise ship and still wondering what to do in Santorini? A custom private tour will help you explore the island and discover its distinctive beauty.
Last but not least, Santorini is also famous for its wine with indigenous white grape varieties aging back with a tradition in winemaking of thousands of years. The vineyard soils of the region are very poor, composed of volcanic ash and rocks, however about 1,200 hectares of land are under vine. Assyrtiko is the island’s flagship grape with a high acid grape full of citrus and mineral nuances. Santorini is immune to phylloxera as its volcanic soils contain none of the clay that is necessary for parasite to survive. As a result, many of the roots found on the vines on Santorini are centuries old. The grape growers of Santorini use a unique bush-training system, known as kouloura, to grow the grapes.